Surprising Gifts of Later Life
Name: Surprising Gifts of Later Life
Date: February 23, 2019
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM PST
The surprising gifts of later life are the subject of a free public program presented by Village Network of Petaluma. The talk is centered on research from Dr. Susan Stewart’s recently published work, Winter’s Graces: The Surprising Gifts of Later Life. Village Network of Petaluma offers programs to the general public as well as to Village members. Drawing on folklore, recent research, the world’s wisdom traditions and the experience of elders themselves, Professor Stewart will describe a balanced and heartening view of age that acknowledges its challenges and celebrates its many gifts. “It takes an abundance of audacity, courage, ingenuity, humility, and humor to age well in a culture that mistakenly equates aging with devastating decline,” says Stewart. “Fortunately, these and other life-enhancing qualities tend to ripen with age.” Decades of research have established that the catastrophic conditions often associated with late life, such as severe dementia and debilitating frailty, are the exception, not the rule, says Stewart. In addition, she has found in her years of research that older adults generally have - a deepening acceptance of themselves and others, imperfections and all - a growing sense of being embedded in something greater than themselves - an increasing ability to find ingenious solutions to complex and important problems - enhanced capacities for contentment and for enjoying simple pleasures. A conversation with the audience about growing older follows Stewart’s presentation. She will also share how making dolls helped her overcome writing challenges. Copies of Winter’s Graces will be available for purchase and signing by the author. Susan Stewart, PhD, is an emerita professor of psychology (Sonoma State University), a retired psychotherapist, and a regular contributor to Psychology Today. Winter’s Graces is published by She Writes Press, Berkeley, Calif. Village Network of Petaluma is a non-profit membership community of support and connection for older adults living in the Petaluma and Penngrove area. Founded in 2014, it is one of 250+ villages nationwide, part of a groundbreaking approach to create vibrant, active, and connected lives as we age.