Hal Elrod – guest post (sort of)

Per this blog’s editorial calendar, Wednesdays feature a guest post.


My week was so whackadoodle ~ & I am still such an editorial calendar fledgling ~ I flat out blew it. Never lined up a 09/06/17 guest blogger.

To keep the spirit if not the letter of my intent, am linking to an article about a FUTURE guest blogger – HAL  ELROD.

Hal’s MIRACLE MORNING books are must-reads for any age (yep, there’s one for parents & families!).  His The Miracle Morning for Writers  whipped mine into shape, something DECADES of purportedly  “determined” attempts failed to accomplish.

Here’s the  4/23/15  SUCCESS  article ~ Technically, Hal Elrod Has Died 3 Times ~ capturing how he helps others,  whatever their level of accomplishment,  more fully persist & achieve.  Great read, even better DO!

Oh, Hal…  if you’re reading this – I’d be deeeelighted to team up with you on The Miracle Morning for Elders  ’cause  gray IS the new green!

Get out your calendars – Sept – Nov

WASHINGTON, DC  –   AGING2.0 PINT-0  Sept 7 – 6:00 p.m. –  Vapiano’s
“The Aging2.0 Washington, DC Chapter invites you and your colleagues to join us for drinks and networking on Thursday, September 7th from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Vapiano’s in the heart of Chinatown! We are excited to have team members from our head quarters in San Francisco as well as Aging2.0 Alliance members join us, making this a coast to coast evening of fun.   This event is a unique event for anyone interested in innovation in the aging, health-tech and long term care space!   Cash bar.   To learn more about Aging2.0 Alliance members,  visit https://www.aging2.com/alliance/
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
NEW YORK CITY   MEMBERS-ONLY SUMMER SALON  Sept 13   6-:00 – 8:00 p.m.
“The Radical Age Movement invites you to our Members Only Summer Salon.  Join us at our quarterly members only salon in our beautiful lobby at 1 East 53rd Street. This will be a delightful, after-summer opportunity for members to get together over wine and light refreshments and meet new friends who share your concerns about older persons in our society.  New members can join at the event or join online.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
NEW YORK CITY   WHY AGEISM NEEDS A MOVEMENT  Sept 14   6-:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The Radical Age Movement & Senior Planet are co-hosting a special evening with Ashton ApplewhiteWhy Ageism Needs a Movement. We’ll view Ashton’s widely successful TED talk, followed by Q & A and discussion.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
WASHINGTON, DC  –    2017 LeadingAge D.C.’s 5th Annual Conference Oct 5, 8:00 a.m – 4:30 p.m. 
“LeadingAge DC is the advocacy and education leader for not-for-profit aging services organizations through the continum of care: continuing care retirement communities, senior housing, assisted living, nursing homes and home and community based services.  Our association represents a strong and undiluted voice for not-for-profits in policy, education and public arenas.  We advance policies and promote practices that supports, enables and empowers people to live fully as they age.”   see website for details about the all-day event  – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-leadingage-dc-annual-meeting-registration-36829391702
SEPT 8 – last day for Early Bird Registration 
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
“You’ll share victories, exchange ideas, renew inspiration and build relationships along with thousands of your fellow dedicated professionals—and after four enriching days, you’ll go home better equipped to serve your residents and clients. Whether you’re a CEO of a multi-site organization, a case manager in a hospice organization or a service coordinator at an affordable housing community, you’ll find innovative solutions to your challenges and discover new ways to improve operations and quality. Passionate commitment, personal growth and organizational excellence all align here—join us October 29-November 1, in New Orleans to reenergize your commitment, refresh your knowledge and renew your passion for ensuring the future care of our elder community.’
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
SAN  FRANCISCO  –   AGING2.0  OPTIMIZE 2017 *  November 14-15, 2017
“Join us for the annual Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE Conference in San Francisco on November 14-15, 2017. Cutting edge content, networking and partnership opportunities make this a high-value event for anyone interested in innovation and aging. Taking place in the iconic Herbst Theater at the War Memorial Building, OPTIMIZE will feature captivating keynotes, exclusive networking opportunities, unique market insights and a cutting-edge showcase of innovative exhibitors.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
2017 CHANGINGAGING TOUR * –  Dr. Bill Thomas
Buffalo, NY –  09/18        Strongville, OH   –  09/19         Fort Wayne, IN  –  09/20                   Indianapolis – 09/21     Orlando –  10/16              Miami –  10/18                Pompano Beach – 10/19
Boo hoo – the 2017 ChangingAging Tour never got even close to Philadelphia – driving to New Britain CT would have been a bit of a stretch, even to see the great Bill Thomas!
“The ChangingAging Tour delivers live non-fiction theater experiences. It was created to build community by engaging directly with you, our live audience. Each of our performance experiences are unique, we take pride in sharing in the unexpected but here are a few things to look forward to, especially visionary storyteller Dr. Bill Thomas and a remarkable cast of performers weave mythology and science to bring new, true stories onstage”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
* On our 2018 calendar!


