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Publication: Fifty & Furthermore
Full Circle

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FIFTY & FURTHERMORE - Monday, February 26, 2007

"I'm Dr. Dorree Lynn, founder of FiftyandFurthermore.com. 
Growing older can be a time for creative and passionate 
living, and I will apply my years as a psychologist to 
help you with the challenges and wonders that come with 
this new life stage."
------------------------------------------------------------

Hello and welcome to FIFTY & FURTHERMORE!
 
It is with sadness that I tell you this is the final issue 
of Fifty & Furthermore. All of your questions, comments 
and personal stories have been very much appreciated and 
have helped to shape this newsletter and community into 
what it has become. As a reminder, you can still visit my 
website, www.fiftyandfurthermore.com to read articles, get 
advice and bond with other sensational Sages. Writing this 
ezine has been a great experience for me, and I hope you 
have benefitted as well. 

Always remember - "life is too hard to do alone - reach 
out!"

Dr. Dorree Lynn, Psychologist

*I wanted to come full circle and leave you with the 
article I wrote for the very first ezine over a year ago. 
I believe it holds truer than ever.


AGING IN AMERICA TODAY: PARADOXES by Dr. Dorree Lynn

Those of us who are fifty and furthermore are a genera-
tion living in the midst of sweeping personal, political, 
and societal change. Although we are in our second half 
century and we will soon be in the majority, how we 
define ourselves remains fuzzy. Who we are or who we are 
to become is up for grabs. Although we share the broad 
common denominator of age, not everyone over fifty is 
the same. Not only are our values as diverse as our thumb 
prints, where we are situated in our over-fifty life span 
requires unique skill sets and raises different questions.

We are faced with a multitude of rapidly changing chal-
lenges: social security, rising medical and health 
insurance bills, financial survival, Medicare reform, 
terrorism. We question whether retirement means carefree 
days, death or the possibility of “refirement.” 
Statistics tell us that we live and work longer than ever. 
But chances are that either you, your spouse or a friend 
has already faced a serious illness or the loss of a 
loved one. We live with the message that family matters 
while we, or many of our contemporaries, have had an 
affair, gotten divorced or had more than one marriage.

Home prices continue to skyrocket and low interest rates 
are inching upward. Property taxes are soaring too. Do 
we plan to move in with our children? (They may still 
be living with us.) Do we plan for assisted living, or 
hope that we will have enough money to last until we 
pass? Stories about the lavish lifestyles of wealthy 
(sometimes dishonest) corporate CEOs and Hollywood stars 
are in the news daily, while at the same time the 
economic security we hoped for may be declining. “Why 
them? Why me?” we may wonder, remembering the many paths 
we did, didn't or couldn't take. Choices are necessary 
in order to live. But with each decision we must embrace 
a loss. As we age, it is customary, though not necessar-
ily beneficial, to wonder about the proverbial Road Not 
Taken.

We are old enough to have seen once-taboo subjects such 
as mammograms and prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction 
and same-gender sex taken out from under the covers. 
Yet many of us come from backgrounds where talking about 
oneself simply isn't done. With whom do we discuss 
issues such as dating while our children date, vaginal 
dryness or the side effects of Viagra, Levitra or 
Cialis. Chances are our health professionals are as old 
as we are. And if they are not, do we really want to 
discuss our sex lives or lack of them with someone who 
appears young enough to be our grandchild?

--------------------------------------------------------
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You might never look at news the same as "Outfoxed" takes
us behind-the-scenes. Is this biased? Of course, but you
just have to see it even if you are a devotee of Fox News.       
Outfoxed
--------------------------------------------------------

Today, in certain social and economic strata, wrinkles 
are forbidden. Take a good look at our age mates in 
Congress, in sports, or on the big and little screen. 
Even if they too have landed in their second century, 
the faces of both men and women are often remarkably 
smooth, their bodies often enviably taut. An astute 
observer will soon be able to define the economic and 
geographical status of an individual simply by looking 
at their face. Wrinkles will imply a core value system 
about aging as generations before us did, or possibly 
an economic stratum where putting food on the table 
remains a higher priority than selecting which cosmetic 
surgeon to use. A viewer might say that person has roots 
in a small town, possibly in the Midwest . Smooth skin 
and bright wide eyes will point to residence in a larger 
city, probably on one of the coasts, or perhaps a 
sophisticated, competitive metropolis such as Chicago 
or Denver where beauty matters. Except where diversity 
counts, we constantly view the slick face of America . 
Few people whom I encounter every day look as my 
grandmother did: gray haired, roly-poly, wrinkled, com-
forting and definitely old.

