© Copyright 2019. UnderstandingXYZ.com,  All rights reserved.
Old Anima
Variegated Essays Variety The essays provided here originate from a wide range of thoughts and readings that do not fit so squarely into the other sections. Some are related to aging.
How to Stay Sane During Early Old Age Recently, I came across an interesting article that spurred deep thought, from the “The Book of Life” website, headlined “How the Modern World Makes Us Mentally Ill” . The article identified six aspects of modern life known to have troubling influences on our psyches (along with suggested cures): meritocracy, individualism, secularism, romanticism, the media, and perfectibility. As I read though these, I thought about how they might apply to getting old, which, in my estimation, jumpstarts once you turn 60, when we reach the beginning of the final three-innings of life, or less, depending on your fate (see Ninety-Year Plan). READ MORE
psychology of aging
The Unfortunate Segment of Our Aging Population Every time I passed this woman sitting in her wheelchair outside of her room, she gave me a very odd, piercing look that seemed to reek of hatred. It briefly stressed me out just to see her. She was one of many wheelchair-bound residents of a combination nursing/palliative/hospice care facility that I was visiting on a regular basis for personal reasons. Visiting this facility was an almost daily (sometimes multiple times per day) occurrence for me over a period of two weeks. I came to a point where I tried to avoid looking at and interacting with anyone other than the person I was visiting and the facility’s caregivers. On any typical day, the mostly head-hanging, wheelchair-bound residents were strewn all over the hallways and elsewhere in the building and outside spread out across the fenced-in patio, seemingly waiting to die. Hardly any of them even talked to each other. READ MORE
psychology of aging
“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. “ - John F. Kennedy
Notes on Writing a Memoir Over the past year or so, I have fallen into a daily remembrance-thinking mindset like never before in my life. At times, it feels very strange and awkward to suddenly think of something that happened years, even decades, ago. These memories come without warning and without any logical explanation. They simply arrive in semi-vivid picture frames in my thoughts. I don’t know what to do about them other than write about them. I suppose this kind of thinking is common. Don’t many of us focus on the rear- view mirror too much? In any event, what I refer to as frequent remembrance-thinking can become self-annoying. I confess that I do not know what to make of it. READ MORE
psychology of aging
How to Spend Two Hours Learning about the True Greatness of the World & Humanity During my early years as a student journalist, I developed a business plan to start a national newspaper that printed only positive and inspirational feature articles like the kind I have always enjoyed writing. The tentative masthead was “Good News Times.” After much consternation and false starts, I overcame this shortsighted naiveté with the realization that nobody would consistently read such a newspaper. Good news is boring. We are more attracted to bad news. That’s what sells. We see it day-in and day-out in today’s mass media. It’s typically described as “negativity bias” – a term that explains our penchant for mostly bad news. “Realistic optimism” is its opposite. READ MORE
psychology of aging
Welcome to the Age of Distraction I have a thing for arrows. If I were to paint a picture of images that most represent myself, it would be full of different shaped and sized arrows going in all sorts of directions. I dream about arrows. You can see arrows in the logo of my business, Understanding XYZ. It’s not rocket science or magic to understand what the arrows stand for. Arrows are always popping up because I’m someone who frequently jumps around from one project to another. READ MORE
psychology of aging
The Rhythms of History and End of Us The timing was interesting. As the accusations of Russian cybercrime reached a fever pitch last year in 2017 (and continuing on and on), I was randomly engrossed in reading “The Seventh Sense,” by Joshua Cooper Ramo. READ MORE
psychology of aging
The Best Way to Learn Anything “A day um qwee lay tiff ee kot u vem tu tem may um” (I’m obviously spelling phonetically), Father John shouted at us. We (a group of 4th grade altar boys to-be) repeated those words (and more Latin prayers) while going up and down a school stairwell, balancing a relatively heavy open bible across our forearms. Keep going up and down until you got it right. The Latin prayers were never translated, so we did not know what they meant, nor did we care as the rote memorization project took its toll, especially on one of my weaker, uncoordinated classmates who dropped the holy book, tumbling down the stairwell – “Oh my God!” READ MORE
psychology of aging
On Ageism and a Bad Haircut I was walking down the main downtown drag when I decided to stop inside a barber shop. I was looking for a new hair cutter because my last haircut was a disaster. The barber I had used for about 2 years – who happens to be in his 70s – had a senior moment. He destroyed the balance of the small amount of hair I now sport, unevenly cutting both top and back sides of my now newly disrupted head. It wasn’t horribly bad, but bad enough for me to notice every time I looked at myself in a mirror.  READ MORE
Do You Have A Manifesto? An Older Adult’s Thoughts On Living Right  As defined in meriam-webster.com, a manifesto is “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.” It has Italian roots, from manifestare to manifest, originating from the Latin manifestus. Typically, a manifesto is presented in no particular order. It’s a laundry list of proclamations that portray what an organization, group or individual believes in no uncertain terms. READ MORE
Old Anima
© Copyright 2019. UnderstandingXYZ.com. All rights reserved.
