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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Refreshing the 60 Blog

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Anne Bradstreet:  Sweet words are like honey.  A little may refresh, but too much gluts the stomach.

It’s another Sunday, and another day to catch up on this week’s posts.  Please feel free to share with friends, families, and enemies alike.

Monday:  Gourding the 60 Blog

Tuesday:  Vacationing the 60 Blog

Wednesday:  Renumbering the 60 Blog

Thursday:  Seasoning the 60 Blog

Friday:  Learning the 60 Blog

We’re taking a break for vacation next week and I won’t have a “best-of” post next Sunday.  Let me know how you spent your extra few minutes.

 

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.

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.

Happy-fying the 60 Blog

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One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.

Are you happy?  Every day happy?  Or just when it’s time to clock out for lunch?  Or visit your grandchildren?  I try to be happy every day.  Even for just a few minutes.  Because the opposite of happy can be miserable.

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.  WalletHub conducted a survey and ranked all 50 states to find the Happiest States in America.  The website used three different metrics to determine the rankings:  (i) how emotionally and physically well its citizens are, (ii) work environment, and (iii) community gauges such as average leisure time and the volunteerism rate.

Here are the top and bottom rankings (the “happiness” score is out of 100):

Most Happy:

Minnesota:  71
Utah:  68
Hawaii:  68
California:  67
Nebraska:  66

Least Happy:

West Virginia:  35
Oklahoma:  35
Louisiana:  35
Alabama:  37
Arkansas:  37

What do you think?  Where do you live?

I found a quick quiz online to figure out how happy you are.  Check all that apply to you or that you agree with:

  • When you think about people in your life, you tend to think of those you care about and love.
  • You think life is getting better all the time.
  • When it comes to work or school, you enjoy a challenge.
  • You rarely compare your clothes, money, or possessions to those of your friends.
  • You enjoy giving to others, unconditionally.
  • You enjoy being around people.
  • You feel like your life is on the right track.
  • You aren’t afraid to stand up for what you believe.
  • There is enough time in your life to take care of yourself.
  • You have a strong positive attitude that has gotten you through tough times
  • When you feel confused, you just step back and remember that things will work themselves out.
  • If you fail at something, you try to make the most of the experience anyway.
  • You are proud of who you are.
  • You don’t take yourself seriously. Not at all.
  • You believe that finding meaning and happiness in life is something you have to do for yourself.
  • Even if things are bad, you can find a reason to laugh.
  • Even when your life changes drastically, you are able to thrive.
  • You would rather give a gift than receive one.
  • You feel like you can be yourself around your friends.
  • You let negative feelings go quickly.
  • You rarely feel lonely.
  • You feel like you have control over your life.
  • Over your life, you’ve learned a lot – and grown emotionally.
  • You could lose people you love (or be out of work) and still feel secure.
  • Life is good. You truly appreciate what you have.

 

What was your score?  I marked “yes” on 15 out of 25 statements, which makes me 60% happy.  I have some work to do.

For more information, visit Happiness Quiz.

 

Globetrotting the 60 Blog

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Socrates:  Why do you wonder that globetrotting does not help you, seeing that you always take yourself with you?  The reason that set you wandering is always at your heels.

I belong to a professional organization made up of legal secretaries, legal assistants, paralegals, and other support personnel in the legal field.  For more than 20 years, I was active on the chapter, state and national level, and held many leadership positions.  Our local chapter dissolved a couple of years ago due to lack of attendance at meetings, and lack of interest from future leaders (those darned millennials!).

Since our local chapter folded, I’ve been less involved on the national level as well.  The last few national conferences were held on the east coast, and next month, the meeting will be held in Norfolk, Virginia.  Next year, I understand it will be held in Phoenix, and I will even drag Leslie with me!

At the start of my career here in California, I met several wonderful legal personnel who turned out to be great mentors to me and others.  At the time, they were about the age I am now, and I remember thinking, “Wow, good for them!  Still working and kicking ass at 60!”  I learned a tremendous amount from each of them:  Darlene, Shirley (two of them!), Carol, Lyla, Jeannie, Ginger, Lyn, Lynn, and many more.

Of course, we’re now all spread out around the state and country, so I don’t see these women as often as I’d like.  But my favorite Shirley called me yesterday.  She tracked me down to ask about a local meeting place (it’s all about the networking!) and we chatted about our current statuses.

