Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.
When it comes to supporting healthy aging, an active mind is just as important as an active body.
Lifelong learning is a conscious and joyous way of engaging the world with passionate curiosity. Side benefits include a healthier brain, less cognitive decline, increase in memory, and strengthened neurological networks—as well as expanded social networks that come from doing all that learning with others. It all adds up to a higher quality of life and a more expansive way of experiencing the world.
FiftyForward offers so many ways to grow, learn, and connect with others. Members know they are never too old to learn or to explore new possibilities. People who come to our centers make a deliberate choice to love life, to get to know more people, and to try new adventures. FiftyForward members are proactive, choosing to stay flexible in body, mind, and spirit.
Members might explore a new painting technique, hone technology chops, or meet with fellow writers to discuss the art and craft of writing. They take educational day trips, sign up for a discussion group, or learn to play a new game. Members continue building strength and flexibility through Silver Sneakers classes, Tai Chi, Qigong, line dancing, and other fitness activities.
Each center has offerings geared to the needs and interests of their members. Members also share their own skills like bridge, knitting, writing, music, arts, and other interests they are passionate about. Each FiftyForward center offers its own unique flavors of people and interests.
A quick look at the newsletters from one month shows a wide variety of classes, trips, and experiences. Here is a sample of classes and events offered at each of our different centers:
- FiftyForward College Grove: Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration, Stained Glass Workshop, Muscle Health Class
- FiftyForward Martin Center: Antique Appraisals, Beading Class, History of the 19th Amendment
- FiftyForward Knowles: Italian Conversation series, Financial Fitness class, Healthy Eating
- FiftyForward Bordeaux: Quilting by Hand, Voting Machine Demonstration, Hat’s Off Annual Fundraiser
- FiftyForward J. L. Turner Center: Solo Traveler Get Together, NASA’s 1960s Moon Race, TBI Crime Lab, Frist Art Museum
- FiftyForward Donelson Station: Jewelry Classes, Billiard Lessons, Cooking Demonstration, Theatre Performances
- FiftyForward Madison Station: Piano and Voice Lessons, Silver Notes Band and Choraleers, Overview of CBD Oil, Beechcraft Heritage and Aviation Museum
Choosing to say “yes” to life seems to be a specialty of our most active and vital members.
They are the first ones to sign up to take a trip to a different destination or to try a new restaurant and see what’s cooking, or to move with the energy of a group learning a new exercise routine or artistic skill. They take classes on handling aging masterfully, joining forces to make travel more affordable, studying how to drive with greater skill, and learning about how to stay flexible in mind as well as in body.
FiftyForward makes a positive difference in the lives of those who become a part of this organization. Our members are reinventing what it means to grow older. They see that age is not a dead end. Growing older is just another stage of learning, one with unexpected riches. Those who want to live wisely and well will find our centers great places to move beyond the limited clichés of our culture and find that life can be rich and full no matter what your age may be.
By Candy Paull
FiftyForward J. L. Turner Center