FROM YOUR EDITOR...The month is flying by. My parents and I talk frequently about how fast time flies. Where has the year gone?! How much of your annual to-do list did you accomplish? You don't have an annual to-do list? I have one, but I failed miserably. Procrastination played a role.
Basically, my list looked like this: Christmas 2006
January: Christmas shopping for Beth and her family.
February: Christmas shopping for Christie and her family.
March: Christmas shopping for the twins.
April: Richard's family.
May: Bill's family.
June: My husband.
July: Christmas items to sell on consignment.
November: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
December: Everything I didn't get through the year for Christmas gifts.
Well, I did manage to "win" the NaNoWriMo. I did reach the 50K goal. But the Christmas shopping fell way by the wayside. And now I'm frustrated by the close proximity to Christmas, the lack of financial resources to buy gifts for 30 people and how we're going to make this happen without plastic.
WHAT CONTRIBUTES TO 'SUCCESSFUL AGING'?
* Are you willing to take risks? I don't mean risks that endanger your health and well-being, but those things that might change your life for the good?
* Are you quick to condemn your own opinions? You might be close, so don't sell yourself short.
* Are you flexible or stressed to the max? How adaptable are you to new things?
* There are obstacles, and there are challenges. When you think positively, you change the obstacles to challenges and overcome them.
* No matter how much you know, you can never know everything, but you can have a lot of fun learning something new every day.
* Life after children and retirement are new chapters in the book of your life, new beginnings with experience, maturity and wisdom.
* Bad things happen to good people, we've read, and we know that's true. But we don't have to suffer forever from the losses and pain that we endure. Take the time to heal, but not too long a time, and get on with the business of living.
* Do you see the glass as half full (optimist) or half empty (pessimist.)
* Everyone feels better when they eat right and get enough exercise. Are you taking good care of yourself?
* Do you know who you are? Why you are? Be you, not the one that people expect you to be, but the one whom you really are.
* Get involved in your neighborhood, your community. Focus on now.
DO YOU HAVE MEDICARE PART D PRESCRIPTION COVERAGE?
Are you one of the subscribers that falls into the "doughnut hole", also known as the drug coverage gap?
Aetna advised to a customer that the copay for brand name medications will go up in 2007. Once the annual ceiling is met, patients have to pay the full price for their brand name prescriptions.
"But there is no generic replacement for Namenda [Alzheimer's medication] and it costs $140 a month!" the customer noted. But was advised they would have to pay the full price for the medication until the new year.
The savings over the cvourse of the year van be substantial so paying for the brand name medications for two months, as compared to 12, speaks pretty loud. But the monthly premiums will jump from $55.08 a month in 2006 to $103.20 in 2007.
Not sure where you stand? To learn more about Medicare Part D prescription coverage in 2007, visit www.me3dicare.gov or call 1-800-633-4227.
COOKING FOR ONE...OR TWO
Some people find it a chore to cook for one. In a couple, if one partner is a picky eater, cooking is still an issue. In fact, there are cooks who think food tastes better when prepared in larger quantities, but they don't want to eat the leftovers for three or four days. There are those who never were very good cooks. Or perhaps grew up and cooked like our mothers did, only to find out now that it may not have been healthy and nutritious.
As we age, our metabolism slows. We need less to eat and more exercise to control weight gain.
"Mom," came a phone call. "How do you make your chicken? Kevin really likes it." Prior to that request, "Mom's" husband had said, "I think you have this perfected."
Place chicken breasts (skinless, boneless) in a microwavable baking dish. Top each piece with a pat of butter or margarine, pepper, parsley, Italian seasoning, chicken seasoning and other seasonings that you like on your chicken. Cover with waxed paper and microwave for five minutes, turn chicken over in dish, and turn dish one-quarter turn. Repeat until chicken is almost done, set aside to finish cooking.
Wash white baking potato and pierce each one several times. Put in microwave-safe dish, cover and microwave for five minutes. Check for doneness. Turn potato in dish, turn dish one-quarter turn. Microwave 2-3 minutes more. Set aside.
Beans are a healthy food, recommended to help control cholesterol.
Empty can of plain baked beans into microwave-proof bowl. Add brown sugar, ketchup and mustard to taste. Microwave, covered, 3-5 minutes, stir.
It is such a simple meal. Add a garden salad, limit dressing. I've read that French dressing is best. Don't forget your daily fruit servings. I've also read that sweet potatoes are better than white potatoes if you are watching your cholesterol.
My friend, Maureen, owns a condo at Daytona Beach. She kept offering the use of it to me, but I was busy raising a family, working full time. Then I left my job which set off a series of events that caused my stress level to go off the charts.
"I've booked two seats on a flight to Florida," she said.
"I can't go," I said. "I can't afford to."
"If you don't go it'll cost more money for me to cvancel." It was Wednesday.
"OK, then." It had cost her so much already!
"We fly out on Saturday morning."
"You aren't going to allow time enough for me to change my mind, are you?" I asked.
We've made that trip an annual tradition. There's just something about squiggling the soft beach sand between my toes and feeling the cold Atlantic water wrapping around my ankles, playing a game of chase with me. Or standing at the water's edge looking out at the sea, trying to imagine who might be looking westward from the western shore of Africa. Or listening to the sweabirds or catching a glimpse of a dolphin, feeling the wind in my hair and against my back.
These are some of the things Maureen watned me to experience. She was concerned for my well-being, my need to gete away from high stress.
The break away is good all the way around. I tend to be responsible to the extreme so the getaway gives my family a couple of weeks to have appreciation for what I do the other 50 weeks of the year because they have to pick up the slack and do for themselves.
You don't have to go to Daytona, or even the beach. But you will enjoy going on getaways to your favorite idea of rest and relaxation which may be only a few miles down the road. Perhaps it's at a cabin on the lake or creek, or a mountain retreat, or scvuba-diving. Whatever it is, do it.
TIL NEXT TIME...
There are a couple of new articles up at Senior Living. See you next time!
Here's the latest article from the Senior Living site at BellaOnline.com.
Dream chasing...now or never
Parents put off a lot of things when they are raising children. Is it too late to chase the dreams that were pushed to the back burner?
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Cathy Brownfield, Senior Living Editor
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