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Book: Aging Beyond Belief by Don Ardell

If you plan to age, prepare yourself — it's later than you think. The challenge of aging well should be taken seriously, but not grimly! Whatever your age, it's never too soon, or too late, to learn and apply the fine art of aging well, really well. Discover what aspects of aging can't be changed and improve the rest that can. Mold your own realities with REAL wellness, Ardell-style.

The 69 tips — one for each year of the author's life — are thought-provoking, challenging, eye-opening, manageable and fun to read. And all provide practical guidance for intelligently designing your own life-style evolution.
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by Donald B. Ardell, Ph. D.
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Wellness in the Headlines
(Don's Report to the World)

Alzheimer's, Sometimers and Oftentimers -- Facing the Ultimate Terrorist With Humor

Friday November 16, 2001

There is nothing funny about Alzheimer's or other, progressive diseases that are among the vast array of weaponry available to the Mother of all terrorists, namely, Osama bin Time. Death jokes are big, as are humorous strategies for dealing with all manner of human suffering and misery. Humor is powerful good medicine of a preventative and curative nature and, when it can't prevent or cure, it can be an effective diversionary tactic that distracts from grim reality, at least for a spell.

We are all fated to suffer the diminution of body and mind associated with aging and, soon enough, death -- no matter how many miles we jog, fruits and veggies we eat, DBRU equivalents we experience, meaning and purpose we adopt or serene we become. The range of weapons of serious mass destruction (100 percent fatality rate for all life forms) or slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that Time employs knows no bounds. While there is nothing funny about Alzheimer's or its milder forms that I myself suffer occasionally ("Sometimers" and even "Oftentimers", for instance), that is no reason not to laugh at the disease, or at Osama bin Time or death, itself. So, try to have a little fun with Time.

Here is a story that plays on the reality of one of Alzheimer's milder variants, namely, "Sometimers." Consider it a humor tale of the week or, if you prefer, the humor tale for the weak-minded!"

There were these two elderly people living in a Florida mobile home park. He was a widower and she a widow. They had known one another for a number of years. One evening there was a community supper in the big activity center. These two were at the same table, across from one another. As the meal went on, he made a few admiring glances at her and finally gathered up his courage to ask her, "Will you marry me?" After about six seconds of careful consideration, she answered, "Yes, Yes, I will." The meal ended and with a few more pleasant exchanges, they went to their respective places.

Next morning, he was troubled. "Did she say 'yes' or did she say 'no'?" He couldn't remember. Try as he would, he just could not recall -- not even a faint memory.

With trepidation, he went to the telephone and called her. First, he explained to her that he didn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the lovely evening past. As he gained a little more courage, he then inquired of her, "When I asked if you would marry me, did you say 'Yes' or did you say 'No'?" He was delighted to hear her say, "Why, I said, 'Yes, yes I will' and I meant it with all my heart."

Then she continued, "And I am so glad that you called, because I couldn't remember who had asked me."

As C.W. Metcalf once observed, "Humor skills are important for people over 5 and under pressure."

Be well, look after yourself and ALOTBSOL -- always look on the bright side of life. If that seems difficult, visit a remote area, such as rural Maine or North Dakota, go out at night-and look up. You will see a luminous realm visible to the earliest hominids -- and the dinosaurs long before them. You, too, will see thousands of stars without the need for a telescope. They will twinkle, twinkle in hues of red, blue and yellow-white. You will see the Milky Way cut a swath of faint cloud-like mist from one end of the horizon to the other. You might feel a bit or a lot of awe, maybe even a mysterious reverence at the wonder of it all. Then, recall that what you are seeing is a fragment of what is out there -- a cosmos vast beyond imagination or belief. Now you can look on the bright side, at all that's out there and yet, somehow, here you are, a moment in time when life is yours, to make of it what you will, this and as many days as you can manage.

Domain: purpose
Subdomain: humor

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