EVERY month, founder of Elements Retirement Chiou See Anderson speaks with residents of her now sold-out village to explore the facets of Ikigai, a lifestyle that helps balance the physical with the spiritual. Today, she speaks with Bill and Diane about being purposeful.

CSA: How old are you and how old do you feel?

Bill: (78) When I am well and everything goes all right, I don’t feel old.

Diane: (79) I find it hard to think that I’m nearly 80, which is OLD. Most days I don’t think I’m old except sometimes when trying to get up off the floor.

CSA: Why do you feel younger than your years?

Bill: I like to keep busy with my video projects and learning new artistic methods using computer technology.

Diane: I have tried to keep active physically and mentally. I went to the gym, I played tennis and now I walk in the forest every morning. I joined U3A groups to keep my brain active. I went to photography, travel, and history classes, then we became tutors of the U3A Camera Club and Videography class. Now I go to Yoga, PT, Zumba and Art classes held in our village.

CSA: What makes you jump out of bed every morning?

Bill: I’ve always been an early riser. Once up, I enjoy reading the latest news on line and keeping up with politics. I like to get into finishing my latest projects which could be editing a video or creating an Oscar & Olga cartoons.

Diane: I get up early to meet my three friends in the morning and go for an hour’s walk. I look forward to being one with nature and solving the world’s problems with my friends.

If not going out to a class or lunch with friends, there are all my projects to get finished, like writing my memoirs, family history to research and blog posts to write.

CSA: What do you think is your gift that you were either born with or developed over the years?

Bill: When I was young, I played the trumpet and I wanted to play in a Big Band. I ended up playing in a Glen Miller Tributary Band and the town Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland. I belonged to a Young Filmmaker’s Group and made documentaries, which were shown in one of the local cinemas. I have continued enjoying making videos and teaching people about filmmaking for U3A.

Diane: I think I am good at teaching people. I taught primary school children for over thirty years, but afterwards I enjoyed teaching adults about photography. I have always enjoyed taking photos and learning new photographic skills since I was 15.

CSA: What excites you, what gives you purpose?

Bill: My purpose now is to produce ‘Village Life’ videos for the enjoyment of the village residents. I also get involved in learning new computer skills.

Diane: I used to get excited about travelling the world and Australia. It is exciting to learn other cultures. Now I get excited when I see how our children and grandchildren have succeeded in life. My purpose now is to keep my brain and body active to live a long and healthy life.

CSA: What would you say to your 18-year-old self?

Bill: I would say, “Go out and see the world. Don’t wait until you are 24.”

Diane: I would say, “Think carefully about the consequences of your actions.”

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