Enjoying Self-Expression and the Net in our Golden Years
As we get older, we find there is less need for hurry-hurry and rush-rush and more time for writing, reading, and reconstituting our needs for self-expression in the arts. We used to think 50 to 60 was old; now we think 70 to 80. Pablo Picasso said, “It takes a long time to become young.” The opportunities afforded us by self-expression gives us all the opportunity for exploring our imagination, giving us a fuller, and happier existence. There are many therapeutic benefits of self-expression in our later years like color therapy, movement, furthering our interests and education, music therapy and just plain thinking can be fun and healthy for our brains’ wellness. Like they say, “If we don’t use it; we’ll lose it!”
Enjoy some of the perks of growing old:
1. We can laugh in public, be affectionate, be spicy and indelicate
2. We know and trust ourselves, our abilities and capabilities
3. We can say No! And mean it without guilt or explanation
4. We’ve earned the privilege to be unique and in control
5. We have more time to let our creative juices flow
6. We don’t have to prove ourselves to anybody or anyone so we can try anything.
7. Sex becomes less about performance and more about tenderness and sharing
8. We don’t have to cook if we don’t want to; my motto is forage, take out or take me out!
9. Like our pets, we can now snooze when we choose without guilt
Following are some additional tips to enjoy on and off cyberspace:
· Try scrapbooking, personally and professionally
· Journal your achievements, personally and professionally
· Memoir your life’s ups and downs and publish
· Mentor others by maintaining a blog or website for public viewing
· Read and write on and off the web, and enjoy common interests with pen pals
· Try blogging, signing up for newsletters, and showing off your own talents.
Following is a bulleted list of specific sites to enjoy:
· Control. Check out MapQuest to help you directions for dinner out, shows or even a new doctor.
· Greater access. We can get new, exciting and up-to-the-minute medical knowledge from surfing the net; the news also gives us traffic warnings like road closings and back-ups on the freeway. We can recheck our routes before going out and getting stuck somewhere that is not safe or convenient.
· Fun. In addition to computer games, technology enables us to make videos of family, friends, as well as listen to books, music and/or find new ideas for hobbies and creative outlets like publishing our own writing and photographs. There are many free eBook and photography sites.
· Close connection. Phones, pagers, and email marketing make contacting others a breeze. We can now send pictures of children or grandchildren via videotape or email or you can use the internet videophone to see and talk with each other on distant holidays. We even have picture-telephones now. Comb your hair and call your distant friends, kids or grandkids via the telephone!
· New friends. Meet people on line or join a computer class, using social websites like Plenty of Fish introduces us to people of all backgrounds and ages that have the same interests as us. Interaction with a variety of people keeps us active, energized and less lonely or depressed.
· NanoGames at http://www.NanoGames.com, is a very accessible website, even if you need special access equipment. NanoGames can usually be adjusted to all disabilities. These are fun brain and action games for all ages. They use Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Apple Mac.
· Check out news magazines on the web like Newsweek and Time. TechforLiving.com has their own on line blogging site for the elderly to ask questions. Cenegenics.com, http://www.cenegenics.com/?uid=PT1_MS1_CEN_TM_TM, gives elders many ways to stay healthy and well. Use the computer like a classroom. The brain is like an umbrella. It works best when open.
· Better use of life experiences. It may be the 20-ish wonder-lings that are inventing these tech marvels, but it is the people 40 and over, who know what to do them. People with more life experience are the ones who use technology in the most fun, innovative and exciting ways to better our lives.
· Investigate. Go to your public library and/or local bookstores for ways to learn the computer. They often have computers you can use. A great site for learning the computer is at http://www.cliptraining.com sponsored by Microsoft. It is a pay site though.
· Check out hospitals, children’s shelters and animal shelters, as well as religious organizations about volunteer work. There’s no time to waste in turning back the clock. Our “Wisdom Gland” actually kicks in our Golden Years; and, when socializing with others, we always change for the better as well as leave behind a piece of ourselves.
In summary, a longer life can be a sweeter life, according to research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health. They found that those who occasionally splurged on a sweet treat lived almost a year longer than those who did not. Maybe, we aren’t the same as we were when in 20’s, but growing older isn’t without its perks.
by Joyce White