Letting Go, Embracing a New Season

Our local weather station reports that temperatures in our area may dip to near freezing tonight. I was still wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts last week. This morning I wore a sweatshirt and long pants when I went for a walk. I plan to put an extra blanket on the bed tonight. Change happens. Seasons Change. Life changes. We can usually manage change when we learn to embrace it. It Was a Season of Freedom About thirty-five years ago, I started running. I was never the fastest person on foot, but I enjoyed participating in “fun” runs and having the…

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Is it Possible to Live Life without Regrets?

Imagine that you have almost reached the finish line of your life’s journey. You take a moment to consider how far you’ve come and what your life has meant to you and to others. Along with all of the actions that have given you joy or a sense of pride, will you have any regrets? Common End-of-Life Regrets Professor Amy Summerville who studies regret says that it means “feeling bad because things could have been better if we had done something differently in the past.”  Bronnie Ware, a nurse who spent years caring for people at the end of their…

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Setting Necessary Boundaries During a Pandemic

Even though leading health experts advise wearing a mask and keeping socially distanced during the pandemic could save lives, we know that too many people are ignoring this advice. Certainly, some are refusing to take prescribed precautions because of political views. Others choose to ignore these safety recommendations when it is not convenient for them. All of us have both the right and the responsibility to set boundaries for our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others around us. But sometimes other people will unwittingly try to push us beyond the healthy boundaries that we have set for ourselves. Challenges…

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Elder Wise: Sharing Wisdom in New Ways

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin explains in his book, Successful Aging, that as we get older, it is common to lose some of our sharpness. We may get distracted more easily and can’t recall things as quickly as we once could. But at the same time, Levitin says we gain wisdom with age due to our experiences, our ability to recognize patterns, the connections we can make, and the analogies we can use. Because we may think a bit differently, it is not that hard to understand why younger adults might consider older adults as being “out of touch” or no longer…

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Your Best Life After 50: Be Aware, Prepare, Dare

When I ask people what they want their lives to look like in the future, almost everyone I’ve talked to will tell me they want to be happy, healthy, and free—at least once they retired. But when I ask people how they are going to make that vision a reality, very few have a realistic plan or are currently taking appropriate action. You see, most people don’t plan to age—it just happens. And that’s the problem. Without an awareness of what our lives could look like after fifty, without preparation, and without concrete action, it is quite likely we will…

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Living Long, Living Well: Lessons from Japan

Japan’s centenarian population just passed 80,000 for the first time ever. The Blue Zones research that looked at longevity hot spots throughout the world included Okinawa in Japan.One of the longevity practices the Blue Zones project identified among Okinawans was strong social connections—some of these connections were life-long. Physical activity and diet were also identified as keys to healthy, longer lives.One of the individuals credited with helping people in his country to live longer and better was Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, the author of Living Long, Living Good. Dr. Hinohara passed in 2017 at the age of 105. At the time,…

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Challenges & Unexpected Growth Opportunities

I'll admit, I've become accustomed to my routines, even ones that didn't make sense. In some ways; I had become like the proverbial hamster running around on the wheel.  Yes, I'm technically 'retired' from being on the treadmill of working full-time, but I still enjoy and need a certain amount of structure, as do all of us.  Sometimes I need a few unexpected challenges to pay attention to the small stuff and make appropriate corrections. I think such challenges also offer new growth opportunities --not a bad thing. No Time to Ignore a Flood When I got our water bill…

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Listen More to Live Your Best Life

Today, I remembered to Listen! Before it got too hot, I took a brisk walk around a local pond and then up a hill. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to anything at first, but then I focused on the natural symphony all around me. I noticed the sound of ducks splashing in the water, the whirl of insect swarms near patches of blackberries, the crunch of dried grass under my feet, and the rapid tapping of a woodpecker near an oak grove. To enjoy all that was around me, I had to intentionally focus outward so that I…

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Living Life with Purpose in the 7th Stage

Each spring I plant three or four tomato plants. I eagerly wait until about early July and then I start picking fresh, ripe fruit. What joy!  At the end of the season, I pull up all my old, baron plants and start preparing for another season. I planted three tomato plants this year. Each plant produced fresh, attractive, and fleshy fruit. When I started harvesting, I noticed that I had several other plants in my garden that were also producing a variety of tomatoes. These ‘volunteer’ plants as some call them came from some of last year’s tomatoes that I…

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Keeping Up with Technology as We Age is Essential

I love what neuroscientist Danial Leviton shared about how we often gain wisdom as we age—we have more experiences, we have the ability to make more associations in our thinking, we can recognize patterns, and get better at using analogies. However, our ability to quickly learn and retain new information might not be as easy as we age. Nonetheless, because we are living in a rapidly evolving technology-dependent environment, we have to patiently learn what we need to know. I am not afraid of technology. I started teaching online in 1998 and continued to teach some of my courses online…

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