Welcome to Dynamic Aging 4 Life Magazine!

We’re a community of people who are changing the paradigm of aging by challenging the stereotypes of aging by sharing TRUE stories about aging dynamically, to explore what’s possible, inspire one another and empower by example.

A Lifetime of Protecting Dolphins

A Lifetime of Protecting Dolphins

As a child, I was always fascinated by the ocean and marine life, especially whales and dolphins. I grew up in Walnut Creek, CA, a few hours from the coast. My mother shared her love for the ocean and made sure her children spent lots of time at the beach. Weekends...

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The Spirit in It

The Spirit in It

My husband and I bought a house in the year 2000.  It faced the freeway.  Other than that, I liked the house but I couldn’t see living right across from the freeway.  Since my husband had already fallen in love with the shop behind the house, he said to me, “I will...

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Turning Down the Volume

Turning Down the Volume

When I was growing up, I loved language. I remember reading James Herriot and how beautifully he described the life of a veterinarian. And A Tale of Two Cities in the 9th grade launched my love of great literature. When I reached college, my love of writing and...

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9260 Miles From Home

9260 Miles From Home

Neighbors, friends, and even the mailman ask me why I'm traveling 9,260 miles from home this winter, enduring at least, if lucky, a 22-hour flight followed by a grueling five-hour car ride to travel the last 100 miles to the village where I stay in Bali, Indonesia....

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The Day A Shark Spared My Life

The Day A Shark Spared My Life

My first thought as I awake each morning is often “I wonder how the surf is today?” At 45, I was late to start surfing but was hooked the moment I took my first wave. I feel lucky that I live in Los Osos on the Central California Coast, close to the ocean and just a...

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My Journey to Find a Spiritual Teacher

My Journey to Find a Spiritual Teacher

I did not move to Thailand in 2005 looking for a spiritual teacher. It simply happened. In the summer of 2005, my husband, 13-year-old son, and I relocated from our suburban home in Northern California to Bangkok for my husband’s job. Although excited to be living in...

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Art Encounters Age

Art Encounters Age

It’s rather common knowledge that past age 90 or even before, one is in the realm of “patch up.” This includes eating and drinking more carefully, and dealing with various infirmities that seem to clock in regularly with age. I’m in that category at 96+ but besting it...

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Just Ask

Just Ask

I have had a fulfilling career as a speech and language pathologist for the past 40 plus years. As my husband climbed the corporate ladder and our family moved around the country to meet opportunities for him, I was always able to continue to follow my passion and...

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Editors’ Notebook

Give Substack.com a Try

The Dynamic Aging community includes a lot of writers, many of whom grace the essays in this magazine with interesting tales of their lives and adventures.

But in communications with our already-published authors – and other folks – it’s clear these writers have a lot more to say. That’s pretty much the definition of a writer. In my case, it is a borderline addiction.

So. if you’ve already published with us and have discovered your mutual addiction, I discovered a neat online outlet for writing, called Substack. Anyone with the slightest hankering for writing and publishing should consider this easy-to-use, free platform. Unlike standard “blogs,” the Substack format throws a writer’s work into a huge pond of other Substack writers and readers.

When I signed up and started publishing articles, I found myself immediately shoulder-to-shoulder electronically with Garrison Keillor, Heather Cox Richardson and many hundreds of other recognizable writers. Without much effort, new Substack writers can get noticed and attract readers.

My original idea in joining Substack was to publish my in-process eco-thriller novel one chapter at a time. It’s how Charles Dickens’ work was published in serial form in newspapers in the mid-1800s. Why do a book that way? Substack has the option of letting the author charge readers. Plus, for me, publishing chapter-by-chapter would give me much needed deadlines.

Since starting my Substack early this year (https://michaeljfitzgerald.substack.com) I’ve written about my affinity for Don Quixote, Covid 19, a paean about Rip Van Winkle, New Year’s resolutions and the national problem of newspapers closing.

This past week I published two dog-related articles. One was the joy of discovering a community of dog lovers at an upscale dog park nearby. The second was about having to go out at midnight with a flashlight to chase off a pack of coyotes howling so loud my dog joined in the howling.

Please consider telling your story here in the magazine first. But Substack is worth a look also. And if you do decide to start a Substack page, please let us know. We’d love to read what you have to say.

Michael J. Fitzgerald

More Stories

Staying Clear of the Slippery Slope

My father died at 69 of a heart attack. Rumor has it his father also died at 69 of a heart attack. When I turned 69, I worried each time I had the slightest chest pain. When I turned 70 and didn't die, I celebrated by getting a tattoo and have gotten another each year...

I Turned Old – Overnight

I went to bed on St Patrick's Day 2023 in a rosy glow after spending the evening with good friends. When I woke up the next morning, I thought I was drunk. I couldn't walk straight, my hearing was off, and as I discovered when I drove my car, my thinking was off....

The Miracle of Reconnecting

When I retired in 2020 at 70, I began a campaign to reach back in time to try to reconnect with people who had been important to me earlier in my life. I sent out 10 letters to people who had touched my heart but with whom I had lost contact along the way. Since we...

