Hillary Clinton

A NON-Partisan Take on What We All Learned from the Debate

As you know by now, Cathy and I do not get into politics on FabulousOver60.  We think there are places for that from the local diner to the internet; or from your own Facebook page to zillions of obscure or heavily-trafficked sites.  I bet if you have read our blog for a while you can guess by now that Cathy leans center right, and I lean center all the way to the left, but it doesn’t matter.  “Fabulous”, as we describe it, is not political – so welcome all. Even if you don’t care about this election, hate everyone running, or planning to vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.

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Here are the truths barring repeating and the implication for us fabulous women:

1. People don’t change without TONS of effort and work.  Even with extensive work, practice, and a sincere effort to change, it is extremely challenging. 

If you missed the book The Power of Habit – it is time to read it.  If you have read it, just do a quick re-read.

IMPLICATION: Give yourself a break that you haven’t lost that 10 lbs., quit drinking, gone back to more frequent religious services or trying to keep your voice down (one of my continuing but often failed improvement strategies).

2. Sometimes you can’t help yourself – somebody just pushes your buttons.

IMPLICATION:  Do you even know your buttons?  Any fabulous woman should know them cold.  And, before any interactions with potential “button pushers” remind yourself not only not to respond, but plan ahead to avoid tension.  Example: Dinner with your cousin John, the sincere but over the edge supporter of the natural look (he’s a mess and he loves that his wife has gone gray)?? Wear something you consider “the most boring thing in your closet” and do not color your roots.

3. Lying is natural.  But consider the topic.

*We are told roughly around 200 lies per day. *On average, we lie 3 times per every 10 mins of conversation, 60% have a hard time without lying at least once. Most lies are harmless white lies like “nice haircut” or “yeah, all is good!”

IMPLICATION: It is OK to do what I did: to tell my mother, who was suffering from dementia in 1998, that my wedding was in a Catholic Church and Bill had gone to Rome to talk to the Pope and had gotten an annulment.  It is not OK to say tell people stray gossip that is hurtful and vicious.  It is OK to say, for example, “you look awesome”.  It is not OK to say your cancer is ‘“all in your head” and you need to buy supplements from me’. There are lies and then there are lies. Use that fabulous head of yours to comply with “telling the truth” that matters.

4. Manage your facial expressions and your gaze.

IMPLICATION:  Rolling your eyes as your sister tells you she has so many men calling her she doesn’t know who to choose to take her to the most expensive restaurant in town is fine.  But it is terrible to roll your eyes when your grown daughter, niece or dear friend is sharing that she is considering getting a divorce.  Look people in the eye with compassion, keep yourself composed and skip the “schoolmarm” or “queen bee I am above it all look” when tension is flying.

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5. Finally, be smart. Drop topics you don’t want to get into and rise above the nonsense.

IMPLICATION: Being smart in all senses of that word is the essence of being fabulous – along with being kind and “staying on your own yoga mat”.  Avoid or drop subjects of deep division with those you love and those you need to pretend you love. Stand for peace – with or without a sign. Be the model for sophisticated ease and grace.

If you are like us, you are counting the days till November 8th and not because you are worried you will miss the minute by minute polling. But not using this unique opportunity in this contentious election cycle not to brush up on being fabulous would be a big mistake. Thank God no one will be discussing that mistake in a round table of experts later this week, or weeks to come. Oh, but do vote.

Patty Gill Webber

Chuckling in San Diego

Bill and I were in San Diego the week of February 28th getting a needed break from the desert of Tucson. There really is nothing quite like the ocean, and walking on its sandy shore to revive one’s spirits and to listen and hear divine advice from above (whatever or whoever you think is up there!). The air, the crash of the waves, the hope – it always inspires, soothes, and revives my soul.

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We stayed at a lovely resort that was hosting several business conferences. Seeing all those eager, focused, certain, fast walking/talking men and women with name tags and meetings/parties to get to brought memories of my career adventures. As a former conference speaker and attendee/participant it brought back the pressure, planning and intensity that went with those many meetings of the 80s, 90s and first decade of the 2000s. The first thing that hit me was how I couldn’t really remember much I ever said, or heard – but I was at the same time certain it was important and meaningful. Chuckle number one: great memories of just doing and being somewhere is enough – the words while agonized over, were likely the least important part of the program anyway.

