About

I work with older adults and encourage them to share their life stories. They’ve challenged me to do the same thing. So here I am. I pinned up my story on the virtual walof life.

 

Why this blog?  I wanted to keep a record of my personal and professional transition from mid to late career.  My late career could extend into my 80s or 90s.  That sure sounds strange to me and it might sound strange to you too.  Let’s face it. Even if we don’t like the term “old age” we’re all aging. Me, my friends and colleagues are becoming the new generation of seniors. Our “kids” are approaching middle age. What does that mean?  How does that feel? How do I educate myself for the journey ahead of me? What are the developmental stages involved?  What are my options? What is my legacy? I explore many of these thoughts and feelings with others in my networks. I’ll be blogging, making creative art journals and producing videos as I go along.

 

This is my creative age and I haven’t peaked yet. I am a late-blooming boomer. My most productive and creative years are still ahead of me! That’s my best guess ~ and I choose to believe it.

 

The end of midlife marks the beginning of what is known as “the Third Age”. Third Age is an emerging concept made possible by our longer life expectancy that allows for a perceived life bonus of an identified active and healthy “life stage” of 30 years. This was not recognized or documented by previous generations. The Third Age is now viewed as an important developmental period after mid-life that can significantly add to a life well-lived if regarded as an important stage of adult growth and development. It is recognized by the World Health Organization in the Life Course Approach to Health.

 

With traditional lines blurring and with an extended period of healthy active years after mid-life, work may or may not play an important role during these years..

 

During my transition, I’ll encounter some or most of the complexities involved with the changing nature of employment, family, community and social relationships. This blog provides me with an opportunity to think out loud and reflect on my own ideas as weeks and months go by. A number of my friends and colleagues are going through a similar transition. We see this as a process that extends over time and we’re currently exploring ideas and options together.

 

With millions of baby boomers entering their third act of life, the global Age Friendly Cities and Communities movement exists to promote meaningful opportunities for the full social and cultural engagement of older adults. Pat Spadafora, former Director of the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research, observes that we are “freeing ourselves of limiting beliefs about aging and embracing the reality that individuals continue to grow, learn, and contribute to their communities throughout the life journey.”

 

In 2010, I was pleased to serve as the founding co-chair of the London Age Friendly Network. I presently serve as the co-chair of the Housing Working Group. London Ontario is the first city in Canada to receive the World Health Organization Age Friendly City designation and join the Global Network. The London Council for Adult Education surprised me with an Adult Educator recognition in 2015 and In 2016, I received the Ontario Achievement Award from the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

Kathy Smith

London Ontario Canada

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