A Long Time To Be Gone
I am sitting at the kitchen table drinking in the sights, the sounds, the smell and the feel— of home. No place like it.
Regular readers know that I have been “on the road” for the past three weeks and, last night, I returned home. It sure feels good.
I have always been blessed by the fact that Jude and the kids all understand and approve the fact that the goal of changing the world requires me to travel far and often.
This most recent journey included…
A five hour bus ride.
Sleeping on a snow bound Amtrak train.
A visit to Ten Downing Street.
A convocation of European Eden All-Stars
An inflight emergency over the North Sea.
Dinner at a farmhouse in Northern Norway.
Two Nights at the very nice “Rica Hell” Hotel.
Grand Rounds at a hospital in Michigan.
A public lecture on the “Wise Use” of medicines.
Taping a show for New Hamphsire public television.
A deep consideration of the value of “wellness.”
Lunch at a farm in Phoenix.
A rousing good time with 1,000 of America’s best pharmacists.
Jude picking me up at the airport at 11 pm.
When I woke up this morning, it took me a minute or so to remember where I was.
Of course, the list above is terribly incomplete. What’s missing are the people. During this trip I have been treated to an almost non-stop conversation with exciting, interesting and innovative people who are, at this very moment— changing aging (or ageing as my UK friends would say).
One person wants to remake the experience of care and support in communities across the UK, moving the system away from a building centered past and toward a person-centered future.
Two people are helping spread the Eden Alternative across the UK (and across Europe) by teaching, inspiring and helping others to teach and inspire.
I met many kind and wonderful people in Norway and they were willing to listen to my “peculiar” message about the nature of aging and the future of aging services.
Doctors, nurses and administrators, too numerous to count are all eager to reinvent acute care for older people.
I saw the kind of passionate and sustained conviction that carries one person as part of one organization forward on a crusdade to teach the world how to make “Wise Use” of medications.
I spent time with a huddled band of geniuses who are doing the astonishingly diffilcult work of reconciling the good emodied in “wellness” with realities and constraints imposed by a free market economy.
Finally, I hung out with the only group of pharmacists in the world who are totally and exclusively devoted to aging and older people. They are all changing aging— one patient at a time.
The trip was long and, in many ways, grueling, but the people— the people made it worth every ounce of energy that I poured into it. These kind and wonderful people are not just changing aging– they are changing the world.