Summer… Not So Sure The Living Is Easy!

It is harder to be fabulousover60 in the summer. Fabulous is all about serenity, generosity, friendship, peacefulness, calm waters and being focused on what is most important in one’s life. That of course and wearing great clothes and shoes. Looking fabulous on the beach is just not happening for most of us. And that is just the start of summer blues.

beach

No one likes politics before an actual election other than the real rabid “true believers”. With a 2016 presidential election coming up, this 2015 summer is filled with clutter, nonsense, and false crisis moments – not to mention Donald Trump. Current nastiness and ridiculousness ruins our sanity and sense of propriety. We likely are the last generation to feel any sense of propriety about anything. That is likely more than OK, but for now, we do find it irksome and insulting to our sense of what we feel is appropriate “presidential election politics” and civilized dialogue/debate.

t1larg.trumplane.cnn

Climate change has messed with everything. Much hotter or colder days, more rain or no rain, drought or floods. Not to mention burned out barbecues and that good idea gone bad: constant outdoor eating – not on just gorgeous verandas with food appropriately covered and a lovely summer breeze, but anyplace anytime even if it is stifling – on a city street corner or a relative’s “deck” (or now outdoor kitchen/dining room) that really needs much more shade and a few more feet of space.

Too much sun is getting as scary as ice patches. We are now at the age where, though we may love boating or other summer sports, we know too many people (including ourselves) that are having this that or the other removed from our skin. Bill just had some cancer cells scraped off his head (and I see most of you nodding). We spend way too much on sunblock and other preventive measures and yet are not 100% comfortable in any intense sun situation. Then there is the non-fabulous/always unattractive look of people in protective hats.

Old+Man+in+Sun+Hat2

Finally there are the family vacations, weddings, beach events with children, and all that comes with no school, and today’s sense that every event needs to be a happy experience and as perfect as possible. In 1958 we grabbed our swim suits, shorts and a fly swatter and hit the cabin or the beach bungalow. We kids played in the lake or in the water/beach and otherwise solved giant puzzles or read books/played cards in or outside.

Today’s vacations and family get-togethers seem to require a Ph.D. in psychology plus a tolerance for near constant chaos. Today’s family outing includes 6 to 12+ people, all with personal phones and other devices, sophisticated sports equipment, dietary restrictions, elaborate safety equipment and different desires to fit in play dates, learning something new, spa time, yoga, swimming, meditating or whatever else is key to someone’s personal well-being and happiness.

glamour-beach

This current state of affairs is no one’s fault – just life in the 21st century. We can attempt to tap down extremes, but we will never go back to the summers where the most excitement was catching fireflies in jars with a small hole in the top and everyone eating whatever was served at the same time with zero commentary.

We don’t want or need the good old days. But we do need to relax and put our noses into our Kindles or books and read some great literature or serious non-fiction (consider anything from Lynn Olson). As well as take quiet (or strenuous) walks in shaded parks when we can – and plan some special time with our friends. Essentially we need to “stay on our own yoga mats” as a spiritual friend calls minding our own business. Detaching is often a struggle but key to our retaining some fabulous feelings about ourselves and others in the summer fun.

Hopefully we don’t start panicking about “the holidays” looming too soon. It is still summer. Pass the sun block and keep on your earplugs.

Patty

mature woman sitting on rock watching sunset over sea

 

Are Keeping Times and Dates Hopelessly Old-fashioned?

Scene one: Summer 1955 – more than half of all Americans report going to religious services in the last 7 days. Sunday morning at the Gill household. Up for church early to also make sure we get a place on Jones Beach in Long Island by 9:30 AM. Wake up time? 6:30 AM.

loud ringing chrome alarm clock

Scene two: 1965 family event of any type – picnic, barbecue, birthday party, meeting cousins and aunt at swimming pool. Time the hostess has said to arrive: 2:00 PM. Time of our family of 4 arrives at event? 2:05 PM give or take 2 minutes.

Scene three: 1979 DDI International home office in Pittsburgh. Place fellow blogger Cathy and I met. Meeting start time: 11:15 AM. Time we all arrived for the meeting? 11:05-11:10 AM.

