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A Message From NEA-Retired President

Stay Safe While Living Life in the Fun Lane

Barbara Matteson,

  Yeah, yeah, yeah… that may have been your response to the safety tips that ran in the Ask the Expert column of the last issue. But please, take heed! It’s better to spend a little time evaluating your routines and surroundings to make your life a little safer than to regret not doing so later.

I should know. Just three months ago I broke my shoulder and went through my fair share of pain and discomfort during my recovery. Now, the official story is that I was taking my mountain bike out for a spin in the beautiful Tucson desert when a coyote suddenly jumped out from behind the cactus, running right into me and causing a serious spill.

But between you and me, here’s what really happened: I went out in my slippers to get the morning paper, and instead of staying on the sidewalk, I took a shortcut through the bushes, tripped, and fell HARD.

The coyote story is certainly more interesting, but seriously, folks, among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control. We all like to stay busy, but it’s worth taking those few extra minutes to put on your walking shoes or get out a stepstool to avoid a fall that could make your life a lot less enjoyable for a while—or change it forever. We need our members strong and healthy.

This issue of the magazine holds another very important tip. Please review your pension tax withholding very carefully to make sure you will not be adversely affected by the new tax tables that went into effect under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

And one more thing: Have some fun this summer! The story that starts on page 4 might inspire you to try something new or return to an activity you once loved. Your contributions to your community, your schools, and your Association are so greatly appreciated, but don’t forget to save a little time just for you, to do something enjoyable—just because!

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