You Only Leave Once

I was out visiting my sister having some very fun alone sister time. While sitting having coffee on her back porch, paging through The Kansas City Star, this ad “appeared”. Actually, I hadn’t thought much at all that I will “only leave once”, as my life is rather focused figuring out how to live, love, learn and leave a legacy – or at least be more fabulous and a better life coach.

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Maggie Newcomer (no you cannot make this up) is the Licensed Funeral Director who will help you at AraCremation to plan ahead for that one special exit — they have actually trademarked the saying “You only leave once”. Somehow I started laughing and couldn’t stop.

People are geniuses at marketing aren’t they? Any and all troubles, thought about or imagined issues, seem to have great ready-made solutions. Except when you reach your 60s, you know it isn’t so. New comfortable but glamorous shoes, lip wrinkle eraser, the new clutter catcher for between your car seats, an additional grandchild, or tickets to your favorite band from the 70s, (see Cathy’s piece on this one) may ease some disappointments in life — but life still hurts and does so in some fresh new ways as you age.

Actually I do find that my friends and other fabulousover60 women are more than realistic about what is ahead and what is before us. We are a generation of planners, doers, and organizers. We were the first generation who went from hiding it all from the neighbors to shouting we are WHATEVER and PROUD OF IT. We relish reality and are shocked by the unevolved among us still not taking personal responsibility for their life.

We are all a little bit of Oprah, Dr. Phil, Martha Beck, Justice Sotomayor, the Pope, and Abraham Lincoln — many of us have read more self help/self love books and articles than any sane person should. We are not going to go out like our folks – in denial. We emptied their houses held on to too long, and swore we weren’t doing that to our family/friends when we pass away. We are not denying reality. We are on top of it.

But the thing is this: while we are better psychologically prepared for aging, many are still sad it is happening. We are doing it differently, but it is still happening — which is conversely funny and absolutely terrifying. I think the best thing we can do for each other is to “be real” as we started to say back in the 1970s. We need to step up and recognize, support and listen to each others freak-out stories about aging. Recognize how upsetting our friend found visiting her fast fading cousin in hospice and agree it was a nightmare. Recognize and admit to being ambivalent and understanding about what life will be like for a friend, without a spouse, a best friend, or beloved pet. Recognize that more “little falls and accidents” go with the territory as do going to more funerals than weddings.

Being present and supportive to/for each other is the bandage and ointment we need to get back to laughing, enjoying the great things about aging (wisdom and acceptance) – and if we work at it – serenity. Fabulous women know how be totally realistic and yet believe in the magic of life. After all, we have always known from our parents’ generation “we only live once,” but we now know from today’s marketing geniuses and The Kansas City Star “we only leave once” too!!

Patty Gill Webber

 

Meet Debbie Wemyss

Note: We receive no compensation or commission from any women we introduce to you through Fabulous. These posts are based on one to one interviews with the individual woman, shaped into a blog post by Patty and/or Cathy, and fact checked by the woman being interviewed.

Cathy and I keep meeting fabulousover60 women. We have decided to start a new blog topic — meeting peers, friends, new contacts, family members, school mates — anyone who strikes us as having things to say to our readers and ourselves. We are hopeful this new feature will inspire and inform you. Contact us if you or someone you know would be a great candidate for a “meet blog”. Click here to contact us about suggested person.

Describe your passion and share why it is so important to you right now in your life?

Debbie’s current successful and growing business is just over 3 years old. Her focus? Helping people use LinkedIn successfully. She sees her business as a continuation of who she was and still is — a person who loves to help others. Raised by non-profit executives, and a non-profit executive herself, Debbie’s business sprung from necessity and has flourished because she has found a need in the changing world, and is filling it. With the force of her strong, straight forward personality, her tight, strategic focus on a genuine need people will pay for, and with professionalism honed from years of working and striving, Debbie is Fabulous.

Finding herself “downsized” at 57 — at the height of the great recession–for the first time ever from her highly successful non-profit career with two children to put through college, Debbie’s first steps were to keep trying to re-enter her own field. With glowing work reviews, wonderful references and a “contact list” the envy of many non-profit executives, and over 300 resumes to every possible connection/option, Debbie realized the workplace had dramatically changed and she had to change with it to survive.

