The Life Reports, a project by David Brooks at the Times, wherein he asks people over 70 to submit essays about their own lives and what they’ve done poorly or well. It’s really wonderful reading. Here’s a snippet:

Measure people by their growth rate, not by their talents. The best essays were by people who made steady progress each decade. Regina Titus grew up shy and sheltered on Long Island. She took demeaning clerical jobs, working with people who treated her poorly. Her first husband died after six months of marriage and her second committed suicide.

But she just kept growing. At 56, studying nights and weekends, she obtained a college degree, cum laude, from Marymount Manhattan College. She moved to Wilmington, Del., works as a docent, studies opera, hikes, volunteers and does a thousand other things. She acknowledges, “I did not have the joy of holding my baby in my arms. I did not have a long and happy marriage.” But hers is a story of relentless self-expansion.

Photo by me.

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