My dogs are mad at me this week. Last week, I noted some events, both public and personal, that had occurred over the last 20 years. My dogs were not mentioned thus the cold shoulder. As I’m sure most of you know, there are two things about pet owners. 1) their pets are smarter than most other pets and 2) the owners put human emotions on their pets. We have two Golder Retrievers. Harvey is 5 years old and Hope is a 15-week-old puppy. We (and I use this in the royal sense as I was hardly involved in the ultimate decision making) decided that Harvey was lonely and needed a friend. A new puppy would increase his energy and happiness. Unfortunately, to me, Harvey seems depressed. My thesis is that Harvey now sees this mini-me version of himself and is thinking “that’s a dog. Oh my god, I’m a dog.” You see, up until now, I think Harvey thought he was just part of our family and now he realizes he’s a dog. Very depressing. It reminds me of the old Bob Seger song Against the Wind where when reminiscing about young love, he sings “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.” This line definitely speaks to Harvey. As we age and gain wisdom, we all come to these types of realizations such as there is no Easter Bunny or kale really does not taste good. Though you won’t admit it, I know you agree with me about the kale.
In his book, Successful Aging, Daniel J. Levitin writes “I’ve seen a different side of aging. My parents are now in their mideighties and are as engaged with life as they have ever been, immersed in social interactions, spiritual pursuits, hiking and nature . . . Where certain faculties have slowed, they find that extraordinary compensation mechanisms have kicked in – positive changes in mood and outlook, punctuated by the exceptional benefits of aging. Yes, older minds might process information more slowly than younger ones, but they can intuitively synthesize a lifetime of information and make smarter decisions based on decades of learning from their mistakes.”
I read this last paragraph aloud and as Harvey looks at me with his sad eyes, I can tell he gets it. He’s so smart.
This week’s selection is:
Successful Aging by Daniel J. Levitin
Barbara Kiser writes “Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin reveals the ‘dreaded’ age of 60 to be a developmental stage with specific advantages, and a launchpad for productive elderhood. Looking in turn at the latest neuroscience, behavioural studies and findings on longevity and cognitive enhancement, Levitin delves into the multiple-trace theory of memory, the ageing microbiome, fats and the brain, the impacts of neural implants, and the joys of non-retirement. A clear-eyed, insightful overview of the neurophysiological healthspan.”