Happy to be here

Kathy Childers
Kathy Childers

When I was a kid, my family moved around a lot. At the time, I wasn’t always keen on saying goodbye to my old friends and having to meet new ones.

And I really hated those awful first few days in a new school, where the butterflies in my stomach only dissipated when school let out and I could finally go home.

Then there was the awkwardness of meeting the neighborhood cliques of kids, whose pecking orders had been disturbed by my arrival. It always left me feeling very much not a part of the group.

When my family finally settled in the Twin Cities — where I’ve now lived for more than 50 years! — I had just turned 13 years old. Being a new kid on the block just when the years of teenage self-consciousness were beginning definitely challenged me (and my poor parents).

But in retrospect, all of those difficult experiences were a blessing. Each move expanded my worldview. The discomfort was always replaced by a sense of belonging. When I made new friends, I discovered I could keep my old ones.

Accepting change became one of the key lessons of my childhood. I’m certain it’s helped me as I’ve navigated a career as a magazine journalist working with a variety of publications and subject matters. But even more than that, I think it’s helped me age — or at least, accept aging — with a touch of grace.

I admit that for many years that wasn’t the case. I fought getting older. That’s a mental game, of course, that you can really never win. But once I hit 60, something changed. Almost overnight, I realized how ridiculous it was to think that I could somehow stop the aging process (duh!). That’s when I began to see aging differently.

And that’s what Minnesota Good Age is really about — seeing aging as a gift instead of a curse. This is the time of our lives when we get to both appreciate the past and live fully in the present, embracing all of the changes we’ve experienced because they’ve made us who we are today.

I’m the new kid on the block again at Minnesota Good Age. But there are no butter- flies in my stomach and no awkwardness trying to fit in. I’m excited to be in this new role and humbled and honored to be taking over from the magazine’s former editor, Sarah Jackson. I’ve been warmly welcomed by the magazine team. And I very much look forward to serving you, the reader, as we discover together how truly great aging in Minnesota can be!