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Being Selfish and Staying Positive

Sad to say, but I’m usually not the “glass half-full” person in the room. I overanalyze things, considering what could go wrong rather than what could go right.

Over the past few months, my glass-half-empty feeling has been stronger than usual. I think it’s because of the incessant barrage of negativity about our country and the world that is becoming harder and harder to avoid.

Given my family history and current health, I am figuring that I’ll probably live into my 90’s – another two decades. I’d like those years to be as happy as possible.

So, here are a few things I’ve been doing recently:

I’m not watching TV network news

  • Today’s broadcasts are much more “in your face” and intense than in the old days. By the time 28 minutes go by and I watch the last two minute “Here’s a happy story” story, I feel the need for a strong alcoholic beverage.
  • That’s not to say that I don’t want to know what’s going on in the world. I just don’t need to be bombarded with heavy drama every night. Reading selected magazine or newspaper articles, or watching an occasional video on my iPad works just fine for me.  I stay informed without feeling the need to hit the booze.

I have seriously reduced my time on social media

  • This past week, I decided to block all national news media postings on Facebook.
  • I also used the unfollow option with people who primarily post political opinions or news stories they have decided are important for everyone to read. Most of the posts are negative on one side or the other … we won, you lost, you’re stupid, no you’re stupid, he’s stupid, she’s stupid and on and on.  I realized that I can still be “friends” with them and visit their tirades anytime I want and they won’t even know I’m not following them. A win-win!
  • I signed up with Facebook so that I could scroll through my news feed to see photos of my step-     kids and grandkids, to find out what my friends and family members are doing on this year’s vacation, and to post pictures of my beautiful dogs and/or my handsome husband being adorable.
  • My “news feed” is much smaller now, and I’m a lot happier.

I’m spending time with positive, happy people who don’t need to solve the problems of the world over dinner.

  • Enough said.

It’s not that I don’t care about what’s happening in the country or the world or that I don’t have strong opinions. In fact, I can get pretty riled up about things.

And, I’m really happy that there are people who are passionate enough to speak out on both sides of political issues, to take up causes, to hold others accountable and to work to make a difference.

Maybe it’s selfish not to get more involved. But, I am, after all, one of the “Me Generation” Baby Boomers.

So, my current mantra is …..

Care to join me?

Cathy Green

Halloween in the 50’s: Better or Worse than Today?

This past Saturday, I dressed in 1920’s cocktail attire for a “wake” at a local speakeasy. It was the first time in years that I had participated in a costumed Halloween celebration and I enjoyed playing the part of a grieving relative along with other women in their feathers, headbands, sequins and diamonds, and men in their black suits, shiny shoes, silk bow ties and fedoras.

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The next day, while looking at photos posted on Facebook by relatives, friends, friends of friends and total strangers*, I was reminded how much the celebration of Halloween has changed since the 1950’s when I was trick or treating around Vittmer Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio.

A lot of those Facebook images showed children in elaborate costumes enjoying a neighborhood party before sunset with their parents, many dressed in larger versions of those same costumes. Kids of all ages were also shown gathering candy from stores in the mall, or partying at large school or church events. And, of course, there were photos of ghoulish house decorations: witches with lighted eyes, ghosts flying through the air, creepy mechanical vampires and zombies and, as one friend reported, the sounds of chain saws and screams.

What I experienced in the 50’s was very different.

First, there weren’t any parties, except for some small celebrations at school as teachers tried to keep us calm as we waited for the big night.

And… yes, Halloween trick or treating was always at night. It had to be almost dark, no matter how much we were bouncing off the walls with anticipation. It just wouldn’t be spooky enough to go out earlier.

We stayed around our neighborhoods and our parents didn’t go with us once we were old enough – around six or so, I think – to carry our own pillowcases. They didn’t really want to go and we didn’t want them to either. And they never dressed up or went to their own parties.

Instead, they stayed at home to give out candy and sent us on our way with a few warnings. In my case, they went something like …. “Don’t cross the main street, stay in the general vicinity, don’t lose your younger brother, and be home in a couple of hours”.

I can’t remember any store-bought costumes. I think they became more available in the early 60’s. Although we could get some accessories like masks, face paint or costume jewelry at Woolworth’s Five and Dime, we’d have to shop at home to find things that, with a little imagination, would make us look like a pirate, a princess, a ghost, a witch, a cowboy, a rabbit or a clown. One year, I was a hobo (there’s a word you don’t hear anymore) and borrowed clothes from my dad’s closet that had to be safety-pinned everywhere so that I could walk. I remember my brother wanting to be a mummy and my mom cutting up strips of old sheets to wrap around him. It didn’t take long for those strips to begin coming apart and I had to keep re-wrapping him, which was annoying since it took up too much of my candy-gathering time.