Okay, I finished reading THE AGELESS WAY on Monday,  wrote my 2nd review about it yesterday, was geared up to tackle the end-of-chapter Reflections, when it hit me – last night – that the book has exerted a greater power over me than I’d imagined.

Last night, John & I were at a “Designing Your Dream Day,” part of Be Well Cafe‘s Wellness Speaker Series.  A table of five women, ranging in age from early twenties to forties, sat to my left.  They looked like the sort of friendship circle that most touches my heart, so I introduced myself & shared my happiness at seeing them together.  Then, to my shock, I heard “There’s a book you should get & read together!” come out of my mouth! And I dove right in, describing THE AGELESS WAY.

As I started describing Karen Sands’ opus, they edged back a bit in their seats, like they suspected they were dealing with a crazed publisher, but as I described THE AGELESS WAY – the generous margins, the interweaving of subject matter, that reading it would give them an unmeasurable advantage moving forward in their lives – they leaned toward me.

I am NOT the sort of person who goes around advocating authors & their books, but I am convinced that reading Karen’s book – all the people & stories & lives she draws into it, as well as her own strong clear clarifying voice – would put all of us in a terrific place, whether we are aging upward from 20, 40, 60, 80, 100.

The depth of my belief harks back to…  dessert.  Young adulthood is the equivalent of Jello – tasty but still a bit wobbly.  Our middle years blend into a luscious pudding – cool creamy delectable.  But our upper years – ah, they beat the other two on every count!  They combine into a fabulous trifle, delectable layer upon layer beckoning others to dip deep down & discover a sampling of our textures & flavors.

That could equally describe THE AGELESS WAY.  I have just gotten through the first layer; the second automatically formed through my personal response – underlines words comments throughout the book.  Am just started on the third – journaling my impressions, jotting down the quotes that speak most deeply to me, recording what I jotted in the margins.  Then, will onto the fourth – going through the exercises at the end of each chapter.

That IS a lot of work & will take way more time than doing the end-of-chapter exercises as I read through.  We all read differently.  That would work for many, maybe most people.  For good or ill, when a book calls to ME, it can take eons to fully finish it.  The deeper the call, the longer the read.  I need to take the time to concoct a trifle – with some books, the treasured few, Jello & pudding won’t cut it.

Again, I urge everyone 20+ to read & experience THE AGELESS WAY.  As I told the circle of friends next to us last night, it will touch deepen enrich your life experience in unimagined ways.


I’ve spent days, weeks reading THE AGELESS WAY   Will spend more weeks journaling.  Will cap that by printing out the workbook Karen so generously makes available, using it as my guide in processing through the end-of-chapter reflections.   But my way isn’t yours ~ some people will get a lot just reading through it, without even doing the exercises.  Do what works for YOU.

As for me…  Well, it was a couple years back that I learned that, with certain books (a precious few), a DEEP read works best for me.  A former student  (Blessings on you, Andy Adams!),  now a successful serial entrepreneur, recommended  The Greatest Salesman in the World  after  I griped about what I felt was my weak internal infrastructure.  He suggested I read a book by an author by the curious name of Og Mandino.  I ordered it that very night!  From reading that book as the author intended, I learned that some books – the few – are meant to be read, reread, reread again & again, leading to more than fresh insight & inspiration. Leading to permanent, glorious transformation

I started reading The Greatest Salesman in the World when I was 63, finished it a year later.  Andy’s hunch was right – it tightened up & strengthened my previously woefuly weak inner infrastructure.  I’ve always wondered what I could do for him to fully express my appreciation for his life-evolving, world-changing advice.


But not anymore.

