Vital Aging Network

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Finding Your Way

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one, wild, and precious life?"

—from the poem 'The Summer Day' by Mary Oliver

Finding your way as you age—and discovering the true wisdom within you—is the essence of what it means to grow older. You need courage and encouragement to look inside and answer the question, “Who am I now?” If you trust yourself you can forge a path that is uniquely yours and filled with passion and meaning

The essays in this section contain a treasury of ideas, concepts, shared stories, and wonderful questions for the journey.


This section includes the following pages:

  • Never Give Up! - "Let's be practical," Prothero says, patting the armrest of his wheelchair. "I'm not equipped for my old life, but I have no intention of sitting around watching TV."
  • Your Core Values - Jim Gambone lists the core values for you to consider: belonging, giving back, and taking risks.
  • LifeKeys - Sandra Hirsh shares an approach to discovering spiritual and life gifts, personality, values, and passion.
  • Vital Aging as a Spiritual Quest - Janet Hagberg explains that relational journeys are really spiritual ones.
  • Meaning in Later Life - Trish Herbert says "life isn't about getting happier; it's about getting deeper."
  • Becoming a Late Bloomer - Connie Goldman suggests that you need the courage of the lobster to change.
  • Claiming Your Place at the Fire - Dick Leider encourages you to take your place of wisdom at the new elder's fire.
  • Navigating Life's Transitions - Janet Pelto discusses the nature of transitions, which are a continuous part of life, each with a positive and negative aspect.
  • The Golden Years on the Silver Screen - Robert Yahnke discusses how the cinema acts as a great mirror of our cultural attitudes and tells us that filmmakers often idealize older adult characters on the silver screen.
  • Encore Careers - Get answers, advice, resources, and stories about people who have searched for purpose-driven jobs at midlife.

Check our Additional Resources for more information


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