Julia Louis Dreyfus is doing a podcast called “Wiser Than Me”, interviewing elder women about their lives and their attitudes toward aging.
After unclenching my teeth over the grammatical error in the title (the correct wording is “wiser than I”), I tuned in to the first two sessions with Jane Fonda and Isabel Allende. The secret to having a successful “old age”, according to those octogenarians, has to do with good health and enough money. Duh. Aren’t those things at the basis of every comfortable life, no matter what your age?
What has enabled these two women to truly enjoy this final chapter of their lives is their passion for what they love to do. For Fonda, it’s activism and acting; for Allende it’s writing and her recent remarriage.
Fonda has opted to live alone, deciding that she would rather not have to be nude in front of anyone at this point in her life. She has let her hair go gray and wishes that she had not opted to go the plastic surgery route. Her friendship with women is most important to her at this stage of her life, as is her activism on behalf of saving the planet from fossil fuels and other pollutants.
Allende, on the other hand, is still comfortable with her sexuality (she remarried three years ago) and spends most of her time writing, which is her passion and purpose. She says that she writes because she has to and loves the process.
Both consider themselves feminists and live their creative lives with that as an underlying philosophy.
Listening to these two women talk about their lives, past and current, I envy their passion and purpose. Somewhere during the pandemic, I lost touch with mine, and I’m still floundering around, trying to recreate myself. Maybe I can get inspired by continuing to listen to these podcasting women, who are so much wiser than I am.