By Bill Boudreau
We have arrived in senior years, so it seems, quicker than expected, or wanted. Nothing we can do about the years count. It’s a biological fact that in advanced age, we must work harder to sustain a healthy and contented, physically and mentally, being.
There’s a lot we can do to maintain a fulfilled life.
We are fortunate to have the medical science, health care experts, and community support at our disposal to medicate and guide us on enjoyable remaining years. Though not enough seniors take advantage of the resources available to uphold an exciting, vibrant day-to-day existence.
Of course, when possible, keep physically fit, the other is to enrich, cultivate the brain – skills, aspirations, dreams that lingered dormant while younger, but too busy caring for others or thriving to achieve someone else’s business demands. This category includes traveling, the arts, and education to name a few.
Since retirement, I’ve been active in physical activities, creative arts, and academics. This provides me an inner satisfaction, contentment, feeling of self-actualization, not thought possible during my professional days, working to realize capitalists’ profits.
I’m 78 years old, retired in 2000 after four decades in the competitive high-tech computer industry. Itching to fill a void, I began to take courses in the literary arts. Took classes with Osha Long Life Learning Institute (OLLI). I learned how Greek Philosophy influenced modern culture, studied great writers, Nobel Prize winner Miguel Garcia’s A Hundred Years of Solitude, to name one, poet E. E. Cummings, religions, and Greek Mythology. Parallel to OLLI courses, I began to write and discovered that I needed to learn the creative writing craft. Attended classes conducted by well published novelist and teacher Carolyn Wall, author of Sweeping Up Glass, Playing with Matches, and The Coffin Maker.
To date, I’ve self-published seven books, fiction and non-fiction, and had numerous articles accepted and published.
My writing skills and computer knowledge stimulated me to publish books for others – format manuscripts and cover designs. For several years, in addition to my own novels, I’ve published, mostly on amazon.com, memoirs, some fiction, for numerous seniors, and I have two projects in process. Currently, I’m working on three of my own manuscripts – editing a journal, poems, and speculative narration.
In addition to book publishing, I construct websites.
Before leaving the 8-5 plus employment, I had begun to teach myself playing the guitar, learn and sing vintage ballades and love melodies. It continued in my so-called retirement and inspired me to write songs, a few in French. I’ve performed in nursing and retirement homes and festivals.
I’m a member of Will Rogers Senior Center, Oklahoma City, where, twice a week, I participate in Yoga and Tai Chi for Balance. Other mornings, adjacent to the Senior Center, among a flora spectrum, I walk for half an hour in the Botanical Garden.
Oklahoma City has several senior centers where a person over 55, the age that qualifies you as a senior, may realize a range of creative skills and physical activities.
You may attend sculptor classes and fantasize to rival Picasso. A senior may experience the emotions of mystery, suspense, drama, romance, adventure, history, as a member of a book club. Some of you may wonder how it would feel to tap-dance across the floor like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Reading of other places in our country, and the world, cannot replace travels to discover new cultures. Mark Twain said, “Traveling kills ignorance.” Many of you, I’m sure, have wondered of the jewelry craft, using colorful gems designing bracelets, neckless, and broaches, and pondered registering in a class. Remember as a child, when given coloring crayons, the excitement it evoked? Well, you may again acquire the same exhilaration at a senior center – whether with paint, pencil, or watercolor. And of course you may take classes in dancing, learn to twirl and float the span of the room as a ballerina, pretending to be in Carnegie Hall, or dressed in colorful western outfits as you square dance to the call, or kick your legs in a chorus line.
In addition to games, such as Bridge, Bingo, Backgammon, etc., to keep the body fit, senior centers offer a variety of exercises: Yoga, Tai Chi for Balance, Treadmill, Armchair and Video Exercises.
A senior center is the perfect place to socialize, make friends, and be up to date on gossips!
Folks, don’t give up, you’re alive, make the most of it!
Bill Boudreau is a French-Acadian and grew up in Wedgeport village on the Nova Scotia’s southwest coast. He self-published seven books – Olsegon, Disharmony in Paradise, Moments in Time, Redemption Island, Beyond Acadia, Wedgeport, and Hopping the Caribbean Islands. All books are available on www.amazon.com and other online book providers.
Bill has also published the following articles:
First Confession in Seasoned Reader (Oklahoma’s Senior News and Living), Oct. 2007, Interlude, in The LLI Review, and Character, online at This I Believe, and Reflection: Long-Time U.S. Resident Remembers his Canadian Roots, online at Aging Horizons Bulletin, 2013.
His short story, Prelude to Punishment, may be read in “Conclave: A Journal of Character, Volume 8, 2014”
Provided cover image and story for: “Conclave: A Journal of Character, Issue 6”
Moon Dance, (Fiction) Published in CyberSoleil, an online Literacy Journal
Crossing the Bay of Fundy, (Personal Story) Published in CyberSoleil, an online Literary Journal
Bill lives in Oklahoma City