Vermont Maturity January-February 2022 Issue

Page 1

January/February 2021 Issue


ARO MED Essentials


How to Travel in Style and Hassle Free Happy New Year and welcome to Age Well’s regular feature in Vermont Maturity! The Story of a Successful Transition to a Rightsized Home

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Table of Contents Vermont Maturity

For Vermonters Age 50 and Older

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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS James Conner Carolee Duckworth Scott Funk Brigitte Harton

ARO Med Essentials


Jim Miller Phyl Newbeck Kirk Shamberger Nick Thomas


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How to Travel in Style and Hassle Free by Clover Whitham

Happy New Year and welcome to Age Well’s regular feature in Vermont Maturity!

The Importance of Engaging in Creative Activities after Retirement 10


Wake up to Breakfast and Be Healthier 14

The Story of a Successful Transition to a Rightsized Home by Ben Durant

by Dr. Carolee Duckworth


by Brigitte Harton

: ATURIT Y M T N O VERM s . . . 30 d r a C s s e Busin

4 | January/February 2021 |



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Vermont Maturity Cover Story


auren Andrews discovered aromatherapy through her job as a psychiatric nurse, working with acutely ill clients. She subsequently

changed careers to become a Clinical Aromatherapist and completed the coursework to get certified by

UVM in Cannabis Science and Medicine. In 2013 she opened AroMed Essentials (then known as AroMed Aromatherapy) on State Street in Montpelier. Andrews had worked as a charge nurse at the Inpatient Psychiatry Unit at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin and at the Vermont State Hospital and she credited those positions with increasing her desire to expand complementary options for addressing both physical and mental disease. Andrews describes her business as one that “supports the health and well-being of people and the planet by providing offerings that reduce stress and discomfort to mind and body while helping customers achieve the highest quality of life possible.” AroMed is owned by a woman and the team is committed to the company’s culture of compassionate care and its mission to “embrace the power of organic and wildharvested plants to support the well-being of customers, employees, community, and the earth”. Andrews 6 | January/February 2021 |

said each member of AroMed’s team has their own

grow no more than three acres of hemp a year. “Their

holistic health and wellness practice which she believes

boutique hemp flowers are hand-picked from selected

complements the company’s culture and mission.

hemp varieties that are known for their unique flavors,”

“Together,” she said “AroMed staff strive to ensure the

Andrews said. “They use natural, sustainable farming practices.”

integrity of relationships across the supply chain by sustainably and ethically sourcing products, supplies,

Andrews explained that the hemp plant’s aromatic compounds known as terpenes and its active medicinal

and services.”

ingredient known as cannabidiol or CBD are removed

AroMed ships its products across the US with free shipping for orders over $100. They sell organic

via a certified organic extraction process at Cattis

Vermont-grown CBD and certified organic, ethically

Scientific in Hardwick to create the product sold as Full

wild-harvested essential oils. All of AroMed’s hemp

Spectrum CBD. Andrews said that Eric Kawka, the

comes from two certified organic Vermont farms:

founder of Cattis Scientific, has focused on developing

Wilson’s Herb Farm in Greensboro and Quintessential

and implementing cannabis extraction standards and

Farm in Cabot. Andrews praised Brenden, Lindsay

processes with an emphasis on establishing scalable

and Lilly Beer of Wilson’s Herb Farm for working to

methods for a new class of medical cannabis-derived

promote health and well-being through alternative

products that meet pharmaceutical standards. Kawka

and plant-based remedies. The farm provides all

has a master’s in organic chemistry and performs all

the hemp which is used in AroMed’s CBD tinctures.

the extractions for AroMed’s CBD tinctures.

Quintessential Farm is the source for AroMed’s topical hemp products. Sarah and Quint Welters vow to

AroMed’s other products include a variety of essential oils including lavender which is described as

