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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Does Wisdom Come with Aging

Does Wisdom Come with Aging: Some Questions[1]

1.   What have you learned about your life or life in general? From what have you learned, what do you think might be helpful to others?
2.   How would you respond to the question, what is the meaning of life (or what is the meaning of your life?)  Have your thoughts about the meaning of life changed since you retired?
3.   Looking back on your life now, do you wish you had done anything differently?  If so what?  What are you the happiest about having done, or most proud of?
4.   From your perspective now, what do you think matters most (or should matter most) in life? (Or what matters most to you?)  What, if anything, once seemed important to you but no longer seems so important?
5.   Are you more spiritual since you retired?
6.   What would you say are the best and worst things in life?
7.   What do you think are the most important aspects of your relationships with other people (especially those who you feel closest to)?
8.   To what extent do you care about what other people think about you?
9.    How would you like to be remembered after you die?
10.  If you could live for many more years, what would you most like to do with all of that time?
11. What is your view of human kind these days?
12. What have been the most gratifying or fulfilling experiences in your life?
13. Is there anything else you would like to add?

If you have some one you like to be with, show them these questions and have a discussion.  Good Luck!

[1] These questions were adapted from K,T. Kinner  In the Final analysis: More wisdom comes from people who have faced death, Journal of Counseling and Development, Volume 79, 171-177 Spring 2001.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dealing with Retired Husbands

Relationships with our spouse in Retirement[1]

Five happiness characteristics of Men’s spouses are:
·  Good Health
·  Having a husband willing to help with chores
·  Quality of relationship including sexual relationship
·  Attending theater
·  Sporting events

Furthermore, Spouses who had never worked express:
·  Higher levels of satisfaction than those who have worked and were now retired.

Men’s Housework
 Time availability and wife’s ideology are consistent predictors of retired husbands sharing of more routine housework.
·  Husbands do more
·  Sometimes however, husbands may be seen as “impinging” on their spouses territory,

Some research has found that: Husbands, during the first year of retirement may be seen as “intruders” in there their wife’s world-as-lived.  This is seen as the most difficult aspects of husband’s retirement

Because cultural norms have not provided meaningful scripts, husbands at home may produce conflict around
ü   Cohort division of labour
ü   Gender roles
ü   “Husband underfoot.

[1] Over ten years ago I created a retirement workshop, which included information and discussion of our relationships with our spouses.   The information was taken  from research articles.   I am interested in your interpretation.  It's time for me to go, --got to do the dishes.

The Seasons of the Sun

The Seasons of The Sun

I first learned about the Sun when I was young.
He rose in the morning before I left bed
And then crossed BC from the mountains.
In the evening he dove into the ocean
And made way for his wife; Misses moon.

Then I learned about his four seasons.
I love Summer best when he’s very warm
And shows his face above me longer.
Sometimes I think he’s angry because
He turns my skin red and I need a lot of water,

Along comes Fall; he begins to come later and stay less.
He lets me get my water by sending it in showers.
As time marches on he makes the rain much colder
A clear signal that it’s time for winter

He’s not around very long and hides behind clouds
Rain turns to snow that shines when peeks from behind clouds
I also have to wear some pretty heavy clothes
He takes no responsibility for keeping me warm
At the end of that comes my favorite holiday

Then he comes back, warming up, but still with rain
An artist created a song about April showers
He signals to the flowers that it’s time grow.
We gain three minutes of daylight each day,
And I count the hours till the return of summer.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

About Senior's Moments

About Ageism and Senior’s Moments[1]

