Aging in a Great Way

I have been fortunate to learn about aging through reading, and also through friends who are involved with AGE of Central Texas. AGE is a nonprofit that believes in the vision of “a society where aging is a shared journey marked by connection, strength, and vitality, and the role of caregiving is supported through the community, collaboration, and guidance.” This plays out concretely in programs that provide social and wellness centers, education for caregivers, memory work, computer labs for seniors, and even a health equipment lending program.

My husband and I learned of AGE while his mother was declining and experiencing so many of these issues and although we were not the on-site caregivers for his mom, we were able to share some practical tips we learned and eventually we got my mother (who lives locally) interested in volunteering with the nonprofit. Her participation is intermittent, depending on how she is feeling, but when she goes she is energized by the experience. She spends time in the Thrive Social & Wellness Center talking with participants and answering the phone and she loves it. Continue reading

Life Lessons from Mentoring

MentorPinAs I have shared in “Becoming a Very Best Thing,” I am mentoring a first grade girl this year through Seedling Mentor Program, a school-based, research driven and metrics based program that has great training and great support. This is a short award-winning video I think you will enjoy.

I come from a family that had its share of poverty and dysfunction, divorces and chaos. As an adult, I even had a dad in prison. The parallels between me and my little Mentee are many. You would think I would know everything I need to about how to communicate and behave constructively with her, but you would be wrong.

You see, I have forty plus years on her, and during that time I had a successful career, married a wonderful man, had two precious daughters, began my second career in philanthropy and along the way, I became financially comfortable and very removed from the culture of poverty and family crisis. I had to get re-indoctrinated and learn lessons from an adult perspective, and thank heavens, Seedling’s Promise assumes we all will need that and prepares us accordingly to be intentional mentors.

There are many books on the subject of the culture of poverty and Ruby Payne’s are “must reads” for anyone who really wants to explore it, but today I will share with you just a few things I learned this semester. Continue reading