Wednesday, September 17, 2014


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     It seems as though top events often come to “America's Finest City.” AARP'sIdeas@50+ was definitely one of those. A long list of celebrities and experts that this event brought to San Diego included Martha Stewart, Guy Kawasaki, Kevin Spacey, Erin Brockovich, Arianna Huffington, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michio Kaku, Ph.D. The presentations were open to everyone; however, you needed to arrive at least 15 minutes early to get a seat for the most popular ones.
     Held annually, the next one will be in Miami, Florida, May 14-16, 2015. At a cost of $35 it's a great value.
     I enjoyed the opportunity to see Martha Stewart, who at 73 is still working and adventuring around the world. As business woman, writer, TV personality, and former fashion model, her lifestyle is beyond what most of us could ever imagine. Her home in Bedford, New York, has 350 miles of riding trails, and she still rides weekly. She hikes in Acadia National Park, which is near to her 35,000 square- foot home in Seal Harbor, Maine. A weekday might include a full day at the office in Manhattan, which is a one-hour drive from her home. The chauffeur drives her back in the evening after a dinner with friends in the city.
Always a proponent of helpful food, she drinks a green juice daily which is usually made with organic vegetables from her own garden. Exercise with a trainer is also on the regimen, three-four times a week. Her latest book, Living the Good Long Life: A Practical Guide to Caring for Yourself and Others, provides advice on living healthier and better as we age.
     A speaker who offered some amazing predictions about the future of the brain was the physicist
Michio Kaku. His recent book, Future of the Mind, reveals the latest secrets of the brain that are now being revealed due to the new technology in computers and high tech brain scans. This includes a “smart pill” that can enhance our cognition; being able to upload our brains to a computer; sending thoughts and emotions on a “brain-net;” controlling computers and robots with our minds. Scientists are now able to take rough photographs and videotapes of dreams with MRI machines. Among the future benefits could be advances that may someday eliminate the pain of mental illness and dementia.
     Another excellent presenter was Arianna Huffington, who is the author of 14 books, including the current best-seller, Thrive. She is the cofounder, president, and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group. After collapsing from exhaustion in 2007, she learned to look at life in a new way. Making the point that our eulogies are never about money and success, but the other stuff: “what we gave, how we connected, how much we meant to our families and friends, small kindnesses, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh,” she has redefined success to creating a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder. She is from Greece, where aging is considered to make life richer.
     As we exited at the end of each day, the loud sound of drums could not be missed. We finally got up enough courage to sit down and join the drum circle that was open to everyone with instruments provided. It was a fun experience, no skill required. This might be a new- found hobby of mine—joining up with drum circles, after all I did play the bass drum in my high school band.
     Favorite quotes from the occasion:
 “Find what you love, and do it regularly.” -Martha Stewart
  “Life is like a train journey, some of the scenery is good and some is ugly, but the train keeps                          moving on.”                 -Arianna Huffington
“It's not about aging, it's about living—don't be defined by your age—embrace it.”
                                    --Jo Anna Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer, AARP

“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” -Rumi (a popular 13th century Persian poet that Arianna Huffington frequently quotes.)




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