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Helpline: 1-800-642-5119 Age Well is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 7

calming, basil which is said to help focus, and carrot seed which Andrews said encourages regeneration of skin cells. The oils are sold individually or as compounds. Andrews said it is the mission of AroMed to bring these natural agents to the public. “Before modern medicine,” she said, “people relied on the plants in their environment to heal, protect, and support their bodies. From chamomile to white willow bark, decades of trial and error led to high reliance on the natural world for a litany of ailments. While modern medicine has its advantages, these natural agents still exist, are still valuable, and are still capable of delivering those age-old benefits.” At first, Andrews was skeptical of the efficacy of CBD. “I was initially wary, wondering if it was just a fad,” she said. “Then I learned about the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). When I discovered how CBD is utilized in the body through the ECS and reviewed the mountains of research that support its efficacy, I was all in. It was clear to me that I was working with a powerful, medicinal plant. Any bias I

had fell away. AroMed’s CBD has helped decrease pain and anxiety for thousands of our in-person and on-line customers.” Andrews said that the purer the source of essential oils, the better their performance. “The best organic, essential oils are free of contaminants and agents that can negate the true advantages of the oil itself,” she


said. “All of AroMed’s essential oil, oil blend, carrier oil, and CBD-infused products are carefully curated from well-sourced plants and created through delicate extraction processes to retain the integrity of the ingredients. In addition, we complete third-party lab-testing to determine the purity of our products.” Andrews cautioned potential customers to be wary of CBD from untested sources since the product is not regulated. “Customers come to AroMed,” she said “because they know they will get accurate, scientificallybased information, and personalized service that

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supports their health and improves their quality of life.” Andrews believes seniors can benefit from her products. “Seniors’ quality of life can suffer when dealing with chronic pain, anxiety or insomnia,” she said. “Many fi nd AroMed’s CBD lotions and tinctures

can be very helpful in allowing them to enjoy life more; travel, play with their grandchildren, work in their gardens, and enjoy sports and physical activity

For more information call 802-505-1405 or visit

without feeling left out or isolated.” Andrews recalled one man who called her to say that he had just done his own errands for the first time in months. He had been unable to drive because pain prevented him from turning his head from side to side, but after using AroMed’s Relief Lotion three times daily for a few days, he regained his ability to turn his head, allowing him to drive again. Andrews hopes more people will try her products to improve their quality of life. “That’s the biggest motivator for my customers,” she said. A combination of personal experience and her reading of the scientific evidence compelled Andrews to start her business. “I felt called,” she said, “to introduce and educate my community about plantbased health options that support a higher quality of life, along with providing affordable, effective, evidence-based, organic essential oil and CBD remedies.” VM

Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 9

How to Travel in Style and Hassle Free


by Clover Whitham

n these days of pandemic uncertainty, the argument for hiring a travel advisor is an easy one. Travel advisors book hotels and plan activities,

And the clincher? For many trips, that added value comes at no extra cost. “I don’t think people realize that travel agents

as well as serve as advocates when something goes

don’t charge a premium anymore. It’s almost like, why

wrong. They monitor the constantly changing travel

wouldn’t you use a travel agent if they’re going to do

restrictions and regulations for you. An advisor takes on

all the work and charge you exactly the same price?”

the work of sifting through the countless options on the

said Keith Neil, owner of Champlain Tours based in

front end and deals with any headaches that come up

Burlington. “Plus, if things go awry, like a pandemic,

while you’re on the road.

your travel agent takes care of you. You’re not the one

Does your destination have a mask mandate? Will you need to show a vaccine card? Are the museum hours reduced? Does the restaurant have capacity restrictions? A travel advisor can figure all that out for you. 10 | January/February 2021 |

on the phone begging a hotel in Paris to get your money back.” The CDC currently says travel is safe for vaccinated vacationers to certain locations, but travel advisories and

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protocols are in continual flux. On top of that, staffing

“A good advisor has a lot of balls in the air at once,

shortages, canceled flights and canceled events make for

but stays calm, cool and collected,” says Scott Milne,

a lot of moving parts to keep track of.

president of Milne Travel.

According to a survey from Association of Travel

Whether you want to wade slowly back into travel or

Advisors and Sandals Resorts, 27 percent of travelers

jump right in, there are options for all types of travelers

always or often used an advisor prior to Covid, but 44

and budgets.

percent said they were more likely to do so following the pandemic. Of those who had used a travel advisor, 94 percent said they would continue to do so. “Having a leader take care of the small things truly

Group trips in Vermont and New England are a great way to get back on the road with low risk. “There is a certain small-town camaraderie that occurs when traveling with your neighbor. It takes a

makes one’s vacation completely stress-free,” said Neil.

very short time for a seasoned traveler to discover the

After all, isn’t the point of a vacation to get away from

pleasure of sitting back to watch the scenery and letting


someone else deal with the logistics, traffic, et cetera,”

If a travel agent accompanies clients, then there would be a fee for the agent’s service. On trips that an

Neil says. Champlain Tours offers several regional trips,

agent plans and books, the agent is paid on commission

including a Quebec City tour, a History of the Roosevelts

off the wholesale costs and the consumer pays the same

on the Hudson River tour, a Cape Cod cruise, train trips

as they would if booking themselves.

in New England and day trips to local theaters.

