Next up in our Seniors’ Month “Living Your Best Life” series is Olga Thompson, a senior who attends our weekly Seniors’ Luncheon program.
“Living Your Best Life” by Olga Thompson
Being a senior gives me a chance to live an active productive life with an optimistic attitude and outbursts of creativity.
It’s spending this stage of my life in dignity, safety and freedom in the best country on earth, Canada, my homeland that I freely chose from my heart and mind. Although I’ve traveled to quite a few exciting far away places, it’s our scenically most varied, truly beautiful land that always fills my heart with love, enormous gratitude and a powerful sense of belonging.
Being a senior comes at times with several challenges (health-conditioned or caused by monetary problems) while simultaneously offering so many glorious opportunities. We are given more time and leisure to spend with our loved ones and friends to go on long walks or excursions with our family pets, sharing hobbies such as photography,indulging in arts and crafts, visiting art galleries and/or museums, taking in movies or going to the theatre once in a while (funds permitting).
Being a senior, we might – on a rainy day – choose to read to our heart’s content in the cozy atmosphere of our home. Or we might go down memory lane by story-telling especially about the olden days, looking at photos or slides to relive events and celebrations while vividly recalling many trips taken long, long time ago together with the entire family.
Being a senior grants us the privilege of either speeding up or slowing down (depending on how we feel) without having to apologize to anyone for our choices -being exclusively accountable to ourselves.
Being a senior and living in a world city such as Toronto we are doubly blessed for we are part of a multi-cultural and multilingual environment of an all-inclusive society of immigrants from all over the world. It also allows us to enjoy culinary delights from so many places prepared with hygienically homegrown foods and ingredients.
Being a senior we also have the pleasure to belong to a Seniors’ Centre where we can socialize with so many interesting people of many different backgrounds and experiences. These Centres offer amazing programs for physical wellness, mental alertness and memory retention aids, healthy nutrition as well as musical and dance presentations and games.
Being a senior allows us to live in harmony with our personal principles and values respecting and protecting the diversity of our very special Canadian mosaic.
Being a senior we have the leisure to attend travel shows or – ideally – if we were specifically fortunate – to go on trips visiting relatives in other parts of the world or going on cruises to meet so many interesting people and expand our horizons. Yet, reality can look quite different. The good or best life can apply to a small spectrum of seniors. Our dreams and hopes to live the best life after having worked hard all our lives can be challenged by increasing costs for daily living and sales scams targeting seniors.
Being a senior also allows us to cultivate a special interest in a professional capacity such as writing, etc. Or we could do volunteer work (depending on our physical condition) or donate to worthwhile causes or organizations. The possibilities are endless.
Staying connected and participating in all the helpful offerings will safeguard our balance and keep alive a sense of self-worth protecting us from sliding into sadness or isolation that can have devastating effects.
So – let’s live our best life.
Olga M. THOMPSON, MA
(Pen name Olga DEY-BERGMOS ER-THOMPSON)
Member in good standing with TWUC, THE WRITERS’ UNION OF CANADA
To read other Seniors’ Month “Living Your Best Life” stories, click here.