HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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reeling in what he thought was a big fish, but it turned out to be his wife’s severed head, which opened its mouth and screamed.


This horrible image caused him to scream, which only incited her to do the same, since, for all she knew, the furry woodland creature that startled her in the first place was having her husband for a midnight snack.


Eventually all the screaming stopped, and all was well, but a harrowing experience was had by all, including, probably, the poor little animal that started it. It was likely traumatized for life.


Sometimes weird dreams don’t involve hysterics, as I found out from one of my former bosses. One morning at the breakfast table, her husband peered over the newspaper and asked her how her pancreas was.


“My what?” she inquired.


“I figured you wouldn’t remember, but last night you woke me up to tell me your pancreas was leaking,” he explained.


Of course, she had no such memory, and he had apparently gone through enough of these episodes to roll over and go back to sleep rather than call 911.


My own collision of dreams with reality happened many years ago. Sleeping next to my late wife, I dreamed I was playing football in a gym with wooden bleacher seats. I went out for a long pass and my feet got tangled in the bleachers. I kept bobbling the ball while desperately trying to catch it.


You guessed it. I awoke with my hands enmeshed in my angry wife’s hair. When I explained the dream, she gave me a firm gaze and declared, “My head is NOT a football!”


Apparently the lesson stayed with me, as I have never mistaken a woman’s head for a football ever since – awake or asleep.

THE ATTACK OF THE COMMANDO HOCKEY PLAYERS

“She was so scared and I was only half awake, so she actually convinced me there were commando hockey players in the house,” said her better half.


Armed with a nine iron, ready to defend his turf from ice skating monsters with hockey sticks, he checked the place out to (fortunately) find his bride just had a very bad dream.


Yes, they are still married and have been for many decades.


Unfamiliar surroundings sometimes spark bizarre dreams, as was the case with another husband and wife set of friends who were camping in a tent in the woods. They had turned in for the night, but the wife left the tent to answer nature’s call. After only a few steps, a small, furry woodland creature scampered across her path, startling her and prompting her to do what anybody not used to camping would: She screamed.


Reality sometimes has a funny way of working its way into our dreams, and this was the case with the husband. He was peacefully dreaming about fishing, but his wife’s screams worked their way into his subconscious mind. In his dream he was

FRANK KOURT

Frank Kourt is a staff writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by Frank Kourt

Despite our differences, one thing we all have in common is dreams.As we gently fade off into sleep for the evening, we become wrapped in a world of dreams, some pleasant, some not so much. When dreams bump up against reality, the results can be chaotic, as I have gleaned from tales of my friends and acquaintances over the years and, alas, from personal experience.


One of the most colorful of these tales is an attack by commando hockey players.


This story was told to me by a couple of high school friends who had recently married and were therefore unfamiliar with each others’ dream habits.


According to the Mrs., she drifted off to sleep next to her groom in their new home and soon was confronted with a terrifying image.


“They were like football players with that black stuff under their eyes that made them look like commandos, but they weren’t football players, they were hockey players,” she said.


These images so terrified her that she jolted awake, convinced their home had been breached by commando hockey players. She frantically shook her new husband awake and, with not a little hysteria, informed him of the Invasion of the Commando Hockey Players.