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The Vintage Years

Woman With a Blowtorch: Another Late Blooming Artist

Francine Toder, Ph.D. | Posted 05.05.2015 | Fifty
Francine Toder, Ph.D.

May Day Open Artists' Studios combined perfect weather with an opportunity to see artists' works all around my town (Palo Alto, CA). I chose to check out Rochelle Ford's place because I'd interviewed her previously for my book, The Vintage Years and I wanted to get another peek at her luscious artwork.

When Did Life Become a Competitive Race?

Francine Toder, Ph.D. | Posted 04.20.2015 | Fifty
Francine Toder, Ph.D.

Mindfulness is perfectly suited for the over-60 lifestyle. This may be the first stage in life when it's possible to focus attention on our own lives with a fuller perspective, informed by a lifetime of accumulated wisdom.

Alice Herz-Sommer and Her Piano: A Long (109 Years) and Meaningful Life

Francine Toder, Ph.D. | Posted 12.03.2014 | Fifty
Francine Toder, Ph.D.

Although she played on an out-of-tune piano, her mission helped block the constant awareness of violence, horror and death all around her. She told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2010, "I thought if I learned to play them (Chopin pieces), they would save my life." And perhaps they did.

Creative Aging: The Best of Science and Art

Francine Toder, Ph.D. | Posted 09.09.2014 | Fifty
Francine Toder, Ph.D.

Imagine an organization whose sole focus is the creative well-being of seniors. The National Center for Creative Aging recently celebrated its 10th anniversary by holding its first Leadership Exchange and Conference.

Senior Improv? A Burgeoning Art Form

Francine Toder, Ph.D. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Fifty
Francine Toder, Ph.D.

I sat in on an improv class that shattered a bunch of age biases lurking in my unconscious. Eight seemingly docile women looking to be in their late-50s to mid-70s sat in a semicircle. My first thought was that they could easily be mistaken for bridge or mahjong players waiting for a game to begin. What happened next amazed me!

A Psychologist Analyzes Siri: Defending a Robot

Francine Toder, Ph.D. | Posted 11.23.2013 | Fifty
Francine Toder, Ph.D.

It occurred to me that there might be a significant different between those of us over 50 years of age and those yet to get there in terms of how Siri is experienced and utilized. I began to query my Silicon Valley network and heard some interesting observations.

Why I Like That George W. Bush Is A Painter

Francine Toder, Ph.D. | Posted 11.10.2013 | Fifty
Francine Toder, Ph.D.

George W. Bush will be remembered for many things, depending on your politics, but painting landscapes and animals probably won't be on your list.

How One Man Found His Balancing Act

Francine Toder, Ph.D. | Posted 09.26.2013 | Fifty
Francine Toder, Ph.D.

His age places him squarely in The Vintage Years, that stage of life after about 55 when the pleasure and meaning derived from doing something is satisfaction in and of itself. No longer are goals and milestones set in place for external rewards -- the reward is contentment in the here and now.

Never Too Old: The Subway Musician

Francine Toder, Ph.D. | Posted 08.24.2013 | Fifty
Francine Toder, Ph.D.

I used to just enjoy the music, sometimes leave a tip for the entertainment and continue on my way, but now I have an insatiable appetite for the story behind the older street musician.

Arianna Huffington's Commencement Speech Also Perfect for Boomers

Francine Toder, Ph.D. | Posted 07.29.2013 | Fifty
Francine Toder, Ph.D.

While intended for Smith College graduates, Arianna Huffington's wise words to graduates of Smith College struck me as similar to the advice I give Vintage Years folks -- those over 55.