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Stop and smell the roses
Kathleen O'Brien: Writer & broadcaster
BY PETER BOWES | LOS ANGELES | APRIL 28, 2021 | 0740 PT
The art of growing old, gracefully and purposefully, preferably in rude health, is unique to us all. The journey, with its many twists and turns, involves myriad emotions, adventures and challenges. But Kathleen O’Brien says the process has been somewhat hijacked by society’s growing disrespect for the elderly. In her book, Reclaim Your Right To Grow Old, the American writer and broadcaster explores the history of attitudes towards aging and suggests that society’s fevered quest for longevity is misguided. In this LLAMA podcast conversation with Peter Bowes, Kathleen argues that the happiness to be found in aging is being undervalued; that the eccentricities of older people should be celebrated and the joy of smelling the roses more often enjoyed.
Recorded: April 12, 2021 | Read a transcript
Topics covered in this interview include:
- Kathleen’s voice was once very familiar to Americans – how come?
- Approaching the “sad ride on the down slope” and discovering a new way to look at aging.
- Exploring the history of aging and the attitudes of ancient cultures, especially towards ‘elders.’
- What the location of graveyards tells us about changing attitudes towards older people and death
- Is ‘keep busy, keep active’ necessarily a positive message, as people age.
- The ‘reclaim your right to grow’ old philosophy
- Embracing the eccentricities aging – being free to be who we want to be.
- Smell the roses and worry less
- Death anxiety, spirituality and changing attitudes as we age
“One of the wonderful advantages of aging, is the ability to see not everything in black and white, but to understand that life is mostly gray.”Kathleen O’Brien
- This episode is brought to you in association with JUVICELL, the all-in-one longevity supplement that contains 10 key ingredients shown to have a positive impact on healthspan, as validated by scientific studies. To find out more, visit juvicell.com
The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice. If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:00:01] Enjoy the little things. I mean, I actually do stop and smell the roses. I mean, when I’m taking a walk, I will lean over and smell a branch of blossoms or something. I wouldn’t have done that when I was younger.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:21] Hello again and welcome to LLAMA that Live Long and Master Aging podcast. My name is Peter Bowes. This is where we explore the science and stories behind human longevity.
SPONSOR MESSAGE: [00:00:31] This episode is brought to you in association with JUVICELL, the all-in-one longevity supplement that contains 10 key ingredients shown to have a positive impact on healthspan as validated by scientific studies. To find out more, visit JUVICELL.com. That’s JUVICELL.com.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:52] Now, one of the things I’ve noticed over the what, four years that I’ve been doing this podcast is that people who think about their own longevity and especially those who focus on the aging process from a scientific perspective, are usually quite happy to tell others how old they are, which is not the norm. We live in a world where it’s almost taboo to discuss age and in some walks of life more than others. My guest today is Kathleen O’Brien, a former advertising copywriter and television broadcaster. She was once dubbed by The New York Times, the most heard voice in America. We’ll explain that in a second. She is now using her voice to share her philosophy on aging and in particular, why she believes, as she puts it, society’s fevered quest for longevity and the fountain of youth is misguided. And she says robbing people of the happiness to be found in aging. Kathleen, welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:01:48] I’m delighted to be here. Peter, thank you for having me.
Peter Bowes: [00:01:51] We have a global audience for this podcast. And I just mentioned you were once known as the most heard voice in America. How come?
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:02:03] You might well ask? Well, as it turns out, at one point in my career, just when the whole idea of voice response and that’s what they called it, was beginning to come to the fore in technology. And it’s it’s the voices we hate to hear now, because everywhere you go, you get voice response. You know, your call is important to us. Please don’t hang up, we’ll… You know that kind of thing? Well, I was at the very beginning of that and was hired as a person who wasn’t a professional, but I fit all the criteria hired by a company that was our ad agency was doing ads for them. So they just rounded up all the female voices at the agency and said, just come in and do an audition. And what they liked about my voice, it has changed. Now my voice is more mature, which is appropriate. But back then I didn’t have an accent. I could articulate every syllable which they wanted and I had sort of a flat intonation. I was still high. It wasn’t too low. So and they ended up getting all these contracts, Peter, with the telephone, the various telephone companies around the country and the New York Times did a story on me, and I was the most heard voice because I was in the systems of all these voice response company systems.
