Why Old Age May Be Your Prime Time for Creative Productivity

February 27, 2023
Hosted by Ron Roel

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Episode Description

For many decades, we’ve held an conventional assumption that our “peak ages” of creativity are between 39 and 42. It ain’t necessarily so, says poet, writer and teacher Priscilla Long in her recently published book, “Dancing with the Muse in Old Age.” In fact, she says, our older years are a prime time to flourish in creative productivity—even a prime time to BEGIN creative work. In today’s episode, Priscilla reflects on new ways of to look at old age as a potentially dynamic time, full of connections to others and deeply satisfying work. Her book provides examples of hundreds prominent people who grew very old while living remarkably creative lives—many of them in the arts, but others in a wide range of fields and endeavors. Yes, Priscilla acknowledges, ageism can poison creativity. But she challenges these deep and often unconscious prejudices, affirming that in old age, creative work can truly thrive. And these opportunities are not merely for the brilliant, exceptional elders. They’re for all of us, Priscilla affirms. She offers a series of questions we should ask ourselves as we strive to shape an old age of flourishing well-being, learning and engagement in creative work—while we also help reshape the future of the middle-aged, the young, and the generations to come.

45 Forward

Monday at 12 Noon Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

Thanks to advances in medicine and health, most of us are just at half-life when we reach our mid-40s, with many potentially productive years ahead. But there’s no road map to prepare us for this period. That’s where 45 Forward comes in.

My show provides you with strategies to shift the traditional waiting-for-retirement model to a journey of compelling life chapters. Each show tackles an aspect of health, finance, family and friends, housing, work and personal pursuits as part of an integrated plan. Experts discuss topics like revitalizing relationships, creating mini-retirements, managing the maze of technology, finding your next homestead and caring for aging parents.

The show instills confidence, and hopefully some comfort, amid the stresses permeating today’s society. Fear of the future is not knowing how to prepare for it. 45 Forward does not proffer prefabricated answers, but helps you shape your life amid the daily anxieties of our time.

Ron Roel

I’m a veteran journalist who spent a wide-ranging career covering business, politics and social issues, the last two decades focusing on the blend of diverse life skills I call successful aging.

I have written extensively on aging topics, spoken at conferences, radio and TV shows, and launched several entrepreneurial ventures, discovering along the way that the path to aging well also requires an unexpected entrepreneurial vision. I spent 20 years as a writer and editor at Long Island’s daily newspaper, Newsday, helping to found Act 2, a weekly section for 50-plus readers. I created Roelresources.com, a website offering practical advice and inspirational essays for people ages 40 and above. I have been a volunteer and consultant to AARP Long Island, writing articles, advocating for seniors, and developing action plans for the AARP Age-Friendly Communities initiative.

I am active in programs and organizations that support seniors, such as the National Aging In Place Council and the Senior Umbrella Network. I have developed a special expertise in family caregiving, as one of four brothers who took care of their mother for almost 25 years. I regularly collaborate with many professionals who provide services and support for older Americans, and I am completing a book for caregivers on Long Island, “The Caregiving Navigator/How to Plan, What to do, and Where to Turn When Caring for you Aging Loved Ones. And Yourself,” scheduled for publication in early 2021.

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