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changing the face of aging
Susan Brooks
I'm on fire!

I'm on fire!
April 2023

I transformed my life in 30 days...and I'm here to tell you the story! Who knows? Maybe my story will inspire your own!

March 1st I was the keynote speaker for Queen Creek's Women in Business. It was a sell-out crowd. It's been at least three years since I was on the stage, I've all-but disappeared in the marketplace, instead taking on the role of caregiver for my husband (who's now cancer-free and getting stronger every day, btw). But there I was, breathing in that rare air of the divine, feeling my heartbeat strong, and saying the words that mattered most to these business women. I relived each story, each lesson, each challenge as I validated the courage and bravery it takes to be a woman in business!

Five women from this event are now my coaching clients.

And, I got a job. I haven't been an employee since I was 17. Yes, that takes some getting used to! Before I accepted this position, I experienced ageism in the workplace, usually crickets to my many applications. I got clear that FUN would be the deciding priority.

What do I have more fun doing than almost anything else?

My happy place is in my closet, surrounded by treasures I've collected throughout my lifetime, remembering my Grandmother saying 'Getting dressed is the best part of everyday!'

Susan at Kiss Me Kate
Thank you, Audree Thurman, for capturing this photo!

Kiss Me Kate is my new 'closet away from home.'

Any and every piece of clothing or hand-beaded purse or any one of these derby hats (pictured above), I could easily take home and make it my own. Shannon Fox is the stylized owner and boy, oh, boy does she have an eye! In her late 70's, she lives and breathes being a Modern Elder.

I steam, I ticket the clothes, I vacuum, and I keep moving all day long. I had to buy HOKAS for $178 to insure my feet would still work after eight hours...and they are so ugly, not my style at all, but, hey, I like being upright!

My favorite part is when I'm with Myrna, from Vermont. She was beige head to toe. She walked into this store, bursting with color and bling. After trying on a multitude of more beige, I brought her a textured silver tank and white fitted pants with a quiet silver printed jacket. She blushed when she saw herself in the mirror...and even more so when she walked out of the dressing room to show her husband. He was more flushed than she was! I all but cried...

Why am I telling you this story of mine?

At whatever age you are right now, if you are lucky, you are aging. Change is constant. Priorities shift. Always, you get to choose your reaction to these changes. Life at it's fullest is about being take live in every moment.

This month I was BRAVE every day, deliberately. I am living this dream of serving others doing what I love to do with my clients... So many things mean more...and so many more things mean less! I am forever grateful for my brave choices.

So, c'mon down and see me sometime at KISS ME KATE! Let's have a play date!!

New outfit!
New gig!
Choosing YOU!

You know where to find me - I'd love to help!

Set up a play date today:

Rodo Sofranac Age 75

Featured Modern Elder*

Rodo Sofranac
Age Almost 75

Thank you, Lynn Murphy, for sending Rodo my way so that I can now share him with you all...

Rodo embodies the Ultimate Modern Elder.

He had to learn English as his third language after immigrating here to the US at age 8 from the communist dictatorship in former Yugoslavia. "Politics not only ripped countries apart, but families apart. We never communicated with most of my family and friends ever still hurts."

He was the first executive director of Habitat for Humanity, a banker, a teacher, college instructor program Director for Arizona Leaderforce, Cub Master, national chair of Workforce Development Councils. "To me, all these leadership positions fit into my definition of life: a compilation of relationships, whether personal, professional, recreational, spiritual. I believe we are a composite of our experiences, so why not learn from each one?"

He is in love, still after 48 years, with Susan, a cognitive coach and reading specialist. "As a classroom teacher in Title One schools, Susan understands the importance of inclusivity that celebrates diversity."

Rodo and Susan Sofranac

Today, Rodo and Susan write colorful, whimsical and lesson-driven books for children from infancy to age 14. Each keepsake book is hilariously illustrated and fun to read. Rodo's exposure to such diversity of cultures and languages inspired Rodo to read, write, and have fun with words, especially telling stories, which best describes their life frequenting schools to read his books to children.

They use 100% of the profits from book sales to produce, purchase and donate more books to schools, libraries, and non-profit agencies working on literacy. So far, they have 9 books published that help kids of all ages become better readers.

The 9th book is a bit different than the others Rodo has written. It's called The Red Tail Tale on the Arizona Trail.

It's written for 7-14 year old's but raves have already been received by any age person who loves Arizona's beauty and uniqueness. Centered around the 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail, and its spectacular award-winning photography, this book brings the Arizona adventure to life.

Find Rodo and his books here:

Diversity and inclusion are well-worn themes that Rodo learned from experience and now easily and compassionately connects to the hearts of children, who want so much to be understood. "We are all remarkably unique while at the same time part of the one and only human species. To me, this is the ultimate dichotomy---the yin and yang of human existence."

When I asked which book was his favorite, Rodo answered just like Rodo would: "That's like picking a favorite child. I love them all!!"

*Chip Conley, best-selling author and speaker, hospitality entrepreneur and leading thought leader, created The Modern Elder Academy's mission "to inspire the ability to reframe a lifetime of experience and recognize one's mastery, relevance, and value in the modern workplace." The Modern Elder* is Conley's term and effort that "liberates and inspires us to embrace wisdom as a path of growing whole, not old...The Modern Elder*marries wisdom and curiosity."

Every month this newsletter will Feature the stories and wisdom of Modern Elders*.

Share your Modern Elders* with us...maybe it's you!! Please send in your Modern Elder* Story along with a one-line Wisdom statement plus photo to be featured. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT

Susan Brooks

Today, I am 76 years old, and proud of it! Paul Simon, who is now in his 80's said it best years ago: us boomers were BORN AT THE RIGHT TIME!

Yes, I was born at the right time! I'm still a hippie from the 60's, I marched for civil rights for all humans, equal rights for women, waving my bra with the best. I am proud to be living and growing in a robust marriage of 55 years. I survived motherhood, and so did my now-adult children. I was an award-winning woman business owner when there were but a few of us. I've learned a whole bunch of lessons, and more importantly, I've earned my fair share of Wisdom, too. I am Pro-Age!

According to Chip Conley, one of today's leading thought leaders: "Experience is making a comeback. Wisdom never grows old." Chip created the hallmarks of the Modern Elder*: "learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, cultivating a beginner's mind so that learning never ends, exemplifying a willingness to evolve both as a student and sage." Research shows that shifting our mindset about Aging can add 7.4 happy years to a person's life.

Proud to say I am a graduate of the Modern Elder Academy as well as an active participant in Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit programs. As one of the creators and hosts of the Thrive@55 event, we celebrated our female community leaders who were 55+.

As long as I'm able to see the sunrise every morning and keep a curious mind, there's more living to do, so much more to learn, and so many new ways to serve. Trailblazer that I am, and always will be, I recognize my next mission: by example and demonstration I am committed to Changing the Face of Aging: One Modern Elder* at a time!

I welcome both local and national speaking engagements as well as one-on-one coaching opportunities to delve more deeply into navigating life transitions. Email me Here.

Juicy ways and energizing action steps: how to soak in the wisdom and energy of becoming your own Modern Elder*
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