Peter Bowes: [00:03:47] So you were the recorded message?
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:03:49] I was the recorded message, yes.
Peter Bowes: [00:03:52] That’s quite a claim to fame.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:03:53] Well, it kind of is. And, you know, there are so many times I forget it when people ask, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve done? It doesn’t come to mind, but it’s probably the most famous thing I have done, at least so far.
Peter Bowes: [00:04:09] Well, we are going to maybe that’s going to change with your new book, because we’re going to focus on reclaim your right to grow old, how to immerse yourself in, be curious about and celebrate life’s most important stage you have become. as you have grown older, you have become fascinated with this subject of aging. Was there a turning point in your life? Did something happen to set the light bulb off to make you think more seriously about this issue?
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:04:35] Yes, when I was about to turn 60, I began to think about what was ahead of me because 60 sounded older than obviously any age I had been before. And I thought to myself, you know, is this going to be some sort of a sad ride on the down slope? Am I on my way out? Society doesn’t treat older people. Well, very well, and I kept thinking there has to be another way to look at aging. I don’t want to spend my life worrying that I look old, that I’m not relevant, and that, you know, it really is sort of a downhill ride. So I just started as any I was a television broadcaster and I’m used to using investigative skills. So as any reporter might do, I just decided to delve into this whole concept of aging, what it means, whether or not other cultures view it differently. What is the history of this? If you go way, way back to ancient cultures, how did they feel about the aging process? And to my delight, I found that we view aging very differently than people millennia ago viewed it.
Peter Bowes: [00:06:00] But is there also, I think, a negative force in the way that we at least some people view aging, that they don’t consider it to be a positive impact on their lives and they become obsessed with, again, the media images that are all around us about the benefits of apparently staying young.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:06:20] Yeah, I think that, you know, it’s sort of a chicken and egg thing. In a way. We society is like this in part because we have such a fear of aging, which I think in a way goes back to our fear of death. That’s all kind of tied in. And we have this much more in the West and cultures in the east have and certainly ancient cultures had. But I do think that one sort of begets the other. We say, well, it’s bad to age, ergo, you have to stay young, you have to look young, act young. Young is the arbiter of every other life stage. You always want to be that person. You were in your 20s or 30s or even 40s. You certainly don’t aspire to be 80. And what I found in my research is people did aspire to be older. Now, not everybody lived that long back then. And so, you know, middle age was often 30 and and death came much earlier. But the point is there was something about being an elder that was important in many of these cultures. And if you look at Eastern cultures, if you look at Native American cultures, African cultures, you will find that same believe that rather than saying a young person knows more about life than anybody because they’re so enthusiastic and they have all this energy, well, of course they do. What? It’s wonderful. It’s wonderful. Good for them. I’m glad that that life stage is what it is. But to say that and not recognize that the people who have been here longer maybe know a little bit more about life and about the meaning of life and about the purpose of even the universe, if you will, who have the time to think about it and have the experience and maturity to put all these thoughts together that maybe they’re the ones we should be listening to.
Peter Bowes: [00:08:37] And do you think that was a turning point? Historically, we go through different eras in our lives. Historically, there was before the Internet, there was after the Internet. There was before color television. There was black and white television. That was before television. These milestones in our lives, I think we can use to gauge people’s attitudes oftentimes to things like aging. And I was wondering if there was a you can visualize a turning point in society when people attitudes towards aging changed in so much as younger people didn’t respect the elders as perhaps they once did.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:09:13] Well, remarkably, it has a lot to do with graveyards, and at least.
