Can You Hear Me Now? Apparently Not!

The verdict is in and my husband is vindicated. The doctor said that he is legally deaf in his left ear. (I, of course, gave my husband this information quite some time ago, but I guess he didn’t hear me.)

Because he is so thoughtful, my husband wanted me to have this news right away so that I would fully understand and respect his many requests to turn up the volume on the television. And, of course, to make sure I knew why he sometimes doesn’t answer when I talk to him.

That same doctor told me during my own annual visit that I have almost perfect hearing.

Last week, you told my husband that he’s deaf, remember?” A light bulb seemed to appear over the doctor’s head. “Oh, yeah… I guess that could be a little bit of a problem for the two of you, huh?”

He smiled.

I didn’t.

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My semi-deaf husband told me that the doctor said he could qualify for a hearing aid through our insurance, especially since the loss is at least partially due to a military service injury. “Hell, no!” he told the doctor. “I’m not going to get one of those things! I can live with it just the way it is!”

Hmm.

So, a wife with almost perfect hearing living with a husband who is at least 50% deaf … in our 60’s … spending more time together, overall healthy and looking at the possibility of another 20+ years of marital bliss.

Hmm.

According to the National Institute of Health’s website:

Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults… There is a strong relationship between age and hearing loss… 30 percent of adults 65-74 years old and 47 percent of adults 75 years old, or older, have a hearing impairment.

Men are more likely to experience hearing loss than women.

Hmm.

There is actually some good news about our TV volume dilemma. For some reason, several years ago my husband abdicated responsibility for the remote control to me. A few of my women friends, who report being driven to the brink of insanity, have husbands who won’t let go of the remote for any reason.

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But here’s our scenario. Husband and I agree on a program or movie to watch (that’s an entirely different dilemma). Then, I turn up the volume to a comfortable level for me… and immediately notch it up a few more numbers. If the volume is OK, I get a nod. If not, he says “turn it up a little more” and raises an index finger. That finger keeps stabbing the air until the level is where he wants it to be.

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Occasionally, I try to sneak the volume a little lower, especially during one of his favorite types of movies – obnoxiously loud shoot ‘em ups with guns, explosions and never-ending car chases. Very seldom do I get away with it. Instead, that finger starts stabbing the air again, and I raise the volume and cringe.

Because I love him, though, and because I would probably have a hard time finding another guy in his 60’s without some kind of hearing loss, I resist the urge to stab one of my fingers into the air.

Cathy Green

Before Feminism Was Mainstream: Sex Toys and Other Gutsy Stuff

When I think of handcuffs (which is very rare) my memory turns to westerns of my childhood rather than 50 Shades of Grey. Didn’t read it and skipped the poorly reviewed movie too. Although using sex toys have never been a focus of my relatively (it’s all relative right?) traditional sex history, can’t say I never held a vibrator.

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As you may know, I love reading obituaries.

Dell Williams, 92, founder of Eve’s Garden passed away March 11th. I admit it, I did not know of her work and/or cause till I read the obit.

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Dell Williams

After having a humiliating experience buying a vibrator at Macy’s, Ms. Williams left the store thinking “someone ought to open a store where a woman can buy one of these things without some kid asking her what she’s going to do with it”. Check out Eves Garden to see more about Ms. Williams and her boutique (not AT ALL sleazy by the way) she opened in 1974. Or don’t because this whole topic offends you. That is up to you, as it should be – no shame, just choice.

Choice, freedom and economic parity are at the core of the women’s movement. And feminism is going strong. Take a look at what some young bold feminists have done and are doing on Feministing. We see more and more young women jumping on board and reinventing feminism rather than dismissing it as something no longer needed or outdated. Loved this list of inventions by women I saw yesterday which made me wonder again how many other earlier successful women were undervalued.

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Via Buzzfeed: “Saving untold marriages over the last century and a half, the dishwasher was invented by Josephine Cochrane in 1887. She marketed her invention to hotel owners, scandalously going to meetings without a husband, brother, or father to escort her, and eventually opened her own factory.”

The World Economic Forum predicts women will reach leadership parity in 2095. But TakeTheLeadWomen.com is thinking more like 25 years. Both are daunting goals but more and more possible as more women (and men) focus on the cause.

