Monthly Archives: February 2018

Create Your Right Goals – And Leave Others To Pick Theirs!

One of my compulsive habits I am attempting to modify is list and goal writing. I always have goals for any day, week or month. This habit works well for me. I have spent quite a bit of time over the holidays evaluating the year just passed and setting up goals for the next year. If you read the two blog posts I wrote about changing the concept of what it means to be FabulousOver60, you won’t be surprised I did not spend nearly as much time reviewing 2017 and carefully crafting goals for 2018. Yes to goals, no to too much analysis and perfecting the way goals are phrased.

Here are my 2018 resolutions.

  • Worry less.
  • Get the most important 2 or 3 things done everyday.
  • Confirm those important things to do early each day – then meditate.
  • Have lots of fun whenever possible.

The last few years had me worrying excessively. Some recall that I had moments when perhaps I was not an actual lunatic, but I was damn close. Results of my excess worry were clear: I felt depressed, unable to get my own priorities met – while nothing of what I was worrying about changed. I couldn’t meditate as well or sometimes at all. I definitively had less fun – how can you have fun when you are nervous and worrying?

As a life coach I know one really simple way to judge our own actions. It is to evaluate exactly what happened as a result of our actions. What happened? How did others, if relevant, respond? What improved or did not? The answers indicate our effectiveness. Tough as it sometimes is, accepting that data with ease knowing I am not perfect and then adjusting seriously improves action. When I evaluated my worrying it was clear the results were bad – it had to go. And having dozens of goals next wasn’t going to work either.

For FabulousOver60 women, anytime before the Ides of March (and I am betting over 60 fabulous women are among the few that recall what the Ides of March is) is a great time to create your own FEW goals. This makes sense to me. By the end of March it is useful to have a focus on what is going to make you feel right, be happy, and do good this year. If it’s April, and you haven’t yet got a focus and some new goals, don’t worry.

Just decide that your new and likely temporary focus is “just being and doing what you are” – knowing if something critical arises and needs your pressing attention – you’ll be on it and know exactly the goals you need to achieve. I guess setting goals for FabulousOver60 women is a bit like riding a bike or a horse – the “how to” comes back to you if and when you need it to. Certainly we now know things WILL arise needing our intense focus and yes, goals to be set. For us that may be a surprising new work or volunteer opportunity or an unexpected death of a friend or spouse that requires lots of new ways of operating in the world.

On the other hand, I think the #metoo movement is one that definitely needs goals both personally and organizationally. We did lead the way professionally making sure people “got” that women really CAN do and excel at jobs they were previously thought not to be able too –  that didn’t leave us enough time to set goals aimed at ending harassment too. Glad women with a lot more energy and recent experience are doing a terrific job finally dealing with a pattern as old as dirt. And while it just seems ridiculous to most of us to share our me too stories – since we think what happened in 1972 or 1985 typically should remain there; we are all behind young women leaders who are setting their goals to end or at the least drastically slow down harassment and discrimination. There are always things to accomplish. We are fabulous enough now to know which ones have our names on it and which don’t.

Patty

Part 2: More About Changing Our Definition of Fabulous

Last week we published part one of a blog post about the changing nature of being fabulous – this week we complete it by focusing on more about the meaning of fabulous now.

Fabulous is looking fine in a way that is comfortable and absolutely us and dropping any snobbery around standards that have lost their meaning.  Being in fashion isn’t fabulous anymore — being real, authentic, hot or conservative or edgy in ways that reflect our best self is. Fabulous is living, learning, staying present and being grateful for all that’s good, and calm about things we can’t control.  And fabulous is all about taking care of ourselves and those we love.  We feel most fabulous when we are in connection with those that matter and are doing things that feel good and are good for us.

Being Fabulous, Part 2:

Random shopping has stopped being fun.  But we seem to have found just those few boutiques or online spots that have sales on just exactly what we feel is perfect and fabulous.  Few, if anyone, seem to care about looking good anyplace or at special events. So our black pants and nice top could take us to the opera or the hottest restaurant in any town and to someone’s graduation party.  True, BUT, we evolved here too. We created our new definition of fabulous as dressing as well and as we want, still choosing to look extra special more than once a year, and if we are the only one in a restaurant or at the party with a dress or heels or pulled-together look (don’t we all agree that many people of any age appear to use their laundry basket as a closet?) we don’t care.  We dress for ourselves and any audience we care about, we dress up when and if we want to and define our feeling appropriate as being fabulous.

Heavy meals started hurting our stomachs.  Nature wasn’t pretty if we ate, drank or didn’t sleep enough, so we sleep more if we can and just stopped ordering the cheese plate — but kept going out. We don’t go on and on about our food issues — fabulous now looks at the menu, makes the calculation of what works and doesn’t and orders without announcement.

Friendships have become challenging in tangible ways: friends, family and those close to them have serious health problems, not hangovers, and people close to us die.  We’ve learned how to mourn more deeply without falling apart or making the loss about ourselves.  We pray or sit silently more often, sending prayers or caring vibrations to others. And share our sympathy with more confidence not because we are getting great at demonstrating sympathy, but because we now know with absolute certainty that the most important thing is demonstrating we care, not doing some “appropriate” thing. We’ve really gotten the boundaries message and keep them even when faced with heart-wrenching personal loss times for us, or our friends. We handle ourselves keeping the focus on those who hurt at the time.  And we work to avoid dragging ourselves into a tailspin of upset over anything we can’t control (yes, most things).

One thing we haven’t given ourselves enough credit for was how we as a generation became, and are still, continuous learners. 

