Workshop 1 – Understanding My Aging
Aging is, for each of us, a work in progress. During this session, participants will have the opportunity to:
- determine for themselves which topics need their attention regarding their own aging
- commit to taking action on at least two of those topics
Alive, Alive Oh! (2004) by Diana Athill
An esteemed editor, Athill has also won awards for her honest, forthright and funny take on aging and life. In this memoir, published when she was 98, Athill has included the story of her transition to a “home for old people.”
The Book of Eve (1973) by Constance Beresford-Howe
Set in Montreal, this novel tells a story of later-life liberation – its joys and its costs. One morning after breakfast, with her pension cheque and a few possessions in hand, 65-year-old Eve Carroll makes the decision to leave her husband of 40 years and indeed her life as she has known it.
The Virtues of Aging (1998) by Jimmy Carter
The former American president explains his book’s title this way: “...the virtues of aging include both the blessings that come to us as we grow older and what we have to offer that might be beneficial to others.”
The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully (2008) by Joan Chittister
A collection of Chittister’s short pieces, each looks at one aspect of aging, embracing “older age as a natural part of life that is both active and contemplative, productive and reflective, and deeply rewarding.”
No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters (2017) by Ursula K. Le Guin
Le Guin was an influential fantasy and science fiction writer, creating imaginary worlds over many decades. In her last years she became a blogger, using her blog as a forum for her witty and compassionate voice. Both social critic and storyteller, Le Guin’s book presents the best of her online writing.
Ninety Years Wise (2004) by Doris McCarthy
Artist McCarthy, summering at her cottage on Georgian Bay, responds to all those who ask for her secret. How are you so old yet so well? Happy? Productive? She insists there is no secret and instead invites the reader to learn of “the elements and attitudes that have added up to my zest for life and my joy in it.”
Gratitude (2013, 2015) by Oliver Sacks
Sacks was a medical scientist and clinician who lived life large. His eloquent and fearless writing about humanity, the uniqueness of all individuals, and his reflections on his own life provide treasured insight.
What Are Old People For? (2004) by William H. Thomas
Geriatrician and founder of the Eden Alternative, Thomas has written an accessible book that explores in detail the purpose for longevity and elderhood.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (2014) by Atul Gawande
Gawande presents eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family. Riveting, honest, and humane, Being Mortal shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life – all the way to the very end.
Did You Just Call Me Old Lady? A Ninety-Year-Old Tells Why Aging Is Positive (2016) by Lillian Zimmerman
An upbeat look at aging and the impacts of Canada’s increasingly aged population through the eyes of a ninety-year-old woman. Lillian Zimmerman gracefully, and often humourously, argues that long-livers are able to live fulfilling lives and make valuable contributions to society.