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Living Well: The Key to Life Is…

by Jim McLauhglin
I’m 88 and I’m learning to grow up.
Ann, my wife, of 52 years, died in 2004. Alzheimer’s. Six children, two girls, four boys. We had a happy, very busy life, with many bumps in the road—mostly money. Ann is gone, but she left me her love, her heart and beautiful memories.
Aside from a shortage of money, our life was: too much busy, not enough time. We let busy control us. Busy is necessary, but control is essential. We didn’t realize filling up our days, reacting to anything and everything, was a mistake.
Your age doesn’t need to be a determining factor in how you live your life.  The key to living is your mindset.
You need a cane, a walker, diabetic shoes.  Your eyesight has you looking for large print books, or audio tapes because your hearing is not so good; spicy foods have lost their appeal.  Life has become, “it is what it is.
No, it’s not! Life, your life, is what you allow it to become.
What subjects did you relate to in college? You never went to college? Neither did I. After being discharged from the Army, I registered, but then I met Ann. That was the end of college.
Now I am going to college. Auditing a course in creative writing at St. Thomas Aquinas College. I’m not accumulating any credits, but I have an opportunity to develop the skills to write effectively. I believe both Dominican College and RCC have auditing programs covering many subjects.  The five town libraries also are sources to keep your mind active.
Controlling your time is the key to a more fulfilling life.

James McLaughlin is 88 years old and currently a part-time student at St. Thomas Aquinas College. A retired Linotype operator of forty years, he started a hot metal type shop on Railroad Avenue in Pearl River–STB Graphics –a business that closed in 1978.  Jim lives in Thorpe Village in Sparkill, is self-sufficient and in good health.

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