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March 2005

In This Issue

  1. Mid-Course: A New Stage of Life
  2. Programs for Mid-Coursers
  3. See you at ASA-NCOA Conference
  4. Right on Kathie Lee Gifford
  5. Another Creative Ager
  6. Breast Cancer Survivors

A New Stage of Life

A new stage of life is emerging between midlife (focused on career and childbearing) and old age (diminished social involvement and frailty). This new stage can span several decades and is characterized by good health and an active, engaged lifestyle.

Awareness of this stage is relatively new and ill-defined, and there is a good deal of uncertainty on how to prepare for it. We lack the vocabulary to describe it, there are few institutions to serve it, and few role models exist that can show us the way.

Phyllis Moen, Sociologist at University of Minnesota calls it “mid-course” and describes it as, “the period in which individuals begin to think about, plan for, and actually disengage from their primary career occupations and the raising of children; launch second or third careers; develop new identities and new ways to be productively engaged; establish new patterns of relating to spouses, children, siblings, parents, friends; leave some existing relationships and begin new ones. As in adolescence, people in the mid-course years are thinking about and enacting role shifts that are both products of their past and precursors of their future life course.”

For more on Phyllis Moen read “Mid-course: Navigating Retirement and a New Life Stage,” in Jeylan Mortimer and Michael J. Shanahan, eds., Handbook of the Life Course.

Thanks to Civic Ventures web site www.civicventures.org for this information. ************************************

Programs for Mid-Coursers

Civic Ventures designed a program Life Options, now trademarked as The Next Chapter, to help adults approaching retirement age successfully transition to the next phase of their lives. Core components of the Next Chapter programs are: Life Planning, Meaningful Engagement through Employment and Service, Continued Learning for Enrichment and Retooling, and Connections to Peers and the Community. Programs are being launched in many states and in several different formats. Check their web site to find a program near you. www.civicventures.org/174.html

You might also want to attend their sessions at the ASA-NCOA conference March 10th in Philadelphia.

See You at ASA-NCOA Conference

The American Society of Aging - National Conference on Aging is happening in Philadelphia March 9-13. I will be presenting a workshop, Issues for the Healthy, Active Seniors on Friday and facilitating a roundtable on Creative Aging: Life Lessons Learned from Long Distance Hiking on Saturday. Stop in and introduce yourself. ************************************.

Right on Kathie Lee Gifford

I found it interesting what Kathie Lee of Regis and Kathie fame has to say about turning 50.

“You know I turned 50 a year and a half ago and I’m like, ‘Why am I so…happy about that?’ I think it has to do with the fact that could have the kind of life I wanted. It enabled me to take time – for the first time in my life –to do something right.”

She is now producing her first musical. “Our culture is saying to me, especially a woman in this industry, ‘It’s over for you. You, the women who are ovulating – step to the front!’ And I’m going, ‘You know what? I’m more creative now than I’ve ever been in my life.’ I have more to offer because of what I’ve lived.” ************************************

Another Creative Ager

Linda Carter from Roseville, California wrote me two years ago about her dream of going back to school. I told her that she was a youngster at 55 and should go for it…and she did. Last month Linda updated me on her progress. “I am over half finished now. I work full time, carry 9 credits a term and made the Dean’s List this semester. I am so empowered by my decision to move forward.” ************************************

Breast Cancer Survivors

I’m off to speak to breast cancer survivors enrolled in exercise programs at hospitals in the Columbus, Ohio, area. Sponsored by Mt. Carmel Hospital, the program will focus on the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle. As a two-year breast cancer survivor and an active cross-country skier, tennis player, hiker, and biker, I will enjoy my visit with these women. One of the questions on their minds is: How to work a regular exercise routine into your busy life once the class is over. That’s a concern we all have, isn’t it?

Abigail Trafford, former Washington Post columnist and author of My Tim, Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life, argues that the years 55 to 80 open up an unprecedented opportunity for growth unavailable to earlier generations.

************************************************** (People not wishing to receive this newsletter e-mail me at etkimball@aol.com and say delete) ************************************************** Make It Happen! with Emily Kimball Creative Aging Expert

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