There are as many ways to age as there are individuals.
But our society seems to think of growing older as a process of declining rather than evolving.
When Julie Engel was a college sociology professor, she assigned students in her class to visit gift stores and study birthday card messages for the 40+ recipient, in order to assess a prevailing cultural narratives of aging in the U.S. Students came back with the same findings: Aging means becoming “Over the Hill.” Cards were either
For over four decades, Julie has been exploring how people move through life from different angles: First as an art student with an interest in how we experience and move in our environment, as a sociologist studying how our culture and institutions shape us and our experience of life, and for over 25 years working in human development as a leadership coach helping people create meaningful and effective personal and professional lives as they navigate our complex and uncertain world. On Aging is the next expression of Julie’s decades-long inquiry, delving into how people experience life as they age.
“The topic interests me on a personal level—I’ve got my Medicare card to prove it,” says Julie. “But on the whole, our culture worships youth. We tend to turn away from aging. I want to do the opposite—to look closely at this stage of life we all reach—if we’re lucky!”
Julie is more interested in examining experiences than offering answers. In each episode of the podcast, she has an unscripted, open-ended discussion with a seventy-something or older guest who shares his or her experiences. They cover topics both practical and personal, not to say, “This is how aging must be done,” but to share
The stories may amuse, alarm, enlighten, or do all three. Each conversation offers listeners the opportunity to glean wisdom from the experiences of thoughtful people who have lived long lives, and are honestly reflecting on their past, pondering their future, and sharing their present.
On Aging is both profound and practical. Whether you’re looking to the next phase of your life, hoping to understand what the older people you love are experiencing, or just eager to listen in on an insightful discussion, you’re invited to join the conversation On Aging.