Moving the 60 Blog

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Jarod Kintz:  It’s sad to see old friends have to move away, but at the same time, you know the retirement home is the best place for them.

Friday.  Fri-yay.  Saturday eve.  I find that the time between Monday and Friday seems to be getting shorter as I get older.  Do you agree?  What are your plans for the weekend?

I have two friends moving out of California in the next couple of months.  One is having a home built in Nevada and the other found a large home (aka “the compound”) in Washington state for her and her family to live in.  Retiring and moving out of California seems to be the thing to do, since it’s expensive to live here.  And these two friends found perfect locations for them.

On Saturday night, a small group of us will be spending time with these two friends who are “abandoning” us.  One gal will still participate in book club via Skype and the other will have guest rooms available for Leslie and me when we take a road trip later this year.

I recently read an article about mobile homes (aka manufactured homes) and parks in Florida.  The state, of course, which seems to be where all the retirees are going.  I’m not sure I want to ever live there because, if you watch the TV news on any night of the week, crazy stuff always happens in the state of Florida!

But it might be a very economical place to live out one’s golden years.  Plenty of people your age, mobility ramps at public office buildings, and lots of opportunities to play bingo.  Plus, dinner at 4:30 and a bedtime of 7:30 seems pretty doable to me right now. Did you know that 6% of retirees move to Arizona and 16% move to Florida?  Tax preparers and clergy work the longest of any profession, and less than one percent of workers in jobs such as paramedics or computer systems administrators are over 65. Can’t keep up on the job as you age?  It’s time to leave!

So where do we go?  Our friends’ new retirement locations both have snow, so that’s out. People in Florida are nuts.  Leslie and I will likely be spending the next ten years figuring out where we can go so we can take care of each other.

 

 

 

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Continuing the 60 Blog

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I’m totally going to spend Saturday cleaning.  And by cleaning, I mean day drinking and spraying everything with Febreeze.

I started writing this blog simply as a way to express myself.  I always liked writing, but never had a reason to write.  Then last year, before I turned 60, I saw other friends writing blogs (with far more educational content, to be sure) and I thought it was something I could do.  I heard of Word Press and easily set up a daily blog.

On Monday, I will publish my 200th blog.  My bicentenary.  And I haven’t learned much more about Word Press than the day I first set up an account.

Until today.  I scheduled a coaching call with a Word Press guru (“Blogaroo”) who will show me the ins and outs of changing themes, adding my signature, using plugins.  And I just signed up for Word Camp, a two-day boot camp of training sponsored by Word Press that’s presented throughout the country.  Friends have attended past workshops in Phoenix and San Diego, and we’ll see how much more information I can stuff in my brain in mid-June.

I’m in a learning mood.  I’m learning new things on the job.  I’m going to start learning about and using a new skin care regimen.  Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

I just read this about literally teaching an old dog new tricks:  It is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks! If you adopt an adult or even a senior dog, you may be amazed at their ability to concentrate and learn new things. Adult dogs are often even easier to train than pups, simply because they have the ability to focus for a longer period of time.

Wow!  Substitute “dog” for “person” and “pup” for “millennial.”  Can you focus for a long period of time?  Do you think you learn easily?  It was all easy for me in my 20s and early 30s, and then I started feeling old in my 40s and 50s.  Now that I’m on the first rung of the 60 ladder, I’m feeling eager to learn.  Willing to try new things.

Bring it on.

 

 

 

Tossing the 60 Blog

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Dammit, I wish one of my personalities loved to clean. 

It’s Sunday.  A day of rest.  Or a day of preparation.

Marissa, the greatest-girl-on-earth, is going to spend three days with us in a few weeks to help me get started on my 2017 Remodel.  It’s going to be physically painful, but not emotionally painful.  I am ready to let loose of items I’ve had for many years and, even without opening my closet door and attempting to peek in, I know there are lots of clothes that will be donated next month.

When we bought our condo over 25 years ago, Leslie and I each walked through the front door and naturally gravitated to one end of the house or the other.  One bedroom had a bathroom inside, and the other had access to the patio and a bathroom with a window right outside the bedroom.

At the start, we were both in love with everything about everything.  My room was like a sanctuary, and it stayed that way for many years.  And then about ten years ago, it changed.  A friend of Leslie’s painted her bedroom, and she continued to rearrange and remodel.  Two years ago, we had the kitchen remodeled.  We are still in love with the kitchen, and Leslie is just going to change out a bedspread for a new look.

