Everyday Health reports that most of us know that if we eat our fruit and veggies, exercise often, and avoid smoking, we have a better chance of living longer and healthier lives. But you may not know that regularly giving to others should perhaps be added to that healthy checklist. Volunteering is associated with lower depression, increased well-being, and a 22 percent reduction in the risk of dying. Wow! That’s impressive! With those benefits there should be no shortage of volunteers.
Studies show that for those who are 55 or older these benefits are particularly remarkable. Perhaps those of us in that age group are often retired or experiencing the “empty nest” syndrome. We can begin to doubt our self worth and question our purpose, slipping into a habit of putting entirely too much focus on self. Boooring, tiresome (and unhealthy) for ourselves and for those around us!
Research indicates that benefits are optimized when you volunteer in a minimum of two endeavors. There are so many opportunities that finding two places in which to serve should be quite easy: in schools, in programs that serve the needy, in arts organizations, in your church, in neighborhood projects or clubs. The list goes on and on. What are your interests or passions? Your time and your talent can make a real difference in the life of an individual and in the life of your community.
If you want to live a longer, happier, and healthier life, take all the usual precautions and then … take the challenge. Get out there and share your time with those who need it. Where do I sign up?
Need a black & white accessory?
When did American women stop wearing hats and why? Did that accessory go out of vogue in the late 50′s? mid 60′s? Remember Jackie’s pillbox? The hats worn today include a billed unisex gimme cap, a winter cap to wear when walking, running or skiing or a brimmed straw to be worn at the pool or beach–casual wear to be worn with casual clothes. You might see one or two pastel creations on Easter Sunday, but during the rest of the year that hat (and any others) sit on the shelf in the closet. Maybe we’ve discarded a really fun and important part of our wardrobe. A hat can complete an outfit. A hat can add a flattering color near the face, camouflage a bad hair day, keep your head warm, protect you from the sun, lift your spirits. When you’re down in the dumps, go buy a new hat! I wonder if there are still millineries in the U.S. In New York perhaps? The women of the British royal family seem to wear hats. The queen must have dozens! Of course, there is the Kentucky Derby, but how often does one attend that event?
I’d like to resurrect the wearing of hats on certain occasions or in certain settings: church services, daytime weddings, funerals, lunching at a nice restaurant, setting sail on a fabulous cruise, attending a daytime party, going up in a hot air balloon and certainly, celebrating National Hat Day which I just discovered is tomorrow, Jan. 15, which is remarkable! I’m having lunch with a friend tomorrow, and I’m definitely wearing a hat! How about you?
On this last day of 2014, I am remembering some of the special events of this year. One of the most recent was the pinning ceremony that
we attended for our youngest daughter on December 11th. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University in Houston having earned a
BS degree with a major in nursing. The ceremony was very meaningful, and I was priviledged to get to “pin” her. I am impressed with the
community that she will share with other nurses. Afterwards we celebrated with champagne and dinner with family who were able to attend
We are very proud of her!
And of course Christmas! We were in Dallas this year at our older daughter and son-in-law’s home. Their house was very festive and of
course the grandchildren created excitement. There were 11 of us, 4 grandchildren and 7 adults. Dinner was delicious and comfortably
informal. For our dining entertainment, our oldest grandson read Knock Knock jokes and riddles aloud from his Boys Life magazine. And in
typical fashion the children came and went from the dinner table because the presents under the tree were more interesting. After the presents
were opened and dessert eaten we concluded the evening with dancing by the granddaughters, ages almost- 3 and 19 months. The dancers
were undaunted by our younger grandson’s attempt to blast them with a fancy ray gun that he got earlier as a present. Such good memories!
As the 2015 rapidly approaches, I want to echo my sisters’ resolutions to enjoy friends and family more in the new year!