95-year-old Dana Point resident’s latest book explores the joy, beauty and perspective found in aging
Author Faith Strong’s name is almost synonymous to her nature.
At 95 years old, Strong may be stronger than ever.
The longtime Dana Point resident published her sixth book, “The Glories of Aging,” last July, earning her a first place award in the 2017 Bookvana Awards in the Health and Healing: Aging/50+ category.
It took Strong about a year to write the collection of essays which focuses on the various tribulations and delights of growing older. She placed an emphasis on the idea that just because one grows older, it does not mean he or she must become silent or even fearful.
The book also discusses the transition from being a senior to being an elderly person and the challenges that come with that change. But most of all, Strong said her book is meant to inspire everyone — no matter what age — that aging is also a time to see new beauty, new perspectives, increase self-knowledge and make a difference in the world.
“I knew this was my last journey, and I wanted to help myself and others by sharing it,” Strong said. “I wanted others to know that growing older doesn’t have to mean being quiet, afraid or betrayed by pain. While it inevitably comes with its own set of challenges, aging can be a joyful time of reflection, gratitude and acceptance.
“I would describe the book as honest, humorous and applicable to other people’s lives.”
Strong has authored books including “Boundaries That Keep Us from Living the Words We Are One” (2013), “The Glories of Sobriety” (2010) and “Distractions That Keep Us from Being Who We Are and Doing What We Really Want to Do” (1997).
Strong said in addition to being an author, she has been a philanthropist, activist and organizer.
Born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1922, Strong said she has always had a creative mind, and studied piano, painting, writing and dance. As an activist and philanthropist, Strong spent most of her life designing and conducting retreats, workshops and seminars that focus on “transformational and spiritual growth.”
Strong continues to be active in charity and volunteering for various local and state charities, including the Hunger Project, a nonprofit New York-based organization fighting world hunger.
As a recovered alcoholic of 54 years, Strong created Pills Anonymous, the first 12-step program for addiction to prescription medication in La Jolla during the 1960s. In 1983, she founded “Creating a Sober World,” a project that led to the first Alcoholics Anonymous in the Soviet Union three years later.
Strong’s latest form of activism translates through her self-help and inspirational books, sharing her wisdom she has gained from living over nine decades. Although it is difficult for her to choose her favorite quote in “The Glories of Aging,” she said she feels one passage is most poignant:
“In my nineties, my perspective of time has been transformed,” she wrote. “It has become more valuable, precious, and serious. I don’t take it for granted anymore. It’s no longer just an empty space in my day. It’s up to me how I choose to spend it and live in it. If I find myself getting upset over a triviality or some insignificant moment, I try to think of something beautiful. As easy as it is to waste time, it’s just as easy to make it count.”
Strong’s latest book is available through Amazon.
“My hope is that the book will help many people navigate the aging process with grace, humor and gratitude, and that they will recognize that aging can be a joyful process as well as a difficult one,” Strong said. “I hope that my own experiences will resonate with others and encourage them to overcome the hurdles of aging with a positive mindset.”
Jackie Moe is a contributor to Times Community News.
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