Debbie decided to use her great learning skills and dive into understanding social media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube – the big four – became her passion. Carefully studying, self educating herself and keeping her positive focus she soon realized that although all four were intriguing and important, she chose the number one business site in the world – LinkedIn – and began to focus.

Always a proficient networker Debbie went back to her involvement with Career Source where she was part of an ongoing monthly support group of senior executives trying to find work. While she couldn’t get permission to conduct a workshop on LinkedIn, she started, with the encouragement of others, to help people with their LinkedIn job search efforts. She soon began to see many had a real interest in the skills she had acquired. Her business began there — with job seekers and helping them use LinkedIn effectively to land interviews.

In the 3 years since founding DW Consulting Solutions she has serviced over 450 people in 7 countries — and is busier than ever. As a startup coaching job seekers, Debbie now works with corporations and thriving enterprises as well as individuals. She has recently added some people to help support her growing business. Seeing LinkedIn as the “yellow pages of the times”, she has an excitement, passion and desire to help others use the site to their advantage professionally. With over 5.3 billion searches done on LinkedIn in 2013, she sees no stopping the juggernaut that now has over 300 million users.

What lessons have you learned and want to share with other fabuloussover60 women?

Organized as I have come to expect, Debbie had her sharp answer ready.

She ticked them off:

1. Decide. While it might seem it would get easier to make decisions as we age, for many of us it is harder than ever. But deciding is the factor that starts the whole process moving forward. Deciding to do something — anything, is critically important to moving forward in your 60s. Debbie decided to skip listening to any naysayers, to not worry about being over 60 and just keep moving forward.

2. Be focused. You have to take risks that matter — and do it with caution but faith. Stay the course you have selected for yourself and don’t allow distractions to get you off track.

3. Be persistent. Believe in yourself and the path you have chosen. Whatever that path is, stick with it.

What has been your biggest/best or worse surprise since turning 60?

Turning philosophical Debbie shared her “ah ha” moments of looking at photos of herself and her friends and thinking: “yes, we are aging” and “yes, life is short”. And, having the realization we all seem to be having of learning about one or another friend with one or another illnesses or sudden passing drives home the fact that we’re not getting any younger.

Taking these “newly sensed” insights, she began to feel that there was “no time to waste” and if she wanted to do, to see, or to be something the time was and is now.

What makes you feel fabulousover60?

Loving my life right now. Living in the present and moving forward knowing time is short so I better be enjoying it. Debbie also cited the freedom of doing what she wants, when she wants taking full accountability for the results but knowing corrections can be made swiftly because she is at the helm.

Favorite movie, book or other suggestions to share?

Debbie sees her new work and passion bringing all sorts of personal as well as professional opportunities to her life. She hasn’t seen it but looks forward to getting a laugh from “new/old” love with the Diane Keaton/Michael Douglas romance ‘And So It Goes’ in theaters this summer.

Debbie didn’t hesitate for a moment when making a book recommendation: Reid Hoffman’s (co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn) The Start-up of YOU.  She has read it multiple times. It’s now on my list.

Final thoughts.

I met Debbie through an online seminar she gave for a business partner of mine. Blown away by her enormous drive, precise information and on-target help with LinkedIn I hired her shortly after to help with my own LinkedIn presence. Impressive, warm, sharp and determined, I am thrilled to have met Debbie Wemyss and to have added her to my professional and personal contacts. Not many people can start a successful business near 60 — but Debbie shows it can be done — by being true to herself and working like crazy.

Contact info:
Debbie Wemyss (weemz)
Independent LinkedIn Specialist
DW Consulting Solutions
debbie@dwconsultingsolutions.com

 

 

The 70’s Rock Concert That Didn’t Rock

By Cathy Green (With contributions from guest blogger and concert attendee, Ginny Callaway)

Here’s the scene:

Two couples. All four of us in our 60’s. Feeling good. Going to a Three Dog Night concert under the stars at the Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC. Reserved seats, only 6 rows from the stage.

Here’s what we expected:

We’ll have dinner at a nearby restaurant at 5:30pm, park close to the concert venue, get a glass of wine and find our great up-front and personal seats.

The concert will start at 8:00pm sharp.  We’ll hear our favorite TDN songs from the 70’s … Celebrate, Joy to the World, Easy to be Hard and many, many more. We’ll feel like young 20-something’s again. We’ll stand up, we’ll clap and, with other members of our peace, love and rock and roll generation, cheer until we bring the guys back for an encore. We’ll have smiles on our faces as we exit the concert, we’ll catch the bus to the parking lot talking about the great music we just heard, and we’ll all be home no later than 11:00pm.  A perfect night!

