3rd Act Magazine – Spring 2023

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Building a Better Future

Clarence Moriwaki’s Values-Driven Life Fuels his Third Act

10 Things

I’m Glad to Let Go

There’s Joy in Lightening Your Load

PUGET SOUND THE CARGIVERS JOURNEY How Can You Prepare? NAVIGATING GRIEF
the Loss of a Partner MEMOIR WRITING In the Time of a Pandemic
After

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Move-in

Spring Cleaning

What do you hold on to that no longer serves you? Opinions? Stuff? Resentments? Attachments? It can be hard to let things go—our youthful appearance, our status, our mobility, health, and people we love. Yet the longer we live, the more opportunities we’ll get to do just that.

Oftentimes loss, or the need to let go of something, is thrust upon us—a death, an accident, a diagnosis. But not everything is beyond our control or influence. There are many, many ways we can lighten our load, ease our burdens, and improve our quality of life by choosing to just let go.

We can choose to let go of our own internal ageism and not buy into society’s messages about how we should be, or act, or look at a certain age. Attitude is everything when it comes to how you think about aging. Many studies show that a positive attitude

toward aging leads to a longer, healthier life, and negative attitudes are tremendously detrimental to both. As our friend Tom, age 82, recently advised, “Don’t get old too soon.” He hasn’t. He skis, mountain bikes, entertains, maintains his five-acre property, and his 10-year plan does not include being incapable of living a full and satisfying life. Two lessons: He doesn’t sit very much and you get what you focus on.

In this issue I challenged our writers to explore what they need to let go. In her column “Nourish Your Body (page 58),” Rebecca Crichton reminds us that we can let go of a diet full of animal proteins, sugar, and refined carbohydrates—foods that don’t serve us or the planet. Hollis Giammatteo explores the roots of her need for things “to be the way I want it to be” in her essay, “The Perfect Family (page 40),” and her choice to let go of perfectionism. You’ll find this issue full of inspiration on what and how to let go.

In the process of letting go, we also need to embrace and focus on what is important to us—what makes us alive, what makes us thrive. Our cover story, “Clarence Moriwaki is on a Mission (page 50),” highlights the power of embracing a painful chapter in history and working to honor those wronged, while furthering his vision of a better world for all.

Spring cleaning—throw open the windows and let in the fresh air. Don’t you feel lighter already?

OUR VISION

Now, more than ever, older adults are viewing their retirement as a “Third Act” in their lives: A time for reinvention, connection, and engagement. 3rd Act Magazine is a bold, fresh, lifestyle magazine for older adults in the Puget Sound region. Our stories and articles challenge the worn-out perceptions of aging and offer a dynamic new vision: Let’s celebrate and embrace this stage of life, and age together with confidence.

PUBLISHERS

Victoria Starr Marshall

David Marshall

EDITOR Victoria Starr Marshall

COPY EDITOR Tina Potterf

ART DIRECTOR Philip K rayna

WEBSITE Philip Krayna

ADVERTI SING Dale Bohm

DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION

David Marshall

COVER PHOTO

Keith Brofsky

3rd Act Magazine wants to hear from you! Email your comments, ideas, and questions to info@3rdActMagazine.com or mail to P.O. Box 412, Brinnon, WA 98320

3rd Act Magazine is published quarterly by Oshi Publishing, LLC. The opinions, advice, or statements expressed by contributing writers do not reflect those of the editors, the publishers, or 3rd Act Magazine

Copyright ©2023 Oshi Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Oshi Publishing, LLC, P.O. Box 412 Brinnon, WA 98320

Email: info@3rdActMagazine.com

For subscriptions, advertising rates, and additional information, visit us at www.3rdActMagazine.com

2 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com
MESSAGE from the publisher
In this issue I challenged our writers to explore what they need to let go.
David and I have decided we can let go of taking ourselves too seriously.

Find connection and joy IN EVERYDAY LIVING

SENIOR LIVING THAT ENRICHES YOUR MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT

Era Living retirement communities help you stay engaged and connected—while covering the cooking, cleaning, maintenance, and more. Featuring intellectually rich activities, exquisite dining with healthy choices at every meal, inclusive exercise classes, meticulously landscaped gardens, beautiful common spaces with rotating original art, and the supportive services you need to thrive in place as your circumstances change.

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Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 3
more. Seattle, Mercer Island, Renton, Bellevue & Issaquah (206) 504-1976
eraliving.com/joy to learn
4 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com 56 PUGET SOUND THE CARGIVERS JOURNEY How Can You Prepare? NAVIGATING GRIEF After the Loss of a Partner MEMOIR WRITING In the Time of a Pandemic 10 Things I’m Glad to Let Go There’s Joy in Lightening Your Load Building a Better Future Clarence Moriwaki’s Values-Driven Life Fuels his Third Act COVER: Clarence Moriwaki, a thirdgeneration Japanese American from Bainbridge Island, Wash., leads a life of service, conservation, and passion. Photo by Keith Brofsky contents FEATURES 24 10 IDEAS I’M GLAD TO LET GO Letting go can bring joy and freedom. SALLY FOX 34 CAREGIVER’S JOURNEY First of a four-part series on how to make caregiving an effective and rewarding experience. JEANETTE LEARDI 42 WHEN THINGS CHANGE Ageism and socioeconomic status’ impact on quality of life. PRISCILLA CHARLIE HINCKLEY 46 MEMOIR WRITING IN THE TIME OF THE PANDEMIC Plumbing our pasts for stories, insight, and wisdom. ANN HEDREEN 50 CLARENCE MORIWAKI IS ON A MISSION What kind of things are we leaving for future generations? ANN RANDALL COLUMNS 8 AGING WITH INTENTION When is it time to let go? LINDA HENRY 10 THE VIEW FROM HERE At 101, from can to cannot to …? DORIS CARNEVALI 12 NAVIGATING GRIEF Reinventing yourself after the loss of a partner. MARILEE CLARKE 14 MIND THE SPIRIT Look ahead, not behind. STEPHEN SINCLAIR 40 32

18 BRAIN POWER

Hemispheric Gelassenheit— finding peace of mind as we age.

MICHAEL C. PATTERSON

20 ENLIGHTENED AGING

Slow down, you move too fast.

DR. ERIC B. LARSON

22 THE LIGHTER SIDE

Pull dates—what our refrigerators can tell us about ourselves.

ANNIE CULVER

LIFESTYLE

26 SHOULD YOU SERVE AS AN EXECUTOR?

Twelve considerations before you say “yes.”

JUDY ANN MICHAEL

36 TWO YOGIS WALK INTO A BAR… A memorable conversation on aging and activism.

YOUNGBEAR ROTH

40 THE PERFECT FAMILY

A choice to let go the desire for perfection.

HOLLIS GIAMMATTEO

54 MY THIRD ACT

Living tiny with freedom from the burden of excess.

KELLY MOELLER

56 TRAVEL LIKE AN ALASKAN

Take a vacation on an Alaska Marine Highway System ferry.

ANGELA MINOR

60 ON THE TOWN

Festa invites you into a world of cultures.

MISHA BERSON

WELLNESS

29 KEEP MOVING

Count your fitness victories.

MIKE HARMS

30 LOOKING TO STAY IN SHAPE? Your Medicare coverage can help.

JAGGER ESCH

32 THE BLOEDEL RESERVE: AN ANCIENT LAND OFFERS FRESH INSPIRATION

The healing benefits of nature.

CONNIE MCDOUGALL

58 NOURISH YOUR BODY

Get your protein from plants.

REBECCA CRICHTON

IN EVERY ISSUE

62 BOOKS

The Sage’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for the Second Half of Life

REVIEWED BY

MARILEE CLARK

64 BRAIN GAMES

Challenge yourself with these word puzzles.

NANCY LINDE

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 5
18 60
58

LETTERS

Reading

3rd

Act to the Blind

Hello! We, The Iowa Radio Reading Information Service for the Blind, read newspapers and other publications aloud over the radio. You can check us out at IowaRadioReading.org.

We also share our recordings with other reading services like ours nationwide. I love your publication!

We serve a little more than 11,000 print-disabled Iowans with our signal. The majority are seniors who experienced a vision loss later in life. Their interests are as varied as anyone else. I would love to serve up your content to them.

“Bless Them” Changed Me

I recently retired and began going to the Lynnwood Senior Center. Such welcoming people and so many options! I discovered your magazine and have enjoyed it very much. I recently read “Bless Them, Change Me,” by Stephen Sinclair (Summer 2022) and it really got my attention!

At first, I thought, “Oh no, just another article telling readers to ‘be nice,’ turn the other cheek, etc.” But now I fully use that phrase throughout my day! Whether it’s a driver (like the author, I am very proficient with honking. Ha!) or whenever someone irritates me. I slow down enough to give a little slack to that person’s situation.

talk to us!

by mail: 3rd Act Magazine, P.O. Box 412, Brinnon, WA 98320 by email: info@3rdActMag.com

Please include your name, city, state, and phone number when possible. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

www.3rdActMag.com 6 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023
Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 7 Not Available at Newsstands! Don’t miss a single issue! (But you can still order back issues if you did.) SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Go to 3rdActMag.com Only $20 a year or $28 for 2 years! PUGET SOUND SOUNDS OF HEALING Music for Mind, Body & Soul TECH TOOLS FOR OLDERS What’s Here Now, What’s Coming SUMMON YOUR SUPERPOWER Courage to Face the Future Your Own Supportive Community How to Create One That Meets Your Needs Ease Suffering, Add Joy Rev. Rick Reynolds Contemplates his Third Act PUGET SOUND THE BEAUTY OF AGING Reject Ageist Messaging FINISHING STRONG Map to a Purpose-Driven Life BEAT THE HEAT How to Stay Cool When It’s Hot Welcome to Elderhood Embracing Ritual To Honor Our Third Age My Grandma, My Hero A Life Well Lived Inspires Purpose and Change PUGET SOUND THE WRITE STUFF Writing for Health & Happiness LOSING OSHI Grieving the Loss of a Pet TAKING OFF OUR MASKS What are we hiding behind? In the Neighborhood of Love MISTER ROGERS, WE NEED YOU For Love of Earth ELDERS MUST COME TO THE RESCUE Tom Skerritt At 88, Imagination and Curiosity are His Touchstones for a Happy Life PUGET SOUND Our New Normal ADAPTING TO LIFE PROFOUNDLY CHANGED BY COVID-19 An Age of Vulnerability MOVE FROM FEAR TO EMPOWERMENT Sillman & Phillips CHAMPIONS FOR THE ARTS HUGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS Celebrating Human Touch BRACE YOURSELF Orthodontics for Every Age GOING PLACES AGAIN Safe Travel Options PUGET SOUND CONQUER YOUR SWEET TOOTH You’ll Feel Better and Age Better TAKE A SUNDAY DRIVE Day-Tripping in Western WA Beating Alzheimer’s THE LATEST SCIENCE ON TREATMENT AND PREVENTION Become a Citizen Scientist DISCOVER THE WORLD AND HELP IT, TOO Everyday Wonder How to Bring a Sense of Awe Back Into Your Life CAN’T SLEEP? Tips for a Better Night’s Rest PUGET SOUND ENTER STAGE LEFT Live Performances are Back SLOW MEDICINE Guard Against Overtreatment Passionate Purpose ADD MEANING AND JOY TO LIFE BY DOING SOMETHING YOU LOVE Turning Bombs into Trees GRIEF INSPIRED A LIFE LIVED WITH PURPOSE LeRoy Bell Rocks On At 70, He’s Having the Time of His Life HOW TO GET UNSTUCK Turn Bad Habits into Good RECONNECTING MEMORIES Tips for Improving Your Recall A FEAST FOR NORMALCY It’s Time for a Garden Party LIVING WITHOUT PAIN CBD Gave Me My Life Back Play! Dori Gillam Doesn’t Know How to Act Her Age Love in the Time of COVID A Late-Love Story Fun is Par for the Course Golf has No Age Limit PUGET SOUND Let’s PUGET SOUND PERILS OF DIABETES What You Should Know FIND YOUR INNER ARTIST Painting Made Easy DINNER FOR ONE (OR TWO) Downsizing Your Holiday Meal Washington Rhinestones HONORING SCHOLASTIC EXCELLENCE FOR 66 YEARS Holiday Giving INTANGIBLE GIFTS TO MAKE THIS YEAR SPECIAL Embracing Aging How Do You Feel About Getting Older? AGING WITH PRIDE GenPride serves LGBTQ Seniors THE OTHER BOOM Retirement Living Options Surge STROKE PRIMER Know the Signs Live Like You Mean It Don’t let Age Limit You A Whole New Place to Retire 3 Washington Towns Worth Considering Brain Power Join the Golden Age of Lifelong Learning PUGET SO UN D

When is it Time to Let Go?

Do you have a basket filled with things you know you need to release, but find it difficult to do so? I do. I am a keeper. I hold on to all sorts of things imagining that I may want or need them in the future. Truth is that we all need to let go not only of the tangible stuff, but the intangibles—the experiences and emotions we also carry. What is in your basket? Imagine each item is written on a piece of paper and placed inside. After removing them one at a time, reflect on each. Then, decide whether it is time to let it go. Do any of the following examples fit?

Expectations

Linda Henry writes regularly on topics related to aging, health care, and communication, and is the coauthor of several books, including Transformational Eldercare from the Inside Out: Strengths-Based Strategies for Caring. She conducts workshops nationally on aging and creating caring work environments. Her volunteer emphasis is age-friendly communities.

Many of us have a deep-seated desire to age-in-place where we have lived, raised a family, and developed friendships. We fully expect where we live will be our decision. And yet, health and mobility issues often force us to choose a different path. Difficult yes, but planning for the “what if” scenarios allows us to make decisions in advance before there is a crisis.

I applaud my friend Jennifer who is facing deteriorating health and mobility issues. Even before choosing a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), she and her husband began eliminating unwanted household items by gifting them to their family or donating them to community organizations. By beginning this process now, they can look forward to the future with anticipation and less stress.

Unresolved Issues

Many of us carry around never addressed issues. Maybe it’s our own guilt or anger at another. Years ago, a friend unintentionally revealed a secret a close friend had shared. Although she didn’t intend to be hurtful and apologized, their friendship was shattered, a lingering sadness that continues to this day. In the face of ongoing self-criticism, licensed marriage and family therapist Lisa Olivera advises that you treat yourself as you would a friend, offering self-compassion and kindness.

Doug became an engineer because that was his father’s occupation. However, Doug did not like engineering. Though he had his degree, he returned to school, choosing a career that led to work he loved. Although successful, he never believed that his father was proud of him, carrying his resentment well into his 70s.

Loss

Rebuilding a new life after the loss of a loved one is hard. Give yourself permission to live, love, laugh, and be happy again without feeling guilty, recommends pastor and clinical psychologist Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk. Being happy does not mean we have forgotten the past.

Letting go may require us to forgive ourselves or others. While there is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed, forgiveness calms stress levels leading to improved health, says Karen Swartz, MD, Director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Undoubtedly, there will always be things we carry around needing release. Maybe, like spring cleaning, we should examine the content of our baskets annually and let go of what is not helpful.

8 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com
AGING WITH INTENTION
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From Can to Cannot to…?

There’s no question that we agers come into post-adulthood with a wide variety of things we can do given the range of capabilities, knowledge and experience we’ve already developed. There’s also no question that each of us will experience normal age-related changes (ARCs) that alter our capacities even as requirements in daily living remain.

Some of us will develop one or more of the pathologies common to aging that not only impinge on our aging organs, and thus our capacities, but also add requirements to daily living as well. And then there are the traumas that can suddenly befall any of us and steal who-knowswhat capacities. The result is that gradually, or sometimes suddenly, things we could do almost without thinking become increasingly difficult, even risky. And still the requirements of daily living go on. Besides, there are things we just want to do. We’re still going and going as aging, if slowed-down, energizer bunnies.

It becomes increasingly obvious—even to the most stubborn, obtuse of us—that something has to change. We can:

• Give up on some things and mourn the loss.

• Get someone to do them for us if that’s possible.

• Figure out ways to change the task to make it doable, such as split into smaller bits, adjust the timing to our “best” time of day, or visualize different ways of doing them.

• Consider a similar substitute, or even acceptably different that is within our current abilities.

At 101, I’ve used each of these approaches, but had the most pleasure and feeling of achievement when I found different ways to do a particular activity. I’ll admit that I’ve been advantaged in remaining healthy, living on the main floor of my own home and having both family and a few friends who are comfortable in helping out. But it’s still left

me with more than enough challenges. What is available is time and a great recliner in which to ponder.

There’s time to go to my ponder-chair, consider the current task that’s becoming difficult or risky, and start figuring out what’s still possible. It’s become necessary for me to write the ideas down as they occur because the short-term memory ARC causes them to fly out of my head in a flash with no idea when or even whether they might return. (Actually, this is a personal example of can→cannot→adaptation adventure.)

