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Rants, Raves, & Reflections of a Renaissance Woman

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Gloria Jaroff is a Renaissance woman. She’s lovely, personable, brilliant, and highly accomplished. She’s got a great sense of humor, has led a truly amazing life, and been living her 100 Year Lifestyle for most of it. Gloria’s reflected on her life in an upcoming book of poetry titled, “Rants, Raves, Reflections: Rhyming My Way to 100 Years.” She is almost 95 years old. Based on all she’s accomplished in her life, she should be 200. She acts (and looks) like a person half her age. Regardless, let the numbers be damned. Gloria’s clearly not slowing down any time soon.

The Facts

Gloria is a beloved member of an extended family that currently spans 4 generations. She is a retired architect and interior designer. Currently an author, and lecturer. An Emeritus member of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a graduate of the New York School of Interior Design, Gloria had a 60 year  design practice serving clients across the country and overseas. As a side note, she didn’t become an architect until she was 52. She pursued her studies for 10 years while working and being a single parent of two sons.

When computer drafting programs were first introduced, Gloria was part of the team organized by the AIA to share those new computer skills with professional peers at the University of Southern California. A sought after speaker for over six years, Gloria offered seminars on color and light, as both live events and virtual. Among her many impactful works was the publication of her first book, “The Nature of Color in Interior Design.” Described as the re-examination of color through the eyes of Mother Nature, it’s based on colors inspired by photographs of Gloria’s worldwide travels.

She was a performing jazz pianist who studied under the acclaimed musician Lennie Tristano. For seven years she sang with a gospel choir. She was an avid scuba diver for two decades of her life and today credits her longevity with her habit of daily lap swimming in a 25-meter pool. It’s a continuation of being a competitive swimmer in her youth.

All of that said, we’ve only scratched the surface of Gloria’s accomplishments. But believe it or not, what really sets Gloria apart is her attitude.

Obstacles and Self-Realization

It isn’t a surprise that Gloria has a lot of wisdom to share. Her outlook on life is truly special. She’s the type of person who’s positive perspective makes everyone who encounters her feel uplifted as a result. When asked about her perspective, Gloria shared that one of her favorite quotes is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Gloria says that when you see life from that perspective, then everything in life is a gift. That gift is often an opportunity to change.

Despite her positive perspective, Gloria does admit to dealing with loss being the most difficult part of longevity. Her friends her own age are gone, as are many of her family, including her oldest son. She refers to it as learning to live in a constant state of mourning. However, even this experience has its purpose.

In a letter, Gloria shared words of encouragement with an Cassandra Tondro, an artist friend, whose paintings appeared in Gloria’s first book. Cassandra believed her particular painting was, in her words, a disaster.

It’s all just a process and the point of it all – or the higher purpose – is to discover yourself and move on to a higher level of thinking. Which you obviously accomplished. All that we ‘do’ is just a step toward ‘self-realization’

and freedom from our attachments to things. Self-awareness is a gift and sometimes it does feel like a burden.

Cassandra went on to say:

It’s an interesting concept — that the problems in our lives are there for a reason, so that we can learn more about ourselves and evolve to a higher level of being. When viewed in this light, we can be grateful for the obstacles, because without them we’re not able to grow.

Gloria and Cassie both view the changing nature of color and light as a constant reminder that most things in life are an illusion.

Gifted

Following through with that line of thinking, Gloria believes we are obligated to use any creative talents or gifts that the Universe has given us in the service of others. That, she sees, as our purpose in life.  As an example, Gloria worked on designs for Tokyo Disney Sea and California Adventure theme parks for Walt Disney Imagineering. As a member of the team of hundreds of designers she realized her small part made a big difference by contributing to the joy of so many people who visited those parks. Other design work helped clients on a personal level to realize their dreams. After years of pondering, she realized whatever work we do gives our lives meaning and purpose because we are making a difference helping others to enjoy living more comfortably or productively.

Her 100 Year Lifestyle

Gloria lived much of her life in New York, only moving to California in 1990. There she took up the study of  Jin Shin Jyutsu, the Japanese art of using pressure points in the body to restore harmony and reduce inflammation. Her instructor-practitioner introduced her to Dr. Vincent Punturere, of Absolute Health Chiropractic, a long-time 100 Year Lifestyle chiropractic practice in Beverly Hills. It was the start of a beautiful relationship that continues to this day.

Dr. Punturere is as much a fan of Gloria’s as she is of him. The 100 Year Lifestyle perfectly meshes with Gloria’s lifestyle, which has long included daily exercise, close relationships, eating organic, meaningful work, lifelong education, and not retiring! It’s called living at 100% for 100 years or more! When asked her secret to such healthy longevity, Gloria was quick to suggest we all find ourselves a good chiropractor – and stick with them!

Poetry of Life

Gloria’s poetry book, “Rants, Raves, Reflections: Rhyming My Way to 100 Years,” will be published later this year. In the meantime, she’s been kind enough to share some of her poems with The 100 Year Lifestyle. We’ll let you know when her book is available.

Change

By Gloria Jaroff

The creative mind will always pump

New ideas to make us jump

The curse of change is ever present

The joy of completion effervescent

Never content with the status quo

We alter things wherever we go

Get ready to act when change does appear

Stand still a moment and you’ll disappear

I’ll stay changeable like the weather

New possibilities always bring pleasure

Blessed are those with imagination

Apart from the general population

Considering all the possibilities

Where others flounder with inabilities

Is it a blessing or a curse?

For the better or the worse

Change is the artist’s valuable tool

For dreaming and creating something cool

Without change buildings would never stand

Every interior – totally bland

Hurrah for change it’s here to stay

Molding ideas like a piece of clay

Use it daily and be its master

Instead of succumbing to disaster

 

 

 

My Complaints

Or 

Why does life have to be so complicated?

 By Gloria Jaroff, June 3, 2022

My hip, my leg my knee, my toe

Listen to my tale of woe

Can’t walk, run, jump or bend

When will it cease, when will it end?

My Apple watch helps to cope
when moving is a slippery slope

Its notifications kick my butt

Stand up, walk, move, don’t strut

Take time to breathe, stretch your joints

Adds up to those extra points

My body cannot move too fast

My dancing days are in the past

Swimming is still a breeze

Doing laps with the greatest of ease

Projects I used to turn around on a dime

Suddenly take much more time

The more I clean the messier the place

What’s left expands to fill the space

With it all I can’t complain

Poetry helps to ease the pain

And I still maintain

A pretty good brain

 

The post Rants, Raves, & Reflections of a Renaissance Woman appeared first on The 100 Year Lifestyle.

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