           This post is explores the research question about the meaning of Senior’s Moment.  How was it defined? Well, a number of themes immerged, “… memory problems, cognitive impairment/disease, functional incompetence related to age, focused on older adults and undefined.”   The second research question examined the phrase within the context of newspaper articles.   Most of the senior’s moments referred to memory problems ranging from minor ones to major ones including Alzheimer’s disease.
         There were articles incorporating concessions frequently happening during public events. For example:    “ I’m having a senior’s moment’, Amy said.  She’s past 50, slim and stunningly attractive – a hard woman not to like.   She was speaking to a community meeting when she lost her train of thought. She stood for a moment blushing flushing fetchingly. “Pardon me, she repeated, “I just had a senior’s moment.”  The audience laughed understandingly and she went on with her talk.
         By using a phrase as an insult, incidents focus on the negative, highlighting the derogatory nature of age-based memory loss and confusion.  One columnist accused Martha Stewart of “having a senior moment” when she denied that anyone else had responsibility for her decision to do a well-publicized photo shoot.
         One article puts it, a senior’s moment is  “funny when it happens to someone else, not so funny when it happens to you.”  Another article suggests that the young should be more fearful: “ if you are in your 60s or 70s, Senior’s moments are a strain on both and [your family].  This article goes on to suggest that after 80, one can be as confused and forgetful as you like because it is socially acceptable. This article reinforces the idea that confusion and mental decline are an inevitable part of the aging process, and that after a certain age you should just give into it.
         Finally it is stated that: “ …these fears and beliefs may have significant impact on older adult’s themselves.  Some adults may adopt these stereotypes as true, thus self-stereotyping or adopting the negative characteristics expected of older adults.”

[1] This material was gathered from the Journal of Aging Studies(18)2004 132-142. Specificity dealing with  Senior’s Moments: The acceptability of an Ageist phrase.    By J.L. Bonneston and Elizabeth Bonnesen.   The research shows us that the term Seniors Moment is an Ageist Attribution.

Friday, April 25, 2014

About the Wisdom Process

About The Wisdom Process

    For a long time it has been professed that along with growing older comes increased experience of wisdom.  In this post I will first present a scenario.  See what you think about the problem using the process presented after the scenario.  Here we go!

   Joyce, a sixty-year old widow recently completed a degree in business management and opened her own business.  She has been looking forward to this new challenge.  She has just heard that her son has been left with two small children to care for.
       She is considering two options. She can plan to give up her business and live with her son, or she can arrange for financial assistance for her son to cover the child-care costs.
What should Joyce do and consider in making her plans? Want additional information is needed?

 See if you can use the following wisdom processes below, which include:
1.   Recognizing the existence of the problem.
2.   Defining the nature of the problem.
3.   Thinking about the information related to the problem.
4.   Formulating a strategy for solving the problem
5.   Allocating resources to the solution of the problem.
6.   Monitoring one’s solution of the problem.
7.   Evaluating feedback regarding the problem.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Spring [1]

I woke up this morning and went outside
With a jacket buttoned against the wind.
I felt Sun’s warmth upon my face
As Spring danced around me,
With flowers in her hair.

This afternoon I stood on Mount Baker
 With all his mighty beauty,
I waded in some flowing water,
And the Sun was warm.

Now walking in the noise of silent trees;
I feel the cold and I’ll try to be without her
Till She returns.

[1]  Surfing through my closet I found a book of poetry that I created just of 40 years ago. I'll publish some more over the next month 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Exercise to Combat Stress

Combating Chronic Stress[1]

Exercise to tame tension as you Age    

It bears repeating that exercise is one of the best ways to beat stress.  It can help you burn off extra physical a mental energy, boost feel-good mental transmitters, to lift your mood, and help you sleep better.  It also directly counteracts some of the harmful effects of chronic stress that age you beyond your years, including strengthening your muscles and bones, keeping you trim, recharging your immune system and warding of depression.  In addition exercise can actually slow the shrinking of your telomeres and protect them against stress-related cell death according to a 2009 study in the journal Circulation it also helps your body adapt to stress and be more resilient over time.

Interestingly, the stress response activates the reward center of the brain center of the brain, along with the adrenals, the nervous system and the pain relief areas.  The reward is the relief you experience once the stress has passed.  One reason why physical activity works so well to alleviate anxiety is because many people report the same thing with exercise—they may not enjoy doing it, but they feel so much better afterward that the promise of reward is enough to get them to lace up their sneakers.