Scene four: 1989 – meeting friend for drinks at restaurant in midtown Manhattan – her job in CT mine in Westchester County, NY. Each roughly 1.5 hours away requiring several types of transportation. Time we are meeting: 6:00 PM. Time we each arrive? Between 5:55 PM and 6:05 PM.

strom-bar-copenhagen_55_660x440_201404232156

Now dear FabulousOver60 sisters – before you say what I think you are going to say: “Damn right we were on time – that is the way it was and always should be. We made commitments and we KEPT them”, let’s consider a few things.

True. But remember the culture and the lack of technology made it very difficult to change plans. Plans were made, set and done “in ink on the calendar”. Changing one’s mind would involve inconveniencing someone else and this was something that simply was not considered appropriate. Besides, how would this be accomplished? Multiple phone calls? Well that was tough to do. You made a plan you kept to the plan – only death (your own or someone VERY close) would allow you to not show up on time and ready for the planned work or play activity.

Enter people 50 and younger – gen X and Y. Planning, commitments and getting together have always been a bit more haphazard for them. Yes, dinner was at 6 – but sometimes 7 – and then sometimes it was take out. Parents got divorced, businesses went bankrupt, work was sometimes easy and other times impossible to find – the world was not as rules-conscious with clear expectations as the world we were raised in.

So it’s dinner time at their house – they suggested – 6ish. You arrive at their home/apt at 6:15 PM and someone might be in the shower or suggesting that something came up and we’re all going out to dinner. There is a plan to meet for lunch at a fun sushi place at 1 PM before the show. Text arrives at 12:45 PM – “confusion – not going to make it – meet you at show”. “We are coming Friday morning” – that would be anytime on Friday between 10 AM and 3 PM.

Before you say it: “Right Patty, they all are a bunch of selfish, selfie-taking rude people who don’t keep any commitments to anyone but themselves”. Let me suggest, that the reason younger people flow this way is because our current culture flows this way and has been breaking down formalities and rules for decades. Most of us loved changing the world back in 1964 and 1974. We just didn’t think it would change quite THIS MUCH. More equality for women – we are IN on that. Women acting as crude and stupid as only men used to do, actually doesn’t seem right to us.

The scenarios at the beginning of this post were NOT the rule for generation X or Y. Their parents/elders, us boomers, were not as rigid and demanding as our parents were. What we didn’t foresee was everything demanding complete obedience and conformity then; anyone can do anything anytime and that’s okay. We wanted to be treated with a little respect. Now no one treats anyone with any particular respect one way or the other – we don’t love it. We “got” rules – we just wanted them to be a bit more flexible, not completely thrown out the window.

Phones and other devices make it easy and without consequence to change one’s mind and plans – and do it without having to explain or talk to someone face to face. Hurting someone’s feelings – a great taboo for boomers, hasn’t been around for a LONG time though we hung on to it. Everyone is supposed to be OK with that. But many of us boomers do get hurt and do not get people’s comfort with every person for themselves. We envy (or detest?) younger people’s blasé way of handling the constant shuffling of agendas and the freedom to do/not do just what they want anytime they want.

If you are FabulousOver60, let me suggest you keep expecting compliance with times and dates from your contemporaries you really know well and who share your standards. But, realize even many boomers are getting used to ‘anything goes’ – don’t be surprised if your sister Susan doesn’t show up at your 49th anniversary party; or a new friend you just met at a charity event shows up an hour late for a cocktail party starting at 6:30 PM. There is an avalanche of all of us letting ourselves off the hook for anything and everything that is pretty frightening.

real_time_new_rules_021508

Yes, times HAVE changed and we have two choices (more but this post must end soon). Make plans only with those who share our style. Or realize, when we make plans with those not our style, (like daughters, sons, nieces and nephews, business acquaintances or new friends from a club or religious group) accept that the chances of plans changing is now near 85%-99%. Invest less in the plan so when it does change you are less disappointed. That’s a bit depressing I know, but in some ways who needed to do all the cleaning, planning and dusting for every guest who would cross our doors or to pick an outfit to wear weeks in advance? All this ‘anything goes’ isn’t perfect, but maybe we can start to take ourselves off our own hooks and go with the flow a bit more.

Not with me though – you say 11 on the 20th at a mutually convenient Starbucks, you better be there at 11. Somehow, I am not worried – we’ll both be there – dressed appropriately.

Patty

Please share this with people – we need to come to common ground!

