Taxis in Turkey

By Elizabeth Russell
Bio

Thinking about the place of elders in other cultures, I’m reminded of my days in Turkey. Although I wasn’t, by American standards, an elder (I was in late middle age at that time), I was considered so by the people in that culture.

My
first experience was in Izmir, Turkey, where I was teaching English at
Ege University. Some of the time, I took a dolmus (share taxi) to and
from the university. I had no problem getting a space in the taxi going
to the university because we lived at the beginning of the route, but
coming home was a different matter.

The first few times I was
waiting at the taxi stand, I noticed that the taxis coming by were full
and so I backed away from the stop. Then one

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It’s a Great Life!

During the five months I’ve been blogging, I’ve spoken with more than a hundred people in their 50s and older about their experience and views on aging. The resounding consensus is that life is great and getting better all the time. It seems to me this is indicative of a real transformation underway: instead of growing older being a story of ‘decline’, a couple of generations are starting to declare that the 2nd half of life might be the best half.

Here are a few of the common themes from

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Objectifying the Old

I just came across news of a humdinger of a research report from Georgia Tech
about how older people process information differently than younger
people depending upon whether they are in a ‘positive’ or a ‘negative’
mood. I have seen some pretty nonsensical conclusions reached by social
scientists and statisticians, but this is about a flaky as they come.

Granted I haven’t read the research itself, only a description of it which concludes:

"So it shows that the young and old are motivated by different goals and, therefore, perceive and process information differently because of the changes in goals across the lifespan,” said Blanchard-Fields.

Now my experience as one of the ‘old’ is

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Don to Earth

I don’t know if Don to Earth reads this, but if so I want to send him a belated 93rd happy birthday message. While I have never met Don and know him exclusively through his blog, I appreciate his mind, his wit and the clarity with which he communicates whatever is on his mind. I think he is an example of someone who is conscious and responsible for his age, but not limited by it. His

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Going For It

Don and Steve are executive coaches who specialize in working with clients approaching their “second half’ to create what is next in their lives. Sometimes this takes the form of starting new business ventures. Sometimes it has to do with preparing for post-retirement transitions. Now I know that ‘coaching’ has become a term all kinds of folks are selling (and not always with sufficient education or experience) but these guys are among the best. Don will be contributing to this blog in

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Hopi Wisdom

Some words of wisdom here shared over at Blog Disease from the Hopi Nation:

You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.
And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth. Create your community. Be good to

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Emptying the Nest

By Marilyn Kentz
Bio

Every time one of my kids left home, it broke my heart. But when the baby goes—the last one—it’s just so-o-o-o empty.

In
my case, the last to go was the vasectomy-reversal baby. That’s right.
I asked my husband to get a vasectomy, then I changed my mind. I was
38, and my first midlife crisis was beginning. At that same time, my
boys were just about to become nasty teenagers. So, when I was 38, I
successfully pushed my little daughter into this busy world and bought
myself 18 more years of motherhood.

We had an extra special
bond. I think it’s because I taught her to be just like me—shallow.

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I’m Your Man

I recently saw the film I’m Your Man, an acknowledgement concert for Leonard Cohen with a lot of great singers singing some of his best songs interspersed with an interview with the man himself. A nice tribute that gave me a bit more of a sense of him as a human being and the full extent of his contribution. One of the best parts of the film was his sharing that, for him, there were few or no regrets and very little concern or self-congratulatory thinking about what he has accomplished.

Not everyone

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My Father in His House of Logs

I was in a conversation the other day with some friends. It wasn’t long before we were bemoaning the ‘state of the world’. We moved from politics in Washington DC to global warming and the Middle East, then took on the environment, the media and the latest brouhaha about China shooting down a satellite. In a few minutes, we were feeling a bit of despair at the seemingly endless list of intractable problems, most of which are threatening our quality of life—if not the future of our

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Learning from Older People

I am thinking about all the things older people told me over the
years—don’t worry, relax, smell the roses, live life in the moment,
learn from your mistakes, and, above all, love other people and
yourself. Much of my life hasn’t been spent practicing these gems from
my predecessors. It’s been about struggling to do it right, doing it my
way, resisting anything I didn’t like, and (in one way or another)
controlling myself and other people.

Love,
when it appeared, was like a fleeting

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