For each of us aging will be different. For me, the revelation that I was aging was stunning. I say revelation because I had never thought much about age. Each milestone along the path to 80, was met with a shrug and a comment such as “it is only a number.” Now, there are fewer milestones left in my future and the number just gets higher.
Boxing up the last odds and ends of my work life, I sorted thirty-four years of books, papers, talismans and stuff among a few boxes and the overflowing recycling bin. I reached for one particular talisman, a button pin – Fishing for Solutions. Faded from years of exposure to finger oils and sunlight – it was smooth and perfect, nice in the hand to finger and flip while thinking. Given the handling and the dozen office moves during my career, I am not sure how it survived. It both reminded and inspired me – of the chase, chance and opportunity that every day and every challenge presented. I’d been working the last 14 years in fire and forest conservation across the U.S. The wicked fire challenges for people and our forests was both a passion and compulsion – and now it was over for me.
I would be remiss if I didn’t convey my grief over the horrific events of this past week. Normally, I keep my monthly updates strictly related to the blog posts and upcoming workshops, but the massacre in Pittsburgh felt personal. I only hope and pray that we come together as a country to eliminate fear of the “other,” heal our wounds, and find common ground and understanding.
Silver Pen Writing Award Partners, Salt Lake County Aging & Adult Services, Salt Lake County Library, and Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center, invited all older adults to participate in the 2018 Silver Pen Writing Contest by writing and submitting their own essay or poetry based on JOY . . . read the winning essays and poems . . .
Judy Martin finally retired at age 70 after over 30 years of enjoying herself as a business owner in the financial services industry. Now she indulges herself with her addiction to travel. She continues to be challenged by her on-going pursuit of painting.
It’s all well and good to try and keep ourselves physically and mentally fit, but as we age our bodies and minds aren’t necessarily cooperating with us. So what’s the “secret” to aging well? In “The Secret to Aging Well? Contentment” from The New York Times, Robert W. Goldfarb says, “Despite having many friends in their 70s, 80s and 90s, I’ve been far too slow to realize that how we respond to aging is a choice made in the mind, not in the gym.”
(Essay published in The New York Times, October 2, 2018, by Robert W. Goldfarb)
Do you have a personal essay on aging that you'd like to share? If so, I'd love to read it. Send it my way!
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From the earliest time, I can remember strands of yarn in my hands. Even before I could manipulate a needle, I held my arms out as my mother laced skeins of yarn around them so she could roll the yarn into balls. That motion symbolizes my life – unravel, rewind, create, unravel yet again . . .
A friend of mine had a severe undiagnosed mental illness. No one knew this, and she didn’t want anyone to find out. Among other symptoms, she would lose time.
“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
I'm not sure when it happened—the first time I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize what I saw. Who was that older person staring back at me?
How should I count them? Which . . . or who . . . qualifies?
Forget what the mirror says, what age are you inside? Or maybe you feel many ages . . . Grab your writing tool of choice and see where this thought takes you. Put away your inner critic and start writing or typing.
Summer is approaching, and I am looking forward to that time of year when life seems to naturally slow down and I get to catch up on books I haven’t read, dip my toes in the water and breathe a bit more deeply.
I freely confess to a first-world aging problem.
My cousin-in-law sends birthday greetings to his female relatives telling us we’re “aging backwards.” I’ve always thought it was a cute sentiment, but realized on a recent hike that it might actually be true for me. Thanks to the miracles of modern science and a strong stubborn streak in my family history, my aging future looks more active and agile than my middle age past.
In order to your get creative aging juices flowing, I'm going to offer writing prompts from time to time. These are questions to get you thinking about yourself in different ways. So, grab your writing tool of choice (laptop, pen, pencil, paper), find a comfortable spot to sit and put your critical voice on hold. In fact, tell your inner critic to leave the room.
My mom died two years ago at the age of 94 1/2. Recently, while stressing out over tests for breast cancer, I have been thinking of how Mom comported herself as she too was tested, poked and prodded in her last years. Believe me it wasn’t pretty.
Bill Funk has been a hobby and a professional photographer for over 30 years.