(1) Pseudonym: Amanda Age: 47 Gender: Female Occupation: Grocery store manager Familial situation: Single without children 1. I am satisfied with my physical appearance now: 5. Amanda noted that her s


Pseudonym: Amanda

Age: 47

Gender: Female

Occupation: Grocery store manager

Familial situation: Single without children

1. I am satisfied with my physical appearance now: 5. Amanda noted that her score on this statement is getting higher as she exercises and takes care of her body more.

2. I expect to live until I am at least 90 years old: 1. Amanda chose this score because of previous unhealthy habits such as smoking. Thoough she is no longer a smoker, she thinks that past smoking combined with lots of health problems amongst family members will lead to a shorter lifespan than 90 years.

3. I am in good health: 5. No further comments.

4. I have the same or better ability to hear, see, taste, and touch sensitivity as I ever have: 6. Amanda assumes that this score will decline with age.

5. I have the same or better movement ability as I ever have: 7. Amanda attributes this score to increased physical activity in the last year.

6. I have the same or better reasoning ability as I ever have: 7. No further comments.

7. My memory is the same or better than it has ever been: 3. Amanda’s memory is declining. She expects to see a more drastic decline with age.

8. I have the same or better intelligence as I ever have: 6. No further comments.

9. I have the same or better language abilities as I ever have: 5. Amanda says that she has difficulty verbalizing thoughts, often forgetting which word she is looking for.

10. I have the same or better control of my emotions as I ever had: 7. Amanda says that better emotional control came with maturity.

11. I feel I am attached to family as much or better than I ever have been: 4. Amanda chose this score because some family relationships are stronger than ever, but others have declined.

12. I feel as good or better about myself as I ever have: 5. Amanda feels better about herself now than she did when she was younger.

13. I know who I am and what my purpose in life is: 4. Amanda has a strong sense of who she is, but does not know her purpose in life at all.

14. I am as tolerant or more tolerant of people who are different from me as I ever have been: 6. No further comments.

15. Religion is as important or more important to me now as it ever has been: 1. Religion is far less important to Amanda than it used to be when she was a child and young adult.

16. Marriage and having children are as important or more important to me now than it ever has been: 1. Amanda does not want children and is not interested in marriage. Though she does hope to spend her life with someone, she does not care about getting married.

17. Children are raised about the same or better than they were when I was a child: 2. Amanda feels that children and young people place too much emphasis on screen time, social media, fame, and materialism and not enough emphasis on education.

18. Education is as important or more important than it ever has been: 5. No further comments.

19. Work is as important or more important to me now as it ever has been: 3. Amanda’s score for this statement has gotten lower within the last few months because she recently realized that she is in a financial position to be able to retire early if she wants to. Work was very important to her until she realized that early retirement is possible, and now she is re-examining her priorities and how she spends her time.

Most of the responses to the interview questions were as I expected them to be. The most surprising things I learned from Amanda were in regard to the lifespan and health questions. Though she has taken actions to be healthier in the past year, she still does not believe that her healthier habits now will be enough to undo previous damage done in her teens, 20s, and 30s through smoking, an unhealthy diet, and largely sedentary lifestyle.

My biggest takeaway from interviewing Amanda is that priorities shift with age. She was completely consumed by her career for years because she thought that was the only option for her life. Now that she has an opportunity to retire early, her whole outlook on life has shifted, and she is now looking forward to having a more joyful life that is ruled more by pleasurable activities than work.


 My interview was with “E”, he is a 65-year-old male, he is recently retired after a lifetime of entrepreneurship, and a career in the oil industry.  He has been married to his lovely wife for 43 years.  He is a life-long resident of Odessa, and we have been friends for nearly 10 years.   My husband and E worked together for several years, and through this connection we began going to church together.   E and his wife are great friends who have taken me under their wing over the last decade. 

       We had a major scare with E several years ago, when he suddenly had to have quadruple bypass surgery.   I knew this impacted his day-to-day life but was curious how it would play out in these questions.  I was not surprised when this major moment in his life was brought up several times during the interview and played a part in how he answered most of the questions.  I was somewhat surprised at how high he rated everything on average.  E and I have learned together over the years how precious life is, as he and his wife are a huge part of my support system while and since losing my husband.  Having walked that loss together while also walking through E’s recovery made this interview pretty special.  He and I unexpectedly shared a few tears during this interview as he got choked up talking about learning what really matters and how short and precious and unpredictable life can be.  Overall, this served as a great reminder for me not to get bogged down in the little things, and to remember that is not always what you do, but who you do it with and who you do it for that really matters.  


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