Imagining the 60 Blog

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David Bowie:  Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.

I recently read an article written by Adam Chester entitled “Seniors Gone Wild:  70 is the New 40.”  I immediately ripped it out of the magazine, with my promise to read it “later.”  Surprise, it’s only been in my file folder for two weeks!

Adam talks about his 76-year old grandmother (“Nana”) being his most active Facebook friend.  He gets daily updates of Nana’s activities via his social media newsfeed.  Nana could be dancing at her favorite restaurant with friends half her age or walking her dog on the beach.  She shares everything she sees online, including dogs carrying umbrellas and 18 hilarious selfies, and she takes every quiz she can find.

Adam believes that Nana’s activities on her “pocket computer” are related to the grieving after her husband of 50 years passed away.  There is no proper way to grieve, but Adam highlights the manner in which his grandmother treats her day-to-day affairs with energy and gusto.  Nana, of course, emotionally suffered after her husband’s passing, but she didn’t allow her grieving to stop her from living life to the fullest.

Adam describes Nana (even before her husband passed away) as a go-getter, world traveler, and enthusiastic social butterfly.  Most of us probably imagine a 70-year old grandmother sitting in a rocking chair with a ball of yarn on her lap and several cats at her feet.  But not Nana!  Because of Nana’s life-long thirst for life, Adam sees a change in his expectations for his future self and the manner in which he views seniors today.

I often wonder how my mother would have adjusted to the idea of a small pocket phone that would do everything she dreamed of.  Would my mother have gotten the hang of email or checking the movie schedule on an app?  What if she forgot to record her favorite TV show, and then could set the recording on the DirecTV app in a minute?  I picture my mother walking around in a daze because of all the new imaginative things we now take for granted.  Do you agree?

Aging is what you make of it.  As Adam states, “Although 70 is the new 40 sounds cliché, I’m certain that Nana and others like her are giving merit to this expression.”  I have several friends approaching 70 and they can run circles around me, a mere youngster only ten years younger.

 

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Learning the 60 Blog

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Mark Twain:  It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.

In high school, did you ever hear about the phenomenon where you’d put your school notes under your pillow while you slept?  You’d wake up in the morning and those notes would magically have drifted into your brain and you’d ace your test the next morning.  Who didn’t try that on more than occasion?  If you didn’t, you’re lying!

The theory of hypnopedia was in the news again recently.  It’s the idea that you can learn new facts or skills while asleep, by hitting ‘play’ on recordings before you hit the pillow.

Sleep-learning is an attempt to convey information to a sleeping person, typically by playing a sound recording to them while they sleep. Wikipedia tells us research on this has been inconclusive. Some early studies tended to discredit the technique’s effectiveness, while others have found that the brain indeed reacts to stimuli and processes them while we are asleep.

A recent pop-culture example of sleep-learning can be seen in a 1997 episode of Friends.  In “The One with the Hypnosis Tape,” Chandler borrows a smoking-cessation audiocassette from Rachel, which he listens to while he’s asleep. The tape tells him that he is “a strong, confident woman” who doesn’t need to smoke. In typical Friends fashion, Chandler stops smoking, but also begins acting effeminately.

At the time, I didn’t know there was a name for this process of sleep-learning.  Back in the 70s, we just thought we were being cool.  I guess we were also ahead of our time.

 

 

But we DO make new memories during the deepest part of our sleep cycle – like sound patterns. You’ll get to that deep sleep faster with this mattress and pillow.

Sunday 10/1 Rehashing the 60 Blog

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You’ll attract more sweetness with sugar than you’ll get rehashing old crap.  Move passed the past.

Another month gone, another Sunday upon us.  And time to rehash my posts from earlier this week.  Please share with your friends and enemies.

Monday:  Booking the 60 Blog

Tuesday:  Phoning the 60 Blog

Wednesday:  Java-ing the 60 Blog

Thursday:  Freeing the 60 Blog

Friday:  Friending the 60 Blog

Next week’s topics include pumpkins and vacations.  Stay tuned!

Besting the 60 Blog

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Amazing Fact:  People want to see you doing better, but not better than them.

Business Insider recently published an article about the perfect age to do certain things. They asked:  What are you best at RIGHT NOW?

Here are the ages when you peak at everything:

From 7-8, learning a new language is easiest.

