Participants came from all over the U.S. Most of the group had worked in a professional capacity, and some still were active in their careers. Among us were teachers, school administrators, college professors, doctors, psychotherapists, a filmmaker, a lawyer, and business people. All had a zest for learning that more than justified our title as “scholars.”
Certainly there are limitations to what is possible in housing and treating the frail elderly, but in "Being Mortal" we are offered some fascinating alternatives.
In confronting the senselessness of the things that had happened to her while at the same time figuring out what could create meaning in her life, my patient was able to leave room for doubt and exploration.
If you think of retirement as a wheel with many spokes, with some planning and networking you can create a healthy balance of health and fitness, family and relationships, lifelong learning, creating community, leisure time, travel, and spirituality.
Reflections on what contributes to resilience, the inner characteristic that pulls us out of the vortex of our own fear and guilt in order to let us live full and meaningful lives.
There is no quick fix for depression. We must choose to engage in life or retreat into the unhelpful behavior patterns confronting us.
A close friend facing the diagnosis of progressive memory loss asks me, “I’ve lived a good life. How is it this is happening to me?” A patient who suffered unspeakable childhood abuse asks, “I’m ready to love, but can I trust it not to hurt?”