The focus of my graduate studies is: How our connection to our family, community and our social environment affects what we value and how we deal with challenges and changes throughout the life cycle.
Last week my two Fall Graduate classes began. They are: Happiness and Women & Aging. Ahhmm, hello….. right up my alley since I’m a life/health coach who holds the space for women to think about what feeds their soul, and as a 52 year old – I am a woman who is aging and who is interested in including what I know about that with others.
So, in the coming weeks and months, I hope to be posting more often and sharing tidbits of useful information with you about happiness, life, aging, etc.
The first thing I want to share with you is about a book I read, by Lisa Genova – Still Alice. It’s the story of a 50 year old Harvard Professor who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and her journey (as well as her family – her husband and three grown children) of understanding the disease as well as noticing herself deteriorating and losing meaningful memories, including forgetting that her mother and sister died in a car accident; as well as simple tasks, such as remembering the walking route from Harvard to her home – a 2 mile walk that she’d done for over 20 years.
For me, the most poignant part of the book was when she stumbles across a document that she filed on the computer, titled Butterfly, in which she describes to herself (written when her memory was crystal clear) what she should do if she could not remember the answer to five seemingly straightforward questions, including – What month is it? How many children do I have? Where do I live?…. very powerful.
The assignment for week two of the Happiness class was to read excerpts from the Tao de Ching (yay! my favorite philosophical text) and Aristotle’s The Nicomachean Ethics, where he developed his view of happiness as ‘a life of activity in accord with virtue and focused on the contemplation of scientific and philosophical truths’.
Studying topics that deepen my understanding of material I want to share with others via Living Life, Making Choices workshops and e-courses is very exciting.
Well, I should get back to my homework and read my Women & Aging Journal Articles: ‘Stress and Resilience in the Oral Histories of Rural Older Women’ and ‘Feminisms and Social Work in the US: An Intertwined History’.
Stay tuned….. more to come.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.