From 9-10, you’re least likely to die.

At 18, your brain works the fastest.

At 22, women are most attractive to men.

At 23, people have the highest satisfaction with life.

At 25, muscles are strongest.

At 31, you’re the best at playing chess.

At 39, women make their highest salary.

At 48, men make their highest salary.

At 50, math skills are highest.

From 75-84, you feel most comfortable with your body.

At 82, your psychological well-being is at its highest.

I see I’m far beyond making my highest salary, I can’t learn any more math, but I have to wait another 15 years to do away with body issues.  What about you?

No matter how old you are, there’s always something to look forward to.

Listing the 60 Blog

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Put yourself at the top of your to-do list every single day, and the rest will fall into place.

Do you have a to-do list?  Do you tackle every item on there every day?  I keep a notepad on both sides of my bed, ready to write down a thought or idea at any time during the night.  How often do I do that?  Not at all, but you can’t be too prepared.

My ideas typically come to me in the shower or the car.  Notes in the car are fairly easy, but the shower poses a problem.  So when I’m conditioning my hair and get a brilliant idea, I repeat it to myself over and over until I get out of the shower and get to a pen and paper.

This has worked for me for a long while.  I put all the notes in my purse and take them to work to look up a recipe or address, or a reminder to call the homeowner’s association, or whatever.

And then the notes pile up on my desk!  I just pulled out a stack of nine pieces of paper, some with two or three items on each page, and only one or two are crossed off.  Needless to say, I can’t expect to tackle the entire list of to-do items at the office, since I don’t get paid to do personal things here at my desk.  Darn it.

What’s your secret to getting the little things done?  Maybe you have a personal assistant?  Or a spouse or significant other who doesn’t mind doing those nagging little tasks?

Landmarking the 60 Blog

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When someone treats you like an option, help them narrow their choices by removing yourself from the equation.  It’s that simple.

It’s been a year since I officially bid farewell to my prior employer.  I’d been there fourteen years and had no reason to assume I wouldn’t retire from there.  The managing partner and I started working together over 30 years ago.  I was a new legal secretary in California and he was a second-year associate.  We worked at several law firms together until he opened his own practice in 2002.  I was the go-to person.  I was employee number two.  (Employee number one had a last name starting with “V” and, therefore, beat me!)  As the saying goes, “I knew where the bodies were buried.”  The history, the people, the good, the bad, the stuff that mattered.

Then one day last June, I realized I had had enough.  I just couldn’t work there any more.  I took a stress leave of absence, went through group and individual counseling, increased my medication dosage, and learned useful meditation and mindfulness techniques.

Last September, at the end of my leave, I officially gave notice to my boss in-person and we parted ways.  It was bittersweet and I went through a period of grieving.  My ex-coworkers and ex-bosses perhaps also felt a sense of loss, making the same mental gear-shifts they needed to in order to reconcile not seeing me every day.

A big change for me meant a big change for them too.  After all, I was practically a part of the furniture.  Maybe they missed me and maybe they didn’t.  I’ll never know.

Perhaps no one reached out because they were feeling anxious and awkward.  Here I am, working on Friday afternoon, and not returning on Monday morning.  So no one really knew what was happening, nor did I wish to tell them anything.  Maybe we’d keep in touch via email or social networks, but that didn’t happen to me.

I know it’s normal to feel a bit of sadness when you leave colleagues and friends behind.  Maybe they were pissed that I left.  Or they were happy and proud of my change.  Advice columns state:  “Just do what you can to keep in contact.  If you want to.  Things will never be the same.  That’s life.”

Indeed.  Over the past year, I periodically would wonder about those ex-coworkers.  And maybe they wondered about me too.  But no more.  As the year moved on, I thought about them less and less.  And I’m sure they did the same.

I’ve made new acquaintances at this current job, and I’ve come to realize that working at age 60 is different than it was at 30.  Remember when work was your main source of a social life?  And now, while I’m friendly with folks at work, my social life and my work life don’t intersect.  That’s just the way it is.

 

Catching the 60 Blog

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If all my friends jumped off a bridge, I wouldn’t jump with them.  I’d be at the bottom waiting to catch those idiots.

Today is a catch-all kind of day.  I’ve been collecting notes and tidbits for a while and I thought I’d share some now.