An Open Letter To My Friend Patty: Get An iPad*!

I now own my second iPad. And you, my dear friend Patty, continue to tell me that you are thinking about buying one. If you make your purchase anytime soon, you will join the 250 million of us who have already purchased some version of the iPad since its introduction in April of 2010… a little over 5 years ago.

ipad

We are not affiliated with nor paid by Apple

Why spend money on an iPad, you tell me, when you have a laptop that is portable. Why learn another device, you say, when you are comfortable with your laptop. And, of course, you have an iPhone.

The truth is, I’ll admit that you don’t really need an iPad. It’s much more of a luxury than a necessity these days. It’s kind of “in-between” a laptop and a phone. But, there are still some reasons I think you should consider it.

I know you well enough to know that you travel a lot, and plan to travel more. You are a voracious reader – books, magazines, articles and newspapers. You work on your laptop computer for business purposes, but not as much as you used to. You keep up with the latest news and movie reviews. In short, you are a busy semi-retired vibrant intelligent up-to-date woman who is on the move a lot and deserves to have the best of all technologies. (Did that last sentence sway you?)

Here are some things that are nicer and easier for me with an iPad:

  • Traveling. It’s lighter than a laptop, has some really great cover options, and even has lightweight keyboards that can be attached to make email or blog writing easier in planes or hotel rooms. And I can watch videos or movies in those same planes and hotel rooms.
  • Reading books, emails and newspapers. I can access any reading material I want – anytime and anywhere. And the screen is large enough for my eyes. I can even adjust fonts and letter sizes. I prop it up next to me when I’m having breakfast and sometimes take it to bed with me. (Yes, I’ve seen the latest studies about electronic devices and their impact on sleep. Don’t judge me!!)

i2

  • Seeing the grandkids’ photos on Facebook. Yes, I can check my phone. But it’s just a lot clearer and more enjoyable to stalk the family on a larger screen while sitting out on my deck or at the dentist’s office.
  • Checking information when watching TV or movies at home. What is Pierce Brosnan’s net worth (I can dream, can’t I?) What is the name of that actress in that movie that was directed by that guy who was married to that woman? Critical things like that.
  • Watching videos that Ray doesn’t want to watch. Orange is the New Black, for example, isn’t anywhere on his radar. But I can stream it on my Netflix app, sitting or lounging anywhere around the house, while he listens to music streamed from his new Sonos app – conveniently located, of course, on his iPad.

So, what apps do I use most on my iPad? Facebook, certainly. But also Netflix, iBooks, Email, Google Earth, CNN Breaking News, The Weather Channel… and about 20 others from time to time. (The one I don’t use is FaceTime. It’s just too depressing to see my face that large on the screen!)

Yes, iPads aren’t cheap. Depending on the amount of memory you want and the Wi-Fi and phone data network options you choose, it will cost you between $500 and $1000. (You can get an iPad mini for around $400, but why would you?)

You’ll also need to spend a little money hiring a teenager to set it up for you**.

i3

Is an iPad a necessity? No. A luxury? Yes. But, as a fabulous woman, don’t you deserve luxury? Of course you do!

Think about it, girlfriend!

Cathy Green

* I think iPads are pretty cool, but there are other “tablets” to consider if you really want to complicate your purchase decision.

**As an alternative to the teenager, there is an iPad for Seniors Dummies book… which apparently is a more dumbed-down version of iPad for Dummies. Sad, huh?

*** We are not affiliated with nor paid by Apple

 

Simplify Your Life – Again!

We are currently in the process of selling our home in Pennsylvania. Naturally I keep noticing items that can and should be tossed or given away. Books are something all fabulousover60 women grew up with, often treasured, and still gain comfort from. For obvious reasons, most future home owners will have fewer books to toss. Hopefully they won’t instead have 1,000 out of date technology products to sort out that are as much prone to clutter and harder to pick up and reminisce about.

book.gadgets

While scanning the guest room for clutter, there it was – Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways To Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter by Elaine St. James. Copyright? 1994. I sat down and re-read the quick read considering how technology has impacted a number of suggestions, but happily realizing the vast majority of suggestions were still absolutely relevant.

