Category Archives: Culture

“Touch Me”

There’s an interesting incident near the end of David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus Infinite Jest that says a lot about how humans treat each other. It’s the story of Barry Loach, the head trainer at Enfield Tennis Academy. Earlier, Barry’s … Continue reading

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Relocating to a Retirement Community: “Settling In”

I recently read Richard Morgan’s 2006 book Settling In: My First Year in a Retirement Community. At age 74, Morgan, a retired Presbyterian minister, moved from Morgantown, North Carolina to a retirement community in Western Pennsylvania. He and his wife … Continue reading

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“Bring an Item That Holds Great Personal Value”

The psychology practice where I work part-time recently had a one day retreat. Everyone who attended was asked to bring a bag containing: 1) A favorite hat, scarf, or other personal item (tee shirt?) that you enjoy wearing 2) One … Continue reading

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Ageism Through the Ages

Ageism is prejudice or discrimination against those who are middle-aged or elderly. Psychiatrist Robert Neil Butler coined the term in 1969, but of course ageism existed well before that. What attitudes did people have toward the elderly a hundred or … Continue reading

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Aging Well the Puritan Way

Where should we look for models of how to age well? Who has a good understanding of what makes for good psychological, social, and spiritual functioning in old age? Well, how about the Puritans? That, at least, is where Maxine Hancock … Continue reading

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I Went to a Concert by Myself. So Can You.

Last month I went to a baroque music concert by myself. I’m not dating or married to anyone, and trying to find someone to go with me seemed too much trouble. The Grand Rapids Symphony did a marvelous job, as … Continue reading

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The Old Age Style

Some time ago I ran across an  article from 1972 on the style characteristic of elderly artists. The author, Kenneth Clark finds in their works several common features, which he identified as follows: “Now let me try to summarise the characteristics of the old-age style as they … Continue reading

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Success, Then Poverty: William McPherson’s Story

I recently wrote a post that alluded to the struggles of the working poor after they reach retirement age. It’s not just the working poor that spend their last years mired in financial difficulties, though. Consider the lot of a Pulitzer-winning … Continue reading

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Retiring Among the Like-Minded…Or Not

Ever since switching from full time to part time employment I’ve been thinking about what constitutes a good retirement. I’m sometimes surprised by who has something to say about the issue. Jack Dickey, a 24-year-old writing for Time magazine, put … Continue reading

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Retirement: “Do we have to do what we want to again today?”

I’ve recently been reading Learn to Grow Old, published in 1971 by Swiss physician Paul Tournier. Dr. Tournier practiced what he called the medicine of the person, an integrative approach to care of body, mind, and spirit that now would … Continue reading

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