Each of us will have to figure out what’s possible at any given time. But, just thinking of and trying out an adaptive approach is both harmless and painless. So, what’s to lose? And like any skill, it gets easier with practice. Besides, the ideas sometimes are really funny, and goodness knows we can stand a bit more fun and sheer goofiness in our lives. These adaptive adventures are causing me to become even more widely adventurous. Still green and growing.

Doris Carnevali, emeritus faculty of the University of Washington School of Nursing, is author of several books on nursing care planning. In 2017, she launched her blog Engaging with Aging, offering tips and insights on adapting to changes as we age. To date, her blog has reached viewers in at least 109 countries.

www.3rdActMag.com 10 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 THE VIEW FROM HERE
Gradually, or sometimes suddenly, things we could do almost without thinking become increasingly difficult, even risky.

LET GO OF THE SPACE, HOLD ON TO THE MEMORIES

The thought of moving from your home is daunting. In my 25+ years working in the senior living industry, I’ve never had someone walk though the front door yelling, “Yea! I made it to a senior living community!” However, after about three months or so, I do hear most of the people state, “I wish I’d done this sooner.”

Moving can feel like you’re giving up years of memories and good times. Your daughter took her first steps there in the living room. Your son fell and broke his arm riding his bike in the driveway. You’ve had the family around the dining room table to celebrate birthdays and holidays.

It’s natural to feel sad or nostalgic when leaving a home that holds so many memories. However, it’s important to focus on the positive aspects of the move and the many benefits that a senior living community can offer. These communities are designed to meet the unique needs of older

adults and can provide a variety of services, such as assistance with daily tasks, access to healthcare professionals, and transportation to appointments. Many communities also offer a range of recreational activities and opportunities for lifelong learning, which can help keep you active and engaged. And you’ll make so many different, fun memories with your new neighbors and friends which will maintain, and even strengthen, social connections.

As we age, it can be difficult to let go of the familiar and move to a new living situation. However, for many, transitioning to a senior

living community, such as Quail Park of Lynnwood, can be the best decision for their overall health, well-being, and quality of life.

It’s important to remember that these communities are designed to support and enhance the lives of their residents, not to diminish their autonomy. Many offer a wide range of activities, amenities, and services that allow residents to maintain their independence and live fulfilling lives.

In the end, the decision to move to a senior living community is a personal one and will depend on your individual circumstances and needs. While it can be a difficult decision to make, it’s important to remember that making the move can lead to an enhanced quality of life and peace of mind.

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 11
Call Today to Schedule a Tour or For More Information Quail Park of Lynnwood 425-329-6591 QuailParkofLynnwood.com SPONSORED CONTENT

Reinventing Yourself After the Loss of a Partner

It was not a club I ever anticipated joining. I am in that unenviable category of having lost one’s partner far too early and realizing that the life we envisioned together is not to be. In the middle of all the sorrow and just trying to get through the day, I knew I had to let go of that imagined life, and that reinventing myself at age 66 was going to be a challenge.

What about all those dreams and plans and adventures that had been ahead for us? I am here to encourage anyone who’s lost their partner to forge ahead with as many of those plans as you can. Grab a friend, a sibling, a grown child, or even a grandchild if you can’t envision yourself doing things alone. Challenge yourself to not give up on those dreams. And here’s

the silver lining—you will enrich yourself and anyone else that comes along for the ride. I am honoring my husband by taking the 21-day tour we had planned before he died on my own.

Another startling discovery for me in this new solitary life is the abundance of time. In my married life, so much time was taken up with what we did together. Suddenly, all I have is time and at first this seemed overwhelming. I have learned that solitude, and even melancholy, can be powerful, positive forces. I now take one day at a time and set five simple daily goals. Each day I try to do something kind, something healthy, something creative, something spiritual, and something to expand my mind. I schedule events and trips

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CLARKE
NAVIGATING GRIEF
“So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —MARK TWAIN

farther out on the horizon to have things to look forward to, and with encouragement from a good friend, try to “say yes to everything.”

Now with a future that initially felt too vast, I have the opportunity to spend more time with my children and grandchildren, visit with friends, participate in new volunteer activities, and embrace solitude. For me, this realization brings a surge of energy. In its wake I am reconsidering longheld personal dreams, and making a “bucket list” of things I still want to do, even if it is on my own. For example, writing had been a longoverlooked passion and I don’t believe I would be writing articles for this outstanding magazine today had I not lost my dear husband.

“…being

I close with encouraging you to try something you never thought you would or could do. Maybe, like me, it is a creative endeavor such as writing, art, or music. Don’t ever underestimate the healing and energizing properties of creative pursuits. Or maybe it’s taking a trip by yourself or reconnecting with family and friends, particularly those who are single. Be bold. And, by all means, try something!

of time.

Marilee Clarke lives in Issaquah and loves the Northwest’s natural beauty. She is a collage artist and her passions include travel and anything creative. She and her late husband taught a course at Bellevue College on “How to get the most out of your retirement years” and that is just what she’s doing!

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 13 IMMERSE
YOURSELF IN NATURE
present in nature elevates and nurtures the human spirit, heals hearts and minds, and enriches our communities, and our world.”
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Another startling discovery for me in this new solitary life is the abundance

Look Ahead, Not Behind

As a religious professional it’s always been important for me to share my own struggles with those who have come to me for assistance, so they know that I, too, deal with many of the same issues they are experiencing.

All of us, at one time or other, can find ourselves stuck and unable to move forward because we’re unable to let go of the emotional baggage we’ve accumulated over the years. Living in the past restricts our ability to have a future we would like—one filled with love and happiness.

I’m still finding it difficult to accept the fact that I’m no longer engaged with the world in the same way as I was pre-retirement. I keep wanting things to be how they were in various other periods of my life, times when I felt I had more agency and the ability, at any time, to create a different future for myself.

Ruminating on the slights that have been done to us, the mistakes we’ve made, and our perceived failures saddles us with a host of negative emotions that create an impediment to being fully present.

The past can be like a prison cell, in that we are locked in a confined space, unable to leave and venture out into the world.

For many people, being stuck in the past seems like a safer place than being in the here and now. It’s known as well as predictable. It’s also what restricts one’s prospects for a rewarding life and a better tomorrow.

In a well-known story from the Hebrew scriptures, God tells Lot, the nephew of Abraham, that he’s going to destroy the town in which Lot and his family have taken refuge. Right before this is to happen, two angels admonish Lot to take his family and “Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere or else you will be consumed.” They take heed, but Lot’s wife stops and looks back. She’s turned into a pillar of salt.

Instead of looking ahead to what she was going toward, and perhaps fearful of what awaited her, she looks back at what was known and becomes immobilized. At times we all

14 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com MIND THE SPIRIT

can be like Lot’s wife, attached to the past and apprehensive about the future.

All the emotional burdens we carry around with us causes suffering. It’s difficult to have a healthy relationship with a partner when we still have anger toward an ex. The shame and remorse we feel for having done something awful to another person becomes a barrier to making new friends. The unresolved grief we have over the death of a loved one overwhelms us with sadness.

The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” I think many of us can relate to that. We start identifying with our suffering—it becomes who we are and perhaps makes us feel unique. As long as we live with our suffering, we don’t have to face our fears of who we might be without it.

Buddha taught that life is not ideal. It frequently fails to live up to our expectations. Our desires and preconceived notions about life often do not align with reality. The antidote for this is to practice nonattachment—to take actions while letting go of the results.

We must let go of the past and accept where we are right here, right now.

So, ask yourself: What obstacles are keeping you from living your best life? What are you holding onto that keeps pulling you back into the past? What’s weighing you down emotionally?

Look at your answers. What will it take for you to let go of these things?

It’s been my experience that to let go we must first accept everything that happened in the past. We then need to forgive ourselves for the part we played in these things, and then ask those we’ve hurt to forgive us.

Once we take these steps, we’ll feel a weight lifted from our shoulders. The past will just be the past. We’ll live in freedom and have a future filled with peace and joy.

Stephen Sinclair lives in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Earlier in his life he enjoyed a career in show business while working out of New York and Chicago. A career as an ordained Unitarian Universalist parish minister and a hospital chaplain followed. Most recently, he worked with the homeless, and is a weekly volunteer visitor at the Monroe Correctional Complex.

HERE, IT’S ALL ABOUT PEOPLE.

Being together has never meant more. And Fairwinds –Brighton Court gives residents enriching and soul-filling social connections—from a warm and caring staff, to daily group events, and friend-making moments. All tailored to each individual, in the safest environment possible.

There’s more to life at fairwindsbrightoncourt.com.

spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 15
6520 - 196th St SW Lynnwood, WA 98036 425-374-1830 fairwindsbrightoncourt.com
16 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com For the Best Writing on How to Age with Confidence 3rdActMag.com There are 25 terrific articles in this issue of 3rd Act Magazine. There are 1,000 terrific articles on 3rdActMag.com. Why Limit Yourself?

Light and Happy

Letting go of possessions can be one of the most freeing things we do in life. It can also be one of the hardest. But as we grow older, choosing to let go with grace can make all the difference in our own happiness.

At CRISTA Senior Living, we often hear from new residents that letting go of a large house and yard has given them freedom and more energy to visit with friends, engage in creative endeavors in our art and woodworking studios, and pursue new interests.

When it is time to move into a senior apartment, it usually means downsizing, and that means letting go. Here are some tips to make that process easier:

1 Find someone supportive and strong to help you decide what to keep and what to let go.

2 Take a good look at your new apartment and measure the space so you have accurate information about what furniture you can and cannot bring.

Choosing light, smaller pieces will make your new living space roomier and easier to move in.

3 If your meals will be provided, bring just a few settings of your favorite dishes, along with some silverware, cups, and glasses. Let your kids take over

the holiday cooking. You’ll likely need only one pot and one pan for your daily needs.

4 Bring two sets of your favorite bedding and towels to maximize comfort and minimize storage.

5 Look around your home and tune in to your emotional responses. We all have certain colors and shapes that make us feel happy. These are the things you want to keep.

6 Set aside the things you are keeping and offer the rest to your children and grandchildren. Then offer the remainder to friends.

7 Sell the rest in a garage sale or on Facebook Marketplace. Make your prices fair and add OBO (or best offer) and you may be surprised at the money you make.

8 Donate the rest to a worthy cause such as The Salvation Army or a homeless shelter. With a lighter load, you are ready to move into the next chapter of your life with a spring in your step, ready for adventure and new beginnings.

CRISTA Senior Living is home to seniors 55 and older, with two campuses located in the Puget Sound and customized to suit your lifestyle. Cristwood, our Shoreline campus, is a Christian Life Plan Community, with apartment living options for independent lifestyles, to assisted living and memory care. Crista Shores, our Silverdale campus, offers apartment living options for an independent lifestyle and assisted living on the beautiful Dyes Inlet waterfront.

If you would like to speak to one of our senior living experts, please call us today at 206-546-7565 or visit cristaseniorliving.com

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 17
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Hemispheric Gelassenheit Finding Peace of Mind As We Age

Ihope to cultivate greater peace of mind as I live out the last few years of my life. Many aspects of our lives spin out of control, but we should, at least, be capable of managing the workings of our minds. I have recently discovered two important concepts that, when merged, provide a mind management strategy for achieving greater clarity and equanimity.

The first concept was initially proposed by the medieval Christian mystic Meister Eckhart, and is captured by his term “Gelassenheit,” which is often translated as “releasement.” The root word is lassen, which means to let something happen, to allow, or to leave something be. Eckhart used the word to describe his mystical approach to Catholic worship, which involved letting go of intellectual and scholarly approaches to finding God, and replace them with direct experience of the divine. He extricated himself from religious doctrine and adoration of written scriptures and opened himself to intuitive experience of the divine. Gelassenheit, more generally, describes the dynamic interplay between a polarity of opposites—a letting go of one thing automatically opens the door to the embrace of something else.

The second strategy is the hemisphere hypothesis, a broad and robust area of inquiry by the scholar and philosopher Iain McGilchrist.* The key point for my purposes is that the two hemispheres of our brain are semi-independent and think in very different ways.

When the two hemispheres collaborate under the guidance of the right hemisphere (RH), which sees the big picture of direct experience, our minds operate well. Unfortunately, the left hemisphere (LH), which creates a virtual reality representation of reality, has come to dominate modern civilization. Consequently, we become confused and conflicted because our view of reality is distorted and detached from real experience.

“hemispheric gelassenheit” strategy. In broad terms, the strategy is to release our mind from the virtual reality distortions of the LH, as we open our minds to direct experience of real life as mediated by the RH. How might we put the hemispheric gelassenheit into action?

Combining the gelassenheit process with the guidance of the hemisphere hypothesis provides us with a reasonable game plan for cultivating greater peace of mind. I’ll call it the

Fortunately, there are a few simple, straight forward activities that rebalance hemispheric influence in favor of the RH. Aerobic exercise does the trick. When you hike, jog, swim, bike, or engage in any kind of continuous exertion, your LH shuts down so your RH can focus on the body’s interaction with the

18 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com BRAIN POWER
“Many aspects of our lives spin out of control, but we should, at least, be capable of managing the workings of our minds.”

environment. Experiencing the awe of the natural world also brings RH sensibilities to center stage. Playfulness and creativity, listening to music, dancing all quiet the LH and engage the RH.

Alan Watts, who masterfully brought Eastern wisdom to Western audiences, quipped that, “We need to lose our minds to come to our senses.” We don’t, of course, need to lose our entire mind. The trick to finding peace of mind, or enlightenment, is to quiet the LH chatter and let the RH pay full attention to direct sensual engagement with real experience. Stop living inside

our rational brains and return to direct experience of life.

There are also structured disciplines that are designed to practice the hemispheric gelassenheit. Regular meditation practice, for example, trains the mind to let go of LH chatter and to ground ourselves in the direct experience of breathing, or feeling our body, which engages the RH.

Zen “koans” are training techniques designed to stimulate insight by being inscrutable. To a question such as, “What is the meaning of life?” a Zen master might respond with the question, “What is the sound of one hand clapping? or the statement “Wash your rice bowl.” The LH can’t make sense of these koans using logic and literalism and eventually the RH, which is more comfortable with ambiguity, takes over. The RH may then recognize that thinking about the meaning of life is a fruitless endeavor. The meaning of life is found in living life. You are already doing it. This is it!

There also appear to be more dramatic and rapid-fire methods of achieving the hemispheric gelassenheit. I believe, for example, that people who experience a socalled mystical experience are, in fact, suddenly thrust into a new state-ofconsiousness, one nearly devoid of LH influence.

Neuroantomist Jill Bolte Taylor, for example, suffered a LH stroke and for eight years lived exclusively through her RH. She says, “My consciousness shifted into a perception that I was at one with the universe. Since that time, I have come to understand how it is that we are capable of having a ’mystical’ or ’metaphysical’ experience—relative to our brain anatomy.”

People who have spontaneous mystical experiences consistently

report feeling a dissolution of self and a happy merging with some greater and grander conception of existence.

Modern research into psychedelics is now making a mystical experience available to anyone who manages to arrange a guided trip on psilocybin or other psychedelic drugs. Serious researchers are reporting numerous medical and emotional benefits that regularly result from the use of psilocybin. These include the dissolution of self, and a profound sense of meaning and purpose brought about by unity with something larger than ourselves. This sounds like a hemispheric gelassenheit to me. The mystical experience of a psilocybin trip leaves people with a deep sense of calm, with peace of mind.

I am convinced that the hemispheric gelassenheit strategy can help individuals find greater peace of mind. And further, I believe the strategy could help us move society toward greater sanity and peace. The strategy would involve freeing ourselves from destructive LH approaches to political, economic, and social concerns, and replacing them with kinder, more compassionate RH approaches. But this is a topic for another time.

*The hemisphere hypothesis and its myriad implications is expounded by Iain McGilchrist in his two majestic books: The Master & His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (2009), and The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (2021). You can learn more about McGilchrist at his website: www. channelmcgilchrist.com.

Michael C. Patterson is an author, teacher and consultant who specializes in promoting successful longevity, living long, and living well. He explores his ideas about the hemispheric gelassenheit on the Mind Over Muddle series of the MINDRAMP Podcasts. Learn more about Patterson’s work with MINDRAMP at www.mindramp.org.

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 19

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

The rejoinder to the opening words of the 1966 hit about “Feelin’ Groovy” might be different for many of us agers who once grooved to that tune. Rather than, “you got to make the morning last,” we might say instead, “make the evening last,” or “the third act last.”

Everything we do as we age depends on functions that slow over time—our natural walking speed, reaction time, the speed of memory recall, thought, and more. Logic says that when we slow down, we inevitably get less done. So, what can an enlightened ager do?