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Here’s what really happened:

Dinner was great, but we made the mistake of telling our young waitress that we were on our way to a Three Dog Night concert.  “Oh, I’ve never heard of them” she said sweetly. Our first feeling old moment.

Although we were “sure” that we had timed our entrance to the concert perfectly, we were directed to the furthest lot where we parked and got on a bus to take us to the stage area. During the 20 minute ride, we began to discuss skipping the encore so that we could get out of there more quickly. Our second feeling old moment.

Walking to the concert from the bus, we all had to go to the bathroom even though we had recently used the facilities at the restaurant. Of course, the restrooms were about a mile away in the opposite direction from our seats. Nothing closer, we asked?  Our third feeling old moment.

The weather forecast called for a chilly night. Although the temperature never dropped below 75, we were prepared with long pants, jackets, scarves and gloves packed in shoulder bags. All around us, younger women wore cute sleeveless tops and long flowing skirts and young guys wore shorts. Our fourth feeling old moment.

Although there were many people in long lines buying drinks, we had had our drink at the restaurant so it was bottled water for us. Yes, bottled water at a rock concert. Our fifth feeling old moment.

And… then it happened.  There was an opening act, a southern rock and roll band. They began playing. Actually, they began screaming. In the sixth row, the sound was overpowering.  Three of us quickly stuffed plugs in our ears (Ray refused to look quite that old). The music was still loud, and now totally distorted.

We lasted in our seats about 30 minutes and then walked to the back of the venue, behind all of the reserved seats, to stand with people who had paid less than half what we paid for our tickets and who seemed to be there primarily to drink beer and talk.

We knew only one of the songs these opening act guys sang … but they sang for a full hour and a half. We impatiently waited for them to stop (three encores) and when they did the roadies began a 30 minute stage re-set.  We realized that the earliest that Three Dog Night would begin to play was 10:45. We quickly calculated that we wouldn’t be home until well after midnight. And, we all had to go to the bathroom again.

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That’s when we looked at each other and had our final, ultimate feeling old moment. Want to leave?

That’s right, we left BEFORE THREE DOG NIGHT PERFORMED!

We were the only ones on the bus riding back to the parking lot, which was a good thing since our ears were ringing. Once in the car, we found a fast route to the exit and were home by 10:45 … about the time Three Dog Night was beginning its set.

We learned some lessons that night:

1.) Two rock bands means a very long concert night for older music fans.

2.) Sitting up front at a rock concert is for younger people.

3.) Mentioning a 70’s band to a young waitress is not something you should do if you want to feel good about yourself.

And….

4.) Getting a good night’s sleep is at least some consolation for missing a concert.

 

Cathy Green

 

I Hate Bras

This piece was submitted by guest blogger Ginny Callaway. Send us your story or short article and we’ll contact you if it works as a guest blog. Click here to share.

Let me get that out of the way first thing.

I hate bras.

The first thing I do every day when I get home is take my bra off.

When I was in fifth grade, I was tall and very thin. Although I had already become a woman, I had no signs of physical maturity. All the places that would eventually become hairy were still smooth and my chest looked the same as it did when I was six.

Classmates were blossoming and budding, adding a rounded shape to our tailored shirtwaist uniforms. My uniform hung straight down from my wide shoulders to my small waist. No protrusions whatsoever.

Helen was in the same shape. We decided we’d do something about it, even if we got busted.

One Saturday, Helen and I walked from her house to a small shop specializing in clothes for young girls. We casually wandered through the dresses, blouses, sweaters, not wanting to seem too obvious in our mission. Slowly, indifferently, we made our way to the area where the bras were. We looked at them for a minute or two before actually touching one. Our eyes fell on what was called a “training bra.” Perfect. That’s just what we needed. Something to bring the reluctant dark pink circles on our chest to life. A bra to train our breasts how to behave. Now we’re talking.

We did have one problem. We only had enough money for one bra and there were two of us. But we didn’t see that as a problem. Helen would wear it for one week and I would wear it for the next week. It might take a little longer to train our buds to blossom, but we had time. A deal was struck and a bra was bought.