I remember my college roommate Carolyn being mocked for being a feminist on our conservative catholic college campus in 1968. People wondered (yes, this is true) “who would marry her”? That you may recall was a fate worse than death. And yes, it makes me cringe to even think about that ridiculous “worry”.

We need to remind ourselves to thank all those women – from Dell Williams to my roommate Carolyn who were fabulous and gutsy way before feminism became mainstream and nearly universally acclaimed in cultures like ours. We wouldn’t be sending a hastag for equality (#25not95) any more than we would be talking openly (or not) about enjoying sex toys.

Progress for women hasn’t been smooth and often appears to be a losing battle given some still existing regressive views. But regardless of whether you like sex toys or not, let’s take a moment to thank Dell Williams, my college roommate, and thousands of unnamed super women of an earlier time who brought us closer to gender equality than we thought we’d see in our lifetimes.

Patty Gill Webber

Yikety Yak – Yikes – It’s The Yik Yak App!

More on the controversial smartphone app Yik Yak in a moment, but reading about it made me wonder if we shouldn’t bring back parents and grandparents who are not judgmental party poopers – but who are adults with knowledge and competence. Adults know some things that children do not because they are not mature enough, or able to understand and store it in their still developing brains.

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These adults can and SHOULD make some judgments and then insist on not “blind obedience” (sadly we had to deal with lots of that) but rather “compliance” – a word I like MUCH better and is both softer and more appropriate in the 21st century. These judgments need to be shared, not to be arbitrary, cruel or bossy two-shoes, but to protect young children and teens from their under-developed minds. That and the resulting stupid, inappropriate and cruel things they are capable of doing just because they are young.

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Enter Yik Yak.

From the NY Times: “Like Facebook or Twitter, Yik Yak is a social media network, only without user profiles. It does not sort messages according to friends or followers but by geographic location, or, in many cases by university … Think of it as a virtual community bulletin board … Much of the chatter is harmless. Some of it is not.”

“Yik Yak is the wild west of anonymous social apps, said Danielle Keats Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland and the author of “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace”.

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Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington, recent graduates of Furman University in South Carolina are the developers of the app which they intended to be democratic – giving everyone a chance to share even if they did not have many “friends” or “followers”. Sounds good — no fabulous women over 60 are down on democracy, but the iPhone and Android app, which is one of the most frequently downloaded in the Apple Store, seems to have created some very difficult and ugly situations for students, teachers, deans, and others on college campuses. Sadly, it is gaining ground in middle and high schools too.

** Google’s Android has recently dropped the app from its app store charts. It hasn’t been banned, it is just harder to find.

Despite all the push back and anger of those injured by its ability to anonymously publish anything about anyone that is not a direct threat (that would be a no no – police recently tracked down a freshman who made a direct threat to someone – he was arrested) there isn’t much anyone can do about it. Free speech of course trumps most efforts at curtailing it. But shouldn’t all adults who know about this application ask our own children and grandchildren to explain why and how they are using it? In other words, we fabulous women need to take some responsibility!

The developers feel that better uses will happen – via NY Times: “It’s definitely still a learning process for us. And we’re definitely still learning how to make the community more constructive.”

I agree the developers are still learning. However, it seems to me some of that learning needed to go on prior to the launch of the application. The experience of millions has informed most of us that giving young people a free pass to say anything they want without any consequences and to be able to do it anonymously doesn’t sound like a good idea. It puzzles me who thought it would lead to good?

Shouldn’t we as adults be on top of this stuff? Or maybe we are too busy on our own social media accounts to pay much attention. I remember my parents saying dozens of times “you will understand when you grow up”. Most of the time I did – maybe we need to give our children and grandchildren a chance to say the same at least a few times. Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

Patty Gill Webber

 

Fabulous Women Never Age?

I admit it, I ordered it – Goddesses Never Age the newly released book by Dr. Christiane Northrup.

Dr. Northrup (65 by the way), a leading authority on women’s health and wellness has shared her knowledge through multiple best sellers (Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom; The Wisdom of Menopause) as well as PBS specials. She is a solid professional (MD, OB-GYN, taught and practiced medicine) – looking great and certainly qualified as fabulous.