Abundant research studies document that those who age well tend to narrow their focus to activities that are most highly valued, cutting away the less important or non-essential. They let go! But there’s more.

When faced with age-related slow down, accept it, adjust with changed expectations, and compensate to avoid catastrophes. A classic example is preventing falls—it’s wise to avoid moving too fast or trying to simultaneously do two or three things at once. Avoid slick or cluttered surfaces, and maintain or develop an exercise habit. For older persons that habit could include balance exercises to help compensate for slower reaction times to avoid falls from trips or slips. Likewise, common sense dictates that it’s

wise to not move too fast in finance and business transactions, or in making changes about relationships. Take your time in both old and cherished relationship and new ones that involve commitments.

Slow down, don’t move too fast but keep doing: Physical activity, including calisthenics, can minimize decline or reverse it after a setback or when unacceptable decline occurs, and rehab is needed to regain strength or stamina. The same is true with cognitive calisthenics, especially active ones like word puzzles or writing. As a partially retired clinical researcher, my cognitive calisthenics include being a critical reviewer of reports, research papers, or grant applications— a form of brain exercises for me.

The bottom line for me is that while “Enlightened ” agers accept that we don’t function at the same speed as we did when we were younger, we also don’t let age-related change knock us off kilter. We try to “keep on trucking.”

As I wrote this essay, I was reminded of examples involving couples climbing or hiking to relive important events from their young lives. Thirty years ago, on a hut-to-hut hiking trip in Norway, I raced pass an older couple climbing the country’s highest peak, Galdhøpiggen. Moving very slowly, they were celebrating their lives together with a climb they had done when they were young newlyweds. Then this year’s holiday card from dear friends celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary by reliving their honeymoon backpack in the high Sierras with a short day hike. This year they even plan a short backpack trek. My friend wrote, “We’ll be slow but hopefully safe, and we’ll have climbing poles, which we didn’t have 60+ years ago.”

So slow down to focus on what’s important to you and your loved ones. You may need to let go of some things and dare not move too fast but if you don’t stop, you’ll have a better chance at “feelin’ groovy.”

20 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com ENLIGHTENED AGING
Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, is the author, with Joan DeClaire, of Enlightened Aging. He is the founding principal investigator of the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study, ongoing for about 30 years. ACT recently was awarded a $55.6 million expansion grant from the National Institutes of Health.
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Facing up to your weaknesses is never easy. Letting go of them? Even tougher.

I’m reminded of the fellow I knew nearly four decades ago who gingerly wheeled a sofa footstool up to my refrigerator, opened the door, and settled into prowl.

“Wow,” he exclaimed, as he grabbed jar after jar to have a closer look. “This is a veritable pâté graveyard!”

“There isn’t any pâté,” I protested.

“Maybe not, but look at all this,” he hooted. “Is it OK if I taste some of what’s in here? Could you hand me a spoon?”

“Sure,” I shrugged, wary of all the attention my fridge contents commanded.

made a list of what had been hanging out the longest. Add to all that an unopened, yet refrigerated, bottle of raspberry, calorie-free, sugar-free, fat-free, gluten-free, cholesterolfree vinaigrette, expiration August 2020. What possessed me to buy it in the first place? It should’ve been free!

Six years in storage surely won’t age those exotic soft drinks like fine wines. Some of them, especially that vintage Japanese Calpico and Hawaiian Sun guava nectar are loaded with sweet travel recollections. Just seeing the likes of them lined up in the fridge door revived those adventures with a pleasant sigh.

“Get real,” I told myself. “A refrigerator is no place to stash memories.”

Au contraire. My homeowners insurance policy declarations include coverage for “refrigerated spoilage” and, unlike the rest of the policy

22 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023
What our refrigerator can tell us about ourselves

and no premium. Think of it—fridge delectables, all insured—if the fridge goes kaput.

Best not to get too cocky and start loading up that fridge with a bunch of pricey gourmet oddities thick with reverie no matter what their expiration. Along comes the U.S. Department of Agriculture with advice from its Food Safety and Inspection Service that I discovered

on the EatingWell website.

Those Manzanilla olives from 2020? I pitched ’em. I can’t quite believe the USDA says an open jar of olives only keep two weeks! Even pickles have just one to three months once open and refrigerated. Mayo and salad dressings only have two months. And my Toady’s horseradish had a life of three to four months, hardly long enough to become wellacquainted.

Freezers are another chilly challenge. The USDA says everything crammed in a freezer like mine has only three to four months before it loses its spunk. If it hangs out in there for more than six months, better say bye-bye, even that fish a friend caught a year ago.

Moving right along to the pantry,

where at least rice and pasta can last years. There’s some joy and relief in that.

Did you know flour has a shelf life? I guess I don’t bake often enough these days because my flour bag says it expired in August 2021. Eight months is all the freshness the USDA promises for flour. You can give it a smell test, though, if you have a big schnozzola like Jimmy Durante. He probably had the best nose to detect bad flour and a lot more.

Annie Culver developed a knack for unearthing oddball characters and improbable events as a staff writer for various newspapers. In the early 90s, she went to work for websites where she wrote sassy essays aimed at women. In recent years, she morphed into a writer for several universities in the Northwest. She retired in 2016, yet still enjoys freelancing.

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My homeowners insurance policy declarations include coverage for “refrigerated spoilage” and, unlike the rest of the policy provisions, there is absolutely no limit and no premium.

10 Ideas I’m Glad to Let Go

Letting go as we age can bring a host of emotions.

When I lose a friend, I feel sad. But I feel confronted when I’m forced to give up the backpack that has sat unused in the attic for the past 30 years. Am I ready to admit that my days of backcountry hiking are over? Sometimes, letting go can bring joy and freedom when I chuck ideas I would never have chosen anyway. Here are 10 that I’m ready to leave behind:

still grow without critiquing myself for every blooper. Eliminating negative self-talk takes some practice, but it’s worth the effort! 3

Entitlement. I am letting go of this one because 1) It’s incredibly ugly and 2) It’s so last century. Entitlement means believing that my

people are better than yours—and that the world needs to arrange itself to fit my needs. The world never signed on for this, and life becomes richer when I stop believing that things should “go my way.” Without the burden of entitlement, I can explore and enjoy the world as it is.

4 Waiting to dance. I used to hold back before stepping onto an empty public dance floor. I didn’t want to look “conspicuous.” But at age 71, I ask myself, why not? Do I think things will be more conducive to my self-expression next year? Or that my butt will be slimmer? Both are unlikely. If I want to dance—and I do—I have to stop waiting or trying to hide. As I think about it, I’m also letting go of hiding.

1

Saying “Sorry.” This might be a woman thing, but I’m so done with offering apologies to jerks who inconvenience me. The word “sorry” can still work for heartfelt apologies and showing compassion, as in “I’m so sorry for your loss.” But no more kneejerk sorrys to the dude who ran into me while crossing the street texting, or the bicyclist who practically knocked me over while riding in the walkers-only lane.

2

Self-judgment. This is one of the GREAT gifts of getting older. We’ve all been given a free pass with the words “there are no shoulds” on one side and “you’re doing the best you can” on the other. My skin may be sagging but my self-confidence has gotten a boost. I can do less, walk at my own pace, and occasionally forget a birthday. Perfection is not a requirement for happy aging, and I can

24 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023

5 Enlightenment. I know the word sounds noble, but in my book, it’s a distraction. It assumes there’s some higher place I need to get to. I, on the other hand, am more interested in conserving my energy and enjoying being here. It’s time to smell the dandelions, the spring mud, and my horse’s poop. Plus, I often confuse “achieving enlightenment” with “fixing myself”—the next thing on my list of ideas I’m ready to ditch.

I’m also letting go of assuming that I will remember, even though, invariably, I won’t. I’ve started a new hobby called “making lists.” Now, if I could just remember where I put them.

9

Fixing myself. I am done with this, even after spending a minor fortune trying to improve myself through therapy, personal growth seminars, spiritual retreats, and tons of self-help books. Granted, fixing myself is an addiction that may always tempt me. But here’s the truth: I can only fix myself if I’m broken (not true) or believe there’s a gold standard for being human. I can still attend to my well-being, think good thoughts, eat kale, and spend plenty of hours in front of my lightbox in winter. But I will never be fixed. Consider me a work-in-progress.

6

7 Matching earrings. Letting go of self-judgment has opened up creative possibilities for what I can do with the stuff in my closet. I don’t have to feel guilty for preferring comfort clothes (thank you, pandemic). And there’s no rule I know that says things (clothes, jewelry, accessories) have to match. I’m saving money by putting pairs of orphan earrings together. Just don’t call me “uncoordinated.” Call me “artistically inclined.”

8 Having to remember things. I still want to remember words, people, and where I put the bus schedule, but I’m letting go of having to remember stuff and then judging myself for forgetting.

The words “nice” and “fine. Words are precious. Why waste them on ones that are meaningless? A lot of the world is not nice right now, thank you very much, so why not acknowledge this fact? And saying “I’m fine” is a way of smoothing things over and avoiding deep conversations. I want my remaining interactions to be raw and real and to let my friends know that I’m both great and sad, confident and anxious. “Both/and” is my expression of the year—as a human, I have the right to be complex.

10 High Standards. The poet William Stafford, when asked how he managed to write a poem a day, is reported to have answered, “I lower my standards.” Why am I holding myself back when all the world’s a stage and there are so many ways to play? Often, it’s because of my fear of not doing things right, not being good enough, or not clearing the high bar that I myself put in place. It’s time to let all of that go. Aging is my official permission to experiment, explore and screw up—then play some more.

This list of ideas I’m letting go could go on, but I think that’s enough. I hope it inspires you. By the way, “enough” is a great concept and one I think we all should keep.

Sally Fox, PhD, is a life transitions and creativity coach and author of Meeting the Muse after Midlife: a journey to joy through creative expression, to be published this summer. Find her blog and podcast at www.engagingpresence.com.

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“Will you be the executor of my estate?”

While you want to serve a loved one, you should think twice before saying “yes.” Serving as executor is the equivalent of accepting a job with a vague description for an unknown employer!

I have been the executor of two estates in the past three years. And both experiences had more plot twists than your favorite action-adventure movie. In addition, I performed this role while running my business and leading my own busy life.

My first executorship was for my 95-year-old dad, who peacefully passed away in his sleep at his retirement home.

SHOULD YOU SERVE AS AN EXECUTOR?

Lessons learned from the job of a lifetime

I had moved from my home in the Seattle suburbs back to my hometown in Indiana to take care of him, and I am thankful I did. However, he died during the 2020 COVID lockdown,

and we could not conduct the funeral he envisioned. As executor, I made the best decisions I could given the enormity of the pandemic.

After his death, I moved back to Seattle, looking forward to reconnecting with my 70+-year-old best friend. However, she died after an arduous nine-month cancer journey. In a flash of an eye, I went from grieving a friend to making critical legal and financial decisions for her estate.

In our third act, we may be asked to tend to the estate of a relative, friend, spouse, partner, or loved one. However, there are unknown responsibilities that will come to light. I am not a legal, financial, or tax advisor, and I advise you to hire professionals in these areas. But here are a few lessons I learned about what it takes to be an executor.

26 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com

Know your role.

As executor, your job is to protect and attend to the financial assets of the estate. Paying bills, filing taxes, and transferring property are just a few of the responsibilities. I also learned that dealing with hidden family dynamics and unwanted opinions from people with a vested interest in influencing your decisions is necessary.

It’s a commitment.

Expect to spend a minimum of a year settling the estate. Even the most straightforward estates require time to file tax returns and distribute assets. If someone contests the will, it may take much longer. I discovered I had to pace myself for a long-term, emotional journey—twice.

Grief or greed?

When a person dies, some people will genuinely grieve over the loss of the deceased. But unfortunately, others feel entitled to the deceased’s money or possessions. As executor, your job is to protect the estate, not to make people happy. There are formal ways to make claims against an estate in Washington, so you don’t have to make promises. When unknown people asked for gifts, I replied, “let me consult my lawyer,” which promptly ended unnecessary conversations.

The Will and Letters Testamentary are essential.

I was surprised to learn that a Power of Attorney ceases when someone dies. I also thought the Last Will and Testament, which named me executor, was adequate. But Washington State may require you to obtain “Letters Testamentary” through the court system, which can take several weeks to complete. While you are immediately responsible for the estate, it takes time to prove you have the authority to act on behalf of the estate.

Secure the deceased’s valuables.

As executor, you must secure their assets. If you know where they keep their valuables, it will make your job easier. Lock up their wallet, keys, credit and debit cards, cell phone, checkbook, cash, jewelry, firearms, tablets and computers, and financial documents. Watch out for people entering the home around the time of death who have curious eyes toward their belongings. I changed door locks and installed an alarm system when I discovered how many people had keys to the front door. Lock up these valuables because later, you will need these items to create a “Financial Inventory” for the estate lawyer and accountant.

You might have to pay for immediate expenses. Funeral costs, utility bills, and travel costs may require immediate payment. You may have to pay fees to move their belongings out of their home or apartment. Also, if you are not a co-signer on the deceased’s bank accounts, it may be months before you can access their money. For my dad and friend, someone wanted cash within 48 hours of death for funeral costs and unpaid bills, in addition to 10 copies of the death certificate at $10 each.

Don’t forget their digital life.

We keep our stuff in our homes, but we keep our life online. You must find passwords, social media accounts, and financial log-ins. In addition, you may need the password to their cell phone, so you can receive authentication texts to log into online accounts. I ensured I knew where the “password list” and Wi-Fi password was months in advance.

Treasures or trash?

When you go through the deceased’s belongings, you will encounter surprises. Treasures may include old family photos, love letters, collectibles, or cash. You may also find a stack of unpaid bills, extensive home repairs, or a basement full of rats as you discover a hidden life you didn’t expect. Try not to be judgmental. For instance, a lucky thrift store customer probably found the $20 bills my mom hid in hardbound books!

Did they have a business?

Besides their personal life, they may have had a side hustle, professional licenses, intellectual property (like published books or patents), or a full-fledged business. As executor, you may have to shut down their business in addition to their personal estate. For instance, as a writer, I need to list my published works so my executor can address them.

Collect your cash.

As executor, you can hunt down people or companies who owe the estate money, including paychecks or outstanding invoices. Check the state’s “unclaimed property” site (https://ucp.dor. wa.gov/) that has refunds, checks, or other finds that may be due to the estate. There are a few hoops to jump through, but it can be worth it. Every state has these sites, so look under your name, too. Recently, I found a PayPal refund for $30. Every dollar helps pay the bills.

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Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 27
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lessons learned from serving as an executor

Ask for help.

It takes an army to clean up an estate. Engage the best legal and financial assistance to sort out the maze of bills, taxes, and financial obligations. If trusted friends ask to help, take them up on it. Ask them to drive donations to Goodwill, help clean out closets, or tick off tasks on your to-do list. Over the last three years, I have hired tradespeople, junk haulers, and landscapers to manage the mountain of stuff left behind.

Keep good records.

Set up a filing system for the massive number of documents you need to manage. In addition, your accountant or lawyer will let you know if the estate can reimburse you for expenses like mileage, meals, and estate costs. Track your time and activities and if you want to get paid an Executor Fee, remember that fee is taxable income. I keep a spreadsheet that serves as a daily diary of my activities, mileage, and expenses.

Should you say yes?

I have shared my executor experience with close friends. If they

have been an executor, they give me a tired smile, sigh, and say, “they were lucky to have you as a daughter/friend.” However, other friends are updating their wills, cleaning out closets, and deciding who fits the executor role. It is a decision that all of us will have to make, so understanding the unexplained duties can guide your choice.

If you take on the role, remember to take care of yourself. You may be grieving a personal loss and taking on a new responsibility. Take time off, eat right, sleep, and know it will be over—eventually. I was lucky to have great friends who took me out to dinner, scheduled day trips, and helped me cope with this overwhelming experience.

Being an executor is a huge responsibility that is both difficult and an honor. That is why you need to pace yourself because the tasks can dominate your life. However, if you made a sincere promise to help your loved one fulfill their wishes, you will soon learn what it takes to complete the job of a lifetime.

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Judy Ann Michael is a freelance content writer, using her 30+ years of experience in consulting and leadership to craft content for Fortune 500 businesses and executives. Judy is also a talented intuitive and numerologist. Contact her via LinkedIn, her writing website at JudyMichaelB2Bwriter.com or intuitive services website JudyAnnMichael.com.
YOU SERVE AS AN EXECUTOR?

Count Your Fitness Victories

There are many ways to measure progress of our fitness journey. Metrics include more energy, better sleep, better balance, less joint pain, more strength, and/or improved athletic performance.

I encourage my personal training clients to let go of focusing on any single variable, like the number on a scale. The more joy we can find in pursuit of fitness, the more likely we are to stay consistent.

