Cheryl Vassiliadis & Joanna Romer
MSI Press, LLC (2014)
Reviewed by Tammy Petty Conrad for Reader Views (2/16)
I’ll be honest, I’m a baby boomer, and I’m realizing, more and more each day, that aging is something I have to deal with, whether I want to or not! I like the idea of doing it creatively, and “Creative Aging: A Baby Boomer’s Guide to Successful Living,” by Cheryl Vassiliadis and Joanna Romer show readers how to do just that! They set the scene right up front stating that boomers are looking for a “…life of self-discovery…” like they did in their younger days.
The authors take turns with different topics in each chapter. Cheryl Vassiliadis is a former dancer, who now teaches dancing to older adults, in addition to writing. Joanna Romer has two published books on being a widow and writes articles for various publications. They both encourage people to plan ahead for their retirement years to be able to enjoy them.
They have done their research about their audience, the boomers. I really like the information shared about how we will continue to create new brain cells throughout our life as long as we’re inspired to continue learning. They used the term “intellectual sweating” which really made me think. Oh, that’s what I’m doing each time I take another professional development course .
This book is a USA Best Books Award Finalist 2015. Each chapter ends with suggested guidelines for the topic or ways for readers to optimize the aging experience. I appreciate that they covered feminism as well as spirituality, and even “facing death creatively.” We may not be excited about addressing death, but it is inevitable.
I wish my grandmother had read this book. She was a creative, energetic woman, but as she aged, she exhibited less and less of these qualities. She lived to 96 and was fairly healthy up to the end, but I don’t think she was as happy as she could have been. The authors discuss options such as trying something you liked to do when you were younger. There are many stories shared about people being rejuvenated when they tried a creative activity they had done in the past, such as dancing or playing music.
Vassiliadis and Romer talk about the importance of active engagement. I totally agree. It can be easy to sit back and be passive for many as they age. As long as you are healthy, there is no reason to stop participating in life just because you’ve passed the midway point. There are specific chapters addressing this issue: Is Anything Too Young for Us?, and Is There Anything We’re Too Old To Do? I love that the authors aren’t afraid to share their own stories, even about wearing bikinis! Personally, I’m currently going through many of the concepts they discuss. Aging is emotional. Sometimes very emotional. I don’t usually feel old, but when I do, it really bothers me. “Creative Aging: A Baby Boomer’s Guide to Successful Living,” by Cheryl Vassiliadis and Joanna Romer puts things in perspective and has some great suggestions for not letting getting older bring you down. More people should read this book and start implementing a creative outlook.