A Space in Time Cholestoral-The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Open At Your Own Risk One Woman’s Experience with Wrap Rage
5 Steps for Organizing Your Finances for 2012 and Beyond
Nine Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage on Valentine’s Day and Every Day
TABLE OF CONTENTS
10 COVER STORY
And They Lived Happily Ever After | Nine Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage |The quality of your marriage can make or break the quality of your life. Todd Patkin shares proven ways to strengthen your relationship with your spouse…and become happier in the process!
HOME | LIFESTYLE A Space in Time | A poignant story about a grandson and grandfather and their caregivers.
HEALTH | FITNESS 06 | Cholesterol | The Good the Bad and the Ugly | You eat your oatmeal every morning. You schedule your doctor’s appointment and get your cholesterol tested. But when you get those numbers back, do you really know what they mean? 09 | Open at Your Own Risk | We’ve all been there. Trying to open today’s packaging can be hazardous to your health!
2012 and Beyond | Five steps to help you effectively organize your finances.
Publisher.....................Utah Boomers Magazine, LLC Managing Editor..........................................Teresa Glenn Contributing Writers................................Kathy Wilets
Laverne H. Bardy
Photography.......................................................Mark Crim Advertising Sales firstname.lastname@example.org media kit www.utahboomersmagazine.com Webmaster Claye Stokes, New Shoe Media
Dear Fellow Boomers, Ah! February. The month of love. It can be a time for celebrating new love, or tried and true relationships. It is also a time for expectations that may or may not come true. I have a friend who is single. She is always a bit depressed on Valentine’s Day because she doesn’t have that “special someone” to share the day with. Yet, I have never met a person with such a full life and who has so many people who care about her and truly love spending time with her. It’s sad to think she feels her life lacking because she doesn’t have what she considers to be a Valentine. This year, celebrate the relationships you have in your life, be they with a friend, sibling, parent or co-worker. Tell them how much they mean to you and the richness they bring to your life. Don’t buy into the greeting card definition of Valentine’s Day. Define it for yourself. When you read “A Space in Time” on page 4, it really hits home how loved ones won’t be in your life forever, and you should cherish the time you have with them. So. Happy Valentine’s Day. You mean a lot to us. Until next month, Teresa
Utah Boomers Magazine is published monthly for the baby boomer population of Utah. The information contained in this publication my be contributed by independent writers and does not necessarily reflect the views of Utah Boomers Magazine management. Copying or electronic distribution of any content within this publication is strictly prohibited without the written permission of Utah Boomers Magazine and the author. For reprint permission, editorial or submissions or comments, email teresa.glenn@ utboomer.com.Questions and suggestions: info@ utboomer.com
Archives February 2011 Boomers and Social Networking Dating Again | Matters of the Heart | Prenups | Romantic Getaways
August with his Grandpa
This Space in Time Christine Fraizer
My son sits in a chair recording a voicemail message to Amos. My dad sits in a chair asking me questions about my day. Perhaps, at first glance there is nothing unusual about a grandson and a grandfather in wingback chairs Archie and Edith Bunker style and either talking to someone or leaving a message for another. And there isn’t until, at least, the observer adjusts the focus. My son is recording his voicemail on a television remote tuner. Amos is a dog, my parents’ pug, and at the moment, sitting near by on its haunches, its curly tail wagging its body like a pug’s tail does. My son is 24 years old. My father’s questions are actually the same question asked over and over again. “How was your day?” he repeats, although it’s within the hour since driving back to my parents’ house from our short road trip to look at Christmas lights. He is 92 years old. My son might believe the dog will receive and, perhaps, return the voice message. I don’t know. He was born with Down syndrome and his world, his thoughts, are often unobtainable. His imagination is vivid and fragmented. My dad smiles and nods each time I answer, “It’s been a great day, Dad.” I don’t mention the drive or the lights. His memory floats in pieces and stalls in the present. My mother, who is in the kitchen preparing dinner, has for the past 10 months accepted responsibilities parallel to mine. I am my son’s primary guardian. She is my father’s primary caregiver. The job of tending my father is not easy, and demands much more than she ever expected. The repetition of my father’s questions erodes her patience. She has trouble watching this happen to him, much the same way I had trouble watching my son fall behind the childhood milestones. Our lives intersect at this space in time. For my son and father, minutes, hours, days are nebulous. Events from a day ago, a month ago, and even the past half hour are recalled in random order. Conversation is a matter of repeated and spontaneous statements or questions. My son’s effort to leave a voicemail on a remote tuner mimics cell phone messaging. My dad’s repetitive “How was your day” is entering into conversation. They are making connections. For my mom and me, these are the connections we hold on to. Maybe that is the point after all. At the end of the day, the belief you are making contact – reaching another soul - is really all that matters. The understanding just happens at different stages.