And it worked! By the end of fifth grade, little bumps were forming.

Then the unspeakable happened. My mother wanted to take me shopping for bras. As she said, “To cover your little marbles.”  Oh God, spare me. What could be more embarrassing? Marbles, Mom? Of all the words to choose…geez.

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Off we went to Robinson’s department store in Pasadena. After a tête-à-tête with the sales lady, a sampling of bras appeared in a dressing room. I tried them on. Guess which one fit? The training bra. My marbles needed more training. Fine by me, just get me out of there.

By fifteen, my tatas did grow and I was able to fill an A cup and the top of a tiny bikini.

By twenty, I was a long-haired, tie-dyed hippie. I abandoned wearing a bra. I didn’t burn them, just shoved them to the back of my top dresser drawer.

It wasn’t until I became pregnant that bras re-entered the picture. These were not training bras or petite A cup lingerie items with delicate pink flowers. These were honking garments complete with three rows of hooks in the back, inch-wide straps and drop down front doors. I don’t remember if those bras had cups sizes. Let’s just size I was now wearing size huge.

As I grew older, bras came and went in my life. As I aged, my body went from lithe to luscious, or more accurately, post-menopausal fat.

My boobs grew with me. These days, at 65, I go to the gym three times a week and horseback ride twice a week. I need a bra. But finding one with straps that don’t end up three inches off my shoulders in five minutes or squeeze my chest with military-grade wire is impossible.

So, Ladies, let me hear from you. Do you have THE bra that meets the above demands? I need your support.

- Ginny Callaway, Fabulous Over 60 Reader/Guest Blogger

Trying New Things … My Turn

In her recent Trying New Things article, Patty challenged me and other readers to come up with three to six new things we’ve tried over the past 12 months.

What a depressing task! After wracking my brain for two weeks, I’ve come to the realization that I haven’t done many NEW things at all! And, what I have done doesn’t seem very interesting.

However, in the spirit of accepting her challenge, here goes:

1.) I’ve tried a couple of new looks in clothes. I have been a “boring black” kind of person for a long time. Black pants, black jackets, black skirts, black dresses … occasionally brightened up with a colorful tank or multicolored jacket. Why? I was/am convinced that black makes me look thinner. The last straw was when a woman friend, who toured my new closet, said “Wow, you’ve really got a lot of black stuff!” So, I made some changes this year. I have three pair of white pants (which I wear with black tops, of course), I bought a yellow outfit (yellow pants and yellow/green blouse) and I’ve livened up my tank tops and scarves with greens, purples and bright blues. I also did the ankle-length pants thing this year (only with high heels, ladies!) – I resisted that trend for so long that it will probably go quickly go out of fashion now that I am on board.

pants2.) I’ve upgraded my home computer to a Hewlett-Packard with a really cool, huge touch screen. Since I write a lot, this works for me, even though the younger generation is going in the opposite direction … smaller and smaller screens. I also found a couple of apps that work very well.   One is Dashlane – a site that captures all of my passwords AND auto-fills them when I visit the websites stored there. It even auto-fills my shipping and billing addresses and credit card numbers. As Ray likes to tell people, his wife can now buy things from Amazon in less than 2 ½ seconds! (Check it out… you come up with one overall password to remember and the site remembers all of the others for you. At this age, everything helps.)

3.) I tried a new brand of contact lenses after sticking with a brand for over 10 years that my ophthalmologist says is so antiquated that only two of his patients still use them. My new lenses last up to a month and they are supposedly better for my eyes since they let them breathe. I didn’t even know eyes could breathe. They are called Biofinity from CooperVision.

4.) I began blocking off every Wednesday afternoon for golf with Ray. Before I did that, I would commit to business calls or nail appointments. Now Wednesdays are sacred – except for next week’s hair appointment which, as I tried to tell Ray, is MANDATORY!

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5.) As an introvert, I don’t really enjoy interacting all that much with retail employees in places like stores, restaurants or movie theaters. This past year, however, I’ve worked harder to connect in some way just to prove to myself that it doesn’t hurt and can actually be kind of fun. (Patty, my extroverted friend, you will NOT understand this one at all!)

6.) I have begun writing down information about people I meet socially in a journal. I capture things like names of kids and grandkids, special interests, hometowns, and more.  Why? There are two main reasons:  #1. Ray and I can’t remember S***! And #2. See #1.

