“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art” 

-Eleanor Roosevelt

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Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom; Witty, Wicked, and Wise Reflections on Well-Lived Lives

Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom; Witty, Wicked, and Wise Reflections on Well-Lived Lives

Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom; Witty, Wicked, and Wise Reflections on Well-Lived Lives by Dr. Lois Frankel. 

Dr. Frankel is a psychotherapist, executive coach and now a documenter of women’s unique lives. The women included were septuagenarian to nonagenarian, with a few centenarians; some are from an earlier time and are deceased; others very much alive. The book opens with the Hasidic Proverb, “For the unlearned, old age is winter. For the learned, it is the season of the harvest.”

This is a treasure trove of wisdom from women who revel in their season of harvest. Full of life stories, memorable quotes, gentle advice, insights and inspiration, the book’s text is complemented throughout by the artwork of Lisa Graves- photos of contributors, photos of nature, and charming drawings.

Perhaps the best way to introduce this book is to share some of what the women interviewed said:

  • “Do a good deed and throw it in the flowing river, never expecting anything in return” – ZN, Republic of Georgia
  • “If life gives you lemons…look for the vodka”- JM, California
  • “Change is the one constant. Don’t waste your time looking for stability. Stay open to whatever happens” – EM, Pennsylvania
  • “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” – EL, Scotland
  • “Chi ha tempo non aspetti tempo… simple Italian phrase that means ‘lost time is never found again; do not postpone what you can do now’.” – ND, France

A beautiful homage to the wisdom and ongoing relevance and vitality of elders.

Waiting for the Weekend

Waiting for the Weekend

My dad chopped the end of his index finger off in a metal bending machine when I was eight. He was a blue-collar guy and worked in a factory. His job was cutting and bending sheet metal that would end up in box folding machines. It was hard, messy, dangerous work.

JRyder dad and brotherThe index finger plays an important role in gripping a golf club and there was a strong possibility my dad wouldn’t be able to play golf again. That was bad news because his passion was playing golf on weekends. 

He was a model employee; he did impeccable work and was well regarded in the workplace. He neither loved nor hated his job. It was just a job, the place he went Monday through Friday to get him to the weekend. After recovering, he was excited to discover he could still play. In fact, his game actually improved after he lost the finger.

Many years later when he retired everyone thought he would spend his days on the golf course. We were wrong. A few weeks into it he took a new position doing what he’d been doing most of his life – bending sheet metal. No one could believe it until he explained that his new position was not about bending sheet metal, rather it was about contributing to and helping expand the game he loved. You see, my dad was now manufacturing golf clubs.

A mentor once told me there are three pathways available in a working life; a job, a career, and a calling. While jobs and careers are plentiful, very few people are called. At 65 years old my dad found his calling. I know if he was still around today, he'd be asking people this challenge question—

What can you commit the rest of your life to accomplishing that would enhance the quality of your life and the lives of others?

If you’re so inclined, hang out with this question for a while. Create lots of ideas and possibilities. Stay with it and look to be called.

 

After completing 40 years as a creative director and educator in advertising, Julian Ryder founded The Right Brain Project—a creativity education and training firm helping leaders build creative cultures within their organizations. He is also an activist with The Hunger Project and ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. When not working, you’ll find Julian playing golf, skiing, or surfing.

 

Global Celebration of Aging!

Hello! I’ve got exciting news about August 21st.

I’m betting if I asked most of you what is special about August 21st, with the exception of those who have a birthday or anniversary, you would respond, “I dunno.”

Well, congratulations, you’re with billions of people around the planet who haven’t got a clue. And I am out to change that, to put August 21st  in the spotlight. 

August 21st is World Senior Citizen Day!

Now I happen to travel past an iconic doughnut shop on my route to work, and on June 5th, National Doughnut Day, they’re lined up around the block because EVERYBODY seems to know it is National Doughnut Day.

But World Senior Citizen Day–who’s  ever heard of i that? Well, we’re going to change that and create an uproar around World Senior Citizen Day.

If you look it up on Wikipedia, the point of the day is to raise awareness of the challenges faced by older adults, including diminishing health and elder abuse. And amen to that. We bring out our the trumpets to get everyone’s attention on those issues.

However, there is little focus on the kinds of things we hear from members of the movement daily about their vitality, sense of accomplishment, and love of aging.

I am inviting you to join us on August 21st at 2pm Pacific Standard Time for the world’s first Global Celebration of Aging. For 90 minutes, we are going to celebrate, have a musical performance, give out awards, hear from people around the globe, share what we love about aging, and Zoom dance.

And the best part is for the first time since we have created this community, we will come together via Zoom.

Love Of Aging is hosting this event in collaboration with WISE & Healthy Aging, a Santa Monica, CA, based nonprofit whose purpose is to advance the dignity and independence of older adults.

You can register by clicking here. The registration page will say “Oasis Lifelong Adventure”.