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But, I have to share that the title of this book disturbed me.

“True health is only possible when we understand the unity of our minds, emotions, spirits, and physical bodies and stop striving for perfection” – Christiane Northrup, MD

I couldn’t agree more – and likely the book, the video series and all else related to her latest venture is worth a look and likely a try. I would guess that there are lots of great ideas for “thinking young”, taking care of ourselves, and being our best self — great stuff. Why shouldn’t we try to lead our best and healthiest life? Of course we should.

But then I read on the doctor’s website that she has “recently founded A-ma-ta, a company which manufactures and distributes a product line featuring the Pueraria mirifica plant, a traditional medicine used by Thai women for 700 years”. Mmmm — are any of them still living? Would by any chance the secret to being ageless include taking these or other supplements?

Not to be a cynic – anyone who knows me knows that I tend to be more a sap than a cynic — but while helping us age with grace (this idea is not welcomed in the ageless world) is something I wholeheartedly agree with, the whole idea of “ageless” makes me uncomfortable. It goes against everything I see, experience and know.

Visited your aunt or spouse at the assisted living complex recently? Seen old friends at a reunion? Gone through an operation, or still having to work long hours to keep a roof over your head? Looked at old photos of yourself 10 and 20 years ago? While clearly most people are not aware of the great advice on being ageless, my gut tells me that this approach, while tempting, denies reality and doesn’t ultimately keep us fabulous. Sure, do your best – but hey, news flash: we are all going to die and likely before we are 105 and still pole dancing.

If you haven’t already read Dr. Oliver Sacks’s OP-ED in the New York Times, then do so. Here is a terrific, brilliant person – now 81, suddenly faced with dying. It somewhat came “out of the blue” and just is what it is. Yes, he has lived and is now continuing to live gracefully.

Have you kept up with the super articles about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (81)?

Have you seen Barbara Walters (85) lately?

Have you compared an old Oprah (61) episode to her look and demeanor today?

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So do we want to aim for ageless (and for sure miss)? Or, do we aim for aging gracefully?

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Aging gracefully is the winner — besides, I have a feeling being ageless is way too much work and way too expensive — supplements anyone?

Patty Gill Webber

Saying Goodbye To My Gynecologist

Reader alert: If you are a woman under 60, you might not want to read this blog post. It contains information that will probably depress you. If you are a man, you will definitely want to avoid this blog. It contains, as they say, TMI (too much information).

Yesterday, I had what will probably turn out to be my last visit to a gynecologist. Showing up for my annual check-up with my Tampa doctor – a referral from my previous GYN who retired two years ago – I planned to tell her that I was spending more time in North Carolina than in Florida and would be finding another doctor there in the near future.

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After my examination, I met Dr. McCarthy in her office to ask a couple of questions. At the last minute, I added one that I hadn’t planned to ask. “In your opinion, do I NEED a gynecologist in North Carolina since I have a primary care doctor?” I expected her to say yes and give me reasons why it was a good idea. Instead, she smiled and said … “No, I don’t think so. You’re turning 65 this year, so you’re good to go!”

Good to go where? To the great beyond?

I have had a gynecologist for 50 years. First, an intimidating male doctor during my teenaged-years, then my first female doctor (thank god!) in Pittsburgh during my 20’s and early 30’s, followed by a female doctor in Tampa who took care of me for 25 years and managed me through the horrors of menopause and surgery. Lastly, here was Dr. McCarthy, a young, efficient woman of about 45 with a nice smile and, obviously, a no-bull**** approach with her patients.

So why, I asked, was I good to go? Well, she explained, you don’t have much left inside to become cancerous. Oh, yeah … I guess that makes sense. But, she added, even women with their “stuff” still in place are generally advised that they don’t need pap smears or exams after age 65. “The conventional wisdom in the medical community” she continued “is that cervical cancers take about 20 years to mature. So, well, a woman would be 85… and you know….”. Her sentence tapered off. Big smile.

But, I countered, many women live well beyond that! “Yeah” she laughed “that’s what a lot of my older patients say!”