So, there you have it. The six new things I’ve done this past year. The six things it took me two weeks to come up with.

I’ve decided that my next 12 months are going to be a little more exciting. Here’s a website I found to give me some inspiration – Live Bold and Bloom. A blog post on their site outlines 26 ways to make your life more exciting.

Right now, I’m torn between skydiving and rearranging my furniture. I’ll keep you posted.

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Cathy Green

He’s Hot, We’re Not

Went to a Broadway show with a close friend about a week ago. We took the train into what those of us in the tri-state area around NYC call “the city”. Neither of us had seen Broadway productions recently so we thought we would go down, stand on the half-price ticket line (yes, that is where there was a bus crash recently) and have some time to wander and have a great lunch — all of which we did.

Here are some thoughts about the adventure:

  • Women friends, real friends cannot stop talking with and to each other. If you can’t make conversation with someone at this point – skip getting together – you have more than enough to say to those you love. The exception? A NEW friend — someone you really do not even know yet but who attracts you in your heart or gut.
  • One on one trips/adventures are the best and easiest. Only two people adjusting to each other is a dream — especially since both Dona and I are old codependent girls from WAY back. If you have no clue about the term co-dependent, you weren’t paying attention in the 70s and 80s — go back and take a look at the famous Codependent No More. Of course we have “worked on” ourselves, but we still say “no, you choose” forever back and forth.

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  • The Broadway TKTS place where you get half price tickets is great — but the lines are L-O-N-G and it takes time. If you want to see a 2PM matinee do get there at 9:30 or 10AM – you’ll have tickets by 11 or so and can relax and have a leisurely lunch before the show. Getting there at 11:30 makes it tight — and why do something that close to the wire? It made great sense with two jobs, doing most of the housework, kids, older parents, volunteer work and going to the gym every day — at this point, rushing like crazy is crazy in itself.
  • There is a reason Broadway shows are forever famous and fun — they are the top — even if the story isn’t the greatest the acting and/or the singing is usually over the top. We saw Violet - a revival from the late 90s neither of us had seen. The singing, the show itself were riveting. We loved it!! Sorry – it closes or closed August 10th.

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  • The setting was 1964 in the south — you can already get the point — we both noticed the audience of mostly under 40s didn’t seem to get the gasps supposedly related to the interracial couple – thank God.

But here is something that really hit me/us. The story had three main characters – all young and great looking (under 30) – in a love triangle. The young guys to Dona and I were gorgeous — we found ourselves lusting for them in our hearts (yes, it was stupid when Jimmy Carter said it or supposedly said it and it is equally idiotic now).

Or, to put it another way, we realized that there really is no replacement for youth in that aspect of life — the energy, the exuberance, the passion, the promise — oh this is too depressing. The point of this blog post is of course treasuring your friends and planning fun outings with them (ho hum) — but still, it hurt a tiny bit that love triangles – especially with under 30 men – are not likely in our future. Yes, they are hot, and we are not. Happy, but not hot.

Women-talking

 

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Get Out of Your Comfort Zone – But Don’t Zone Out!

Cathy and I have been exploring “trying new things” in a number of our last blogs. Cathy’s attempt to grab Prince George’s birthday as a way to share about HER year and plans for the next was an example. For us over-60s success is about not just getting out of our comfort zones but trying not to zone out.

Are you bored (or more freaked out) by funeral services? At this point they are more common than weddings — a bad sign I fear.

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Do your grandchildren grate on your nerves or seem mundane and uninteresting sometimes even though (of course) you adore them?

Do you find yourself trying hard not to doze off at a concert, while reading a great book, or even when sex is discussed much less happens or is scheduled?

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Staying awake and fully aware is becoming more challenging. We are not zoning out because we don’t care, don’t want to be involved and excited and enriched by life and all the people, places and things in it, but just because it often seems like we’ve “been there, done that” or “heard that, seen that”. Sometimes I am finding that it is harder to WANT to tune in. And that bothers me even more.

With the ugly and terrifying news in Ukraine, Israel/Gaza, the southern US border it is tempting to totally tune out – what’s a fabulous woman to do?

Don’t confuse moving out of your comfort zone (good) with zoning out (mostly NOT good). Understanding significant current events is important—as a citizen of the world, your country and your local town. Just read news versus watching news if you are hyper sensitive—it’s a better way to digress information. And perhaps change the source of your news — go with the BBC instead of CNN. That gets you out of your comfort zone but not zoned out.

