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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Inspiration for Positive Aging: Sharing Our Stories

  On May 15, 2019, I published our first monthly Boomer Best U Newsletter. My purpose in doing so was to provide information and encouragement for those who wanted to live their best lives beyond fifty. When launching this project, I decided to include a regular feature story about an individual who was an example of positive aging. I just completed my seventeenth feature story for the August 15th issue of our newsletter. The feedback we’ve received about these stories has suggested that they have encouraged and inspired others. After interviewing women and men from a wide range of backgrounds…

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Resilience and the ‘Age’ Advantage

Two of my neighbors have lost their spouses or partners within the past five years. At least three members in my community have battled cancer, and one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Several of us in my community have experienced age-related injuries. In spite of these challenges and losses, I live in a very upbeat neighborhood. For the most part, people in my community “keep on keeping on.” One of my widowed neighbors, a man in his eighties, remarried recently and is still enjoying his life to the fullest. Another neighbor fought breast cancer for a year but continued…

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Retirement: Over-Indulgences that Lead to Habits

My husband and I have a sweet 110+ pound Labrador Retriever.  When our dog, Ranger, developed a little ear infection, I took him to his veterinarian. The vet gave me a prescription for Ranger’s ear infection and a strong recommendation to quit overfeeding him. All I feed the dog is one cup of “fat dog” kibbles twice a day. Of course, I put a small amount of chicken breast on top of his food for flavor. I also feed him green beans for snacks—oh, and I do give him dog chews and dog treats after we take walks. And maybe…

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Common Threads: Influential Women 50+

Some of the most influential women in history shared at least three characteristics in common--each had courage, purpose, and a voice that helped articulate a vision. Four of those women include Susan B. Anthony, Ella Baker, Betty Friedan, and Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. While each of these women began their life’s work prior to reaching their fiftieth birthdays, they all continued to grow and become even more effective as they got older. Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) “Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations…can never effect a reform.” Born into a Quaker family, social justice and reform were…

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COVID-19: A Retirement Wake-up Call

We’re all eager to get back to some sense of normality once it is safe to do so without risking COVID 19 exposure. Yet it feels like we are living in a perpetual holding pattern. When talking with acquaintances who are working from home, some have expressed a sense of boredom as one day pours into the next. None of us could have prepared for what we are now experiencing! In an April 19, 2020, Forbes article, senior contributor Chris Carosa suggested that having to shelter in place could be a wake-up call or preview for those who are eager…

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Fairy Godmother of the Neighborhood Dogs

I suspect that every dog and cat in our neighborhood recognizes ‘Sharon’ and even the car she drives. For about fifteen years, Sharon has left little goodies for our four-legged children in our community. Sometimes she leaves a little toy. Other times she leaves small treats. When she sees someone walking their dog, she usually stops her car, talks to the dog, and asks the dog’s human parent if she can give it a little treat. An Opportunity to Connect Sharon is a widow. I think she is probably in her mid-eighties. Because we are all needing to “shelter in…

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Rediscover Your True Self, Then Visualize

As the director of a research laboratory, Nancy had a great deal of responsibility. She also had a rich network of colleagues with whom she regularly interacted. However, once she reached her mid-fifties, she began wondering what her life would be like once her career was no longer the centerpiece of her waking hours. She’d still have activities to keep her busy and friends to visit, but she could not envision a future that would give her the same sense of purpose and meaning her professional life had given her. Don worked in the insurance industry for most of his…

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Purpose: A Key to a Long and Satisfying Life

Various studies have suggested that having a sense of purpose is important for healthy living, longevity, and life satisfaction. Having a sense of purpose is also an important component of a satisfying retirement. Those who don’t find a sense of purpose in retirement are more likely to experience depression and regret than those who do.Even before I officially ‘retired’ a year ago from my teaching career, I had started to develop a sense of purpose for the new chapter in my life. I asked myself questions about what I thought was really important to me. I also considered what I…

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Embrace Purpose and Be the Difference

I have read several articles this week about people who lived their lives with intention and purpose – people who accomplished ‘big’ things for the greater good. Like you, I can think of certain people I’ve either known or know something about who left noteworthy legacies.Then I thought about the regular, everyday people I have known who have lived with purpose but may never have their name etched on a plaque or mentioned in a book. Each of these people has made a difference in their own way. They have mattered and so do each of us.The Sweetest ManEddie lived…

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