Story by Liz Marchi

How fortunate we are to live in a connected world.  Despite distance, location and physical limitations, we have access to others through their stories, videos and pictures.  As I look to a different stage in my life, I’m enjoying the digital experience of “Growing Bolder,” www.growingbolder.com.

What is Growing Bolder? “It’s an attitude. A mission. A passion. A team of people who believe in the power of hope, inspiration and possibility.” Through the web, television and other social media, you can connect with others who are in the same phase of life and are finding new challenges, new opportunities and new ways to maximize their most precious resources: health and time.

There are other digital communities around aging like PBS’s “Next Avenue,” www.nextavenue.org, a place “where grownups keep growing.” This site is a wealth of information for those of us in the plus-50 world and caring for parents. Next Avenue tracks leading influencers on aging, such as Laura Carstensen and her revolutionary challenges to negative views about aging. Carstensen is the founder of the Stanford Center for Longevity – longevity3.stanford.edu – and has repeatedly questioned why aging is considered bad while finding ways to explore and explain its many positives.

One of the first sites on aging I began following is www.encore.org, “second acts for the greater good.”  Founder Marc Freedman, who has written “The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife,” says, “It is an urgent social imperative that we leverage the windfall of talent entering the ‘encore’ stage of life to create a better world for future generations.”

Exercise and eating well remain foundational to aging well, but social engagement and connection are vitally important. Staying inspired, being exposed to new thinking and engaging the experience of others on this amazing life journey is readily available in the digital age.  So keep upgrading your technology and making new connections.

Liz is fascinated by the various approaches to aging – from denial, to plastic surgery, to running marathons, to depression. Given our current demographics, Liz thinks there is a lot to explore, celebrate and learn from those living and aging in the Flathead Valley. Contact her at Liz@frontierangels.com.