41LTfAp9IvL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

I got curious. What happened to Elaine St. James, the rather glamorous former realtor turned “simple liver” who with her husband honed down her life and kept it simple. Simple in ways as varied as minimal clothing and shoes, healthy sensible food, many less obligations and friendships that added pressure but not grace to one’s life. From reading a NY Times article I figured out she is about 72 now. Hopefully she is still happy, healthy and living in Santa Barbara, California – which is a sensational place to be regardless of lifestyle.

Seems Elaine kept writing – all about various aspects of simplifying your life. Goodreads has 25 of her books listed – and on Amazon she has an author page with multiple books but no photo. Finally found a relatively current website that has a variety of authors and articles where an article she wrote and a photo were published.

It appears that she has come to a place where she is known through her work and not her current personal/professional life. She does not have a Facebook page nor is she on LinkedIn. Her position as the guru of living a simple, less fast-tracked life seems to have faded as many younger gurus and sites like The Frugal Cottage, Zen Habits.net and tidying guru Marie Kondo have their own fresh take on the “simple life” and are younger generations’ sources of seasoned wisdom and thought.

living

Though loving her book back in the 90s, I didn’t take much of her advice in my 40s and 50s. But I always thought about it in part because of Elaine St. James. Her work and my inner guide was always urging me to try scaling down and back in ways that made sense for me. I know that in the future there will be more loss, letting go, tossing out and honing down – some of which I won’t like. Some of which I will deal with more successfully because of Elaine’s work

I don’t think I need to read the new gurus of simplicity, though I can always learn something new. I think I got the message loud and clear from sitting in my guest room re-reading Elaine St. James’s book. The packaging changes, the essence of truth doesn’t.

Let’s hope our younger friends, children, relatives, and sister citizens are reading today’s simplicity gurus – and it is OK if they ignore most of their outstanding advice as we obviously did. When they get to be fabulous over 60 they’ll have memories and reminders of having heard and seen from newer gurus how to address shared issues of living: slowing down, making choices, and doing/buying only what is truly important.

I am hoping to run into Elaine on a future visit to Santa Barbara. My sense is, that like most of us now, she won’t mind a few minute chat since she has smartly exited from social media madness leaving more time for face to face connection. What happened to Elaine St. James? What happened to us? She/we got older, wiser and are using the expertise she lived and wrote about. Good for her. Good for us.

Downtown Santa Barbara

Downtown Santa Barbara

Patty

 

In The 50’s, Crackers Were Saltines

While shopping for crackers to accompany a cheese and charcuterie* platter for guests, I was reminded just how many choices we have these days – especially compared to the 1950’s.

Crackers back then were saltines. Remember?

saltines

Not anymore. Since I knew that there would be gluten-frees and wheat-frees at our party (and some lactose-frees, too, no doubt), I thought that shopping at the local gourmet market would be my best bet.

There were 10 shelves of crackers. The choices were overwhelming. Should I buy wheat or rice or sesame or organic or whole grain vegan crackers? Should some of them be gluten-free or wheat-free or grain-free? How about multi-grain, 8-grain, 5-grain, rye, flaxseed, pepper, sea salt, almond flour, asagio cheese, cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese crackers? And, would any non-dieters eat the jalapeno macaroni and cheese crackers?

This headache-inducing exercise in choice made me realize how much easier and faster it must have been for my parents to shop for food in the 50’s. My mother was a terrible cook (see my previous blog post about this subject). My dad would do the grocery shopping using her list. He would buy what she wanted, but would always return with other things, too. In retrospect, it was probably his way of making sure there was something edible in the house at all times.

Here are some of the things I remember about eating at home in the 50’s:

  • There was no such thing as pasta. We ate spaghetti. Covered with red sauce from a jar.
  • Meatloaf and pork chops were weekly staples. Served with mashed potatoes and gravy and succotash (corn and lima beans). Mom would throw in another “healthy” starch once in a while just to jazz up the meal.
  • Pizza was from a box. Pre-made dough, red sauce and parmesan cheese in little packets. (I looked it up. Pizza Hut wasn’t around until 1958 and even then, my parents seemed to have missed it).
  • My dad didn’t like salads. End of story.
  • Yogurt wasn’t invented yet. Or, at least, we didn’t know anything about it.
  • Chicken was always fried. Actually, deep fried. (Just writing this reminds me of that greasy oil smell in the kitchen that lingered for days).