Well now it’s about time for me to put on my sneakers and go out for my walk (I jog in the summer and it’s almost time for that)

[1]  Comes From:  The hundred best ways to stop aging and stay young Produced by Julian Maranan ISBN -13:  978-1-59233-449-0    

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Creativity and Aging

Sources of Creativity[1]

Most artists (81%) reported that the sources of their creativity had changed with age, with only a few writing, as one 86-year-old man did, that their ideas had become worse: “ As I age, all my mental processes, as well as physical ones, degenerate.  This affects my creativity adversely. “More typically, artists reported new ideas with increased age:  “I have definitely become more creative as years go by, working harder at my art and spending more time with my peers ‘brain busting (79 year old man) “My ideas come more quickly as I age (76 year old man). A 68-year-old womena was more specific concerning how her ideas changed:
         I depend less now on conscious and visually completed “plan”, preferring to let  “ chance” changes enter into the unfolding of the finished product.  Chance, or the subconscious, is my friend and co-creator, held in come check by being careful and aware of Murphy’s Law.

A 65-year old man explained how his priorities changed over the years/
         In my teens and twenties, I was preoccupied with dating, mating and earning a living, etc.  In those early years, I lacked a focus on artistic production.  In my 40s, 50s and 60s, [changes in] time interest and function increased my artistic production.

An 80-year-old woman wrote:
         In my teens I had other studies than art.  In my 20s I was in art school and teaching.  In my 3os and 40s I did full time teaching.” In my 50s, 60s and 70s, I was doing full time painting.”

(Now what about you?????????)

[1] This Material comes from the Creativity Research Journal I find this information very useful as I travel through the later stage of life.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Controlling Chocolate Through Meditation

Live Responsibly for your Outcome: The Silva Method

Chocolate is my Biggest Weakness

      For many years I have had a variety of chocolate substances including covered nuts; hot and cold drinks and candy bars.  Most of the time I didn’t see this as a problem. Since my journey with meditation, a lot with Silva, I have seen more clearly and have begun to take control.  I have not given up chocolate completely but have developed habits that are more realistic.    First I take no chocolate of any kind before noon.  This began as my action plan.  I have never wanted to give chocolate up entirely and love each moment that it’s in my mouth.   
       The key to my success (so far) is my ability to detach from thoughts, feelings and urges related to the chocolatet problem. Listed next is the process recommended to those who wish to benefit from meditation. I must go now because it’s three pm and time for my last hot chocolate.   Below is the process Silva recommends.

·   Pause
·   Take a deep breath
·   Say to yourself mentally:  Relax—What’s my outcome
·   Picture the desired outcome
·   Create and action plan

·   Begin to move in that direction

Exploring Our Retirement

Exploring Our Retirement[1]

Many of us are not “over the hill”
We are continuing the to climb new ones.
We can enjoy being only partly retired.
And are be interested in new activities.

We are ready to explore the second half of life,
And to move away from a negative view of aging.
After a period of exploration we can get a new plan.
It’s very useful to explore in the Internet.

And as we look for something that we wish to do
We can take opportunities for making new friends.
I have done so in my visits to the local Seniors Centre
This is especially helpful during the mid of winter

We can show our wisdom with life long learning
In part I do this by sitting on the Seniors Centre Board,
 Continuing to read books like the Mature Mind
And surfing through the Internet.

[1]  Material found from The Mature Mind: The Positive Power from the Aging Brain  by Gene D. Cohen PhD   ISBN -10;  0-465-01204-3

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Exploring Wisdom and Creativity

Exploring Wisdom and Creativity

I began this post very carefully,
Following the soundest course of action.
As I have in my lifelong search for truth,
I realize that I cannot be certain.

I used to create posts once a week.
Now I visit my laptop almost daily.
I feel the need to integrate my work
And I resist the erge to rhyme.

Having once been an athlete,
I still continue to take my daily walk.
Each morning I take my supplements
And try real hard to avoid a lot of chocolate.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

How I Fall Asleep

How I Fall Asleep

Sleep is quite great after I work all day.
Companied by 3 meals and exercise I need to rest.
The hours I sleep are between six and ten,
I wake happier the longer I sleep,

Those times when I haven’t slept so well,
  I awoke feeling like a walking Zombie.
When I was a young I slept differently.
Cause I liked to stay up watching TV

As I’ve aged, I’m now in my seventies.
I understand some about the flow of wisdom.
I put on my mask, then take a deep breath
This helps me to combat apnea.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ageism and Intergenerational Relations

Intergenerational Relations: A Vignette[1]