Peter Bowes: [00:09:21] I didn’t expect that.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:09:23] Well, it was a turning point. And there was a philosopher, Jean Baudrillard, I hope I’m pronouncing his name correctly, a French philosopher. Actually, he died not all that long ago, but he did the research on this and he said it was the most consequential maneuver in history when we started burying people in graveyards rather than our backyards. So that’s more of a Western kind of method of dealing with the dead, although certainly people. In eastern cultures have graveyards, but they see them much differently than we. The idea was that people really were afraid of death. They didn’t like the idea of it. Victorian sensibilities sort of influenced that like, well, you know, if you don’t have a good old age, that’s because you haven’t lived the right you aren’t right with God. And that whole idea that well, you know, baby, we need to move older people sort of out of our lives. They’re kind of getting in the way of what we think we want to do. So we started burying them instead of, you know, behind the barn or something. We put them in graveyards. So the farther away we put dead people, the farther away in some sense, we wanted older people to be from us. And in part, that’s because older people remind us of death. You know, you see a person with grey hair who’s kind of stooped over someone who’s maybe 95. Well, you know, that person may not be around for a long, long time. And it kind of reminds you that, you know, you’re going to have an end, too. So that was kind of it was all of those things kind of fed into it. But but the graveyard’s concept really sort of cemented our feelings about aging and death and dying.
Peter Bowes: [00:11:34] That’s fascinating. And then, of course, we’ve moved into an era, I would say maybe the last 20 or 30 years where this expression anti aging or anti aging is everywhere. And I’ve mentioned many, many times on this podcast, I don’t particularly like that phrase because I prefer to see aging in a positive sense, a purposeful sense. And why I call the podcast Master aging, because it’s something that I don’t believe we can really define. We can strive to be biologically younger than our years, but we’re always going to to move forward in terms of age. But it does seem to dominate the advertising world, doesn’t it?
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:12:08] Yes, it does. And in part it does so because there’s a lot of money to be made from 76 million baby boomers and other folks who are not baby boomers, who are also older or are starting to be to get into that category. And why not sell them ways to fight ageing? Why not sell them, you know, facelifts and and wrinkle injections and teeth whitening and tummy flattening underwear and liposuction and all the other things we think we need to do in order to maintain this. And a lot of it appearance oriented this youthful appearance. Of course, there’s also this idea that and there has been a lot of research on this, too, by really leading edge gerontologists who aren’t real happy with the idea that older people are supposed to, quote, keep busy, keep active. There’s nothing wrong with being active. I think we all want to be as active physically as we can. It makes us feel better. It helps us live longer. But the whole idea that you got to keep moving because it will make you younger is sort of defeating the purpose. And the whole idea that you have to be busy to fill up time is forgetting what elderhood is about. It’s not about filling time. There are specific things that a person in the later stages of life should be doing and thinking about, and they don’t have much to do with keeping busy.
