Are you recently retired? Are you thinking about retiring? Are you at least 50 years old? If you answered yes, we have a class for you.

Aging Mastery was offered for the first time in the Brainerd lakes area this past fall. Crow Wing Energized and Juniper offered this class to community members age 50 and older who were interested in knowing more about the aging process. Over eight weeks, it focused on the six dimensions of aging well: Personal health and well-being, gratitude and mindfulness, finances and future planning, connections and community, creativity and learning, and legacy and purpose.

When finding a class and investing your time, you want to make sure you have chosen correctly. You look for a class that fits your needs — one that you can relate to, learn from and one that offers opportunities to improve your life. Aging Mastery offered all of these components and more! It originally caught my eye with its title — ”Aging Mastery.” As we age, our needs change.

RELATED: Crow Wing Energized: The pursuit of happiness

This class looks in depth at several dimensions of aging. Each dimension was presented by a guest speaker who specialized in that area. Getting correct information from a professional became the springboard for class discussions. We all agreed that getting the facts was important but the participant discussions that followed also added value to this class.

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"The goal of this class was to examine the dimensions of aging and make the necessary changes in one’s personal life to age well. The added value for me was the wonderful friendships that developed."

— Linda Kiefner


Each week, we were responsible for reporting on the progress we had made in an identified “dimension.” The sharing among class members added a unique quality to this class. Not only did these discussions bring about unity within our group but this also helped bring accountability. The goal of this class was to examine the dimensions of aging and make the necessary changes in one’s personal life to age well. The added value for me was the wonderful friendships that developed. At the end of eight weeks, several in our class decided to go a step further together for an additional eight weeks. Class members stepped up to lead the classes by delving further into each dimension by adding additional resources for discussions. Leadership for future classes evolved.

RELATED: Crow Wing Energized: Cultivating Joy Through Living Mindfully

For those looking toward retirement or recently retired, this class helped answer the question of a redefined “purpose” during the retirement years.

One of the goals established at the beginning of the class was to challenge each member to embrace these changes and, therefore, live a more healthy, productive life while aging. Additionally, the sharing by class members brought about trust and new friendships were created. This class was offered through Zoom so participation was not limited to just the Brainerd area but also included participants from the Duluth area, the Cities and as far away as California.

One of the past participants shared the following: "Just wanted you to know how true this class is. I was reminded of what I needed to change. I was a little worried about retirement but this class have given me courage to find my new purpose.“

Our next session starts on Tuesday, Sept. 7 and meets for eight weeks virtually from 6 to 7:30 p.m. To sign up, visit our website: https://crowwingenergized.org/events/

About Linda Kiefner

I am a retired educator whose career started in Brainerd. Ultimately, my career took me to military bases in Germany and the Philippines where I was honored to teach the dependents of the Army and Air Force personnel. I was also a school principal in both California and Arizona. But as soon as I retired, I found my way back home to Brainerd.

I was thrilled to be a part of the Aging Mastery experience both as a participant and as a co-facilitator.