Try to bring different hearing and attention to what is going on by asking different questions than you typically do — “Carol, saw you reading the new Clinton book that is getting mixed reviews—what’s your take?” Take more chances in interactions with others — especially if you are often with the same people.

Refuse to do the following:

Thinking, or worse expressing that young people are this, that or the other — but certainly less than we are/were/or will be.

Assuming nothing interesting can happen when the people are the same — we’re all changing if we give each other some fresh air.

Letting yourself off the hook on every single thing with the “I’m tired” or “I don’t feel like it” generic wimp out.

You can stay awake — at least till 9:30 PM — if you stop staying in your own comfort zone and start allowing the strange, new and somewhat frightening things in the door. Whether it’s tasting octopus, meeting a new potential friend for coffee, or trying a unique volunteer opportunity—push yourself with love out of the usual.

Just started a 6 session telecourse with 150 people called Finding Your Way In a Wild New World by Martha Beck. This is for sure lighting a fire under my sense of who and what I can be and do moving forward. But you know I did find myself dozing a little half way through the first session and getting through the dozens of Facebook messages on our course’s closed group page.

Prince George Turns 1 and I Turn 64

OK… I’m shamelessly using this headline about Prince George in order to attract readers to our blog site. Everyone wants to know about Prince George turning 1. No one wants to know about me turning 64. And, of course these two things have nothing to do with one other, right? But, because I’ve gotten you to read this blog, I’ll make a connection a little later…

First…

I was shocked to hear that Prince George is turning 1. It seems like only a couple of months ago that we were bombarded (I mean thrilled) by everything having to do with the royal birth. People Magazine’s cover story this week screams … George Turns 1, Raising a Little Prince! Inside, incredible details about George’s past 12 months are presented in cute little bubbles, with the requisite 20 or so cute little photos.

(Yes, I read People Magazine. Please don’t judge me.)

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The article about the “perfectly adorable” Prince George provides details like the fact that he has travelled more than 32,000 miles to Mustique, Australia/New Zealand and Scotland. He has visited the zoo, participated in play dates and made new friends. And … so precious … he just started walking and is pictured accompanying his dad to a Father’s Day polo match.

What an event-filled life!

Are you ready for the connection?

This past year has gone by in a flash. What have I done with my 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days and 8,766 hours?

Here are the highlights:

  • I’ve gotten my teeth cleaned 3 times
  • I’ve had my hair cut and highlighted 8 times
  • I’ve played golf about 30 times (recording my score 0 times to avoid embarrassment)
  • I’ve written 24 blogs for this site
  • I’ve wrecked the car once
  • I’ve gained 2 pounds
  • I binge-watched 13 episodes of Orange is the New Black

Actually, it wasn’t quite as uneventful as it sounds. Like George, I have had some play dates with friends (including last month in Florida with my Fabulous Over 60 partner, Patty) and I traveled 924 miles to Maine last fall.

Writing this blog post, in addition to depressing me, is making me reconsider what I’m going to do with my next 12 months. I’d like to have a better story when Prince George’s 2nd birthday rolls around. Suggestions appreciated.

By the way, I already have plans to travel to the Turks and Caicos in September … 1,114 miles. The race is on, baby George!

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Cathy Green

July 17, 2014

Trying New Things

Getting out of our comfort zones gets harder every year. But the life coach in me gets crazy and starts admonishing myself to give new things a try. There are of course things, and things. Trying a new religion is hardly the same as giving up Essie’s Ballet Slippers as your favorite nail polish — but then again, we can get petty in older age if we are not careful turning nail polish (or whatever minor thing) into a major lifestyle issue.

Here are a few rather insignificant things I have tried this year — maybe they will amuse, motivate or amaze you. Start your own list to keep being fabulous. Yes, it can be a very short list. Go for 3 items. I did 6 so you would be motivated to take the next step. See this YouTube video on creating change — very interesting!

1. I never liked the way Spanx felt. Though of course the CEO is to be congratulated on her amazing journey to be the first self-made woman billionaire in the USA. Have tried and love the less expensive Heather Thomson “Yummie” items for keeping me trim.