Me?  I’m stuck.  Red ceiling, black and white wallpaper border, a shelving unit braced to the wall.  A pack rat’s paradise, if you will. Leslie tells me:  “The 80s called and they want their room back!” What are the 80s gonna do with all this crap?

By the way, does anyone need a brass headboard?

 

Co-working the 60 Blog

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I wish we worked together so we could hate the same coworkers.

I have a friend who worked with a very toxic person and the atmosphere in her office was always negative.  My friend’s coworker is now gone from that office, and I’m told that everyone is now happy and cooperative during the workday.  How can a negative person bring you down, along with everyone else in your vicinity? How have you managed to keep your cool around someone who complains all the time and tries to sabotage you and your work?

I refer back to my Acquainting the 60 Blog post of earlier this week.  Can you truly put in a good day’s work when you’re working alongside a good friend?  Or are you coworkers from 9 to 5 and then friends on the weekends?  Or does that make you acquaintances? Can you separate the two?

I’m torn.  Many years ago, when I first moved to California, I didn’t have a car; I had to take several buses to get to work.  Every once in a while, a coworker would generously offer to drive me to or from work.  (I specifically remember a ride home in a DeLorean!) A couple of times, I was offered a ride by the office manager.  We didn’t socialize at any other time, but it was all about the perception.

The office manager was asked by her boss to not drive me home any more because it was perceived we were friends and I might have been given special treatment in the workplace.  That was far from the case, unless “special treatment” meant “let me help you save a few bucks on bus fare.”

My friend mentioned above told me of something that happened about two years ago in that office.  The office manager at the time and this particular (now gone) coworker went to lunch almost every day.  It really was nothing more than the two of them walking across the street to go shopping or buy a sandwich, but the perception was that they were sharing work secrets.

Maybe they were, and maybe that eventually led to both of them no longer working at the firm.  It’s a hard choice to make.

All I can say is Keurig is my favorite coworker!

 

 

Valuing the 60 Blog

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Don’t let anyone with bad eyebrows tell you anything about life.

Which asset do you value more?  Beauty or brains?

Barring a life-threatening accident, brains are yours forever.  Beauty lasts as long as you allow it.  One can enhance one’s beauty with makeup or surgery.   But you can’t enhance your brain capacity, can you?

What is beauty anyway?  Is it in the eye of the beholder, as they say?  Would you consider a 12-year old boy wearing makeup beautiful?  We watched Ellen yesterday, and one of her guests was a 12-year old boy singer.  (He will also be appearing on Little Big Shots this weekend.)  I thought he had an okay voice (he was trying WAY too hard), and he was wearing lots of makeup.  When he gets older, his goals are to “become a Kardashian” and to start his own makeup line.

I’m sorry.  Equal rights for all.  Equal pay for all.  Unisex bathrooms.  But makeup on boys?  No.  Is he going for beautiful?  To be different?  To make a statement?  I’m confused.

I personally don’t know anyone who is transgender, and I personally don’t know any parents of children who are confused about their gender identity.  I give those parents mad props for listening to their children when the child believes they are meant to be another gender.  Their emotional, physical and financial support is incredibly commendable, and I give them all of my respect.

To me, this British boy singer seemed to just want the attention.  Look at me, I’m on TV, I sing, and I wear makeup, and now you’re gonna talk about me.  I’d like to see a follow-up in five or ten years.  Will he be the next Ziggy Stardust or Adam Lambert?  Is he trying to get through high school without being bullied?

But maybe I’m looking at this singing phenom the wrong way.  Maybe he chose brains over beauty and is simply a marketing genius.  He’ll have a million dollars before he’s out of high school because he found an untapped beauty market.  I guess you can have brains AND beauty.  “People will stare.  Make it worth their while.”  Harry Winston was right.

Acquainting the 60 Blog

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Acquaintance:  A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.

What differentiates a friend from an acquaintance?  In this age of social media, how many “friends” do you have on Facebook?  Are they really all “friends”?

I remember a brief conversation I had with my mother when I was a young girl.  I came home from school one day and started talking about “my friend did this” and “my friend said that.”  My mother asked me if this girl was really a “friend” or an “acquaintance.”   She taught me the difference between the two and, fifty years later, I still see the value in her words.

