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Who Is the Adult in the Room?

The old Washington political cliché has taken on new meaning and new life recently, generally referring to character and behavior rather than policy decisions. But the term has resonated with me in a totally nonpolitical way. I often find myself in situations where a tiny voice in my head reminds…

 

LIVE WELL, Look Good, Travel Light

We all want to live well, though each of us—at different periods in our lives—defines living well differently. My friends and I resist the idea that we might be old—“I don’t feel old!”—but as a long-ago newspaper reporter, I know too well if I get hit by a car when…

 

The Parable of Two Sons

Once there were two elderly, affluent widows whose oldest sons served as executors of their fathers’ wills and as trustees responsible for managing their mothers’ finances. Each son was the mature, responsible, oldest child in his family. Both women lived for decades after their husbands’ deaths. One widow complained, “I…

 

Do You Want to Reach 100?

“Don’t you want to live to 100?” younger travelers asked me on our recent trip to Japan. They seemed astonished that one might not want to live forever. I wasn’t sure how to answer their question. “If I am of reasonably good health—mentally and physically. If I don’t outlive my…

 

Rehearsing for a Dowager Role

One week after arthroscopic knee surgery, I have happily graduated from a walker to a cane. Not just any cane—an elegant, old, silver-headed cane that Lev occasionally carried the last years of his life. After his death, I ditched the functional, collapsible, ugly, aluminum cane he preferred but saved his…