Is there anything I’ll still need to do? I asked. Just get your yearly mammogram and a breast exam from your primary doctor, she said.

So, after 50 years of having a doctor specifically dealing with my women’s “stuff” … having an exam and cancer test each year, talking about sex, hormones, bladders and more … I no longer need one. Just like that I’m good to go.

The good news, I was thinking as I shook her hand to leave, is that I’m healthy and happy. I should enjoy the freedom, right? No more yearly office visits. No more intrusive exams. No more awkward discussions. No more co-pays.

But I have to admit that I felt a lot older when I walked out of her office than when I walked in. As I passed through the waiting room, a young teenage girl with bright blue streaks in her hair, arm tattoos and a nose ring waited with her mother for her appointment. She’s just starting out on her 50 year journey, I thought.

She doesn’t know it now, but this young woman will become a spouse and possibly a mother, and then a middle age woman with hot flashes, and then an AARP member and will eventually pass another teenager in an office as she leaves her gynecologist for the last time …

Good to go!

imagesCathy Green

P.S. I don’t advocate not getting cancer tests … I don’t care how old you are! If you have a family history, still have all of your female “stuff” inside and plan to live into your 90’s or 100’s, go get tested no matter what the doctors say. It’s your life!! 

Putting on my face…

As I was applying makeup last evening to go out to dinner, I thought of the old expression “putting on my face“.

I remember as a little girl watching my mom putting on her face on the rare occasions when she was going to a party. It was magical! A little mascara, some red lipstick, face powder … and voila! She was transformed into an exciting, elegant woman instead of just mom!

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So, I have now been putting on my face – in many different ways and with many different products … for over 50 years. But I realized as I was getting ready to go out last night that I have developed “degrees” of make-up application. Let me explain.

On a scale of 1 (I’m in hospice and don’t need makeup) to 10 (I’m getting ready to meet Pierce Brosnan for cocktails), I decided I was on my way to about a “7” last night. We were meeting good friends at a local restaurant – nothing too fancy. If they were new friends, if one of them was a younger female, and if we were going to a new hot spot in town, I might have tried a little harder and shot for an “8”.

In my 20’s and 30’s, I wouldn’t have settled for anything less than a “9” at ANY restaurant with ANY friends. In my 40’s and early 50’s, that might have slipped to an 8.5.

But once I hit my late 50’s and now into my 60’s, I’ll work like hell to achieve a “9” for a black tie holiday or New Year’s Eve party. Other than that, I’ll live with a “7” for a nice evening out. The women at the local CVS are likely to see me as a “3” and Ray, poor guy, get’s a “1” in the morning at breakfast and about a “5” when we go out to lunch.

Putting on a face to any degree over a “3”, of course, takes time and involves a wide array of makeup products and application instruments.

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Here’s what I used last night just to accomplish my “7”:

  • Cleanser
  • Moisturizer
  • Eye lid foundation
  • 2 shades of eye shadow
  • Brow shaping pencil (and powder)
  • Eye liner
  • Mascara
  • Eyelash curler
  • Facial primer
  • Facial foundation
  • Bronzing powder
  • Blush
  • Lipstick
  • Lip Gloss

Exhausting! And, this doesn’t even take into account all of the products and instruments used to style my hair around my face – hairdryers, hair gel, styling spray, curling irons and more!

And men wonder what we could possibly be doing for so long in the bathroom!

Speaking of men, if I would ask my husband to rate his “above the neck” effort before leaving the house on a 1-10 point scale, he’d look at me like I was crazy. It isn’t a concept he “gets”. He only needs a few items to get ready to go ANYWHERE, and many of these are optional …

  • Soap (optional)
  • Shaving cream
  • Razor
  • After shave (optional)
  • Hairdryer (optional)
  • Hair Brush (sometimes optional)

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What is even more irritating is that I’m sure that he looks in the mirror after five minutes of preparation and says to himself… “Lookin’ good! I think I’ll have a drink while I wait for Cathy!”

Note: I made the mistake of showing Ray this blog before posting it. Now, he has decided to ask me whenever we’re going out to let him know what number I’m shooting for. He thinks it’s funny. Me? Not so much.