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I dress for dinner – always have, always will. Unless home alone or literally at a picnic or barbecue, when the sun sets and it’s time for dinner, I put on makeup (or freshen what’s on) and put on “something nicer”. Given my age and that I grew up in New York, that generally means a black something – pants, top, dress, skirt, scarf, wrap of some sort – some heels and often earrings, necklace or a bracelet – and when I remember, perfume. Big bag gets turned in for smaller one.

I have come to realize, confirmed on this trip and dozens of others in the last few years, that this effort and approach to dining is not just a little old-fashioned, it is nearly completely absent from dining. Whether highbrow, expensive and sleek, or down home, family friendly and loud – few people seem to want to, or like to dine.

So what’s the chuckle? People actually look a little strangely at you when you arrive at a restaurant, or seem to be off for the evening. The look says: who are those people and where are they going? As if you couldn’t be this “dressed up” (a truly ancient concept) and just going to eat something and be with your phone. Why would you bother? It’s just un-American. I find this a huge chuckle – and OK with me. This is one life strategy I am not going to completely give up – if that labels me old and out of it, so be it.

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Finally, the real chuckle of the trip: being asked by traveling business people from Canada if they should be scared that Donald Trump might be President. We were asked this at least 10 times – it was a big Canadian conference. We found it funny that anyone cared, found it funny that these well-read people were this worried, and funny and sad that we were having to defend our pathetic-looking Presidential race. We assured them it couldn’t happen.

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Then we got up each day and saw/read the news and thought: Is any of this really that funny anymore? Not just that we have become such an odd country politically, but that we don’t even care enough to look great anymore as we compete more aggressively in the global marketplace. We sort of chuckled. This isn’t going to keep going this way is it? Or, is it? Let’s make America at least a place we are proud to be from. I think the election will put us there again – and women and men are going to dress beautifully for the inaugural ball. That gives me hope – lots of it. Next thing you know people might dress for dinner.

Patty

 

 

What We Learned In 2013

  1. We still love writing ‘Fabulous’ and are more excited than ever to be sharing our own discoveries of life in our 60s. We think we’ve just begun to get in the groove of this project.
  2. Losing people we love hurts even more than we thought it would. But, rather than just causing sadness, it is helping us to live with purpose.
  3. Millennial’s are the next Boomers. We are OK with that. Their tastes will prevail — except when it comes to the décor of “senior living” homes.
  4. We can say with absolute certainty we no longer look “hot” — but we still seem to “simmer” for a couple of guys — let’s call them Bill and Ray.
  5. Time has sped up. We know that’s true because we have a hard time keeping up with everything – even though there is less to keep up with.
  6. Letting ourselves off the hook is OK, as long as we don’t stop remembering birthdays of dear friends, celebrating the holidays with some style, and embarking on our perennial new year’s diet.
  7. Work is still fun and a hoot. But in small doses. We wish Hillary well — but we are too exhausted to even think about running for neighborhood association chair much less President.
  8. We care more about important things and less about nonsense – but the definitions of what those are keep shifting.
  9. There is always more good in the world than bad. Unfortunately, the bad seems to trend on social media more often than we like. (Miley Cyrus is the number one trend. No comment.)
  10. A new year is wonderful — we can still pretend we are starting all over again despite evidence to the contrary!

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Patty and Cathy

Diana Nyad and Kathie Lee Gifford – What Can We Learn From Outstanding Women?

When Kathie Lee turned 60 on August 16th I was at the gym watching a few minutes of her Today show with Hoda. There she was — in a third or fourth incarnation as entertainer, having survived enormous highs and lows, and flashing a “fabulous 60” sash!  I was so excited — Kathie Lee is now officially fabulous over 60 and can start reading our blog!  If you know her can you pass it along?

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When Diane Sawyer interviewed Diana Nyad after her epic swim from Cuba that started August 31 and ended 53 hours and 102 miles later, the 64 year-old looked radiant, triumphant, serene, and absolutely elated.  Despite failed previous attempts and personal challenges—there she was—celebrating fresh achievement in her 60s.
 