Months ago, I wrote about my Twitter account.  I don’t post anything, but I do follow several news organizations, celebrities, and some “real” people too.  I’ve been known to check Twitter several times a day, telling myself that I just need to find out “what’s happening in the real world.”  I just really want to catch up on the latest celebrity mishap or watch a new cat video.

Every day, I receive about a dozen sponsored posts from advertisers or people who the Twitter algorithm believes I would be interested in.  I admit, I think in six months, one of those advertisements appealed to me and I started following them.  (I can’t, for the life of me, remember who it was, however.)  But now I’m writing down the ones that are so far from left field, and I wonder how Twitter and the advertiser might think we’d get along.  Here are a few examples:

Dick’s Sporting Goods (sales job opportunity in Henderson, Nevada)
Christus Health (job opportunity for an inpatient coder)
AGT Auditions (“come show us your talent at our auditions near you!”)
JD & The Straight Shot band (who?)
Aklave (“looking for Afrocentric events near you?  We’ve got you covered!”)
Undark magazine (I have no idea!)
Test Card (“a urine test startup”)

Looking at this list, I don’t see one over another that would fit my background any more.  What do you think I’d be interested in?  I’ll share more with you next week.

And finally, I spoke with a vendor this morning who asked for my email address.  I gave it to her, spelling my first initial and last name carefully.  She knew my name, of course, and then asked me this simple question:  “Are you spelling your name with a C?”  Yes, today I am spelling it with a C.  Ask me tomorrow, when I’ll spell my name with a Q.

 

 

 

 

Returning the 60 Blog

Cereal is an acceptable meal at all times of the day.

It’s Tuesday, which feels like Monday.  And time to get back to work after a nice relaxing few days off.  Leslie’s boss gave them extra time off, so she’s been out of the office since Friday, and she returns to work tomorrow.  I hope she’s home today doing some laborious tasks, like laundry and preparing dinner.

It wasn’t easy to get up this morning.  But there wasn’t much traffic on the road (maybe schools are out one more day)? and I came in to a dead plant and a dead lightbulb above my desk.  It looked like I was going to serve cocktails for happy hour at mid-day.  The building engineer was here in no time and fixed the bulb while straddling part of my desk and knocking my keyboard over.  Awkward for the win!

Today is also a day to celebrate someone’s retirement.

Last year, BuzzFeed wrote an article about Diana Hunter, also known as the Honey Bunches of Oats Lady.  As the article stated, “Unlike Flo [from Progressive], Diana actually works at the company that she promotes—she’s legit!”  The article goes on to commend Diana because she has a permanent smile on her face, and she finds joy and love in life by doing her job.  She made those “sparkle flakes” you love to eat with a spoon.

One of her coworkers notified BuzzFeed about Diana’s retirement last week and a follow-up article states:  “Diana here finds the JOY and LOVE in life by making these flakes.  She’s not an actress—she’s just like us!”  She is indeed work goals, happiness goals, laugh goals.  Diana is everything.

Do you have anyone in your life who reminds you of Diana?  Someone who just appears to love life, does her job with a smile on her face, and has the admiration of her coworkers.  Are you that person?  At one time, I might have been the one who did her job with a smile, but I was young then.

 

 

 

 

Hating the 60 Blog

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Martin Luther King, Jr.:  I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Did you know that there is a list of items that people hate, broken down by state?  The dating app, Hater, known for matching people based on mutual dislikes, recently released a map highlighting which of its topics users hate most in each state.  Here’s a sample:

California        fidget spinners
Hawaii             taking videos at concerts
Idaho               asking for directions
Iowa                 long hair on men
Illinois             biting into string cheese
Missouri          people who believe in aliens
New Mexico   polo shirts
New York        Times Square
Pennsylvania  people who use money clips
Texas                sleeping with the window open
Virginia            dabbing pizza grease with a napkin
Washington     Keurig K-cups

I just got my first fidget spinner (in fact, two in one week) and I leave one in my car.  It might not be the best place to use a mindless toy, but I figure I can spin it while waiting at the Starbucks drive-through (which is always crowded!).

I’m not into men with long hair and dabbing pizza grease is a necessity in New York.  :-0  And really, Missourians like aliens, and just not the people who like them?  That’s almost an oxymoron.

What’s on your list?