Tuesday, March 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

New spirit changes the old attitudes

Mary Anne Ingenthron, the facilitator of the Active Older Adult Discussion Group that meets monthly at the Stephens Branch Library in Davis, chats with Simon Klebanow at the group's January meeting. Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi and Ronald MIller's book, "From Age-ing to Sage-ing," serves as a guide for discussion and activities. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | February 19, 2013 |

Cranky, stubborn, senile, helpless, incompetent, sedentary, reclusive. And thus, irrelevant.

The list of unflattering stereotypes goes on for those in the evening of life, according to Mary Anne Ingenthron, a member of Davis’ Active Older Adult Discussion Group.

“We live in a world where we place a lot of emphasis on productivity — on work, physicality,” she said. “As people retire, the attitude in our culture is that they’re worthless: ‘Get them out of the way, they have nothing to contribute.’

“That’s being exaggerated today with the rapid pace of technology. We all have the experience of 5-year-old grandchildren knowing technology better than you do.”

But there’s a productive force, a “conscious aging movement,” looking to neutralize this perspective. The definition of senior life is reviewed thoroughly by the Active Older Adult Discussion Group, and the conclusion is opposite to decrepitude.

The ongoing discussion — often taking place at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. — offers instead an ethos of acceptance, wisdom and endless possibilities for the aged. The local seniors banded together with this mentality in late 2011.

Since then, the group’s members have been inspired to embark on individual creative endeavors — from painting and writing, to pottery and more. One of them is 76-year-old Lyle Seeband, who refers to his retirement as the best portion of his life.

What’s he doing in his golden years? “Too much, as a matter of fact,” he said with a hearty laugh.

Seeband, a longtime instrumental musician, began seriously studying voice only about a year and a half ago, about the time of the group’s inception. He improved his singing abilities by joining the Sacramento City College Choir.

On May 27, 2012, he was invited to perform with the local choir for Memorial Day in New York City’s Carnegie Hall. After nearly 75 years of ignoring his vocal potential, he found himself in a prestigious music venue — receiving a standing ovation.

Seeband’s story of igniting passion, though more dramatic than most, is not unique among the group. Nearly all of the members have in their own way connected with new and old interests.

Any skeptics of the senior collective’s zeal have only to look toward people like Ingenthron, who has taken many Sacramento City College digital art courses, giving her a strong affinity for Adobe Photoshop and book design.

Or the commitment to memoir writing of 80-year-old Robert Smith, who already has a hefty collection of stories composed.

Or even the studies of clinical psychology, 146 college credits worth, pursued by Yolanda Reina Guerra. “I like to give advice, but I don’t think anybody takes it,” she said, stirring a chuckle out of a room of her peers.

A principal post-retirement pursuance for MariLyn Brinton, 85, has been the Active Older Adult Discussion Group itself. She was the originator, and now hosts meetings on the second Thursday of each month with assistance from Ingenthron.

“We have a lot of fun, don’t we?” she said to a unanimous affirmation. “We tell jokes. We try to stay on top of the issues affecting seniors. … Health is always an issue, but that’s not all of it.”

The discussion group’s conversational territory was recently condensed to the themes present in “From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older,” by authors Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald Miller.

“It was so wonderful,” Brinton said. “I underlined just about every page, it seemed like. It provides us a great structure.”

For a group full of members with a proven eagerness for the new, a book that champions the introduction of adventure and experience into the aging process was a perfect guide for their activities.

It inspired reflective exercises; life reviews that are quietly done during meetings. Ingenthron said it is meant to impart lessons about passing on a legacy, not just what each person has earned, but what they have learned.

And, most importantly, it’s intended to influence each member as they “live their last years with serenity, purpose and compassion,” Ingenthron explained.

While there’s no guarantee the stigma associated with old age will ever fade, it’s clear that the spirit behind this “conscious aging movement” is no closer to doing so itself.

“Part of it’s about a culture change,” Ingenthron said. “We need to change the paradigm. We want elders to be respected more, but we’re also aware that we have to earn that respect.”

To learn more about the Active Older Adult Discussion Group or to inquire about attending a meeting, contact Joan Tuss at 530-757-5588 or [email protected].

— Reach Brett Johnson at [email protected] or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Nominees sought for city’s human rights awards

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Pedal power: It’s a different kind of March Madness

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    STEM-Tastic Sunday highlights summer opportunities

    By Chloe Lessard | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    County: Baby Justice was on Social Services’ radar

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Budget standoff leaves California college hopefuls in limbo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    State to supply just 20 percent of water

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Rampant crime on the streets of Davis

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Appeals court upholds protection for threatened seabird

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    House to vote on Homeland bill without conditions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    ‘Pearls Before Swine’ joins daily comics lineup

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Winter market wraps up Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Public broadband, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Alcoholic liver disease strikes Hispanics years earlier

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Embroiderers will discuss needlework tools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Tuleyome needs volunteers for work party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Bingo games Sunday will benefit DHS Madrigals’ trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Go all in for fun at Texas Hold ‘Em tournament

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    DCC Nursery School hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Join a fitness party at Zumba class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Logos Books hosts conversation groups, poetry readings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Get a taste of Middle Earth at library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Holmes’ talent showcased

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Overeaters get support at meetings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

     
    Cycle de Mayo kicks off Bike Month

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Klein’s book featured at Authors on the Move

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    City says it did not OK Ygrene mailers

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A6

     
    Sure and begorrah!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    .

    Forum

    The kids aren’t interested

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    One more family insult

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

     
    Cannery CFD creates unequal taxation patchwork

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Climate changes are inevitable

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Act for our children’s future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    UCD alums will want to stay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    End the use of this word

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Thanks for act of kindness

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Lady Blue Devils in semis Tuesday night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Aggie men host two big ones this week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Dream run ends for Davis’ master wrestlers

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil boys net an easy tennis victory

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    In the Clubhouse: Summerhays Jr. talks about new post at El Macero CC

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Newly acquired Smith scores in Sharks’ victory

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Aggie lacrosse team takes home opener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Blue Devil girls look for revenge in the pool

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    DHS boys aim to repeat as section swim champs

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Dunn graduates from Marine Corps basic training

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Thursday Live! features Keith Cary, Wyatt Hesemeyer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Songs of the Civil War to be performed by Anonymous 4

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Davis Chorale starts year with demanding music

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Otto Vasak

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7