Candid, Heart-felt Interview with Junie Swadron and

Teacher, Healer and Author, Tom Evans


It was my friend and colleague, Dr.Melba Burns,  who coined the phrase: Don’t Retire, ReFIRE! and I couldn’t agree with her more. In fact, she will soon be releasing her book on the same title.

I don’t know about you, but as a baby-boomer – or as a self-appointed Zoomer – I know that retirement is more about a state of mind than a stage of life.  Still that state of mind isn’t always easily accessible when I look in the mirror and say, ‘Who’s that?”

I have had many conversations with people in my age range and older. First of all, most of us are saying, “Holy Moly, when did that happen! Obviously when we weren’t looking.  None of us can believe how fast the time has gone.  Many of us are questioning our new identity that has been creeping up on us all along.  Now we are here and where is the manual that is going to make move through this time gracefully?

I was 17 years old when the Beatles came out with their famous song “When I’m 64”. As far as I was concerned, it was a fun song to sing and had nothing to do with me. 64 was light-years away! I figured I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  And it feels like I just blinked and that proverbial bridge is outside my door waiting for me to cross it with grace. The bridge from youth to non-youth. Some will simply call it, old age.  Yuck!

This year, I received my OAS:  Old Age Security pension. I appreciate the adjunct to my income but can’t they call it something else.  Such as, RFYC – Reward for Your Contributions, or TWAF -The Wisdom Allotment Fund. Or better still – WHOEF We Honour Our Elders Fund.  Anything but Old Age pension.

I remember my very wise mother once saying to me, “Junie, you are never old when you are happy.”  She said it after I was insulted, (or took it as such) on a subway train in Korea when an old drunk man (immaculately dressed, by the way) looked right at me and asked, “How old are you?”

I said, “None of your damn business!”  My partner who was shocked and holding onto the rail in the speeding subway car beside me said, “What did you say that for?”  (I even surprised myself).  “He just wants to know how to talk to you.”  I found out that in Korea there is another language that is used for people over a certain age – not sure what that age is”…It’s spoken as a sign of respect.  Perhaps I over-reacted, but it came on the heels of a new, YOUNG Korean friend, when I told her about having an older sister, she responded with, “Oh, my, is she still alive?”  I was 52 at the time.

Back to my mother’s comment, “Junie, you are never old when you are happy”, seemed to belie her earlier wisdom.  She stopped being happy when her looks no longer bought her the attention they did in her youth. She had been very beautiful.

Sadly, somewhere in her 60’s or ‘70’s, she admitted that she couldn’t stand what she looked like and it became a source of her depression and isolation. She felt washed up, invisible. She had no tools on how to re-wire and re-fire.

And here’s the point – she is not the only one. How many other older people think less of themselves because they are no longer young and feel lost. How many are walking around in a dark cloud wondering what to do next and how?

Well, it’s far from over. It can be a brand new exciting beginning!

Our age does not define us. How we think of it does.

Rewire our minds and then fan the flames of transformation to live out our life with new meaning, passion and purpose.



Every now and then, if we are truly blessed, someone wonderful comes into our life when we least expect it and we are never the same again. And that is what happened to me exactly one year ago and that person was Tom.

Tom is known as a modern day mystic, a healer, a 21st century philosopher, a temporal alchemist and the wizard of light bulb moments. To me, he is a teacher, a mentor and a friend.


You can find Tom at

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