Here are three fitness victories you can pursue that are particularly rewarding:

LEARNING A NEW SKILL

My client Beth and I spent months working on her first pullup. She progressed from a “dead hang” (hanging from a bar for a few seconds), to eccentric pull-ups (lowering herself from the pull-up bar), to full pull-ups.

Achieving Beth’s initial pull-up was a moment we’ll both remember. Beth didn’t stop there. She progressed to completing the notorious Murph workout, which includes 100 pull-ups.

Tip: The Farmer’s Carry is an exercise that’s easy to learn but harder to master, with plenty of challenging variations. Hold a weight in each hand at your sides and walk for a set distance or time. When performed correctly with the core engaged, shoulder blades down and back, and upright posture, this exercise strengthens shoulders, legs, core, forearms, and grip. Get your doctor’s clearance first.

SETTING A PERSONAL BEST

One of the most important pieces of equipment in my gym is a small notebook. I use it to track each of my workouts. I record my exercises, the amount of weight I lifted, the number of repetitions performed, and how I felt. Seeing my fitness improve over time is a powerful motivator that keeps me going.

My wife Jen started bringing a notebook to our gym, too. “It makes me feel empowered, because I’m manifesting positivity,” she says. “Writing down my workouts is a promise to myself that I’ll continue getting stronger.”

Tip: EnhanceFitness is an evidence-based fitness class for older adults that tracks improvements in strength and balance. Find a class at https://projectenhance.org/ enhancefitness/.

HONORING OTHERS

Normally I would skip an event that cautions, “dangers include, but are not limited to, missile and rocket launch debris, rough terrain, wild animals, poisonous snakes… severe sunburn.” But the opportunity to pay homage inspired me, my brother, and my dad to train for and complete The Bataan Memorial Death March.

The event honors approximately 75,000 U.S. and Filipino soldiers who endured a 65-mile captive march through a scorching jungle with little food and water. The real-life Bataan Death March occurred in the Philippines during World War II. The memorial version winds through the high desert of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Tip: If the idea of tackling the “toughest race in America” (per Men’s Health magazine) seems overwhelming, there’s a concurrent shorter version of the march that’s plenty challenging. My Dad turns 80 this year, and he’s already planning a fifth trip to White Sands.

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 29
KEEP MOVING
Mike Harms is an author, personal trainer, and owner of Muscle & Hustle gym in Seattle. Bryan and Ed Harms progress through The Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico.

Looking To Stay in Shape? Look No Further Than Your Medicare Coverage

No matter your age, staying in shape is imperative for good health. Exercise helps us build good habits, improve our bodies, and gain strength. Creating healthy habits is even great for our mental health. But we know how difficult it can be to muster up the motivation to go to the gym. However, gym memberships are more accessible than ever for those with the right Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.

Medicare Advantage and Medigap Plans Can Offer Gym Memberships

Going to the gym is a great way to stay in shape, but paying for a gym membership can be costly for those on fixed incomes. Thankfully, gym membership options are available through select Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement carriers.

These benefits come from private insurance companies, and while you can’t enroll in both a Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plan simultaneously, you can find coverage that offers a variety of wellness programs and gym memberships. This means not only enjoying supplemental coverage for your health care but also helping you cover some of the costs associated with going to the gym.

Keep in mind, if you have a Medicare Supplement plan, you may

have access to a gym membership through your plan’s carrier, regardless of the plan letter you choose to enroll in. A gym membership is not included in any particular Medicare Supplement letter plan. This benefit is only available through the carrier.

Thus, if you wish to enroll in a Medigap plan and take advantage of a free or low-cost gym membership, you must choose a carrier offering the benefit to their clients. On the other hand, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your benefit will be through the carrier, not the plan.

Each Medicare Advantage plan can opt in or out of providing a gym membership benefit. So, you’ll need to check with your carrier to see if your specific plan provides access to a gym membership.

Taking advantage of such perks is a great way to gain more than a new regimen, but also opens the door to improving your social life. Gyms throughout the country hold a variety of classes, groups, and events, providing a welcoming environment and camaraderie among communities.

However, not everyone may have the means to get to and from the gym daily. Additionally, not everyone wants to. But there are still options available.

Virtual Workouts Continue to Gain Popularity

COVID-19 subjected the world to several burdens. Although, if there is a silver lining in fitness following the year 2020, it’s the rising trend of online virtual workouts.

SilverSneakers fitness programs are available free of charge through qualifying Medicare supplement plans.

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Whether you’re social distancing, the weather is bad, or you just don’t feel like leaving the house, virtual workouts offer a modern solution to an age-old problem. The pandemic may have skyrocketed the popularity of virtual fitness as more and more people found alternative solutions for staying in shape. Additionally, its popularity hasn’t gone away since the release of vaccines and the relaxing of social distancing measures.

This is evidenced by recent trends within the Medicare world, as more and more beneficiaries are turning to virtual solutions for their fitness. Now, additional options are coming to supplemental Medicare plans through the ever-popular SilverSneakers and Apple Fitness+ programs. All you need to get started is the right health insurance coverage.

SilverSneakers and Apple Fitness+

Two of the biggest names in fitness are coming together, and if you’re eligible for Medicare, you’re in luck. Beginning this year, Apple users with qualifying Medicare supplement plans that include SilverSneakers will now have access to Apple Fitness+ at no cost. The ever-popular fitness app and fan-favorite fitness program are teaming up to bring more wellness options to users than ever before.

This collaboration will provide SilverSneakers members with access to the full library of Fitness+, which contains everything from workouts to meditations and more. There are also audio walking experiences guided by various notable people, including Dolly Parton, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Sugar Ray Leonard. Additionally, the audio running program, Time to Run, is also available.

Original Medicare Is Not Enough

If you currently have Original Medicare, which consists of Medicare Part A and Part B, you may be wondering how you can enjoy the gym with your benefits. Unfortunately, these coverages do not include a gym membership benefit.

To receive this coverage while on Medicare, you must enroll in either a Medicare Advantage plan offering the benefit or a Medigap plan through a carrier with a wellness program. For the record, such benefits are often scarce, even with Medicare Supplement plans. Therefore, your best bet for a gym membership is likely a Medicare Advantage plan, but both are available to anyone eligible for Original Medicare benefits.

A Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t replace Original Medicare but becomes the primary source of your benefits when receiving health care. Private insurance carriers offer them, and you can find a variety of perks, such as gym memberships.

Understanding which plan is right for you can be challenging at times because not only does everyone have different health care needs, but so many options are available. Speaking to a licensed Medicare agent is a great way to receive free help with no obligation to you. An agent can help you discover the best coverage for your health care needs and budget.

Staying active has never been easier than it is today, and thanks to Medicare benefits, it can also be affordable. The combination of affordability and accessibility to preventive care, such as fitness programs, is why many are enrolling in supplemental coverage.

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. You can reach him at jesch@teameip.com.

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 31 Independent, Active 55+ Community FREEDOM to live on your own with no home maintenance. COMPANIONSHIP with people living an active, enriching lifestyle. PEACE OF MIND with live-in managers. Come join our Family of Friends CALL FOR A TOUR 7 DAYS A WEEK! 206–243–0300 BoulevardParkPlace.com 2805 S 125th Street Burien, WA 98168

the Bloedel Reserve

An Ancient Land Offers Fresh Inspiration

with the era’s pioneers of horticultural therapy “before it was a thing.”

The son of a timber baron, Prentice reluctantly followed his father into the family business but even there, he managed to introduce ideas of conservation, promoting the reforestation of clear cuts. Believing their botanical legacy belongs to the people, the Bloedels eventually gave the land for public use so everyone could find solace in their creation.

“When I came here for the first time, I felt it. I got it,” says Ed Moydell, director of the 150-acre Bloedel Reserve public gardens on Bainbridge Island.

Visitors feel it too, using words like healing and magical to describe their time at the Reserve, observations usually set aside for mountaintop epiphanies.

Perhaps these feelings arise from some residual spirit of the Suquamish people. The Reserve was once part of their ancestral land, where “every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people,” Chief Seattle said.

Certainly, founders Prentice and Virginia Bloedel recognized the restorative power of nature in this place, which is why, in the 1950s, decades ahead of their time, they began to turn forested acreage into a series of meticulously curated landscapes, while funding scientific research to study the effects of nature on people.

“In many ways, it was a life’s work. It was all about providing the opportunity for people to connect with nature meaningfully,” says Moydell, adding that the couple worked

Now, in just a couple of hours, it’s possible to wander the two-mile trail that meanders through forests, past water features fed by natural springs, through a primeval gathering of mosses and massive stands of rhododendrons, as well as a formal Japanese garden with carefully raked stones that whorl around boulders like water. And thanks to timedticket admissions, there’s plenty of space between visitors.

For those wishing to take a deep dive into this special place—and themselves—there’s the popular, self-guided Strolls for Well-Being. Launched in 2014, the program encourages participants to immerse themselves in the Reserve’s bounty while on a journey of self-discovery.

Guided by a beautifully illustrated book, there are 12 themes to investigate, beginning with awareness and ending with fulfillment, explored in specific landscapes. Three meetings offer structure and camaraderie—an orientation, another at mid-point, and a closing wrap-up. Best of all, those taking part receive a free six-month Reserve membership in which to complete the strolls.

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During the pandemic, the program was an online and in-person hybrid, but not this year. “We’re bringing back the full experience,” says Nature and Well-Being Program Manager Robin Gaphni. “My goal is to create a safe space as people explore these landscapes.”

There’s also a Strolls at Home program using materials developed during the COVID-19 shutdown. Instructions and prompts are accessed online to use while exploring neighborhoods, local parks, or backyards.

In addition, the Bloedel Reserve offers an eight-week grief program, with small groups meeting at the Japanese Guest House. Offering a combined 50 years of experience working with the bereaved, Gaphni and retired psychiatrist Ted Rynearson lead the discussions. “What people may not understand is that grief is not linear,” Gaphni says. “There’s you before, and there’s you after, building a new identity.”

No matter why you visit, the Bloedel Reserve meets you where you are, offering something not found anywhere else, says Etta Lilienthal, communications manager at the Reserve. “It has an ineffable quality. This isn’t just a walk in the woods. You can be with nature anywhere but what makes this place so unique is that people feel deeply connected here.”

Director Moydell agrees. “One thing that makes it special is that the Reserve feels mature, even though it’s been logged twice in the past and open to the public for only 35 years. It’s a great place to be a plant,” he says, “or a person.”

Connie McDougall is a former news reporter and current freelance writer of nonfiction and personal essays. A lifelong student and proud English major, she has pursued lessons in flying, scuba diving, tai chi, Spanish, meditation, hiking, and Zumba.

For more information including hours and admission, visit bloedelreserve.org/.

The Strolls for Well-Being program, which offers a free six-month membership, is open to new participants only:

Spring session

March 22-May 6

Summer session

June 14-Sept. 9

Fall session

Sept. 13-Dec. 9

Grief groups meet for eight weeks, Thursday afternoons from 1-3 p.m., and receive a free six-month membership as well as the Strolls for Well-Being guidebook: Feb. 9-March 30, April 20-June 8, and Sept. 28-Nov. 16

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 33
Facing page from the left: The Bloedel residence today and times past; Prentice and Virginia Bloedel at their wedding, walking reserve paths. (Photos courtesy Bloedel Reserve); Japanese guest house (Photo: Nancey Ellen Regier); Reserve path and wildflowers (photos: Erin Fisher); Etta Lilienthal, communications manager and, right, Robin Gaphni, well-being program manager (Photo: Nancey Ellen Regier)

The Caregiver’s Journey

On May 26, 2011, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, saying, “There are only four kinds of people in the world: Those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

Today, 1 in 5 Americans ages 18 and older—about 53 million people—are providing unpaid care to a family member, friend, or neighbor. While people of different generations are family, or informal, caregivers, the average one is middle-aged, employed full-time, providing support for someone of equal or greater age, and often raising children of his/her own.

If you haven’t yet assumed this role, it’s likely you may do so in the future. What will that journey entail? How can you prepare for, manage, and recover from the challenges you might face?

In the first installment of this special four-part series, you’ll find insights, tips, and resources that will help smooth that path for you and your loved one, and make caregiving an effective and rewarding experience.

Part 1: Preparing for Caring

One day you may need to provide care for a loved one. How ready are you to handle it?

Informal caregiving is a unique experience, beginning differently for different people. For some, it begins gradually, with a “creep”—occasionally doing someone’s grocery shopping, balancing that person’s checkbook, tidying up parts of the home, or checking the amount or condition of food in the fridge, which eventually become ongoing tasks. For many others, it starts with a “crisis”—the sudden phone call at work or in the middle of the night, bringing news of a broken hip or stroke.

Not surprisingly, you may already be a caregiver and not think of yourself as one. Or you may not be a caregiver … yet. Should you one day find yourself in this situation, your continual challenge will be to preserve that person’s dignity and autonomy. No matter your

situation, there are things that you can do right now to ensure that, when the need arises, you’ll be better able to help. Right now, the best way to prepare to care is to think about your loved one’s current and possible future needs, as well as your own.

Considering Your Loved One's Needs

Caregiving involves not only one’s health but also one’s entire lifestyle. Now is the time to have important conversations about your recipient’s concerns and the degree to which they would like your help. Such talks should include these three basic factors:

Health: Older adults are likely to experience one or more chronic illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or dementia. Take

Part 1: Preparing for Caring

Part 2: Looking After Yourself

Part 3: Getting Extra Help

Part 4: When Caregiving Ends

the time to learn as much as you can about how best to address the recipient’s conditions, including their medicines, procedures, and which health care providers are in charge of them. It’s also important for them to have Advanced Directives (Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney) in place. Review any health, long-term-care, and Veterans Benefits Administration insurance policies so that you’ll know how to work with insurers when the time comes.

Home: Discuss your loved one’s current living situation and if they are satisfied with it or would consider moving to an independent/assisted living/skilled nursing community when necessary. If, like the majority of older adults, they hope to age in

34
{ A FOUR-PART SERIES }

place, assess the home or apartment for important safety features, such as adequate lighting, shower/tub grab bars, latch-type door handles, and wheelchair-width doorways, as well as remove possible hazards, such as small, slippery rugs, cluttered spaces, and tangled electrical cords. For home modifications, look for a builder who specializes in aging-in-place remodeling.

Hardiness: This broad category encompasses one’s financial security, social community, and spiritual needs. How well-equipped is your loved one to not only survive but thrive in the coming years? Are there enough monetary assets to cover home-health services or other emergency expenses? And who will handle bill payment and other financial matters if the need arises?

Toward this end, it’s vital that a Durable Power of Attorney (a separate role from that of a Health Care Power of Attorney) is in place to make sure that your care recipient’s financial accounts are maintained and bills are paid in a timely manner. And a Will should be created in the event of death. An elder law attorney can assist you with estate planning and other aging-related legal issues.

In addition, does your loved one have a supportive social network of nearby neighbors and friends? Belonging to a nonprofit neighborhood “village” or religious community as well as various clubs can protect against a sense of isolation and loneliness. Also, will you eventually live with them, or will you instead be visiting, and if the latter, how often? These are important questions to raise and have conversations about, now rather than later.

Considering Your Needs

Obviously, the amount and quality of care you can give someone greatly depend on your own circumstances. So here are some factors for you to think about:

Where you live: Will you be a nearby or a long-distance caregiver? Long-distance caregiving might require you to engage a professional home-health service or even a geriatric care manager—either of which can be major expenses. The national Eldercare Locator website, as well as the Area Agenc y on Aging serving the county where your loved one lives, can connect you with important services and information.

Work and finances: If you are employed at a company, find out if there are policies and protocols (paid leave, flex-time, temporary part-time work) in place to support working family caregivers that supplement the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Also think about your own ability to cover any expenses that your loved one may not be able to afford. It’s not unusual for

Want to Know More?

family caregivers to spend thousands of dollars of their own money, and it’s best to be prepared for such a circumstance. Who else might help: If you will most likely be your loved one’s primary caregiver, are there others, such as siblings, adult children, or close friends who would be willing to share some of the tasks? Bringing up this question in advance with those people as well as with the person you’ll be caring for can make a huge difference in how well you’ll be able to meet your loved one’s needs.

Whether you’ll gradually grow into or suddenly be called upon helping someone you love, know that preparing for caring is the smartest thing you can do right now to make that future transition into a compassionate and effective caregiver.

Jeanette Leardi is a Portland-based social gerontologist, writer, editor, and community educator who has a passion for older adult empowerment. A former caregiver to her late parents for more than a decade, she now gives popular presentations and workshops in journaling, memoir writing, ethical will creation, brain fitness, creativity, ageism, intergenerational communication, and caregiver support to people of all ages. Learn more about her work at jeanetteleardi.com.

