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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Wellings 🍀

Hello, wonderful Wellings residents. 

As the breezes of March whisk through, bringing with them the whispers of spring, we find ourselves on the Saturday before one of the most spirited celebrations of the year – St. Patrick’s Day. 

And who says it’s just the young or the Irish who get to have all the fun? 

We’ve got a pot full of activities and ideas to ensure St. Patrick’s Day is as magical and memorable for us at the Wellings as finding a four-leaf clover in our backyard.

  1. Parade Participation – Virtually or Locally

Nothing screams St. Patrick’s Day quite like a parade. Whether we attend a local one or watch a grand parade virtually from cities known for their St. Paddy’s Day festivities, let’s immerse ourselves in this beautiful day’s vibrant greens, lively music, and joyous dancing.

  1. Dancing to the Rhythms of Ireland

Fancy a jig or a reel? Let’s move our coffee tables aside and learn an Irish step dance in our living room. Plenty of beginner-friendly tutorials are online; we could put on a show for our friends and family over a video call! It’s all in good fun, and laughter is guaranteed.

  1. Melodies from the Emerald Isle

From the hauntingly beautiful strains of Celtic Woman to the rollicking tunes of traditional Irish folk music, let’s fill our homes with the sounds of Ireland. Music can transport us, so why not let it take us on a journey to Ireland’s lush landscapes and rugged coastlines?

  1. Brain-Boosting Trivia Night

Why not host a St. Patrick’s Day trivia night? With categories ranging from Irish history to famous Irish legends and landmarks, we can test our knowledge and learn something new. It’s a fantastic way to engage our brains and share a laugh.

  1. Crafting Green

Let’s get our hands busy with some St. Patrick’s Day crafts. From green necklaces to rainbow portraits, crafting is not just a way to celebrate; it’s a way to express our creativity and add a personal touch to our decorations.

  1. A Scavenger Hunt for the Young at Heart

Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? Hide some leprechaun cutouts or pots of gold around our community or homes, and let the games begin. It’s a beautiful way to add a bit of adventure to the day.

  1. Cooking Up a Storm

From baking shamrock-shaped cookies to whipping up a traditional Irish stew, cooking is a delicious way to dive into the celebrations. Sharing these treats with friends and neighbors (while donning a chef’s hat with a shamrock) can add to the fun.

  1. Hosting a Green Happy Hour

Let’s raise our glasses (filled with green punch or shamrock shakes) to good health and happiness. Hosting a happy hour, even virtually, can bring us all together in spirit and cheers.

  1. Decking the Halls in Green

Why spruce up our spaces with green decorations, shamrocks, and perhaps even a leprechaun hat? It’s a simple way to bring the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day into our homes.

  1. Crafting with Loved Ones

For those of us with grandchildren or young visitors, spending an afternoon crafting can be a joyous way to bond. Whether it’s simple shamrock hats or green bead necklaces, these activities are fun and keepsakes.

Let’s make the most of this St. Patrick’s Day at the Wellings by engaging in these delightful activities. Whether we’re dancing, baking, crafting, or simply enjoying the music, there’s no end to how we can celebrate. So, let’s don our greenest attire, embrace our inner leprechauns, and spread some joy and laughter around. After all, we’ve all got a bit of Irish in us on St. Patrick’s Day.

Sláinte to a day filled with fun, laughter, and the warmth of community! 🌈🍀

The Joy of Pet Besties for Seniors: Furry Friends for Golden Years At The Wellings

We have a special place in our hearts for pets. Many of our members have discovered the joy and companionship of having a furry friend by their side. These pet besties are more than just animals; they are cherished companions who bring laughter, comfort, and a sense of well-being to our lives. As we navigate through the golden years, the presence of these adorable companions can transform everyday moments into treasures of happiness and companionship. Let’s explore the delightful world of pet besties for seniors at The Wellings and see how these furry friends can make the golden years even more golden.

