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Looks at the many dimensions of aging and considers the joys of this special stage of life and the rewards of being open to new experiences and new relationships.Publishers Description
Not only accepting but also celebrating getting old, this inspirational and illuminating work looks at the many facets of the aging process, from purposes and challenges to struggles and surprises. Central throughout is a call to cherish the blessing of aging as a natural part of life that is active, productive, and deeply rewarding. Perhaps the most important dimension revealed lies in the awareness that there is a purpose to aging and intention built into every stage of life. Chittister reflects on many key issues, including the temptation towards isolation, the need to stay involved, the importance of health and well-being, what happens when old relationships end or shift, the fear of tomorrow, and the mystery of forever. Readers are encouraged to surmount their fears of getting older and find beauty in aging well.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.7" Width: 5.86" Height: 0.94"
Weight: 0.96 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2008
Availability 0 units.
Reviews - What do our customers think?
|The gift of ideas Jul 15, 2008|
|I'm impressed to learn that this book was written by a 70-year-old Benedictine nun, which gives Gift of Years both strengths and limitations.|
The book reads like a series of sermonettes. We get the "what" but not the "how." And I think the author assumes her audience shares her values and opportunities.
She seems to have a solid grip on the spiritual dynamics of growing old. But she writes about areas where her lack of experience seems obvious: dealing with health issues (especially the health care system), finding meaningful work after retirement, and making friends when you don't have time or opportunity to develop a shared history.
Not everyone finds meaning in helping others. Some people are better suited to working and donating to charities rather than taking a hands-on role in the charities. Some people want to relax and be door-greeters at Wal-Mart or (as she suggests) teachers' aides at a local school (not an easy job to get). But a lot of people will find those roles meaninngless, degrading and more stressful than the high-powered jobs they're denied.
A good book if you've got strong spiritual values, a solid support system, most of your health and financial sufficiency. If you're 80 years old and still running marathons between visits to the grandchildren, you'd probably love this book.
|Excellent Book Jun 19, 2008|
|Joan Chittister has done all of us a wonderful service in writing this book. Since the population has grayed in the last few years, her suggestions about how to bridge the gap in our lives is extraordinary. Thank you Joan for a wonderful work.|
|Wise and wonderful Jun 9, 2008|
|This is a wise and wonderful book. A friend wanted to borrow it when I was finished and I was reluctant to let it out of my hands. I was so glad when another friend gave it to her as a birthday gift. Everyone over 50 should have this one in their permanent collection. I know I will return to it now and then, to drink at the well.|
|The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully Jun 3, 2008|
|As in all her previous works, Joan Chittister has done a wonderful job on addressing a very important issue in all of our lives, growing older, with grace and dignity. The book's format lends itself to reading about and then processing so many different aspects of growing older one chapter/topic at a time.|
|Lessons in How to Live for Any Age! May 9, 2008|
|When "The Gift of Years" by Joan Chittister made its way to my mailbox for me to review, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Was I really the right person to be reviewing this? After all, I am in my thirties, transitioning from youth to middle age. I'm not quite ready for senior citizen status yet. As it turned out, "The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully" is a wonderful lesson in how to live, regardless of our chronological age. |
Chittister, a Benedictine sister, is 70 years old. She suggests that she may actually be too young to write this book because life still has lessons left to offer. She "reserves the right to revise this edition when she is ninety." Chittister views how we life at any age to be a choice. We are each given the gift of today. It is up to us what we do with it. She counters the idea that old age need be a time of isolation and loneliness and uselessness. Rather, it can be a time of great connectedness and joy and purpose. It is a time for looking back, not with the pain of regret for opportunities lost, but with understanding of how the life that has been lived has meaning for who we are right now and what our future holds.
Chittister maintains that senior citizens have so much to offer to the world at large. Their wisdom and their stories and their experience are a great gift. They also have the time to get involved. Without the pressures of a 9-to-5 job or raising a family, they can volunteer more, make more of a difference. They have the chance to do all the things that they always wanted to do that there was never time for before. "Age does not forgive us our responsibility to give the world back to God a bit better than it was because we were here."
Of course, there are special challenges that come with the transition to later adulthood and Chittister does acknowledge that fact. It can be difficult to be older in a world that so values youth. It can be hard to reclaim a sense of self with everything that defined that self is now gone. It can be a struggle to cope with physical ailments and disabilities. As Chittister states, however, "there is no such thing as not coping. . . The only issue is whether we will choose to cope well or poorly." We do have a choice. We can adjust our way of thinking and our way of being or we can give up.
Mostly, though, being older brings freedom. "We are free now to choose the way we live in the world, the way we relate to the world around us, the attitudes we take to life, the meaning we get out of it, the gifts we put into it. And all of them can change." "The Gift of Years" is a gift in itself. It provides the opportunity to reflect on what it means to grow older and provides hope for a time of life that holds great promise.
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