Seven ways to help find the key to success in life

KINGSFORD — History is full of people who have had tough times, yet somehow have found a way to persevere. I have read books about the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, prisoner of war camps and the horrors of the Nazi death camps, and remain in awe of the stories of personal strength described in their pages. Throughout history, humanity has survived drought, famine, plague, hurricanes and floods.

Prominent individuals, such as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, have had great achievements that have contributed to society, but not without several failures first. What is it that kept these people moving forward despite the overwhelming challenges they faced? Why do some individuals keep on trying and others either quit in despair or choose less healthy ways to cope with life’s difficulties?

I recently read a very interesting article that addressed this phenomenon. Written by Jennifer Blaise Kramer, it appeared in a quarterly publication entitled “Renew” that is distributed by United Healthcare. She proposed that the key to a successful life is resiliency. In the very first paragraph of her article, she offered a line from the movie “Batman Begins” as a simple illustration of resiliency. When the young Bruce Wayne falls, his father asks him, “And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” The American Psychological Association has named this ability the “bounce back.” Without it, humanity would have been defeated centuries ago.

Kramer offers seven ways to attain greater resiliency in our lives.

1. Flex the muscle. Physically, we depend upon our muscles to accomplish the multitude of tasks we face each day. Every physical movement depends upon a muscle to function. Every bodily function relies upon muscles to be healthy. Resilience is the “mental muscle” that we all need to use to keep ourselves going when life gets difficult. Like our physical muscles, we also need to flex our mental muscle to keep us motivated through tough times. “Use it or lose it” also pertains to resilience. And, like the physical muscle, the more we use it, the stronger it gets.

2. Look ahead. Life throws everyone a curve ball from time to time. Whether it comes as an illness, the death of a loved one, an injury or a job loss, the unexpected challenge takes the wind right out of our sails. When these difficulties hit, we have a choice. We can dwell on them, believe that we are victims, and choose unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs and alcohol. Or, we can flex our “resilience muscle” and choose instead to focus on the future. Look ahead and plan what steps can be taken to work through the difficulty and eventually alleviate the situation. The problem may not disappear, but life can still be lived in an enjoyable and positive manner despite the temporary difficulty.

My sister-in-law is a model of resiliency. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer seven years ago and has refused to allow it to defeat her. In those seven years, my brother has been there fighting along with her, taking her to all of her appointments and cooking the meals she needs to stay as healthy as possible. They have continued to do home improvements together, grow their lovely flowers, and take vacations. She has lost her hair three times and is now in a clinical trial — all with a smile on her face.

3. Get dressed. It sounds silly, but the simple act of getting up in the morning and getting dressed gets us ready for the day and all of its possibilities. When we sit around in our pajamas until noon, we are subconsciously telling ourselves we have no reason to be ready for the day, no place to go, nothing to do.

My husband is very disciplined in this, even during retirement. Every day he is up by 7:30 a.m., showered and dressed before breakfast. He is ready for whatever the day brings. I have to work a little harder on this part of my retirement. I get things done and have found ways to be fairly productive in my pajamas. But I have to admit, I have more energy when I follow my husband’s example.

4. Use your hands. It has been found that working with our hands on various projects can distract us from our problems, provide a creative outlet for worries and reduce depression. Simply activating our fingers can improve resilience and lift mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Whether it is cooking, knitting a sweater, using a computer keyboard, or tending a garden, the use of our hands to complete a project helps us to refocus worry. As we concentrate on the task at hand, we naturally refocus our thoughts away from the problem toward accomplishing the project.

5. Don’t give up. History is full of failures that have turned into success stories because people have persisted through adversity. Resiliency is defined by the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Our American culture is built around rugged individualism and the self-made man. America was built on the backs of immigrants who fought through the challenges of a new world, persisted in the face of prejudice, and overcame obstacles to build a better life for themselves and their families. Every generation has had its struggles and found ways through them. Persistence is the father of resilience.

