Hello from Holly:

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all” – Aristotle

Lifelong Learning is a phrase we hear so often these days. What exactly does that mean? Wikipedia defines it as “the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons while enhancing social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development which provides self-sustainability.”

Sounds pretty appealing, huh? If you answered yes, you are in luck! SeniorsPlus will be presenting their 9th annual Aging Well Living Well Expo on Friday, October 7, at Sunday River in Bethel. Join us for a full day of learning, exploring, and energizing at the beautiful Sunday River Resort. As a bonus, fall foliage should be at its peak!

What can you explore and learn? Explore important topics such as cognitive aging, marijuana as legal and useful medicine, facts about Lyme disease, and how our Legislative process works. Learn how to relax and the health benefits of Tai Chi, acupuncture, and aqua stretching. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to line dance or use your crockpot for healthy cooking? How about home brewing your own beer? Other fun and useful workshops will include photography using your smartphone, what color is your personality, and coloring books all grown up!

It will be a fun-filled day of learning and exploring, starting with the keynote address by long-time WCSH-TV weatherman Kevin Mannix and his wife Linda Rota as they share their life experiences highlighted in their book “Weathering Shame.”

The $25 admission is for the entire day and includes breakfast and lunch. Chondola rides to the North Peak Lodge will also be available for a nominal fee. Full brochures with workshop details and registration information are now available at SeniorsPlus and at www.seniorsplus.org/awlw. You may also register by phone using your credit card by calling 1-800-427-1241. Mark your calendar for October 7 — See you there!

Note: Holly Zielinski is the new Director of Community Services at SeniorsPlus

This is Good Bye From the Desk of Connie Jones

(June 2016)

In just a few days, I will be “retiring” from my job at SeniorsPlus. People have been asking – so what are you going to do next? How does it feel to be retiring? Well, to tell you the truth, I feel a bit scared! I’m excited, yes, I’m very sad, as I will miss my co-workers, but I’m a wee bit anxious about this big change. So I go back to my experts – people who have been there before me, my wise role models.

The other day I read: “Live each day like life was going to go on interminably.” So basically – don’t quit life now! Don’t give up on life this early, just keep taking part fully in life every day, like you were going to be around forever.

Along with that is the startling statistic that if you reached 65 and you’re pretty healthy, you can plan on another 30 years. Thirty years is a long time to sit around and rock in a chair, or smell the roses, or take naps! Instead there is enough time to reinvent yourself multiple times. My friend Nancy, at 60, decided to become a nurse practitioner. Now at 70, she is beginning to say – okay, maybe I should become a marine biologist next. Nancy’s well on her way to being like a cat with nine lives. I still have quite a few more to explore, for sure!

So if I have this much time left, it is an opportunity to challenge myself to things I never thought possible. Maybe my biggest barrier to overcome is my own self-perception. We make pretty strong statements about ourselves – “I don’t like working with my hands,” “I will never live in a city,” or “I hate cooking.” Hmmm. Maybe we need to challenge those boxes we’ve put ourselves in. We might be surprised at what we feel if we give it another chance.

My friends gave me one more piece of wisdom – every period of change and transition is a time of muddling. Life can feel fragile and like your world is tipping a bit. That is all normal. Just keep on muddling for a while longer, and if you’re open to the possibilities of change, a whole new exciting new life will appear.

Here’s to muddling and new lives!