Sunday, May 22, 2016

Quotes About Aging: G through N

Photo by Raymond Zoller.
I have a treasury of quotes about aging that I have been sharing via Twitter since 2012.

Why not share these quotes here?

This is the second part in a series.

Note: I do not agree with all of these.

I do think that if a quote gets passed around, it contains elements that people should examine and discuss.

Which quotes should be promoted? Which contain assumptions about aging that should be challenged? Share your views in the comments.

G

I like to describe myself as a proudly visible member of the most invisible segments of our society -- older women. Cindy Gallop

There is still no cure for the common birthday. John Glenn

Old enough to know better and young enough to want to do it anyway. Stormy Glenn

I feel the tomb is just around the corner. And there are all these books I haven't read yet. Edward Gorey

Monday, May 16, 2016

Hello, My Name Is Doris: Film Review

Released 1 April 2016.
Hello My Name Is Doris has at least two themes, some of which contradict.

Does Doris encourage people to embrace chance? Or does she warn people not to venture too far outside the norm?

What did the entertainment journalists think?

Why am I surprised that the majority of entertainment journalists failed to get past the jaw-dropping kiss featured in this film's preview?

Before the film's general release, the two leads, Sally Field and Max Greenfield, addressed questions posed to them about this film.

After watching several interviews conducted during the press junket, I have concluded that entertainment journalists failed to scratch the surface of Hello, My Name Is Doris (2016).

Yes, this is a movie that plays up the comedy about a mature woman who becomes increasingly infatuated with a man about three decades younger than she.  Yes, people want to talk about the scenes filled with sexual tension.

After watching ten interviews that never got past the lead actors' 34 year age difference, I was frustrated by the lack of discussion about the film's themes.

Hello, My Name Is Doris is more than a comedy about a woman who fails to read social cues.  For me, it was an allegory about breaking free from the safety of a comfortable routine and discovering that growth and opportunity can happen despite limits imposed by others and limits imposed by self.

Remember The Accidental Tourist (1988)?  Like Macon (played by William Hurt), Doris has created a buffer between herself and the world by keeping to a strict routine.  Her reasons differ from Macon's but are also tied to a losses from the past.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

When Breath Becomes Air: Book Review

Published 12 January 2016.
Paul Kalanithi was both a man of science and a man of letters with a promising future when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. He had spent years training to be a scientist-doctor-author, only to find that his future largely erased by his cancer. 

Over the next 22 months, his life came into sharp focus as he tried to align his values with how he spent his dwindling time. 

The pages of his memoir make evident Kalanithi's three core values: develop the skill as a neurosurgeon in order to prolong life and quality of that life; read, write and think deeply about what it means to be human; and cherish loved ones.

As a retired English teacher, I particularly enjoyed how he found solace through the pages of literature. In years prior, Kalanithi not only studied biology and medicine, he also earned three degrees in literature and philosophy. His memoir draws on key passages from classic literature, helping him explore his thoughts and feelings. 


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Reinventing Myself at Midlife, Again

Newburgh, Indiana River Front. Photo by Karen D. Austin
When I was in my mid twenties, I spent a lot of time creating a life plan.

As I travel through life, I find that planning my life out 50 years ahead is futile.

Spending a lot of time thinking about the next 10 years or even the next 5 years ends up distracting me too much from current opportunities.

Now I visualize my life more in six months increments.  I might project a little further ahead, but I don't spend much time doing that, and those plans remain more ethereal.

Right now, I'm in a great state of flux.

I'm selling my Kansas house in May and moving to Indiana.

Not only do I have to manage a lot of pragmatics, I am managing emotional and conceptual aspects of my life.  A lot of my identity is wrapped up in my social connections and roles in various organizations.

By moving 600 plus miles away, I will have to reinvent myself. Again.