It’s nothing new! We are growing older from the day we are born!

We are always growing older:

  • Babies grow into toddlers
  • Toddlers grow into teens
  • Teens grow into adults

On and on it goes until we finally are growing into our 60s or 70s or older. In the fall of 2024, I’ll be growing into my 90s – then my 100s a decade later, and life is still exciting to me. Who knows how many more decades I’ll get to grow into?

In “Learn with Lucy,” my featured course offering is “Growing Older with Gusto!” It was originally created to discuss how to head into our older years with gusto. That has become an “evergreeen” course, which means the course is available all the time and you can start whenever you wish. Check my website for more information.

What’s the next step in your journey? What do you look forward to – or fear? We are never too old or too young to discuss our lives with someone who has been there and can help us through the trickiness of each decade.

Are you wondering about:

  • college and a future career?
  • changing careers?
  • retirement?
  • marriage or staying single?
  • parenthood or not?
  • moving far away?
  • your messy midlife?

Beginning in 2024, I will offer individual and private mentoring in four one-hour sessions on how to “Grow Older with Gusto!” at any stage of your life.

If you want to learn more about this opportunity, comment on this post with your email, and I will respond. Your email will not be posted for the public to see. We can discuss your options – or if you live near Kailua-Kona, HI, perhaps we can meet over a cuppa to make plans.

Every day, I aim for the GUSTO! – and so can you!

A hui hou!

Climbing on my Soapbox

In one of my former lives, I worked with adults who had Downs Syndrome. One of the things my new friends emphasized to me is that they knew something wasn’t right with them, but that they were still adults, after all. They said the person who came in before I did, treated them like little children and taught them simple children’s songs like “Jesus Loves Me.” I taught them simple, but adult hymns like “All Things Bright and Beautiful” that they appreciated much more. We also did real art projects instead of cut-and-paste or glue-and-glitter. As one of them shared, “We aren’t in kindergarten!”

When friends or family members grow older and become childlike, it’s hard to remember they are still adults with a history, that they are not in kindergarten. Now that I’ve reached that age, I want to be treated like a woman who has accomplished a great deal in life, someone who is highly educated and still has something to contribute. Somehow, when people see me using a walker to get around, they automatically think my disability applies to my mental abilities as well. I don’t want to be treated as some drooling old lady who simply has mobility issues.

This past spring, I visited my 99-year-old aunt in the retirement home where she lives. One of the women who sat at our breakfast table lit up when I asked what her career had been. She’d been a history professor – and I doubt if a single caregiver in that place had any clue, or ever talked to her about it.

Years ago, I regularly visited a parishioner who had been a social worker traveling the world and had written books on her topic. But in her late 90s, she was bedridden and helpless. When I asked about some of the artifacts she had in her living room, her eyes brightened significantly! Not one soul had ever bothered to ask about her artifacts.

Another parishioner had been a Navy officer, never married and had no children, but she did have very selfish nieces and nephews. The minute she went into the hospital, with every intention of going back “home” later, they sold her house and everything in it. I remember her raising her fist and telling me, “Don’t ever get old!” She felt that life had become totally out of her control.

After my visit with my aunt, I realized how much she still had all her mental faculties. She was simply having a difficult time getting around (like me). I came away depressed from being around all these other “nursing home” people. My aunt had a college degree and had studied eight years of Latin, and yet at almost 100 (February 2024) had nobody to have an intellectual conversation with in her facility. I think she appreciated my visit more than I realized. Six months after my visit, I hear that she is showing signs of dementia, and I’m almost certain it’s because she has very little mental stimulation in her current living space.

I’m such an advocate for the elderly!!! They/We are simply cast aside because of so many misperceptions. We do not want to be invisible!

<Stepping off my soap box now>

A hui hou!

Too Old To Dream?

In the mid-thirties, The Night Is Young, a movie with Nelson Eddy and Irene Dunne, featured the song “When I Grow Too Old To Dream.” I suspect that most of you reading this will remember that song. I was a mere babe in arms at the time, but I know the song from having heard it over the years by various artists, including my parents.

That song floated through my thoughts the other day as I approach my birthday, and I decided Romberg and Hammerstein had those words all wrong!

The textbook out of which I taught a Human Development course at Hawai’i Community College categorizes the “young old” as 65 to 74, the “old old” as 75 to 84 and the “oldest old” as 85 and above. I won’t discuss my calendar age here, although I do admit to being over 65! In terms of the great site Real Age,  my physical age is about 10 years younger than my calendar age. Another fascinating site is Living to 100 where I learned that based on my health and lifestyle, I will live to 104, and with a couple of minor changes, I could increase that to 108.

So do you think I am too old to dream? Are any of us ever too old to dream?

I don’t intend to stop dreaming until they sprinkle my ashes over the ocean. And who knows? Maybe I won’t stop dreaming even after that.

Please! Let us not stop dreaming, just because we think we might be “too old to dream.” The world is full of dreams just waiting for someone with our talents, our openness, our persistence, our love – no matter our age.

Just for fun, here is the front of the old sheet music for the song.

A hui hou!


As older women we have traveled Joseph Campbell’s mythological “Hero’s Journey” many times in various aspects of our lives. Through our first three quadrants of that journey, we accepted challenges, faced “dragons” and at times were pushed to depths of despair. We learned how to manage the trials and temptations of life, and we developed new insights about our lives.

According to Campbell, this fourth quadrant of the journey we have taken is a time of self-realization, of self-actualization. In my dissertation of 1992, I wrote that the “hero of today dares to seek wholeness and fulfillment through finding new pathways to unknown territory.”

That is an excellent description of the Perennial women I interviewed on my physical journey, my road trip to interview older women. I discovered their insights, what they had in common, and what they are doing in the fourth quadrant of their life journey to stay fulfilled.

Now we are ready to rethink what we can or cannot do as we get older, as we engage in this fourth quadrant of life. Now we have emerged, ready to face anything required of us, ready to find or create “new pathways to unknown territory.” Now we are feeling empowered and blessed.

Would you share with us your ideas about exciting and energizing ways we can live this fourth quadrant? What are you doing?

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