Peter Bowes: [00:14:03] That’s interesting you mention keeping busy and keeping active, physically active to perhaps as the advertising jargon will want us to believe, to be younger, to grow younger. Now, from my standpoint, talking a lot about the the interventions that we can make in our lives, physical interventions, science-based interventions, activity, physical exercise is really high on the agenda to at least try to ensure that my body is biologically as young as possible so that I can perhaps enjoy the body of a 35 year old when I’m 50 or 50 years old when I’m 70, because life is so much better if we are physically fit and physically active. So the message, your message then maybe gets a little bit blurred that in terms of how much emphasis we should put on these things and how we should describe it, I think I think a lot is just in the the terminology that we use that it’s not going to reverse our age, but it might make us feel physically younger, which to me is a is a good thing.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:15:05] Yes, you’re absolutely right. It is partly terminology. Also my philosophy, which is the reclaim your right to grow old philosophy, if you will, is more about the aging psyche and not so much about the physical self. I just think we have neglected this part of aging about how we feel about this stage of life. Yes, go out and exercise if that’s what you want to do. If you’re a runner and you can still run, continue to do that. Do what makes you happy and makes you feel alive. My caveat would be that we try not to judge people who aren’t able to do these things. There are people who I have friends who have oh gosh. I mean kidney failure and a-fib and have broken both hips and have, you know, some physical difficulties. People, I’m in my seventies. They also are and and things happen. But but that doesn’t and I’m not negating the whole idea of activity. I had a grandfather who lived to be 104 and he was always moving around. I mean, he he didn’t go out for a run. People did do that back then, but he walked very quickly and with purpose. And and I kind of move around like that. And I hope that bodes well for me. I love to walk. I love to be outside, but that’s me. And there may be other people who say, oh, exercise is such a pain. I really don’t want to do that. I would encourage them to try to do it. But I also had a mother in law who died at 94 who said her favorite thing to do was to sit. I’m not advocating that, but I’m just saying, you know, there is a genetic factor, too, that goes a long way here and and predicting some longevity. So I don’t disagree with you, Peter, at all, but I’m just saying what I’m trying to address is more the psyche, the importance of this stage of life, because it allows us to do things that we can’t actually do when we’re younger.
Peter Bowes: [00:17:40] Yeah, I agree with you. And we’re all complex individual human beings. We’re all made in different ways. And the example you gave of someone getting to a really great age and not doing any exercise, I think we probably all know family members or friends of friends who are like that. And the other thing you just said, which is very, very interesting, we actually discussed it at length in a recent podcast. There is science. There’s evidence to suggest that those of us and I’m the same as you, I walk very quickly. And it’s not that I necessarily try to walk quickly. There are others that I know as well who are equally healthy, but just instinctively walk at a slower speed. But there is science to suggest that those that walk quickly have a large gait will live longer, and it’s just the way that we are built as individuals. But I’m certainly with you in terms of if there are people that just do not want to do that kind of exercise, we can’t necessarily assume that everyone has the same vital urges that we have to get out there and be physical because we are coming back to that idea of us all being very, very individual and very different.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:18:44] It’s very true. Professor of geriatrics at UC San Francisco, Louise Aronson, who has written a book recently about aging and she’s so knowledgeable and she was talking about the people in her geriatric geriatric practice. And she said, when you’ve seen one 80 year old, you’ve seen one 80 year old. In other words, older people are very much unalike. If you compare a group of 80 year olds to a group of grade school kids, you will see the grade school kids are much more alike physically, how they’re progressing emotionally, intellectually. The 80 year olds are very different. And there are a lot of things that factor into that. Sometimes it’s socioeconomic lifestyle does play a role, although that isn’t the only reason why people don’t age well. Genetics, accidents, you know, someone can be in an accident and that can impair them. Maybe intellectually, their cognitive abilities so well, you know, we’re going to see a lot of difference among people who are older and we should expect it.
Peter Bowes: [00:20:07] Kathleen we’re going to pause just for a moment. We’ll continue our conversation in less than a minute. You’re listening to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.
SPONSOR MESSAGE: [00:20:16] This episode is brought to you in association with JUVICELL a novel all in one longevity supplement that includes 10 key research backed ingredients shown in scientific studies to support healthspan things like resveratrol, fisetin, quercetin, pterostilbene, sulforaphane and turmeric…all in a single dose. If you’re interested in supporting your longevity, you probably already have a cabinet full of these single ingredients at home. JUVICELL is the first product to combine them all into a single supplement to support your healthspan. It’s also vegan, non GMO and sustainable. To find out more, visit JUVICELL.com. That’s JUVICELL.com.