       Lisa Upshield, a woman of formidable reputation, who is known for her forthright comments to City Council meetings, has been unable to object when her son calls older people “ ‘Coffin Dodgers’. Until this week, that is.  Perhaps because of the diary she was keeping for the Senior’s Help Project, she chose finally to confront him.
     “I was in the back of the car with Kevin, my grandson, and Eddie (her son) was driving and he made reference to the driver in front who he thought was taking his time, saying to his son. “Hey Kevin, there’s another coffin dodger.” meaning an elderly driver. And Kevin went titter titter, because he thinks his dad is quite good.
         Eddie does this a lot, she says, and before today Lisa has been loath to object because she feels he does it by way of affectionate teasing.
         “This is the same son that when I show signs of forgetfulness he says: “ The shotgun’s ready mother.  Watch it.” He speaks in a rather blunt way anyway.  This is his only way of expressing his feelings.’
         It appears that the mother and her son have developed a certain style of relating to one another, a kind of code for expressions of affection.   Instead, I said ‘He makes a bit of joke….’ A poor joke. He makes a poor joke out of things.” She replied.”  But on this day, the first day of her diary, Lisa decided to say something.  She couldn’t respond directly to his jokes about her, but did seriously say “ I seriously disapprove of you passing onto to Kevin, at 5, such unpleasant expressions.  I     object to one generation passing that sort of expression to the next.  I take exception to that’ to which he replied: “Shut up you silly old bat.”  Now I would have hit the ceiling if that happened to me.  But she didn’t.  “It’s his way of speaking. On the whole I tend to ignore it. Or perhaps I am a coward. I would neverdream of saying: ‘ Do you mind not calling me a silly old bat? I find it offensive.”  Because I don’t actually.  Anyway I like bats, they are very jolly animals.  “But it is age discrimination.”

[1]  This vignette was used in a workshop designed and presented over 10 years ago as I began my journey into investigation of ageism.  What do you think of this story?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

About Women's Retirement

                          About  Women's  Retirement[1]

         The article is written about gender assessment of social integration and social-support patterns of professional, paraprofessional and non-professional retired women.
          Social networks and social integration of women are critical to their retirement satisfaction and adjustment.
          Women with higher educational attainment and more job prestige find they are active in social activities and maintain extensive social support networks in retirement.
          Social integration represents the number of social ties a person has, one’s social connectedness in the community, or to the extent of support an individual provides to others.
           In this post, social is defined as the social activities women persue in retirement and the support they provide to others.
        Significant differences were NOT found in the amount of social support received by women from different employment backgrounds.
         ALSO there are no significant differences with regard to alternative recreational interests (i.e. sharing leisure activities with friends and family, volunteering, faith-based activities, or solitary activities).
     Women with continuous work histories significantly are more likely to volunteer, compared to women with discontinuous work histories.
     Professional women are more likely to work part time after retirement (Stronger relation to Work Identities?)
     Finally, continuity of employment does not appear to affect the retired women’s social support or satisfaction wit support and only marginally influences their retirement activities.

[1] This material comes from my retirement workshop created four years ago. Unfortunately I have been unable to find the full reference.  All I have is the names of, Price and Dean (2009). However if you goggle Price and Dean about women’s retirement you will get more information.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sitting On The Edge of Time

Sitting on the Edge of Time

During a wonderful shower,
I wait for my dinner in Early Spring.
After my meal I will begin my journey.
I am a volunteer for seniors.

Not long ago I was a middle-aged man.
Now I am much older with growing thoughts
About both my weaknesses and Strengths
Goodness me, it’s hard to find my wisdom

We’ve been in our house for 17 years.
With strong confidence of my life,
I meditate and sleep well each day.
And sing to myself: Who Want’sTo Live Forever?

When not raking the yard or making my bed,
I read research journals or fiction novels
Or I sit her with my laptop
And create poetry.

Manifestations of Ageism

Manifestations of Ageism[1]

Ageism can be manifested in many different forms.  At a systematic level, laws and policies may be made without regard to the needs of older adults, or service cuts may have disproportionate impact on older adults.   Ageism may take the form of  “granny bashing” in the popular press (blaming many of society’s current economic worries on older adults).  It can be reflected in media where older adults are portrayed as uniformly poor (and consequently a perceived potential drain on society), or as a uniformly well off group who are unconcerned about the needs of others.