Typical 50s costumes

Typical 50s costumes

Ah, candy! Getting chocolate bars was a big deal. Most of the treats were popcorn balls, candy apples (which we didn’t want because they would melt in our pillowcases), bubble gum, candy cigarettes (remember those?), candy corn and pennies. We had to go to a lot of houses to make sure to get enough of our favorite chocolates like Hershey bars, Milky Ways, Baby Ruths and Butterfingers. And, when we got them, they were full size chocolate bars … not like today’s little bitty versions.

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Jack-O-Lanterns, carved by our dads with kitchen knives, were everywhere. I can still remember the smell and feel of the slimy seeds and stringy pumpkin fibers and I can see the pumpkins melting toward the end of the evening after candles burned in them for hours. Almost every house had at least one Jack-O-Lantern to indicate that trick-or-treaters were welcome. And, there was an occasional ghost made from a sheet or a tombstone made out of cardboard.

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1950’s style Jack-O-Lantern

I tried to find even one photo of me in costume as a kid. I have many Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and birthday pictures, but apparently Halloween wasn’t a particularly important holiday to my parents. And, they didn’t have the pressure of social media requiring them to post pictures of their precious kids for friends and relatives.

Halloween was always a magical night, though. Keen anticipation, a little fear, a lot of greed, glowing pumpkins, and a dose of independence made it exciting. When I’d dump my candy on the floor that night and realize that I’d be able to have a sugar fix for days, it was a satisfying reward after an exhausting night.

I don’t think that Halloween in the 50’s was necessarily better than Halloween today. In fact, I wish I could have been a much more authentic mermaid, or rock star, or superhero. And, it’s no doubt a good thing that parents are more involved and cautious these days.

It might not have been better, but it sure was a lot simpler.

Cathy Green

*When I first “joined” Facebook to see photos of the grandkids and a few friends, those are the only photos I saw. Now, the ads and videos are overwhelming and the photos of strangers who are in some way connected to the people I’ve “friended” are getting really irritating. What happened to Facebook?

Musings about Celebrating Birthdays….

A wonderful friend had a party for me on my birthday last week. She assembled other good friends who gave me fun cards and presents, she orchestrated a great meal and she served my favorite birthday cake… white cake with thick white icing. She even made sure that there was only one candle on the cake. So thoughtful!

And, of course, as the cake was presented, everyone sang the obligatory Happy Birthday to You. As always, faced with being the center of attention during that song, I just smiled, nodded and felt a little foolish.

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Let me digress about the birthday song for a minute.

Did you know that there is a lawsuit currently pending against Warner Music Group, which has had the rights to this song since 1988? The lawsuit is attempting to get the song declared in the “public domain” and not subject to licensing fees. Apparently, any use of the song in a for-profit venture is subject to a hefty fee. No wonder the chain restaurants have come up with their own versions of birthday songs to torment diners!

Here’s an article about the lawsuit … you can also watch the video to see how TV shows have been getting around the fee.

While my birthday was a great excuse to get friends together for dinner, drinks and laughter, I was torn about being the reason for the party.

Celebrating the day one comes into the world is supposed to be flattering. “We’re so glad you were born!”

But as the years go by … and especially as the decades go by … I worry that the celebration might have some overtones of “We’re glad you’re still with us!”

I have to admit that I used to enjoy birthdays and birthday parties a lot more. Even when I hit some “big” numbers (like 40 and 50) and protested getting “old”, I didn’t really feel that old. Now, I really feel old (and cranky).

I know that my parents had birthday celebrations for me when I was young because I have pictures to prove it. Here’s one of me when I obviously decided that receiving presents was fun.

It’s all about me!

And here’s a more thoughtful photo of a wiser, more mature me:

These are really for me?

These are really for me?

My celebrations were small ones, though. The next-door neighbors may have come over for some cake and ice cream, or occasionally one or the other set of grandparents would show up. Not like the parties that seem to be so popular today with tons of other kids and their parents.

During my busy career years, birthdays flew by without a lot of celebration. I received some cards in the mail (such a quaint idea these days!), got a few calls and was invited out to dinner once in a while. The only “big” celebration I can remember was when Ray had a 40th party for me. I was not yet that cranky about my age, so I remember enjoying it a lot.

Then, over the last decade or so, Ray and I have tended to use the week of my birthday for travel. It’s a good time since it tends to be less crowded in the islands, or in Maine, or in many of our other favorite vacation spots. Kids are back in school and the fall tourist crowds haven’t yet begun to hit the roads or airports. So, celebrating my birthday “on the road” — just the two of us — has become the norm.

These days, Facebook provides a way for a lot more people to say Happy Birthday. It’s easy. No one even has to keep track of your birthday. A notification shows up on their phone or tablet that morning. Since I’ve been on Facebook these past several years, I’ve kind of liked getting greetings from a larger group of people than in the old days.

So, now that I think about it, I like having my birthday acknowledged every year. I don’t always want to be the center of a celebration, but once in a while that’s pretty nice too.

So, friends and family, I’m going to keep celebrating my birthday every September 12 until I can’t. And, if there are any future birthday celebrations, I’ll just assume they are “glad you were born” parties … just don’t forget the white cake!