The Unbreakable Bond

The bond between seniors and their pets is extraordinary. Whether it’s a dog’s wagging tail greeting you at the door or a cat’s purring comfort during a quiet afternoon, these moments create a connection that goes beyond words. Pets have a way of understanding and providing simple and profound comfort. They become confidants, exercise buddies, and sources of endless entertainment, especially for the members at The Wellings, where pets are an integral part of the community.

Health Benefits Galore

The benefits of having a pet in your senior years stretch far beyond companionship. Walking a dog encourages physical activity, essential for maintaining mobility and heart health. The routines required in pet care also promote mental sharpness and provide structure to everyday life. Moreover, the presence of a pet can significantly reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and even decrease feelings of loneliness. At The Wellings, we see firsthand pets’ positive impact on our members’ health and well-being.

A Boost to Social Life

Pets are incredible social catalysts. Walking a dog in the park or attending a pet-friendly event can lead to interactions and conversations that might not happen otherwise. For seniors, especially those who live alone or are introverted, pets can open doors to new friendships and community connections, enriching their social lives in unexpected and delightful ways. The Wellings community thrives on these connections, making it a vibrant place to live for humans and their pets.

Choosing the Perfect Pet Bestie

When choosing a pet, it’s important to consider lifestyle, mobility, and personal preferences. Smaller dog breeds like Shih Tzus or Poodles are remarkable for their manageable size and affectionate nature. With their independent streak and low-maintenance care, cats are perfect for those who enjoy quieter companionship. For those with limited space or physical limitations, birds or fish can provide companionship without needing walks or intense physical care. At The Wellings, we support our members in finding the perfect pet that matches their lifestyle and needs.

Stories of Furry Friendship

Imagine the story of John, a 75-year-old widower at The Wellings, who found a new lease on life with Max, a cheerful Labrador. Their daily walks in the park brought John new friends and a renewed enthusiasm for life. Or consider Mary, who adopted a pair of kittens, finding laughter in their playful antics and comfort in their quiet presence during the evenings.

Embracing the Journey Together

Pet besties for seniors at The Wellings are more than just animals; they are partners in navigating the journey of the golden years. They bring laughter, love, and a sense of purpose, making every day brighter and more meaningful. In embracing the companionship of a pet, our members not only enhance their own lives but also provide a loving home for animals in need. It’s a beautiful partnership that celebrates life, companionship, and pets’ unconditional love. So here’s to the members of The Wellings and their furry besties. May their days be filled with joy, laughter, and cuddling!

Free Your Spirit and Fill Your Soul

By: Natalie Tommy, with Sandy Sharkey

Deciding on artwork for our Wellings Communities is never easy, but we knew it had to capture the wild spirits and echo the lives of the people who would live with us.

Sandy Sharkey, an Ottawa photographer, captures these sentiments in almost every way.

Sandy is a visionary equine photographer based in the heart of Ottawa.

With a passion for capturing the majestic beauty and intimate connection between nature, humans, and horses, Sandy has carved a niche for herself as a trailblazer in the world of equine photography, with a specialty in wild horses. 

Her photos don’t just freeze moments; they tell stories of the profound bond shared between the world and horses.  

Her artistry goes beyond the conventional, delving into the rich tapestry of emotions, strength, and grace inherent in the equine world.

With a phone call and the big goal of bringing sentiments of freedom, friendship, strength, beauty, youthful exuberance, and playfulness to the walls of Wellings, we went to work.

The wild horses we selected symbolize various positive qualities, such as strength, freedom, and companionship. 

The imagery of horses can evoke positive emotions and associations, contributing to a sense of well-being and contentment. 

The collection I selected varies from bold, feisty stallions to what appears to be a community celebrating being free. 

Each one is unique and special.

You are welcome to view the collection in person at the Wellings of Stittsville; in the meantime, enjoy a few of our favorites here.

Wild Horses in a Snowstorm

Sandy Sharkey

There are spectacular wild horses living in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Alberta. Many people don’t know that the wild horses thrive and survive in this mountain setting just two hours north of Calgary. I was on my own one day, photographing a gorgeous herd when a snowstorm appeared. Of course I had to get one last shot before I retreated down the mountain. Such an honour to spend time with these wild horses existing in the raw beauty that is mother nature.

