When you get to be a certain age, you can’t help but wonder if dementia is your destiny. Up until Season 3 Episode 15, this blog explored what it means to age, how to tell normal aging from dementia, and how to protect your mind as you go forward. After that episode, though, it switched to a serialized autobiographical novel about an 87-year old’s attempts to defy aging.

We all know what the final destination is on our journey through life, but what we don’t know is which path we’ll travel to get there: normal aging or dementia. This blog shares my fears, failures and triumphs along that road, no matter which fork fate has chosen for me.

-Wayne Braffman

December 12, 2020

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From the blog…

The Octogenarian: 8. Driving

To drive, or not to drive? That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous aging, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them? Alex offered his sincerest apologies to William Shakespeare as he pondered the most critical question facing…

The Octogenarian: 7. Grocery Shopping

It was one of the high points of every week for him, driving into the village to go grocery shopping. Since he could have had all of his meals prepared by The Community, it gave him a feeling of being independent and it fit his self-image as one who bucked the system. He liked that…

The Octogenarian: 6. The Community

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear right from the start. ‘The Community’ is not the same thing as ‘The Home.’ ‘The Home’ was a fictionalized fancy that their friends had created as a caricature of what life would be like, years down the line, when they were all doddering nonagenarians, loosing their faculties, in need…

The Octogenarian: 5. Jogging

You heard right. He was still jogging. At 87. How could that possibly be?  He had been running on and off since he was a freshman in high school. He liked the way he was tired after a workout. He liked the sense of accomplishment when he was able to run faster than the week…

The Octogenarian: 4. Sally

Sally was incredulous the first time she heard about it. “Alex?” “Really? Are you out of your ever-loving mind?” She had a point. She usually did have a point when he came up with some hare-brained idea. At the very least, he should have discussed it with her before deciding to re-christen himself (not that…

The Octogenarian: 3. The Outsider

Have I told you that his name was Wayne? No? Sorry about that. His name was Wayne. Or Alex. Depending on who you asked. From the time he could first pronounce it, he didn’t like the name ‘Wayne.’ It didn’t sound right. From the time he could write it, he didn’t like the way it…


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About Me

As I turn 70, I’m embarking on my 6th career. I’ve been an urban planner, Director of a 3,000-seat performing arts center, B&B owner and cookbook author, clinical psychologist, political activist and Chair of our local Democratic Party, and now blogger. My pattern has been to change careers every 10 years, so if all goes well, this should keep me occupied until I’m 80.

Please feel free to comment below, or email me at: Wayne@MistakesOnTheJourneyToNowhere.com


  1. Thank you so much for visiting. Please don’t hesitate to stop by anytime!


    1. Fredda L. Maddox says:

      Wayne your are one of the best. You can say you tried it all on your journey.
      Seems at 60 I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up as I travel this journey of mine.

      Didn’t know about the zoom party or I would have tuned in.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. That makes 2 of us trying to figure out what we’ll do when we grow up!


    2. Michele V says:

      Thanks for inviting me Wayne. I signed up. Miss you already and your sound reasoning from CCDC

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you…and remember that the ’emeritus’ hot-line is always open! 😀


    3. Nancy says:

      Hi Wayne,
      You’re in my baby-boomer class, and it is indeed hard to let go of items/mementos that were marks of certain times in our lives. I keep reminding myself that these things are of little value to anyone but me, and what counts is in my mind anyway.
      Happy New Year!
      Nancy Dean

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a fascinating process, isn’t it? Everyone will come up with different answers (and I like yours), but for me, the question ‘What was I saving this for?’ was answered with: ‘I was saving it for exactly this moment!’


    4. Roberta Eldridge says:

      Hi Wayne,
      Roberta Eldridge here,though I’ve moved from Kennett,I still call it home! And still in touch with my Coffee Klatch Group!
      I will think about what to say next time!
      Happy Belated Chanukah

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Lois says:

      Hi Wayne- I just discovered your blog and read a couple posts. Really enjoyed them. We are having some similar missing about life and age. All the best to you and Sally from NM

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Miss you guys…hope all is well.


  2. Cindy says:

    Thanks for inviting me Wayne. I look forward to joining you on your new journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to have you on board, Cindy!


  3. lbgruber says:

    I am right alongside of you on your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I knew you would be!


  4. Gini Smith says:

    This is a great idea. Thank you for inviting me
    My journey has been similar to yours, multiple careers and sometimes paths that seemed to go nowhere but were taking me exactly where I should be then and even now.
    And I’m still searching!! I have a magnet from Venice that says “may we live in interesting times”. I always loved it but after this year, I may take it down, give it a rest. I just want some peace and quiet for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Or as it’s said in China: ‘The Curse of Interesting Times.’


  5. Charlotte G Valyo says:

    Thank you for the invite. I look forward to the journey.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know you’ll be a wonderful traveling companion…great to have you aboard!


  6. papaanton says:

    Wayne, Looking forward to continuing the journey, with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome aboard…you can ride on the AA train! 😀


  7. Patricia Kneer says:

    🎼everybody knows this is nowhere.
    Onward with the journey ole friend. Stay well ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for adding the music…so happy that the trip includes you!


  8. Chris Mahoney says:

    Thanks for the invitation Wayne! I am happy, and Dennis too, to join you on this very exciting journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now this is an international event…thank you!


  9. Linda McKinstry says:

    Best to you as you move forward. Will continue to fight the good fight.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. James says:

    Im here just to check it out. I have always had a bad memory and afraid the as i age (almost 60) things will only get worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by, James. Having always had a bad memory does not predict what will happen to you going forward; you are not more at risk than anyone else. If you do start to notice changes and decide to be tested, though, please be sure to tell your doctor about the kinds of problems you have always had. It will be important and helpful information in charting your path forward.


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