fryer

  • Speaking of oil, there was no palm, sunflower, avocado, sesame, coconut or extra virgin olive oil in our house. Mom used Wesson.
  • Bread was white. Sliced and packaged in plastic. White bread went into everything (like turkey stuffing at Thanksgiving) and could be served with anything (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on two pieces of white bread served as my lunch in grade school and high school).
  • Breakfast was cereal and milk. Period. (Lactose intolerant? What was that?)
  • Fruit was either sliced pineapple or mixed fruit – both from cans in syrup.
  • “Pop” (sodas) all contained sugar. Coke was our favorite because it was so healthy according to the Coca-Cola Company’s ads.

coke a cola

Now that I think about it, I’m glad mom wasn’t a good cook. I would probably have weighed 400 pounds at my high school graduation.

Despite the occasional shopping frustrations, I like today’s choices – both the quantity and the quality of the food I can buy and the stores where I can buy them.

But I am trying to imagine what Dad would have done in one of today’s gourmet groceries with a list from my mom that included “crackers”.

Cathy Green

*Charcuterie … a fancy, French word for cold meats. I’m confident that this is a word no one in my family ever used in the 50’s.

 

On This Father’s Day: Things I Wish I Knew About My Dad

It has been 27 years since I’ve had a dad to call on Father’s Day. He was 60 when he died of a massive heart attack. I was 38 years old and at my home in Pittsburgh when I received the call from a neighbor telling me about the ambulance. An hour later, there was a call from my brother.

I was a career woman, traveling around the country and caring intensely about things that from my current over-60 vantage point don’t seem very important. I was shocked at his death. I was a daddy’s girl from an early age and couldn’t believe he would no longer be around for me.

daddys_girl_pic_2

I hadn’t seen him for awhile. I moved away when I was 21 and began my life in St. Louis, then on to Detroit, then Pittsburgh. I visited twice a year, and called every couple of weeks. My dad would always answer, we’d have a happy, short conversation and then he’d say “Here’s your mom”.

He grew up in a large family of 7 … the oldest child … with a strict German father. He did well in school, but didn’t go to college. He worked hard. He loved his mom. He was a good son. He thought people should make their own way in the world and had no use for “slackers” or those who looked for handouts. He had a great voice, sang in the church choir and in a barbershop quartet, worked as a savings and loan manager, had a hearty laugh, drank Manhattans, loved bratwurst, enjoyed Cincinnati Reds baseball games, cut the grass with his push mower, went to church every Sunday, fell asleep on the couch watching football and enjoyed his two packs of Pall Malls every day.

And, he loved his middle daughter who shared his love of the English language, enjoyed going to the symphony, sang in the children’s choir, did well in school and wanted to go to college. We even ate Limburger cheese together!

He was also a mystery to me. He didn’t like to talk about himself. When I was young I didn’t care, of course, since life was all about me anyway.

Now, I wish I had known him better. I wish I had learned more about what his childhood was like. I wish I knew if he was happy with the life he chose. I wish I knew more about his friends, his relationships with his brothers and sisters and his father, his time in the service and his choice of my mom. I don’t know if he would have answered my questions, but I wish I had asked.

Francis Joseph (“Joe”) Pille on a trip to Hawaii, 1983

Francis Joseph (“Joe”) Pille on a trip to Hawaii, 1983

But, growing up, we didn’t ask things like that in our family. Dad was dad and that was it.

Once, when we were talking on the phone and he was having a coughing spell, I asked him in frustration   “Dad, why don’t you quit smoking? It’s going to kill you!” I will always remember that he laughed and said …”Honey, everyone has to die of something!” And, he did.

Every Father’s Day, I wish I could call him.

Interestingly, I married a man much like my dad. He doesn’t share a lot of information about himself with his two daughters.

I hope they get to know him better… before they can’t.man

Cathy Green



The Best Present to Give Your Best Friends

When our friends turn 60, 65 – or 75 or 55 – we want to make sure whatever we give to them demonstrates not only love for them, but makes it clear we know them. Nothing ends a weak friendship or forced relationship quicker than a tacky, and/or off base gift that says “I have no idea who you really are and what you would really want.” Quick, list the worse present(s) you ever got on a holiday or your birthday?

