Opinion

New Community Matters column will explore living a thriving, interconnected life

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I know, it has been a long time since my last Senior Matters column, years in fact. Sorry. And much has changed, including I am now a retired “senior” myself, The Commons at Central Hall has opened and people are enjoying her beautiful spaces for dancing and quilting, connecting and thriving. Our region has committed to becoming “Age Friendly.” Since older people, like me, are resilient, creative and adaptable, I am taking the opportunity to engage you in my new understanding of thriving and to introduce you to a new column “Community Matters.”

I used to talk about the many ways seniors can thrive including remaining active, staying mentally engaged and pursuing intergenerational activities. While I still support all of these things and will continue to talk about older adults, these things are good for everyone. The truth is, the things that predict longer, healthier life are 1) becoming and remaining socially connected throughout life 2) lifelong regular exercise and 3) genetic luck. Since we have no control over the last item nor about the fact that all of us will age, we just need to think about the other things we can do something about.

So, I and many new friends at The Commons at Central Hall, a multigenerational community center, are undertaking this new column called “Community Matters.” In this column we will explore what it means to live a thriving, interconnected life, how to stay well, activities that inspire or entertain, ideas that matter or whatever comes to our minds that we hope will engage our readers to do what we all need to do to thrive at any age. I will write many of the articles, but others will lend their different voices to the effort too. What unites us, however, is our deep commitment to enhancing the lives of people in our region by building community engagement.

In the weeks to come we will write about walking trails in our region, and the benefits of Tai Chi, nutrition, mental health and volunteerism. We will explore possibilities for creativity, storytelling and mutual support. We will encourage social civility, generosity and having fun. We will tackle difficult obstacles to thriving such as lack of rural transportation and poverty. Most of all, we will ourselves be ambassadors for building a vital, interconnected community. I hope you will enjoy this exploration. I look forward to your suggestions for columns and comments. It is good to be back.

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