When you register, you will be asked to make a $5 tax deductible donation to WISE & Healthy Aging to help them fulfill on their purpose.

The night before the event, you will receive a Zoom link from WISE & Healthy Aging via email. Click on that link to access the event from your computer, smart phone, or tablet.

You are welcome to invite people of all ages to join us; after all, everyone is aging. However, you are the stars of the show. 

See you at the world’s first Global Celebration of Aging!

 

Candace Shivers is a founder/principal of the Love of Aging movement, along with her good friends and colleagues, Maureen Charles and Liz Dietz.

At the age of 65, following the death of her husband, Candace reinvented herself, launching her current career in the field of aging. She is a champion for older adults living a healthy and vibrant lifestyle and a leader, educator, and expert on the impact of attitude on the quality of life for older adults. Candace currently serves as a Special Projects Manager for Wise & Healthy Aging non-profit providing innovative programming for older adults.

A renowned public speaker, she spent 36 years training people from around the globe in effective communication, leadership, and public speaking – talents she brings to the Love of Aging movement.

Candace is proud to be from Hope, Arkansas, Home of the World’s Largest Watermelon.

4 REVERSIBLE Symptoms of the Dreaded "Old Person's Disease"

candace BollywoodI have prided myself and promoted to anyone who would listen that I am YOLD (young/old). To celebrate my 70th birthday, I ran my first half marathon. At 71, I took Bollywood Dance classes. I have traveled the globe, and last year at the tender age of 72, while in Tibet, I hiked in the Himalayas. (Before you get too impressed, a van took us up to the hiking spot. “The hike” was more like an hour’s walk before reboarding the van. But it was the damn Himalayas, and people could barely breathe.)

A few months later, as I was turning 73, without warning I noticed the first symptom of old person's disease had snuck up on me. I was in the act of standing up after having been seated for an hour, when I caught myself making that sound that the elderly make when standing or sitting down....Ahhhhh, like an exhale. Not the good Ahhhh as in AWESOME.  This was the creepy ahhh of something taking too much effort.

I wasn't about to tell anyone, but I started to have dark thoughts....

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The Straw That Stirs the Drink

The Straw That Stirs the Drink

The conversation that woke me up

It was the fall of 2018, and I was having what I thought was a casual conversation with my friend Gordon Starr–just two business leaders catching up on what we were up to personally and with our work–one of many such conversations we’d had over the years. Then I mentioned that my 65th birthday was approaching and I wasn’t sure how to feel about that milestone. How had 65 crept up on me so fast?

”You’re approaching 65. So you’ve got maybe 25 years left. How are you going to spend the next 25 years of your life?” Gordon asked.

What?  This was no longer a casual conversation.

“Try flipping your aging paradigm like I did,” he advised. “I have 22 years left, and I really recommend looking at how you are going to take advantage of what life has given you so far. How will you make the maximum difference going forward?” 

Whoa! Gordon’s questions had stopped me in my tracks. I needed to think.

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Becoming a Volunteer

Becoming a Volunteer

 

A Social Quid Pro Quo

About ten years ago I started thinking about retiring. I lived in Mexico and was teaching university students online, having already stepped back from the most active elements of my career working as a consultant for large organizations. A few years later, I moved back to the US and slowly wound down my teaching work. It took me a few years to go from “thinking about it” to making it official, but for the last three years I have been fully retired.

At first it was kind of nice; I had no serious responsibilities. I had no clients to call, no student papers to correct, and no research duties. Life was good…for a couple of months.

However, after catching up on my reading list and binge-watching Game of Thrones, I started to get bored. I started to not have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I would lie there and think about what I had to do that day: Let’s see…coffee, read the local paper (bad news), surf the net (more bad news), and walk my dogs (the high point of my day). I started to wish I had kids and grandkids. Maybe I could offer some sage advice about something or nurture a sick child. Anything to make me feel like I was being of value as I had when I felt my clients and students held me in some regard. I had no real friends nearby so visiting them was out of the question.

I had lived in this state of mind for a few months when I started to realize it was affecting my mental health. I was starting to feel depressed...

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Loneliness, Depression and Sociability in Seniors

All the lonely people. Where do they all come from?

There have been very few times in my adult life when I really needed to cry. The one time that stands out for me I was stationed in Vietnam with the First Infantry Division. You might think that there is a lot to be emotionally distressed about when serving in a war zone and you would be right. However, I wasn’t crying because I was afraid, I was crying because I felt incredibly alone. I was far from home, living with a bunch of men I hardly knew, and I was not sure if I was going to make it back. I thought about my family and friends and how much I missed them. These thoughts all came together to create an overwhelming sense of loneliness. 

Even now, 50 years later, I find myself sometimes being lonely. My wife and I have no children, and my wife is frequently away from home traveling on business. I can spend days in the house alone with my two dogs; reading, writing, surfing the net, gardening, and watching TV. Having been an academic, I’m used to spending a great deal of time reading books and journals. A very solitary endeavor.

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