January 5, 2018
“Too many people, when they get old, think that they have to live by the calendar.”
I was reminded by a friend yesterday that the daily I published should have reported that the reprint I included was mislabeled as being from 2019 when it was really published in 2010. I should proof the stuff I write.
For the past few years I have been working with other folks to help our community understand that the retiring baby boomers are not old infirm folks. They are high energy, intelligent good people with a lot to offer. We should do everything we can to engage them as a public resource that can help us manage our communities challenges.
I was pleased to receive the following article from AARP today. I have excerpted the authors important comments for your review.
Smash the Stereotypes of Aging
Joseph Coughlin is a man you want on your side. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on aging and the founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab. Up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “Dr. Joe” directs teams of brilliant young designers, engineers, social scientists, doctors and researchers who study this complex subject with intellectual ferocity.
“With astonishing speed, a new, better story will replace our current narrative of aging.”
“Old age is a myth,” Joe says. “While there are certainly physical and existential realities to aging, we have been taught the false narrative that to be old is to be a taker, never a giver.” That’s despite the fact that we, the people over age 50, are working, playing, volunteering, donating, buying stuff and contributing to a better world to the tune of $7.6 trillion in 2015, well over half of all U.S. consumer spending. Boomers alone control 70 percent of the disposable income in this country.
In fact, we are frequently cast as a modern society’s burden. We, the walking, talking proof of humankind’s greatest success — longer lives! — will crash the health care system, drain Social Security and wreck the economy itself, critics warn. It’s a set of pernicious stereotypes about aging that needs to be challenged now, Joe says, and that’s what he set out to do in this book.
Sad, too, that the f-word never gets much of a workout wh
en talking about getting older. The f-word as in F-U-N, Joe notes. “Building the future of fun in a society where 100 years old is the new normal is perhaps the longevity economy’s largest growth opportunity.”
As Joe says, this is not just about the old — it’s about all of us. With Joe on our side, it’s not a bad time to be getting old.
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”
My wife went to high school around this time; I guess she did not take home economics.
The following is from a 1950’s Home Economics textbook intended for the High School girls, teaching how to prepare for married life.
- Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal – on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
- Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
- Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.
- Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
- Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.
- Some DON’TS: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
- Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.
- Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
- Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to be home and relax.
- The Goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.
“My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, “Mom, they weren’t trying to teach you how to swim.”
An artist asked the gallery owner if there had been any interest in her paintings that were on display.
“Well, I have good news and bad news,” the owner responded. “The good news is that a gentleman noticed your work and wondered if it would appreciate in value after your death. I told him it would and he bought all 10 of your paintings.”
“That’s wonderful,” the artist exclaimed. “What’s the bad news?”
“The gentleman was your doctor.”
Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?
I was sitting in the foyer of a bank when a young man walked by and then stopped for a moment on his way out. I noticed that one of the latches on his overstuffed briefcase was unfastened, putting strain on the remaining latch.
“You’re going to lose the contents of your briefcase,” I warned him.
Just then, the case burst open. He stared at me with something akin to fear in his eyes as he gasped, “How on earth did you do that?”
“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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