I work as a program coordinator at a senior citizens’ center on the Upper West Side. It is four floors of vibrant, varied activities and it blows me away every day I’m there.
If I’m not sitting in a discussion group, setting up a classic movie, peeking in on a dancercize class or interacting with wonderful people, I’m on the phone planning activities to keep the calendar chock full of culture, movement and intellect. Today I booked a lecture on impressionism through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’m awaiting a callback to finalize a talk on Shakespearean sonnets. There are thank you letters to be written, flyers to be created, ideas to be generated.
Aside from all this, I am learning what life can look like as a senior citizen. It is utterly inspiring and eye-opening to see even those with challenging health issues show up to learn, be entertained, and socialize with their peers. There are some volunteering, others helping less mobile members to get around. Some have led fascinating lives and have wonderful stories to tell.
I believe I was led there for, among others, this reason: to feel very, very rich.