Cathy Green

Obituaries As History Lessons

I am likely not the only fabulousover60 woman who faithfully reads (online or off) obituaries in their local or favorite national newspaper.

No, I did not do this under 50 – maybe not even under 55 or 60 – but at this point, at 65, I do read them. While what could be argued to be somewhat obvious — the older one is the more ‘death is a reality’ rather than something old people do. For me it isn’t so much morbid curiosity (so how did this person die?) as much as considering others’ lives as a whole and considering what (if anything) would be said about me if I died.

Many of us super competitive boomers are, if nothing else, curious how others “did” versus ourselves in the overall game or journey of life. Did I contribute as much to my field? Was I as philanthropic? What about my famous recipe that hundreds adored every holiday? Will I be missed by a large number of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren? Or anyone in particular?

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When reading the New York Times, whose obituaries are often terrific history lessons, I gravitate to people in my own professional field such as the two from 2014 noted below.

Warren G. Bennis, an eminent scholar and author who advised presidents and business executives on his academic specialty, the essence of successful leadership — a commodity he found in short supply in recent decades — died on Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 89.”

I read his books, heard him speak, and used his expertise to help my own. Warren was an un-introduced to mentor of mine.

Lillian B. Rubin, a sociologist and psychotherapist who wrote a series of popular books about the crippling effects of gender and class norms on human potential, died June 17 at her home in San Francisco. She was 90.”

Dying in California clearly ups your chances of making the NY Times. That or it shows that smart people retire to great weather and blue states as they age.

Dr. Rubin used qualitative research — interviewing people – hundreds of them in some cases — to write her many books on aspects of adult development. In her later years she wrote often for the online journal Salon on issues of culture, politics and sometimes, but rarely, about the realities of aging. “Sixty is not the new forty” she wrote. Fabulous absolutely agrees with that point and has said so repeatedly.

*Speaking of death and dying, Cathy called to my attention obituaries’ (local ones) use of odd euphemisms to mean death. Here are some favorites: “ended her battle with cancer”, “entered heaven’s gates”, “peacefully passed”, “went to be the Lord”, “went to her rest” and Cathy’s favorite – “earned her wings”. That line was of course borrowed from It’s A Wonderful Life, the 1946 movie that encouraged people to think of being a good person before one’s death so you could “earn one’s wings” rather than just pass away (that is, die) when the time came.

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Mostly though, obituaries remind me of the very limited ways we are truly remembered. Even when famous it is nearly impossible to get more than a column or two. We have to make sure if there is only one thing to say about us, we plan our lives to make that one thing clear. Or maybe not. Actually, I really like something else about Lillian Rubin. She wrote at age 88 that she had mixed feelings about living at that age, and dying too. “Ambivalence reigns”, she wrote, “in death as in life.” Yes, Dr. it does.

The Limburger Cheese Conspiracy

I originally wrote this story when I turned 60 in 2010. Maybe turning that big number made me nostalgic. Maybe remembering that my dad was 62 when he died was the motivation. I found the story the other day when going through some files, so I thought I’d share it with other Fabulous Over 60 women. If you have a story about your dad, please share it with us!

Hey, kid… want some Limburger cheese?

Of course, I wanted Limburger cheese! He was my dad and this was our special thing together. Limburger cheese – ripe, smelly, soggy cheese – placed between two small squares of rye bread with a thick slick of onion and brown mustard. What could be better?

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Other kids in Cincinnati might like to go to Frisch’s Big Boy or Graeter’s Ice Cream with their dads, but not me. I was the Limburger kid. I liked to think that there was only one daughter-dad duo in the whole world that liked to break out one of the smelliest cheese ever made* as a snack before dinner.

One of the main reasons I loved it so much was that my mom and siblings would run from the room yelling and screaming as he pulled it out of the refrigerator.

Not again, my brother would groan. Oh no, my sister would giggle. Please Joseph, you’ll ruin all of our dinners, my mom would say with absolutely no hope of changing his mind.

He would grin at me and wink. I would smile back. I was his co-conspirator.

