Louise Nayer: Guest blogger on early retirement

Louise Nayer: Guest blogger on early retirement

Louise Nayer, whom I recently met at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference, agreed to guest blog for Radical Aging today. She gives us a little insight into her current work, the book Poised for Retirement: Moving from Anxiety to Zen, which was published in 2017. Before retirement, she was a professor of English at City College in San Francisco. Her 2010 book, Burned: A Memoir, was an Oprah Great Read and won the 2011 Wisconsin Library Award. She lives in San Francisco, CA. I hope you will enjoy her essay, “Leaving my job early and saving my soul.” You can learn more about Louise at www.louisenayer.com Leaving my Job Early and Saving my Soul When I was eight years old, I knew I wanted to be an artist. Maybe a dancer? I loved to twirl, studied ballet at Mrs. Tarasova’s studio, and my sister and I dressed up in clothes my mother kept in an old hamper—crinoline slips that swung from side to side, lacy tops and tiaras. We put on the music of Swan Lake on an old Victrola and danced in the living room for hours. Then I wanted to be a pianist. I loved my teacher, Mr. Diaz, a big man from Cuba. The first lesson I had with him, he said something harsh that made me cry. He told my dad, who repeated it to me, that he was being strict with my fingering because he thought I had talent. I had played on my own for a few years and developed my own, crazy fingering method. He softened, and I learned correct fingering. I went back to him for...
Where I’ve been….

Where I’ve been….

Radical Agers! You might have noticed I’ve been on a hiatus for some time now, but I haven’t deserted my site, I simply had to refocus my attention for awhile. Not only did I give up blogging, but I gave up social media as well. My concentration improved almost over night and allowed me to work harder and longer. I highly recommend it. I’ll tell you more about it in a future post. However, now I promised to tell you why I haven’t been hanging out here. So where have I been??? I’ve been novel writing for the past year and a half and I finally finished! The experience was intense, requiring lots of research and study. But I found it to be an incredible process. The responses from my beta readers have been encouraging, which makes finding an agent more hopeful. This work is exciting. I will keep you posted and be back soon to tell you not only about why I gave up social media, but about the five day water fast I completed this January! Turns out fasting is the best anti-aging, immunity building program/product on the market and guess what? It’s totally FREE! I’ll fill you in soon! Keep...
Kindness in a vicious voting cycle

Kindness in a vicious voting cycle

Kindness in a vicious voting cycle Kindness seems a casualty in the vicious comments and rhetoric that surrounds us right now. Whether it’s social media in your own feed, or the pseudo-news channels, we are inundated. I posted some thoughts to my Facebook page earlier this week about the campaign. I had a great discussion going on between my readers, until a personal attack appeared amongst the postings. Yikes! I quickly reminded posters that discussion is great, attacks not so great. Everyone got back on track, and the attacker disappeared. I am currently reading for the second time, The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a compassionate Life, by Piero Ferrucci. I’m growing weary of the unkindness I see and hear everyday regarding politics. This book has me thinking about the effects of being kind.  How do we stay kind in this craziness? Why Kindness Matters While we may, or may not, see kindness in our up close and personal worlds, finding demonstrations on the news or in many television shows, is just not happening. Vicious attacks, mean-spirited comments, and rudeness are demonstrated in a daily dose. Unfortunately that bleeds into our lives. Remember the pay it forward commercials of some insurance company? When we see or hear kindness, we are more likely to engage in a kind act ourselves. Kindness begets kindness. This is an unexpected side benefit, and one to especially keep in mind right now. “[Kindness is] the most economic attitude there is…it saves us energy we might otherwise waste in suspicion, worry, resentment, manipulation, or unnecessary defense. It is an attitude that, by eliminating the inessential, brings us...
Meaning and how to find it in your life

Meaning and how to find it in your life

How to find meaning in your life Ever wonder what the meaning of life is all about? How do we find meaning in our lives when we work, in say, a factory doing the same thing over and over? Or running a cash register at a retail business? Or teaching children who are totally disengaged? Basically, you could add any job to this list. How do we find meaning in any of them? Maybe we’re applying meaning to the wrong thing When the Jews were all herded into prison/death camps during World War II, they were stripped of everything. All their possessions were taken away, they no longer had a name, but a number. Their clothes were gone and they were given ill-fitting uniforms, or the castoffs of the dead, mismatched and tattered. Whatever their profession had been didn’t matter any more. They were nothing but chattel in the eyes of their captors. In Viktor Frankl’s, Man’s Search for Meaning, he says they lost what they thought had meaning and soon found that meaning actually came from love, humor, kindness, and being human. Granted, not all prisoner’s grasped this, but those who did, and were not gassed or killed otherwise, they were the ones who fought to live, to keep going no matter how horrific the conditions. By the way, his book is really good. Finding meaning as we age For many years in my life, I defined myself by my jobs in education and I sometimes slide back into that if I think someone doesn’t take me seriously as a writer and health coach. I’ll slip in that I was an educator and...
Why we all need sistering in our lives

Why we all need sistering in our lives

Why we all need sistering What is sistering: I learned the term sistering yesterday: the reinforcement of a structural member by nailing or attaching a stronger piece to a weaker piece. (from the Dictionary of Construction) Now before you think I’ve gone into construction, let me explain. Glennon Doyle Melton‘s new book, Love Warrior, was released yesterday and Marie Forleo interviewed her on MarieTV. (If you don’t know about these two ladies, you should so be sure and click on them.) Glennon used this term to explain how much we need our sisters, whether biological or not. And guys, if you’re reading, you need your brothers in the same way. I’ve been blessed with two amazing sisters. We are so different, but we love each other and look out for one another. I’ve also been blessed with some amazing sister friends over my lifetime. When do we need sistering: We’ve all had tough times in our life. Going it alone makes the difficulties hard to bear. However, when we reach out for support from those closest to us, the burden is shared, making us stronger. My sisters were there for me when I went through a divorce sixteen years ago. I couldn’t talk to my parents about what I was facing, but my sisters were there and helped me through. I also had some friend sisters that helped pull me out of the deepest darkest moments, to get me back on my feet. You often find out who your true friends are when you face a crisis because only they will have your back. Why is sistering important: As a certified health coach, I...
Big Magic Review

Big Magic Review

I promised a Big Magic Review so to not disappoint…I greatly enjoyed Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Big Magic is just that, magic! Liz has created an inspiring, interesting, thought provoking read. (I think she would be okay with me being personal and calling her Liz since we are best friends, though she possibly doesn’t know that…but doesn’t she evoke that feeling in a lot of us?) I especially like this book for us RAgers, because I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly feeling the speed of time these days and encouragement to live my creative life to it’s fullest is just what the doctor SHOULD order! The book is divided into seven parts. Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, Divinity and there are gems within each section for sure. In Courage, she explains why we need fear (got to keep ourselves safe) but that some fear is just what we do to ourselves, and so we have to get past it because “…life is short and rare and amazing and miraculous, and you want to do really interesting things and make really interesting things while you’re still here.” Yes I do! I also found the idea of working no matter if you fail or not, to be enlightening just because so many of us, including moi, are scared of failure. I’ve read some reviews that found the Enchantment section too “woo woo” for them, but hey, find the fun in life, don’t take things so seriously. Believe that maybe ideas are floating around out there and looking for some place to land, and maybe that idea will land with you!...