I have over four hundred friends on Facebook.  A hundred of those are probably people I can picture in my head.  What they currently look like, and maybe even what they looked like when we were kids.  The other three hundred are people I went to school with or met through jobs throughout my career.  And of those hundred whose faces I can recall, maybe fifty would be considered friends.  And then maybe twenty of those would be good friends.

The root of acquaintance is the Old French word acointer, a verb meaning “make known.” Being the acquaintance of a person or topic means that you know something about it.  An acquaintance is less intimate than a friend, like a person in your class whose name you know, but that’s it.  (vocabulary.com)

It has everything to do with perception. Webster gives words a definition, but not meaning.  The evolution of social networking has changed the understanding of the word “friend.”  Someone becomes an acquaintance because you’ve had some sort of forced or passing interaction with them.  A friend is someone that you seek out; whether it is for comfort or pleasure is irrelevant.  Even still, this is certainly not an all-encompassing definition.  Each of us provides our own definition that suits our psychological needs.  (quora.com)

Supposedly, telling the difference between a friend and an acquaintance is quite easy. However, there are still many individuals who easily get fooled by others that make them believe they are their real friends, when in fact they aren’t. To prevent this, there are actually some hints that will guide you in discerning a friend from an acquaintance.

Foremost, you can gauge the level of your relationship with someone in terms of the depth of your interactions.  Acquaintances are those people who, even if you see them everyday, like those who work in the same place as you do, talk superficially with you.  A friend, on the other hand, is someone who shares a deeper level of interaction or communication.  Deep communication doesn’t imply frequent.  In fact, the truest of friends are those who, despite distance, still manage to catch up with each other once in a while and talk as if time has not passed by.

Secondly, a friend and an acquaintance have different levels of support for your interests.  A friend would most likely support you no matter what your endeavors are, whereas an acquaintance will just hang out with you whenever you have the same interests as them.  For example, if you are a painter, and you happen to open your own art gallery, you can spot your friends because they are also happy when you are happy; even if they aren’t fond of visual arts.  Oftentimes, those who only like you because you paint well are merely plain acquaintances.

Thirdly, with regard to the provision of favors, a friend is someone who either asks for one, or gives favors.  He may contact you because he needs you for something, or ask you about your problems so that he may be able to assist you.  Acquaintances are those who ask one-sided favors from you, and nothing else.  They are the ones who want to benefit the most from your relationship.

Lastly, an acquaintance or a friend can be identified in terms of physical presence. However, this does not mean that whoever is seen to be more physically present with you is already a friend.  Sometimes, people happen to be there by chance when you’re also there.  Most likely, these people are just your acquaintances.  True friends are those who really spend time with you, like having a long one-on-one talk with you some place else, or simply visiting each other’s homes and acting as if they actually own your house.  (differencebetween.net)

Can you name a few friends who can fill out these categories?

  • Friends are those with whom you share a deeper level of interaction.
  • Friends have all out support for your interests and happiness, unlike acquaintances.
  • Friends don’t do one-sided favors, unlike acquaintances.
  • Friends like to hang out with you on a much more personal level.

 

Doing the 60 Blog

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Be patient or become one.

I saw this on a license plate on the way to work this morning and I almost felt the need to smack myself in the head.

Of course.  A lesson I’ve been learning for months and months.  If you’re patient and not rushing (to make a decision, to get somewhere, to heat up your lunch), your day will go so much smoother.  You’ll have lower blood pressure and a lower pulse rate, and you won’t feel as if you’re on edge all the time.

Paul Coelho said:  “Why is patience so important?  Because it makes us pay attention.” Slow down, take your time.  Say “patience grasshopper” out loud if you have to.

Patience is defined as an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay; to bear provocation, annoyance, misfortune or pain without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation.

A tall order, to be sure.  But why sweat the small stuff?  In our everyday lives, we’re likely not trying to send a rocket into space or performing brain surgery on the Pope. We’re just trying to get by day by day.

Of course, as we age, patience becomes harder.  Carl Hiaasen said “One problem with age is that patience begins to ebb.”  Do you find that to be true?  As I age, I’m learning more about myself and how to be patient.  And kind.  And amazing.