Power and Glory

Sandy Sharkey

The iconic white horses of the Camargue region of southern France are revered for their power and strength. Considered to be one of the oldest breeds of horses in the world, these horses have lived wild in the marshes and wetlands of the Rhone delta for centuries. To capture this shot, I knew I had to trust the horses galloping towards me. I was knee-deep in mud but didn’t budge as I felt their power just a few feet from me. Was I splattered with mud and salt water? Yep! Would I do it all over again? Absolutely.

Wild Mustangs in the Dust

Sandy Sharkey

Wild mustangs have lived in many parts of the American southwest for centuries. From the mountains of Montana to the forests of northern Arizona and the Nevada desert, wild mustangs are true survivors and the ultimate symbol of freedom. But they are no match for the heavy hand of mankind. Thousands of mustangs are removed from public lands each year and placed in holding facilities with an uncertain future. But this photo represents what can happen when people show compassion. This is a once-captured wild herd that has been reunited with it’s family band, and is again running as free as the wind. Photographed at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc California.

Dream Boy

Sandy Sharkey

Darkness was descending in the marshes of the Camargue region of southern France. I had spent the day photographing the iconic white horses that have lived in this area for centuries. I was beginning to pack up my camera gear when I turned around and saw this breathtaking stallion watching me with curiosity. There is always something special about making a connection with an animal, even for just a fleeting moment.

The Wild Ones

Sandy Sharkey

Just like humans, wild horses form close knit bonds. They can often be seen snuggled up together, nudging and grooming each other. The wild horses of Apache-Sitgreaves National US Forest in northern Arizona live amongst the tall pines and to encounter them in their forest home is nothing less than magical. Standing quite a distance away, I remained still and savoured this sweet moment between three wild ones.

On the Dunes

Sandy Sharkey

Located 300 kilometres east of Halifax in the Atlantic Ocean, Sable Island National Park Preserve is home to approximately 500 wild horses. Artists, authors, filmmakers and adventurers alike have been drawn to these legendary horses since the 18th Century. The wild horses of Sable Island are adored, respected, and enjoy full protection from the Canadian government. They are true survivors, adept at handling challenging conditions. I photographed these two stallions climbing a grassy sand dune to quench their thirst at a nearby freshwater pond.

The Stand Off

Sandy Sharkey

I have traveled around the world to photograph wild horses and have observed distinct differences in the horse herds from one geographical region to the next. But one thing remains a constant: boys will be boys. In the hierarchy of wild horse family bands, stallions for the most part co-exist with each other….until one stallion decides that HE deserves to be the band leader. A wild stallion skirmish doesn’t usually last long, but it always ends with a clear winner. Photographed in the Onaqui Mountain range of Utah’s Great Basin Desert.

Love Bite

Sandy Sharkey

If you spend a lot of time around horses, you get a window into their world. It is your reward for patience. Once you have the horse’s trust, special moments unfold. I was photographing the iconic white horses of the Camargue region in southern France when this stallion approached a mare and gave her a ‘love bite’. She obviously liked it, because they became inseparable….and I was fortunate to capture a sweet moment between a newly bonded couple.

Reflections of Sable Island

Sandy Sharkey

There is nothing quite like Canada’s remote Sable Island. Located 300 kilometres from Halifax in the Atlantic Ocean, Sable Island is home to the largest breeding population of grey seals and several species of seabirds. But the real stars of Sable Island are the free-spirited wild horses that have survived here since the 1700’s. With the swells of the Atlantic Ocean crashing to the shore behind them, this beautiful trio approached a peaceful inlet and created a beautiful reflection. I was fortunate to capture this magical moment.

Close

Sandy Sharkey

Is it any wonder that the wild horses of Sable Island are so adored- not only by Canadians from coast to coast, but by horse lovers around the world. With a very limited number of visitors each year, Sable Island remains a pristine natural environment that offers everything the horses need to survive: vegetation, freshwater ponds, and tall dunes for shelter. The wild horses are fully protected. As always, it is important to keep our distance from the wild horses and to respect the fact that they have virtually no interaction with humans. I photographed this intimate moment from a distance of 30 metres. A gorgeous pair of horses living wild and free on Canada’s remote Sable Island.