6. Don’t throw it away. No matter what type of project — whether it be the written word, some kind of carpentry, or a quilt — don’t throw away what you perceive to be a worthless mistake or failed beginning. Sometimes the most beautiful end results come from flawed first starts. In 1973, Stephen King was in his mid-20s, newly married and teaching high school English when he sat down to write “Carrie.” Frustrated, he threw away the first draft. His wife retrieved it from the trash and encouraged him to keep going. Thankfully, he listened. Now 72 years old with more than 80 books to his name, he advises, “Stopping any piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it.” The lesson — don’t throw it away. There is good work to be done.

7. Begin again. Resilience is built from second and third attempts after the first attempt has failed. Mayo Clinic suggests finding something that gives us a sense of accomplishment to make every day meaningful and purposeful. My husband and I have gotten into the habit at breakfast of reviewing the accomplishments of the previous day and setting goals for the day ahead of us. It has made us feel useful even though we are not going to a job every day. I loved Thomas Edison’s perspective about his invention of the light bulb. He’s quoted as saying, “I didn’t fail

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1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Finally, Henry Ford said it best, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Indeed, resiliency makes us survivors of tough times. It gives us the strength to pull ourselves up out of the quagmire of the present and keeps us striving for a brighter future. Resiliency has historically been the bedrock upon which our country has been built and has been what has pulled its people through hardships time and time again. There is no better time to remember this than now.






Scenes and sounds, noon on Sunday and 11:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Sunday: Uno, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.

Monday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; resident council, 11 a.m.; library cart, 1:30 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Knit/crochet, 10:30 a.m.; reminisce, 1 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10:30 a.m.; Freeman casino royal, 2 p.m.; “Lawrence Welk,” 4:30 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking? 11 a.m.; parlor games, 1:15 p.m.; sing along, 2:30 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Not available.

Iron County 

Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

Sunday: Room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; coffee social/hangman, 10 a.m.; afternoon matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Cooking, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; DT luncheon, noon; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Book club, 10 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 10 a.m.; Rob’s camp, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; pass the prize, 2 p.m.; musical movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social/travel club, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 1 p.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; prayer with Doris, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; monthly birthday party/live music and cake, 2 p.m.; comedy movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Not available.



Wet your whistle, 9:30 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Exercise, 10 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Lobby activity, 11:15, Sunday through Saturday and 4:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Popcorn Day every Friday

Sunday: Just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; morsels and more, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Did you know? 10:15 a.m.; family Baptist service, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Sharpen your senses, 10:15 a.m.; monthly birthday party with Paula D. music, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; crazy for cards, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: ManorCare monthly, 10:15 a.m.; Lucky 13 game, 2 p.m.; movie, 3:15 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie, 3:15 p.m.

Maryhill Manor

Niagara, Wis.

Rosary, 8:30 a.m. Sunday through Friday.

Sunday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; “Family Feud,” 10:15 a.m.; “Deal or No Deal,” 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.; Christian fellowship, 5:30 p.m.

Monday: Protestant service, 9 a.m.; Yahtzee, 10:15 a.m.; nickel jokereno, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; religious bingo, 2 p.m.; help your neighbor, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; word search and hot cocoa, 10:15 a.m.; Yahtzee, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; board game, Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; jokereno, 2 p.m.

Friday: Exercise, 10:15 a.m.; trivia and hot cocoa, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Crafts, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 5:45 p.m.

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Juice time, 10 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Exercise, 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Shopping days: 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, must sign up.

Sunday: Bible study, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Crafts, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 2 p.m.; rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Morning news, 6 a.m. daily.

Beauty Shop open Tuesday.

Sunday: Bingo/family and friends visit, 10 a.m.

Monday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; chocolate cake party, 2 p.m.; reading, 6 p.m.; snack cart, 7 p.m.

Tuesday: Uno, 10 a.m.; trivia, 2 p.m.; picture look, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: Black Jack, 10 a.m.; coloring, 2 p.m.; reminisce, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.; reading, 6 p.m.

Friday: Catholic church service, 10 a.m.

Saturday: Bingo/family and friends social time, 10 a.m.; kings’ corners, 2 p.m.

