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Enjoying the journey in older adulthood and beyond.  |  Meet the team

June is a Time to Celebrate Older Adults

June is almost upon us, a month when we celebrate the older adults in our lives, and ourselves if we happen to be older.  There is much discussion about the appropriate term to use in this context.  Traditionally June was Senior’s month, however many have decided to ditch the work ‘senior’, thinking it inadequate on many fronts.  The collective ‘we’ have not yet landed on an alternative word that is widely accepted.  ‘Older Adult’ seems to be a slightly more benign; however, many do not appreciate being called old.  A connection I have, the Manager of Older Adult Services at Denver Public Library, calls this group 50+.  Not 55+ or 65+. Why 50+?  She wants to include in this group those on the younger end of the spectrum to be more inclusive, and to help chip away at the stigma of being ‘older’.  The thinking is that once a person reaches 50, they have passed into the stage where there is loss in their lives.  People close to them have died, their children are either flown from the nest, or close to, they are within sight of retirement and often have parents that need their care.  They have more in common with a 65-year-old than a 35-year-old.

Zor9ina Wolf Playing a Drum

Yet, many people do not like being called a 50+ person.  Maybe there is just no winning this game of categories, the underlying reason being that we do not want our age highlighted.  We don’t want to be defined by our age.  We don’t want to age, and we don’t want to die grow old.  One of the most difficult and most pernicious forms of ageism is the kind we internalize and use against ourselves.

As the Older Adult Advocate at VPL I have thought a lot about this conundrum.  My hope is that people find a way to embrace their own aging process and feel some pride about achieving membership in the older adult club.  It often hasn’t been easy but as older adults we’re still here, and we’re thriving!  Instead of an anti-aging obsession, let’s discover positive aging and creative aging. 

Creative Aging is an exciting international movement that recognizes older adults as having vital contributions to make to society as creators and community members.  In learning new creative skills and being challenged, older adults find improved health, greater social connection, and frequent moments of joy. Discovering our creative potential at this point in our lives can be hugely gratifying and a great inspiration to others.

At VPL this June we have a great lineup of programming that can all be found in our What’s On magazine, with registration appearing on our Eventbrite page. Look on page 19 for our Creative Age programs, as well as other positive aging offerings.  I don’t have the space to mention all the many programs and events, but instead will highlight a few that I hope will entice.  

The Drum & Percussion circle at the Civic Centre Resource Library on Saturday June 15th at 2 pm will be a lively exploration of djembe drumming and polyrhythms.  Drumming is for everyone! No experience is necessary. There are many documented benefits of drumming to mental and physical wellbeing and social connection.  

Check out this title Whole Person Drumming, authored by Zorina Wolf who recently presented a fantastic drumming session for VPL on Zoom.

Hike & Haiku has been run a few times in the past year and each time it has been a fabulous time where new connections are forged, and beautiful lines of poetry are created along the Humber Trail.  This program happens Saturday June 29th from 2 – 4 pm.  Register on Eventbrite for instructions on where to meet.

Book Cover of Julia Cameron's book It's Never Too Late to Begin Again.

 If you’re at a stage when the creative writing lure is pulling you, check out the great titles by Julia Cameron in our catalogue, and consider It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond.

The last program I will highlight is Self-Care for Caregivers, presented by our community partner CHATS.  Learn how we as caregivers can take care of ourselves and what we need to what out for to prevent burnout.  Civic Centre Resource Library or live on Zoom.  Register on Eventbrite. Tuesday, June 4th at 2 pm.  Looking for more on self-care?  Check out these titles.

Have a Happy Older Adult Month this June everyone!

Meet Award Winning Author Connie Zweig as She Talks about A Life Review: The Inner Work of Age


Connie Zweig, Ph.D is the author of the award-winning book The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul, co-author of Meeting the Shadow and Romancing the Shadow, and the novel A Moth to the Flame: The Life of Sufi Poet Rumi. Her new book is Meeting the Shadow on the Spiritual Path: The Dance of Darkness and Light in Our Search for Awakening. Connie is also a retired psychotherapist, former executive editor at Jeremy P. Tarcher Publishing, former columnist for Esquire magazine, and contributor to the LA Times. Connie has been doing contemplative practices for more than 50 years.

On November 15th at 7 pm she joins us to present A Life Review. The traditional life review is a well-known tool for those in midlife and beyond who wish to recall memories, release conflicts, and find forgiveness. Connie describes this as the ego’s life review, the story we consciously lived out. But we know from psychology that the personal unconscious, or Shadow, carries its own stories. She will add the dimension of Shadow to bring a deeper perspective to your life story. Demonstrating with an animated Power Point, we will explore how to connect what was expressed in your conscious life with what was repressed and unlived in your shadow. In this way, your unlived life moves into conscious awareness, and you can reclaim some of what was sacrificed—lost dreams, talents, and opportunities for self-expression, reconciliation, and healing. This session is hosted live on Zoom. Please register for this fascinating talk on Eventbrite.

Book cover of The Inner Work of Age by Connie Zweig

Connie’s book The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul won the 2022 Gold COVR Award, the 2022 Gold Nautilus Award, the 2021 American Book Fest Award, and the 2021 Best Indie Book Award for best inspirational non-fiction.

Here is an excerpt from Connie’s book:

“Most of us live our lives in reaction to changing circumstances, in the details of the moment that require our energy and attention to meet our survival needs, our emotional needs, and the needs of those we love. We are lost in those moments as if they are disconnected from what came before or what comes after.

As the great existential philosopher Kierkegaard said, “We live life forward but understand it backward.”

I believe that the effort to understand it, repair it, and find meaning in it is a natural developmental task of late life. As we suffer disorientation with the loss of the ego’s agenda, a life review can help us reorient to the soul’s mission, a deeper purpose for late life.

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The Better Brain with Dr. Bonnie Kaplan

 Dr. Bonnie Kaplan is a professor emerita in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary and a co-author, along with Dr. Julia Rucklidge, of a recently published book The Better Brain: Overcome Anxiety, Combat Depression, and Reduce ADHD and Stress with Nutrition (April, 2021). Dr. Kaplan, along with her co-author Dr. Julia Rucklidge, have published widely in the medical and scientific literature about a paradigm-shifting approach to preventing and treating mental disorders with food and nutrients. Dr. Kaplan’s efforts to include nutrition knowledge in the care of people with mental health challenges has earned her a variety of awards, including the Dr. Rogers Prize  in September 2019; and in 2017 she was selected as one of 150 Canadian Difference Makers in Mental Health. 

To place a hold on Dr. Kaplan and Dr. Rucklidge’s new book please follow this link.  

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