Cathy Green

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

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

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We are not affiliated with nor paid by Apple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think about it, girlfriend!

Cathy Green

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

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

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

 

Blogging For Fun or Blogging For Money?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what we decided:

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

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

Cathy Green

 

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

 

Special Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! What could be more important than reflecting on our blessings and sharing with our families and communities?

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Like every fabulous woman the list of my blessings is long and of course includes my husband Bill, and every one of my family members and all my dear friends. Throw in health (the greatest blessing in many ways – my mother said that 100,000 times and it turns out she was right again) and every person who supports my life in any way from my wonderful hairdresser to amazing house keeper … you get the idea …

But this year I decided to scour my calendar, reflect and then select 5 (of the dozens) of really different things, events, or people that touched my life this year and for which I am particularly grateful. Let me suggest you do the same — you won’t stop smiling!

1. Read Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, took an online course with the author’s company (inexpensive and great) and kept re-reading it. When some bummers happened – including a serious energy dip in the late summer/early fall, and walking through the journey of a close friend losing her husband – the wisdom of the book kept reappearing and supporting me.

2. Kept up a co-coaching session every 6 or so weeks with a friend/fellow coach. Rebecca and I each got 30 minutes at each phone session to get input from each other on our professional work (we choose this as our topic of choice). Simple to implement — worth a try with a friend, colleague or person you just admire and respect. Keeps you on your toes – the call is always coming up sooner than you think it will.

3. Stopped half-heartedly doing anything related to work. Starting attracting great new clients once I became “fully in” to my decision to do life coaching. Made a fun video about life coaching.

4. Realized a few family events were really worth it (will skip those that were not) — including my granddaughter’s first communion, a first visit to our home from a semi-new relative (discovered in the last number of years and a great addition to the family), spending time with my grandnieces which I rarely do – and finally a trip to my sister’s to help her with some surgery that turned out to be full of fun and giggles.

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5. Stayed committed to writing and experiencing my 60s — especially to this ‘Fabulous’ blog and new Facebook page which makes my eyes, ears, and heart more open to seeing what’s new, what’s different, what brings joy and what annoys in my 60s. It’s a new lens on life that makes all of life more fun. Cathy and I are already planning our co-celebration of our 65th birthdays in 2015 — we are going first class on this one! For sure the celebration will be on next year’s special thanksgiving list.

It was hard keeping my list to 5 — hope you have the same challenge and as many blessings.

Patty

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

 

 

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.

Old Photos – Happy Memories or Depressing Reminders of Former Glory?

My good friend Joanne has a large painting of herself back in 1985 when she was an aerobics teacher.  The painting is in her dining room.  Although I’ve been in Joanne’s home on numerous occasions, I noticed it for the first time recently when we were sitting in her and Paul’s dining room sharing a fantastic dinner—all homemade and delicious.
 
It caught my eye because it was not Joanne—but yet totally Joanne.  We met in 2000 when Bill and I moved to Buck’s County, PA and she found the perfect home for us.  Joanne is dynamite—a woman on fire in her 60s doing lots of new things along with part-time mentoring/work in her old full-time occupation of being the top-notch realtor in town.  She is still marching for things she believes in.  It took me a few moments to stop wishing for Joanne that she looked like her old aerobics teacher self.  What stopped even that brief thought was the clarity that Joanne is WAY too well-adjusted to have that wistfulness for her ‘former’ anything—she lives NOW.

———

Renay always has been one of my most gorgeous friends.  I can still remember at my wedding when I was 48 and she 44, my soon to be son-in-law asking me who SHE was with clear admiration.  Renay told me to check out a photo her son put on her Facebook when she was 21 and newly graduated from the University of Maryland.  I didn’t know Renay then, although we did know each other by our late 20s when we were both living and working in NYC.  Renay didn’t look relaxed and serene at 21 but rather pretty, young and a bit unsure.  In her late 50s now, she has fought through many personal struggles and has a depth of character while still being stunning and avidly pursuing her new career in jewelry design.  She is a powerful woman, but unlike Joanne, is almost as nuts about her looks as I am.
 
My Facebook has a photo of me with my then 6 year-old niece.  I look so different—36 and a bit vague though happy.  That bit of fear or lack of comfort in my own skin is prevalent in most of my photos from younger days—sort of quizzical if not a bit unanchored.

Patty at 36

I have to be honest (well I don’t have to be honest but then Cathy would throw me off the Fabulous team) — when I see old photos I do feel a bit of wistful sadness.  Loss of course is what life is all about—surviving losses of all kinds including our “youth”, some relationships, and fantasies like finding the ‘perfect’ anything outside ourselves.
 
Life is also about gaining things too—and not just weight.  When I see myself and friends in GOOD current photos (and there are definitely FEWER of these—and thankfully current means anything in the last 10 years)—ones where the light is right and the angle complimentary, I see strength and confidence. I see women who are solid and grounded.  And, I see happiness too.  Pretty fabulous—but why can’t I just be as thin as I used to be with my current head on my shoulders?

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