Do women like Diana and Kathie Lee inspire or intimidate us?  What effect does reading/thinking about the hundreds of outstanding 60+ women have on our efforts to make our own lives the best they can be?

“The toughest athlete in the world is a 62 year-old woman.” – D.L. Stewart. Dayton Daily News

First lesson—what do you feel about others’ success?  Jealousy?  “Yeah, Jane Seymour looks fabulous at 62 — so what?  She was always naturally gorgeous and has facelifts and tons of help“.  Mean-spirited?  “I never liked Hillary Clinton or Jan Brewer—too arrogant.”  Proud?  “Hurrah for her — go girl!”
 
Strong feelings (positive or negative) to someone else’s success can give you some insight into your own life and choices.
 
No successful 60+ woman has not endured failure and of course profound loss.  What can you learn from how outstanding women handled this universal challenge?

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Finally while realizing that no one succeeds at everything, to succeed at ANYTHING requires basically what we sometimes (especially when tired or frustrated) wish it didn’t: continued discipline, commitment, endurance, learning from mistakes, and the BIG ONE: personal responsibility. Retiring from one path, or changing gears doesn’t mean stopping or lowering standards, but rather applying these qualities of success to new and different goals.
 
Today I started a new routine. One that’s based on watching and figuring out that successful people start with a “First Things Firstmentality — hey I TEACH this stuff!!  But teaching isn’t doing.  Some of my recent observations of people like Diana and Kathie Lee have shown me I am still wasting time on what is not important TO ME.  And that I am not practicing consistent discipline that will move me toward my new goals.
 
So I started the day with writing (one of my main goals for my work now) – NOT CHECKING EMAILS.  Oh this is hard.  Really hard.  It would be so much easier to just say “to hell with it – I am/was successful enough”.  But then I wouldn’t even have a shot at being fabulous—and that continues to be out of the question.

Our FANTASY notes from readers – “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride!”

Hi Cathy and Patty: Been busy in the middle east and also trying to figure out next steps in my career in 2013 after the President found a great replacement for me. I’m so excited that you started FabulousOver60.com! With the plans I am considering it is clear that the 60s bring new opportunities that weren’t available earlier. I may be reaching out for help in a few years (and you know why!) — with all the readers you’ll have it is a place I need to keep an eye on! Good luck with your new venture! Hillary

Hi Patty and Cathy: I am Clara Normal Person. 63 and pretty good looking all things considered — and that is a lot. I never saw myself as anything “fabulous” — too busy being a mom and taking care of other people’s lives. But in the last 10 years things have changed — my husband passed away and I realized I did want to start dating again. I lost my “secure” job at a University and am now doing some independent consulting and thinking of starting a new firm with an old colleague of mine. Guess I am a more fabulous than I knew — getting laughs and some motivation and support from your blog — keep ‘em coming. Clara

Hi Cathy and Patty: Being a successful actress in one’s 60s wasn’t really possible decades ago in Hollywood — old and out was the simple norm — especially for women. But I have been very blessed professionally to be working now when it is possible to be 60 and fabulous — and that has helped me keep moving forward in my career rather than yearning for what was. Going to send your blog to a few of my friends as well as keep reading it myself — thanks for sending it along. Meryl (Streep)

Hi Patty and Cathy: I am Mary Jane Lawrence. Cathy/Patty — don’t you remember me? We went to kindergarten together in Cincinnati/Mt.Vernon, New York. GREAT TO SEE YOUR NEW BLOG. Never was and never will be that fabulous — but love your blog anyway! Keep at it. I know a couple of women who for real are truly fabulous over 60s — sassy, funny and risk takers. Something I am not. Going to keep reading and share it — hope you are sending this to everyone you ever went to school with — obviously they are mostly now fabulous women in their sixties. MJL

We did say if wishes were horses didn’t we? But maybe some of you will take a hint. Or, if we are not enough for you to write about — write yourself a note saying how great YOU ARE. One thing Fabulous Over 60 women know is that when something isn’t available — we CREATE it! So create your own praise as we have — then read it — it is like champagne — always delightful!

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