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Hourglass : Life As an Aging Mortal (Paperback) (Pamela Cuming)

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Michel de Montaigne, one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, once said, “To begin depriving death of its greatest advantage over us, let us deprive death of its strangeness. Let us get used to it. To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.” To deprive death of its strangeness, I chose to write The Hourglass. It’s my story and my husband’s story. It’s a tale about the Queen of Denial (my mother), the Miracle Girl (my deceased friend, Katherine), and her widowed husband, Thomas, the Chaplain. It tells the story of how Stavros died and his tormented and yet witty widow, Luna, grieved. And, it presents the stories of others with tales to tell about aging, about dying, and, perhaps most important, about living under the shadow of death.Some of them maintain a positive outlook; others despair. Some of them fight back; others give in or give up.As we play out the hand called Life, we are sometimes optimistic, and other times pessimistic. Sometimes we’re angry and other times playful. Sometimes we are wise and balanced; other times, we rage against the good, good night. The way we feel and behave is a function of our mindset. At every waking moment we have a Mindset about Aging and Mortality, or what I call a MAM. On any given day, all of us fall somewhere on the continuum Feeling Helpless and Vulnerable to Feeling Empowered and Confident. At the same time,we are positioned somewhere along the continuum Anticipating or Experiencing Good Fortune to the opposite pole, Experiencing or Anticipating Adversity. Putting these dimensions together yields four fundamental MAMS: the Castaway, the Stargazer, the Warrior, and the Celebrant. And then there is the fifth MAM which represents a blend of the attributes of the four primary MAMS. That is the Sage. The key to living a rich life, to aging gracefully and to dying well is to move around the wheel, changing mindsets as circumstances change. For example, the Celebrant mindset helps people remain optimistic even in the face of tragedy, loss, aging and death. When faced with a challenge, the Warrior focuses on meeting it with courage and conviction. When it becomes apparent that the challenge cannot be overcome, Castaways accept it. The Stargazer element within us helps us make a leap of faith and believe in God or Christ or something greater than ourselves which we cannot see, touch or even truly define. The person with the mindset of a Sage is able to blend the best attributes of all of the mindsets and, in the process, to develop a perspective that renders life richer and death at least acceptable.. The model provides a framework that ties together the stories throughout the book, facilitates the conversation, and helps provide a roadmap to guide us through the difficult passages of aging, dealing with the death of loved ones and even contemplating our own demise.Dr.
Number of Pages: 293.0
Genre: Self Improvement
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
Author: Pamela Cuming
Language: English
Street Date: April 26, 2016
TCIN: 51498535
UPC: 9781530840212
Item Number (DPCI): 248-21-7961

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