Beyond Declining Years: The Art of Aging


Written by Blanche Black


Published by Penumbra Press


FROM CHAPTER 2 — The Gift of Happiness


We can learn to be happy. We can encourage others to be happy, too. But unlike the 3Rs, happiness cannot be taught. Welcome to the school of life, where it’s up to you.


Happiness is not a plastic thing. Think of happiness as a portal to freedom than as an escape from sadness. We have the ability and freedom of choice. Unfortunately, many of us have refused both the ability and the freedom to choose. Happiness is more a byproduct of attitude than of opportunity or luck. You can develop that attitude by choosing to get out and to be active, by forcing yourself to grasp opportunities and by engaging in them.


Health and happiness go hand in hand. How we respond to problems is an indicator of our health, and a passport to our happiness. Peace and happiness go hand in hand. Peacefulness comes from enjoying life’s meaningful things, from enjoying our natural and cultural surroundings.


Happiness has a taste for reality. Feeling deeply is an affirmation of true happiness. Contentment lies within yourself, don’t seek it elsewhere. If the world seems cold to you, kindle a fire to warm up from the inside; it will keep out the chill.


Bliss is happiness by another name. Bliss is double happiness, happiness drunk on happiness, happiness on a mission. Aim first to be happy, find contentment before capacity. Let your mission find you. They say a cat has nine lives, so don’t be surprised if a late-life mission springs within you, too. Just because you’re getting on, or have had a full career, doesn’t mean there isn’t more in store. It’s not what happens to you, or even what you do, that makes you happy or sad. Bliss is connecting you, deeper layers of the real you, with what you do. A blissful existence happens on the inside, not the outside, though its waves will echo widely.


If you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on the needs of others and work on meeting people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you at any age. You know it in your dear old bones. Simple, but true.


Oh, that smile looks so good on you.





“When you look at a group of seniors in a community, you always notice some do not look their age. Blanche Black is one such senior. She has eternal youth and is always busy writing and going about. I never think of her as a senior. Her book is an inspiration to seniors now and to seniors in the future.”

— Margaret Lazaruk, Pharmacist


“This slim, attractive volume of the collected writings of Blanche Black, freelance writer, poet, and dynamic “advanced age citizen,” takes a positive look at aging. Beyond Declining Years: The Art of Aging offers the wisdom of a woman who has embraced life in all aspects, both the good and the bad. It is a book meant to be picked up whenever you feel in need of insightful musings, whether you are suffering declining health, have lost a loved one, or just need reassurance that growing old is not the end of life.

— Country Senior



Beyond Declining Years: The Art of Aging

Blanche Black

ISBN 1-897323-27-4

Softcover, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 132 pages

Non-Fiction: Heath & Well-Being        $18.95


Blanche Black — an octogenarian poet, columnist, and longtime activist on seniors’ issues — keenly observes people as part of nature, and shows her respect for the cycles of life. Blanche is down-to-earth but never retiring — she is a real go-getter! Once nominated Canada’s Mother of the Year, she celebrates Canada Day, Mother’s Day, and holidays throughout the year by writing newspaper tributes on the topic of among. After all, who among us isn’t aging?







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