We are living an average of 34 years longer than our great-grandparents—an entire second adult lifetime has been added to our lifespan. Although we live in a society where traditional myths about aging are routinely advertised and exploited, proof about a new wave of positive aging is rapidly gaining ground.
Neuroscience has emphatically shown that our brains continue to improve as we age, until, at around age 60, we are at our very best. How ironic that our socially mandated time of retirement coincides with this peak in our development. Yet this presents us with an extraordinary opportunity to recreate ourselves in ways that were never before possible. The big question is: How will we spend the gift of these additional years?
The Collaborative on Positive Aging (COPA), a community organization promoting positive aging in Sonoma County, addresses this topic in a year-long series of workshops titled "Planning for Your Longevity." This series continues through December with upcoming topics on the legal aspects of aging; meaning, purpose and legacy; spiritual living; and a final session looking back on the year and planning how to continue the work individually and together.
COPA believes that approaching the opportunities and challenges of aging with confidence, creativity and community support is a major key to best experiencing our senior years. If you would like help as you begin to create your own second adulthood, you are invited to join us in our workshop series where you can meet like-minded men and women who've chosen to create their own positive aging experience.
The workshops are held monthly in both Petaluma and Santa Rosa. All are welcome to participate in any or all sessions; a small $3 to $5 donation is requested per session. Details of dates, times, locations and a summary of each session can be found at www.councilonaging.com under the "Aging" tab.
Susan Nurse, is the committee chair of the Collaborative on Positive Aging.
Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write firstname.lastname@example.org.