First, of course, he had to mix up his Manhattan and get me my Coca-Cola. I didn’t know exactly what a Manhattan was at that young age, but I knew there was an art to mixing just the right alcohols together and that he seemed to really enjoy doing it. It was hands-down the most perfect drink to have with Limburger cheese, he would tell me. (I learned later that the true German drink – the one his ancestors would have approved – was beer.)

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My job was to get out the rye bread and mustard. He would slice the onion. The slices had to be “just so” – thick enough to crunch and yet small enough to fit on the tiny brown bread squares.

And then, it was time for the unveiling. Limburger cheese was always wrapped tightly in multiple layers of paper. Dad bought it at the butcher shop where he worked part time in the evenings, so he knew exactly what to buy and how to make sure it didn’t stink up mom’s refrigerator before we were ready to eat it. He also bought just enough for the two of us, because there was no way that mom would let him re-wrap it.

As he carefully began to peel back the paper, the smell would spread through the kitchen and waft its way into every other room in the house. Soon, 3237 Vittmer Avenue smelled like rotten cheese.

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Yuck, my sister would groan. Oh, please, my brother would whine. Eat it fast, mom would plead.

And we would. We would sit at the kitchen table, make several sandwiches each and begin our feast. We both knew that the aftermath would not be pretty. We knew that we would burp up that smell many times over the course of the next few hours. We knew that no one would want to get close to us for at least a day. We knew that dinner – no matter what it was – would not taste very good. But, so what?

For me, the times that I ate slimy, smelly Limburger cheese and onion sandwiches with my dad were some of the most special times of my life.   And, as I remember the twinkle in his eye and the grin on his face, I know he felt the same way.

Cathy Green

* Limburger has been described as a semi-soft cheese with a powerful aroma reminiscent of dirty socks!! Here it is at #7 on the list of the world’s 10 stinkiest cheeses…

More Great Things About Being 65

Last week Cathy started talking about what is great about being 65 — think she was trying to make me feel better turning the big 65. But the more I was thinking about what I liked about 65, the happier I got.

1.) Many of the “big calls” (go/stay/choose/reject) have been made and when new choices come up as they inevitably do, I feel I can handle them with serenity and acceptance. Most importantly, I now know what is best for me. Making major life choices as a young woman was daunting. I knew that choices of faith, values, lifestyle, education, mates, commitments, career, and health would have a great impact on my life — essentially define it. But my trust in myself was weak. Often I second-guessed myself and RE second-guessed myself, unsure if I was worth trusting. It took a long time, much introspection, and ultimately recovery from insecurities to feel confident that my choices were and are the right ones for me. tumblr_m41r62T4ZM1rvcjd7o1_500 2.)  I am no longer horrified, shocked and incredulous about bad things happening. There are some surprises, but they are happy, mysterious or silly. It seems like anything “bad”, terrifying, or threatening that could have happened has and we know about it. I am not happy but resigned to evil in the world and won’t let any evil person or event prevent me, and those I love, from moving forward and inward toward peace. viet.911 3.)  Our daughter survived 9/11. My wonderful brother in law died in 2003. I have been assaulted, fired, dumped, lost family and friends, been in accidents, had some health scares, gotten lost, trusted bad people, worked for some bad bosses, chosen poor investments and some questionable friends/partners. I have been alone for long periods of time, hung in for ages to accomplish things I have really wanted and seen people I love terribly hurt (which to me has been the worst). Believing “This too shall pass” is the best advice ever.

