Wrap Your Laughing Gear Around This!

Wrap your laughing gear around this, and let’s dissect this whole ‘ageing and happiness’ business.

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old; you grow old when you stop laughing”

George Bernard Shaw
Wrap your laughing gear around this…
image from Pixabay

Who Wants To Grow Old Before Their Time!?

Retiring from a long, stressful career in Education has given me the freedom to kick back and enjoy life. And one of the best decisions I made before hanging up the chalk for the last time, was to buy a unit at Aveo Mountain View Retirement Village.

Living in Paradise!

I meet people every day who have ‘happiness’ written all over their face. Their smile brightens even the dreariest winter’s day. Life, love and laughter emanate from their every word and motion. Even those who have the least to smile about, find something in their day to be happy about.

Those who have mobility challenges, or are wracked with pain, still smile. Perhaps they are thankful for waking up each day to the beautiful sounds of nature that abound in our twenty-eight acres of Paradise.

You can spend the whole day crying about it, or you can learn to love the cold…

I recently read an interesting story about a father and son in Norway. When the boy was about four years old, the father took him ice-fishing. The son was not happy because ice-fishing means standing around on a big block of ice for a very long time, and it was seriously cold. He soon made his feelings known in no uncertain terms, as a four year old would, and he cried.

The response from his father gave the son a life-lesson that he never forgot.

“Look, you’re here now. You can either spend the whole day crying about it, or you can learn to love the cold. You’ve got a choice. You can either choose to be miserable, or choose to love the cold.’ And so that’s what we did. We just learned to love the cold.”

Jon Giaan

We All Have Choices

We can either cry about a situation, or learn to love it. The choice is ours.

That doesn’t mean we have to blindly accept every situation we find ourselves in. It means we have the choice to accept the situation or change it. If we can’t change it, then accepting it – learning to love it – is the best option.

Changing the weather in a cold Norwegian winter isn’t an option. The father’s advice to learn to love the cold made a life-long difference to the way his son viewed life.

If you can’t change a situation, then embrace it and learn to love it.

If you can change it – change it.

You even have a choice in how you change a situation.

You can:

  • Grumble about it and make everyone else miserable as well
  • Rant and rave and get people offside – often it’s the people you need to have on-side that you upset the most
  • Blame everyone else for the situation – when often the challenging situation reflects a choice you have made and now regret
  • Hold on to a grudge – some people seem to like being unhappy
  • Ignore genuine help to solve a problem – as above, some people don’t really want a solution, even if it is handed to them on a silver platter – they seem to prefer to grumble and complain
  • Acknowledge those who offer solutions – and work with them to bring about the change you want to make

And that’s what puts the smile on the faces of the people I meet every day.

They are happy to work with those who are striving for positive changes in their own life, and the lives of others.

And if it can’t be changed?

By learning to accept situations – learning to love the ‘cold’, we become, or remain, happier people.

Getting back to the wisdom of George Bernard Shaw – we grow old when we stop laughing.

And Who Wants To Grow Old Before Their Time?

Not Me!

… and obviously not the majority of people who live in Mountain View Retirement Village.

As for the few unhappy people in the village – who knows? Maybe the infectious laughter of the rest of us will show them that growing old (and grumpy) is a choice.

So wrap your laughing gear around all the fun things on offer in the Village, and stay as young as you are!

Life can be tough – but how you handle it is your choice. You can laugh or you can cry. Both probably take the same amount of effort – so why not laugh?

“Laugh, and the world laughs with you…”

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Stay young folks – the choice is yours!

And It beats the heck out of being old – and grumpy!

Disclaimer: This post does not intend to diminish Mental Health issues, especially Anxiety and/or Depression. The post simply aims to highlight the choice for individuals to focus on happiness rather than sadness. Unless otherwise stated, all information contained herein is the opinion of the author. The post does not constitute a diagnosis or specific treatment of any physiological or mental disorder. If this post has raised questions concerning long-term anxiety, sadness or depression, please seek advice from a professional.

The Author: Maureen Durney

Tenterfield Trip – Part One

Synchronised alarm clocks started ringing around the village bright and early on Tuesday morning. It was the day for the Tenterfield trip – the bus was leaving at 8.00am – and fifteen of us planned to be on it.

Weeks of planning and anticipation were about to come crashing in on each one of us. With last minute almost-forgotten items shoved into our packing, we hauled our bags out to the street to wait for the bus. By 8.30 we were all aboard and on our way.

The Journey Begins…

By the time we arrived at Kyogle, it was time for a cuppa and brunch. And The Sugar Bowl was the perfect place.

Oh, and maybe just a little bit of shopping. There’s nothing like supporting a local business.

No Bull!! Vintage and Collectables Extraordinaire…
The Welcoming Committee
There are so many bargains lurking here..
Alan offered to make us a cuppa.
Thanks for the hospitality Alan, but we’ll pass…

I’m sure glad there was room on the bus to accommodate all our bargain shopping.

If you are in Kyogle, don’t forget to call in to ‘No Bull Vintage and Collectables’. If you are really lucky, Alan will put the big authentic Chinese Kettle on. I reckon that would quench anyone’s thirst.

On the road again, and on to Tenterfield!

Are We There Yet?

Each traveller had a handout that included the itinerary, historical facts about Tenterfield, Sudokus, a Crossword and a WordSearch. But that didn’t stem the steady flow of conversation. We managed to solve a lot of the problems of the nation as well as slipping in the odd joke or two. We shared reviews of favourite movies, books and authors. But above all we found out a little more about each other. And that was the real bonus of the trip – getting to know the people who make Mountain View a great place to live. And I only heard ‘Are we there yet?’ once.

Anticipation started to build when we saw the sign that welcomed us to the Tenterfield Shire.

And then we were there!

The School of Arts Cafe was expecting us at 1.30pm and we arrived with a few minutes to spare. When the bus stopped in the carpark at the back, we eagerly disembarked. There, right beside us on our right, was the Hotel we would be having dinner at that evening. And on our left, the motel we would be staying at. Can you believe it? Considering the bookings were made over the phone and via email, I couldn’t believe how convenient it all turned out to be.

After lunch we unpacked the bus, walked through the carpark to the Peter Allen Motor Inn next door, collected our keys, and headed for our rooms. We had decided to make our own plans for the afternoon. Most of us chose to take a walk through town. What a fantastic place! Joan and I met a very friendly character who owned a number of businesses in town.

It just proved what I had always thought – Tenterfield is a very friendly place!

Back to our rooms for some downtime before dinner – NOT! I heard a voice outside my room calling my name, and I opened the door to an invitation to drinks at the front of the Motel.

By the time I had put on a few extra layers and made my way to the designated area, the pre-dinner drinks were in full swing.

Unfortunately, the discussion and subsequent vote for where to have breakfast the next morning, occurred later in the session rather than earlier. After a few drinks, three confused votes, and numerous attempts to count the votes, we apparently agreed we would return to the School of Arts Cafe. I say ‘apparently’ because with all the laughter and banter, I was flat out working out what had just happened. I certainly haven’t laughed that much in a long time. And I wasn’t even drinking!!

Dinner? What Dinner??

Yes, we had dinner at the Telegraph Hotel – but I realized when we got back to the motel that I hadn’t taken any photos.

How did that happen?

The food was fantastic, even though some of us had to wait a while – I mean a l-o-n-g while for our meal. But the staff were very apologetic, and besides, they weren’t used to having fifteen extra people for dinner on a Tuesday night. It was a great place to eat, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

I think the batteries need replacing in the clock – oh well, it will be right twice every twenty-four hours…

Saying it was a bit cold as we walked back to the motel is probably a bit of an understatement. It was seriously cold! Thank goodness our beds had electric blankets and there was a reverse-cycle air-conditioner in our rooms. Sleep came easily for us all.

And sleep heralded the end of the first day of our Tenterfield Trip.

