I have always loved to travel. Day trips, Sunday drives, extended vacations to faraway places – all have an element of surprise, discovery, friendship and wonder that feeds something deep within me. Everywhere you turn in Connecticut, there is a place with something to offer, a nugget to make it special, especially when viewed thru my “fresh perspective glasses.” So this blog is right up my alley.

My name is Tia Murphy and I am the AARP Connecticut volunteer state president. As part of my presidential journey, I am going to travel around this great state to meet our dedicated AARP volunteers and have them show me what makes their corner of Connecticut a special and fantastic place to live. Livability: that is the hallmark for this series.

Our volunteers will take me around to visit the places that make their community warm and welcoming, as well as the people who make it all work. Along the way, we may meet with local and state representatives, government officials, aging-in-place related workers, senior center directors, librarians and anyone else my guide feels is responsible for making and keeping their hometown special. I am the interested visitor; they are my tour guide and local ambassador. Oh, I will take pictures, perhaps a video or two, then post them along with this blog so you can see for yourself what made that day, that place, memorable.

We will also be looking for ways to Disrupt Aging. What do I mean by that? Well, breaking stereotypes about what aging means, how we see ourselves and how we speak about the natural process of moving thru our lives and the changes this process represents. Redefining and reframing our language, our attitudes, our thoughts and our behaviors to be more positive and embracing of our lives.

In the upcoming September issue of the AARP Bulletin, there will be an article about our new Disrupt Aging Community Engagement program, which I had the privileged opportunity to work on with Erica Michalowski, AARP CT associate state director, community outreach, and Borrow My Glasses Founders, Donna Fedus (gerontologist) and Lauren Lewis (producer/director).  Using AARP CEO JoAnn Jenkins’ book by the same name as a springboard, this program is designed to disrupt the traditional thought process of dreading aging into an embracing acceptance and celebration of growing older.

Tia Murphy enjoys bird watching at the Audubon Society’s Coastal Center at Milford Point. Photo by Jackie Molloy

And a picture of me. With binoculars, my long lens camera and birding togs at the CT Coastal Audubon Center in Milford where I love to bird. You see, the writer asked me if I had any personal experience with disrupting aging that I would like to share. I did. It involved my lifelong passion of birding and a twenty something birder on the trail with me. Look for the details in your September issue.

So, if I can squeeze some bird viewing and perhaps a photo or two when visiting, that would be grand as well.

New episodes will post on a regular but not scheduled basis. We all have busy lives and things pop up, so I am looking for the ultimate flexibility in sharing my travels. Hit me up if you have something in your town I should write about!

Thanks and have a grand day.

Tia

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