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A1. "FEEBLE": By Whose Perspective
In my mind, "feeble" means someone whose faculties are not good, and I strongly associate it with feeble-mindedness. I now know that is technically wrong. My definition is not comprehensive enough, according to the 1158-page The Living Webster dictionary.
The Living Webster defines feeble as "physically weak, mentally or morally weak; lacking in force or effectiveness; lacking in volume, brightness or distinctness."
What caused my investigation into the dictionary definition in the first place? A conversation with my son, who as a PhD and University Professor, knew the full scope of "feeble" as defined in the dictionary.
In a telephone conversation we had about the forgetfulness and distracted behavior of other seniors I know, my son said, "Ma, without all your joint replacement surgeries you would be 'feeble'".
I was stunned. First, as you can see above, I did not associate the word with physical feebleness. Second, how dare he refer to ME and "feeble" in the same sentence!
I think I'm still mentally sharp. True, I forget people's names, can't remember words or names of places and things I don't think of regularly; my friend Bev assures me that's a synapse problem that comes with aging and is not connected to Alzheimer's. And it pleases me to believe she is correct.
Another friend once told me, "As long as tomorrow you remember that yesterday you couldn't remember 'X', you donít have Alzheimer's. It doesn't matter that you still can't remember the fact today--just that you remember what you thought about yesterday." Well, back to my sonís remark.
So, like one in three Americans who, according to a Pew Research Study, search the internet before seeing a doctor, I decided to research some medical websites on the definition of "feeble."
The sites definitely referred to physical "feebleness."
Medline Plus, sponsored by NIH (National Institutes of Health) at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ had articles like: Spinal Muscular Atrophy: feeble movement of the arms and legs...
No denying, my son had a point.
If I had had two hip replacements, and were in a wheelchair because I could not walk without pain, the world could define me as "feeble"?
If I had had the two hip-replacement surgeries, but not the shoulder-replacement surgery, and couldn't feed myself nicely with my right/dominant hand, those who saw me eating clumsily could define me as "feeble".
If my many friends with bionic knees had not had surgery, they also might now be too "feeble" to play golf. My brother-in-law with post-polio syndrome could be so defined.
Well, I strongly object to that broader definition and labeling.
As long as I can write articles, pay bills, file taxes, vote responsibly (well, maybe just "vote," without qualifiers), navigate the Web, send and receive emails, pass the driverís license written test and/or the driving test, I am not feeble. Whether I walk with a walker, a cane, or navigate in a wheelchair or scooter, I am not feeble, and resent being regarded as such by others. And certainly by my adult children! Aha! That's it. There is a generational divide. Hhmmm? How did I regard my parents' growing infirmities? Surely I never thought of them as "feeble."
Learn more about walking exercise at: http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm#walk
A2. Finding Techniques That Will Manage Your Anxieties
Are you having trouble finding effective ways to overcome your fears and anxieties? It can be difficult to find all of the answers in managing your anxieties. The best way to overcome your persistent fears is to find those coping skills that effectively manage the fear and anxiety.
The first step is to take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, persons with these problems will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future.
It doesn't stop there. The next step is to apply what you have learned. Make it a point that every time you experience a fearful or anxiety related situation, to use the information you have learned. In every anxiety related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn't work, and what you need to do to improve on your anxiety-management skills.
Continue to do more research to learn even more effective techniques in managing fear and anxiety. Remember to focus on the strategies and techniques that actually reduce the fear and anxiety. All it takes is one effective technique to make a world of difference in managing your fears.
As for some of the skills that manage fear, learn to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.
Sometimes, a person may encounter a lot of scary thoughts coming at them all at once. Instead of getting upset, remember that these thoughts are exaggerated and are not based on reality. Usually it is the fear behind the thoughts that gets us worked up. Ignore the fear behind these thoughts, regardless how the strong the fear may be. If you ignore the fear behind these thoughts, then the thoughts become easier to manage.
Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things, and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. Focus on the present and stop trying to predict what may happen next week. Next week will take care of itself.
Remember that alcohol and substance abuse or any other addictions will not take away your problems and fears. In the short run, they might make you feel better, but in the long run these addictions will only make things worse.
The main point of this article is that no matter how difficult it is to manage your fear, the answers are out there if you look hard enough. It might take some hard work and persistence, but it is possible to find those techniques that work for you.
Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non-Resistant Methods" - an easy-to-read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties
Learn more about health at http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm
B. DID YOU KNOW...?
1. Trips With Aging Parents
Learn more about aging at http://www.seniorresource.com/ageproc.htm
Reduced pupil size.Learn more about aging vision at http://www.seniorresource.com/lowvisiontopics.htm
C. THOUGHTS FOR THE PERIOD
We present here some words from those with a birthday this period.
Burt Bacharach - "A small town is a place where there's no place to go where you shouldn't."
More "Thoughts" at: http://www.seniorresource.com/thought.htm
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D. SPECIAL SURFING SITES
1. Depression Era Songs
2. Army Retirement Help
Do you have questions? The installation RSO is the source for information for retiring and retired soldiers, their families and, ultimately, surviving spouses. Before retirement, one goes to your RSO for pre-retirement and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) briefing. After retirement, the RSO provides assistance and information for special program items such as the installation retiree council, the annual Retiree Appreciation Day, and installation retiree newsletter. Learn more here: http://www.armyg1.army.mil/rso/
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E. OH MY AGING FUNNY BONE
1. We Live by Words
2. Bragging Is Not for Wimps
Rog was in the hardware store the other day, pushing his cart around, when he collided with a young guy pushing his own cart.
"Oh My Aging Funny Bone" is at: http://www.seniorresource.com/jokes.htm
SPONSOR AN ISSUE
This issue has been edited by Betsy Day (Betsyjday@aol.com).
Aging in Place