Is there Harmony in the Village?

How does a family of more than two-hundred members live harmoniously in close proximity? Stick around and I’ll talk you through the harmony in the village I live in.

Like any family of more than two members (should that be, more than one member?), there are bound to be problems. Is that how it is in Mountain View Retirement Village?

Put more than two hundred seniors together – and personalities will overlap, overtake and sometimes erupt. We have residents from a wide range of careers, ethnicity, life-experiences and personalities. What levels the playing field is that we are (mostly) all retired.

In the world of retirement, we are all equal. There is no boss – we are Retired.

Some retire better than others.

Because some of us have been defined by our career, we sometimes carry our career position over into our post-career retirement lives. This can be problematic if two (or more) supervisor/authoritarian types clash over a leadership role. Luckily this is rare in the village, and it usually settles down, reasonably well.

If we think about the average family, we see the intermingling of personalities, the clashes and the celebrations. When we look at life here in the village – we see it all. The personalities, the celebrations and the clashes. Our extended family is no different to yours.

We don’t need a formal definition of each of the personality types that make up our community. We see them in action every day.

  • The Workers are in the kitchen before every function – baking and cooking. They are there again at the end of the function – washing, drying and sweeping. And they keep the craft shop supplied with home-baked biscuits, slices and saleable items. They voluntarily give their time freely.
  • The Carers are taking their neighbours to medical appointments, or are shopping for them. They check in on an older neighbour to make sure they are okay. And they invite new neighbours to functions and make them feel welcome.
  • The Decision-makers are on committees. They attend meetings, make and communicate decisions – all in a voluntary capacity.
  • The Supporters attend functions and meetings, and read all communications from the committees.
  • The Supervisors are the ones who haven’t adjusted as well to retirement, or possibly even life. They usually don’t get involved, but are happy to tell those who do, how they should do it. And they’re even more willing to criticise any attempts by anyone else to make our village a better place to live. Fortunately, we don’t have many Supervisors in our village, so they tend to just lurk, grumblingly, in the background. And life goes on.

This is what our family looks like.

We have our differences, and like any family, those differences sometimes clash and erupt. It happens – but it is the exception, not the rule.

When we walk around the village, we see happy retirees. There will always be someone sitting on their front porch to say “Hi!”, as we walk by.

We can sit in the library, or by the pool, and chat to a friend or a stranger. Or we can sit in the Community Centre and put a few more pieces in the communal jigsaw puzzle, read a book, or enjoy a coffee – or two.

We can get active in Tai-Chi, Bowls or walk around the lake to keep fit.

Boredom is a word we don’t hear in the village. If we are not into the physical exercise routines of Aquarobics, Line-Dancing or Tai-Chi, we can learn quilting or take an Art class. And Trivia on Monday nights keeps the brain-cogs turning.

Kerrie Will Do It!

Like any family, we have our ups and down. But we are there for each other when it matters most. Many of us don’t have family close by, so if something goes wrong, it’s nice to know we are not alone. As long as we reach out and get involved, there will always be someone looking out for us. And if we don’t reach out – Kerrie will.

I reckon our beautiful Kerrie knows everyone in the village, so you can expect a knock on the door if she knows you’re not well. And she will be there to arrange available services to make sure you get through the tough times. Kerrie isn’t shy about calling an ambulance if you need it, but most of the time, her bubbly, caring personality and quick-wit are enough to make you feel better.

Our Village Manager is there for the tougher situations. David oozes Calm and Serenity, and is the best person to be in the middle of tough personalities when they (rarely) overlap and erupt. Remember, just like your family, we have our sibling rivalry and family disputes. It’s called L-I-F-E! But David helps us weather the occasional family storms.

And that’s what keeps the harmony in the village, and makes Mountain View Retirement Village a great place to live.

Up here on the hill, life goes on

And there is harmony in the village… most of the time.

Why don’t you come and see for yourself? We’d love to see you.

Drop us a line in the comments section, and we’ll make sure the kettle is on when you get here.