Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older

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Overview

The acclaimed author of What's Worth Knowing reveals the truth about aging: Old age often offers a richer, better, and more self-assured life than youth.

From our earliest lives, we are told that our youth will be the best time of our lives-that the energy and vitality of youth are the most important qualities a person can possess, and that everything that comes after will be a sad decline. But in reality, says Wendy Lustbader, youth is not the golden era it is often made out to...

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Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older

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Overview

The acclaimed author of What's Worth Knowing reveals the truth about aging: Old age often offers a richer, better, and more self-assured life than youth.

From our earliest lives, we are told that our youth will be the best time of our lives-that the energy and vitality of youth are the most important qualities a person can possess, and that everything that comes after will be a sad decline. But in reality, says Wendy Lustbader, youth is not the golden era it is often made out to be. For many, it is a time riddled with anxiety, angst, confusion, and the torture of uncertainty. Conversely, the media often feeds us a vision of growing older as a journey of defeat and diminishment. They are dead wrong. As Lustbader counters, "Life gets better as we get older, on all levels except the physical."

Life Gets Better is not a precious or whimsical tome on the quirky wisdom of the elderly. Lustbader-who has worked for several decades as a social worker specializing in aging issues-conducted firsthand research with aging and elderly people in all walks of life, and she found that they overwhelmingly spoke of the mental and emotional richness they have drawn from aging. Lustbader discovered that rather than experiencing a decline from youth, aging people were happier, more courageous, and more interested in being true to their inner selves than were young people.

Life Gets Better examines through first-person stories, as well as Lustbader's own observations, how a lifetime of lessons learned can yield one of the most personally and emotionally fruitful periods of anyone's life. As an eighty-six-year-old who contributed her story to the book noted, "For me, being old is the reward for outlasting all the big and little problems that happen to all of us along life's pathway."

The collected stories in Life Gets Better provide a hopeful corrective to the fear of aging aggressively instilled in us by the media. Don't dread the future: The best years of our lives just may be ahead.

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Editorial Reviews

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"For me, being old is the reward for outlasting all the big and little problems that happen to all of us along life's pathway." These words were spoken by one 86-year-old woman, but they can stand as representative of so many of the sentiments voiced in this inspiriting book. Author Wendy Lustbader doesn't approach her older men and women subjects as a disinterested journalist; working with the aging and elderly is her specialty as a social worker. Life Gets Better earns the attention of not only older people, but also sons and daughters who seek to enrich their lives. Worth recommending.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585428922
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/18/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 308,950
  • Product dimensions: 9.04 (w) x 6.38 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Lustbader, M.S.W., is an author, professor, and social worker who specializes in working with older people, their families, and caregivers, and lectures nationally on subjects related to aging. Lustbader is the author of Taking Care of Aging Family Members, coauthored with Nancy Hooyman; Counting on Kindness; and What's Worth Knowing. She lives in Seattle.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Part 1 Hope

1 Self-Knowledge 9

2 Gratitude 18

3 The Great Leveling 26

4 Relationships 35

5 Loss 46

6 Spirituality 55

7 Generosity 63

8 Giving and Receiving 72

Part 2 Transformation

9 Time 83

10 Hindsight 91

11 Decisions 99

12 Detours 108

13 Resilience 115

14 Coherence 124

15 Stories 134

16 Changing Course 143

Part 3 Peace

17 Courage 155

18 The Body's Lessons 164

19 Attitude 173

20 Slowing Down 182

21 Composure 190

22 Beginner's Mind 200

23 The Heart's Desire 209

24 What Matters Most 217

Epilogue 229

Notes 231

Index 237

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Empty buisiness lot

    Five stories. It costs 555,095,000.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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