Here’s the category that holds together some disparate elements of life in one’s later years. Problems and their resolutions, pain and its consequences–but also the down-to-earth pleasures that can grace the days of an older person. Pleasure and pain may exist side-by-side, here and in life!



Ordinarily, you and I would think of “teething” as a remnant from our earlier parenting or pet-ownership days, when Little Ashley and Bergdorf were cutting their baby teeth, incisors, canines, bicuspids, molars, wisdom teeth or fangs. Recent experiences, though, have made me wonder whether teething might also describe the vagaries of tooth-related matters in my later years—when my adult teethMORE...

Just in case….

In these times, anxiety dogs me at almost every turn. When I feel that way it helps to be prepared for some of the possibilities that tempt me to overthink danger. Being ready for sudden difficulty with “just in case” knowledge and skills. I know I’m not alone—after its initial publication in 1999, The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook has grown into a series of over a dozen titles. PerhapsMORE...

An older man gives thanks

Although our culture is already rushing towards Christmas, I’m sticking with the delightful prospect of celebrating Thanksgiving first—reflecting on the thoughts and actions of being thankful at this stage in life. Consider what follows here as the thankful thoughts of an older man. Perhaps someone not unlike you…? To set these ideas in context, you should know that I’m very happy to be an oldMORE...

(Involuntary) Simplicity

In his classic Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life that is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich (Quill Books, 2010), social scientist and visionary Duane Elgin speaks eloquently about the possibilities of choosing to live simply. Hidden within the book and implicit in his further writings, though, is the idea that lifestyle simplicity may also be involuntary for many of us. At some time in theMORE...

Renewing old congregations

  If you’re an (older adult) leader in an (older adult) congregation, you want your congregation to stay strong and vital. Here I’d like to share with you the possibility that your congregation could continue to exist—even thrive—precisely because of the presence and passions of older members. To say that another way: Just as fullness of years is possible for each of you personally, so thisMORE...

Spirituality and chronic illness

  For several years I’ve been working with an occupational therapist on the question: How could spirituality re-emerge as a vital part of this profession? This entry examines one part of that search: How might chronic illness diminish a person’s spiritual self? (Also implied: How might spirituality help diminish the debilitating circumstances of a chronic illness or disability?) SomeMORE...

Hypochondriac or hyped self-care?

We senior citizens are besieged with too many well-meaning health warnings and directives! From TV commercials and pop-up ads for new pharmacological wonders to the omnipresent reminders from our friends at AARP, there’s more than enough information about how we can avoid large problems and take care of what ails us. This deluge of information can help and harm me. On the one hand, I soak upMORE...

Up close

This blog is part of an ongoing series that answers an intriguing question: What might it mean for older adults to claim that they are still “fearfully and wonderfully made?” The next time you think your body is not all that amazing, try one of these ideas for an up-close look at yourself. When you’re finished with any of these tasks, you might find yourself regaining an appreciation of theMORE...

In praise of slow

  I grew up in the maze of freeways called Los Angeles, and so learned the essential survival skill of driving over the posted speed limits. (I’m not suggesting this tactic for residents of other localities, in hindsight noting that this faster-than-righteous driving was a necessary practice that kept me from being run over by those driving much faster!) Now that I live on the outskirts of aMORE...

Hands on! (for caregivers)

  All of us—especially older folks—long to be touched. There’s a spiritual quality to touch. As Jesus performed miracles, he often touched the people he encountered. The biblical metaphor of God’s hand symbolizes more than God’s abundance, also revealing a God who’s close enough to touch you! A touch signals that a loving relationship is present. As a caregiver, you have an especiallyMORE...


Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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