Double hospital atrium

Dissonance: from middle-of-the-night emergency to an impersonal system

When I was a practicing physician, there was nothing more meaningful or rewarding than a middle-of-the-night emergency endoscopy, usually completed successfully (although occasionally not), when a patient’s esophagus was cleared of obstructing food or a bleeding ulcer was clipped and cauterized. The tension of the scene would dissipate with the team’s collective sigh of relief […]

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Book-Cover-Samuel-Harrington

You can pre-order Sam’s book!

Greetings, loyal readers. It is time that I stop procrastinating and start with the most ambitious makeover of the Gap Year After 60 era. It is time that I become a self-promoter. At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life is in production with my publisher, Hachette / Grand Central Life & Style. […]

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Mom and Dad and baby M

Amazing and Wondrous: Four-Generation Total Eclipse

Thanks to my 86-year-old father’s planning, two dozen members and four generations of my immediate family flew from Maine to steamy Athens, Tennessee for the day to see the Aug. 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. It was the first since 1918 to cross the entire U.S. Given our ages, and the logistics required to get to the path […]

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Clam Manor 060117

Year Five: Words Have Power

Today is day eight of Year Five of this gap year experiment. If there’s a theme, it’s one of gradual acceptance of aging along with an increasing appreciation of the power of words. If there are surprises, perhaps it’s that Sam and I are still happily married after so much time in each other’s company – […]

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Pisa April 2017

Why Aging Mindfully Fits Right In With Admitting to Depression

I was tucking my five-year-old granddaughter into bed the other night when, to prolong the moment, she plied me with a blizzard of existential questions: “Wait… granny, who are you married to?” “Who is mommy married to?” “Who will I marry?” And then a quick segue… “Are you old?” “When will you die?” “Will you […]

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Leaning tower April 2017

Up and Down in Liguria, Fueled by Ibuprofen

I’ve sent the final draft of my manuscript to the publisher and it has been accepted for publication. With that behind me, Debbie and I “snuck away” recently for a trip to Italy – a walking tour of the coast of Liguria and the hills of Tuscany. It proved to be a delightful and illuminating […]

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On stage after DFY talks

A First-Time Author Embraces the Impostor Phenomenon

It turns out that I am suffering from my first episode of the Impostor Syndrome. Mighty uncomfortable it is, too. I suppose that I felt “impostorish” to some degree on my first day of my medical internship, but I don’t have a clear recollection. Certainly, there were many other emotions and concerns to crowd out […]

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The Only SECRET to Writing Well

My favorite journalism professor, a retired war correspondent, was definite about this one thing. The secret to becoming a great reporter? Quantity. Write a lot. Then write some more. There is no other secret, he told us aspiring reporters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison back in the 1970s. Being a perfectionist, and also lazy, I […]

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