Welcome to AARP. By welcome I don’t mean getting the card. I’ve had mine for a while. (okay, a LONG while.) By welcome I mean attending my first AARP event, Life@50+.
#1: My intimate friend Mrs. Fields greeted me right off the bat in the lobby. Immediately I knew this would be a good time..
#2. Inside, more friends, old and new. Which set the tone with a theme. I learned this weekend that the #1 predictor of successful aging is not health, or money, or love, but connections.
#3. Speaking of connections, Ruth Curran (on your right above), provided a perfect example. I had never met her before, and in our first conversation, I happened to mention my
interest obsession with chocolate. Ruth lives in San Diego and raved about a fabulous local chocolatier.
4. The next morning, Ruth showed up with proof. (Let’s just say it’s worth a trip back to San Diego.) In addition to her role as my chocolate supplier, Ruth was administering memory tests for the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation; and I took a test in their booth to find out if I’m starting to lose my short term memory.
Speaking of Ruth, did I mention that she brought me chocolate?
#5. More connecting, and a souvenir of a wonderful time bonding with Barbara Hannah Grufferman, who hosts an AARP video series.
#6. Per connections, it’s hard to believe 35 million people still are not online, most of them older and intimidated by technology. Recognizing the importance of changing that, AARP unveiled a brand new product created by a partnership with Intel. Check out the RealPad, reasonably priced, easy to use, an inspired idea.
#7. Inspiration was everywhere with amazing speakers including Valerie Harper, Kevin Spacey, Arianna Huffington, Martha Stewart, and Joan Lunden, who appeared despite currently battling breast cancer,
8. Bonus inspiration from Elizabeth Edwards’ daughter Kate, part of a panel on breast cancer.
9. Reminder to take risks at any age. Like the talented finalists for the Boomer Superstar Contest (posing with celebrity judges) who performed onstage and knocked it out of the park.
#10. The beautiful setting. It must be something about the palm trees. The next Life@50+ event is May 14-16, 2015 in Miami, my hometown. Hope to see you there!
Besides the palm trees, I hope there’s chocolate. Did I mention that?