The Platinum Years

I'm just back from back East, celebrating Dad's 90th birthday. The downside of a father who started his fathering at nearly 50, is having two "generation gaps." But this dad was on YouTube this year (interviewed at a conference), still teaches international law to grad students at the university, made two business trips to Rio and Vietnam this past summer, lives in the family house without any help and has a much younger girlfriend (76). He regularly drives between his home in the Northeast and Florida and Canada, where he and his partner take their vacations and winter breaks. As a birthday gift,my sisters and I got him an iPhone so he can keep up with his daily email and surfing.

I come from a dark and stormy family past, as many of us do, who become therapists. But Dad has been an inspiration as to how we can live long and stay relatively healthy (he has some medical challenges, to be sure) when we're deeply engaged in life and relationships.

Freud emphasized the importance of love and work. Meaning and purpose give a reason to get up every day and face the web, our patients, ourselves and our loved ones. Love makes it all the more worth it. How lucky we are as therapists to gain more in time and experience that we can hopefully share with our patients as long as they will have us. The prominent Los Angeles psychoanalyst Hedda Bolgar is 99 and still teaches and sees patients four days a week. A votre sant' !

Cleopatra Victoria, MFT