Pinecrest Medical Care Facility


Sunday: Grace church, 10:15 a.m.; Phase 10, 10:30 a.m.; Lutheran service, 2 p.m.; ball toss, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Life connections, 9:45 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; song service, 1:30 p.m.; rosary, 2:30 p.m.; sensory, 3:30 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Baking group, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Soup cook off, 10 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; karaoke, 2 p.m.; reminiscing, 3:30 p.m.; room visits, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Exercise, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; Phase 10, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Mass, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; sensory, 10:30 a.m.; bunco, 2 p.m.


Note: All centers ask for 24-hour advanced reservations for lunch. Those who have meals delivered who will not be home should notify the center.

Alpha-Mastodon Center


Meal at noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amasa Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Menu for the week:

Tuesday: Beef stroganoff, noodles and carrots.

Wednesday: Ham, baked potatoes, peas and coleslaw.

Thursday: Lasagna, wax beans, salad and garlic bread.

Breen Center


Meals Monday through Friday.

Pasty sale every third Saturday of the month, except on holidays.  

Cards and games available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m. 

Hostess on duty Monday through Friday.   

Treats and coffee, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Center retail store is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; volunteers and donations are welcome.

Birthdays acknowledged every day.

Evening meals are on the first and third Thursday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with dinner at 5 p.m. Donations are $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for 60 and younger.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Meat loaf, baked potatoes and vegetable blend.

Tuesday: Chicken alfredo, noodles and California blend vegetables.

Wednesday: Spaghetti, meat sauce, green beans and garlic bread.

Thursday: Chili and beef brisket on a bun

Friday: Baked fish or barbecue chicken, baked potatoes and broccoli.

Soup, salad and dessert are offered with every meal. Reservations for meals are encouraged. Walk-ins are welcomed.

Crystal Falls Center

Head cook: Lucy Korhonen


The center is not just for seniors — bring a friend.

Suggested meal donations is $5 if older than 60, $6 if younger than 60; $1 extra for take-out.

To reserve meals, call the center by 1 p.m. with name and number of people.

All dinners include the soup and salad bar, homemade dessert, tea, coffee and milk.

Open: Monday through Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. soup and salad bar, with dinner at 5 p.m.

Mondays: Basket weaving after dinner — all are welcome for dinner and/or class. Beginners can make their first basket with materials provided.

Crystal Lake Center


The center is closed on weekends.

Monday: Woodcarvers, 10 a.m.; Les Artistes Art Club, noon.

Tuesday: Pinochle, 12:30 p.m.; two-person team cribbage, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Spinning Spools Quilters Guild, 1 p.m., with crafters, scrapbookers and others also welcome; knitting and crocheting class, 1 to 3 p.m.

Thursday: Pinochle, 12:30 p.m.; Happy Quilters, 1 p.m.

Friday: Smear, noon.

In addition to home-delivered meals, a lunch at the center is offered every Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., along with two evening meals each month. Meals cost $5 for those younger than 60 years old and a $4 donation for those older than 60.

Home-delivered meal menu for week:

Monday: Sweet and sour pork, rice, Oriental vegetables and fortune cookie.

Tuesday: Chicken cordon bleu casserole, California blend vegetables, biscuit and butter.

Wednesday: Beef stew, biscuit, snack corn chips and cottage cheese with pineapple.

Thursday: Cheese omelet, oatmeal and spiced pears.

Friday: Lemon pepper fish, rice and carrots.

Any questions regarding the home-delivered meal program at this center can be directed to Christine McMahon at 906-774-2256

Wednesday: Noon meal at center. Menu is beef stew, biscuit and salad bar.

Transportation is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 906-282-0492 or 774-2256. Rides are $3 for age 60 and older, and $3.50 for younger than 60. 

Felch Center


Meals served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday.

Bingo after lunch on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

A congregate jigsaw puzzle is done daily.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables.

Tuesday: Baked fish or Philly cheese steak sandwich, potato wedges and green beans.

Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs, broccoli and garlic bread.

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County, Wis.


Director: Tiffany White

Suggested donation for seniors older than 60 is $4 per meal. Residents younger than 60 must pay $7. Reservations and cancellations are needed 48 hours in advance.

The ADRC can assist area seniors and those with disabilities with transportation Monday through Friday. Transportation reservation should be made with meal reservation.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Chicken fettucini alfredo, Brussel sprouts, dark greens side salad and fruit.

Tuesday: Tuna melt on a bun, sweet potato fries, three bean salad, fruit and oatmeal raisin cookies.

Wednesday: Glazed pork chops, au gratin potatoes, rutabagas and fruit pie.

Thursday: Sloppy Joes, baked beans, potato salad and fruit.

Friday: Stuffed pepper casserole, carrots, bread sticks and fruit.

Other assistance includes information on aging, benefits specialist and caregiver support.

Fence Center/Town Hall


Meal reservations, call 855-528-2372

Meal served Wednesday only, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall

Meal reservations, call 715-528-4261

Home-delivered meals are available. Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. at this center Monday through Thursday, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County.

Tipler Town Hall

Meal reservations, call 715-674-2320

Serving lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month only, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora

Meal reservations call 715-589-4491

Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County. Transportation arrangements can be made to and from the meal site.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska


Meal is at noon Monday through Friday. Suggested donation is $3 for age 60 and older and $7 for those younger than 60. Morning coffee is available daily.

Fifteen games of “fun bingo” are played each Tuesday and Friday, along with a 50-50 drawing.

Tuesday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Cards played in the afternoon. Call ahead to see if a game will be going on.

Friday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Monday through Friday: Walking in the gym, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A treadmill also is available.

Enjoy friendly interaction with other crafters.

Iron River Center


Meals served 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; a $4 donation is encouraged from those 60 and older, and a $5 payment is required from those younger than 60. Thursday meal, 3:30 p.m., soup; 4 p.m., salad bar; dinner, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Home-delivered meals are available — call 906-774-2256, ext. 235 or ext. 230.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Stuffed peppers, cauliflower and breadsticks.

Tuesday: Ham, scalloped potatoes and carrots.

Wednesday: Chicken dumpling soup and egg salad sandwich.

Thursday: Beef stroganoff, noodles, winter blend vegetables and roll.

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Meal site manager: Corrie Maule, 715-251-1603

Senior center director: Jill Anderson, 715-251-4154

Noon meals served Monday through Thursday. Transportation is available to the meal site for those living in the Niagara, Wis., area. Any senior groups that would like to use the meal site as a meeting place are welcome — come for lunch, then stay for a meeting or social time. Wii games, cards, puzzles and board games are available to play. 

Other activities are in the works — suggestions are always welcome. 

Those who have not been at the meal site/senior center are invited to give it a try. Those who haven’t been here in awhile are encouraged to come back.

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining


Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon, with salad bar. Soup also is available at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Milk, juice, bread, fruit, tea and coffee served daily. Meal donation is $5. Reservation for the meal should be made in advance.

Two special-themed meals take place each month on Tuesday, with bingo, prizes and a 50-50 drawing.

Two evening meals offered at 5 p.m. on the first Monday and third Wednesday of the month, with bingo, prizes and a 50-50 drawing.

Monday, Jan. 20: Center board meeting at 10 a.m.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Pork chop, mashed potatoes and gravy, glazed carrots, salad bar, fruit, juice and dessert.

Tuesday: Spaghetti or polenta, broccoli, garlic bread, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice and dessert.

Wednesday: Polish sausage, sauerkraut, peas and carrots, boiled potatoes, salad bar, fruit, juice and dessert.

Thursday: Baked cod, potato wedges, mixed vegetables, coleslaw, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice and dessert.

Cards are played daily after the noon meal.

Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.

Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays.

Sagola Center


Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m. Cards: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Commodities every other month and quarterly commodities are every three months. A puzzle table is available to enjoy. Volunteers are always welcome. 

Menu for the week:

Tuesday: Manicotti with sauce, carrots, breadsticks and apricots.

Wednesday: Pork roast, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and Mandarin oranges.

Thursday: Pasties, coleslaw and applesauce.


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