Chanel

Fabulous Lifestyle Change Ahead!

September 15, 2015 our New Hope, PA home will be gone and we begin our new traveling lifestyle. No second home, no moving in with anyone else, just a home in Arizona for the cooler months to serve as home base. The remaining months will be traveling and staying in various rental properties enjoying the diversity of locations, as well as the chance to spend time with friends and family spread all over the country – and in some cases, the world.

New Hope, Pa

New Hope, Pa

Why has it been so tough for me – not to part with things – but places, people and “roots”? Have I/we become like millennials who we keep reading “value the experiences” over things? This is why they don’t want our STUFF: the remnants of amassing huge numbers of books, some few photos of the past and events, holiday decorations, cookbooks, glasses and platters not to mention dining room sets on a scale previously unknown to humankind. Or are we just arrived at an emotional state where we really get our mortality and figure in this intensely individualistic culture that it is “our turn” or “now or never”?

So here’s my thoughts on those “big questions” raised in paragraph two (remember when everyone knew what a paragraph was? But I digress).

We all have a hard time parting with what we truly value. For me that has always been people and relationships – with everyone – from restaurant owners, to the dry cleaners, the butcher at the grocery store, Intrigue sales professionals who helped me find the perfect clothes, the people who are part of my church, my UPS buddies – not to mention the deeper friendships forged while spending 15 years in New Hope. And those relationships for the most part are ending. I am sad at this loss.

values-resized-600

While I do love people more than things, I did want “the finer things in life” growing up and growing older. And, I had them – and feel blessed I did. To me wearing a Hermes scarf or a Chanel handbag has brought me pleasure. But more so I loved my work and still want to do some of it. I love helping people grow and change – and due to technology I can now write coaching content, coach people in life transitions and volunteer to support critical causes from nearly anywhere. The relationships associated with my work and passions remain, thankfully, so that compensates some for the loss of place.

As for being like millennials, I think not. They are the new BIG generation – shaping the culture and society to their values and needs, but my roots and values remain in Boomerhood. My goal is to push forward on my restructured path while not holding tightly to the past or try to keep being the protagonist of the story. I also do not want to bash millennials – hearing about our parents referred to as “the greatest generation” hugely annoyed me. Let’s all stay on our own yoga mats.

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As to whether we fabulousover60s are just at the point where we want to do what we want to do — I have to just say no. Just doing what we want all the time has never excited us. In fact, we are doers – not wanting to just sit back. Relaxing has been more of a challenge than anything else we have tried to conquer. We have a continuous battle with ourselves to just BE not DO.

Am I nervous? A little. But being Fabulous always involves some loss and some risk – to be your best self – to keep evolving rather than fighting to keep things the same. Plan to keep you posted as my later 60s evolve – who knows – maybe all that travel, writing and being with people I love will drive me crazy. Right now I doubt it. I sincerely doubt it.

Patty

 

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.

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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.

Evolving In Our 60s: More Than Just New Boots

While in California in the fall of 2013 I saw and fell in love with a one of a kind shoe store. The store was small, with unique handmade boots (and shoes) with bold designs and a personal touch.

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I got a pair of pumps and Cathy, though not with me, heard all about Artemis Boots and gained the pair of kick-ass boots you see above. Funny how what we just thought was fun – not ridiculously expensive but needed a bit of fashion updating – turned into a metaphor for our mid-60s.

When Cathy and I started FabulousOver60, we wanted to share what was different about “suddenly” being in our 60s. As typical overachieving forever-young boomers, how could this assault to our dignity have happened? We were a bit distraught over “aging” and also pretty exhausted from the long climb to what at the time seemed like the top of our professional mountains.

But sometime between 61 and now, the sting of turning 60 lessened and we stopped thinking every other minute about how we are aging and how we would soon look atrocious and frail and well… really, really OLD. We earnestly began our efforts at treating ourselves more kindly and softly, learning new skills – be it meditation, social media for industry pros or golf. All the while learning to breathe more often (all the time anyone?) and have a more balanced life. We also kept our businesses moving, albeit with a much softer hand and more outside help.

Our internal struggles – of wondering “where to next” and how to stop feeling guilty about whatever work we were, or were not doing – turned into our new and different lives. We started and stopped some new things, and over time honed a deeper understanding of where our hearts (and minds) are (versus ‘were’). We began to sense that our lives would be lived at a different pace — alternating leaps, bounds, and longer rest periods (unlike our previous style of going full speed ahead until we dropped, then partied, and then started the cycle all over again).

One thing we didn’t think when we turned 60 was that we would willingly get back on any kind of work treadmill — back in the saddle so to speak. We had traveled so frequently on business trips that hearing the words “fasten your seat belts” made us queasy. We didn’t think climbing mattered anymore. And it doesn’t. But working on what lights up our hearts/minds is not climbing — it is new focus on narrower objectives that are deeply personal, chosen with care, and meant to accomplish just what we want and need and no more.

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

We may find that our new boots are getting us more exhausted than we planned. But unlike the last time when we were pooped in our late 50s, we aren’t going to say “never again”. Rather, we are going to say “how can I create a new approach to getting what I want, and what the world needs — right now in the present, and for as long as it is meant to last, and not a minute longer?

Burberry

Burberry

And of course, we’ll never stop looking for the next great boot!

Chanel

Chanel

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Chanel

Chanel

 

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