How to Harness the Opportunity that Comes with Longevity: An interview with Cultural Anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson
Your most recent book is Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom. What motivated you to write about our second adulthood?
On the one hand, I saw people my age making what seemed to me bad decisions about retirement. On the other hand, I was approached by several women who had been active in the consciousness-raising work in the ‘70s and felt it was time to resume that effort. In my book, I show that this moment of increased longevity represents a huge opportunity for the human species. Never before have we had so many individuals combining so much learning and experience with continuing health (not perfect health) and mobility. We need to hold up the future they want for grandchildren and others who will outlive them—and let them make it happen. I hope to stimulate seniors into seizing this moment of opportunity.
When her husband moved out and her father died in the span of six months, Alice’s charmed life was turned upside down. She is now a tutor, teacher, writing coach, and book discussion leader. Having been a guest speaker at Alice's writing workshop, I can attest to her talent as a teacher—and the praise of her students!
Bonnie enjoyed chair massages offered by her company and loved giving shoulder rubs to weary coworkers. It would take a note from one of these to convince her to sign up for massage school (yes, in midlife) and leave her corporate job to start her own massage therapy business. She shows us how it's never too late to honor a new passion!
An Expert Interview with Psychotherapist Debbie Augenthaler, Author of You Are Not Alone: A Heartfelt Guide to Grief, Healing, and Hope
You suffered the tragic loss of your husband when you were 36 and he was only 45. What prompted you to write about your experience of grief and healing?
Grief is universal, but we’re not born knowing how to cope with it. As a psychotherapist who’s worked with many grievers, I know that when faced with overwhelming grief, many people feel like they are alone in what they’re experiencing and can feel like they’re going crazy.
A bout with cancer in midlife started Phyllis thinking about the future, but it wasn’t until she retired from her long career as a college math professor that she found her next pursuit, leading Servas, a cooperative cultural exchange network that connects hosts and travelers worldwide. Their goal is to "create peace in the world, one friendship at a time" -- love that!