Stress has become so much the norm that smart entrepre-
neurs have rushed to fill all kinds of needs we didn't 
know we had, including the luxury or personalized 
vacation niche. These visionaries both respond to and 
shape our perceptions of the future. A simple walk in 
the woods or a vacation for the fun of it is no longer 
a valid activity. The new vacation’s stated purpose is 
to de-stress. The ads blare, “You owe it to yourself to 
be good to yourself.” Enter the pricey spas, steam 
showers, saunas, massages, cleansing facials and 
products claiming to solve almost every problem you may 
encounter.

Where our grandparents or parents might have delighted 
in a road trip, piling their children into the family 
Packard, we worry about which plane, train, or 
automobile to take, bonus miles to use up, trendy places 
to go, parts of the world to see. Since travel itself is 
now often stressful, travel magazines offer tips on how 
to relax without adding additional stress.

------------------------------------------------------------
TOM & JERRY'S GREATEST CHASES on DVD

Get almost two hours of the crazy and fun antics of
Tom & Jerry on one DVD. You get 14 of their greatest
chases which guarantees you more tail-stomping, anvil-
dropping, teeth-shattering action from the masters of
animated slapstick. And at just $9.99 it makes a great
gift. Check it out at:

Tom & Jerry Greatest Chases
------------------------------------------------------------

New industries are being spawned to prevent or to take care 
of our fragile, aging bodies. We are bombarded by choices. 
Which gym, fitness instructor, yoga teacher, alternative 
health method, special diet, food fad, or simply time-sav-
ing food delivery service do we spend our money on?

Magazines such as Time and Newsweek show photos of 
emaciated, tortured people our age and younger trying to 
survive, while People,Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and others 
of that ilk portray perfectly groomed, trim and fit 
contemporaries in designer clothes at charity functions. 
Where do we fit in? We ask ourselves, what are our values? 
Do we measure up? Does love count?

Before the world became global, we held family values that 
reflected our own community. True, we had to contend with 
gossip and a lack of freedom from prying eyes. On the other 
hand, we knew our neighbors back then, and if someone was 
ill there would be a casserole at the front door. Children 
behaved poorly and rebelled. Teenagers always do. But 
school shootings such as those at Columbine or in 
Washington , DC were not the fare on everyday view.

The paradoxes abound. In an increasingly obese nation, 
slim is in. Family values are promoted, but sex sells. 
Charity begins at home, yet many of us live in safely 
gated and guarded communities. We thought we would age 
with comfort and instead find ourselves sandwiched 
between taking care of our kids--who may even have 
returned home to live -- and taking care of aging 
parents. We live longer and are faced with end-of-life 
decisions. In a world of increasing violence, we seek 
spiritual solace. Anger, we are told, is unhealthy for 
your heart, yet children interact with killer video 
games as soon as their hands can push a button.

We are a pioneer generation, but the true pioneers are 
those in their seventies and eighties. They are the ones 
who are now living longer than ever. They come out of a 
silent time when illness, feelings, and sex were 
discussed in a quiet corner if they were spoken about 
at all. Yet now they are the ones introducing their 
dating children to their dates, having hip replacements 
so that they may continue to dance or play tennis, 
launching new careers and surviving the death of those 
younger than themselves. They are sages. Those of us who 
follow need to embrace and not undervalue the process of 
becoming wise. We too are forging new paths. It is our 
job to mentor others and to use our wisdom well. Whether 
one surrenders to God or believes only in oneself, I 
know one truth for sure.

Life is too hard to do alone. Reach out. 

**I have just been informed that as of March 1, all F&F 
subscribers will automatically begin receiving the Dear 
Abby newsletter in place of this one. If you wish not to 
receive this, you should unsubscribe through the link at 
the bottom of this issue. Just a heads up!

------------------------------------------------------------
     For more insight and advice from Dr. Lynn visit:              
fiftyandfurthermore.com

------------------------------------------------------------

          GopherCentral's Question of the Week

Topical, timely, controversial, click the link to answer
this week's GopherCentral.com Question of the Week.

     Please take a moment to share your opinion, visit:     
Question of the Week

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