Portrait of Maggie Weisberg

YOUTUBE 7493LqR04Yg Portraits of Elder Maggie Weisberg on YouTube

Kerry's Causal Loop Diagram

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If someone said, what's the most important thing you want me to know about you? You could ask that. And I realized the most important thing that I want people to know about me is that I'm 96 years old. My husband was a pediatrician. Um, and I was a social worker. Um, My husband died in, um, 2006. And, uh, I lived, stayed in the house for about three years. Uh, Prove to myself that I could manage on my own and Cleveland, I had a lot of friends. And so that's. So then it was my own decision to move here and to move specifically to the willows. I was worried. So then when I came that I would only know my kids. And then I'd be very dependent on my son and he would have to come and pick me up and he would have to take care of me and it felt really uncomfortable. But it turns out that. That's not been uncomfortable at all that I've been able to live fairly independently here at the willows. Communal living as one of the important things to do. I mean this. Connection with people was what we all really experienced in that. Uh, it makes a big difference. I think if I were in Cleveland now alone in that big house. It would be awful. I mean, that's the other thing I've met different kinds of people than ever would have met before. I had, you had a bunch of friends in Cleveland, we all thought the same where the same. And although the friends I have here, we share values. But they come from different places and they're different. I would never have met. The, this kind of person, if I stayed in Cleveland or New York, But my kids. I've realized that become my friends in these last years. And it's been a different relationship and it's really, I never expected it. A little surprise. Very different from me and my parents. The kids confer with each other and we all confer together about what to do. And, um, I mean, it's clear that. They're responsible for me, although. They're not the kind that hovers. They're not always telling me what to do, what I shouldn't do. I mean, we. We have a really good relationship, like trust my judgment. I trust their judgment. I am no longer responsible for anyone. Uh, no one depends on me, you know? I don't have to do anything, be anywhere. Having a kind of, some kind of routine of the day that I know I'm going to do, I think is. Is important at this point in my life. It's not that I'm stuck in a routine where I have to do it, but it's comforting to know that I'm going to get up, I'm going to do this and we'll do my stretches in the morning. Have my breakfast meditate sort of ground myself in the day. And then, you know, there are other things. It happened. But what I didn't mention by the way, which is really an important part of my life is that I, I do mindful meditation and that feeling of mindfulness, I think is very much a part of what makes life meaningful for me at this point. Being old is not something I ever thought I would be. And it never seemed like, uh, uh place I ought to be. You know, want to not the old. And what I find is that being old is a good thing, which really. Really surprised me. And my father worked hard. My mother was a housewife. They loved us. They were really very good people, but they were never people that I wanted to be like. They were old. I always thought of them as old and old fashioned and old. And I was always rebellious and, and you know, it was going to do it my own, my own way. I would say to my younger self, don't be so damn cocky and sure of yourself. Be old. It's who I am and, and you know, it's, uh, it's a good it's surprisingly. To me, it's a good time of life. Even though I don't want to be a Pollyanna, even though, I mean, there are aches and pains. There are a lot of things I can't do. I though being old meant that you were not part of the world anymore. Somehow you were, you were out of it. Not only mentally out of it, but you were, you just disconnected from, from things going on. And I can't do a lot of things I used to do. I can't drive. I can't go hiking. I can't go up the ladder and fix something. I've got numbness of my fingers. I mean, all kinds of things. But they're not as important as I thought they would be. People sometimes see me and they say, oh, you look so young as if being young is a good thing to be and being old is not a good thing to be. It is different because all the old people here at the willows are not old in the way I remember old people being. I'm always amazed. When I came, I was 86 and I thought I was really old and there were people here were 90 and a hundred and they working on their computers and they were. You know, doing all kinds of things and it's like, you know, it's like, I want the world to know that, you know, people go on living in and doing things.


Marc's notes

# The Story Arc

* I wanted to not be old.

I can't do a lot of things I used to do.

They're not as important as I thought they would be.

People go on living and doing things.

It's a good time of life.

* Being old is a good thing.

Be old.


# EVENTS Husband died 96 years old. Willows Point in my life

# NEGATIVE FEELINGS, CONCERNS AND FEARS Alone Worried Not part of the world anymore Dependent Independently Uncomfortable Comforting

# BELIEFS (mental models) Old fashioned and old. -Important things **Surprise** (transition, change in model) It's who I am I would say to my younger self, ... What makes life meaningful for me at this point.

# AGENCY (personal choices) Prove to myself Manage on my own My own decision The willows Communal living -Connection with people Become my friends -No longer responsible for anyone -Routine -Mindful meditation A lot of things I can't do

# Connection with people (AGENTS) Me My father My mother My parents Husband -Friends (old and new) -Different kinds of people -My kids Not the kind that hovers Trust judgment