The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

Number 139

This issue:

Downsizing Skills


Include downsizing skills in your repertoire.


"I've lost everything," the nursing home patient told me. She had not achieved the vocational success she had hoped for. Her home was her refuge and full of treasured antiques. Now in her eighties, she would have to sell her home and possessions to pay for medical expenses. Eventually she would probably have to go on Medicaid to support living in a nursing home. Multiple health problems compromised her physical health but not her mind. Her commitment to Judaism helped foster a reverence for traditions, antiques, and books. Her dilemma reminded me of one of my favorite book titles, Women Who Married Houses, (a 1983 book about agoraphobic women).

 By contrast, some nursing home residents are happy people, with an "any place I hang my hat is home" outlook on life. Spiritual people who think of world goods as just “on loan” have an easier time with downsizing.  While some seniors downsize to condos, independent living, or assisted living facilities, most seniors love their homes and try to live there until they die. Home based services and hospice services have greatly helped seniors with health problems continue to live at home. In some families, children home share. (Unfortunately, non-family home sharing has been slow to develop.) We all know some people who have prized collections filling many rooms of their homes.

So should we all adopt that "worldly goods are just on loan philosophy?" After pondering the issue, I concluded that one size doesn’t fit all and if it ain't broke, don’t fix it. In some ways downsizing is like grieving. Some people handle grief well and get on with their lives. Some people never get over a loss. It is inevitable that people we love will die. Downsizing may or may not be inevitable. We need to know how to deal with grieving before the need arises. Likewise, being able to shift into a healthy outlook on downsizing is a good skill to have in our repertoire. You might think of vacation stays in hotels as motels at downsizing practice.


When all is said and done, you are not taking any of this stuff with you when you leave this world. ...When is last time you ever saw a U-Haul behind the hearse?

~Sue Ronnenkamp


News Article

….In an effort to reduce the NASA budget, a resolution was passed today to downsize the solar system. According to an unnamed congressional staffer, House Republicans felt there has been "too much redundancy in the solar system" and that streamlining the 4.5 billion year old planetary system is long overdue. Such action would give NASA fewer places to go and this would allow the agency to carry out its space exploration goals within the funding profile that the House proposed earlier this summer. "Look, we have three terrestrial planets" said Congressman Rip U. Apart (R, Del.), "and only one of them really works! So why not get rid of the other two and clean up the neighborhood?"

~excerpt from fake news article by Donald Simanek at

God announces plan to cut non-essential humans Citing a burgeoning, unruly populace and dwindling natural resources, God today unveiled a plan to streamline the operations of Planet Earth Inc. by eliminating an estimated 30 million positions. A PR spokesman for the Lord said He is "sick and tired" of humans abusing His bountiful creation and breaking all Ten Commandments as if they weren't even etched in stone.

~Excerpt from a fake news article by John Breneman at

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