Peter Bowes: [00:20:59] I’m talking to Kathleen O’Brien, author of the new book Reclaim Your Right to Grow Old. I’m curious what you think about the eccentricities that we all develop as we grow old. It is a unique characteristic of being an older person that we might be a little eccentric in one or two aspects of our lives. And from my perspective, the beauty of being older is you don’t care.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:21:26] Well, I think it’s one of the wonderful things that happens to us as we age. One of the things that I think that research shows is that people do sort of become more themselves as they get older, they become more comfortable with who they are. And I find that to, you know, Peter, when we were younger, we sort of had to conform. And a lot of ways in our careers, maybe even in our family lives, if we went to church in our churches, whatever we did and our activities, we kind of went along to get along because we had to do that. Well, now we are free to really be who we want to be. And I think it’s important for older people to reflect on who they are, where they’ve been, where they’re going. This is sort of a natural thing, actually, that older people do. And what we find is some of those eccentricities kind of bubble up in us. The things that I when I think about I used to feel, oh, I’ve got to look, you know, if I go outside for a walk, I have makeup on when I was younger. Yes, probably. Should I have something on that looks good. Yes. Now, I don’t care. I’m just going to go out there with my mask and
Peter Bowes: [00:22:55] Hopefully not too much longer. But yes, you’re right.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:22:58] Yeah, no, with a mask and staying away from people, even though I’ve had two shots and I’m pretty safe. But yeah, all these things that I thought I couldn’t do when I was younger. Part of it is this is who I am. I think who I am is not a pretentious person. I’m not not that I ever was, but. But I don’t need that. I don’t need makeup. I don’t need all that stuff that that kind of puts a distance between me and other people. I don’t want that at this point. I want to absorb them. I want to feel close to them. So they’re not wearing makeup? Well, it’s not eccentric exactly. It’s just who I am. And if I’m this way, you know, and you don’t like it. Well, I don’t I don’t necessarily feel bad about that. I just feel like, well, I’m sorry that you and I are connecting it. That’s, you know, kind of part of getting older.
Peter Bowes: [00:24:00] And if you could talk to your younger self yourself, maybe three or four decades ago, bearing in mind the wisdom that you’ve acquired, perhaps about eccentricities in terms of lifestyle, is it something that you would say to your younger self to perhaps reassure her about the aging process?
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:24:19] Yes, yes, yes and yes. And I tell this to younger people in my family. And one of the things that that I would have said or that I if I had the opportunity to go back and talk to myself, first of all, I’d say, don’t worry so much. The things you worry about the most didn’t happen. Stop worrying, live more in the present, which is what older people are able to do. And maybe we can influence younger people to do more of it. Enjoy the little things. I mean, I actually do stop and smell the roses. I mean, when I’m taking a walk, I will lean over and smell a branch of blossoms or something, I wouldn’t have done that when I was younger. First of all, I have thought, well, this’ll look goofy. You know, I was so worried about what other people were thinking. And now it’s not that I don’t care about other people. Other people can do what they want to do. I’m going to do what I want to do. So I would encourage myself to be more eccentric. I even dress differently. I was more conservative in my dress. I was more conventional. Now I’m just I’m a little more like I like kind of that androgynous kind of rock look, that kind of hippie look. I just it’s comfortable. I think it’s who I am. So I would definitely tell myself that. And I would tell younger people, too, don’t worry, be yourself and enjoy these moments because you’ll never have them again.