Ageism may be more commonplace in economic and political literature where demographic shifts in population are characterized as portending a future health crisis or “age wars” with the young with the young and old fighting over their share of social and health services. Ageism and age discrimination are based on social fears, and social response expresses those fears.

It has been suggested that there can be both internalized and externalized ageism.  Internalized ageism refers to the extent to which older adults take on the social norms that devalue or marginalize older persons.  They may do this at the individual level by acting in ways the reinforces the youth norm—battling the obvious and visible markers of ageing such as grey hair or wrinkles.  Internalized ageism may also be manifested by denial of any commonality with others in a cohort, such as familiar objection of an eighty-five year old woman or man who vehemently does not want to be associated with “all those old people.”

[1]  Ten years ago I began my journey of combating Ageism with a Seminar, I was 64 years old and Mandatory Retirement was still in place.  I created a seminar and the above is some material contained in it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ageism and Intergenerational Relations

                     Ageism and Intergenerational Relations:
A Scenario

This story I found amazing.  Sharon Whistler, a woman of formidable reputation, who is known for her forthright comments at City Council meetings, has been unable to object when her son calls older people ‘coffin dodgers’.  Until this week, that is.  Perhaps because of the diary she was keeping for the RoAD project, she chose to finally confront him.
         ‘ I was in back of the car with Kevin, my grandson, and Alan  (her son) was driving, and he made reference to the driver in front who he thought was taking his time, saying to his son “Hey Archie, there’s another coffin dodger”, meaning an elderly driver.  And Archie goes titter, because he thinks his dad is quite good’
     Alan does this a lot, she says and before today Sharon has been loath to object because she feels he does it by way of affectionate teasing.
         “This is the same son that when I show signs of forgetfulness he as “ The shotguns ready mother. Watch it.”  He speaks in a grunt way anyway.  That’s the only way of expressing his feelings’
         I decided not to press the point. Sharon and Alan have developed a certain style of relating to one another, a kind of code for expressions of affection.  Instead, I said:  ‘ A poor joke.’  He makes a bit of a joke… He makes a poor joke out of things” she replied.  But on this day, the first day of her diary, Sharon decided to say something. She couldn’t object directly to his jokes about her, but did seriously say: I seriously disapprove of you passing on to your son at five, such unpleasant expressions. I object to one generation passing on that sort of expression to the next.  I take exceptions to that two that’  to which he replied:  “Shut up you silly old bat”.   Now I would have hit the ceiling if that happened to me. But she didn’t  “ It’s his way of speaking.  On the whole I tend to ignore it. Or perhaps I am a coward.  I would never dream of saying “Do you mind not calling me a silly old bat?”  I find it offensive.”    Because, I don’t actually.  Anyway, I like bats, they are very jolly animals’.   Then she added But it is age discrimination.”

What do you think?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ageist Harassment

A Vignette About Ageist Harassment[1]

         At ten to one on Thursday morning, Pearl was awakened by a loud noise of something hitting her roof.  She got out of bed, looked out the window and saw to young men walking away.  She figured  they were students ‘tanked up’, on their way home to nearby university residences.
         But the next day she saw a brick on her roof beside some  broken tiles and she thought, ‘ Oh no!’  For the miserable experience  of being targeted by local children might be happening again. “I felt sick when I saw that brick. I’ve considered moving into seniors’ residences.”
         Two years previously, a group of 10-12 year olds mounted a series of dreadful attacks, led by a particularly nasty boy from a neighboring house.  They put stink bombs though her letterbox, through eggs at her door, repeatedly rang her doorbell and ran away.
         “Id injured my knee gong up and down the stairs was hard, so I got to a point where I didn’t bother answering the door.  They were forever taunting me.  I looked through the door window and there was such nastiness about it.  It was threatening, it was awful. I felt under siege.  When you’re on your own and you’ve got to lock up and go to bed, think somebody’s trying to get into your place—it was horrible.
         Once when they smashed hydrometer with led piping she ran after them, but they defied her.

