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Being blessed is determined by ones perspective

Rita Studd, who was the guest columnist in the Feb. 7 edition of “Positive Aging” in this paper, had more good ideas to share with readers of these columns for Stories on Positive Aging.

Because of space limitation in this newspaper, the earlier edition was only the first part of the article titled “Less Blessed.” Here is the rest of what Rita wrote in 2005. It challenged the idea that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Less Blessed by Retta Studd, March 2005 — Part Two

That adage ignores how much more difficult it is to accept than it is to give. We need lessons, especially in the one area that is most difficult.

Over the past few months several friends have sold their cars and no longer drive. This curtailment of mobility is more traumatic. There is a driver’s manual with rules about how to be a good driver. There are even Fifty-five Alive classes to help you. When you change from driver to designated passenger there is no manual or any classes.

We need a passenger’s manual so we can learn to become good passengers. We could take a test and become certified as such.

And then who knows? If we do well at giving up the driver’s seat we might even get to be more blessed.

Stories for Positive Aging: Ardis Stevenson’s comments — Feb. 21, 2013

For me “This curtailment of mobility” has made my life “more blessed.” The results are positive: more times with my kids. The major benefits came with my decision to move to a retirement community, one that provides transportation for medical appointments, trips to grocery stores, etc. And since I no longer needed my car, I turned ownership over to my daughter. She reimburses me for the car by tracking — and then subtracting from the purchase price — the dollars spent on grocery shopping for me twice a month. Additionally, my son, Lee, whose work requires travel around the Portland/Salem areas, sometimes invites me to ride with him. That’s our great opportunity to share news and ideas.

Rita, my “guest columnist,” offers solutions to common problems of aging. I share her recognition of the benefits we gain from “receiving.” So here’s my tiny gift to you, and I hope you’ll find benefits from this “gift.” It’s from a Harvard Medical School report listing 10 strategies for improving memory. Here’s Number 1 on the list.

#1. Believe in yourself. Myths about aging can contribute to a failing memory. Middle-aged and older learners do worse on memory tasks when exposed to negative stereotypes about aging and memory, and better if exposed to messages about memory preservation into old age.

Try this, and as Rita said, “We might even get to be more blessed.”

Stories for Positive Aging is a semi-monthly column on senior issues written by Lake Oswego author of “ Facing Age, Finding Answers”Ardis Stevenson. She can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by regular mail at 17440 Holy Names Drive, Lake Oswego, OR 97034.




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