Peter Bowes: [00:26:01] And it’s fascinating what you say about worrying, because I’ve heard that from so many different people, from different walks of life, that worrying, looking at themselves or remembering themselves, worrying about something, whether it’s at school or a first job or a disagreement at work or whatever, the worry is about how irrelevant it seems in the years, maybe even decades afterwards, that it is something that a lot of people dwell on. I don’t know whether we could ever persuade younger people not to worry. That’s the thing. It’s all very well, isn’t it? Looking back. But when you’re there in the moment and you’re young and you’re looking forward, worrying is almost instinctive. And I think in some respects there’s a small aspect of worrying that is positive, because worrying to me is is being prepared. It’s thinking ahead. You know, the what if I don’t do this? So you therefore worry, therefore you prepare yourself and you actually do better at whatever is coming up. Maybe it’s an exam, maybe it’s meeting someone for the first time. So there’s an element of worrying that’s good. But the kind of worrying that gets you down, I think that’s what you’re talking about over a long period of time is what we shouldn’t do.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:27:10] Yeah, it is. And it is hard for younger people for a variety of reasons. But I also maintain it’s harder because younger people don’t have a mature brain. And I and I don’t mean that in a pejorative way. What I mean is they can’t possibly have a mature brain because you gain maturity through years of experience and you also gain perspective with that as you take this journey through life. So and you also are able when you’re younger, you’re really focused on yourself. You’re really kind of self-absorbed. As you get older, you can be self reflective, but you you aren’t as absorbed with what’s going on with you day to day. You’re more thinking about what is life about how can I make the most of this time? It’s such a beautiful day. I’m just going to go out and take a walk. Won’t it feel good to feel the air in the sun? And, you know, I still worry, but I try to I’ve lived so many years that I say to myself, you know what? This will resolve itself, this thing that I’m worried about. And for the most part, these things do. So a mature brain is able to do that. That’s one of the wonderful advantages of aging, is the ability to see not everything in black and white, but to understand that life is mostly gray. I really think it is. And and that the whole idea that it is sort of softens everything a little bit, that we don’t get bent out of shape over things that we can’t control. And sometimes I just say to myself, you know what, I can’t control this, so I’m going to let it go.
Peter Bowes: [00:29:08] You touched on this a little earlier. Has your attitude towards death changed over the years? I think everyone’s attitude probably changes with the passing decades, but not necessarily just the idea of death, but the prospect of it and perhaps what is going to come in the immediate years before, which a lot of us fear as we go through our lives.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:29:30] Yeah, we certainly do. And in fact, I think here in the West, we have a lot more death anxiety than than some other cultures do. But yes, research does show that older people tend to become more spiritual as they age. That doesn’t necessarily mean they become more religious, although if they feel comfortable with a religion, perhaps they do. But I think I mean, I have. Lord, spirituality from many, many points of view, and I have sort of developed a philosophy about death and about what I believe in, and I do think this is important. I think it’s important to think about it. I have a whole chapter in my book devoted to death, and the title of the chapter is You Cannot Be Serious, which is a quote from John McEnroe ages ago when he was playing at Wimbledon and the line judge called his ball out of bounds and he couldn’t believe that anybody would call his ball out of bounds, just like many of us can’t really believe. Well, I’m not really going to die, am I? It’s just we sweep it under the rock in this culture, so much so. My advice is to to open, you know, turn the rock over and look at death, look at death and and kind of develop a plan. How do I feel about spirituality? If you’re an atheist, that’s fine. Maybe you say, I don’t think there’s an afterlife. I’m not going to worry about it. Good. That’s good. If you’re an agnostic, maybe you can come to some terms with what is is there life after death? And if you are a believer in something and you think there is life after death, well, good. Feel comforted by that. But you do have to think about death because, hey, it’s coming.
Peter Bowes: [00:31:33] And it is as you say, it’s a matter of reconciling your fears, isn’t it? And however you as an individual, we all do it in different ways. It is as exactly as you say. It’s about broaching the subject in your mind or even a discussion with others, but reconciling it and then moving on. And as you get closer to it, maybe not thinking about it as much.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:31:52] Yeah. And studies show that the older you are, the more sanguine actually you become about your own death. And my mother in law, when she was in hospice for about a week until she died, when I went to sit with her, she was totally nonresponsive. But I felt something was going on. And I remember thinking to myself, this is important. Death is an important part of life. And rather than shoving it away, we should take a look at it closely to see what it is. It’s the end of a great life. Let’s on some level be thankful the person was here and let’s realize how significance the act of dying is, because it
Peter Bowes: [00:32:39] Is well before you and I get to that point. There is a lot of living to do. There is. And I’m curious, with all of your research and your book really is a wealth of information and ideas and thoughts with all of that research. As you look towards the next few decades of your life and maybe contemplate your longevity, what are the big things that you’ve learned that influence how you live your life every day?