4.)  There is a constant wonderful stream of scientific and technical discoveries, ideas, and insights into life, eternity and all its mystery that is endlessly fascinating. AND, I get to choose whether or not to “get on board” or work to adjust. In earlier decades, external changes had to be seriously considered and dealt with – new technology? Had to learn it. Changes in business approaches or new family members? Had to get on board. A wonderful new restaurant or style? Well it seemed important to at least try it. Now, what interests me I get engaged with, otherwise I can happily sit on the sidelines because with very few exceptions my engagement is unimportant if not irrelevant. shutterstock_research-e1381241294977 5.)  My friends and family — especially those my age or older have more time for me – and I, for them. I can talk to a friend midday, shop leisurely for my grandnieces or daughters, write a longer note or letter, or just think about people and life at a deeper level. Work is not the central driver of my life nor in many people’s lives I know. Everyone in my life still works at things (a criteria for being in my life – you have to DO something – even if that is being Zen). Some for needed or ‘luxury” money, some not. But the old hardcore drive and focus on work, career, making this or that financial goal is nearly gone — and with it an openness and relaxed pace more often than not makes life much more peaceful and calm.love-suite 6.)  I am not delighted about thoughts of inevitably dying mainly because I want to have drinks with my granddaughters when they are 40 something and that isn’t likely meant to be. The other biggies – perhaps having to live without Bill, or getting really old and frail and/or losing my mind have stopped being fears. Maybe meditation, prayer or reading 1,000,000 books and thinking about it has just calmed me down. While I am not ready or willing to share all my plans, let me just say I am at reasonable levels of peace and plan to continue to work on this part of my life — mainly, by living in the present moment. That just keeps coming up doesn’t it? If you have no idea what I am talking about google “being present”.

7.)  While millenials are a bigger cohort that is reshaping the world in their own image – as we did – I enjoy sharing aging with boomer stars, celebrities, my friends and other boomers I don’t know but who write, blog, or otherwise contribute — a motley and pretty funny cohort. I can see other boomers, even the stars we thought never would, are aging, or struggling with one or another similar issue, or reinventing themselves again in some way professionally or personally. There are lots of models – good and bad. We never have to feel alone on any issue — some boomer out there is already dealing with it and ready to share. Or some boomer is doing it so badly we can easily see what bad or stupid choices to avoid.

Clockwise: Debbie Allen, Richard Branson, Cybil Shepard, Ed Harris, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Phil

Clockwise: Debbie Allen, Richard Branson, Cybil Shepard, Ed Harris, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Phil

I like myself. No, more than that, I love myself. That just wasn’t the experience of most of my earlier life — I drove myself to impossible standards and I frequently suffered from feelings of inadequacy and doubt. While I look worse than ever, make less money by far and am certainly less hot and sexy, and to top it off – often “out of it” in one or another ways, I am OK with it all. Because somehow, with the help of the universal good, critical thinking, smart people and my fabulous women and men friends, I am finally convinced, I am more than enough just the way I am — yes, at 65. Patty

Turning 65: It’s Not All Bad!

This year my friend Patty and I both turn 65. To celebrate, we are meeting in Napa Valley in May to reminisce, drink wine and have a decadent and incredibly expensive dinner at The French Laundry – one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country.

The French Laundry, Yountville, CA

The French Laundry, Yountville, CA

Reaching this milestone in our life’s journey, of course, might be considered by some to be less than desirable. And, of course we know that this isn’t the age we would necessarily choose to be celebrating (35 sounds a lot better), but it is what it is.

And, to be honest, there are actually some very positive things that come with being “in our mid-60s”. Here are 10 that come to mind:

1.) We can sleep in late and have a leisurely breakfast while reading our newspapers – such a quaint, satisfying tradition.

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2.) We can go to a movie – or shopping, or golfing, or anything – in the middle of a weekday.

3.) Our husbands/partners are less likely to stray. It’s just too much trouble.

4.) We can run errands without full makeup or good clothes since we’re pretty much invisible anyway.

5.) We can read a good book any day – and any time of the day.

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6.) We can decide not to spend time with someone we don’t like without considering the consequences to our careers or families.

7.) Our kids, in their 40’s, are where they are going to be in life no matter what we do. Doting on grandkids is about all that’s required.

8.) We don’t have as many responsibilities to others. Co-workers aren’t waiting for our input or approvals, for example, and responsibilities we continue to have are, for the most part, by choice.

9.) We don’t have to spend any more time worrying about what we are going to do with our lives. We’ve done it. Planning today is about small trips and outings with friends.

10.) We can allow ourselves the great gift of forgiveness – for all the stupid things we’ve done and for the real or perceived slights of others. It’s just not that important anymore.

So, Patty, I think you’ll agree that turning 65 does have its upsides. Let’s focus on keeping our health and our humor and enjoying the year to come!

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See you in Napa, girlfriend!

Cathy Green

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