My son’s life would not follow the norm, and I knew this from the start. He would play basketball on a Special Olympics team and not on the high school varsity team. He would read Seuss and not Steinbeck or Stegner. He won’t become the firefighter he does say he wants to be. His job now involves four hours twice a week wrapping plastic carryout forks and knives in a napkin at a local Mexican restaurant. I can only assume he finds life satisfying. He moves forward in steps so small we sometimes can’t see and in directions we don’t expect. If he is unhappy, he doesn’t say. That’s telling my father’s life in reverse. My father served in World War II, and went to college on the GI bill, earning a degree in mechanical engineering. During his career, he designed equipment probing the makings of an atom. Papers he presented at conferences decades ago can be found on the Internet. After retirement 30 years ago he talked of taking up the piano. He never did and instead traveled, golfed, walked the dogs, and spoiled his grandchildren. Dad’s life has wound down. He sleeps much of the day, going from a chair in the living room to a chair in the TV room. His vision is limited to a fog he describes as gray and figureless. His steps are in regression. He talks about dying. My son and father are as much alike now as they were different in their prime. For my dad, it’s the cycle of life. For my son, it is a chance grouping of chromosomes. Yet during this shared space of life, their paths seem to intertwine. They have met at the same point along journeys traveled from opposite direction. I know that will change. My father will pass a point that sometimes seems to hold my son captive. But that’s OK. My world embraces my son’s insular world and my father’s diminishing world. It doesn’t matter that my son records messages on a television turner or that my dad repeats the same questions until something else captures his measured attention. At this moment, we are in the same room, within reach of the same arms, and somehow it works for us. Chris Fraizer recently passed the 25-year mark, at least as the number of years applies to this boomer’s residency in Salt Lake City, Utah. Fraizer could never return to her Midwest roots once discovering the scope and space of the Western outdoors. She lives and works in the city, although her heart belongs to the desert and alpine tundras.
Cholesterol the good, the bad and the ugly
You eat your oatmeal every morning. You schedule your doctor’s appointment and get your cholesterol tested. But when you get those numbers back, do you really know what they mean? Exactly what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance that can be found in all parts of your body. It aids in the production of cell membranes, many hormones, and vitamin D. The cholesterol in your blood comes from two sources: the foods you eat and your liver. However, your liver makes all of the cholesterol your body needs. Cholesterol and other fats are transported in your blood stream in the form of particles called lipoproteins. The two most commonly known lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). “Getting your cholesterol tested is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to have your heart health assessed,” says Jack Morshedzadeh, M.D., a cardiologist with University of Utah Health Care and assistant professor of internal medicine at the U of U School of Medicine. “The most comprehensive cholesterol screening is called a full lipid profile.” So what do the numbers mean?
Total Cholesterol * Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood. Your total cholesterol is an overall assessment of your cholesterol. A desirable range for total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL. Your test result will likely be total cholesterol that is in a desirable range, borderline high, or high. At high or borderline high, your risk for heart disease is greater than a cholesterol level that is in a desirable range.