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:33:07] Oh, man. Well, it goes back in part to that advice I talked about, about not worrying about things. What have I learned through all of this? I think I have learned I have more agency than I thought I did, that some things are out of my control, but that I myself often hold myself back. The book’s a good example of it. I went through all so many times when I thought, Oh, I’m never going to finish this. I’m just going to we live in a building up five floors. I’m just going to take the manuscript and throw it off the deck, you know, but.
Peter Bowes: [00:33:48] Well look, tell me a little bit about that. It fascinates me that just the process of putting a book like this together:
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:33:54] Well, you know, Peter, I’ve been a writer my whole life and I started as an advertising copywriter. I was the first woman hired to write on a car account at this large agency back in the mid seventies. And so I was sort of thrown into a trial by fire. And I learned a lot about writing from wonderful colleagues there. So that’s always been sort of my first skill is how I got into broadcasting because I could write a script. But but boy, when you sit down to do a book, you know, and a book that has research and you have to be very meticulous about, you know, quoting people and referencing people and making sure that that it’s all written out properly, you have to look at all sides of an issue. And I have included sides in there that didn’t support my point of view, but I think that’s important. And then I wanted the writing to be really good. I wanted to have humor in their anecdotes of fun stuff. So there were days when I. Sit at this table I’m at right now, and I’d say nothing is forthcoming, this is driving me crazy and it’s a beautiful day. I should just go outside and then I’d say, no, you’ve got to get this thing done. So it’s kind of a wrenching process on some level. But I have to tell you, I got my first writer’s copy author’s copy on Saturday and broke out the champagne. And what a wonderful feeling to actually see the book. That was great.
Peter Bowes: [00:35:32] I hear that from so many writers the first time you physically. Yes. In your hand, you can you can imagine you can feel all the those angst ridden days when sitting in front of a blank screen on the on the computer. But there it is. It’s all come to fruition.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:35:47] Yeah. No, it’s a wonderful and I feel it’s an accomplishment. I mean, I’ve had a number of careers and I’ve always felt I can do one thing and then I kind of master it and then I move on to something else. But man, I stuck with this. I didn’t you know, I didn’t say after a couple of years, I’ve done enough of this. I’ve mastered the art of writing a book. No, you don’t master it till you’ve gotten it finished. And so I hung in there and yeah, I feel pretty good about it.
Peter Bowes: [00:36:18] Congratulations. It’s a great achievement. Will you will you do another one?
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:36:22] You know, I said to my one of my best friends, I said, if I ever write another book, shoot me, I hope she didn’t take me seriously. But, you know, I might because it’s very rewarding. And I get to talk to people like you. I mean, this is really fun. So I’m so, so fortunate to have gotten through the process. And, yeah, I might
Peter Bowes: [00:36:46] Well, it is a great achievement and I have also thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. Thank you very much indeed.
Kathleen O’Brien: [00:36:52] I have too, Peter, thank you so much.
Peter Bowes: [00:36:56] Kathleen’s book is Reclaim Your Right to Grow Old. Kathleen’s website is GrowOldBeHappy.com and it is well worth a look as well. And I’ll put links to the website and to the book into the show notes. You’ll find them at the Live Long and Master Aging website which is LLAMApodcast.com LLAMApodcast.com In social media you’ll find us @LLAMApodcast. You can contact me @PeterBowes. The LLAMA podcast is at Healthspan Media Production. A quick reminder you can also now find is it Audible.com. You might listen to books that you can also download this podcast free of charge. However you find us, Take care and many thanks for listening.