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changing the face of aging
Susan Brooks

May 2024

Bonjour! Namaste! Ni Hao! Dia dhuit! Merhaba! Hola!

Back in the day, did you start a bucket list? Have you checked off all the boxes? What's next? What's your timeline?

Listen up: If you are waiting to travel, to move, to end a relationship or for lightning to strike, DON'T DO THIS! Perpetual Waiting can trap you in a cycle of regret, and stagnation, and slowly erode your sense of happiness and well-being. You've worked so hard…for someday? When you put off your happiness for some unspecified future time, you deny yourself the joy that can be experienced RIGHT NOW.

Each one of us is given a certain number of breaths, we don't know when this last breath is, but guaranteed, it's someday, it's real, and it's non-negotiable. I know you've heard it before: Life is short. You do get to choose how you want to live this life.

Eugene Levy (age 77 of Schitt's Creek fame) is The Reluctant Traveler on Apple TV who has reluctantly accepted, after several pursuits, the lead role in this series even though he kept saying 'You got the wrong guy.' Incredible hotels, exotic foods (Eugene is a meat and potatoes kinda guy), and with a huge leap of faith, he stepped way out of his comfort zone. Watch it. You'll see yourself. You'll laugh out loud. And tomorrow, you'll call your travel agent!

You must already know that at every age, travel is good for you:

Trust me. This is my '77 years of-Wisdom talking.

Don't wait, start saving now. Put a 'by-when-date' on your calendar. I promise you, you will create memories that will last a lifetime. After almost 57 years of marriage, when we get a bit nostalgic and perhaps a bit melancholy, we remember limoncello in Italy… relief from a rain storm under a tree in Switzerland…and hot chocolate at Angelica in Paris.

And, yes, traveling as Modern Elders, will mean that I'll probably leave my Mephisto's home, and consider other priorities that still provide the experience, simply more comfortable. We've updated our Bucket List and filled in the by-when dates. I have some great girlfriend's trips planned, too.

I want it all! I want the AWE! I want the giggles, and full-out, breathless laughter! Don't you?

"Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength."
~ Dalai Lama

Share your someday with me...
Let's do this!

Ya Gotta meet this Modern Elder
Norah Mandel

Featured Modern Elder*

Norah Mandel
Age 75

Nora is a go-getter. Her mind sees an opportunity that serves a greater good. Her eyes are always peeled. She has worked most of her life in the banking world, being "the only woman on the floor." She's been a bank teller, branch manager, commercial lender, business development officer, and Vice President/wealth strategist. She's been the North Scottsdale Program Director with OLLI at ASU (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU). Today, Nora works part-time at J.JILL, a national brand of colorful clothing that dresses women for every season, sizes xs-4x/petite/tall, with a reasonable price range.

Nora connects the dots, like the way we met. She was looking through the Phoenix Jewish News, and sure enough, she read the article written about the classes I've been teaching over at the JCC. She read about my strong wish/desire to present a smashing line up of women from my classes who would love to be models and living proof of 'changing the face of aging!' It was Nora who put my mission together with J.JILL. I felt like I won the lottery! (Stay tuned for more information that will soon deliver this vision!)

"Give me a goal and I'll achieve it," Nora declares, words to my ears if I was still building a sales force. I think Nora can deliver a unique work ethic and enthusiasm you don't experience very much these days. "Learning never stops, so why should I?"

Nora's next achievement is "to learn to fly a plane." Her handsome son has his own plane, and he is a pilot for Southwest Airlines, so, chances are, it won't be long until Nora gets her wings!

I look for Modern Elders wherever I go. They are everywhere. Their 'aliveness' is what I notice first. It's a man or woman 60+ that is living their best life. They inspire us. Modern Elders are our teachers, our role models to Change the Face of Aging! Share them with me, please! Enjoy previous Featured Modern Elders here

If retirement or the next chapter is calling your name, if I can help you realize your vision in business and lifestyle, email me. Let's make it happen now!

*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*. Please send in your Modern Elder* nomination. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT

Susan Brooks

Today, I am 77 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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