LDL Cholesterol LDL cholesterol is also referred to as bad cholesterol. It’s the main source of buildup and blockage in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, which is linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. “You want your LDL cholesterol to be low, so when you get your test result, use the “L” in LDL to think low,” says Morshedzadeh. •
A desirable range for LDL cholesterol is less than 100 mg/dL
100-129 mg/dL is considered in the near optimal range
130-159 mg/dL is considered borderline high
160-189 mg/dL is considered high
Above 190 mg/dL is considered very high
In some individuals who already have coronary artery disease and/or who have an increased number of risk factors for coronary heart disease, a physician may determine that the LDL cholesterol level should be kept lower than 130 mg/dL. Recent studies have shown that those who are at highest risk for a heart attack should lower their LDL cholesterol level to less than 100 mg/dL, and that an LDL cholesterol level of 70 mg/dL or less may be optimal for those individuals at the very highest level of risk. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
HDL Cholesterol HDL cholesterol is good cholesterol. This type of cholesterol actually helps to remove cholesterol from the blood thus preventing the fatty buildup and formation of plaque. “With HDL cholesterol, higher numbers are better so use the “H” in HDL to think high,” says Morshedzadeh. •
An HDL level less than 40 mg/dL is considered low and a major risk factor for heart disease
HDL levels of 60 mg/dL or greater help lower your risk for heart disease
Triglycerides Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body. The bulk of your body’s fat tissue is in the form of triglycerides. They come from food, and your body makes them. High triglycerides can raise your heart disease risk. The link between triglycerides and heart disease is under clinical investigation. However, many people with high triglycerides also have other risk factors such as high LDL levels or low HDL levels. Elevated triglyceride levels may be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, or liver disease. Dietary causes of elevated triglyceride levels may include high intake of fat, alcohol, and concentrated sweets. •
A healthy triglyceride level is less than 150 mg/dL
Levels that are borderline high are 150-199 mg/dL
A high level is 200 mg/dL or higher
How do you lower cholesterol? According to Morshedzadeh, there are no big news flashes here. “It’s that same old broken record you’ve heard before,” he says. •
Avoid foods high in saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and excess calories
Maintain a healthy weight
of 200mg/dl and higher, and of those about 33.6 million American adults have level of 240 mg/dL or above.
For others, medicine may be needed: •
Cholesterol lowering medications. Medications are used to lower lipids (fats) in the blood, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Statins are a group of antihyperlipidemic medications, and include simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), and pravastatin (Pravachol), among others. Bile acid sequestrants—colesevelam (Welchol), cholestyramine (Questran), and colestipol (Colestid)—and nicotinic acid (niacin) are two other types of medications that may be used to reduce cholesterol levels.
The lowdown on high cholesterol Elevated cholesterol is a risk for many Americans. Consider these statistics: •
Elevated cholesterol levels early in life may play a role in the development of adult atherosclerosis.
According to the American Heart Association, high blood cholesterol that runs in families will affect the future of an unknown (but probably large) number of children.
“Blood cholesterol is very specific to each individual,” says Morshedzadeh. “For that reason, a full lipid profile is an important part of your medical history and important information for your health care provider.” Kathy Wilets is the Public Affairs Manager of University of Utah Health Care. Previously, she worked in television news, producing the daily “Healthy Living” segment for KUTV.
According to the American Heart Association, about 98.8 million American adults have total blood cholesterol levels
Remember When.. ...as Valentine’s day grew near, you made a mail box wrapped in tin foil, pasted with heart doilies and craft paper cutouts to take to school for the big day when you would get a card from each student in your class (one or two with a couple of candy hearts inside the envelope)? But that wasn’t the end of it. The real Valentines went out at night when you would put them on the porch of friends and neighbors and then run giggling before they could open the door to catch you. Occasionally, there were pranksters who put a Valentine card on a string and wait for the unsuspecting recipient to reach for the prize, only to have it yanked from their grasp!
OPEN AT YOUR OWN RISK One Woman’s Experience with Wrap Rage
