Forgiveness and Aging

I’ve been thinking lately about the act of forgiving. When I was about 10 years old, my father was in business in San Francisco. Like many immigrants at the time, he was not an educated man, having left school after the sixth grade, but he worked hard, and he accumulated a little money running an […]

On Turning 65

The first thing I learned about my new Medicare card is that it’s hard to fit in my wallet. Made of paper, not laminated, it’s a tad bigger than the slots perfectly-sized for a credit card, a driver’s license, or my Blue Cross-Blue Shield card, which until Sept. 1, the start of the month of […]

The Philosophy of Wisdom and the Wisdom of Philosophy

  Recently I had the pleasure of reading Daniel Klein’s little wisdom book, Travels with Epicurus (2012), a writerly account of his month on the Greek island of Hydra in search of a philosophy of old age.  Klein opens with a story about being faced with the question of whether to pay for expensive dental […]

Does Self-Deceit Increase Happiness in Old Age?

Do old people have a “positivity bias” so that they self-deceptively ignore negative information?  Yes, says evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers in his provocative book, The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life. Trivers tells us that preliminary experiments show older adults preferring positive faces, ignoring negative stimuli and generally focusing […]

Retiring and Rechilding

“You’re not a psychiatrist anymore,” my wife has told me over and over since I retired from clinical practice on June 30, 2012, our  44th wedding anniversary. For a while, I kept protesting that conclusion. Wasn’t I writing as a psychiatrist more and more? Still presenting papers? Still serving on professional boards? Surely, not seeing […]

The Passing of the Generations

Probably like everyone else, the older I get the more conscious I become that I am part of a generation whose time came – and is going. My parents died some years ago as did my uncles and aunts. The “greatest generation” is rapidly dying off. The tears and memories of parents whose children died […]

A Time for Everything

I am the mother of two young children and the primary care physician of a thousand or so aging patients. Twenty-four hours a day I am either “on-call” for or providing care directly to needy, dependent little people. And about ten hours a day plus some nights and weekends, I am caring for needy, ailing […]

Living and Learning: The Academy of Aging

I entered the Academy of Aging – an informal but ancient and rigorous school – the easy way, reading and writing about it. I was drawn to the subject in my mid-50’s by working on the future of Medicare and its predictable economic crisis in the years ahead. I gained a good academic knowledge of […]