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February 15, 2022

 

Hi there, 

 
I am embarrassed to admit that I have no idea how to play Wordle, the lastest puzzle craze. I was none the wiser after reading the instructions and staring at it for half an hour. What the hell was I supposed to do with that empty grid? Was it a crossword puzzle? Where were the clues? I had to look at a step-by-step YouTube video to learn the basics. Then I had to come up with a five-letter word. Any five-letter word. I tried but couldn’t think of any five-letter words even though just about every other word in English is five letters. And then I couldn’t figure out why some letters turned green and others yellow. I gave up. 

My failure at Wordle is not surprising since—despite my writing career—I’m so bad at word games that my daughter beat me at Scrabble when she was 10, which was truly humiliating. It may just be psychological resistance or some kind of weird genetic quirk I got from my father, who refused to take games seriously. He was once confronted by a group of angry poker players for cheating. He threw his hands up and said, “it’s only a game.” He’s lucky he lived to tell the tale. I wish I'd inherited his chutzpah (Yiddish for nerve) to make up for my ineptitude at games. I'm embarrassed about how bad I am at them.

I’m Erica Manfred, Geezer Geek, Snarky Senior, and author of I’m Old so Why Aren’t I Wise? I moved to Florida alone in my trusty Ford Focus seven years ago from upstate New York and haven’t regretted it. I’ve always written about my life, and now that I’m old, aging and ageism are what I care about most. I’m writing this newsletter as part of the event platform Life Experienced. Each week, I’ll be exploring what matters to us later in life, from finding community to nuts-and-bolts stuff like figuring out our phones. I’ll also be interviewing inspiring seniors. Know someone we should feature? Email us at Info@LifeExperienced.com or join us on Facebook.  

Why not join a book club this year?

I’m always looking for a new book club. My current favorite book club is called Literature and Libations, and I’m the only person over 50 in it. We always meet at a bar, hence the “libations.” The host is a former cop, writer, and booklover who chooses offbeat, oddball books, like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. Since I spend most of my time with women my age, the diversity in this group is refreshing. I get to hang out with young people I’d never meet any other way. When we read something set in the 1960s or ‘70s, I’m the expert.

My former favorite book club was a women’s potluck that rotated among different members’ homes. People complained that we were too focused on the food to talk about the book in depth, but that was the best thing about the club, IMHO. Dinner and casual book talk is my ideal way to spend an evening.

The pandemic has made it harder to make friends in book clubs, since Zoom doesn’t facilitate the kind of casual, serendipitous interactions that encourage friendship. I much prefer an in-person experience, but that may not be possible for a while depending on the state of the pandemic in your area, the weather (book clubs can be outdoors), and the willingness of the host to ask for proof of vaccination or masking. But it’s still worth joining a local club. Even if it’s on Zoom now, it will eventually be in person, and at least you’ll know everyone’s name.


How to find a book club:

  • Contact your local library. Many libraries sponsor book clubs. These tend to be more on the serious, literary side but can be lively, depending on who is running them. Many libraries have moved their book clubs to Zoom, but if it’s a local library, eventually they’ll be back in person and you’ll get to meet people IRL. 
  • Check out your local independent bookstore. For instance, Murder on the Beach, a Florida bookstore near me, sponsors a book club that reads mysteries, which feeds the store’s sales and creates a community of mystery lovers.
  • Search Meetup.com for book clubs near you. I found Literature and Libations on Meetup.  
  • Join an online book club. Goodreads lists many, including celebrity clubs such as Oprah’s Book Club and Read With Jenna, Jenna Bush’s book club. Here’s an article with a list of virtual book clubs you can join today.
  • Search on websites for readers of a particular genre that you enjoy. A friend found a book club that way. 
  • Check out each club’s rules and book choices. Some book clubs are restricted by sex or age. Some are very strict about who can speak when, and some are more relaxed. I prefer relaxed but not too relaxed. One club I tried out had no rules, so only the pushiest got to talk. 


How to start your own book club:

  • Become an organizer on Meetup.com (there’s a monthly fee, but you get to organize three groups). Check out this previous newsletter for my tips on using Meetup.
  • Announce your plans in a local online neighborhood group. Most areas have either a NextDoor.com group or Facebook group. Getting 10 people together for a book club isn’t difficult. 
  • Meet at a local bar or coffee shop. Check out the place first to see if it’s amenable to groups meeting there. Some locations may ask that you limit your meeting time or that attendees make a purchase. 
  • Put up flyers at the local library or bookstore. Either of those venues might also offer you space.

Life Experienced exclusive events

 

Dance fitness party
Wednesday, February 16
9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET

Put on your dancing shoes—or your sneakers—and get ready to move. The Fiesta Fit Sisters are leading a 30-minute workout for all levels and experiences. You can dance standing or from a chair; just be ready to break a sweat and a smile.

 
RSVP

 

Quick and easy cooking
Thursday, February 17
5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET

Join lifestyle expert and TODAY Show contributor Jill Bauer for a night of quick and easy cooking! Jill will share creative and delicious ideas for entertaining, along with one of her favorite dinners for a busy evening.

 
RSVP

 

Low-impact workout
Wednesday, February 23
11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET

Get moving and grooving with exercise physiologist Velma Garnes. Velma will lead a 30-minute workout to get your heart rate up—without hurting your joints. With a warm-up, fun cardio session, and stretching, this workout is the perfect Wednesday pick-me-up for all fitness levels!

 
RSVP

 

Easy chicken dinner
Thursday, February 24
11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET

Join Valerie from Cranberry Walk and learn how to prepare an easy, healthy, and delicious weeknight chicken dinner. 

 
RSVP

 

These exclusive events are brought to you by Life Experienced and are hosted by our ambassadors.
 

Testimonial feature

We’re featuring some of our favorite stories from inspiring people like you. Click on the video below to meet Ciriaca and hear how she stays young—even as she gets older.

Partner spotlight

Oscar Enterprise is a platform for home care agencies, senior care facilities, social care, and other companies that communicate with clients who are older adults. The flexible and scalable platform connects care staff with care recipients and care recipients with their families via messages, reminders, and video calls.

Users can adjust the platform to their needs and integrate any app, service, or content into Oscar Enterprise's interface. Read more about Oscar Enterprise here. Are you interested in the Oscar Family app? Have a look here.

Technology tips

If you are hanging on to old technology, be it a phone, fall alert system, car navigation system, tablet, or e-reader, you probably will have to replace it this year. The cellular network running these devices, called 3G, will be discontinued by all the major carriers in 2022. The advent of the latest technology, 5G, meant there wasn’t enough room on cell towers for 3G. If ditching 3G meant forcing people to buy new gadgets, so much the better (for companies, not consumers). Here and here are two informative articles that will tell you more about navigating the transition. 

Become a partner

Does your organization reach a community of older adults? Get in touch with us for information on amplifying your events and activities on the platform and expanding the Life Experienced service to your network. There is no cost to partnering. Get in touch with us here: https://lifeexperienced.com/become-a-partner.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. And if you want to chime in with your two cents on what this newsletter should include, email us at Info@LifeExperienced.com

Until next time, 
Erica  
 
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