Seniors: Doing Things for the Fun of It

Apr 30th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Finding entertainment and healthy distractions can be a daily undertaking.  Living with boredom is really an unnecessary state of being.  Looking past the boredom to some special ways to uncover enjoyment and satisfaction and fun is an assignment for all seniors.  Blaming others for your state of mind, means that your state of mind has no imagination. 

In an effort to find fun, I/we are blessed with the presence in our families, immediate and extended, persons and pets who help stimulate such fun.   In our 35 years of marriage we have enjoyed pets throughout that time.  In turn we have been rewarded with their flights of enjoyment and play.  Forgetting how to play is one of the plagues which can rapidly descend on and ruin the golden years.  Keeping a sense of humor, finding joy in unexpected places, creating laughter or frivolity in the moment are all ways for us to pump energy and pleasure into our lives.

Our daughter and family have four dogs and assorted birds in their home.  It might be described as a zoo or a circus, but there is never a dull moment.  What with two children to enjoy the pets, a mother (in law) to help see about them, and now my daily presence to give them a break for about an hour, we are all becoming quite familiar with each other and fond of being together. 

The four dogs are a Golden Retriever, a St Bernard (a puppy weighing in at 70 pounds at 4 and one half months old) and two miniature papillons, who take on the St Bernard without fear or reluctance.  During the day they occupy a kennel.  That is why there is need for free time outside. Their release from the kennels is much like the gates opening at the Kentucky Derby.  They chomp at the bit to be released.  Rushing out doors they begin to romp and play and attack one another and anything else, usually me, in their path. 

I watch as the St Bernard and Golden make their way to the shallow end of the pool, bringing  the water level of the  pool down by several gallons.  The papillons rush to find comfortable and safe refuge away from the St Bernard.  The Golden is mellow, with beautiful eyes, as is their wont, who quietly asks for affection and warm greetings. 

Their full time warden is the senior mother in the home, who has never owned a dog in her life.  It has become an education in animal husbandry to deal with these four.  She is clear that the two little ones are a piece of cake. The two big ones seem intent on trying, on occasion, to eat the cake.

During the time there, watching the dogs and carrying on conversation is our recreation.  The elder mother is from Croatia, by way of Canada.  Her stories are as voluminous as the flowers and foliage that surround us on the deck.    An hour is hardly ample time for the revelations and experiences she has from a full life.   She and her husband escaped the clutches of Croatia in the 50′s, during the period it was under Communist rule.  A journey from Europe to Canada and gaining citizenship there, she weaves all the major events of her life with vignettes, anecdotes, and twinkling eye humor. 

When I return home each afternoon I am met with our two pets who are quick to give me the equivalent of a TSA once over, fully aware that I have been in the presence of other dogs who have been the beneficiaries of my attention and affection.  Not good.  Following the examination we finally settle in for an hour of two of lap time and petting reconciliation. 

Fun is where you find it.  And finding it is part of the fun.  Start where you will.  But, please start.  It produces the joy and satisfaction of good times and frivolous entertainment without price.



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