 

Shining the 60 Blog

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There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others.  Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.

Did you know that perky people live longer?  It’s true, according to a recent article in Woman’s Day magazine.  The article states that women with an optimistic outlook were less likely to die from heart disease, cancer, and infection.  Research has linked the trait to stronger immunity and healthier cholesterol.

When you’re completely burned out, shift your thoughts from what’s wrong to what’s right.  Think about one or two things in life for which you’re grateful.  I try to think of at least one thing a day, even if it’s just that the sun is shining today.

What do you do?  When I was out of work last year, I found myself not wanting to get up in the morning, wondering what I was grateful for, and how I would get through the twelve hours ahead of me.  At the time, I felt I had no identity (no job title, no definition of who I was).  No matter how much we don’t like getting up when the alarm goes off, we need to do that and give the world the gift of us.

Every weekday morning, I receive a SHINE text, reminding me to be adventurous, normal, inspired, and yes, even perky.  My phone dings at 8:30 every day on the way to work, and I read the day’s message as I’m logging into my computer. A message from earlier this month particularly stands out:  The energy we absorb from close relationships informs who we become (no big deal), Caryn.  Today, double down on folks that lift you up.  A friend of mine receives these daily texts and believes that they are custom written just for her, just when she needs it the most.  I agree.  If you’re interested in receiving these inspirational emails, visit my link at www.shinetext.com/?r=W2LrZlwn.

We are the gift the world wants and, specifically, there are people who look to us for inspiration, just as we look to others in our circle.

Freeing the 60 Blog

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Most people don’t realize this, but you can eat organic, all natural, gluten-free food, without telling everyone around you.

Stomach issues?  Stress?  What is going on?  My doctor wants me to try a gluten-free diet for a few days to see how my stomach fares.

Surprise!  I don’t eat a balanced diet.  I don’t like many vegetables, and the ones I do like are carb-loaded.  Salad is good for me, of course, but not good for my stomach.  I’m too lazy to make a complicated dinner (like fish or chicken), so we usually do something easy.

What’s a girl to do?  Going gluten-free doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight.  Ditching refined carbs like bagels, pasta and crackers in favor of whole grains and maybe even fewer processed, packaged foods will cut excess carbs and increase fiber, nutrients, and soaring energy.  If you replace gluten-containing products with their gluten-free counterparts, you’re likely to ingest more sugar and fat, and, of course, calories.  Just because more gluten-free products exist than ever before, doesn’t mean you should eat them.

Time to learn which foods besides wheat contain gluten.  It’s found in rye and barley, and oats can contain gluten because they are harvested on the same equipment as gluten grains.  I need to remember BROW (barley, rye, oats and wheat), and not just when I need to have my eyebrows threaded.

Gluten often hides in the least expected places.  Veggie burgers, medications, salad dressing, licorice, artificial crab.  Of course, we’ll need to eliminate wheat based foods like bread and pasta, and then not fill up on gluten-free processed foods.  And stay away from eating, say, “gluten-free foods” at every meal, like cereal, bread and pasta.  We could be ingesting enough gluten to impair the progress of your gluten-free diet.

Many people come to a gluten-free diet because of a particular health issue.  Instead of simply replacing gluten containing processed foods with gluten-free processed foods, we’ll put the emphasis on whole foods that are naturally gluten-free like meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.  These foods help reduce inflammation (unlike high starch gluten-free foods which promote inflammation) and in conjunction with the elimination of gluten can have a huge impact on how you feel overall.

I just read an article about being aware of personal care products.  For instance, “Be particularly careful with eye and lip products, as they sometimes contain vitamin E that is derived from wheat germ.”  And be aware of cross-contamination.  “When first going gluten free, you’re going to need fresh condiments that are free of crumbs, a new toaster (if eating bread), new cutting boards and super clean cooking surfaces. Do not share food prep surfaces, cooking surfaces or utensils with gluten containing foods. When eating in restaurants, be sure to ask about their allergy protocol and don’t be shy about asking about ingredients in seasonings and dressings.”

C’mon people.  I have been feeling poorly for some time, and I expect that my body may be deficient in micronutrients.  I’ll need to load up on healthy, naturally gluten-free foods to help replenish what’s missing.  Just cutting out BROW products from my diet will make a huge difference, and I’ll worry about my lip gloss and toaster at another time.