Ø    ‘Why did you do that?’
Ø    “Do what?’
Ø    ‘You broke my glass!’
Ø    “It wasn’t us

         Pearl’s daughter Lena, who lived nearby, contacted the local police, and the instigator, already in trouble with other offenses, was moved elsewhere. Pearl wonders if the attacks happened partly because of her age.
         ‘Some of it’s just vandalism. But these kids also thought. “ She’s a silly old fool, She won’t run after us.”

[1]  Over thirty years ago along with Lawrence Prasad I began my Journey of investigation of Ageism.  This current post was part of:  A Pilot Study on Ageism: The Unchallenged Prejudice.  It seems like a long time ago.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Beyond Ageist Stereotypes [1]
A Ten-point plan for a
Ageism Reduction

1.          Heightening sensitivity to the stereotyping of older people.
2.          Creating greater exposure to diversity in personal characteristics of older people.
3.          Having greater commitment to recognizing and responding to diversity in dealing with older people
4.          Making deliberate use of perspective taken to see the older person as an individual.
5.          Seeking out opportunities for intergenerational cooperation.
6.          Taking advantage of opportunities to promote the social attractiveness of older people.
7.          Strengthening institutional practices that promote the norm human-heartedness.
8.          Desensitizing ourselves to the stigma of degeneration and dependency.
9.          Reviewing policies and practices for evidence of stigmatizing through disrespect, particularly the disrespect communicated through treating older people as an invisible group.
10.      Mandating inclusiveness of older people in policy planning and implementation.

[1]  Material found in a book Edited by Todd Nelson (2002) Ageism:: Stereotypes and Prejudice  Against Older Persons.  ISBN  0-262-14077-2  pp331-332. The author of this chapter is Valerie Braithwaite.

A scenario about Retirement

A Scenario[1]

Alex says he is surprised how many retired people he knows who are willing and interested in talking about their retirement.  “They appear happy” he says, “but when I ask them.  It seems that all they do is drive around in Winnebago’s and play golf with the same people.  He feels that’s appalling for people to spend retirement like that and has made up his mind that he won’t be “spellbound” like that.  He is more frightened of retirement than death and can’t imagine giving up work. He sees retirement as doing nothing. “I don’t see it as a happy time at all.”   

[1]  A scenario from my retirement workshop

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Overcoming Stress After Retirement

Overcoming Stress After Retirement

Before retirement, teaching was half my life
Fighting Mandatory Retirement was important.
We needed to retire in our own good time.
When the battle ended, I was a lot more relaxed

Taking time to create poetry helps me bypass stress.
Which must be left behind because it is so destructive.
 My wife who understands me helps me to relax
When I look at her; soft love flows within my heart.

Now I have begun to meditate more frequently
Which helps prevent stress when it approaches
This is very good for my aging brain.
As it travels through my body.

Volunteering In Retirement

Volunteering In Retirement[1]

      While after they turn 65,some people continue to work, with fewer hours, others begin or continue volunteering. “Over a quarter of adults above the age of 55 years in the United States, the majority of them being retired, contribute their time to various community services.”

       “Volunteering in retirement is a two-way street.  Research has shown that older adults who do volunteer work receive increases in all sorts of well being: happiness, life satisfaction, physical health, and longevity.  In fact it has been found that “… The benefits that older adults receive from volunteering is greater than the benefits received by people of other ages, and some speculate it’s because it helps compensate for loss of other roles in their lives”

       I am now 74 years old and for a number of years I have been and Official Volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society.  I have been helping others since I was a youth. I am the oldest child in the family. Helping others began at an early age and I believe that helping others including my years teaching as a university professor.

         I think I need to more volunteering around our yard.  As summer approaches there are quite a few things that need to be done.

[1]  Some of this material is gathered from “The Journey of Adulthood” Chapter 7 pages 234-235.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Life After Retirement

                                                       My Life After Retirement

Looking though the window as it rains outside
I am waiting rather impatiently for summer.
In the spring, frequently traveling behind clouds,
The bright sun peaks out and smiles at me.

As an athlete I learned to exercise for health.
On my morning journey I used to jog. Now I walk.
The rain does not prevent my walks each day,
 As I remember my favourite phrase ‘It is what it is,

Meditation has helped me to calm my journey
As I travel along with a very wonderful wife
Also I join my sons for downtown walks
And spend time creating poetry.