I’ve had the opportunity to do extensive travel in the past few weeks – armchair travel with help of tapes, cds and the odd book found in our library’s wonderful collection.
Unencumbered by passport, tickets and luggage, I’ve heard voices of those who have overcome harsh living conditions in the United States, the Ukraine and Great Britain.
Having come through the depression on a small farm in Saskatchewan, we sensed the anxiety of our parents when we had to move off the farm for survival.
While my brother and I were too young to take on real responsibilities, something that will ever stay with me was how people looked out for one another no matter their ethnic background.
In later years while I lived in Edmonton, Toronto and Surrey this was not my experience. However during 18 months in P.E.I. and a short visit to Newfoundland, I once again discovered that previous attitude of caring for one another.
Traveling makes us appreciate our own home. Just as a person is glad to come home after any trip, even armchair travel will make you see with clearer eyes your neighbours, network of friends and co-workers that are the treasured fabric of our community.
HOW TO STAY YOUNG
• Throw out non-essential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.
• Keep only cheerful friends. Grouches pull you down.
• Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever…never let the brain idle. An idle brain is devil’s workshop and the devil’s name is Alzheimers.
• Enjoy simple things.
• Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
• The tears happen. Endure, grieve and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is ourselves. Be alive while you are alive.
• Surround yourself with what you love whether its family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies. Your home is your refuge.
• Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
• Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next country, to a foreign country but not to where guilt is.
• Tell the people that you love them at every opportunity and always remember: life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.
Ruth Scoullar is a seniors’ advocate and regular Observer contributor.