But even when the agent doesn’t join you, he or she will be standing by to help solve any problems.

“Many of our local travelers enjoy seeing a side of their own backyard that they would never have seen traveling alone,” said Neil, who was leading a music tour of Branson, Missouri at the time. At Milne Travel, which has offices in Barre and South Burlington, as well as around New England, regular Red Sox tours are a popular day trip option. Milne Travel has also offered group tours with local radio personalities and is planning a November tour to theaters in London with Vermont filmmaker Jay Craven. Group travel is a great way to experience a place

Serving travelers since 1975

without the stress of planning and worrying about transportation. Many longer group trips build in “free time” for travelers to explore an area on their own between planned excursions. For those ready to go farther afield, early planning with an advisor will pay off, says Milne. Airlines are rewarding early buyers with more flexibility, such as

800 78 Milne 12 | January/February 2021 |

waiving fees for rescheduling, Milne said. Milne said his agency’s advisors have experience booking trips of all types, from luxury vacations costing tens of thousands to budget-friendly family travel. No

matter the trip, a good advisor will be available to solve

guides who share the history and culture of a region

problems, said Milne.

with the group. Visits include museums, cathedrals,

Both Milne Travel and Champlain Tours offer

historical landmarks, and restaurants that specialize in

customized domestic and international tours built

local cuisine. These trips have been on hold during the

around the traveler’s interests and budget. When to

pandemic but are expected to resume.

contact a travel agency depends on the complexity of the

Travel itinerary ideas as well as tips and safety

trip and the season, but the earlier the better, said both

information can be found on the AARP website. AARP

Milne and Neil. For group travel, for example, advisors

members can benefit from travel discounts. Martel also suggests following travel agency mailing

may book hotel rooms 11 months before the trip. Neil said the backed-up demand for travel means some cruises or destinations are already filled up for 2022. Emily Martel, who oversees educational travel for

lists and social media to learn more about upcoming trips. Learn more: Champlain Tours:

Milne, facilitates trips for organizations such as senior

Milne Travel:

centers, clubs, and schools. She suggests seeking out

OLLI at the University of Vermont:

groups to learn about upcoming trips. A few years ago, Martel worked with the Montpelier Senior Activity Center on a trip to China, for example. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (known as OLLI) at the University of Vermont also hosts group trips; past excursions include Cuba, Italy and the Iberian

program/osher-lifelong-learning AARP travel resources: VM Clover Whitham has been a journalist at Vermont newspapers for more than a dozen years and is now a freelance writer and editor near Burlington.

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Happy New Year

and welcome to Age Well’s regular feature in Vermont Maturity!


ge Well staff and volunteers have been busy as ever providing

wraparound services to help older adults in Northwestern Vermont age with confidence and dignity. Keep reading to learn more about

new offerings, health, and wellness tips, and much more:

14 | January/February 2021 |

Age Well’s FY 2021 Impact Report With community support during difficult times, we were able to meet the emotional and physical needs of older Vermonters. Our Meals on Wheels volunteers and staff delivered meals to 25% more clients. Our Care Coordination team provided iPad tablets and technology training to those that are homebound to reduce loneliness and isolation. Our Helpline staff were on the frontlines helping demystify the process of getting a vaccine and provided resources to help individuals stay happy and healthy in their home. Now, we’re stepping forward to do even more. Vermonters are living longer, but far too many are being

Health & Wellness Tips NAVIGATING DAILY MEDICATIONS, TOGETHER. Do you know about Age Well’s HomeMeds program? Medication-related problems can lead to many issues resulting in ER visits, re-hospitalization, and worse. Adults 65 years or older are twice as likely as others to come to emergency departments for adverse drug events and nearly seven times more likely to be hospitalized after an emergency visit. HomeMeds is an evidence-based, in-home, medication review and intervention that includes a computerized risk assessment and alert process, plus a pharmacist review and recommendation for improvement.