No chance Cathy and I do not know each other, but getting “just the right thing” for our recent joint birthday celebration in Napa wasn’t easy.

https://margherita24.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/dsc_8443.jpg

After trial and some error and ideas that sounded great at first fizzled, it dawned on me that what I had NEVER given Cathy was a real list of the reasons she means so much to me. And, what I had also had never shared was all the many things/experiences I pray for or wish for her as time passes. Actually I started with the thought of sharing 65 things I love about her – it got complicated around 27 – HOW many more do I need to think of? Or, make up? After age 25 I would think this “great idea” wouldn’t be.

That led to my final birthday idea for Cathy’s 65th: a list of the 6 things I love most about her – and 5 things I most wish for her. Obviously this idea can be simply edited for nearly any birthday – but from our experience I would highly recommend you save it and use it for a really special birthday. Or for when you feel you need an intimacy injection in your relationship.

It was “a keeper” as Cathy described it. It was also insightful. I actually wasn’t sure what I was going to write till I tried working on the lists several times. Keeping it to 6 and 5 is harder than it seems – and reflecting on the unique aspects of our friendship gave me greater appreciation not just of Cathy – but for other friends as I discarded something that might better fit another relationship in my life – or just wasn’t “exactly right” for Cathy.

Friends are absolutely not interchangeable – and this exercise proved it. Friends are chosen with care from the dozens or thousands of people we “run into”, live near, go to school with, work with, are somehow related to, or otherwise encountered and then later chose to have stay in our lives. Why did we make this choice? That is what writing the list is all about – finding out and confirming the why her (or him) in the relationship.

Something very special happened after I gave Cathy this gift on our trip. She not only told me she loved it, but then weeks later surprised me by sending HER list of 6 things she loves most about me and her 5 wishes for me. I just cried. It is sitting on my desk and will be saved in my chest (no, I never had a “hope chest” – but I DO have a rather large chest that I keep special memories, photos, cards, trip and other information in).

FullSizeRender

All relationships we cherish should be handled with care. They deepen and grow with good communication and wither from misunderstandings and neglect. No secret there. Taking time to actually write down what we love about someone, or about what we wish for them, provides us a rare opportunity to tune in to the best in others. It also answers that question many fabulousover60 women have asked themselves.

Do I love Barbara just because she says I look great in everything, never reveals a secret or because she makes the best margaritas? Don’t keep it a secret anymore. Oh and be prepared to be surprised – when someone tells you about a trait that they love about you and you hadn’t even considered as valuable, you will feel a sweet calm and happiness that can only be described as utterly fabulous.

Patty

Blogging For Fun or Blogging For Money?

Last week, my blogging partner Patty and I decided that we aren’t interested in making a million dollars from this blog site. In fact, we aren’t even going to shoot for a few thousand or a few hundred dollars. Why?

Well, to be perfectly honest, a million dollars would turn our heads. But when we checked into the “blogging for money” issue, we realized that making money is a lot of work! More importantly, it doesn’t match our reasons for having the site.

ways-to-make-money-blogging

If you’ve read “Creating Fabulous over 60” you know that the idea came from a discussion we had on an annual spa trip a few years ago about the good, bad and ugly of being over 60. We thought – and still do – that the 60’s are a very interesting time for women and that sharing some of our thoughts, stories, ideas and complaints would be fun for us and might be interesting and maybe even helpful to some other over-60’s.

We started Fabulous Over 60 as “…a place online to share and discuss being in our 60s and wanting to create and maintain terrific lives…. We welcome all women who see themselves as fabulous, or who just want to dish with other smart, strong women who have a sense of proportion and humor.”

Our first blog was in September of 2012. For a couple of years, we posted pieces whenever we felt like it and sent them out to relatives and friends, some of whom sent them to their friends. Some women even found us on their own as they searched for sites like ours. Then a year or so ago, we began posting them – and occasionally other information or links – on our own Facebook page. More people found us there and our number of readers every week has gone up. We now post something every week.

Do we have thousands of readers? No. But we do seem to have a growing number of “likes” on Facebook and more regular followers on our site.

images

As we began to post on Facebook, however, we received a couple of inquiries about whether we would be willing to endorse products. Then, we started to get more.

Most recently, a body lotion company sent us samples of their product and suggested that we might want to mention it in a blog. They were also willing, they said, to provide giveaways to our readers.

