Michael's Message - 2021, Our 50th Anniversary Year is Here!
By the time you read this, the papers may have published a photo of Clallam County’s first baby of the New Year, 2021.
At the other end of the spectrum, the oldest person in the world, as of this writing, is Kane Tanaka of Japan, who is 117 years old, and will turn 118 on January 2, 2021! The oldest person in the United States is Hester Ford of South Carolina, who is almost 115-1/2. She has 12 children, 68 grandchildren, 120 great-grandchildren, and more than 120 great-great-grandchildren! That’s over 320 descendants! (How would you like to shop for all those kids for Christmas?!)
Our New Year baby’s challenges are just beginning, as Kane and Hester are almost at the end of life’s road, after active and full lives.
We are all part of this thing called the human “race”. Some of us run it, some walk it, and others just endure it. Some of us smile and brighten others’ path along the way, and some of complain and fight at every step. How is your “race” going lately? As we enter the New Year, we hope you are doing well in every way possible.
Shipley Center has put 2020 behind us and is ready to face 2021 with optimism and courage. Many await a vaccine to protect them from the virus; and, perhaps in a few months, we will be able to meet in person again your Center.
Our newest way to help seniors is the reactivation of our Computer Clinic to help our members with tech issues on ZOOM. (See article on page one.) We intend to pick up the pace a bit, with even more activities, classes, and fun on ZOOM at first, and then in person, as soon as it is safe to do so.
I want to thank our board members who have held on through this year, including the three who have just been re-elected to a 2nd 3-year term. Together, with you, our members, we will make 2021, our 50th year as a senior center, the best year ever! Our organization was founded in 1971 here in Sequim, and we will have more news and history about that in future issues and throughout our Golden Anniversary year.
For now, please join me in some suggested New Year’s Resolutions for 2021:
- To be more connected with others by participating in more activities, even if that means using the telephone and technology more to stay in touch.
- To take care of finances, by learning how to avoid fraud and dubious investments and schemes, and to ask for advice and 2nd opinions when in doubt.
- To learn a new skill or new knowledge in areas of interest to me.
- To find safe ways to volunteer to serve causes and people I care about.
- To explore transportation, insurance, healthcare, and other options available to me as a senior, by making my needs known, and looking for the resources that are out there to meet them. (Need help finding resources? Contact us, or call Senior Information and Assistance, at 360.452.3221.)
- To remember Shipley Center in my 2021 charitable giving and estate planning, so that it may continue its good work at least until I am 115 or 118!
- To connect with at least one child, teenager, or young adult outside of my family by learning their name(s) and greeting them as they run or skateboard by. I want to help younger generations know they are noticed, appreciated, and loved!
These are just some suggestions, but following them could actually make us live longer, as studies have shown that those who are active in their connections with others have more meaning and purpose in their lives — and live longer because of it!
Happy New Year!