Thanks, Karen, for writing the perfect “thank you” gift – your glorious trifle,  THE AGELESS WAY.

THE AGELESS WAY ~ a must-read book

Whatever your age, my advice is to grab your own copy of Karen Sands’ THE  AGELESS  WAY & read it.  Read it all the way through, making notations in the brilliantly generous margins.  Read through a 2nd time, doing the exercises at the end of each chapter.  Then let it steep & work its magic.

Okay, I’ve only gotten through Step One – just finished it the other day, in itself a special experience, since the tag end is an afterword by H.R. “Rick” Moody, the guiding light of the Positive Aging movement.  The words I’d struggled to find to describe Karen’s book were right there, in his last sentence –  “What Karen Sands has done by interweaving Herstory & history with mythology & modern-day story, trend-spotting, resources, and each chapter’s clarifying questions… is to shine a light on what we need so profoundly to understand & see.”

Amen, brother!  And reading Rick’s words, my own much broader description hit me – THE  AGELESS  WAY is 1/3 manifesto;, 1/3 Karen storytelling through moments & myth, the ins & outs & ’round abouts of aging upward; 1/3 provides the ways & means to become more grounded in our now, whatever age that might be, and live forward fully. Turns out the book is about one of my own favorite taglines ~ full-throttle living, at every age.

Writing this review puts me in mind of my mother.  Mom was a gifted writer, but if the topic was especially close to her heart, she invariably found herself stumped at finding words to match her thoughts, feelings – she could write about the days leading up to my wedding, but never the actual day.  Too close.  That’s how I feel about THE  AGELESS  WAY ~ its effect goes so deep, so real, it’s hard to capture the words to describe my experience.

Will do the best I can, which is to share a few impressions that hit me as I read through:

This is an important book to read as a young adult because it puts clarity around aging upward.  Young people with the privilege of choosing a career path do so based on – let’s be honest – scant knowledge about themselves, their area of interest, of what life holds in store.  Their pick is based on hopeful guessing.  They are 100% future focused.

A 21-year old can look at his 43-year old mother & think, “Without an endless horizon of to-be-discovered, what’s left for Mom?”  To youth, it’s all about tomorrow.  But by the time we hit 40, it’s beginning to dawn on the savvy among us that new, enriching layers have built up within us, the fertile silt of years that rushed by, leaving traces behind to nurture our growth.  Knowledge perception insights that aren’t future directed, but here & now rooted.  What is THIS moment holding? What am I doing NOW?  That is an awareness & perception that isn’t possible any earlier.

A young person reaches for a career that reflects  his or her interests and goals.  As we grow older, we gain experience, learn life lessons, discover the difference between likes & passion, realize that what we can do might not be what we want to.  The six-figure business woman might realize the she’s reached her corner office goal, but the return on her sacrifice is not what she expected.  Does she stay put or follow her heart?

Let’s look at that exec.  It could be that she is dissatisfied with what she’s achieved, feels that it doesn’t provide the rewards she expected or that they come at too high a price.  OR it could be that she’s achieved the goal she she set out for herself years before.  She’s achieved it & learned all that made that accomplishment possible.  Maybe it’s not that she is dissatisfied with her achievement, but that she is ready for a new goal, rooted in the person she became in order to reach the earlier one.

I came away from my first reading of  THE AGELESS  WAY with a new-found appreciation of how we evolve through the work we do pursuing a semblance of our original goals ~AND~ that in so doing we come to develop skill sets to take us – if we dare – in new directions.

Thinking about the publication date of THE  AGELESS  WAY – last year – gives me goosebumps.  For sixteen years, we have been hit with one emotional & economic disruption after another.

Twenty years ago, losing a job was a badge of shame to most Americans – now, it is practically a rite of passage.  There aren’t many jobs out there that provide the work satisfaction & generous income that had been our norm for most of our careers, but there is plenty of opportunity for people to go in new directions, to take risks & pursue dreams.

While I can only speak for myself – and this is before I’ve tackled any of the exercises she includes –  this much is already clear to me ~ ~ reading THE  AGELESS  WAY has helped me see what is possible.  Not just because of what Karen shares, but because of her unique way of presenting core information.

Every part of THE AGELESS WAY  supports an easy delivery of its message – that we are born to be Ageless.  Easy-to-read print with generous margins & lots of empty pages for jotting down notes comments insights.  The integration of manifesto & background & workbook.  The progression of chapters.  The use of quotes & sidebars showcasing bits & pieces.  Opening with foreword by 40-something Sandra Yancey -and- ending with an afterword by 70+ Rick Moody, both mega thought influencers in their fields.