Patty and I did some research. If we wanted to make money with our site, it would first require that we get many, many more followers. We’d have to work the site like a real business – investing lots of time in reading and commenting on other blogs/websites while also investing even more time in our own site’s content.

Then, we could pay Google to find advertisers, and pay Facebook to advertise our blogs more widely. And, when we built a huge follower base, we’d need to negotiate directly with advertisers or develop our own products –the two most lucrative options.

This is what we decided:

  • We don’t want to endorse things we don’t believe in, whether in exchange for samples, giveaways or money.
  • We are doing this for fun and enjoy having some “likes” every week and hearing from some of our friends.
  • We enjoy sharing our over-60 journey with others, both friends and strangers, and reading their interesting comments and personal stories
  • We like learning about each other. The site has brought us closer together.
  • We both like to write and the site provides us with the discipline to do it.
  • We don’t want the site to be a “job”, so when we don’t want to do it anymore, we won’t.
  • We will continue to mention products, places and services in our blogs when we really like them and want to share them with our readers. But, when we do, we won’t be taking any money for those mentions.

bffun

And, if we ever do decide we want to make money, we’ll come up with our own product(s). Fabulous Over 60 Age-Defying Body Lotion, anyone?

Cathy Green

 

OUCH LESSONS: Learning when to say “no” when you’re over 60

Scene one: spa trip, time to exercise, chose step dancing class – average age of participant: 27-30.

The music starts, the instructor goes over the basic foot motions and body motions, and we all are dancing along to the beat.

DSC02739

The beat picks up and then picks up some more. The whole process speeds up and each of us focus to speed ourselves up.

I miss the step, go down hard on my foot, twist it badly and spend the rest of the spa trip putting ice on my foot and limping to diet meals, skipping exercise I could have enjoyed.

Scene two: “Giggleberry fair”. Just like it sounds – play area with a decibel count of 500 filled with toddlers to 10 year-olds. Games, rides and “magic mountain” – up to the ceiling, rope and netting obstacle course for children with lots of twists, odd levels, plastic obstacles, slides, squeezing through tight spaces, dead ends and mirrors designed to confuse…

Giggleberry Fair

Giggleberry Fair

My granddaughters, 9 and 6, want me to go with them to the top. I agreed to do so – why not? I am a YOUNG 65.

9 days later the pinched nerve I got hitting my arm and shoulder somewhere up the mountain still hurts making it hard to type this.

Now to “the ouch lessons”.

  1. If it isn’t designed for people vaguely your age, skip it. Exception is the 92 year old woman who just ran a marathon.
  2. Just because you look young, feel young, and used to do lots of physical things does not mean you can run, jump and carry on like a 9 year old – or a 27 year old.
  3. It is once again time to learn to say no to a new set of things that haven’t come up before – and that doesn’t mean we are old or not fabulous.

How-to-say-no

The time one loses recovering from things not worth doing in the first place is the biggest lesson. That time needs to be spent doing just the things that one has analyzed are important, valuable and basically safe.

Once more I got caught up in what others wanted (like my darling grandgirls) or what I thought made me still very youthful (joining a class where no one was near my age) rather than being comfortable enough in my own skin to say the hardest word for many of us to say: “NO”.

Many of us struggled with saying no to friends, family, civic and volunteer associations as well as bosses and clients. Now some of us still struggle with new areas where we need to say no. We fabulousover60 women must start keeping promises to ourselves to truly put ourselves first – because our wisdom development demands it. Wisdom development means adopting beliefs like this one: the ability to give starts with giving to oneself.

While many fabulous women have long ago learned this critical lesson, I needed ouch lessons to get it and believe it. Hopefully you haven’t hurt yourself learning this same lesson. It feels good to finally get somewhere with the “no” issue – will feel even better when my neck stops hurting.

Patty



A Perfectionist Tackles The “Game” of Golf

I never wanted to play golf.

No one in my immediate family played, or even mentioned golf when I was growing up. I didn’t have any friends in high school or college who played. I tried it once in my early 20’s and concluded that it took too long to play, I didn’t like men scowling at me on the course, and the clothes and shoes were not flattering.

And then one day a few years ago, as my husband and I were beginning to take more time off from the business and could envision the possibility of retirement at some point he said: Why don’t you take golf lessons so we can play together when we move to Asheville?

