When was the last time you put together a puzzle? When I was growing up, my father and many of my six siblings spent hours working on puzzles. As the family rebel, I found it pointless to spend time making something that was just going to be taken apart and put back in a box. It was just as annoying getting to the end of a puzzle only to find that there were missing pieces.
Things have changed. Puzzle mania arrived in my condo about a year and half ago. When my youngest daughter comes home from college, we spend hours making puzzle after puzzle. This past holiday, however, we only made one. How was I to know that the 1000-piece idyllic winter church scene, with five sheep in the yard, would take nearly two weeks to finish? At least there weren’t any missing pieces.
Think of our collective lives as one giant puzzle. Like other stages in life, aging may find us looking at gaps to be filled. There are a myriad of resources available that can help meet some of our physical, social, intellectual or spiritual needs.
For example, if you need to focus on your physical health, what can be added to your daily routine to improve this aspect of your life? Maybe a walk twice a week with a friend would be a fit. Maybe joining the Silver Sneakers at the YMCA would be practical.
If you are feeling isolated this chilly Minnesota winter, why not seek out resources that can help alleviate some of that isolation? Check out what is in your local community. Most communities have a senior gathering place where food and companionship can be found.
For intellectual growth, the online opportunities are endless. While I don’t often get to the library to check out books, I enjoy the mini neighborhood libraries that seem to be sprouting up everywhere. If you are looking for even more, check out any of the Minnesota State Colleges. They have a great benefit for Minnesota residents: extreme reduced tuition for any senior who wants to study.
If you are longing for spiritual connections, seek out a local church. If you belong to one and need a ride, call the church and let them know. If you are one of our community’s valued caretakers, do you have time to pick up a senior or two on the way to church?
Finding pieces that fit can be fun. Since we are all in this together, why not keep seeking what you need to make your life more livable, more enjoyable, more fulfilling?
Marilyn (Mayr) Boros, RDN, LD is a local author and lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.