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!

Rollright Stones

Stones – or rocks – have an interesting background. Many myths talk about the petra genetrix, or the Motherstone, that births heroes and saviors. The stony deserts of the Middle East have been called the “Gardens of Allah.”

On a trip through the Cotswold region of England, I was impressed with the mythology (and longevity) of the Rollright Stones. The picture above shows a circle of knights with their king. Read more about them here. They were built by late Stone Age people over 4000 years ago.

One of the Knights close-up

Stones often represent obstacles or a certain barren quality. Yet those same “stones” can be viewed as a source of our strength and stability. I am reminded of scripture that talks about the stone the builders rejected becoming the cornerstone of something greater. Throughout ancient manuscripts we find that much of what we consider worthless, is actually valuable.

One of my homes in Hawai`i where I lived for about ten years was on an acre of a particular type of lava rock known as a’a, a lumpy, rocky substance that blew out of the depths of our volcano. I had no problem calling my “pile of rocks” (in which very little grows) a “garden.” But there are many nutrients in the seemingly useless lava that somehow can nourish our plants.

Rollright King

One weighty scripture says that if we are kept quiet, if we are not allowed to speak, even the stones will cry out! It is time for us to cry out for basic human rights.

The rocks in my garden were tossed out by Madam Pele,  our Volcano Goddess. I like to think she was demonstrating outrage.

When we feel the least valuable, when we feel our voice is not heard, when others cannot speak for themselves, we must become transformed, reclaim our strengths, and cry out!

A hui hou!

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