left behind without the resources to age with dignity. We hear it every day, from clients like Maria, older adults are lonely, hungry, and at-risk. Together, we are changing that story. Over the next year, with our volunteers, donors, community partners, & dedicated staff, we hope to: ✔ Improve health outcomes, social connection, and

engagement of the thousands of people we are proud to serve ✔ Strengthen our work with our community

partners to meet the complex needs of our clients and improve population health outcomes ✔ Work towards improving our outreach and

services for vulnerable older populations, including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, New Americans, and other diverse groups ✔ Continue to address the growing issues of

isolation & hunger Community support keeps food on the table, helps provide much-needed care and services, and brings smiles to faces. Thank you for ensuring people receive the support they deserve to age well. Read the full FY 2021 Impact Report:

Call our Helpline to learn more: 1-800-642-5119 or online at:

Support finding Licensed Mental Health Counselor Did you know that Age Well can help you to identify a licensed mental health counselor if you’d like more support with caregiving responsibilities? Call our Helpline to learn more: 1-800-642-5119.

about Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 15

Meet Some of Age Well’s Team CHRIS, JESSICA, AND JILLIAN We would like to introduce you to Chris, Jessica, and Jillian, as we continue to highlight some of our amazing staff members here at Age Well! We have many team members that you may not see every day, but who are vitally important to our mission to support older Vermonters. Hear directly from these three Age Well staff members and learn more about their roles.

Chris Moldovan Started at Age Well: September 2015 Job Title: Director of Nutrition & Wellness Department: Nutrition & Wellness What do you love about your job at Age Well? I love that work we do every day supports older Vermonters and enables them to live a vibrant life supporting them in managing their own health. What do you find challenging? I find the most challenging thing is also the most interesting thing! Each day is different a filled with lots of intriguing possibilities! How would you describe your approach to helping clients? The Nutrition & Wellness Department’s approach to

Where did you go to college? I started in New York state and graduated from UVM in Nutrition and Dietetics, completing my internship with UVMMC. I have been active in my profession, serving three terms as president of our state association. I am honored to be a Fellow with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I serve currently as Dietitian Consultant to the VT Office of Professional Regulation. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Wappingers Falls, NY and moved to VT in 1984 (yikes!) to attend UVM . I have lived in VT longer than I did in New York! What are you doing when you’re not at work? You will find me puttering around my houseplants or gardening outside, reading a good book or cooking up something tasty! Unless I am out in nature taking a walk, biking, or kayaking.

Jessica Owens Started at Age Well: June 2021 Job Title: Executive Assistant Department: Department: Administration What do you love about your job at Age Well? I love coming to work knowing that we are empowering caregivers, supporting those who have limited means to do so themselves, and that we are warriors for our aging Vermont population.

helping clients is one of collaboration. We work to meet

What do you find challenging?

them where they are to gain an understanding of their

I can’t clone myself and help everyone!

needs and offer supports that they feel comfortable with.

How would you describe your approach to helping

What would you like more people to know about the work you do? I wish more people understood all that Age Well has to offer. I run into people often that may have heard of Age Well, but they do not fully understand the entire host of services and expertise we offer. 16 | January/February 2021 |

clients? I would describe my style as hands on. I love getting to know the person and be on their level. What would you like more people to know about the work you do?

I cater to the specific needs and game plan drawn

My approach is to treat our clients the way I want

up by the CEO, Board of Directors and The Department

my parents to be treated. With kindness, empathy, and

Directors. I’m a hub for communications, allowing the

compassion, always!

leadership team to do their best work and run the show. I’m the wizard behind the curtain! Where did you go to college? I graduated from Essex High School. I attended both Community College of VT & UVM Adult Continuing Education majoring in Family Consumer Science, English and Business Administration.

What would you like more people to know about the work you do? My job is to support our volunteers. We are very careful when we match a client and volunteer. We want it to develop into a strong bond and be enjoyable. Most of our volunteers tell me that the client becomes like family. Where did you grow up?

Where did you grow up?

Jericho, VT

Essex Junction, VT

What are you doing when you’re not at work?

What are you doing when you’re not at work?

When I’m not at work, I’m spending time with my

I’m a female mechanic/rally car driver who is an

husband and daughter! VM

avid cosplayer and loves attending comic conventions. I’m also an aspiring DJ, video gamer/nerd, baker extraordinaire and love adventures with my corgiKaylee.

Age Well is a 501(c)3 non-profit. All our services are provided for free to older adults 60 years and older and their caregivers. Learn more at or call our Helpline: 1-800-642-5119.

Jillian Brady Started at Age Well: May 2018

We’re looking for caring volunteers.