I am annoyed with an industry that, in an effort to keep us safe, leaped from reasonable to ridiculous. It started with the manufacturing of difficult-to-open hermetically sealed medicine bottles, and lead to me devoting huge portions of my life to assaulting pill bottles. Worse than pill bottles are pill cards. Twenty-five pills are placed, individually, into twenty-five little divots on a sheet of clear, hard, plastic. Tinfoil is then laid over the pills, followed by a sheet of cardboard. Both foil and cardboard are then Gorilla glued to the hard plastic. To get to a pill you must attempt to pull back a corner of cardboard and latch on to an exposed fleck of foil the size of a dust particle. I have never been successful. The only thing I’ve found that works is thrusting an ice pick through the cardboard and foil, then gathering up the shattered particles of pill. While there may be a modicum of logic in attempting to safeguard our medication, I see no reason to protect CD’s, batteries, or toys. I had to remove a child’s set of 19 individually sealed miniature toys from its packaging. It included several one inch dolls, their teensy-weensy wardrobe, itsy-bitsy shoes, and Lilliputian tables, chairs and beds. Each piece was behind hard, sharp plastic, anchored to another hard piece of plastic with heavy duty wire, the strength and girth of what you see hanging between telephone poles. I used my teeth and my nails but couldn’t break in until I used a pair of heavy duty ten inch shears. By the time I removed each National Treasure, I needed a shower, a dental appointment and a tourniquet around my left palm. The worse experience I ever had was trying to get into medication when I was sick with a virus that required antibiotics for infection and suppositories for nausea. There I was with a raging fever, a spinning head, and a churning stomach. The clock indicated I could, at last, take a suppository. Each one was individually wrapped in aluminum foil. Not the kind of aluminum we used to peel from Juicy Fruit gum wrappers back in the fifties. Not the kind we line our baking pans with, but the kind used to build Boeing 707’s. With weak hands I searched for a seam in the foil so I could remove the one inch wax bullet to perform a degrading act on
myself. Neither my nails nor scissors worked this time, so I called my husband, Mighty Marc, who continues to be a fine example of virile manhood. At 73, he still cuts his own meat and chews with his own teeth. If anyone could do it, he could. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead. Arthritic hands trembled. Blood droplets fell from his lower lip from biting down so hard. It was like trying to pry open the seam on a propane tank. To open it, without squashing the suppository, required iron hands, a velvet touch and an act of Congress. Finally, one foot on a chair, elbow on his thigh for leverage, body quaking, and a stream of obscenities flowing from his mouth, he squeezed out a lump of what looked like mashed potato. Then he handed it to me and headed for the Vodka. Not long afterward, we were on a cruise, out of Manhattan, during a February snow storm. Seasickness sent me to the infirmary, where I was handed a suppository for nausea, and told, “This is not to be taken orally.” “I can’t believe you thought you had to tell me that.” I laughed. “You’d be surprised how many people don’t know the correct way to use these,” the nurse answered. I, of course, knew the truth. After twenty minutes of trying to open a suppository, only to have it liquefy in your hands, most people would agree it’s much easier to swallow than insert. From the book “How the (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?: Aging and Other Catastrophes that Attack and Assault When Your Back is Turned” is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels. Laverne H. Bardy began her career in writing as the editor of her children’s school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) newsletter. Her professional career began as a press release writer for the West Essex Tribune. She moved on to Northern Horizons and Montage magazine, where her assignments ranged from interviewing small country store owners to reporting on what to do if confronted by a black bear. She went on to freelance for other publications, and her work currently appears in a variety of anthologies. Bardy was finally able to show her creative, non-fiction writing skills when she was offered her own column, Laverne’s View, in a New Jersey regional newspaper in 1999. This book is a compilation of those columns with a few expanded versions and some new entries.
Valentine’s Day is looming large o store displays, and more are focus
The quality of your marriage can make or break the quality of your life. Todd Patkin shares proven ways to strengthen your relationship with your spouse…and become happier in the process! Valentine’s Day is looming large on the horizon, and everywhere you look, commercials, magazines, store displays, and more are focused on helping couples plan the “perfect” February 14th celebration. Yes, if you’re in a relationship, it is important and enjoyable to celebrate your love on this special day. However, Todd Patkin has some advice for married couples especially: Romance, roses, chocolates, and champagne are only a small part of what makes up a marriage. The truth is, it’s the 364 days that surround February 14th that can make or break the quality of your relationship. So if you want to give your spouse the most meaningful Valentine’s gift of all, commit to putting daily thought—and yes, work!—into your relationship.
Nine Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage on Valentine’s Day and Every Day Todd Patkin
“I believe that many marriages simply deteriorate because couples allow their relationships to run on ‘autopilot,’ but still expect them to stay healthy and exciting, especially around holidays like Valentine’s Day,” explains Todd Patkin, author of the new bookFinding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In. “But the truth is, like everything else in life, relationships don’t work that way. We must learn to put as much—no, even more—effort into our marriages as we do in trying to succeed professionally or keeping our gardens, houses, or cars looking top shelf.” Furthermore, Patkin asserts that a happy marriage is the cornerstone of a happy life—if your marriage isn’t good, you’re going to have trouble feeling fulfilled in other areas as well.
on the horizon, and everywhere you look, commercials, magazines, sed on helping couples plan the “perfect” February 14th celebration.
