Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number
Author Chip Conley heads to Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse to dispel those nasty rumors about middle age
Could it be so simple that America’s obsessions with aging, midlife crisis jokes and a constant pursuit of youthful beauty are rooted in marketing and capitalism? Pretty much, says author Chip Conley, who comes to Santa Fe with his new book Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better With Age this week. Of course, there’s probably that pesky fear of death in there somewhere, but, in broad strokes, Conley posits that life can and does get better with age and we maybe just have to reconsider how we frame our thoughts around the matter.
As for the psychology that follows us through the rest of our lives? Well, that’s a little trickier to unpack.
“I actually think there are two things going on,” Conley tells SFR. “One is an aging narrative—that even if you can get through midlife you just have disease, decrepitude and death; that midlife is just about loss—and another thing is that people do notice in their midlife how certain things, especially around their bodies, aren’t as good as they used to be. There are a lot of things going on and people are kvetching about it.”
Pop culture plays a prominent role, too, the author and founder of the Modern Elder Academy midlife wisdom school says, but things are getting better in that arena. Like books, for example.
“Part of the reason I wrote this book was because I wanted to say hey, there are some things that get better with age,” Conley explains. “We know the anti-aging industrial complex, which is generally an anti-woman complex, let’s be honest, is about making women and other people feel badly about getting older…but Becca Levy at Yale [School of Public Health]; her research showed when someone can shift their mindset [about aging] from a negative to a positive, they gain seven and a half years.”
Conley has a lot of other interesting ways to alter our thinking when it comes to aging; you’ll just have to attend his reading, buy the book or both to learn about them. If it helps you get motivated, he says, studies have shown we grow happier decade by decade after 40.
“Our emotional intelligence grows, our wisdom grows, our desire to have social relationships and value our social relationships grows,” he says. “We move from the ego to the soul in midlife and beyond.” (Alex De Vore)
Chip Conley Author Reading: 6 pm Monday, Feb. 5. Free. Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 202 Galisteo St., (505) 988-4226
Some of us here in Santa Fe have real chips on our collective shoulders when it comes to knowledge about the city. We love this place and thus feel a weird sense of ownership about it. But what if all those so-called truths we hold to be self-evident are not actually correct? Writer Spencer Windes joins with artist/social justice advocate Dominic Cappello to tackle that very question at the Historic Santa Fe Foundation’s El Zaguán space on Canyon Road. The resident artists will both question Santa Feans’ notions of our town through text and imagery—almost like a quiz—while humorously pointing out that maybe we don’t know as much as we think we do. Some of the info might just surprise you. (ADV)
Santa Fe: True or False? Opening: 5-7 pm Friday, Feb. 2. Free. El Zaguán, 545 Canyon Road, (505) 983-2567
¿Qué Pasa, Mija?
OK, we get it—it can be really hard to stay up to date on the sprawling world of DJs and their myriad sub-genres, but anyone who is having conversations about EDM, techno, drum & bass and house of late has almost certainly heard the name Mija. The young and skillful Arizona decksmith rose to prominence following a 2014 set beside megastar Skrillex at Bonnaroo and has, over the years that followed, not squandered the opportunity. In other words, Mija’s upcoming Meow Wolf show feels like a wild possibility for the new-school danceheads, the old-school ravers and fans of all things electronic. The term “eclectic” can be so overused when it comes to DJ descriptors, but it’s not like it would capture the full breadth of Mija’s thing, anyway. In short? Get your tickets if you wanna dance your ass off. Oh, and this show’s 18+. Sorry, kids. (ADV)
Mija: 8 pm Saturday, Feb. 3. $22.50-$37.50. Meow Wolf, 1352 Rufina Circle, (505) 395-6369
This One’s for the Nerds
Though once almost always meant as a pejorative term, the qualifier “nerd” has enjoyed a renaissance over the last 20-ish years as more folks realize that those so-called nerds they know are really just passionate about some things. Gaming, and we mean of the board variety, is among them; thus it’s very cool for a downtown bar/venue/DJ haunt like Boxcar to open its doors to Sorcery & Might Game Night. This stalwart group gets into the spirit with board games, tabletop RPGs (that’s role playing games) and video games while fostering a community based in good times, good cheer and gaming gloriousness. Thanks, nerds! (ADV)
Sorcery & Might Game Night: 7 pm Tuesday, Feb. 6. Free. Boxcar. 133 W Water St., (505) 988-7222