Job Title: Associate Director of Volunteer Services Department: Volunteer What do you love about your job at Age Well? I love getting to provide support to our volunteers. They’re such a caring and compassionate group of people. I feel deeply honored by all they do! What do you find challenging?

Are you 55+? Help children learn! Make extra income!

I wish everyone knew about Age Well. I think that there are still so many older Vermonter’s who are in need of our services. I feel blessed to be able to help

Contact Danielle today to learn more about the Foster Grandparents Program: (802) 861-7821.

spread the word in our community. How would you describe your approach to helping clients?

Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 17

The Story of a Successful Transition to a Rightsized Home by Ben Durant

Downsizing or rightsizing homes can be an

Chittenden County and until recently had a beach house

incredibly daunting task. Many of us have lived in our

on Lake Champlain. For Bob and Donna, their downsize

homes for decades, and a few of my clients have lived in

started 10 years ago in small ways with simple things

their homes for 50 years. It’s hard to contemplate a move

like donating clutter to Goodwill and selling some of

when you’ve spent much of your adult life in the same

their collectibles on eBay. Their downsize started in

home, a home you’ve taken care of, and it has taken

earnest in 2020 when they called me to start the process

care of you. To help elucidate the point, I thought I’d

of selling their real estate and finding their next home

spotlight one couple that I’ve been working with for a

that would fit their needs for the decades to come. They

few years that have recently made their big transition in

loved their beach house but felt that they weren’t using

seamless fashion.

it enough to justify the added effort and complication in

I had the pleasure to meet Bob and Donna at the Senior Plus Expo in 2019. Bob and Donna are Boomers and are enjoying the prime years of life. They live in




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their lives. They were eager to start a new chapter in their lives and were inspired to travel as well. It was clear that

starting the process of downsizing would start by selling

home that offered a single-level living, with all amenities

the beach house. The summer of 2020 was a good year

on the primary living level would mean their chances

for real estate and their beach house sold like a hotcake

of staying at home longer would increase greatly. They

with Vermont maple syrup and at a price that was

wanted to ensure that the outdoor landscaping they

significantly higher than the listing price. They sold the

put so much pride into over the years didn’t become

home furnished, so moving out moving out was easy

burdensome in time.

and consisted mainly of packing up their personal items. Selling their summer home was a snap but selling

They wisely decided to explore condo living or carriage homes with landscaping and exterior

their primary residence would prove to be a more

maintenance included. Other important factors for

formidable challenge. Their existing home was an

them were finding a good community with like-minded

adorable Cape Cod house on the outskirts of Chittenden

neighbors, as well as a closer proximity to amenities

County. They had lived there for 30 years and had

such as shopping, and medical care.

deep roots. They raised their kids there and had deep

With a vision in mind, we put together a plan to

friendships with their neighbors. Fortunately, they had

make it happen. With today’s tight real estate market,

the foresight to know that the home that had served

we knew that selling their current home would be easy

them so well, wouldn’t be able to take care of them as

but finding their ideal next home would be much more

well in the future. For instance, they knew that a home

challenging. We developed a plan to use the equity

with stairs may become a challenge in the years to come.

in their current home along with a home equity line

Bob and Donna felt it was important to stay in their own home as long as possible. They also knew that a

of credit that would allow them to be in the powerful position of a cash buyer that could take their time to

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fourth day of autumn, we had their perfect next home under contract; a carriage home in South Burlington. After signing the contract, Donna remembered “the next few days were a blur.” And indeed, they were, within three days of getting the new home under contract, their old Cape Cod house was placed on the market. Within four days of listing it for sale, we had a dozen offers, all significantly over the asking price. Within a week, they had finally gotten their dream home find their perfect home. The downside to this plan was that they would own two homes for a short time, but this also meant that they could take their time moving and make sure their next home was in perfect condition before moving in. Bob in his very relaxed way said, “Now is as good as a time as any,” and they set about this new endeavor. Bob and Donna worked hard and viewed many homes that came close but weren’t perfect. Some were great and they made offers, only to be beat out by the fierce competition. We started looking seriously in May of 2021, and by the

under contract and their old house under contract to sell. Bob and Donna ended up only owning two homes for a matter of a few weeks and they used that gift of time to get a little painting done in their new place and move in a more relaxed pace. Because of a strong plan, they were able to buy their next home low and sell their hold home high, which is the ideal scenario. Bob and Donna’s new carriage home is in a very nice neighborhood that is much closer to town with all its conveniences. The Homeowners Association takes care of all the landscaping and exterior maintenance. And it