Together

Sandy Sharkey

As a wild horse photographer, my goal is to capture a moment in time. Whether it’s the high drama between two wild stallions, the first steps taken by a newborn wobbly foal, or the intimate connections that exist in wild horse family bands…I strongly feel that photography has the power to educate, inform, and enlighten. When we learn about the sentient lives of animals and see that their world is no different from ours, we are encouraged to add our voices for their protection. In 2010, more than 1700 wild horses were rounded up, separated and removed from the only home they ever knew: the wilderness in Nevada’s Calico Mountains. But humanity shone a light and the surviving wild horses were rescued by ‘Return to Freedom’ Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc California. Safe from harm, these two wild horses were among those re-united. It was an honour to capture this moment.

Unlocking the Epic Life: Active Living vs. Other Options for the 55+ Community

As we gracefully age, the concept of ‘home’ evolves. It’s no longer just a place to rest; it becomes a sanctuary of health, wellness, and empowerment. At Wellings, we understand that our 55+ community desires more than just a roof over their heads. They aspire for an epic life — full of opportunities, diverse activities, and minimal responsibilities. But how does this differ from other arrangements like long-term care or retirement living with respect? Let’s dive in.

What is the Active Living Concept?

Peter Attia, MD, and longevity expert says, “Exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, boost metabolism, cardiovascular health, enhance cognitive function, and contribute to overall well-being.”

You are independent, and you want to stay that way. You want to avoid living in retirement, where health care becomes a daily routine. Well, there is an alternative. Active living prioritizes physical activity as part of your daily routine, honoring your goal to keep your mobility and health for as long as possible. The goal is to get people moving more often. Exercise, nutrition, sleep, and mental health are keys to living a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle as we age, according to Dr. Attia. Listening to the goals of our members ( seniors) over 55 years of age has inspired us to create an environment that encourages an active way of life regardless of the mobility levels within the community. As a result, we see fitness levels improve, more social interaction, and better eating habits. Keeping active starts with a goal for your future activity needs. If you want to be able to walk up a hill, carry a grandchild, get in and out of a car, or take a trip somewhere, you need to train for it, and there is always time to start. 

What is an Example of Active Living?

Imagine starting your day with a brisk walk. You feel your heartbeat, the fresh air on your face. You feel alive. 30 minutes of fast activity is all you need to improve your cardiovascular health and mood daily. You may only sometimes recognize active living as deliberate, but even parking at the furthest end of the parking lot and walking to the front door naturally increases your activity level. At Wellings, we always look for ways our members can get more active without considering additional exercise. Gardening, yoga, stretching, dancing, lawn bowling, and even billiards keep your blood flowing, improve your balance and exercise the mind. Get active and live life the way you want to. 

What is the Definition of Healthy Active Living?

Healthy active living is a lifestyle choice that combines regular physical activity, a balanced nutritious diet, sufficient sleep, stress management, and maintaining social connections outside your Family. It’s a holistic approach to life that has the potential to significantly improve quality of life, especially as we age and for our 55+ community. 

What are the ten benefits of an Active Lifestyle?

Peter Attia, MD and author of Outlive, The Science and Art of Longevity, often emphasizes the numerous benefits of an active lifestyle. In his world, prevention is the focus rather than waiting until you need to see a Dr. to treat a disease or ailment. If you have healthy lifestyle goals for aging, an active, healthy lifestyle must be a priority. Most of us want to live a long, healthy life, but to do this, we need to start paying attention to our habits and lifestyle. Does it support our long-term goals, and if not, what can we change now to give us the best chance for a long, healthy way of life? This means that on top of regular exercise, optimizing your good food intake, breathing in the fresh air, de-stressing life, and working hard to ensure your muscles stay strong become a priority. He emphasizes there is always time to start.

Some benefits include: 

1. Improved Physical Health: Reduces the risk of chronic diseases and better management of blood sugars.

2. Enhances Mental Health: Boosts mood and alleviates some symptoms of depression.

3. Promotes Social Interaction: Decreases sense of isolation, betters mood, and provides more opportunities to meet and connect with people.

