Q & A with Bernie – August 3, 2015

Question for Bernie

I read an article yesterday and thought of you immediately.  The gist of the article was that people should die at 75, and there should be no more “efforts” to care for them after that.  The author is 65 and said that people are creatively stagnant after the age of 75.  I thought of you because you continue to inspire me, as do all of my amazing elders in my community.  I told you that I speak throughout the country about positive aging and keeping people engaged as long as God allows them to inhabit this amazing earth.  I see so many vibrant, intelligent, engaged human beings that I learn from every single day, that gentleman should meet you!  I also wonder what his thoughts will be on his 75th birthday.

I am thinking about entering the Ms. Senior Michigan pageant in January.  While I am not a huge fan of “beauty” pageants, I am a fan of people stepping outside of their little boxes and trying new things!  I love to sing, and I would have to sing in front of a big audience. I could wear some beautiful dresses and feel like a princess!  Not sure I will have the nerve to do it but am seriously thinking about it!  I will be 65 in 9 more days and feel better than ever.  I work in a non-profit and love my job, I volunteer a lot with people with cognitive disabilities and work with my amazing group of elders!   I love my life.  We are looking at retiring from our jobs (not our life) in April 2016 and moving to South Carolina.  There is an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute less than a mile from our new home, and I am looking forward to taking some classes.  I have two certified therapy dogs and look forward to spending more time with them and mostly getting out of the horrid Michigan winters!  This morning it is 12 degrees out and they closed the University my husband teaches at.  It is just miserable and the roads are horrible.

Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you today, hope you are well and happy.

Bernie’s Answer

You are living the sermon. The writer of the article you read doesn’t understand life. I believe he is a doctor.

When you do what makes you lose track of time you can’t age.  When you keep engaged in things you love after you retire, you never really have to say you are “retired.”

And as you demonstrate, having pets increases survival rates, too, if they are an integral part of your life.  They give us unconditional love and deserve the same.  Your therapy dogs are no doubt very happy since dogs love to please us and they really like to learn and “work.”


Question for Bernie

Hi Coach,

Hope you are well and happy.  Just a note to let you know I tried out for the Senior Ms. Michigan Pageant.  I sang in front of 250 people, gave my philosophy of life, competed in the evening gown competition, and spoke to three judges… and won!  Now it is parades, personal appearances, grand openings, car shows, and senior centers!  I competed against six other finalists and was crowned. The Ms. Senior pageants are for women over 60 who are “doing something” with their lives, volunteering, and living life to the fullest.  While there is an aspect of beauty involved, it is really about how to live life!  I thank all of my mentors… you are on that list of amazing people.

Now I am onto the Ms. Senior America Pageant in Atlantic City in October!  That is a little more competitive, there are “career” pageant girls there and professional entertainers for the talent portion.  I am going for the experience and the fun of it!   No $10,000 gowns for this girl (second hand stores are Perfect).

Just wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts. Thank you for being a part of my life!

Bernie’s Answer

Bless you, kid. Remember the advice of a football player with cancer:

I used to think I left everything I could out there on the field, but now that I am not playing, I know that I didn’t. So don’t leave anything in here (locker room)—leave it all out there on the field. The team went on to upset their opponent.

Go for it!



Related posts:

  1. Q & A with Bernie – August 12, 2013
  2. Q & A with Bernie – August 18, 2014
  3. Q & A with Bernie – March 30, 2015
  4. Q & A with Bernie – August 26, 2013
  5. Q & A with Bernie – August 25, 2014
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