Variegated Variety The essays provided here originate from a wide range of thoughts and readings that do not fit so squarely into the other sections. Some are related to aging.
“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. “ - John F. Kennedy
How to Stay Sane During Early Old Age Recently, I came across an interesting article that spurred deep thought, from the “The Book of Life” website, headlined “How the Modern World Makes Us Mentally Ill” . The article identified six aspects of modern life known to have troubling influences on our psyches (along with suggested cures): meritocracy, individualism, secularism, romanticism, the media, and perfectibility. As I read though these, I thought about how they might apply to getting old, which, in my estimation, jumpstarts once you turn 60, when we reach the beginning of the final three-innings of life, or less, depending on your fate (see Ninety-Year Plan). READ MORE
psychology of aging
The Unfortunate Segment of Our Aging Population Every time I passed this woman sitting in her wheelchair outside of her room, she gave me a very odd, piercing look that seemed to reek of hatred. It briefly stressed me out just to see her. She was one of many wheelchair-bound residents of a combination nursing/palliative/hospice care facility that I was visiting on a regular basis for personal reasons. Visiting this facility was an almost daily (sometimes multiple times per day) occurrence for me over a period of two weeks. I came to a point where I tried to avoid looking at and interacting with anyone other than the person I was visiting and the facility’s caregivers. On any typical day, the mostly head- hanging, wheelchair-bound residents were strewn all over the hallways and elsewhere in the building and outside spread out across the fenced-in patio, seemingly waiting to die. Hardly any of them even talked to each other. READ MORE
psychology of aging
Notes on Writing a Memoir Over the past year or so, I have fallen into a daily remembrance-thinking mindset like never before in my life. At times, it feels very strange and awkward to suddenly think of something that happened years, even decades, ago. These memories come without warning and without any logical explanation. They simply arrive in semi-vivid picture frames in my thoughts. I don’t know what to do about them other than write about them. I suppose this kind of thinking is common. Don’t many of us focus on the rear-view mirror too much? In any event, what I refer to as frequent remembrance-thinking can become self-annoying. I confess that I do not know what to make of it. READ MORE
psychology of aging
How to Spend Two Hours Learning about the True Greatness of the World & Humanity During my early years as a student journalist, I developed a business plan to start a national newspaper that printed only positive and inspirational feature articles like the kind I have always enjoyed writing. The tentative masthead was “Good News Times.” After much consternation and false starts, I overcame this shortsighted naiveté with the realization that nobody would consistently read such a newspaper. Good news is boring. We are more attracted to bad news. That’s what sells. We see it day-in and day-out in today’s mass media. It’s typically described as “negativity bias” – a term that explains our penchant for mostly bad news. “Realistic optimism” is its opposite. READ MORE
psychology of aging
Welcome to the Age of Distraction I have a thing for arrows. If I were to paint a picture of images that most represent myself, it would be full of different shaped and sized arrows going in all sorts of directions. I dream about arrows. You can see arrows in the logo of my business, Understanding XYZ. It’s not rocket science or magic to understand what the arrows stand for. Arrows are always popping up because I’m someone who frequently jumps around from one project to another. READ MORE
psychology of aging
The Rhythms of History and End of Us The timing was interesting. As the accusations of Russian cybercrime reached a fever pitch last year in 2017 (and continuing on and on), I was randomly engrossed in reading “The Seventh Sense,” by Joshua Cooper Ramo.  READ MORE
psychology of aging Sign up for the monthly Old Anima eNewsletter
The Best Way to Learn Anything “A day um qwee lay tiff ee kot u vem tu tem may um” (I’m obviously spelling phonetically), Father John shouted at us. We (a group of 4th grade altar boys to-be) repeated those words (and more Latin prayers) while going up and down a school stairwell, balancing a relatively heavy open bible across our forearms. Keep going up and down until you got it right. The Latin prayers were never translated, so we did not know what they meant, nor did we care as the rote memorization project took its toll, especially on one of my weaker, uncoordinated classmates who dropped the holy book, tumbling down the stairwell – “Oh my God!” READ MORE
psychology of aging
On Ageism and a Bad Haircut I was walking down the main downtown drag when I decided to stop inside a barber shop. I was looking for a new hair cutter because my last haircut was a disaster. The barber I had used for about 2 years – who happens to be in his 70s – had a senior moment. He destroyed the balance of the small amount of hair I now sport, unevenly cutting both top and back sides of my now newly disrupted head. It wasn’t horribly bad, but bad enough for me to notice every time I looked at myself in a mirror.  READ MORE
Do You Have A Manifesto? An Older Adult’s Thoughts On Living Right  As defined in meriam-webster.com, a manifesto is “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.” It has Italian roots, from manifestare to manifest, originating from the Latin manifestus. Typically, a manifesto is presented in no particular order. It’s a laundry list of proclamations that portray what an organization, group or individual believes in no uncertain terms. READ MORE