A while back, David Brooks of the N.Y.Times, write an op-ed about the challenges of mid -life. He referenced a new book by Barbara Bradley Hagerty entitled “Life Reimagined: The Science, Art and Opportunity of Midlife”. (Riverhead Books). Something about the column told me to get the book. I did and I do suggest it. Hagerty, whom you may know from her reporting on NPR, set out t o examine the why and how and why not of what people in mid life go through and, more importantly, what the themes are that seem to run through this stage of life. This is especially relevant for we Boomers, many of whom, have, or are contemplating making significant life changes. There is always that push pull between “I want to do this” and “How can I do this?”.
Hagerty details a variety of important aspects of mid life change and discusses at length some of the themes that emerged in her research that touch in this stage of life. Some will not surprise any of us. The value and importance of relationships is, as we have written about, a key element in navigating mid life and beyond. Likewise, keeping physically active. She also writes of the importance of passion and purpose. These twin themes come up repeatedly in her book. There is the need to find one’s passion, to engage with life and search for the purpose, or purposes that bring fulfillment. Part of all of this is the reality, known to Boomers as we age, that time is now finite. Also, not surprisingly, is the emphasis on love. Finally, she closes her book with 16 suggestions for midlife which range from “aging well”, to :choosing what matters most”.
This mid life reimagination is, as we said, common to many of us. We have had several people on our radio show, Boomer Generation Radio; such as Dr Rick Moody, Marc Freedman of Encore.org and Bill Thomas of Disrupting Aging who have spoken on this time of transition. On the March 29 show we will interview a woman, Nancy Collamer, whose career is based on helping people make these life transitions. (Boomer Generation Radio airs on Phila. radio on WWDB am 860 and streams live on WWDBAM.com. Pod casts of previous shows are available on this web site: www.jewishsacredaging.com)
Boomers are in transition on so many levels. The spiritual aspect of our transitions is, of course, the focus of this site. Hagerty’s new book is a valued addition to the secular literature that speaks to our current life challenges and joys.
Rabbi Richard F Address, D.Min
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.