Get­ting Good at Get­ting Older

Richard Siegel (z’l) and Rab­bi Lau­ra Geller

January 1, 2013

Get­ting Good at Get­ting Old­er is a bed­side com­pan­ion, a portable best friend, and a baedek­er of essen­tial resources for any­one smart enough to age mind­ful­ly rather than just let it hap­pen to them. — Let­ty Cot­tin Pogre­binfound­ing edi­tor of Ms. mag­a­zine and author of Get­ting Over Get­ting Older

We trans­formed soci­ety in the 60’s and 70’s, through the civ­il rights move­ment, the evo­lu­tion of fem­i­nism, and the sex­u­al rev­o­lu­tion. We raised our voic­es, refused to sit down, and in the process, changed the way the world saw young people.

We aren’t young any­more. But we are still rev­o­lu­tion­ary. We are con­fronting and chal­leng­ing assump­tions about aging, by liv­ing longer, being more active than our par­ents and grand­par­ents, and sim­ply doing things dif­fer­ent­ly. And in the process, we are chang­ing the way the world sees old­er people.

Get­ting Good at Get­ting Old­er is a tour for all of us of a cer­tain age through the resources and skills we need to nav­i­gate the years between matu­ri­ty and old age. It brings humor, warmth, and more than 4,000 years of Jew­ish expe­ri­ence to the ques­tion of how to shape this new stage of life.

Discussion Questions

Sev­en­ty is not the new 50. Sev­en­ty is sim­ply a new 70” (from the intro­duc­tion, p. 3) These days, we’re not just liv­ing longer, we’re liv­ing dif­fer­ent­ly and this book presents an hon­est look at how. Richard Siegel, z”l, and Rab­bi Lau­ra Geller have curat­ed use­ful arti­cles for their work Get­ting Good at Get­ting Old­er, to address top­ics not com­mon­ly addressed about liv­ing as an old­er Jew­ish adult with some humor and fun illus­tra­tions. Top­ics cov­ered include: cul­ti­vat­ing spir­i­tu­al prac­tices, cre­at­ing rit­u­al expe­ri­ences, find­ing mean­ing in vol­un­teer­ing and life­long learn­ing. In addi­tion, this book address­es spir­i­tu­al chal­lenges of liv­ing longer, such as part­ing with pos­ses­sions, leav­ing home, deep­en­ing inti­ma­cy, appre­ci­at­ing your body as it is, and what to say when you vis­it a sick friend. This book will serve as an impor­tant work as more peo­ple dis­cov­er what it means to live longer, mean­ing­ful­ly and Jewishly.