Category Archives: Culture

Living in an Age of Accumulation

George Carlin may be right about a house being a place to keep our stuff, but, nowadays, we’re less inclined to leave home in order to get more stuff. That’s because more stuff regularly appears magically on our doorsteps while … Continue reading

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Seniors Without Savings

I’ve written previously about the difficulties faced by older adults who haven’t saved for retirement. For example, in this post from 2013 I wrote about the large numbers of Americans who will either have to delay retirement or work during … Continue reading

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An Art Show and an Old Friend’s Vocation

I recently went to an exhibit of paintings by Franklin D. Speyers, one of my college roommates. Frank currently has a show entitled “West of the Imagination” at the Center Art Gallery of Calvin College, the school where we both … Continue reading

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“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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