“I know from experience that if you get it right here, it’s easier to get it right in all of the other aspects of your life, because the person who’s closest to you will be there to support you and will have your best interests at heart,” he adds. “When you let your marriage just ‘sit,’ it’ll eventually get rusty and break down, just like your car would,” Patkin points out. “And that’s a terrible tragedy. We all should have been told growing up that you do have to work on your marriage every day, too, if you want it to stay exciting and great.” If you’re ready and willing to do everything in your power to make your marriage a happier one (perhaps starting this February 14th), read on for Patkin’s nine tips:
Recommit yourself to your marriage every single day
Believe it or not, your marriage vows weren’t a one-time deal. No, you and your spouse probably aren’t going to stand in front of your loved ones and recommit yourselves to one another on a regular basis. But if you want to cultivate a strong and happy marriage, you should start each morning by making a renewed personal commitment to keeping your relationship healthy and rewarding. “As I mentioned earlier, people work on their cars, their houses, and their gardens on a regular basis,” Patkin points out. “And just as these things need regular, constant attention to thrive, so does your marriage. Don’t let your enthusiasm for working on your relationship be short-lived. In order to give your marriage regular tune-ups, start by remembering what you said you’d do when you made your vows: Love your spouse. Honor her (or him!). Cherish her. Comfort her. Remain faithful to her. And do these things in good times and bad, in sickness and in health—every day of your marriage.”
Evaluate where your self-worth comes from.
With very few exceptions, we human beings tend to base our sense of self-worth on the things that are most important to us. It’s common to hear people proudly say, “I’m a financial advisor,” or, “I’m the manager of my division at work,” or even, “I drive a Cadillac!” But how often do you hear, “I am the world’s luckiest husband,” or, “I have the best family in the whole wide world”? “I understand all about being proud of your career accomplishments and of other things in your life, but I truly believe that the happiest couples draw a lot of their self-worth from their relationship with each other,” Patkin asserts. “So please assess where your marriage really falls right now on your list of personal accomplishments. Are you consistently relying on something other than your marriage, like your job, to make you feel good about yourself ?”
Verbalize to your spouse the things you love and appreciate about him or her all of the time.
Did you know that the things you think about and talk about influence how you experience the world around you? It’s true! So why not spend time thinking about how great your spouse is and then verbalizing those thoughts? Start by reminding yourself of all of the reasons why you fell in love in the first place, and then list how much more wonderful your partner has gotten since your marriage. Also, tell her (or him!) how much she means to you, how much you love her, and how beautiful she is ten times a day. “Believe me, no one will ever say that they hear such compliments about themselves too many times,” Patkin promises. “And not only will this make your partner feel great in the moment, but consistently complimenting one another is the single greatest long-term vitamin you can each give to continued
one another for your marriage. Verbalizing such compliments to your spouse is especially important today because most of us have a tendency to dwell on our mistakes while disregarding all of the things we do right. And we don’t normally hear compliments from our kids, our coworkers, or even our friends either, so over time, we start to feel small and unhappy. Thus, as a spouse, it is your responsibility to continue to make your wife or husband feel as great about her or himself as possible.
Acknowledge the little things your spouse does, and return the favor
In a similar vein, constantly perform small but meaningful acts for your spouse, and don’t be surprised if he or she starts to do the same for you (if he or she doesn’t do so already, that is!). For example, if your wife hates unloading the dishwasher, make a point to get into the kitchen and put away the dishes first. Or make a mental note to wash the sheets on Friday afternoon so that they’ll be clean when your husband sleeps in on Saturday. Acts like this don’t take much time or energy, but they show your spouse that you are paying attention and that you care—and that is truly priceless! “Also, it’s key that anytime your spouse goes out of his or her way to make your life better or easier, acknowledge that you’ve noticed and that you appreciate this expression of your partner’s love,” Patkin suggests. “Never let small acts go unnoticed. Saying thank you—and accompanying it with a heartfelt hug or kiss—starts a cycle of giving and getting. It’s when you don’t acknowledge your spouse’s efforts that he or she will begin to feel taken for granted and ignored. And usually, things will only go downhill from there.”
Learn—and then do—what makes your spouse feel most loved
Say, for example, that you love to receive gifts. Whether it’s a big-screen TV or a lowly fridge magnet picked up during a friend’s travels, you feel acknowledged and appreciated whenever you’re handed a wrapped box. So whenever you want to let your wife know that you’re thinking about her or want to boost her mood, you bring home a gift: flowers, a CD, or a book by one of her favorite authors. Only problem is, what your wife is really craving is a nice, long hug.
