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January 08, 2013


Linda P.

What an interesting approach to aging. As I think about old age being a depressant, I remember some of those studies in anthropology that came out in the 80's or 90's, talking about the value of negative emotions. I dimly remember that depression can have value, causing us to stop moving forward until we've figured out where we want to go, to badly paraphrase it. I do see the value in not stumbling forward heedless, doing all the same things, and in spending introspective time instead. However, I'd just as soon not sink too far into depression in order to perform that introspection.

I tend to think of the transition into old age as the bookend to puberty, complete with all the uncertainties about the direction of our lives, accommodations to new body images, and other challenges of puberty. I'll be mulling over your view, too.

Rain Trueax

If there is reincarnation then you might. Think you'll remember your wisdom and do it differently?

I did regressions like maybe ten years ago now. I spent a summer learning how to meditate to that level, using tapes, and finally with a hypnotherapist. I got 7 lifetimes, I think, before it was finished, but I have asked myself what did I learn from them that made me wiser this time? Not sure. Of course, there is the possibility that say that lifetime in Iberia where I jumped off a cliff (mine were not glamorous stories), was really intended as a story for this lifetime, just an example of things to watch out for and the stories illustrated it. In that case, it wasn't jumping off cliffs (although I do often feel that urge when near a high place which I gather isn't unusual as other humans have said they experience it also), but it was more the life that got me to that point that was the 'lesson story'. I do not have an opinion on reincarnation (although my logic says it doesn't exist) but if it's the case, wonder if we will bring with us the mistakes or the hard-gained wisdom.

For this lifetime, I feel I can still do a lot of the things I want but my goals aren't huge. They never were.


Linda: But depression feeds on itself and is also contagious. And of course these days there are the happy pills. I'm conflicted about those, having seen them help some but in other cases simply having made it possible for people to endure the unendurable and in the end having to cope with their problems anyway.
Rain: For someone with modest goals, you have accomplished a lot! (:
I like this previous lives stuff as a spur to creativity. It has certainly worked for you.

Henry Hank Chapin

Couple-a points: 1) My sweet old Grandmother went up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building and announced to us that she felt like jumping. Grandma, DON'T. She didn't. In fact, she lived to the age of 93. Jumping was so not her! There's a deep instinct with very little survival value operating here, and I don't know what it is. Actually, I feel the same way at times, and I always step back.

2) Hattie's thoughts on age are thought provoking. I will read her essay again and think about it. But I won't do anything. :-) I'm pretty much doing what I ought to be doing. Third parties tell me I do not seem to be depressed. That's pure genetic luck, since I should be. Another :-) I find reading, videos, plays and music are still most important to me. I try never to stop learning and enjoying. I just finished a family Xmas in Bellingham, Washington and enjoyed the family vibes immensely. I also pretty much decided I'm not going to move there because of the weather. I will travel a modest amount, but living in Hawaii automatically means you have to fly long distances. Yuck to that. I follow three blogs and try to make my Facebook interesting. If I collected all my tiny little essays, I might have a decent memoir.

3)My biggest problems are I don't like to stir myself. Having a new puppy has helped with that as I take her to the Bark Park most days. My other problem is that I don't get down to mudane business, paying bills and shopping especally. But I do eventually get it done although I'm a laggard. Relax, Hattie, I'm older than you are? Third :-) a sure sign of something or other.


Honored by this post.

Must be lovely to live in Hawaii, though. I spent last winter in Oahu and loved it!


Hank: Older than I am!!! How about that? It's nice to know someone who heard all those radio shows and remembers WW II but who is also up to date. I truly value your friendship!
I find those visits to the Mainland wear me out, but I love them anyway.
Tanya: It's damn nice, like being on vacation all the time. My chief foe is indolence, since it is so comfortable to live here.
I got to visit Peru a while ago and climb around Machu Picchu and do other delightful things. Great country, and I've enjoyed reading about your adventures there on your travel blog.

Rain Trueax

One thing I used to tell my daughter when she was a teen-ager-- nobody gets it all. We have to choose from the available options, but we can't do or be everything. She basically looked at me like I was nuts-- she would have it all. Now she sees that nobody gets it all. We make choices where sometimes that does preclude other choices.

When we were young, women were told they shouldn't do this or that because it wouldn't work. Women today are, I think, told that less.

Life itself makes some limits on us based on our skills or where we live. I don't think our choices are over at 70 but there are less feasible options open. That doesn't mean there aren't still some very exciting ones.

I don't feel depressed at getting old as I think it's interesting to be to this point where so many never got here. I think of this as a time to make sure I live old age fully as I did when I had babies or in earlier stages of life. Be where we are and don't deny the aspects we might find less advantageous as it ends up missing the whole experience. And don't wish away time ever as mentally there are so many ways to use it-- not to say there aren't times I do exactly that.


"If I had it to do over, I would consider that each phase of life calls for a different emphasis and that nothing lasts forever."

I think so too.


What I tell people now is that you're not old until you're 110 or think you're 110. You, Marianna and Terry are so very young at heart!


Kay: Thanks, and so are you and Art.

Cop Car

I think that Ms/Dr/Prof/whatever G-B has been deluded. Whoever in the world told her that the duties of a teacher, at whatever level, should be/could be accomplished in 40 hours/week? How is academia different from the rest of the world (in the USA, at least) wherein those who are salaried-exempt expect to work whatever number of hours it takes to do the job? Someone is living in la-la land!!!! If one expects to work 40 hours/week or less, one should find a waged job.


She has a stay-at-home husband.
More: It was clear to me that in liberal arts departments most of the time-consuming service work falls on the female faculty,plus which they have to spend a lot of time dealing with students and are expected to be nice at all times and always let people shoot holes in their schedules. I think 40 hours of dedicated work should be sufficient to do most jobs. People who are putting in longer hours are wasting time through inefficiency or they need more help.

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