No Deathbed for author Karel Schoeman 1

No Deathbed for author Karel Schoeman
I would have thought that an author who wrote movingly of deathbed reflections would embrace such an eventual life review for himself. Yet acclaimed South African writer Karel Schoeman chose to end his own life at the age of 77, rather than carry on living, writing and reflecting. Afrikaans writer Karel Schoeman commits suicide President ...

Y2K + Millennials 1

Y2K + Millennials
The Not-so-new Millennium As 2016 nears its end, I’ve been thinking back to that famous New Year’s Eve when we welcomed the 21st century – and all the fearmongering leading up to it. You remember Y2K – which turned out to be Apocalypse Not. You remember the widespread hoarding of canned food and candles in response to dire ...

Mythbusting – not a bad thing 1

Mythbusting - not a bad thing
Mythbusting originally came from the name of a TV science show but now It’s a Thing, and not a bad one. In the past 20 years medicine has adopted an evidence-based approach to decision-making. This requires interrogating whether there is irrefutable proof for our beliefs – and busting the myths. This seems a good approach to ...

Live longer – and better!

Live longer - and better!
When I saw this cartoon it depressed me. “These are them?” All this effort to stay young – and all it gets us is more years of being old? Wait a minute. Let’s refill that half-glass of water, abandoning such pessimistic measurement of its emptiness. Readers of this column will know how fond My New Old Self ...

Studies show (sometimes): what we know 1

Studies show (sometimes): what we know
“Studies show” – you’ve read that here before. My New Old Self often cites research findings from studies on ageing. Studies can offer revelations and insights. Sometimes, however, they seem to simply confirm the intuitively obvious. Like a recent study revealing that pop music lyrics show “negative representations” of older people. Duh, our youth-loving, age-denying ...

Vacation or anticipation – which is better? 3

Vacation or anticipation – which is better?
It’s nearly the end of January and my memories are fading. Not in general (that happens year round). I mean specifically, about what I did last month. My pleasant memories of my December holiday are getting dimmer. My cheery post-vacation mood is wearing off. So it’s time for… Not another holiday, it’s obviously too early ...

My New Old New Year’s resolutions

My New Old New Year's resolutions
Yet another new year… Instead of sighing and wishing time wouldn’t keep marching on, consider this. Judging from advice on making the most effective new year’s resolutions, it seems that we of a certain age are doing a lot of things right. Which means that we can happily ignore all the exhortations to reinvent and ...

Benchmarked for eternity

Benchmarked for eternity
Do you ever think about what you want to survive you? Not who. Not spouses, partners, progeny or pals. What. Erecting a large stone over your decomposing mortal remains is the most popular way of leaving something behind after death. Even if the ashes-to-ashes process is expedited through incineration, people often want a physical remembrance. ...

Brag about yer age? Yeah, right!

Brag about yer age? Yeah, right!
“Let’s feel good about being 50, 60, 70 and beyond” advises The New York Times. “Let’s even brag about it.” Brag about getting older? Yeah, right. This weekend I went to visit a friend and quickly realized that the other guests were not my age. As I settled into the wrinkle-hiding shadows with a drink, ...