Some of you know that three years ago, I went on an extended road trip for my sabbatical as Associate Professor at Hawaii Community College. I flew from Hawaii to Portland OR, drove down the West Coast, then across the South until I reached Florida, where I spent a month at this little cottage on the Gulf of Mexico before flying back to Hawaii. During that trip, I interviewed more than 100 women between the ages of 60 and 104.
The purpose of that project was to research women who redefine the conventional archetype of later adulthood in order to demonstrate that what was once considered the “washed up” years actually can be a rebirth of opportunity, creativity, and the ideal time for self-actualization. I wanted to find out why and how these women remained lively, engaged in world affairs, and were still out there “rockin’ it” at an age when others decide to sit at home and withdraw from the world.
My original intention was to write a book that extolled these “perennials” and to provide inspiration to other women, and to encourage younger women who either look forward to or worry about becoming “older.”
The long-awaited results of what I call “The Perennial Project” will be revealed within the next few months, not necessarily in a book, but in an online workshop for women of all ages.
What I need from you and your friends are ideas for what you would like to learn, hear about, or discuss about aging. Do you know young women who are concerned about what life will hold for them as they reach 60 and above? What would you like to know about how other women handle getting older? What specifics would you be looking for if you signed up for this workshop?
As loyal readers of my blog, I want you to be part of this process – and please invite your friends to comment. Please send your thoughts to me here on my blog or send an email to me at lavagarden at gmail dot com with your ideas.
A hui hou!