Most of all, am blown away by how Karen delivers her message ~ through a full mental massage. Going back to Rick Moody’s description, Karen interweaves “Herstory & history with mythology & modern-day story, trend-spotting, resources, and each chapter’s clarifying questions… ”  Each of those touches a different area of the brain, sparks different synapses to light up & illuminate once dark corners of understanding.  Through the information she presents & the way she presents it, Karen leaves us literally lit up from within.  Astonishing.

Like Mom writing about my wedding day, it is almost impossible to describe all that is in my mind & heart about reading THE  AGELESS  WAY.  The bottom line is that it is a remarkably wise insightful empowering book by a woman I described in my Amazon review as eerily Forrest Gump-like, on the forefront of so many moments issues movements wrapped around facing down & ridding ourselves of self-destructive ageism.

This is just the beginning of my Ageless adventure.  Now, it’s time to roll up my sleeves, get myself a new journal & work my way through the exercises at each chapter’s end. Look forward to hearing about my adventures!

Until then, get cracking & get yourself a copy of THE  AGELESS  WAY!  Pick up a copy to share with a friend.  Get a circle of your friends together to experience it together.  And share your comments HERE.

Karen wants her book to start a grand discussion – let’s make it so!

Rom-coms come of age

Reese Witherspoon & Bobby Goldman.  Fantasy v. fantastic fact.  Film v. stage.  In common – these are two stories that give the finger to standard romantic comedies.

HOME AGAIN  –   Reese Witherspoon stars in this just-released film, written & directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer, whose mother Nancy mastered romantic comedy when Hallie was still a toddler (It’s Complicated, Baby Boom, Something’s Gotta Give). But the daughter gives her story a decided spin away from her mater’s territory.

Home Again  is definitely a chick flick, but in this one the 40+ Witherspoon has a “hot & heavy romance with a younger man, and she doesn’t even apologize for enjoying it…  The woman is not some sort of creepy predator.  She’s actually just a woman & she’s appealing to a 27-year old man.”  No one would bat an eye if the roles were reversed, but in Hollywood this story probably came across to hardened script readers as way out there in fantasy land.

Reese disputes Home Again qualifies as romantic comedy (rom-com) – she’d call it a modern comedy, although I can’t figure out the difference.  She also has a bone to pick about the low ebb in films featuring women in genuinely lead roles.  “I grew up with Holly Hunter & Debra Winger & Diane Keaton & Goldie Hawn.  Where are the women who are the stars of their own movies?

Ah hem…  Those four actors have not slunk off to do community theater in Scarsdale or Pasadena.  They are right up there on the silver screen.  Along with Helen Mirren & Meryl Streep & Glenn Close.  So, come on younguns – films ARE being made with roles for strong female characters, they are just being written for mature women, not pre-menopausal chicks.


CURVY WOMAN   ~    Movies & the theater are paying attention to the richness of older female characters & actors.  Producers realize that they WILL bring in good audiences if the material matches winning performances.  How else to explain the success of Curvy Widow, an off-Broadway it about a 60+ widow facing the dating world.

Curvy Widow thrills me to my core.  Not because of plot line, songs or performances.  Because it shouts to the rooftops the qualities that hallmark so many 50+ entrepreneurs – her creativity is rooted in her personal experience (the death of her husband), necessity (to get past her devastated life), a willingness to take risks & to be wildly innovative.  All traits of older entrepreneurs!

The play’s material comes right out of Bobby Goldman’s personal experience.  Left  devastated by the death of her husband, playwright & screenwriter James Goldman (Follies,  A Lion In Winter), she seeks grief counseling.   Her therapist’s suggestion on how to move forward is echoed on stage – “Have sex.”  

As recently as the turn of this century, people would have squirmed at the thought of a joyfully sexually active 50+ woman.  (Some of my own contemporaries were shocked that my mother spoke tenderly of missing SEX with Dad.)  The new millennium saw an equally  new view of older women, showcased by Goldie Hawn & Susan Sarandon in 2002’s The Banger Sisters.  Over the past ten years, it’s been proved time & again that audiences were ready to consider Bill Nighy being swept away by Judy Dench.