“Don’t assume you know what makes your spouse feel the most loved,” Patkin advises. “While any expression of love is, of course, a good thing, the fact is that we all feel loved in different ways. So it is important that you find out what makes your spouse feel the most loved. Simply ask the question, ‘What have I done in the past that made you feel the most special?’ Some people might want a date night. Others might need to be told verbally that they are the greatest. It’s always a good idea to ask your spouse what makes him or her feel most loved—and then include those actions or words into your regular repertoire. You’ll notice a big difference…and you’ll probably find that your spouse reciprocates, too.”
Don’t let resentment build
When you live in fairly close quarters with another human being, it’s inevitable that sooner or later you’re going to annoy each other. (In fact, at times you’re probably going to want to kill each other.) While it’s not a good idea to nit-pick with your spouse each and every time you feel a teeny bit put out, it’s also unhealthy to let issues and negative feelings build up and fester. “Always, always make it a priority to keep the lines of communication open,” Patkin advises. “Even if you have to go for a walk to clear your head first, be sure to express your grievances in a calm, constructive way—preferably before you go to bed angry. Also, remember that this is a two-way street. When your spouse is upset with you, make every effort not to fly off the handle and to fairly consider what you’re hearing. Marriage does involve compromising and modifying your behavior for another’s well-being—and believe me, your mutual happiness is worth it.”
Take responsibility and stop trying to fix your partner
There’s a lot of finger pointing going on in marriages. After all, it’s easy to identify and list all the ways someone else is getting it wrong. (Plus, it just feels good to be “right.”) But how much good does all of this complaining and accusing really do? After you finish berating your spouse for yet another of his or her supposed failings, does the quality of your life actually change? Probably not. According to
Patkin, it’s time to take a break from blaming and instead work on yourself. While both partners do need to be willing to compromise in order to help the other, it’s always best to look at how your own behavior could improve before you try to change your spouse’s. “The more time you spend trying to change your spouse, the less time you have for improving yourself,” Patkin points out. “As far as I know, there has never been such a thing as a ‘perfect’ husband or wife! And I bet that when you begin to take responsibility for areas in which you may have been dropping the ball, the dynamic of your marriage will change. Perhaps your spouse has been trapped in a cycle of negativity that has been fed by your own less-than-helpful attitude. And remember, people unconsciously begin to mirror the people they spend the most time with. This happens for the good as well as for the bad! So if you start working on yourself, your spouse will most likely do the same.”
Figure out what your strengths are and play to them
As much as possible, you and your spouse should each play to your strengths within your marriage and back away from your weaknesses. If, for example, you’re great with words but don’t have much of a math brain, don’t take on the task of making sure the bills are paid and the accounts are balanced each month. Instead, take the lead in dealing with teachers, repairmen, etc. When you force yourself to do something for which you have little aptitude, you only frustrate yourself and, by extension, the people with whom you live. “I’ll be honest—I’m awful when it comes to doing projects around the house,” Patkin admits. “I have very little mechanical understanding or skill, and I have no patience for these types of jobs. For years, though, I’d try tackling these sorts of projects around the house. And then when I failed to put the pieces of a new desk together, for example, I’d feel like less of a man. Well, I’ve finally accepted the fact that I will never be Mr. Home Improvement, and I don’t waste my time or energy on that type of task. Thus, I get much less frustrated, I’m happier, and the people around me are happier too! I’ve learned that it’s definitely a good idea to ask your spouse for help or pay to have the job done if neither of you feels confident.”
Date your spouse again
When you’re newly in love and in full courtship mode, you do everything you can to spend every free moment with your partner. Eventually though, work, kids, responsibilities, and life in general tend to get in the way of your relationship with your spouse. The two of you stop doing fun things with only one another, and it’s easy to go weeks at a time without having any serious conversations that don’t revolve around work, money, or kids. That’s why it’s imperative to set aside time to date your spouse. “Vow to take the time to invest in the romantic part of your relationship,” Patkin advises. “It may not seem important, but this is the cornerstone of a good marriage. Without that socalled ‘spark,’ the other parts of your life, like work and kids, will suffer too. Try to act like you did when you were both in the infatuation period of your relationship: Bring home flowers or other small gifts. Plan a special date night (maybe involving a babysitter this time around!). Get tickets to the reunion tour of a band you and your spouse loved when you first began dating. Basically, get back to the essence of how you fell in love in the first place!” “I hope that once you begin celebrating, respecting, and loving your spouse as I’ve just described, as well as prioritizing your marriage every day, you’ll find that the whole dynamic of your relationship changes,” Patkin concludes. “I hope that you’ll begin smiling more, feeling better, and experiencing more ‘spark.’ It’s true: Everything—and especially our own happiness—really is, to a huge extent, about our relationships with other people. And I think Cupid would agree! Todd Patkin grew up in Needham, Massachusetts. After graduating from Tufts University, he joined the family business and spent the next eighteen years helping to grow it to new heights. After it was purchased by Advance Auto Parts in 2005, he was free to focus on his main passions: philanthropy and giving back to the community, spending time with family and friends, and helping more people learn how to be happy. Todd lives with his wonderful wife, Yadira, their amazing son, Josh, and two great dogs, Tucker and Hunter. About the Book: Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In (StepWise Press, 2011, ISBN: 978-09658261-9-8, $19.95) is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and at www.findinghappinessthebook.com.