4. Boosts Immunity: Exercise helps improve bodily functions, including the immune system.

5. Enhances Mobility: It keeps your body flexible, maintains balance, reduces the effects of arthritis, and better equips us to handle challenging terrain.

6. Increases Longevity: A healthy lifestyle is directly proportional to a longer life expectancy.

7. Improves Sleep: Physical activities help you reduce stress, fall asleep faster, and make your sleep more profound as long as you raise your heartbeats!

8. Sharpens the Mind: Aids in keeping your cognitive function sharper as exercise and nutrition take center stage, 

9. Fosters Independence: Physical well-being allows you to be more self-reliant and independent, especially as we age.

10. Elevates Quality of Life: You’re likely to enjoy life more when you’re physically active and socially engaged.

Active Living vs. Independent Living vs. Long-term Care

Active Living (Wellings): A community inspired by energetic and vibrant 55-plus adults. Usually, health care is not offered, and activities may be community-led. Amenities vary by location but typically include a full kitchen and in-suite laundry. 

Independent and Assisted Living: Traditional retirement living offers various care levels, including assisted and memory care. It addresses many levels of care that may require qualified healthcare professionals in its administration. It often comes with three daily meals, housekeeping, and organized activities. 

Long-term Care: For those requiring advanced medical care and daily assistance beyond what a traditional retirement home can provide. 

How Do You Know What You Need?

If you aren’t sure what the differences are in the various living options for seniors, it is essential to do some research. Get familiar with the industry jargon such as independent vs. assisted living, 55 plus living, memory care, and long-term care. Your doctor and family can help you determine what care you may require in the coming years. Some people are on the cusp of needing some daily care and prefer to choose 55 plus living and accessing their local care association to visit the residence as required, such as a blood pressure check once a month or diabetic foot care. These independent seniors can cook for themselves, may still drive, and can carry on mostly without supervision. Others realize that they don’t want to cook and need minimal care now but don’t want to entertain the idea of moving again shortly and may choose a traditional retirement home. Remember that selecting a conventional retirement home when you don’t truly need care usually results in aging more quickly and paying for health care services you won’t use. Fifty-five plus communities offer activities and meals with a more vibrant and active feel. We see various mobility and mental acuity levels, but people connect with busy people. These communities, such as Wellings, are perfect for transitioning between your large family home and a traditional retirement home with care. 

Any good General Manager or community leasing representative should be able to outline the differences and ask the right questions to determine the best fit for you regardless of what community you choose.

You don’t need external care daily?

Active Living at Wellings may be the perfect fit if you don’t require daily medical assistance.

Choosing the right community is crucial for your well-being, and we encourage you to research. Make a list of your goals for yourself as you age. Is the new home you are considering going to get you closer to your goals? If you want to be more social or less isolated, look at the social programs offered. If you’re going to stay active, look for fitness programs, walking trails, or nearby paths. 

Visit your top 3 choices. Is everything scheduled, or are you free to choose when and where you eat, when you come and go, and how many visitors you can have? We recommend you watch how the staff interacts, test the food, participate in the activities, and even do a trial stay. You can visit as often as needed to make yourself more comfortable with your final choice. At Wellings, we provide you with the best setting to live an active and fruitful life, where every day is an adventure, an opportunity for continued growth, renewal, and re-energizing. Pick up hobbies you loved and never had time for, and connect with people who love living in retirement and are happy to share their life stories when asked. Fifty-five-plus communities are usually less expensive than traditional retirement homes and are a good choice for adults 55-plus who don’t need care but want to live maintenance-free and be more social. 