And that is now the core of being fabulous: we keep learning and experimenting. When we fail we try plan B to Z if we have to. We are not Queen Elizabeth in The Crown (a fabulousover60 favorite), perpetually unamused if not insulted by the relentless changes in the culture. We have come to peace with our parents and are using a different approach to aging and being fabulous.  We are NOT denying we are aging, that time is passing and we are going to die.  I remember death and dying, as well as well as less permanent changes – like moving or writing a will and getting specific about near-death wishes as taboo subjects for our parents.  They kept doing much of the same things they always did and didn’t want to talk much about age-related realities.  We do not blame them or feel anger at them. But we have clearly chosen a different fabulous path that includes facing realities of all sorts – from divorce to death or from being fired to starting a whole new business in our sixties.

Fabulous now is about accepting what is, and building and living in our own able-to-be-penetrated bubble. 

We choose what comes in and out with open eyes and heart and ears. We focus on fewer things, but our important things. We continue to be kind and have come to realize, as have other mature people, that kindness counts more than nearly anything else.  We are back marching and resisting or maybe only paying attention in a limited way — we know ourselves, do what we must and don’t judge others.

Fabulous is looking fine in a way that is comfortable and absolutely us – and dropping any snobbery around standards that have lost their meaning.  Being in fashion isn’t fabulous anymore — being real, authentic, hot or conservative or edgy in ways that reflect our best self is. Fabulous is living, learning, staying present and being grateful for all that’s good, and calm about things we can’t control.  It’s about taking care of ourselves and those we love.  We feel most fabulous when we are in connection with those that matter and are doing things that feel good and are good for us.

Turning 60 seems eons ago.  I chuckle for not realizing that everything changes – including our definitions of being fabulous.  We’re still smart, savvy and sophisticated, but our hearts are set on being our best individual self, connecting and being a part of a group when it is the right time and place. It’s also enjoying that group time, giving ourselves and everyone else a break. It is letting our light and our scent, our essence – which is individual and precious – be felt in the world.

A friend from the early 70s once told me that I was like great perfume, leaving a lovely scent behind when I left — I was touched and a bit overwhelmed.  And I remembered it, always trying in my own way to live up to the challenge of leaving “a lovely scent” behind.  Cathy and I have chosen to let FabulousOver60 now be associated with multiple beautiful perfume bottles (in our new cover photo on Facebook) — each representing one and all of us FabulousOver60 women.  We’re each unique, and we’re shining our lights and leaving a warmth and scent behind us everywhere we go.  Think that says it all.

Patty

The Meaning of Being FabulousOver60 Has Changed!!

Fabulous now is about accepting what is, and building and living in our own able-to-be-penetrated bubble.  We choose what comes in and out with open eyes and heart and ears, we focus on fewer things, but our important things, we continue to be kind and have come to realize as have other mature people that kindness counts more than nearly anything else.  We are back marching and resisting or maybe only paying attention in a limited way — we know ourselves, do what we must and don’t judge others.  

We are posting this blog in two parts. Part one focuses on “then” which is the time we started FabulousOver60.com around 2010 at the beginning of our sixties.

Next week we will post part two – which shares all the experiences that led to our changing conception of being fabulous and how we went from the visual on our Facebook page being a lily to our visual now being a group of special perfume bottles. Love to have your thoughts and reactions.

Part One:

I turned 68 on January 20th.  In the years that Cathy and I have been writing FabulousOver60 we have shared our evolving challenges and attempted solutions in regards to family, friends, work, health, volunteering, culture, beauty, serenity, spirituality, vacations, homes, and moving — nearly everything except politics (a conscious decision).  We have heard from many of you who have supported our efforts at being positive, funny, and openly sharing our own foibles and not-quite-perfect efforts to avoid losing our fabulousness.  We were pretty sure we knew much of what was ahead back in 2010 — the issue for us as we began living those years was worrying about how we would handle the realities of being 60-something and not get pushed off a high ridge into “un”-fabulousness.

Our original fabulous model was a nearly ageless women still caring about her outside self as much as her heart and mind.  Fabulous was carrying on as we had in our 50s but at a slightly more leisurely pace.  We stood by the concept of women multitasking — yes we thought one should know how and actually do as many of the following as possible, preferably at the same time: look totally awesome and put together; prepare food, cook & serve it; keep all things in neat and orderly; work at something to earn money or earn respect that is clearly worth doing and yet fits into a semi-retired lifestyle (being created); work on our lives seeking out new/interesting roles; stay current on world and national events; keep weight stable and exercise frequently since of course we’ll have more time for things like tennis or golf or hiking; have great relationships; and volunteer as frequently as possible to save the world in a meaningful way.

Our definition also suggested we avoid acting or being old as much as possible — skip those early dinners and pre-set routines that we found so annoying in our parents.  When faced with a challenge take it full on, using skills from our earlier life and act confident and calm, but keep going.  Stay a bit edgy, have a great sense of humor and of course be a kind, decent human being.  Oh and be ready to share your wisdom and charm that certainly some, if not many, younger people will find interesting and useful.  I know you are laughing at this last sentence. Talk about a false assumption!!

As our 60s unfolded we began to take in some new information and real-world experiences.  “Doing it all” and “having it all” were on shaky ground to begin with and we learned first hand they are completely outdated for good reasons.  We tossed those out. Our energy wasn’t up to what we often thought it should be to stay fabulous. We became okay with that.  Fabulous can apply to only certain times. One or two or three things a day started making more sense than a fully scheduled day – even if the schedule took place at a spa.  Am okay with that too. Standards around our eternal touch stones continued to erode: forget thank you notes, people didn’t RSVP for weddings!  We made adjustments and practiced forgiveness.  We lowered our expectations of others but kept some selected high expectations of ourselves because they defined us in ways WE think are fabulous.

And yes, there is more.  See part two next week.

Patty

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