five steps to help you effect
ane was not looking forward to going through her parents’ belongings to get their house ready to sell. Their health had been failing for some time and they finally agreed to move to a retirement community. Now that they were both comfortably moved into their new apartment, it was up to Jane to get rid of the things they no longer needed. Her parents had lived in the same house for more than 50 years, so Jane expected to find things that should have been tossed out years ago. But she was amazed to discover 50 years of tax returns and bank statements carefully stored in boxes in the attic. Her parents had saved all their financial records! Many people are confused about what records they need to keep and for how long. They hold onto tax returns, bank records, brokerage statements and other financial information simply because they don’t know if they’ll need it again. Like Jane’s parents, the documents get packed in boxes that eventually take over valuable living or storage space. Financial planner Rick Rodgers, author of The New Three-Legged Stool: A Tax Efficient Approach To Retirement Planning
tively organize your finances for
12 and beyond (www.TheNewThreeLeggedStool.com), says tax time is a great time to get organized. “Most people are going through their records to get ready to file their return,” he says. “This is the time to get smart about what you need to keep and then set up a system to store it efficiently going forward.” Rodgers suggests these five steps to help you effectively organize your finances for 2012 and beyond: 1. Out with the old—Discard the records you no longer need: Tax returns older than seven years; bank records and credit card statements that are not related to the tax returns you’re keeping; brokerage statements that aren’t related to purchases of current holdings. Be sure to shred all your old documents before throwing them out. 2. Go digital—Convert the documents you plan to save into digital images that are stored on your hard drive. Invest in a good scanner and scan as you go through your paperwork, shredding and tossing the hard copies as you go. On your computer, file by tax year, so your 2011 folder will contain your tax return for 2011 and all pertinent bank records and receipts. Organize the previous six years the same way. Next year you can delete the oldest folder when you add the 2012 folder. 3. Save a forest—All of the financial institutions you deal with would prefer to send your statements electronically. Stop receiving paper statements. Instead, download your statements electronically and store them in your new filing
system. Most banks and credit card companies keep at least a year’s worth of statements available. You need to download these files only once a year to complete the year’s file. 4. Save backups in case of emergency—Make backup copies of your files on a CD. Choose a CD-R (recordable) as opposed to a CD-RW (rewriteable), because CD-R cannot accidentally be overwritten. Depending on your computer operating system, you may be able to continue adding data to a CD-R each year, until the CD is full. However, some operating systems won’t allow that, so you’ll need a new CD for each year. 5. Go paperless—Your new electronic filing system can be expanded to include all your financial records, from car maintenance receipts to pay stubs. Wills and insurance policies can also be scanned and stored but, of course, keep the originals of those in a safe deposit box or fireproof safe. Gone are the days of saving your financial documents in box and shoving it into the attic. Technology advances have made organizing your personal finances easier with minimal cost. Make 2012 the year you get organized by moving your finances into a 21st century filing system. Rick Rodgers is president of Rodgers & Associates, “The Retirement Specialists,” in Lancaster, Pa. He’s a Certified Retirement Counselor and member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers. Rodgers has been featured on national radio and TV shows, including “FOX Business News” and “The 700 Club,” and is available to speak at conferences and corporate events (www. rodgersspeaks.com).
AARP of Utah 801.561.1037
Most Senior Centers supply transportation and meals. They are open Monday through Friday, and the hours varies. Call your center for times.
