Aging Joy Podcast TTT Rachel McAlpine Season 5

Season 5 Episode 8: Rachel McAlpine A Poet’s Voice on Aging

What is your job?

What is your job
when you no longer have a job?
What is your work
when you don’t go to work any more?
When you retire
you gain such a lot—like freedom
and time and multiple choice.
You left with relief
so why this incongruity of grief?
Work gave you friends, a schedule, a label
a space and a fable
a reason to get out of bed
a dress code and your daily bread
and at your very core
a sense of who you are
and what you’re for.

© Rachel McAlpine 

Welcome to Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

I am your host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

I am traveling virtually to Christchurch, New Zealand, to meet with Rachel McAlpine, a digital content pioneer, eminent New Zealand poet and author of 30+ books.  She joins me today to discuss her poetry and embracing our evolving journey with joyful anticipation.

Rachel became obsessed with the ageing process from a personal point of view. At 75 when she discovered that her life expectancy was 99, she devised a boot camp for her bonus years. The outcome of this initiative was realistic optimism and a sense of control.  Now at 82, Rachel is helping others to confront the mixed blessing of longevity.  She inspires confidence that we can shape our old age. 

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for joining Rachel and me on Tea Toast & Trivia to discuss how to be old.

Thank you, Rachel for sharing your profound insights on how the gift of longevity. This has been a wonderful conversation.

Listeners you can meet up with Rachel on her website, Write Into Life, Amazon and Goodreads.  You are only an internet click away from journeys that enrich the soul.

Rachel McAlpine A Poet’s Voice on Aging Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

Until next time we meet, dear friends, keep reading and reciting poetry.

Safe travels wherever your adventures lead you.

Rachel celebrated a birthday since taping our podcast conversation. I invite you to listen in on her birthday message!

By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

19 replies on “Season 5 Episode 8: Rachel McAlpine A Poet’s Voice on Aging”

Rachel is a joy to connect with. She loves life, embraces what comes next with enthusiasm. Check out her latest video which shows her dancing “Crows Feet Retrospective – older dances in Dies Irae from Karl Jenkins’ Requiem”. Women 35 – 83 years old dance out sadness, love, longing, anger and transcendence. I know you will love it!

Liked by 3 people

The dance performance is incredible, from both a performance and a choreography perspective. Dancing in bare feet always speaks of liberation and freedom to me. I am very struck by how different this dance is from ballet, which requires young women to punish their bodies and cripple their feet.

Liked by 2 people

Rebecca, I am so glad you shared Rachel with us. I have followed her blog for a long time and I learned so much about aging and “Cat thinkies.”

“Old age doesn’t come naturally…” I think that explains some reactions I’ve had with some of the people I know. I always thought aging would be a natural process, but it’s not, and we don’t have to follow the rules we have in our head about it. This was an uplifting episode. I love being able to add a voice to my thoughts as I read people’s blogs and poetry.

Liked by 2 people

Hi Rebecca, this was a very interesting conversation. I really did appreciate it and learn a lot from it. One of the important things with growing old is your health as that contributes greatly to how much you can contribute to your own life and the lives of others. Unfortunately, health can start to fail in your 80s and 90s and that makes things difficult for the elderly person. I see this with both my parents. I loved the poems, they are uplifting as well as being insightful. I will look for Rachel’s poetry book.

Liked by 2 people

I am delighted that you enjoyed this conversation, Dave. Rachel has a marvelous sense of adventure. Her latest project is “90 Plus Group: theatre again ageism.

“90 Plus Group is us: a group of theatre people developing a play designed to challenge ageist attitudes. It’s called The Secret Lives of Extremely Old People.” Rachel has created the script from interviews that she had with people over 90. I am very interested in hearing more about her play. She has promised to come back to tell us more about this initiative. You can read more about it at this link:

Liked by 1 person

I am beyond thrilled that you enjoyed this conversation. I knew you would, Liz. I first learned of Rachel through Mandy Henderson – both are New Zealanders. (I have always wanted to visit New Zealand. Wouldn’t it be fun to travel there together?!!) Rachel identifies the angst that comes with aging and tackles difficult issues such as dementia with compassion and humour. She also promotes the joy and opportunities that comes with age. Rachel introduced my to Doris Carnevali, who is almost 101 years old, and her blog

Liked by 2 people

In photographs and movies, New Zealand looks like a beautiful place. I would love to see it in person. What’s disconcerting about being a Baby Boomer is that we claimed the world for the young. Then we got old. No luck claiming the world for the elderly, however.

Liked by 3 people

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