The Optimal Hobby Guide: 50 Engaging Hobbies

Now is a fantastic opportunity to embrace those interests that you’ve always wanted to pursue. Whether you’re looking to discover fresh hobbies or rekindle past passions, this ultimate list of 50 hobbies is a perfect place to start:

  1. Gardening: A wonderful hobby that is both relaxing and rewarding. It’s a great way to spend time outdoors, grow your own fruits and vegetables, or cultivate beautiful flowers.
  2. Bird Watching: All you need is a good pair of binoculars and a bird guide to start appreciating the diverse avian life around you.
  3. Painting: Whether it’s watercolors, oils, or acrylics, painting can be a relaxing and creative outlet. Many community centers offer classes for beginners.
  4. Photography: With the advent of digital cameras and smartphones, photography has never been more accessible. It’s a great way to capture memories and the beauty around you.
  5. Yoga: Yoga is excellent for both the mind and body. It helps with flexibility, balance, and mental clarity.
  6. Cooking or Baking: Exploring new recipes or baking sweet treats can be a fun and delicious pastime. Plus, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor!
  7. Writing: From journaling to memoir writing, to poetry, writing is a wonderful way to express yourself.
  8. Knitting or Crocheting: These crafts are not only enjoyable but also result in warm, beautiful projects that can be gifted or used at home.
  9. Learning a New Language: With apps and online courses, learning a new language is more accessible than ever.
  10. Volunteering: Giving back to the community is a fulfilling way to spend your time, meet new people, and make a difference.
  11. Reading: From novels to biographies to historical books, reading is a timeless hobby.
  12. Pottery: Shaping clay can be therapeutic and also allows you to create functional art pieces.
  13. Hiking: A great way to enjoy nature and stay active. Always remember to pick trails that match your fitness level.
  14. Genealogy: With online resources, tracing your family history has become much easier.
  15. Fishing: This calming hobby can also help you connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors.
  16. Astronomy: Stargazing can be a peaceful and fascinating hobby. All you need is a telescope and clear night skies.
  17. Chess: This classic game is great for keeping the mind sharp.
  18. Dancing: From ballroom to line dancing, dancing is a fun way to stay active.
  19. Swimming: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints and good for the heart.
  20. Traveling: Exploring new places, whether near or far, can be exciting and enlightening.
  21. Book Clubs: Join a local or online book club to engage with others who share your love for reading.
  22. Cycling: A great way to stay fit and explore your local area.
  23. Quilting: This traditional craft is excellent for creating beautiful, practical pieces.
  24. Tai Chi: This ancient Chinese martial art is a gentle way to stay active and decrease stress.
  25. Learning to Play a Musical Instrument: Always wanted to play piano or guitar? Now is your chance!
  26. Origami: This Japanese paper-folding art is meditative and results in beautiful creations.
  27. Puzzle Solving: Crosswords, Sudoku, or jigsaw puzzles can keep your mind sharp.
  28. Scrapbooking: A creative way to preserve and share your favorite memories.
  29. Blogging: Share your experiences, stories or expertise online through your own blog.
  30. Wine Tasting: Learn about different wines and develop your palette.
  31. Meditation: A practice that can enhance relaxation and mindfulness.
  32. Model Building: Whether cars, planes or trains, model building is a rewarding pastime.
  33. Magic Tricks: Impress your friends and family by mastering a few magic tricks.
  34. Calligraphy: Learn the art of beautiful handwriting.
  35. Bonsai: Cultivating these miniature trees can be a rewarding and meditative hobby.
  36. Bridge/Card Games: A fun way to socialize and keep your mind active.
  37. Antiquing: The thrill of the hunt can be fun, and you might find some treasures.
  38. Home Brewing: Brew your own beer or make your own wine at home.
  39. Philately (Stamp Collecting): A great way to learn about different countries and their history.
  40. Geocaching: A real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.
  41. Sculpting: A creative outlet that can be done with a variety of materials.
  42. Jewelry Making: Design and create your own unique pieces.
  43. Flower Arranging: This creative hobby is perfect for those who appreciate the beauty of flowers. Learn the art of creating stunning bouquets and centerpieces, which can be used to beautify your own home or be given as thoughtful, handmade gifts.
  44. Bowling: Join a league or play just for fun.
  45. Pickleball: A racket sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis.
  46. Podcasting: Share your thoughts, experiences, or stories with the world.
  47. Candle Making: A fun craft that results in a lovely, usable product.
  48. Digital Art: Use software to create stunning pieces of art.
  49. Golfing: Enjoy the outdoors while playing a leisurely game of golf.
  50. Exploring History: Visit museums, read history books, or watch documentaries to learn more about past events and eras.

