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Harvest of a Lifetime

It’s harvest time.  The light is golden, the cycle of the earth is coming to another close.  The Harvest Moon of September has come and gone.  There is a lovely peace in the fall, anticipation of the renewing aspect of winter. Things slow down, you turn inward to contemplate the lessons of the year, of your life, and how to apply them to 2020. We live currently with a backdrop of uncertainty and many feel these are the darkest of times, but I disagree.  Any student of history knows that we are suffering more from anticipating disasters,  than from real…

Broken Bones

As a Realtor I can’t tell you how many women come to my open houses and tell me they know they need to downsize but “My husband is not ready”.  He will never be ready ladies. Accepting your golden years is a shock.  You still feel pretty good and because it’s so incremental you really have forgotten how much stronger, energetic and durable you were 10 or 20 years ago.  It seems reasonable that you can keep going. And since your bones don’t report in on their  declining density, or your joints don’t announce a tear, you are pretty sure…

How do you know when it’s time?

It is clear to me in talking to hundreds of folks over 60-70, myself included, that they don’t feel old. They don’t feel much different than they did around 35.  If they are in reasonable health,  they still feel as though they should be able to move the couch across the room, tear up a flower bed, repaint the shed, left that planter, trim the hedge on a ladder.  You know, all the stuff you have done all your life. Haven’t they always done those with ease?  But there comes a time when a deep, calm voice inside says, “Defer…

The Great Liberation at 60 !

I never thought I would embrace my 60s.  I had a thumping libido, I was a competitor in yoga classes, I never shrunk from a challenge: physical or mental.  I started a catering business at almost 40 and worked, after my day job,  in a dark kitchen standing on concrete floors from 3:30PM to 3:30AM. It was wonderful. I shared the commercial kitchen with some sweet guys who made empanadas on the same shift and the rich, savory smell of roast pork and crusty dough filled the kitchen. I knew they were finishing up when the sharp smell of Dawn…

Losing An Older Parent

No matter how close or distant a parent was in the  emotional plane, the locational plane or the acceptance of you plane, when they go,  a huge chunk of your history goes with them. This is the only person who can remember your childhood clearly.  Siblings may recall parts but if they are close in age, their memories will be fuzzy or distorted and if they are much older than you, they likely were not paying much attention to you! So saying goodbye to the time capsule that is your parent is a flux in the system. Gone is any…

The Circle Begins Again

It has been quite a year. In some ways it feels like the guardrails were removed and we’ve been careening through these last months turning corners on two wheels! As we close out 2018 we all have a lot on our minds. Global weirding is all around us: cluttered oceans, climate change, political strife, mass migrations, racial tensions, opioid addiction, homelessness. It’s grim stuff for the holidays. What’s most interesting though, is that somehow, in the face of everything the news hurls at us hourly, the overwhelming majority of people still remain hopeful. Acts of love and kindness continue to rise to…

Unprepared

Since I started writing and speaking about our American way of handling aging and death, a lot has changed. Just 9 years ago, no one thought much about preparing for the most important transition of all, the passing from this world into whatever the next one holds. Despite the fact that we ALL experience the cessation of our life here in the corporeal, so many of us are fearful or shy about talking about it. Fear of being deemed morbid or macabre, having a death wish, or an unhappy relationship, we push the conversation and the topic away over and…

Unquenchable Light

Over and over I hear that no one feels old when  they report they are living a meaningful life.  And meaningful as defined by the goals and values they want to achieve. Whether they are staying physically active, donating time to community, mentoring grandkids,  working in the garden or learning a new cooking style, the older folks that have a goal and are tethered to meaningful people in their lives report “I am not old!”  Whether they are 50 or 90, these qualities of engagement defy the breakdown of spirit. By contrast, those are fearful, disconnected, spending too much time…

The Tragic Loss Of Time To Imagine

I am more and more resenting my computer and phone. Even as I opted to use the laptop here, ( my writing has gotten atrocious) I feel hostile to the 11 x 8 screen or whatever the dimensions. They own me.  My phone owns me.  I can’t put them down.  Too many links to too many things.  For instance, I want to get away from my screen so I decide “I will take a walk!” , which I love and needs very little prompting, but what if I see something interesting, I really  should take a picture and my camera…

A private cozy feeling

Rick Warren wrote about ” A purpose driven life”  long before social media tore the world to shreds.  Yet purpose is more important now than ever before. When a child’s world consisted of extended family, a modest home, a neighborhood of people   talked or even bar-b -qued together, the problems of the neighboring state was far…