2. Downloaded an app that really is simple and helpful — it is called The Vault. It keeps all usernames and passwords and other types of annoying but necessary rows of numbers or words so I can stop lamenting having to have them. Start the search for apps not by looking at lists of them, but writing down what drives you crazy – where is the nearest post office?  WHATEVER — trust me, there is an app for that! Apple and IBM are teaming up on apps now — got to be some great ones coming!

3. I cancelled plans to go to a family party due to an important shift in summer plans. I called and talked with the hostess. She lived. Most people constantly change plans — bet you know a few hundred. I don’t want to become a person who can’t be counted on by other fabulous women/men – most of whom believe if you make plans you keep to those plans — but commitment just for the sake of commitment sometimes just doesn’t make sense.

4. I have eliminated powder blush. If it’s been more than 2 years since you emptied the makeup drawer, take it all to a makeup counter of your choice (try a new one – just pick the woman or man who looks most patient) and decide with help what to keep, toss and otherwise change. Even if you do not want to spend large amounts on makeup, go at least once to a counter at a department store to learn — many of those women and men really do know what they are doing — although of course they are going to try to sell you. You are worth it and can use drug store brands once you learn what to do. Also see Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+

gloss book5. I stopped using my Kindle and went back to books while trying not to be embarrassed reading them anywhere but at home. Keeping my MacBook and iPhone but it only makes sense to carry a device like a Kindle or iPad to simplify reading – especially on trips. Am hoping to push myself to all digital magazines and newspapers. Not there yet but making progress.

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6. I no longer own a single suit. Anyone who hasn’t seen me in 5 years will not believe this and wonder what I did with the suits I owned (found them new younger homes). It was time not just to “weed out but to actually let go and re-create” some of my looks. Also I do keep weeding — I never buy something without letting something go in that same category.

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OK, your turn. Keep us posted!

 

 

 

My 2014 Half Year Insights

1.) Making a clear choice on what to do and what NOT to do is ABSOLUTELY working for me. I have considerably narrowed both the type and time of my work efforts. Something professional must be something I am passionate about (meaning it interests me and feels important enough to spend time doing) and that makes me happy – even if the effort brings little money or prestige. Am writing several blogs, doing one-on-one life coaching with selected and committed clients (my max is 5 at any given time) and creating online content to provide inexpensive but practical workplace advice. Narrowing my focus has helped with all aspects of my writing.  New, more specific goals for the second half of the year are in progress with a smaller number of projects.  Hurrah!

2.) The decision to read two pages of spiritual reading per night – one new, and one a repeat of the previous night’s reading (using Self-Meditation: 3,299 Mantras, Tips, Quotes and Koans for Peace and Serenity) – has made a concrete difference in my stress level and feelings of peace.

self medit book

3.) Ceasing to seek constant advice from outside sources when I clearly know the answer and just need to implement it: definitely an important lesson for me — AGAIN but sticking to it this time! Went back to Weight Watchers (this time online – which was easy, relatively, once I figured it out). Weighing myself weekly and attempting to keep cutting portion size helped me lose weight.

4.) Buying something really fabulous that I feel (however foolishly) is something classic and usable “forever” is good for my soul and helps me increase the stuff going OUT of my closet. That which is an essential task of being fabulous — if I haven’t worn it in a while and it isn’t my wedding dress – it goes. Am hoping to get rid of my wedding dress soon.

The “buy” was a pair of classic Chanel pumps on final clearance at Saks. I may fall down in them before they wear out/go out of style.

photo 2

5.) The decision to just go ahead and do a few things never done before or buy a different brand or type of product/service – and most importantly stop doing some things I know don’t work – have all proven to be smart choices. I exercised my “out of my comfort zone” muscles in both small and large ways — and appreciated the results — not all of which worked but were, at least, interesting.

6.) Keeping my close friends and close family as a priority – yet not feeling any specific obligation to do or attend any given event is a delicate and tough balance worth continually striving for. That combination is making for more fun, less guilt and helps to know who needs to be in (and who needs to be booted from) my/our inner circle.

This combined with constantly lowering my expectations of others (oh do try this if you haven’t already — a true winner strategy) while keeping my expectations of myself high (because that is who I am and how I define myself) is shaping my life to be more of what I want, what I feel truly comfortable with, and with much less feelings of hurt, disappointment or anger.

Hope you learned some lessons from your own experiences as well. Would love to hear about them.

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