Utah Dept of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) Phone: 801.538.3991 www.hsdaas.utah.gov/ Utah State Courts Estate Planning & Probate www.utcourts.gov/howto/wills/ Phone: 801.578.3800 Social Security Administration 1.800.772.1213 www.ssa.gov SAGE Utah Services & Advocacy for GLBTQ Elders www.glccu.com/programs/lgbtqelders-50
Dental Services Legal Services Utah Legal Services 800.662.4245
Healthcare Resources Alzheimerâ€™s Association of Utah 801.265.1944 American Cancer Society of Utah 801.483.1500 American Chronic Pain Association 800.533.3231 American Diabetes Association-Utah 801.363.3024 George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center 500 Foothill Drive Salt Lake City, Utah 84148 Phone: 801.582.1565
Respite Care Medical Home Portal www.medicalhomeportal.org CHTOP Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Program chtop.org/ARCH/National-Respite-Locator.html
Davis County Autumn Glow Center 81 East Center Kaysville, UT 84037 Phone: 801.544.1235
9228 West 2700 South Magna, UT 84044 Phone: 801.250.0692 Midvale Senior Center 350 West Park Street 7610 S Midvale, UT 84047 Phone: 801.566.6590 Mount Olympus Senior Center 1635 East Murray.Holliday Road Salt Lake City, UT 84117 Phone: 801.274.1710
Golden Years Center 726 South 100 East Bountiful, UT 84010 Phone: 801.295.3479
Riverâ€™s Bend Senior Center 300 North 1300 West Salt Lake City, UT 84116 Phone: 801.596.0208
Heritage Center 140 East Center Clearfield, UT 84015 Phone: 801. 773.7065
Riverton Senior Center 12891 South Redwood Road Riverton, UT 84065 Phone: 801.254.7609
Salt Lake County Columbus Senior Center 2531 South 400 East Salt Lake City, UT 84115 Phone: 801.412.3295
Sandy Senior Center 9310 South 1300 East Sandy, UT 84094 Phone: 801.561.3265
Draper Senior Center 12350 South 800 East Draper, UT 84020 Phone: 801.572.6342 Eddie P. Mayne Kearns Senior Center 4851 West 4715 South Salt Lake City, UT 84118 Phone: 801.965.9183
South Jordan Senior Center 10778 South Redwood Road South Jordan, UT 84095 Phone: 801.302.1222 Sunday Anderson Westside Senior Center 868 West 900 South Salt Lake City, UT 84104 Phone: 801.538.2092
Friendly Neighborhood Center 1992 South 200 East Salt Lake City, UT 84115 Phone: 801.468.2781
Taylorsville Senior Citizen Center 4743 South Plymouth View Dr. Taylorsville, UT 84123 Phone: 801.293.8340
Harman Senior Recreation Center 4090 South 3600 West West Valley City, UT 84119 Phone: 801.965.5822
Tenth East Senior Center 237 South 1000 East Salt Lake City, UT 84102 Phone: 801.538.2084
Kearns Senior Center 4850 West 4715 South Salt Lake City, UT 84118 Phone: 801.965.9183 Liberty City Center 251 East 700 South Salt Lake City, UT 84111 Phone: 801.532.5079 Magna Center
West Jordan Center 8025 South 2200 West West Jordan, UT 84088 Phone: 801.561.7320 Washington County Council on Aging http://www.washco.utah.gov/ contact
The Washington County Council on Aging provides services for senior citizens 60 and older. These include classes (pottery, painting, aerobics, yoga, square dancing, and computer training) tax assistance during tax season and other services. Nutrition is a main focus of the senior centers. In-house meals are served as well as Meals on Wheels. The following centers are supported in part through the donations of those patrons who use the facilities. Gayle & Mary Aldred Senior Center 245 North 200 West St. George , UT 84770 435.634 . 5743 Washington County Senior Citizens 150 East 100 South Street Enterprise, UT 84725 435.878.2557 Hurricane Senior Citizens Center 95 N 300 W Hurricane, UT 84737 435.635.2089
Volunteering Utah State Parks Volunteer Coordinator 1594 W North Temple, 116 Salt Lake City, UT 84116 (801) 537-3445 email@example.com The Nature Conservancy in Utah www.nature.org/wherewework northamerica/states/utah/volunteer/ Volunteer Match www.volunteermatch.org United Way www.unitedwayucv.org/volunteer Utah Commission on Volunteers volunteers.utah.gov/