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Too Old for Adventure?
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We Litten kids could always tell when my father was in a whimsical mood because we’d hear him mumbling “poketa, poketa” in homage to Walter Mitty, a day-dreaming character created by author James Thurber. Instead of embracing and experiencing adventure, Walter only dreamed about it. Are you only dreaming about adventure?

What is adventure? The Walter Mitty in us imagines a trip through the Amazon, climbing Mount Everest, or swimming the English Channel. As seniors, those escapades are thrilling to imagine, but they deserve a chanting of “poketa, poketa” because it’s just dreaming.

Of course, dreaming or imagining is vital for our well-being; otherwise, we would never embark on a new project — be it writing a song or painting a room. Get the right side of your brain engaged and imagine a new adventure and then engage your body and go for it. It can be big (sky diving) or little (learning a new language).

According to an article in Psychology Today, “Trying New Things,” the benefits include the following:

1. Trying something new often requires courage
2. Trying something new opens up the possibility for you to enjoy something new
3. Trying something new keeps you from becoming bored
4. Trying something new forces you to grow

One of my heroes is June, a senior from my church, who is on her third adventure in a foreign country teaching English. Another is Lee. Even though she recently lost her husband to cancer, she found an affordable travel package and is finally taking that trip to Europe. My friend Julie, who joined Medicare this year along with me, is training for a triathlon. Brother Chris is a docent at a local art museum. My 69-year-old brother Rusty and I are about to embark on a six-day, five-night white-water rafting trip on the Salmon River in Idaho with Road Scholar.

Road Scholar – formerly Elderhostel (www.roadscholar.org) — offers educational travel in all 50 states and 150 countries – more than 6,500 tours. But if you aren’t up for travel, get catalogs from local colleges, check out their class schedule, be adventurous and then enroll.

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By Dee Litten Reed. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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