Finding My Purpose in Retirement

Retirement is one of the hardest jobs I’ve had. I’ve had a lifetime of being extremely productive and busy. My career path, starting in the 70s, was an explosive rise to the top. I made a ‘how-to’ film in college: “How to Have an Orgasm,” which was distributed to...

Dynamic Aging with Osteoporosis

I still feel about 42, even though it’s been around a decade and a half since I was that age. I’ve loved every year so far, but in my 40’s I felt like I’d grown into my skin, my brain and my sense of self. I’ve always remembered an essay by Carol Shields in her...

Sound Aging

The first time I noticed it was hard to hear was in 10th grade. Voices started sounding fuzzy, and sometimes I couldn’t understand teachers when they faced the blackboard. A screening test showed mild hearing loss, and given I had measles as a young child, the...

The Joy of Collaboration

Like many of us, I experienced several losses at the beginning of Covid which made the isolation especially hard to deal with. Professionally, I was a Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Art Therapist in private practice for over 20 years. It wasn’t an easy...

For the Love of Pat

I don’t know what the odds are of a couple to actually have a marriage that really works. My wife, Pat, and I were married for 68 years before she died earlier this year from COVID-related issues. The last three or four years were more difficult because she was...

Lost and Found

In April 2023, two months shy of my 87th birthday, I called a friend to tell her where I was hiking and then drove to the trailhead. On a lovely spring morning, I started up a familiar trail that was covered in snow. Still, I made my way up the steep climb to the top,...

One Degree Hotter

At age 63, when most of my friends were retired or actively planning to do so, I enrolled in a three-year doctoral program. It was a 25 hour-a-week gig on top of my full-time job, only worse. It was an unpaid gig and it would drain my bank account at a time when I...

Stubborn

If someone had suggested, even two years ago, that I would be choosing to live in the independent living portion of a senior community, I would have thought, “Well, they obviously don’t know me!” New Year’s Eve 2022 I moved into a lovely apartment on the third floor...

Never Too Old to be a Krank

One of the best Christmases I ever had was when I was eleven years old. I opened the sliding doors and saw two bicycles, one for me and one for my brother. Now I could "ride bikes" with friends and get a job as a paperboy. And I have never stopped riding since....

Finding My Tribe

I looked around at the group of cyclists shivering in a parking lot at 8 a.m. on a chilly fall Saturday in Orinda, CA. “What the hell was I doing here?” I asked myself. I wasn’t a cyclist, but I had agreed to join my friend Val to train for a week-long bike ride to...

My Parkinson’s Journey

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at 62. By that point in life I’d become convinced of the close brain-body connection, and what may possibly bypass it. Thirty-eight years before this diagnosis, I had a significant experience one evening while meditating: I was...

Moving Down the Road

After a lifetime of dreaming, a couple years of scheming and two weeks of intense searching, my wife Christina and I bought our Winnebago Travato this spring. It’s a beaut. A shiny gray 2022 Class B recreation vehicle with low miles in very good condition. After a few...

Reprioritizing Life After A COVID ‘Hard Stop’

It had been a crazy, relentless last few weeks in California. I was ramping up my coaching business, teaching virtual fitness classes, hiking daily, taking multiple dog walks, all wedged in with lunches, dinners and visits with family and friends. On Friday night we...

Peace Corps Volunteers: Full Circle

I have always lived the paradox of desiring both home and adventure. This is how I walk my days. I go big into the world, sometimes weeks, months, even years.  And then I come home. So it is that when I am living in Africa and awash in the wonder and joy of my life, I...

The Magic of Sisterhood

On November 4, 2023, I’ll complete my fiftieth trip around the sun. I cannot wait to celebrate this milestone, and I know that I have so much to look forward to. I’m lucky. I was born with a gift: I can see my future. I arrived in this world in 1973, the youngest of...

On Being Elderly

Elderly is not a number. Elderly is a physical and mental and emotional state of being. I was elderly when I was 35 but I’m not elderly now, at age 73. At 35, I became elderly overnight. I woke up one morning and I could not put my foot on the floor when I tried to...

The Next 20 Years

When I hit 55, I did a mathematical calculation about how many months, weeks and days I had in my life until I turned 75. That’s roughly 240 months, 1,042 weeks or 7,300 days, in case you wondered. Seventy-five years old! From the perspective of a 55-year-old, that...

Dynamic Aging 4 Life

What do Grandma Moses and I have in common? We both chose to create something new in our lives and in the world that didn’t exist before. We did this when people might have considered us “old.” We were both 78. That is the age when Grandma Moses began her life as a...

Satisfaction

Every ten years or so, I find myself watching Mick Jagger fling himself across the stage like a possessed puppet. With wild-eyed ferocity, he postures and prances in the spastic style he alone owns --- a style still so vital it’s a mind boggle that he’s been doing...

The Joy is in the Journey

At 63 years old, I retired and relocated from California to Oregon with my husband, who was soon to retire. This would be the city we both live in for the rest of our lives and we would be closer to our daughter. And then the COVID pandemic began in earnest. Our move...

Beating the Odds

I feel like I beat the odds when I hiked the Mist Trail up Vernal and Nevada Falls in Yosemite National Park May 20, 2022. The odds? I figured the odds were against me because of my age - 86. I had had a total right hip replacement in October 2020. And I had not done...