So I learn. Mainly from elder bloggers, many who have passed on now. What a euphemism. "Passed on." Some to their saviour and assorted relatives, others to star dust from whence they (and I) came. And of course I learn from those in my independent elder living building.
Some garden diligently never letting a weed so much as breathe. We have massive gardens here including vegetable patches. Some fill the covered patio at the front with flowers and pots and wall hangings. Others fill the library with catalogueing and sorting books while others make pillows for our gallery (my floor's bonus) which overlooks the large community room where I hold my workshops. I will photograph it all soon as my legs are improving greatly with my weight loss.
I had no models in my life for successful aging. I refer to the women as my dad (who outlived my mother by 25 years) was a different story entirely. My mother died young. My grandmother, her mother, who was fairly young then and survived her was a livewire but sunk into a massive depression after mum's death (grief therapy unheard of then) and was never the same. An older aunt, a business woman and golfer of some renown sunk into hers when her youngest child died. Losing a child changes one for ever.
Point being, I was on my own as to how to do it successfully. By success I mean contentedly, enthusiastically even. So I paid attention to the blogs of elders. Many had hobbies. Many travelled. Ronni, in her blog "As Time Goes By" wrote of the real challenges of aging, loss of hair, teeth, overall health, lack of accessibility with mobility issues, being not afraid to move across the continent when things didn't work out in Maine. Irene wrote of mental health challenges, agoraphobia, Ernestine wrote about the turning point of 78 when she could no longer garden but adapted her kitchen for experimental healthful cooking while sitting until arhritis defeated her. 98 year old Tom wrote of his tomato garden, so many astonishing varieties. Hobbies (blog writing being one) are essential to successful aging.
Blogging has been a life saver for many elders including me. Blog friendships can be deep and fulfilling. And blogs leave a wonderful legacy of how to navigate this final phase of our lives.
For those lucky enough to experience it while so many others pass on.