Wilma M. Chandler

Age: 81

"Aging is a magical journey, filled with unexpected beauty.

Each day needs to be cherished, and along with that each person who comes into your life needs to be appreciated. Often that is hard, and I think it is essential not to judge others and get set in old patterns and old, comfortable ways. There is a lot to be angry about, a lot that hasn’t turned out the way you would have wished, but the world is changing every day and I want to be able to change with it, stay open to all the transformations in our surroundings and remain useful and creative as long as I have the ability to do so. And then leave the world peacefully, knowing I did my best and was a kind and caring person."

age: 81  profession: Theatre/Dance Teacher and Director


What is the best thing about being your age?

Still feeling that there is much to be discovered, learned, enjoyed and shared. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Two things...Giving birth to two wonderful daughters and giving hope and courage to them, and also to the hundreds of students over the decades that I have had the privilege to teach so that they are not afraid to go out and be their best selves in whatever they choose to do.

What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?

Traveling to Israel and feeling the sense of family, pride and history that we found there.

What is your most treasured possession?

My box of letters from family and friends dating back 70 years.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being with the whole family at a big, noisy, unruly dinner party – all the relatives, the kids, the aunts and uncles and cousins.

What is a trait you are most proud of?

Surviving difficult times – some kind of inner instinct.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is being misinterpreted. Often I express things in a very New York way…abrupt and direct. Although I don’t mean any harm, it is not always appreciated by people who don’t understand the style…to me it is meant kindly but it doesn’t always come out that way and can be hurtful. I fear hurting other people inadvertently.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Be a better listener…and taller!!

what is your greatest extravagance?


What do you most value in your friends?

Intelligence and a sense of interest in the world.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Not to be afraid of the unknown.There will be ups and downs, mistakes and triumphs, but it will all be a wonderful adventure in the end.

What is your motto or favorite quote?

"Art is not a thing, it is a way."  – Oscar Wilde

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