I told him I’d think about it and then promptly decided not to think about it. But a good friend, who is also a psychologist, told me that I might want to consider Ray’s suggestion in another way. How many men, he said, invite their spouses into their lives this way? I had to admit that I didn’t know many.

So, I decided to give it a try.

Did I mention that I’m a perfectionist?

prince-golf-course

My first lesson on the driving range didn’t go well. I kept missing the ball, no matter how big the golf club head was. I was sure the guys around me were laughing and hoping they never had to play behind me on a course.

Keep your head down, the golf pro said. Down where? Keep your body still but twist your hips, he said. Huh?

Somehow, because of or despite those directions, I finally managed to hit the ball – or more accurately, I hit the ground behind the ball which caused the ball to dribble a few feet. By the end of the hour, I was hitting the ball about half the time and knocking it erratically but at least a little further.

My second lesson was better. I seemed to be getting the “swing” of it and I actually hit the ball 50 yards or so a couple of times.

Ray thought I was ready to play. On a real course.

Will there be any players behind us, I asked. Yes, that’s the way it works, he said. Men? He gave me one of those “of course, darling” looks. But don’t worry, he continued encouragingly, we’ll just pick up your ball and move it along with us on the cart, OK?

Riding around in the cart with my ball – that sounded like something fun to do for 4 hours.

golf1

Let me digress a little. Ray played on a college golf team, but only played occasionally throughout his business career. He once lived on a golf course, though, so I figured he knew everything there was to know about golf and that he had learned everything needed to pick up the game where he left off.

During our first game together, I moved my ball along many, many times in the cart, lost at least 5 balls in the woods or the water, scowled back at the guys behind us and kept tugging on my ridiculous golf “skort” – an item of clothing that should never be sold in any size over 4.

Ray seemed to be playing well, although I was a little surprised that some of his shots weren’t all that straight and some didn’t go very far. Was I interfering with his game, I wondered?

And then he hit an incredible drive. It sailed through the air, maybe 200 yards, perfectly straight – a thing of beauty! And, before I could censor myself, I said…

Why don’t you hit it like that every time?

I knew right away that this was not an appropriate response to his great shot. He scowled in silence. But then he seemed to realize that I had actually made this remark in total sincerity. I really thought that once you learned the game of golf, you would be able to hit the ball well – every time!

Cathy, he said, if I hit the ball like that consistently, our lives would be much different. I would be on the road with the Senior PGA Championship Tour and we would be friends with people like Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer! (I had actually heard of some of those guys).

flr_seniorpga

Point well taken.

I have now been “playing” this game of golf for a few years. Not often and not well. I threaten to quit every third time I play. I have learned not to make remarks about others’ shots. I occasionally still miss the ball, but if I can get away with it, I pretend it was a practice shot.

I’ve taken many more lessons from many more pros: Keep your head down; keep your head still; place the ball closer to your left foot; twist your body; make sure your belly-button ends up where you want the ball to go; use your shoulders when you putt; chip without bending your wrists; keep your arm straight on the backswing; follow-through; keep your weight on your left foot; don’t sway; lead with your left hand… and on and on and on. I write everything down and usually forget what it means.

But occasionally, just occasionally, I hit a shot that is incredible, if I have to say so myself. The club hits the ball with a solid “thwack”, it soars through the air and lands perfectly in the middle of the fairway and I am close enough to the green that I might actually feel good enough about this hole to put a score on the scorecard. I’ve even been known to pump my arm like Tiger Woods. And, when I make one of those shots, I’m hooked enough to schedule another round with Ray.

tw

I can’t say I’ve learned to love golf, but the perfectionist in me continues to think that it will “click” one of these days. Who knows? Maybe it will. Most likely, it won’t.

And the clothes? I still don’t like them.

Cathy

p.s. The other day, Ray and I attended a woman’s professional golf tour. As one of the golfers walked up to the tee, Ray whispered … you would look good in that skirt. I stared at him. Did he really mean the silky, form-fitting, short, pink polka-dot golf skirt that was being worn by a tall, thin and athletic 21-year old? He smiled at me and I realized he meant it! I decided to keep my mouth shut. It’s nice to know that he thinks it could be true.

Cathy - May 2015

Cathy – May 2015


%d bloggers like this: