Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old

Happiness Is a Choice You Make Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old An extraordinary look at what it means to grow old and a heartening guide to well being Happiness Is a Choice You Make weaves together the stories and wisdom of six New Yorkers who number among the o

  • Title: Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old
  • Author: John Leland
  • ISBN: 9780374168186
  • Page: 456
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An extraordinary look at what it means to grow old and a heartening guide to well being, Happiness Is a Choice You Make weaves together the stories and wisdom of six New Yorkers who number among the oldest old those eighty five and up.In 2015, when the award winning journalist John Leland set out on behalf of The New York Times to meet members of America s fastest growAn extraordinary look at what it means to grow old and a heartening guide to well being, Happiness Is a Choice You Make weaves together the stories and wisdom of six New Yorkers who number among the oldest old those eighty five and up.In 2015, when the award winning journalist John Leland set out on behalf of The New York Times to meet members of America s fastest growing age group, he anticipated learning of challenges, of loneliness, and of the deterioration of body, mind, and quality of life But the elders he met took him in an entirely different direction Despite disparate backgrounds and circumstances, they each lived with a surprising lightness and contentment The reality Leland encountered upended contemporary notions of aging, revealing the late stages of life as unexpectedly rich and the elderly as incomparably wise.Happiness Is a Choice You Make is an enduring collection of lessons that emphasizes, above all, the extraordinary influence we wield over the quality of our lives With humility, heart, and wit, Leland has crafted a sophisticated and necessary reflection on how to live better informed by those who have mastered the art.

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      Published :2018-05-03T10:54:25+00:00

    1 thought on “Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old”

    1. At the beginning of 2015, John Leland, a journalist for the New York Times, embarked on a year-long project. He met with seniors to come up with six people to follow to learn from them about being old, and what it means today. The result was a series in the newspaper and the book, Happiness is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year among the Oldest Old.One of the fastest growing groups in the United States is those over the age of eighty-five. They're now called "the oldest old". Leland intervie [...]

    2. Happiness is a Choice You Make is the account of a yearlong conversation between a New York Times journalist and six people who are among the “oldest old” in America. The journalist, John Leland, was 57 as of the the time of this writing, and going through his own challenges. He was hoping to learn from these elders, and to share his findings with us. He did both brilliantly. Leland writes with compassion, humor, and incisiveness. I knew I was home when, in the very beginning of the book, hi [...]

    3. Happiness is a Choice You Make by John Leland is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late January.Words of wisdom from 6 elders as part of Leland's 85 and Up series. Their stories are neither fully feast or famine (complete ability or disability) and, quite frankly, it's so much better that way. Each emphasize the necessity to keep busy with the hobbies and interests that they love, to readjusting goals and daily activities to their personal, physical, and mental capabilities. Relative to the [...]

    4. This is an interesting, thought-provoking book about old age and how to get the most quality of life. There is some science in it, but it's not a science-based book. Instead, it's based on a small number of long-term interviews. To a lesser extent, it's about facing the inevitability of death, but the focus here is on how to confront life now in order to be prepared for whatever form death takes. There are some valuable thoughts worth considering, and it has an overall inspiring tone I think a l [...]

    5. My non-fiction favorite book of 2018. I don't think it's #1 spot will be challenged. An uplifting, perspective-shaking & beautiful examination of the lives of 6 people over the age of 85. I would like to read this every year of my life, to make sure the wisdom in it continues to sink in and stay with me. No book has made me feel more grateful for everything in life, and just life in general, no matter what I'm stressing about, and actually in spite of any negatives (and, actually, I sometime [...]

    6. Wonderful meditation on life and how we find meaning. Made me realize there are lessons to learn from people who have lived much longer than I have.Interesting quote from the book . . .But what is old age? To a great extent we’ve made it a verdict, something that happens to people who didn’t have the good sense to take up yoga before it was too late, meaning roughly their twenties. Which is to say, old age is a concept largely defined by the people who have never lived it.

    7. Borrowed it from my public library, purchasing it for my permanent shelf as a reference and reminder to what's essential, important and true about living life well and in the moment. Loved every word and every lesson. Essential reading.

    8. Being in the moment, enjoying what I have, and not lamenting what I don't are all lessons I can get behind. I don't gain anything by wishing circumstances were different.

    9. my mother once said; "who wants to live to 90?" answer; "an 89 year old." What I got out of this book is; If you live a long time, you know how to do it regardless of your circumstancesLoved it

    10. This is a poignant, life-affirming, and inspiring little book with a huge message. Absolutely required reading for everyone who hopes to live a good, long life.

    11. John Leland wrote a well-received newspaper series about "the oldest old," people who are eight-five and up. "Happiness is a Choice You Make" originated from his year-long interaction with six individuals in their eighties and nineties. Some are ill, while others are relatively healthy, if you discount the aches and pains that afflict everyone sooner or later. Ninety-one year old John Sorenson has lived for forty-eight years on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and still mourns his late partner, [...]

    12. I am as surprised as John Leland was at the lessons learned when he undertook (as a New York Times journalist) spending a year visiting and interviewing six elderly people. The people chosen were a very diverse group; married, single, several ethnicities, some with health and/or money issues, some without.He expected to find that the elderly among us are a rather glum, plodding lot, focused on their aches and pains. What he found instead were engaged, vital people, who have learned to take pleas [...]

    13. This is one of those pieces of long form journalism that was probably a really interesting series in the paper. However, as a book, it was somewhat repetitive and simplistic. The message is great: older people are happier than we’d expect them to be, because they focus on what matters in life and live in the moment. The profiles of the people themselves are also lovely: he chose a great cross section of characters. But Leland tends to gloss over the bigger issues that might make it difficult f [...]

    14. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Sarah Crichton Books, and John Leland for the opportunity to read and review this book - should be a must read!John Leland, a journalist for the New York Times, spent a year with a select group of "elders" - those oldest of the old in our society to see what lessons they could impart on the rest of us. What followed is this book - we get a glimpse at our society, the government and families treat this segment of the population and how we can all do better.What is mos [...]

    15. The title pretty much sums it up. I checked this out after hearing a really good interview with the author on Fresh Air. A quick, enjoyable book but never really goes deeper than the premise that "life is what you make of it". Part author memoir and part "mini-bio" of 6 individuals he followed for a year as series of NY Times articles. All but one were over 90, a couple were obviously in the very waning years of their lifetimes, several were in relatively good health, and while some were more lu [...]

    16. I listened to this book on Audible. The Narrator seemed to be a good fit for the material. I had read some of the author's profiles in the New York Times and found them interesting. I like John Leland's writing style and enjoyed hearing about the relationships he cultivated with his six subjects. By the end of the book some of the stories felt a little repetitive and occasionally grim and yet after finishing, I think it was time well spent with several gems of wisdom scattered along the way.

    17. Happiness is a Choice You Makes is an enjoyable book about the the authors interviews and interactions with several of New York's "oldest old", people over age 85. It was very interesting to hear the author's take on what he learned from these people: what their lives are like, how they feel about being old, and the ways that the find (or struggle with) purpose and satisfaction in their daily lives.To best sum up:Be grateful for small thingslive for today

    18. I am grateful to John Leland for his engagement with “the elders” and for writing this book. As a middle-aged daughter of precariously-healthed parents, I found much to inspire me in “Happiness is a Choice You Make.” I’ve thought about many of the issues he discussed, but found comfort in many more. The day-at-a-time, purpose driven life that seems to drive the engine of the happiest elders is a life to which I aspire.

    19. Can not say it is really, really interesting and yet it was fun to hear about the lives of the old people he spent a year interviewing. It took me longer to read this because of the additional lesson learning the author explained. I am glad I read it, but I can not tell you if you will enjoy it or not. Trying myself to decide if I really learned how to chose happiness in my old age. I will soon be 75 and that itself explains why I read this book.

    20. Loved this book, the author followed several older people around for a year documenting their lives and trying to learn lessons from them. Most of the subjects gave me hope for myself as I age. Helen is having a new relationship, Jonas is still having shows, Ruth is vacationing with her family. They have also dispelled fears of living in Assisted living centers.

    21. Our elders have a lot to teach us in ways of being happy. Our attitude about life can be challenged with so many of the physical deteriorations that happen in years of 75-85 and on. This book gave six stories of eldersunique in each of their situations and abilities. This demographic will grow as medicine and healthcare pave the way for us to live longer. I miss my grandparents.

    22. I loved this so much! It was interesting to see how our elders really feel about their quality of life compared to how I think their quality of life is. And a whole lot of other things. And the research. I loved that. Um, Bookclub, can we read this book, because I really need to discuss it with you? Ok, thanks.

    23. I liked being reminded that I have extraordinary influence over the quality of my life—attitude is key. I especially liked the audible version; each of the “oldest of the old” spoke a few sentences aloud and charmed me.

    24. Sweet and revealing about how the oldest old can thrive. Author Leland spent a year getting to know the 6 men & women interviewed here. Each revealed different techniques for life and different life stories and attitudes. So many interesting people and much wisdom, and some very funny moments.

    25. Each person/chapter so different, but all so inspiring! I loved the premise before reading, and it did not disappoint. The title pretty much captures the essence of the book so need to elaborate. Good stuff.

    26. This book is filled with words of wisdom and how learning to live in the moment, with passion, makes any life, at any age, a happy one.

    27. Happiness IS a choice! You can be miserable or you can be happy. Read this book. See how some of these folks are living. Be grateful for what you have instead of miserable about what you don't have.

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