Remember, the best hobby is one that brings you joy and enriches your life. Whether you want to stay active, keep your mind sharp, express your creativity, or connect with others, there’s a hobby out there for you. So why not explore something new today? The possibilities are endless!

Happy hobby hunting!

Lucy’s Hilarious Commercial Adventure: A Must-Watch Classic TV Moment

Get ready to bust a gut with the ultimate throwback TV gem! If you’re a fan of classic TV, we’ve got a treat for you. Today, we’re inviting you to join us in watching the iconic episode of I Love Lucy, “Lucy Does A TV Commercial.” In this hysterical episode, our favorite red-headed queen, Lucy (aka Lucille Ball), finally lands a gig as a spokesperson for a hot new diet supplement. But brace yourself, because things get wild and wacky as she takes one too many shots and gets a little too loosey-goosey on set. Don’t miss out on the laughs! Click here to watch the video. 

Thriving In Community

I remember my first day on the kibbutz in Israel. I was a twenty something Catholic girl from Montreal moving into a community I knew very little about; frankly, I was overwhelmed. Over my three months stay as a volunteer, I would be rotated through working in the kitchen, laundry, orange groves, cotton fields and helping with young children. I made friends among the volunteers and the kibbutzniks; I learned about a rich culture of collaboration, kindness and inclusion. The overwhelm I felt at the start was replaced with a feeling of deep admiration and connection with a community that felt more like family.

The aspect of kibbutz life that impressed me the most was how families were integrated and elders were revered. I enjoyed many conversations with older people, who had settled the kibbutz and soaked up insights from them on the importance of sustainable gardening and the beauty of growing older. They felt their importance in the kibbutz culture and when I came back to Canada, I was reminded of how we’ve had it so wrong for so long. I knew we were missing the gift of being able to hang out with and learn from people who have accrued a lot of wisdom over their lifetime.

Many years later, when I learned about The Wellings model of community living, something resonated deeply with me. In my mid-sixties at the time, I was now becoming one of those older people and I recognized that there was a great wave of us entering an important stage of life. We’re interested in being active, social, feeling part of community and we want to choose how we invest our precious time. The folks who designed The Wellings communities recognize that we are all important and we matter. I feel honoured and excited about the work we do to support people in making the next chapter of their life one of the best.

When we are part of a community that wants the same things such as comfort and convenience, connection with others and freedom to do as we please, the only thing we must do is realize how to maximize the experience. None of us are irrelevant, regardless of our age or our abilities. We need to accept that there will be challenges, just like every other stage of life but we don’t want our challenges to define our experience.

Which brings me to the subject of happiness and the question: what really makes us happy? The first answer most people give is either family, children or grandchildren which translates to feeling seen and feeling part of community. While we all have something to contribute to our family and our community at every stage of life, having an open mind and an open heart as we age means we’re receptive to new ideas, we’re interested in hearing other people’s stories, and we want the best not only for ourselves but for everyone in the community.

Once we have clarity around what’s important to us or what makes us happy, we can prioritize that in our everyday activities. One thing we must understand is that if we want to feel valued by others, we must make the first move and show others why we’re valuable instead of waiting for others to acknowledge it in us. If we want to feel kindness in our community, instead of waiting for others to show kindness to us, we need to pledge to be kind to others.

Kindness is one of the most important qualities in any human being at any age and it’s powerful. Dr. David Hamilton a physicist turned kindness expert explains that every act of kindness we do impacts at least five people: first, you benefit because your brain produces dopamine (known as helpers high). When you feel good, you produce oxytocin, which causes the release of nitric oxide, which reduces blood pressure and is said to be cardio protective. Oxytocin is also said to slow aging by reducing inflammation in the body. We are all wired for kindness so when we’re kind it’s much easier to make connection and form relationships. Obviously, the person receiving your kindness benefits and so does anyone who observes the act of kindness and anyone they tell about it. Added bonus: kindness is contagious, so you never know who you’re inspiring by being kind.