Check out these links for more tips and strategies, as well as to locate resources where you and your loved one live:

• Caregiver Action Network: caregiveraction.org

• Eldercare Locator: eldercare.acl.gov

• Family Caregiver Alliance: caregiver.org

• Family Caregiver Council: familycaregivercouncil.com

• National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys: naela.org

• National Family Caregiver Support Program: https://acl.gov/programs/support-caregivers/national-familycaregiver-support-program

• Twenty-Four Seven podcast: tpr.org

• Veterans/DoD Benefits: benefits.va.gov/benefits

• Village to Village Network: vtvnetwork.org

spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 35

Do Activists Retire?

Two Yogis Walk Into a Bar…

My friend, Joshua, peered through wire-rimmed spectacles, smiling sadly beneath a bald head muttering, “I have no lips. Have you noticed? I mean, in the last five years they’ve disappeared.” He coughed leaning back in his chair while the late morning light filtered into the room slowly turning into an early noontime. “It’s because I’m old.”

“Sah Aham,” I said. “Sah Aham.” This bit of ancient Sanskrit, meaning “eternal or immortal spirit I am,” I hoped would cheer him up.

Joshua scratched at water spots on restaurant utensils, staring at worn fingers and dried cuticles. “I never

noticed it, but someone went out of their way to mention it to me. Now, every morning I’m self-conscious.” He leaned in across the table. “I shave like a condemned man. I find my blood depressing. And, I’ll tell you something else: I’ve been doing a lot of work with Amnesty International.” Joshua stared at me as though he were about to break government secrecy. His jaw ground silently against our Los Angeles landmark, Jinky’s Studio Café’s high-energy background with its clattering dishes and clanging pots from the kitchen. He worked hard pushing words over his tongue. “I’m seeing the worst of inhumanity,” tapping his fingers on the table, “No lips. Huh. Do you think we possesses inherent goodness?

I don’t.” This being the bone of contention brought to lunch, he settled back, disillusioned in his autumn. At 80 years of age, he stared into space thinking and fading.

I sat stunned. For the record, I believe my friend’s lips appear as they should: noble, experienced, and obviously intense. I also believe humankind evolves as

36 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com

the conscious product of inherent goodness considering itself. Walking Eden hand-in-hand, transcending each challenge, tossing nothing aside, using everything, growing the garden a bit more and a shade different than it flourished as humanity working together during any previous moment. Miniature stage lights and movie posters hung on Jinky’s dining room walls. The Ten Commandments staring Charlton Heston as Moses caught my focus—he was a statesman, the leader of a troubled people, the kind of president we’re hard-pressed to find these days.

If humankind is an expression of the transcendent evolutionary spirit, and our kind borrows its steam from goodness—not always pleasant, but good—then Joshua, my dear friend, I silently thought, you are entitled to inquire, and politically he did.

“Why such torment, such inhumanity toward man?,” Joshua laments. “Youngbear, people vanish in the night in what country, headed for what rat-infested prison? I’d like to know. Women are being mutilated and raped, children incarcerated in cages along the border, and to what end? I’d like to know. Adolescent desert dwellers are shooting guns before they are old enough to proclaim love! This sadly I know. And I’ll tell you something else. What the hell are we doing spraying ammunition like dropping cigar ashes on shoes? Why am I paranoid about the gold fillings in my teeth? Eden? Please, I’m too old for those metaphors. Youngbear, the universe is too old and people are pandemically dying!”

Joshua, a yoga friend, appeared to shrink before my eyes. He pulled his head down between his shoulders staring up at me like a basset hound. “My work with Amnesty doesn’t make a dent.”

“The subject,” I countered, “is more than lining up ducks. We’re discussing a universally broad relationship, the human condition in constant flux. Grab a handful of definition, squeeze, and it slips through your fingers like water because the human ailment breeds from so many, yet unexamined, questions. What motivates an intelligent animal, hero, or terrorist, to give his life as part of a human bomb? We sit here over glasses of ice speaking in metaphors like criminals and wise men, and if we’re lucky this style allows us enough maneuvering space to touch infinite relationship with finite words.

The answer to why there exists crises and torment in this world flies in the face of our Judeo-Christian perception of good and evil, that good and evil are

separate opposing qualities. We have God and we have the Devil, or so we believe.”

Coffee and pie arrived.

“Do you want to stop and savor this?” I asked my friend.

“Naw. We’re saving the world. Who needs pie?”

Joshua—who celebrates his autumn days building 20-foot boats and riding bikes, flying kites, hiking, and practicing yoga with his wife—laughed until a lifetime of sunlight poured from his eyes. “You’re just a kid,” he said. “Not yet 70! What can you tell me? You have lips—speak!”

“To discover the answer, to save the world, we need to understand the garden’s basic truth upon which all creation rests.”

“Yes! Yes!…all creation rests. Excellent! But, my young friend, what the hell are you talking about?”

“Homeostasis—the universe balancing itself within limits—is born of metaphysical divinity speaking to us in silent moments. However,” I shook my finger in Joshua’s face and his eyes grew, “homeostasis,” I ventured hearing my own voice brilliantly pontificating, “is not ultimate goodness. Goodness is a culturally contrived benchmark quality offering civilization the ability to judge itself. Culturally defining goodness is one of the ways the universe has of looking at itself and actively steering a conscious transcendent course. Goodness is not a concrete reality, yet it is required.”

Joshua’s head shot up. “There it is then, don’t you see? I can never really be good, achieve good, because goodness doesn’t exist! It’s crap, all my efforts. Crud, shit. Amnesty International is a total waste of my time.”

I studied Joshua, the set of his shoulders, the cast of his eyes. It dawned on me that at his age he searched for two things—something valuable to leave behind and a reason to continue living. I wanted to grasp his hand and reassure him that he was goodness itself, but man

(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 37
I pounded my fist on the table.
“Yes, you are going to die. Your choices are your teachings. That's what you leave behind.”

to man the words wouldn’t come. I felt through the background din growing louder by the midday moment that I must speak though my declarations would fall short. “If we observe goodness as not good or evil, but as just being what it is, it becomes our combined definition of good with evil, a homeostatic balancing act of acceptability. Goodness, in this specific sense of balance and limitation is that inherent need within humanity, within the universe else,” I grabbed my fork and stabbed my pie, “we have no universe. It’s inherent in you.”

We ate for some time in calm, surveying the passing

lot of people are shaking their fists. I find myself joining the crowd. I once knew a man who bore his pain in acceptance of crises in the garden and he never shook his fist at God. Youngbear, I’m not that man.”

Joshua lowered his eyes, ashamed. “I don’t believe I care anymore. Let the world destroy itself. I’m tired and I don’t want any part of it. I’m supposed to attend an Amnesty meeting tonight. The hell with it.”

“Responsibility is an excellent word,” I offered, “and so is understanding. As far as shaking your fist, if humanity is the face of God, we should shake our fists at God, shouting blame and swearing oaths of retribution.”

Kicking his legs, my friend shoved his chair away from the table. “You can’t be serious!”

Swearing for a time. Then we pray. Or if we are yogis we consider our three words, the widest meaning of our yoga practice: I am that. Our bodies tremble out of loss. Then we demand to know who is responsible. And it’s a fair demand.

parade of humankind outside a huge picture window overlooking Ventura Boulevard. Buses squealing their brakes billowed black exhaust. Lights changed. Senior citizens pushing aluminum walkers edged across the wide traffic thoroughfare. An upscale gourmet market called to the youthful rich arriving from a point in space and time they didn’t give much thought to and headed for a point in space and time they knew not and could not give much credence. Sweaty kids peddled by on bicycles. A jumbo jet flew overhead. It took a long time traveling from a great distance away, then casting a shadow and again traveling a great distance away. No one looked up because our kind lives on faith within limits. We would not be plane-bombed today.

Joshua studied my face. Our eyes met. The roar of jet engines diminished. Speaking, he gazed out the window. “I’d like to know, when one loses another loved one in a tragic act of unspeakable cruelty, the next war, a claim of inhumanity against mortality, are you going to throw such a word as homeostasis at the surviving soul? Does this word of yours hold comfort or solace? No! You claim to be using words that can touch the infinite. What of infinite pain? Do words exist that can begin the profound process of chipping away at grief? I’m afraid, my friend, a

Individuals are born to take a stand for good or evil, as we define those qualities, and each individual goes into making up the face of the garden. As each exercises their free will, so Eden evolves. We grow through Eden and Eden grows within us. That we have the ability to exercise free will is the inherent good in humankind. Perhaps with some distance it’s a political stand. A beginning. A point of grassroots recognition.

“The Amnesty meeting? The hell with it! But,” I stated, “don’t be unconscious, pretending others won’t notice your choices.”

I pounded my fist on the table. “Yes, you are going to die. Your choices are your teachings. That’s what you leave behind. Do not worry about goodness; it takes care of itself. You can be something more. Your actions are timeless eternal spirit.”

Joshua placed his spoon on the edge of his plate. Attacking his lips with a paper napkin, he stood shoving his left arm into his sport jacket. Hurrying, he checked his watch once and then twice. “Sah Aham, Youngbear. Sah Aham!”

Youngbear Roth has published essays on touch therapies and energy healing for Massage Magazine and the peer-reviewed Journal of Health and Caring and the diversity of yoga theory and philosophy for Crescent Magazine, Mystic Pop Magazine, LA Yoga Magazine, and Tathaastu Magazine. Youngbear’s research papers are in the databases of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.

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(CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE)
“Do you want to stop and savor this?” I asked my friend. “Naw. We’re saving the world. Who needs pie?”
Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 39
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Aging With Enthusiasm
Saturday,

FAMILY

We, the dog and I, are walking. It is winter, the sky, a tease. In the west, ribbons of pale yellow hover throughout coils of fuming gray. We are on different walks, the dog and I. She is content to match my stride or, bullish, yanking my arm when struck by some irresistible perfume—pee, poop, the trace of something rotting. Me, my mind is muttering, one moment struggling to remember what I’ve read this morning, another, coaching myself to be present, still another, usurped by irritation because it starts to rain. I have left my umbrella in the car—ditto, my hat. The walk’s perfection, ruined. I have miscalculated, errored.

I am surprised by the force of my irritation. It is a torment; it is aimed at me. Why, I wonder, is my happiness so brittle, so easily toppled by such predictable vagaries as weather? At 75, I feel an urgency not to spend the time I have left in bondage to this habit of perfection.

A CHOICE TO LET GO THE DESIRE FOR PERFECTION

I live in the penumbra of my mother’s sad refrain, “All I ever wanted was a perfect family.” Could that be why, in spite of terrifically good luck, sufficient money, the sustaining miracle of marriage, a home, a garden, and a dog, I always let out a little sigh of

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resignation, as if I’ve settled for, or ended up with . . .?

“All I ever wanted was a prefect family.” Really? “All?” What can that possibly encompass? It is so rueful, this supplication, more akin to looking back with regret than forward to some rosy future. It implies that the “All” has been betrayed, at the least, disappointed. A ripe peach not in one’s lunch box, a birthday pony not tethered in the backyard. A little sister. Ah. When with my mother did this wish begin? Unable to have babies, Mother’s perfect family might have been the wish that this betrayal of her body not be so, hence, her family assembled from adoption, being lesser, was imperfect. There was no way to talk about this with her. And it must be said that however earnestly I might ask a question to unearth some emotional truth about her wish, about her disappointment, such would not be met with equal eagerness or candor. My questions—felt intensely—were they laced with sarcasm? Was there a hint of mockery? As they began in my adolescence, most probably so. In any event, Mother’s fervent Christian Science, commitment to the anodyne, and distrust of curiosity precluded a shared exploration. So, I will never know when or why her refrain began, or what constituted, in her mind, a “perfect family.”

She preferred the absence of emotion, and that the quotidian unfold like a dinner table conversation, gracefully from topic to topic—bouillon to salad, entree to dessert. I believe that she desired stasis—a moment frozen as in those scallop-edged Polaroid snapshots—me at 4, looking up at her with glee and adoration, she, peering down with perfect love. We dressed for a day at the beach in Ocean City. Those golden days—moments of accord and harmony—that they stay locked in a stasis of the perfect gaze.

Not surprisingly, Mother never asked me to describe my perfect family. She might have intentionally avoided this, as I recall petitioning—endlessly in my early years—for a little sister. If my parents got me via adoption after all, might they not acquire another through such uncomplicated means? Upon reflection, my current family life—rich with daughters, granddaughters, nieces, nephews, in-laws, outlaws—would be less baffling had I grown up with siblings. Instead, I navigate awkwardly, queasy in chaos, irritated by cross talk and interruption, resisting my urge to follow each grandchild with a mop, a pail, a sponge, and a bin in which to toss their infantile detritus. How I wish this were not so. How I yearn for

kindness and tolerance and good humor.

I probably romanticize siblings, believing this has passed me by—the intimately shared past, the patois, the rivalries resolved and not, the terrors navigated, and protections offered. I simply believe that a sibling or two would have made me a more resilient and forgiving person, and may have inoculated me against my own perfectionism, my requirements: That the dishes stand upright in the drainer. The books fall in line, alphabetically within their categories. The bed be made instantly upon rising, corners squared, quilt fluffed. The perfect walk unfolds in the perfect day, the dog in perfect harmony beside me.

Grammy Award-winning artist Laurie Anderson, in conversation with Anderson Cooper, mentioned a perspective from the Tibetan Buddhists whom she studied with, that it is possible to regard happiness as a choice. Yes, there is suffering and vagary and disappointment—that is bedrock, that is truth. But within that frame, one can choose where to put one’s attention—on happiness or grievance, on gratitude or resentment at the unfairness of it all. Recently, I’ve been practicing a counter refrain to Mother’s, as offered by Tara Brach, a meditation teacher:

Let go of what is past

Let go of what is to come

Let go of what is happening now

Don’t try to figure anything out

Don’t try to make anything happen

Relax right now and rest

Mother’s refrain infused my rainy walk that afternoon in Seattle. It seems trite, an insignificant detail, but when I overlay my irritation onto the many moments of a day, it accrues to a modus operandi, and I’ve got to break the spell.

A practicing Buddhist for more than 30 years, Hollis Giammatteo has sought experiences that challenge her practice, from teaching writing to working with the elderly. She co-founded The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia and was a resident playwright for The Rhode Island Feminist Theatre. Giammatteo has published in a variety of magazines and her memoir, The Shelf Life of Ashes, was released in 2016 by She Writes Press.

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 41
“ALL I EVER WANTED WAS A PERFECT FAMILY.” REALLY? ‘ALL?’ WHAT CAN THAT POSSIBLY ENCOMPASS? ...

When ChangeThings

NAVIGATING AGEISM AND SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS’ IMPACT ON QUALITY OF LIFE.

At some point, we map out a plan for our lives. It might be a vague concept or a set of specific goals, but either way, we generally hope for a life that makes us happy, allows us to control how we work and live, and lets us feel successful.

Achieving those goals, including the social or professional status that comes with success, contributes to healthy aging. In cases where we gain years but lose part or all of our status, the way we navigate the change makes all the difference to our happiness.

Socioeconomic status is a key element in quality of life for older adults, according to the American Psychological Association. Long-term illness or a spouse’s death may cause a loss of financial standing that affects where and how we live, even our friendships.

Barbara Craveiro grew up on a dairy farm in Whittier, Calif., with parents who gave their children a wonderful life. There were trips to go boar hunting with grandparents on Maui, weekends in Palm Springs, a university education for Craveiro, and a trip to Europe for her graduation gift. With a double major in education and sociology, she became a third-grade teacher and loved it, but that was only part of her life goal. “I definitely always wanted to marry,” she says. She was 24 when she met Kellogg Metcalf.

“He was a blind date for the 1961 Rose Bowl game,” says Craveiro. “A good friend of mine set us up.” The University of Washington Huskies were playing that year, and a group of Kellogg’s friends had come down from Seattle.

“I spent the next two days in a whirlwind with these people, going all over LA. When Kellogg left, he said, ’We’ll keep in touch.’” By October, they were engaged, and Craveiro began a new life in Seattle.

“With my father’s help, we bought the Foley Sign Company. Kellogg worked hard and we became successful. We had a good life,” she says.

That life included a home on Mercer Island, four children, and many friends. Craveiro volunteered for just about everything—her children’s schools, fundraising galas for the arts, hospital work, and the Seattle Milk Fund. She and Metcalf traveled internationally and enjoyed summers at their cottage on Whidbey Island. Their kids went to college and started their own careers and families. And then, in her 60s, everything began to change.

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“Kellogg got sick—diabetes, congestive heart failure—and went downhill for about 20 years,” she says. “We went through our savings. His illness took up a lot of our resources.” By her late 70s, their finances were in crisis. They sold both their houses and started renting. “We tried to stay on Mercer Island, because that was where my life was, and my connections—church, friends, everything. But then we knew we should move, because money was getting tight.”