Serving Vermont's Seniors and Boomers, statewide with all of their real estate needs. Ben is dedicated to problem solving the unique issues facing Vermont's greatest generations. Call Ben today for a free consultation. Phone number: 802.355.6688 Website: email:

20 | January/February 2021 |

officially wasn’t a downsize, rather, it was a rightsize; the

When asked what about the move proved to be more

new home is 650 square feet larger than their previous

difficult than expected, both Bob and Donna agreed

home. They love the carriage home that has all the

that it was more mentally taxing to sort through all their

important functions accessible on the main living level.

belongings and to let some of it go. Bob commented, “it

The floor plan is much more open than their previous

was mentally exhausting, even though we’d been doing

house, but still offers quiet spaces and privacy. “All that

it all along.” After all the turmoil of moving, I can’t

we need here is on the main level. We love it, and it’s

imagine doing this in my 80s.”

great how everything is high end, from appliances to the

After contemplating on the difficulty getting rid of so much, Donna commented that, “Now that we’re

interior design.” When asked Donna was quick to say that the

we here, we’ve come to realize that we don’t want or

neighborhood “feels like a Norman Rockwell Village.”

need any of that stuff.” It’s like we’re liberated!” Bob

She elaborated that, “The place is beautifully landscaped

concluded, “This was a great transition for us.” I couldn’t agree more. VM

with walking trails and nature all around, so peaceful”. Bob stated that “The community is alive, and our neighbors are always outside walking and talking with one another. It’s easy to get to know everybody and they’ve been very welcoming. We’ve only been here a few weeks but it’s like we’ve always been here.” According to Donna, “It’s all been an exciting

Ben Durant is a Senior Real Estate Specialist® and Owner of Transitions Real Estate. He is dedicated to helping Vermont Seniors and Boomers find their best housing solutions. Ben lives with his wife and three children in Williston. He can be contacted by visiting Transitionsvt. com or by calling 802-355-6688.

adventure”. Bob seconded that by saying, “We made out really well.”

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Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 21

The Importance of Engaging in Creative Activities after Retirement


by Dr. Carolee Duckworth

id you just look at the title of this article and think “What does creating have to do with me? I’m certainly no Vincent van Gogh or

Mark Twain.” Did you immediately think that this article is for all those creative geniuses out there, and

you’re not one of them?” Well, wait a minute! Before you move on, be assured that this article is about you and for you, whether you know it or not.

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Consider the story of Stuart... Stewart was a technology whiz, with a PhD in

owner? So, in your mind, do you assume you are just not the creative type? Well, what exactly is the creative type? And what do they create? To address this question, your mind probably goes

computer science. His career at a university on the West Coast involved detailed, mind-taxing work with

first to the “core” creatives, people with special talents like

computers and data, along with some teaching about the

painting, writing, sculpting, designing, composing music.


These “core” creatives can miraculously start from a blank

He was the son of an artist but felt no draw towards

page or canvas and end up with something unique and

creative work himself. Or so he thought. However, he did

possibly brilliant. But creation goes beyond these “core”

appreciate art and music, and, occasionally, even poetry.

areas. And it is not the domain of the tortured, hyper-

So, who could anticipate that Stuart’s hobby, that later

talented few. Perhaps you are a person who can create new

turned into his retirement enterprise, would be the cello?

ideas, new technologies, new content, new services, or

And by this, I mean the cello start to finish, beginning

new solutions to complex problems. Like the rest of us, creativity was something you

with building his own cello, then learning to play it. Where in the world did that come from? And how did

readily and naturally expressed as a child. In our

he discover this to be his engaging creative passion?

imaginative play as children, we constructed stories, and

What Does Creating Have to Do with You?

told them from multiple perspectives. We enlisted others

So, returning to the initial question… What does

to take on roles in those stories. We made up worlds out

creating have to do with you? During your major career,

of cardboard boxes and magic markers. Why did we do

were you a builder or a nurse, an executive or a business

this, and how? And what does this have to do with now?

