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The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty by Carolyn G. Heilbrun
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“. . . the most potent reward for parenthood I have known has been delight in my fully grown progeny. They are friends with an extra dimension of affection. True, there is also an extra dimension of resentment on the children's part, but once offspring are in their thirties, their ability to love their parents, perhaps in contemplation of the deaths to come, expands, and, if one is fortunate, grudges recede. []p. 209]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“Women, I believe, search for fellow beings who have faced similar struggles, conveyed them in ways a reader can transform into her own life, confirmed desires the reader had hardly acknowledge--desires that now seem possible. Women catch courage from the women whose lives and writings they read, and women call the bearer of that courage friend. [p. 138]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“Men are not listeners . . . They hear what they expect to hear, or want to hear, or are certain they will hear, and women, being supple creatures trained to please, have often told them what we women knew would satisfy them. [p. 167]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“Sadness such as mine is not depression; it can be blown away by an interesting conversation, a welcome telephone call, or a compelling idea for an essay or piece of fiction. It returns without evident cause, however obvious the cause of its banishment, and it belongs, I have come to suspect, to both youth and age, less frequently to the years between.[pp.177-178]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“Today women live long into their children's adult lives . . . too little is made of the pleasure we women feel in conversing with our grown children, and in allowing ourselves, from time to time, to think of them as friends. I have been fortunate in having children with whom conversation is possible; the sheerest pleasure here, for me, has been in meeting with them each alone . . . [p. 185]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“Ours is a long marriage, and we have found solitude together. [p. 23]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“The rare, delicate flavor of a life after retiring in one's sixties, whatever one has "retired" from, the pleasure I experienced beyond my job at Columbia, is a gift of life in the last decades. but it is not easily learned. . . . But sometimes, the only way to live is to get out, or at least seriously to contemplate getting out, doing the impossible,flinging the conventional tea.”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“. . . for those retired, with too much time and no world, a world must be found, and not necessarily one that is heavily populated. One can join a group or work alone; the essential . . . is that the work be difficult, concentrated, and that definite progress can be measured . . . the purpose . . . is. . . to maintain a carefully directed intensity. . . . Here the question is one of time, and to what all that remaining time should be devoted. [pp. 45-46]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“But will anyone again look at that tree, read that poem, love a dog in quite my way? I am a particular and, despite the commonness of all people, a unique person in the way I perceive and think and appreciate, and I am sad that this particularity shall before too long be gone. This is not arrogance; it is the simple truth, known to anyone who has loved a person dead in the fullness of her life: what we miss is the particularity, that unique voice. [pp. 184-185]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“With solitude, however, fervently it is desired and embraced, comes loneliness. T. H White, the author, offered advice to those in sadness -- learn something new.”
Carolyn G. Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“Many of us feel alone and assaulted by the meaninglessness of what we are doing. But, at such times, we are doing; the problem is not a lack of activity with a point, but rather questions about the point of the activity.”
Carolyn G. Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“. . . the less androgynous the person, the likelier he or she was to be incapable of action if the appropriate action was not clearly delineated . . . How many women there were . . . who tore themselves or their families apart because they could not allow themselves any action or occupation that could appear manly, and might make their husbands appear less so. [pp. 132-133]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“If an animal is designed by nature to have claws it ought to keep them, and if men come with quirks that they are incapable of changing, well, a certain amount of quietude and even peace can be achieved by just realizing that it's all inherent in the beast. [p. 173]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“The antithetical or perhaps mirror image to sadness is the experience, similarly unique to one's late years, of a swift, mysterious wave of happiness, also causeless, but of much shorter duration. I cannot remember a time, before my sixties, when the consciousness of happiness would sweep over me and, like a shower of cold water when one is desperately overheated, offer me a passing sensation very close to glee.
Both sadness and fleeting happiness relate, I think, to mortality, to the consciousness of being old and of nearing the end of life. . . these sensations . . . surge up from the unconscious, to be a gift of long life or fortunate old age. Both sadness and happiness, but sadness more, are related to the fact that nothing of all this will endure for long. [p. 179]”
Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“To continue what one had been doing -- which was Dante's idea of hell -- is, I came to see, and the vision frightened me, easy in one's sixties.”
Carolyn G. Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
“Is this true? Those who had "world' enough, that is, those engaged in a demanding daily vocation, were short of time while those without regular obligations had more than sufficient time, but no world?”
Carolyn G. Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty