Reflections on Aging Well

Author, Living with Purpose in a Worn-out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults (Upper Room) and Columnist, Aging Well, United Methodist Reporter

Do young adults skip posts about older adults? June 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — missybu @ 12:06 pm

As I took my walk this morning, a question popped into my mind. I wondered if young people generally skip articles, blogs and tweets that have to do with aging. Now when I say young adults, exactly who am I talking about? The Thirtysomethings? College-age or recent grads? Teenagers? Anyone born after 1970?

Just for discussion’s sake, let’s use the “anyone born after 1970” definition. Now let me restate my question. Do people born after 1970 generally skip over articles, blogs and tweets that have to do with aging or growing old? I don’t have a definitive answer, but I can speculate that the answer is yes. Can’t say that I blame them either. Aging is something even Boomers don’t like talking about.

While making the last lap through the park, I started thinking about feedback I’ve received from my Aging Well column in the United Methodist Reporter and other writing venues. Almost always, I get responses via my website/ e-mail. Almost always, they are generous comments of appreciation, thanking me for taking an interest in older adults and the challenges they face. Almost always, they are written by self-described older adults in the 70-95 age crowd.

Our population is aging quickly, and the church, even faster! How will the church respond? If we take our calling seriously, it seems an important topic to discuss. Maybe reading and talking about aging is a bit like taking yucky-tasting medicine. You don’t like to do it, but you know it’s likely going to make you better.

So next time you see a headline about growing old, don’t be quick to dismiss it. After all, there’s a good chance that you’ll be old, too, one of these days.


Old-young thoughts from the extreme center June 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — missybu @ 3:51 pm
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I think I must be one of those people Adam Hamilton of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection describes as  clinging to the extreme center of certain faith issues.  All I know is that sometimes it feels awfully lonely here in the middle. 

Lately, I have been intrigued by conversations taking place in Methodist circles about “Rethinking Church” and asking “6 Questions”.   Since I most often write about older adults and faith,  my ears perk up when the words “old” and “young” are used.   It’s true I have a tender heart toward senior adults, especially those who are struggling to find purpose in a culture that honors youth, not age.   But as the mother of three amazing young adult children, I am also in awe of young adults… their energy and enthusiasm for ministry… and their willingness to think in fresh ways.  

I guess what I want is for old and young to really hear and respect each other.   Really.  Sometimes I wonder if we get old people mixed up with old ideas.   

So that’s my thought for today… here in the center.  I’m just wondering.