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The fact is that we all are “wired” to create. Creating

Research has shown that there is a clear connection

is displayed in many ways. New ideas or experiences.

between creative pursuits and a sense of well-being. And

Expressing our “self” through words, photos, art, craft,

this sense is long-lasting. People who engage in a creative

music. Constructing personal meaning from experiences.

endeavor experience increases in positive emotions and

Imagining other perspectives. Applying stories from

flourishing, both on the day they engage in the activity

one milieu or time or situation to another. Reflecting on

and in the days that follow. These positive emotions

mental and emotional states. And if we all are wired to

include energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. In a study

create, this means that you are too.

of 650 adults conducted by the University of Otago in

Why Create? Creativity has many faces and forms, but the deeper question is... Why create? And more to the point, why create after retirement when you already have had your fill of work? What are the benefits of exploring and engaging your creative side? In a nutshell, consider this: Creative endeavors are associated with positive emotion, flourishing and well-being.

New Zealand, each participant kept a diary for 13 days to record time spent daily in creative endeavors as well as their feelings of well-being in terms of: 1) positive emotion, 2) flourishing and 3) sense of meaning, purpose, engagement, and social connection. The results were striking. Those who engaged in creative activity experienced more positive emotions that day. And significantly, these positive emotions carried over to the next day and beyond. This clear connection between creativity and well-being was true for all, not just for those few who had extraordinary artistic talents. Small daily acts of creativity influence overall well-being, both in the moment and afterwards. For everyone.

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The How’s: Traits and Habits to Find Your Creative Side So where and how do you find your own creative affinity? What do you do to discover it? Well, here’s the irony... Creativity resides in the part of our brains that works when we’re not purposely engaged in something else. According to psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s ground-breaking research, as detailed in his book Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind: “Creativity is a habit… A way of life... It is a style of engaging with the world.” And it is a spirit that resides in all of us. Kaufman outlines 10 practices and habits that guide us to our deepest creativity. The first six are:

Imaginative Play – The wellspring of natural creativity, taking on multiple perspectives and playfully manipulating emotions and ideas. Passion—Can lead to inspiration... to endeavors that “resonate.” Daydreaming—Which is not

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a waste of time but is the time needed for: creative incubation, selfawareness, future planning, reflection on the meaning of experience, and compassion. Allow your mind the freedom to wander. Solitude—Essential to feeding the creative mind. Creative ideas are stifled while we are engaged outwardly. Your creative mind requires mental space and quiet through solitary reflection. Intuition-- A spontaneous mental process that arises from

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the unconscious mind… Part of the “fast brain” system

need both play and seriousness. We need both intuition

through which our mind assimilates new information

and reason. All of these contribute to the creative process.

into existing structures, recognizes complex patterns, and

Beyond Self

makes unconventional connections that lead to original ideas and solutions. Openness to Experience—Leads to a deeper level of self-understanding, and self-expression. The drive for cognitive exploration of one’s inner self and outer self predicts creative achievement. The take-away is that to access and cultivate our creative side, we need to give our minds the space and the quiet to roam. Turn off the constant babbling of the TV. Take a break from social media. Spend time alone. We need to have the desire to learn and discover, then act on this, staying open to new experiences. And as our creative endeavors of choice come to mind, we need to make sure that we develop the self-understanding to find the one or ones that resonate with us. The paradoxes: We need both mindfulness and mind wondering. We need both openness and sensitivity. We

Something To Think About James A Meunier, director

“The greatest of human potentials is the potential of each of us to empower and acknowledge the other... Our greatest genius may be the ability to prime the healing and evolutionary circuits of one another...we have the power to restore to one another the glory of who we are” (from “The Possible Human” by Jean Houston). Just as we each can benefit from finding our own creative side, so too can we pass this on and draw this out from others. For starters consider storytelling. We have lost the tradition of telling the stories of our past. By activating childhood memories, we “prime” our memory banks. By learning and passing on the fundamentals of storytelling—gaining attention, creating characters and conflict, crafting the visuals and details, the villain, and the philosophical problem—we can create our own life stories. Our stories can take written form, or be told at gatherings, or turned into videos or podcasts. South Burlington’s New Flooring Showroom and Warehouse



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People who are bereaved often experience GRIEF. This is the powerful emotion that should, and usually does, follow the death of a loved one. For everyone it is unique, and must take its own course and duration. MOURNING refers primarily to social behavior following a death. There are a great variety of cultural, ethnic, and religious norms for mourning. Sociologists and psychologists are finding that these ritualized expressions of grief can be of great benefit to the bereaved.