After living for a short time with their daughter, Craveiro found an apartment in Seattle, at a SHAG property that provides affordable senior housing.

“When we moved to SHAG, I left a lot behind,” says Craveiro. “Kellogg was here for four days, then went into the hospital and died a few months later. While he was there, and I was here, I thought, ’Well, I’d better get out there. This is where my new friends are going to be. I’m not going back to Mercer Island.’”

Her first social effort didn’t go well as she attended a dinner for apartment residents and was rebuffed when she tried to find a seat. Eventually, though, she made friends in her new home, and she stayed connected with her old friends as well. There were major adjustments to make, but at 86, she’s truly enjoying her life.

“I’m very content where I am. I’m very grateful for my friends. It’s fun to laugh and reminisce, to just be where we are,” says Craveiro. “I wish I didn’t have to watch my spending so carefully, but that’s so minor. I love where I am.”

According to the National Institute on Aging, a longer work/career life has a

role in maintaining cognitive function. It contributes to a sense of purpose as well, as we continue to have a positive effect on our communities. However, the attitudes of both employers and colleagues toward older workers can be adversely affected by ageism, including the assumption that age defines both our preferences and our ability to do our jobs.

In her book This Chair Rocks, author and activist Ashton Applewhite points to research showing that “older employees are enormous assets to enterprises of all kinds. Veteran workers also tend to bring valuable experience to the table, as well as honed interpersonal skills, better judgment, and a more balanced perspective.”

Unfortunately, that truth isn’t always understood in the workplace. Older workers who lose their jobs, or must reenter the workforce after retiring, often come up against ageism in the hiring process. “Every day,” says Applewhite, “older job seekers confront myths about their skills, health, and capacity.”

Belief in myths shows up in both blatant and subtle ways, and in unexpected places. In a job-seeking workshop for “older” workers put on by the Washington State Employment Security Department, the 40-something instructor made a joke about the “no texting in class” rule. No one reacted, and she said, “Nothing? We usually get a laugh, because people in this class don’t normally text.” Since almost everyone had been texting or emailing on their phones when she walked into the room, the instructor was both ageist and completely clueless. She also explained that no one should use words on their

resumes that might indicate age, making the entire class uneasy about showing their true depth of experience.

Even on a university campus, an individual’s lifelong achievements may not always receive the respect they deserve from those who follow and benefit.

Emile Pitre was a graduate student at the University of Washington in 1967, one of only 63 Black students on campus. He pictured a future in science, possibly as a professor. Then his life began to change.

“There was the Vietnam War, and napalm bombs, and I became less enthusiastic about being in chemistry,” recalls Pitre. “I began to see the oppression of third world people. My goal was to be a revolutionary.”

It was a time of change for many on the UW campus. In November 1967, 30 black students attended a Black Youth Conference in LA. They came back inspired to work for equity and inclusion in their own community, and on January 6, 1968, they announced the birth of the Black Student Union (BSU) at UW. Pitre was one of its founding members. The students were very serious about what

(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 43
“WHY DO THEY THINK THAT I WOULD SUDDENLY ENJOY CRAFTS AND BASKET MAKING JUST BECAUSE I’M OLDER?”

they were willing to do for social justice. The death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. strengthened their resolve.

“We felt like we were warriors, and if we had to die for it, so be it,” recalls Pitre. “We knew that what we wanted to do had to happen. The time had come.”

On May 20, 1968, BSU members took over UW President Charles Odegaard’s office, determined not to leave until their demands were met. After a four hour sitin, Odegaard agreed to everything they asked. The university would recruit more underrepresented students, set up a Black Studies program, create a minority resource center, and increase the number of Black faculty members, administrators, and counselors.

The UW established the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA&D), including an Instructional Center (IC) to support students. Pitre worked there as a chemistry instructor, eventually becoming the IC’s director

When ChangeThings

“When I get to the end of my life, I want to say I did a pretty good job,” he says. “There’s still work to be done. I’m still an activist, still fighting on behalf of people who need me.”

and an associate vice president. He built a strong team of tutors, began collecting data to track their students’ success, and won awards for instructional excellence. Many of his students went on to impressive careers, and he is immensely proud of their achievements.

As Pitre neared retirement, one part of his work was not giving him joy. As OMA&D’s advisor to the Black Student Union, he began to feel that a new generation was not interested in his experience in activism and political consciousness. BSU leaders would have executive meetings and not include him, and finally he decided to step away from the organization he helped create. “They had no knowledge of what I and others had done. They weren’t listening to what I had to say, didn’t think it was worthwhile,” he says.

In 2014 Pitre retired but returned to the university within a few months to begin writing the history of OMA&D and the early diversity movement at the UW. His book, Revolution to Evolution, tells the story that began in 1968.

There are other myths to challenge as we progress through our third act. For example, the things that are considered “age appropriate.” Margaret Hughson, an exquisite woman who had recently moved into a congregate care residence, questioned the assumptions of employees. She disliked the way nurses and other staff spoke to residents, in an overly “kind” voice they’d use to talk with small children. She noted that older people wouldn’t be considered “cranky” if people treated them as capable adults. The activities offered there also fit a stereotype. “Why do they think that I would suddenly enjoy crafts and basket making just because I’m older,” asked Margaret.

As we push back against the ageism around us, Applewhite says it’s also important to look at our own beliefs about age. “Start with yourself. All change starts within. Look at your own attitudes toward age and aging. The minute you see a prejudice in yourself, then you start to see it around you.” And then we can start to rewrite the narrative.

“Age is just a state of mind,” says Craveiro. “I have a little less energy sometimes, but I’m who I am and who I’ve always been. Maybe with a little more experience.”

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Priscilla Charlie Hinckley has been a writer and producer in Seattle television and video for 35 years, with a primary interest in stories covering health and medicine, women’s and children’s issues, social justice, and education. She enjoys taking a lighthearted approach to serious topics.
EVEN ON A UNIVERSITY CAMPUS, AN INDIVIDUAL’S LIFELONG ACHIEVEMENTS MAY NOT ALWAYS RECEIVE THE RESPECT THEY DESERVE FROM THOSE WHO FOLLOW AND BENEFIT.
The University of Washington established the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, including an Instructional Center. Emile Pitre, working as a chemistry instructor, eventually became the director and associate vice president of the Instructional Center. (CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE)
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Memoir Writing in the Time of the Pandemic

“Quilt squares,” I like to tell my memoir students on the first night of class. “Think of your memoir as a quilt. Right now, you’re creating some quilt squares. Later, you’ll decide how you’re going to stitch them all together. But for now, write the scenes that come to you most urgently. Soon, you’ll have a whole stack of them, and you’ll start to see the pattern of the quilt.”

lives. Ditching lockdown via time travel to the past must have seemed like a good option.

I have been teaching memoir writing for 11 years, most frequently at Seattle Central College, but until the pandemic, I had never taught online. A month before my first virtual class, I had not even heard of Zoom. And then, on April 14, 2020, there I was, staring at 11 students, and myself, all of us shrunk down to tiny doll-sized quilt squares on a screen. Three-dimensional human beings, miniaturized and reduced to two dimensions. But my students were so alive. So hungry for human contact, for storytelling, for any activity that somehow would make sense of their suddenly locked-down

But I didn’t want to teach. I almost didn’t. Eight days earlier, my nephew died of an overdose. He had been addicted to heroin for 10 years, but this was fentanyl. On April 14, 2020, all I wanted was for it not to be true. I also wanted the pandemic not to be true, and a month of obsessively writing down “the numbers” every day in my journal—cases, deaths; worldwide, national, local—had only made me more manic and less able to think about anything else. Except for my nephew’s death.

I didn’t want to teach, but I understood that I had to, even if it had to be on a tiny screen, or I might lose my mind.

That first night, my students saved me from myself. It

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Memoir students clockwise from top left: Doug Ostergaard, Keri Pollock, Theo Nestor, Alice Shorett, Cho Shimizu, Kathy Burrows, Priscilla Long, Karen Willie

was their unadorned eagerness—to learn and write and be together in this awkward new thing called a “Zoom Room”— that did it. I began to work in earnest on an essay, which was eventually called “Regeneration,” and was published later that year in About Place Journal.

My essay was inspired by the regeneration of Mount St. Helens after its 1980 eruption.

I ended it by speculating about how the world might regenerate after the pandemic. At the time I was writing, vaccinations were not even on the horizon. I imagined there might be one big breakthrough, one headline declaring it was all over. But, as with the regeneration of Mount St. Helens, there was no such moment. And there will never be one.

Karen Willie was in that first Zoom class, hosted by Seattle Central College. She had never taken a writing class in her life. She was just days into her retirement from a long and fulfilling law practice. And now she was, as she put it, “isolating at home with her family of origin,” which she meant not literally but figuratively, because she was writing about them. Willie’s childhood was difficult. But the need to write about it “had been calling for a long time. And I think COVID and isolation made the space for me.” Willie has continued to write prolifically, but she’s now savoring a few breaks for long-delayed travel.

Seattle Author Priscilla Long had “a very good writing time throughout the entire pandemic,” for which she credits the hard-earned wisdom of old age. “Old people had many more deaths and all that, and it was terrible, but at the same time we’re more resilient, we’re more experienced, we have a lot of relationships,” said Long, who is 79. Her latest book, Dancing with the Muse in Old Age (Coffeetown Press, 2022), is a testament to the joy and meaning of creative engagement in the third act of life.

This was also true for Alice Shorett (author, along with Murray Morgan, of Soul of a City: The Pike Place Public Market), who found the pandemic to be “really conducive” to writing, although her output slowed a bit in 2022, when she could travel at last and visit her grandchildren. Like Long, Shorett, who is 78, says age is a strong motivator: “You better focus, because who knows how much time is left?” She also found the quiet of 2020 and 2021 to be excellent for the reading and research that are essential to the memoir

she’s writing, which includes some fraught episodes of environmental history.

“You can follow the news,” said Long, “but you cannot allow it to destroy your own creativity, your own life, because that’s what you have. That’s what your light is.”

We are all wired differently. I often felt emotionally pummeled during the pandemic, as did some of my students. Sometimes my creative light flickered. Sometimes it went dark.

“What wasn’t good was the deflation I felt about having both Trump in office, and all the crazy ridiculous frustrating politics that went on, and then the pandemic as well. And between the two of them I ran out of juice,” said Doug Ostergaard, who signed up for that Spring 2020 class, and others, because he knew the camaraderie and the deadlines would be good for his writing. “And of course, those classes helped enormously. But even with all the support, I just felt like I had a hundred-pound backpack on. Weighing me down.” What often lifted that weight, and inspired his writing, were Zoom get-togethers with his brother and sister, in which their topics ranged from remembered songs to their father’s kindness to long-lost advertising jingles.

One of the first things author and memoir teacher Theo Nestor did that spring was join an online writing group hosted by Hedgebrook, the Whidbey Island retreat center for women writers. “We did silent writing together. That really helped me a lot. There was something about it being the quarantine period of the pandemic—you just have time. Even if you’re online all the time, you still have more time than you used to because you’re not doing anything or going anywhere.”

Nestor now finds herself very busy as an editor. “So many people found the space to write in, and then after maybe six months, people really wanted editing help. They’d taken writing classes, or joined a group, and so from March 2020 on, I started getting more work. And it hasn’t let up.”

Cho Shimizu, 85, who was incarcerated with his family at the Minidoka internment camp during World War II, told his family’s story in his 2014 memoir, Cho’s Story: From the Eyes of a Nisei Son. Shimizu said that the pandemic gave him time to think and to sharpen his writing skills. It also reminded him of being incarcerated —that sense of being in

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 47
(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)
Think of your memoir as a quilt. Right now, you’re creating some quilt squares.

a situation beyond his control—which, in his case, was useful to his writing. “Maybe because of what I’ve gone through, whenever I get into a situation I just say, well, that’s what it is. I’ve just got to live with it and go on and see if I can improve it and make it better.” He is now working on pencil sketches and written vignettes for the new Remembrance Gallery (opening in 2024) at the Washington State fairgrounds in Puyallup, which was the assembly center for Japanese families at the beginning of the war.

Shimizu was in a memoir writing class I taught virtually in 2020 and 2021 at Wesley Homes, a retirement community in Des Moines, Wash. Then-Recreation Director Kathy Burrows, who was instrumental in helping residents attend the class via Zoom, was moved by how the Wesley writers rose to the challenges of writing about their lives and sharing what they wrote with each other. “In our third act, we’re oftentimes less busy with the stuff of life—raising children, work—and we have time to reflect,” she said. “And it’s important to look back on our lives and search for the meaning.”

Many of the Wesley writers shared their stories with their adult children. “My older daughter said, ‘Mom, I didn’t know this!’” said Hisako Leatherman, 83, who is writing about her childhood in wartime Japan, adding that although COVID felt at times like a “cloud” looming over her upended life— she had just moved in to Wesley in 2020—writing helped. Leatherman has often wished she knew more about her own parents’ early lives and so it is important to her to share this story with her children.

Nina McKinney was also new to Wesley in 2020. Joining the memoir writing class was a way for her to connect with her new neighbors (when meeting in-person was almost impossible) and a way to begin something she had long wanted to do: Write about her mother’s childhood in Mexico, and her father’s on an Idaho wheat farm, and what it was like for her and her brother and sister to grow up the children of two such different worlds. “I want to do it for my nieces and nephews,” she said. She wants to write about her late husband’s life, too, for her stepchildren.

October 1, 2022, was a dazzling Saturday—no smoke, no clouds, just brightness everywhere. I was walking the leafy streets of Seattle’s Central District, from my first five-hour

class on teaching English to speakers of other languages, up to Hugo House on Capitol Hill, where I was about to teach my first in-person memoir writing class in two and a half years.

I now think of it as the day I let go of the word “OVER.”

As I walked, I felt it happening. “Look at this day,” the wise-counselor part of my brain counseled. “How lucky you are, to be both a student and a teacher. How lucky you are, to be doing both of those things in-person, on this day, with other three-dimensional human beings who, like you, are fortunate enough to feel able to take these steps without inordinate danger.”

And, I now would add, with people who understood—as I finally did on that day—that the key was to get over the word “over.” There would be no moment when we could declare the pandemic “over.”

I remember that I had been concerned about Hugo House’s mask policy. I understood the need for it, but I wondered how we would relate to each other, with masks on, for three hours in the classroom. And yet the minute the class began, it became a non-issue. There were 10 of us, seated around a large table, and I was instantly captivated by the honesty and nuance with which we communicated without being able to see each other’s mouths.

I felt a hum in the room, a palpable, shared awareness that for all of us, this was an electric moment. Not because this was sure to be the most wonderful class ever, but because no one in the room had taken a writing class in-person since before the pandemic. We had all spent time in classrooms on Zoom, and we were all grateful for having had that option. And we all had in common the desire to plumb our pasts for stories and insight and wisdom.

And now we also had all been through something. All alone and all together. This something—the pandemic, yes, but also the seismic cultural shifts triggered by the Trump years, by the murder of George Floyd, by January 6, by Ukraine, by rolling climate disasters—how would all of these somethings we had all lived through change us, as writers and as humans? How could we not now see our own memoir drafts, our own lives, differently?

The name of the seminar I taught at Hugo House that day

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“ ”
(CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE)
It’s important to look back on our lives and search for the meaning.

was “More Questions Than Answers: When Memoir Writing Becomes the Story of the Search.” I had asked students to take a minute before they got to class to privately fill in this blank, “I’m here because the question that drives me crazy is_________.” When we went around the table and introduced ourselves, we shared our crazy-making questions with each other.

“How can you love someone and hate them at the same time?” asked one student.

“How do I move forward, at age 64, after all the things that have gone wrong?” asked another.

“Who would I be had I not been born into this family?”

“Why do I carry this self-doubt? Is it related to my mother’s suicide?”

“Why is my family politically divided?”

“Why did I take so much crap from the men in my life?”

As I listened, I felt a churning of urgency and strength and resolve in the room. As if the two-plus years of living with the pandemic had burned away inhibition and fear in these writers. As if they needed only to see, in-person, that other writers also felt this new sense of clarity. This need to finish work that might’ve been started during lockdown, only to get shelved when the demands of caregiving, parenting, and jobs roared back up, with the added stress of doing it all remotely, or in-person in a mask, or full PPE, or while grieving COVID losses or changes.

“Reflection and just storytelling in general, I feel, have taken on a whole new power,” said Keri Pollock, who was in that October class. Though at first she had been swamped by the pandemic challenges of working as the communications director for an aging life care practice, she gradually began to find a new kind of energy, as a writer. It was “the power of No,” of becoming very focused with her time. “The pandemic has given me an excuse to pause, and take a step back and say, what do I want to do?”