There are so many mixed messages in our culture about getting older and we want to support ideas such as ageless living, where your age doesn’t matter but who you are does. Just like life on the kibbutz, we want to encourage cooperation and collaboration in community instead of complaining and above all we want everyone to know that they are important, and they matter.

Reading reference: The Five Side Effects of Kindness Dr. David Hamilton, Hay House 2017

This Wellings blog by Kathie Donovan was exclusively written for Wellings Communities and appeared first on MyWellings.com.

The Best Medicine Is Laughter

Did you know that Adam & Eve were the first to ignore the Apple terms and conditions?

By the way, have you heard the rumor going around about butter? Never mind, I shouldn’t spread it.

When life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic.

But don’t you hate it when someone answers their own questions? I do.

Have you stopped to consider that people who take care of chickens are literally chicken tenders? And now a poem by Anne Scott:

“Missing” 

I’ve hunted near, I’ve hunted far
I even looked inside my car.
I’ve lost my glasses, I’m in need,
To have them now so I can read.
I loudly swear and I curse
Did I leave them in my purse?
Are they behind the sofa, under the bed?
Oh there they are—on my head!

We just wrote a song about tortillas; actually, it’s more of a rap. 

Communist jokes aren’t funny unless everyone gets them. But despite the high cost of living, it remains popular.

Have a wonderful day, and don’t forget to laugh!

The Four Agreements For Life Long Happiness

Don Miguel Ruiz, a best-selling author of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, explains the origin of self-limiting ideas that rob us of joy and cause needless suffering. It is based on ancient Toltec wisdom. In this blog, we’ll explain how to use The Four Agreements, a straightforward “code of behavior,” to find happiness in your own life. The Four Agreements are, in their simplest form, as follows:

Be Impeccable With Your Word

According to Ruiz, signing this agreement signifies accepting responsibility for whatever you say and write. It can be rephrased as “Say what you mean, and mean what you say” and pertains to integrity.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Why do we absorb someone else’s behaviors and words when we all have different beliefs, ambitions, and goals? It’s a typical error. This agreement emphasizes the importance of not giving people any power and that all they say and do is a projection of their reality. People are much more cooperative and focused on finding solutions rather than placing blame when they don’t take things personally.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Our time and energy are most significantly wasted when we make assumptions. This agreement promotes the idea that the ideal course of action is to ask questions in place of beliefs and to listen intently until all of your premises have been confirmed or corrected. Others can avoid this trap by maintaining an open line of communication.

Always Do Your Best

Although “always do your best” sounds like advice from your parents, it is always a good idea. According to Ruiz, your “best” varies from moment to moment and from circumstance to circumstance. In truth, giving your best effort doesn’t equate to doing too much, working too hard, or going “overboard” on anything. So said, it is being there and being who we are, even if all we can do at the time is listen. What benefits most from giving it your all? Self-criticism and remorse are never allowed to exist,  eliminating any room for self-criticism, lamenting the past, or undermining our efforts. It feels liberating to go through this.

Living The Four Agreements help us become self-aware and teach us how to control our emotions by preventing them from becoming reliant on others. We are considerate of others, in tune with ourselves, and effective communicators. We get more self-assured as we become aware of our driving forces, give everything our best effort. 

Incorporating The Four Agreements into our lives has helped us experience more freedom from limiting ideas and anxieties and find happiness, which has not only brought us to the Wellings community but also keeps us happy, focused, and inspired to continue growing in this area. We encourage you to do the same!

 

A Strong Heart

Do your part. Care for your heart. We will do ours and are going to pump you up. Love, your heart. Did you know that heart disease is first in both men and women’s causes of death? Take action now to reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

What you can do to help prevent heart disease is:

  • Eat well and exercise.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Avoid secondhand smoke and stop smoking.
  • Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Use alcohol sensibly only.
  • Reduce stress.

This week, consider taking a brief stroll, remember to live healthily, and stay young at heart.

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