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Why Start Creating Now, During Retirement? If you are thinking, “Well this all sounds wonderful, but it’s just too late for me to start now,” then think again. Perhaps during your youth, you had experience or even some success with one of the core areas of creativity. But maybe this encounter with and urge towards a creative art ended abruptly when you recognized that it would not be a practical pursuit to earn a reasonable living. Even if you have always considered the creative life to be impractical, rethink the possibilities now that your life realities have changed. What may once have seemed unrealistic as a means for you to earn a living, may be just the pathway that will suit and stretch you now that earning power is not your primary concern. Allow your singular gifts to flourish. Even if you think that you have had your fill of anything that resembles work, then consider the differences. When you are engaged in a creative pursuit, you will experience and use time differently, tending towards long periods of

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intense concentration, punctuated by complete breaks in productivity when you need to relax and recharge, or to incubate ideas. Your efforts will be self-managed, and you will set your own hours. You will be drawn to learn and grow, and to shape the content of your own work… To express your identity through your work. And you will be drawn to stimulating, creative environments and people where you feel free to express yourself. So, incorporate more creativity into your daily life. This can be through activities such as writing, cooking, knitting… It can be through explorations such as traveling… Or finding novel solutions to problems… Or inventing a better mousetrap… It can be through learning to play the autoharp. VM Now retired from a 40-year career in education, Dr. Duckworth co-authors, with Dr. Marie Langworthy, Shifting Gears to Your Life & Work After Retirement and the QuickSwitch to Working Online series, available on Amazon. She also co-authors, with son Brian Lane, the “Great Trip Guide” Series—detailed guidebooks to taking

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Wake up to Breakfast and Be Healthier


by Brigitte Harton

o you skip breakfast? If you’re looking for a small change you can make in the new year to improve your health, consider waking up to

breakfast. The evidence stacks up when it comes to the benefits this small change can make! Consider this: 2019 research published in the Journal of the

American College of Cardiology found that “skipping breakfast was associated with a significantly increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. Our study supports the benefits of eating breakfast in promoting cardiovascular health.” Adults who report regularly eating a healthy breakfast are more likely to eat more vitamins and minerals and control their weight.

Eating breakfast helps people with diabetes improve their blood glucose control. Some people with diabetes tend to skip breakfast because they think it will help keep their blood sugar in control. What happens, though, is that their blood sugar may drop too low. They then feel ravenously hungry and tend to overeat at lunch and dinner, creating a blood sugar spike. They would have been better off just eating breakfast in the first place. If someone with diabetes wakes up with a very high blood sugar, say 300, breakfast should consist mainly of protein foods. To help you create a habit of eating breakfast, try setting up the table the night before. Put a placemat with utensils and a bowl and/or plate on the table along with non-perishable items such as cold cereal, peanut butter, fruit, etc. What a great reminder! Aim for food from at least three food groups that include a good protein source and at least one serving of fruit. Boost the fiber content with some whole-grains such as whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, and whole-wheat toast. Here are a few easy and nutritious breakfast ideas: ✔ Cottage cheese with fruit and graham crackers ✔ Hard-boiled egg with whole grain toast and

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✔ Yogurt with fresh or canned fruit and granola ✔ Avocado toast on whole-wheat bread with

shredded cheese ✔ Oatmeal with raisins/craisins, walnuts, and

cinnamon (made with milk) ✔ Cold cereal such as Cheerios with a sliced banana

and milk

GRANOLA BAR WITH MILK AND APPLESAUCE Smoothie made with yogurt or milk, fruit, avocado, or leafy greens

Spread nut butter over one side of one apple slice and sprinkle with granola. Depending on taste, you can add chocolate chips or coconut flakes. Place the remaining apple slice atop granola to finish the sandwich.

BREAKFAST PIZZA (Makes one serving) ✔ 1 slice of crusty whole wheat bread ✔ 3 tablespoons of ricotta or cottage cheese ✔ 2-3 slices of tomato ✔ Drizzle of olive oil

✔ Sliced apple with cheddar cheese and almonds

✔ Sprinkle of fresh or dried basil

✔ Apple sandwiches (see recipe below)

✔ Dash of salt and pepper

✔ Breakfast pizza (see recipe below)

Spread cheese over the bread. Cover with tomato

✔ Apple Sandwich

slices. Drizzle olive oil over the top and season with basil,

✔ (Makes one sandwich)

salt, and pepper. VM

✔ 2 slices apple ✔ 1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut or almond

butter ✔ 2 tablespoons granola

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