Purpose is a word you hear geriatricians, psychologists, philosophers, and priests use when they talk about what older adults want and need. It is often paired with meaning. Louise Aronson’s comprehensive, passionate, highly readable book Elderhood (2019) includes this quote from the late sociologist Sharon Kaufman: “The old Americans I studied

do not perceive meaning in aging itself; rather, they perceive meaning in being themselves in old age.” For many people, writing can help them find that meaning, and perhaps this was more true during the pandemic than it has ever been.

At the Gerontological Society of America’s 2022 convention there were dozens of poster presentations and seminars on the toll of pandemic loneliness among elders. But among them were some intriguing variations on that theme—a poster on how “creating a life history” significantly increased older adults’ “sense of identity and integrity;” another about how “having a high sense of purpose in life consistently predicted a lower allostatic load” (meaning less of the wear and tear on the body caused by stress), and yet another on how “life story reminiscence” not only increased a sense of well-being in people with dementia, but also led to better care, because the caregivers who helped facilitate the reminiscing got to know their clients better.

Pollock has seen that happen in her work, but also in her own writing life. “You get it on paper, and it’s like—whoof,” she said, gesturing a feeling of release. “And so what do we do with that? I don’t know. Maybe it just rests there, and when you move on, maybe your grandchildren will be delighted to find it and read it.”

Long put it this way: “We eat, we cook, we write. And we do the best we can to help this broken-apart world that we’re in now.”

After Mount St. Helens blew its top, it was “the steelhead salmon that charted the most astoundingly creative paths to regeneration,” I wrote in my 2020 essay. “Though their origin stream no longer looked anything like the one they had left for their long migration to the Pacific Ocean and back, they could smell that it was home.”

I believe memoir writing is like that. It can take you home. It can take you back to yourself, your true stream, at a time when home and self feel unrecognizable.

Ann Hedreen is an author (Her Beautiful Brain), teacher of memoir writing, and filmmaker. Hedreen and her husband, Rustin Thompson, own White Noise Productions and have made more than 150 short films and several feature documentaries together, including Quick Brown Fox: An Alzheimer’s Story. She is currently at work on a book of essays. This article was written with the support of a journalism fellowship from the Gerontological Society of America, the Journalists Network on Generations, and the Silver Century Foundation.

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 49
Reflection and just storytelling in general, I feel, have taken on a whole new power.

Moriwaki is on a Mission

A

life of service, conservation, and a vision of a better world
photo by keith brofsky
Clarence

Clarence Moriwaki taught himself to read at age three by watching Men Into Space, the short-lived 1959-60 TV series. “I really loved that show,” he says. “I kept bugging my mom, so she finally showed me how to look it up in the TV Guide.” Once he deciphered those letters and numbers, he continued with the rest of the alphabet.

Reading was just one outcome of his young fandom. The series protagonist, Colonel Edward McCauley, was decisive and dogged, overcoming the dangers of galaxy travel while serving on pioneering space missions to Mars and the Moon. Reading Moriwaki’s extensive bio of accomplishments and service suggests the sci-fi series may have influenced more than his early reading skills.

Moriwaki is a third generation Japanese American whose father, Nobuo Moriwaki, was drafted, serving as a U.S. military intelligence linguist during WWII. “My parents weren’t sent to internment camps because

they lived and farmed in Eastern Washington, and the Columbia River was the dividing line for removing Japanese Americans from the West Coast,” he explains. “They never talked about that time when I was young. They believed in ’gaman,’ a Japanese practice of restraint and perseverance, that their role was to make their children’s lives better than their own.”

He compares growing up in Moses Lake to another TV series, Friday Night Lights where school—and particularly football—was at the center of the community. As a student he was involved in everything— sports, theater, and as Student

Body President. He has the distinction of being the first 11 year old Eagle Scout in the state’s history. “I loved everything about Scouting,” he recalls. “Earning badges was based on merit with clear rules so it didn’t matter how tall you were or the color of your skin. If you did the requirements to earn an archery or government badge, the reward was earned on an equal playing field.” He credits Scouting with turning him into a conservationist and student government for his lifelong interest in policy and democracy.

It was in college at the University of Washington when he realized many of his fellow students knew more than he did about his own heritage, so he signed up for courses in Asian and Japanese studies. Later, he moved to Tukwila, Wash., serving on the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee, focusing on the area’s health services, childcare resources, and getting elected to the city council. “I wasn’t supposed to win that race,” he says. “I was running against three established community members and here I was, a 32-year-old renter.”

But Moriwaki clocked in more than 50 walking miles in his campaign knocking on constituent doors and listening to them.

In the 1990s, he was a broadcast journalist and newspaper columnist before being tapped to serve as the Clinton administration’s

(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

Aging with Confidence 3rd Act magazine 51
Below: The day of forced removal of Bainbridge lsland, Washington's 276 residents (Photo: Museum of History and Industry); right: Children internees wave from a special train as it leaves Seattle to an internment camp, March 30, 1942.

(CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE) spokesperson for the new Northwest Forest Plan, where he found himself the adversary of the logging industry. “Most people think we were only protecting the endangered northern spotted owl,” he explains, “when in fact, we were working to preserve millions of acres of old growth habitat.” That initiative became a global template for forest conservation and a personal career highlight for Moriwaki.

He continued working in communications and public policy positions for former Washington Governor Mike Lowry, thenCongressman (now Governor) Jay Inslee, the Washington State Senate, Sound Transit, and the ACLU of Washington. And he found time to volunteer on a variety of civic and government boards and commissions addressing conservation, childcare, health and human services, and justice. It’s a resume that could have landed high-paying jobs had he worked in the private sector. “But I chose a career of public service and giving back,” he says. “I want to make my hours count. I want to benefit those around me and

feel their energy. It goes back to my Boy Scout days.”

Lately Moriwaki has fine-tuned his attention to two projects: Bainbridge Island where he lives and was elected to the city council in 2021, and his multi-faceted work to educate and memorialize the tragic WWII history of exclusion and internment of Bainbridge’s 276 Japanese American residents.

Those residents, many of them from farming and fishing families, were a thriving community when Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the February 1942 Executive Order 9066 directing the removal of anyone with 1/16th Japanese ancestry from the West Coast. Forcibly evicted from their homes by the military, loaded onto a ferry bound

for Seattle and then transported by train and bus to a hastily constructed internment camp in Manzanar, Calif., the island’s Japanese Americans were the first of more than 120,000 U.S. residents to be forcibly relocated and confined. After the war a little more than half of them returned to Bainbridge Island.

When Moriwaki moved to the island in 1997, he says its Japanese community welcomed and involved him. He met some of the adults who were children when they were sent to Manzanar and heard their stories. Since his move he has served as the Executive Director of Seattle’s Japanese Cultural and Community Center, President of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community, a trustee and speaker for Humanities Washington, and is a founder and former leader of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association.

It was during his tenure in the latter position that funding was raised to purchase 50 acres of land at the site where the island’s Japanese American community, their few allowed possessions in hand, boarded

www.3rdActMag.com
Top: Mr. Moriwaki at work with Great Peninsula Conservancy's NextGen Outdoor Camp (photos courtesy Great Peninsula Conservancy); lower left: Moriwaki directs the volunteer work of a Washington Trails Association group at the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. (Photo: Katy Sadowitz )

the ferry that began their journey to internment camps. Initially the site was marked by a simple plaque, but as Moriwaki says, “place matters and so does honoring.” It was important to him and others that the memorial remember each man, woman, and child who was the victim of racial fear.

Today, the centerpiece of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is a poignant 276-foot cedar, basalt and granite wall embedded with images and quotes from the imprisoned families and the names every Bainbridge resident

confined to the camps. Beyond the wall the Exclusion Departure Deck extends over the beach, recalling the last steps taken as families left their island homes and businesses. In 2008, the memorial became part of the National Park System.

In 2022, Moriwaki won a Bainbridge City Council race promising he would divest himself of his other elected and appointed positions to avoid a conflict of interest. That meant giving up his work with the memorial and its related organizations. “That was my life and my heart,” he says. “I loved the people.

It’s like I’ve birthed a child and am abandoning it.” How does he let go? He reminds himself that he needs to get over himself.

“It was Charles de Gaulle who said, ‘The graveyards are full of indispensable men.’”

“I’m in the third phase of my life,” he told the Chamber of Commerce during his campaign. “I have a Medicare card now and I want to work toward the future of what this island should be. What kind of things are we leaving for future generations?” His city council campaign ran on a platform of good governance, affordable housing, and protecting the environment, themes that have always guided his career choices.

Like his dogged childhood hero, Col. Edward McCarthy, Moriwaki has embarked on yet another mission.

Ann Randall is a freelance writer, organizational consultant, and independent traveler who loves venturing to outof-the-way locales, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. Retired from a career as a teacher and union organizer in public education, she now observes international elections, does volunteer work in India, and writes regularly for 3rd Act, Northwest Travel & Life, West Sound Home & Garden, Fibre Focus, and Dutch the Magazine.

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 53
Photo: Keith Brofsky
“I want to make my hours count. I want to benefit those around me and feel their energy. It goes back to my Boy Scout days.”

I’ve always considered myself a bit of a pioneer—brave and curious. So, when a huge late-life change forced me to begin from scratch again, I was determined to live a more creative, sustainable, and minimal lifestyle.

I first encountered the Enchanted Forest of Lummi Island, Wash., during an artist studio tour. I hopped on a tiny, 20-car ferry, with no waiting in line, and took an eight-minute ride across the channel to pure magic. I fell instantly in love and put an alert on Zillow to see what was selling as soon as I arrived home.

Two years earlier, I’d set a goal of finding a beautiful tiny space in an artistic and quiet community where I could spend time working remotely,

create art, live in community, and travel. I’m not particularly handy or wealthy, so I wanted something that was simple but move-in ready—at least with hot water, Wi-Fi, and electricity!

I returned to the island to look at a promising listing a few months later and was greeted by a deer in the driveway of a tiny home that overlooked huge evergreens. This tiny home was a “vintage” 1953 New Moon Travel trailer. It had a separately built bathroom, a spacious outdoor living area, and was on

54 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com

two lots smack in the middle of the forest. Surrounded by a cacophony of birdsong I literally gasped at the beauty, and I knew in that moment that I had to live there. The timing and pricing were a “God thing,” and the doors of fate flew open for me to buy what the realtor called “the kitschy casita.”

After the first few months of living on the island, I began to discover a newfound love of nature and simplicity in my 8 ft. wide by 60 ft. long tiny home. Deer often join my early morning coffee on the deck, and the seasonal bird migration brings a symphony to the forest each spring. At first, it was a bit lonely—especially during the pandemic, when everyone was secluded and family wasn’t visiting. But since then, I have been able to get to know my tiny-home neighbors, focus on reaching out to the local community through art classes, and participate in the Local Artist Studio Tours. Without the distractions of city life, I can explore my passions and appreciate the beauty of a truly enchanted forest.

Another benefit is financial freedom. The tiny home lifestyle has allowed me to live more sustainably, without the financial burden of a large house. I was able to purchase my tiny home outright, and the monthly costs of utilities and upkeep on the house are much less than what I spent on my larger city dwellings. This has given me the opportunity to travel, taking myself— and my virtual job—to other parts of the country and the world. I often tell my family that “I have to pinch myself,” I’m living my best life. Going tiny is not for the faint of heart and it’s important to note that the tiny house life is not for everyone. But if you are thinking about downsizing, or experimenting

with a tiny home lifestyle, don’t wait! The freedom it brings, the blessings of living with what brings you joy, and leaving behind the heavy pressure of maintaining stuff you don’t need far outweighs the sacrifices. But count the cost before you sell everything and move.

Location: Tiny homes are not allowed everywhere. It is important to research local zoning regulations and other factors before choosing a location to live.

Community: What level of social engagement are you looking for? If you love a city lifestyle, parties, and overnight guests, a condo with a guest room may be a better fit. But if you love solitude, simple spaces, freedom from material burdens, and nature, the tiny lifestyle has a lot to offer.

Here are five considerations before you decide to go tiny:

Cost: Tiny homes are typically much less expensive than traditional homes but still require a significant financial investment. In addition to the upfront cost of the home, you may need to purchase a hardy vehicle if you plan to travel with it, as well as the ongoing cost of utilities and maintenance. Mine stays in place, so I didn’t have to purchase a vehicle to tow it.

Space: The size of your living area is a key consideration for anyone interested in tiny home living. They’re called “tiny” for a reason. Tiny homes are much smaller than traditional homes, and you must be extremely creative to figure out what stays and where it will be stored. If you are married or with a partner, how important is it for you have space to be alone? Seriously consider if this is the lifestyle you want.

Family Visits: I love tiny living, but one of the biggest challenges for me is that my family members live hours away and it makes it more difficult to spend time with them. Having a tiny space is not conducive to having overnight guests, although my grandkids think sleepovers are great fun, and I bring them for extended stays at the island as often as possible. They’ve even made up a song about Lummi Island!

Living a tiny home lifestyle continues to be a liberating and rewarding experience. With faith, the right planning, and preparation, I have created a cozy and comfortable home while reducing my environmental impact and living a simpler lifestyle. I continue to nestle myself into a delightful artistic community and am getting to know neighbors of kindred spirit. Through the process of downsizing, I have found freedom from the burden of excess and discovered a newfound appreciation for the simple pleasures in life.

Kellie Moeller is a native Washingtonian, proud tiny home dweller, and “Island Girl.” When she’s not working as a marketing consultant, you’ll find her creating artwork or capturing the creatures of the Enchanted Forest on camera. Take a tour of her tiny home and learn more about Moeller’s journey at https://linktr.ee/ kellieshepherdmoeller_artist.

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 55
MY THIRD ACT

Travel Like an Alaskan

With our 3,500-mile drive to Alaska in the rearview mirror, we crept down the steeply pitched White Pass to the end of the road in Skagway. My wife Deb and I, along with two dogs, a cockatiel named Peaches and a trailer stuffed with personal belongings were relocating to Admiralty Island. And our passage to “the bush” was docked at the water’s edge—an Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferry.

What we didn’t realize at the time is that this system of nine ferries navigating 3,500 marine miles of coastline and serving 33 communities is more than transportation—much more.

“When you travel on an AMHS ferry, you’re riding with an Alaskan crew and with Alaska residents who, with enthusiasm, will often share local information and advice about their favorite sights, eateries, and things to do,” says Shannon McCarthy, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities communication director. “A traveler won’t get the prepackaged cruise experience but will have a real Alaskan adventure.”

Danielle Doyle, AMHS marketing manager, says, “If you like the concept of boat travel but aren’t quite sure about

Take the next vacation on an Alaska Marine Highway System ferry by

a traditional cruise, the ferry might provide the perfect alternative. Or, for those who have experienced Alaska on a prior cruise or organized tour and want to explore more, the ferries will allow them to reach communities not represented on traditional itineraries.”

Board a mainline vessel in Bellingham, Wash., and wind north along the coast of British Columbia in channels so narrow it felt like we could touch the trees. There are 17 port communities in this Southeast region (or “panhandle”) enveloped in “the largest contiguous temperate rainforest in the world.”

According to Doyle, Ketchikan is one of the most popular destinations here. Our walk among “the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles” was an immersion in history and culture. Take a guided tour in the “Salmon Capital of the World” to learn human and wildlife stories of the area. Select from seven port communities in the South Central coastal region. For a vibrant arts town and world-class

fishing, come ashore in Homer. Walk the famous Spit—a four-mile finger of land jutting into Kachemak Bay—for exceptional eagle watching. About this region, Doyle says, “Those traveling with vehicles may community hop but ultimately will end up disembarking at a road head that will provide them access to the interior highway, as in Haines, Skagway, Whittier [and Homer].”

Join our bucket list of 11 ports dotted along the dramatic 1,100-mile sweep of Aleutian Islands in the Southwest region. Largely protected refuge lands, this area is critical for marine mammals and avian species as well as endemic plant species. Dutch Harbor, at the terminus of the AMHS route, is the “number one commercial fishing port in the nation” and surrounded by volcanic peaks, lush green valleys, and a 9,000-year indigenous human history.

McCarthy states, “The ferry system offers a unique look at coastal Alaska, traveling through scenic passages that larger cruise ships are unable

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to navigate, and to remote but lively fishing towns and culturally rich villages off the beaten path, where there isn’t enough infrastructure to support megaships that carry thousands of passengers.”

Back on the island in our remote fishing village we quickly learned more valuable contributions of AMHS ferries. Tucked into the belly of a day boat, the LeConte, was a truck filled with our groceries and necessities for the community. Its dependably scheduled arrivals also meant we could queue up at the ferry’s eatery for a rare treat—burgers, fries, and other comfort

foods on our own (floating) restaurant.

Doyle says, “Either as a walk-on passenger or traveling with a vehicle, [you] can stop and explore the unique communities along the coastal route and experience a vast array of scenic landscapes and wildlife.”