Enter Bobby Goldman.

Bobby was telling a friend – who happened to work at Random House – about her online dating adventures (her handle – Curvy Widow).  The friend saw a great tale in her unconventional & exhilarating experiences.

Drew Brody, who wrote words & music for the show, heard about the Widow Goldman through a mutual friend & she sent him a writing sample from her Curvy Widow manuscript.  She was thinking “play” NOT musical.  When she heard his plans, she gave it an adamant thumbs down.  Brody was shocked at her response – he thought the material screamed MUSICAL!!  As attested to by the brisk ticket sales at the Westside Theater, he wooed & won the lady’s approval.

Veteran Broadway performer Nancy Opel could not resist a role in which she gets to play a 50+ woman embarking on a barrage of romantic encounters.  “Nobody writes shows about 50-, 60-year old women, unless they are crazy or terrible or drunk.”  Her character leads her male co-stars in a merry dance.

Art reflects life – the character of the husband dies in the the middle of the first number.  The audience gets a sense of his widow’s personality as she puts the charges for the funeral on her credit card, asking in wonderment, “You mean I could get miles?

Brody says that it was the first time he had to tone down a character – it seems that Bobby looms large.  And she makes no bones about preferring to date married men, although it leaves her dateless over holidays.  Her reasoning is simple – she finds widowers too needy & eager to return to old patterns.  (She does occasionally date single men, but not often.)

Bobby believes that a lot of 50+ women don’t want to give up the life they’ve carved out for themselves, want companionship but hold no desire for marriage.  It comes, for her at this point in her life, with too big a price tag – “I think I was a great wife because I did everything in the world for him.  I lost myself completely.”  Not any more.

Success comes with its own price, but one Bobby is willing to pay.  On a date at Peter Luger (sigh…  a dream destination of mine), the wait staff sent her over a bottle of Champagne, putting her date’s nose out of joint; he left.

I am sure she finished her steak (what else would you order at Peter Luger!?) & enjoyed every sensual bite. Bobby Goldman expects to have a good time & usually does.  Amen, sister!

This little light of mine

after a long morning & early afternoon doing things that were important that led to major eye strain & cramped fingers/hands, was delighted to find this story about the pixar lamp.

what if pixar had thrown in the towel when it was being brilliant but not bringing in money – yet.

they believed in what they were doing, knew the cost of being full-throttle innovative, had the confidence to do what seemed to many to be fairly whackadoodle.

they made people feel the relationship between two lamps.  my calling is to help them feel – FEEL – the relationship between each other, not elder to younger, not grandparent to grandchild or (sometimes way more challenging) parent to child, BUT living breathing feeling beings to living breathing feeling others.

this little light of mine will shine, with a little lamp to lighten my way, to remind me – whenever i see it peering at me from a pixar movie – that relationships between anything begin & end with silently told stories that convey what’s in the heart.

The last day of summer – writing prompt

My memories of Labor Day include Soap Box Derby races down Quarry Road, starting at the edge of Alnwick Road then plummeting down past Boro Park, skirting Cathedral Hill, scooting along the edge of Cairncrest’s meadows.  Each gravity-powered racer built by hand.

Back then, kids would have considered starting school before Labor Day nothing less than barbaric.  Labor Day Monday was the last full gasp of summer vacation, something to be fully savored & enjoyed.  It was the last day that the community pool was opened, the last day to connect with friends any time you wanted, to sleep as late as you wanted, to go bare foot all day – the last day of freedom.

Labor Day was when the high school & college dorm students at a local private schools were arriving in earnest – dorms opened the next day, while “townies” registered.  They’d show up at the races, old friends & new arrivals, all hob nobbing in Boro Park.

When I was very young, we had the Labor Day picnic in Boro Park; later, it moved up Buck Road to Pine Run Park.  Never felt the same to me – I missed the big shade trees.

This week’s writing prompt is your choice of several:

√   If you are old enough to remember school starting AFTER Labor Day, how did that last full day of freedom feel?

√   How are your current feelings about Labor Day differ from your younger years?

√   In addition to saying adieu to summer, Labor Day often brought the pang of friendships winding down, bidding farewell to summer romances, seeing friends & family head out for far away schools.   If you ever experienced Labor Day as a time of loss, what did you lose & how did it feel?  


What prompt would you suggest to honor Labor Day?