Are you feeling your age? I know I am. But what does that mean? And what can we do about it? How can we practice mindful maturity, improving our self-awareness, empathy and serenity? Agile Aging is an aspiration and a learn-by-doing journal. Follow the blog to track my practice and progress. Read profiles of innovative peers, embracing their seniority. Join the journey. Join the conversation.
Let me hear from you. Contribute your experience and thoughts. I can’t promise to answer every email, but as common themes emerge, I’ll publish some responses and try to faithfully relay the range of points-of-view. rbs@AgileAging.net

In your most private moments, what do you think about aging? Does advancing seniority fill you with distaste, or with relief? Apprehension or contentment? Are you grinning or grimacing?

What image of aging first pops into your mind’s eye? More memory-making with the grandkids? More midnight shuffles to the bathroom? A lengthening shelf of unpronounceable pills? A closet-full of business attire dry-cleaned for schlepping to Goodwill?

Have you dreams deferred or nagging irritations? A Danube cruise? Elusive words on the tip of your tongue? Performing with the Community Players? Being nibbled to death by ducks?

Like most of my peers, I’m aware the aging glass is both half-empty and half-full. We have to take the sour with the sweet. But it’s my impression that we tend to over-emphasize seniority’s downsides. If that’s correct, this reflexive pessimism exacts a high price. Not only can it impair our mental and emotional health. It can also neglect and undervalue seniority’s rich offsetting opportunities, passions and pleasures. This blog is dedicated to helping rebalance the scales. I want to make the case for a positive approach to growing old.

CURRENT POSTS

My December 15 blog post, “Moving On: Transitioning to a CCRC,” introduced Nancy’s and my search for a senior residential community. At year’s end, on an accelerated timetable, we made our move. I’d like to use this paired January post to pick up the narrative thread, sharing highlights of our relocation experience plus some first impressions of our new home and lifestyle. Here’s a journal of transitional steps and stages.

Central Coast Goodbyes

       We were deeply touched by the kindness of Monterey Peninsula friends, hosting lunches and dinners to say au revoir. We all talked candidly at these gatherings about our respective senior residential plans. What I expected less but appreciated more was that somehow our pending departure seemed to spark opportunities for unprecedented intimacy and bonding. It was as if we were all tacitly aware that we might never again be together on the same neighborly basis, so these last shared moments ought not to be squandered on movie reviews or casual chitchat. Instead we quietly took advantage of these final moments to confirm our feelings for each other and what we care about.

Perhaps because a new year is just beginning, I’m coming across a flurry of stimulating new articles on agile aging. Here’s a sampling for your possible interest and follow-through.

Jacob Epstein reviewed “Elderhood” by Louise Aronson in the Wall Street Journal:

….This is a serious, useful and important book. According to a study cited by Dr. Aronson, life, so to say, begins at 60. “Data from the United States and Western Europe confirm that most people are around sixty before they achieve levels of well-being comparable to those of twenty-year-olds, and rates climb thereafter.” Arriving at 60 and beyond presumably brings freedom from worry, lessened depression and anger, a firmer sense of one’s self and what one values, greater contentment and happiness….

Russel SunshineRussell Sunshine worked for 40 years in 40 countries as an international development lawyer and independent policy advisor to foreign governments. Now retired back in America, he’s writing non-fiction and practicing agile aging on California’s Central Coast. Russell’s memoir, Far & Away: True Tales from an International Life, is available on Amazon. Click Here