For the particulars, Doyle suggests, “Ferry travel can be scaled to fit almost any budget if travelers are willing to embrace their adventurous side and pitch a tent on deck or pack aboard their own cooler full of snacks.” Our short passages (Aurora, LeConte, Tazlina, Hubbard, and Lituya) involved sleeping bags and a backpack

“pillow.” We booked a cabin during longer voyages on the mainline vessels (Columbia, Matanuska, Kennicott, and Tustumena).

“A day trip can easily fit into most travel itineraries and fly/ferry combinations are a great way to experience the ferry for those that may be on a tighter timeframe,” Doyle says. And, when float planes to and from our island were grounded by weather, we could depend on ferries and the folks who kept them going.

AMHS ferries plying the waters of this National Scenic Byway added an unexpected depth and breadth to our Alaska experiences—an integral connectivity. Visitors have the same opportunity to connect with and participate in, rather than simply “see,” the cultures, history, and communities of Alaska. An experience we would have missed had we not traveled like a local!

Go to dot.alaska.gov/amhs for more information.

Angela Minor has lived, traveled, (and birded) the U.S., Alaska, Caribbean, and seven European countries. Freelance travel writer is her third career iteration, following teacher and small business owner. She writes for travel publications and international cruise sites, is field editor for Birds & Blooms and beat writer for 10,000 Birds.

This system of nine ferries navigating 3,500 marine miles of coastline and serving 33 communities is more than transportation—much more.

The Rites of Spring Get Protein from Plants

Here’s a generalization I won’t defend: Americans are not given to humility.

Despite every faith tradition’s encouragement toward acts of humility, as a society we trend to the opposite side of the spectrum—pride.

Spring is when the three Abrahamic religions observe core practices that are about restraint and simplicity. This year, all three faiths converge at the end of March, making it a strong trifecta

for reserve, reset, and rediscovery.

Many Christians celebrate Lent—the word is derived from the Angle-Saxon term meaning Spring—the six-week period before Easter. Traditionally, followers were asked to restrict certain foods during Lent. Most likely to be avoided were meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and wine. Today, many Christians abstain from a single pleasure-giving food to help stay aware of the reasons behind the practice.

In Judaism, Passover observance emphasizes avoiding food that has leavening, and rises or expands when cooked. Contemporary theory sees the practice as a way of mastering our arrogance, our “puffed-upness.” We eat Matzo at the ritual Seders, and replace bread and other yeasty things for the

eight days of the holiday.

Muslims who celebrate Ramadan for a month refrain from eating between sunrise and sundown.

Whether or not you observe any of these holidays, Spring is the season to rethink what you eat and commit to adding more plant-based food to your diet. If the idea of cleansing, purification, and self-control speak to you, excluding animal proteins and exploring plant-based alternatives can give you a moral and ethical boost you can feel proud about!

The options for discovering plantbased alternatives to our protein choices keep burgeoning. A recent AARP study on the protein needs for older people indicates that older adults need much more protein than was previously thought necessary. We are encouraged to consume at least 25 grams of protein per meal. That means we should be eating 75 grams of protein each day. Our brain needs it, our body needs it, our longevity might well depend on it.

Not very long ago, the few products with high protein and other nutrients were aimed at bodybuilders and health care facilities. Now choices abound.

58 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com NOURISH YOUR BODY

You can find enhanced protein and nutrition-boosted drinks at most fullservice grocery stores. It’s easy to add 25 grams of protein as an afternoon snack. Popular diets like Keto and AARP’s new guidelines emphasize protein and have suggestions that make it easy to increase your intake.

Consider these plant-based proteins for each meal of the day:

Breakfast

Chia Seeds. Mix up a bowl of Chia pudding to feast on throughout the week. It’s super simple and packed with nutrients and protein. Mix ¼ cup chia seeds with 1 cup of your favorite nondairy drink and refrigerate overnight. It will remind you of tapioca pudding, but far healthier. A few tablespoons over a bowl of fresh fruit, a bit of honey or maple syrup, and you have started your day with a good hit of protein.

Quinoa. White, red, or mixed makes an excellent base for fruit, seeds, and nuts. Remember to rinse it well before cooking.

Nut butters. Choose from the many nut and seed butters available. Although high in fat, nut butters satisfy and inspire. Check out recipes for cookies that use nut butters for a high protein treat during the day.

Lunch

Think of lunch as legume time! While it is easy to cook legumes, it is even easier to open a can to puree into variations of hummus or to add to a favorite boxed soup.

Dinner

If you are still reluctant to try using tofu—too many memories of the early days of tasteless tofu dishes—it’s time to reevaluate. Not only is tofu one of the best plant-based proteins, it holds its own as the perfect protein for stir-fries, scrambles, and sheet-pan exploration.

Lentil Salad with Cilantro-yogurt

Dressing

• 1 lb packed pre-cooked lentils (available at Trader Joe’s and most grocery stores)

• 1 bunch green onions

• ½ bunch cilantro

• 1 tsp fresh oregano or 2 tsp dry

• 1 cup plain yogurt

• ¼ cup olive oil

• ¼ cup red wine vinegar

• Juice of ½ lemon

Directions

• In processer, chop onion and cilantro coarsely and add the rest of the ingredients. Taste for seasoning.

• Chill and serve.

Serves four as main dish salad.

Baked Tofu

(Courtesy NY Times)

• 1 (14- to 16-ounce) package extra-firm or firm tofu, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices

• 1½ tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more as needed

• ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

• 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing

• 1 tbsp cornstarch

• 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

• 1 tsp dried oregano

• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved if large, kept whole if small

• 1 large red onion, cut into ¼-inch wedges (about 2 cups)

• 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

• 1½ tsp balsamic vinegar, plus more for finishing

• ½ cup fresh cilantro or parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped

Directions

• Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

• Arrange tofu slices on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Cover with another kitchen towel (or paper towels) and place a flat cutting board or baking pan on top. If your cutting board or pan is lightweight, stack a few cans or a skillet on top to weigh it down. Let tofu drain for at least 15 minutes (or up to 45 minutes.)

• Transfer tofu to a cutting board and cut slabs into 1-inch cubes. Pat them dry with paper towels, and season both sides of the tofu with ¾ tsp of the salt and ¼ tsp black pepper.

• In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp oil, cornstarch, garlic powder (if using) and ½ tsp of oregano. Add tofu to cornstarch mixture and gently toss until tofu is evenly coated. Move tofu onto one side of the prepared sheet pan.

• In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar, remaining ½ tsp oregano, ¾ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Drizzle in the remaining 2 tbsp of the oil, tossing to combine.

• Arrange vegetables on other side of the prepared sheet pan. Bake until tofu is crisp and golden brown, and tomatoes are condensed, 25 to 35 minutes. Halfway through baking, flip tofu and toss vegetables while keeping the tofu and veggies separate.

To serve, sprinkle cilantro or other chopped herbs on top, and drizzle with balsamic and oil, if you’d like.

2 to 3 servings.

Aging with Confidence spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 59
Rebecca Crichton is executive director of Northwest Center for Creative Aging and presents programs on that topic in the Seattle area.

FESTA INVITES YOU INTO A WORLD OF CULTURES

Seattle is increasingly a place where people from many different continents, nations, and cultures reside and contribute. But how do you get to know the cultures of your fellow Puget Sound region dwellers if you don’t live or work around people from an array of backgrounds? How can you be introduced to their traditional foods, music, crafts, and customs?

For 25 years, the Seattle Center has answered these questions with Festa, an annual program of weekend events that brings together local folk to perform, dine, and learn more about each other. These mini-festivals are free and open to all. Participating are organizations and individuals with roots in cultures ranging from Asia to Africa, Europe to North America, and Latin America to the Middle East.

No need for reservations or tickets. Just show up to party and if you are so inclined, bring your dancing shoes and a hearty appetite.

Misha Berson writes about the arts for crosscut.com and many other media outlets, teaches for the UW Osher program, and is the author of four books, including Something’s Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination (Applause/Hal Leonard).

March 19, 2023

French Fest: A Celebration of French-Speaking Cultures

Ooh la la! French language, culture, and joie de vivre from more than 30 countries are honored with francophone fashion, fine cuisine, wine tastings, and a wide array of musical performances to enjoy.

April 14-16, 2023

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival

To mark the close Pacific Rim friendship between Seattle and Japan, this event honors the renewal of life in springtime with beauteous cherry blossoms, booming Taiko drums, contemporary Japanese arts, and a traditional tea ceremony.

May 6, 2023

Hybrid Asian/Pacific Festival

In addition to its relationship with Japan, Seattle has meaningful ties with a multiplicity of other Asian cultures. The influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in our region is expressed at the Seattle Center through culturally influenced music and dance, along with a celebrity hum bow (dumpling) eating contest.

May 13, 2023

Spirit of Africa

This event aims to foster greater inclusivity, awareness, and appreciation for the many and varied traditions of music, movement, and storytelling throughout the African diaspora.

60 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com

May 20, 2023

A Glimpse of China—Seattle Chinese Culture & Arts Festival

Ancient and contemporary Chinese styles of dance, painting, calligraphy, and martial arts are honored and demonstrated to help people learn and enjoy the customs of one of the world’s oldest, largest cultures.

June 3-4, 2023

Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival

A rich heritage of art, songs, spoken word, film, and martial arts practices are the focus of this gathering paying homage to Filipino culture.

July 8, 2023

Polish Festival Seattle

Enjoy an event that illuminates Polish heritage and presence in our region through a lively array of food, exhibits, and workshops. There are also vodka tastings, and a beer garden with Polish brews on tap.

July 8-9, 2023

Festival Sundiata Presents Black Arts Fest

African-Americans have contributed so much in so many artforms to this nation. This entertainmentpacked weekend features rousing soul and gospel music, dance and visual arts, and hip hop.

August 12-13, 2023

Seattle Arab Festival

More than 20 Arab nations, each with their own traditions, are represented at this festival. The program includes henna dying, live music, calligraphy, cooking demonstrations, and folk dancing.

August 20, 2023

culture that uses spirituality as well as arts and culture to engage, entertain, and educate.

Western influences, modern and traditional Turkish arts and textile displays, workshops, and cuisine take center stage at this festival.

October 28-29, 2023

Día De Muertos Festival

Seattle

June 10, 2023

Indigenous People Festival

The American Indian and Alaska Native tribes have exerted a profound influence on the Pacific Northwest. That influence—modern and time-honored—is demonstrated through a blending of traditional and contemporary native music, dance, drama, and visual arts.

June 24, 2023

Seattle Iranian Festival

The local Iranian community shares the beauty of venerable Persian traditions with poetry, traditional dance, and tea tastings, along with modern cultural offerings.

Brasilfest

The infectious sounds of Brazilian drumming and song are combined with visual arts, capoeira, and tasty epicurean delights, leading up to Brazilian Folklore Day on August 22.

September 10, 2023

Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival

Not so far away, yet culturally so unique, Hawaii and other Pacific islands are celebrated with BBQ, poke, hands-on workshops, plus island music, dance, and a marketplace.

September 16-17, 2023

Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias

Join in commemorating Latin American independence with art and craft displays, dancing horses, mariachi bands, folk dancers, and tantalizing food specialities.

September 23-24, 2023

The Italian Festival

Abbondanza! Who doesn’t love Italian food and wine? They are served up here with music and other artistic displays from bella Italia.

October 1, 2023

CroatiaFest

People who hail from this appealing Balkan nation at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe share their customs and creativity through musical ensembles, colorful traditional dress, savories and sweets, and imported goods.

Mexico’s vibrant practice of honoring departed loved ones is steeped in ritual and religious tradition. On display at this gathering will be elaborate community altars, along with processions, festive music, and the art of making the “sugar skulls” given to children throughout Mexico during the holiday.

November 4, 2023

Seattle Hmong New Year

Join in on marking the end of the harvest season and the coming of the new year in homage to this deeply rooted Asian highland culture. Ornate clothing, traditional dances, visual arts, and ball-tossing competitions will be part of the festivities.

August 26-27, 2023

Tibet Fest

Experience a tribute to an ancient and contemporary

October 14-15, 2023

Turkfest

Integrating Eastern and

November 11, 2023

Diwali: Lights of India

Almost every culture has a festival of light to brighten up the wintertime darkness. At this observance, expect some of the Seattle area’s many East Asian residents to conduct art workshops, offer succulent foods, demonstrate henna tattooing, folk dancing and more.

spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 61
ON THE TOWN

The Sage’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for the Second Half of Life

After losing my husband, I suffered a “crisis of faith.” I believe this happens to many who lose someone to what feels like an early or unnecessary death. This led me on a spiritual journey—from a cradle Episcopalian to a student of world religions—in what I called my “seminary year.”

As I began this journey, I recalled a meaningful book, The Tao Te Ching, which I’d embraced years ago in college. So, off to the bookstore I went, hoping to find a sturdy new copy. It’s there I stumbled upon William Martin’s delightful interpretation of the original 81 verses for those of us in our Third Act—The Sage’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for the Second Half of Life. Martin has created other versions for couples, parents, and caregivers. In this iteration, he gives great credence to our new roles as sages and encourages embracing our elder status, reminding us that, “the world needs the sage more than ever.” Every single verse resonated deeply with me, such as this one at the beginning of Chapter 48: “Each day that passes, the sage discards another useless weight, Finally, all the accumulated burden of a life spent seeking something is gone.

In its place is a lightness of being and a clarity of seeing that makes a heaven of each moment.”

The original verses were written several hundred generations ago by Lao Tzu, a contemporary of Confucius, and yet, for me, the messages are more poignant today than ever. This so clearly parallels a quietness of mind that seems to be occurring naturally as I age—a letting go that leaves in its place a clarity and a calm I have not experienced before. So much of the overall Tao message is about being in harmony with the world and includes these important tenets: simplicity, patience, compassion; going with the flow; letting go.

My advice is to not try and read this book in one sitting, but instead to read one or two chapters a day and really meditate on the message—there is so much packed into each verse. I have now reread the book several times and continue to find some new nugget of wisdom and comfort each time. I hope this book leaves you with the same deep sense of peace and well-being that it did for me.

62 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com BOOKS
ANSWERS (Puzzles on page 64) Looking for Love 1. Olive 2. Solve 3. Vowel 4. Novel, Hovel 5. Evolve 6. Loaves, Louver Body Expressions 1 Spine 2. Eye 3. Blood 4. Toe 5. Bone 6. Hair 7. Heart 8. Jaw 9. Mind 10. Mouth Endings and Beginnings 1. Glass 2. Cash 3. Corn 4. Soda 5. Egg 6. Cross 7. Food 8. Saw 9. Candy 10. Bean 7. Grovel, Shovel 8. Revolt 9. Develop 10. Violent, Violets 11. Novelty 12. Elevator 13. Loveseat, Lovesick, Lovelorn, Loveless, Lovebird 14. Boulevard 15. Marvelous 16. Voicemail
GAMES FOR YOUR BRAIN
spring 2023 | 3rd Act magazine 63

GAMES for your

brain

Exercise your brain and have some fun with these puzzles designed to stimulate different cognitive functions.

Body Expressions (easy)

Fill in the blank space with the body part that completes the two-word adjectival phrase.

raising

rending

dropping

Endings and Beginnings (harder)

watering

In this game, we provide the first half of a two-word phrase or compound word and the second half of another. For example, given Credit trick, the one word that completes both clues is Card, i.e., Credit card and Card trick.

Looking for Love (hardest)

Each word in this list is missing all its letters except L-O-V-E. Can you fill the blank spaces with letters that make a common English word? For a more vigorous brain exercise, try to solve this quiz in three minutes.

Reprinted with permission from Nancy Linde, author of the best-selling book 399 Puzzles, Games, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young, 417 More Games, Puzzles, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young; and 299 On-the-Go Games and Puzzles to Keep Your Brain Young. She is also the creator of the website Never2Old4Games.com, which is used by many senior-serving organizations in the U.S. and Canada.

ANSWERS ON PAGE 62

64 3rd Act magazine | spring 2023 www.3rdActMag.com
tingling 2.
3.
4.
5. crushing 6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
1.
opening
curdling
tapping
boggling
1. Plate ceiling 2. Petty
3. Sweet flakes 4. Club fountain 5. Nest noodle 6. Red walk 7. Frozen stamps 8. Chain dust 9. Cotton cane 10. String bag
register
1. OL VE 2. _____ OLVE 3. VO EL 4. OVEL 5. _____ _____ OLVE 6. LO _____VE 7. _____ _____ OVEL 8. _____ EVOL 9. VELO 10. V OLE 11. _____OVEL _____ _____ 12. EL V _____ _____ O 13. LOVE _____ _____ _____ _____ 14. _____O _____ LEV _____ _____ _____ 15. VELO 16. VO E L
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