I’m not sure how old Shirley is, but I’ll guess she’s in her mid-70s. She is currently working one day a week in the office for her long-time boss, and does some other work at home.  She is saving money to pay for her January trip to Africa.  And next year, when she saves up the rest of the money (she’ll need $12,000!), she’s going to Antarctica.  After next year’s trip, she will have visited all seven continents.  Currently, she brags that she has visited 42 countries.

For as long as I can remember, Shirley has been a go-getter and a certification lover–just like me!  My professional signature contains four certifications (professional legal secretary, professional paralegal, professional secretary, and administrative professional).  Shirley was the only person I knew who had more initials after her name than me, including certified parliamentarian and others than I can’t even remember.  Anyone who can share their parliamentary procedure knowledge is a winner in my book!

Does Shirley make anyone else feel like a giant slacker, besides me?

 

 

Humanizing the 60 Blog

Brandon is back with the Humans of New York book that his loyal followers have been waiting for: Humans of New York: Stories. Ever since Brandon began interviewing people on the streets of New York, the dialogue he’s had with them has increasingly become as in-depth, intriguing and moving as the photos themselves. Humans of New York: Stories presents a whole new group of people in stunning photographs, with a rich design and, most importantly, longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor.  Let Brandon Stanton and the Humans of New York he’s photographed astonish you all over again.

If you’d like to read something inspiring and worthwhile, start following Humans of New York (HONY) on Facebook or other social media.  HONY is a photoblog and book that features street portraits and interviews collected on the streets of New York City.  Started by Brandon Stanton as a photography project in 2010, the initial goal was to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers on the street and “create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants.” After a while, he started interviewing the subjects in addition to taking their photos.  He’d include quotes and short stories, which went on to become an informative blog.  HONY has over twenty million followers on social media, and provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers.

A month ago, Stanton shared stories from Moscow.  Click on this link to read more about this young lady and see her photo:  Humans of New York.

“I’m ninety, but I feel like I’m fifty.  I don’t take any medicine.  I never complain.  I’m just happy to be alive.  I tell people:  ‘Start with what you have, not with what you want.’  Every day, I dance for two hours.  And I’m still really interesting too.  I love politics and literature.  I love the sciences.  And I’ve got a boyfriend named Alexander.  We exchange books.  I don’t even know how old he is.”

So many great things to talk about.  She feels fifty and, in my opinion, looks fifty.  How many people do you know who don’t take medications as they get older?  (I know of one person, over 65, who takes one pill a day…a baby aspirin!)  And, c’mon, who dances for two hours a day?

I love that she finds herself “still really interesting.”  Would you describe yourself that way?  Do you know anyone, especially over 60 or 70, that brags about how interesting they are?

 

 

Motivating the 60 Blog

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Saying no to others means saying yes to you.  Saying yes to you allows you to live in your true and authentic self.

Do you have motivating self-talk that works for you?  This tends to work best in situations that require endurance and confidence.  (See, for example, the contestants on Big Brother tonight!)  A pep talk can boost your confidence and make you believe in your worth and abilities.

But don’t expect it to happen overnight. Remember that before you truly believe a message, you must receive that message repeatedly.  Every time that you are in a position which requires some motivational self-talk, take the opportunity to deliver your positive message. With every use, you will believe it more and more.  I read a set of positive affirmations daily, and it helps me.

Not every message will work for every person.  Certain words resonate better with some than others.  To find the right message, you may need to do a little experimenting.  Have some fun to find the message that works best with you.  Choose words that invigorate you.  You may want to call yourself a superhero or remind yourself that you’re awesome.  And don’t forget the superhero stance.  Stand straight and put your hands on your hips, chest puffed out.  Imagine you’re wearing a cape, ready to take on Gotham City.  It works too!

When giving yourself a motivational pep talk, don’t give yourself anything to argue with. Using single words and short phrases helps you stay on track. You’ll be more likely to focus on your assets without getting distracted by nagging doubts.

New projects provide an ideal opportunity for instructional self-talk. Coach yourself during the important beginning stages. Be kind, gentle and supportive; just as you would be if you were coaching somebody else.

Because you’re being proactive and positive, you will drown out much of the negative self-talk which you may have become accustomed to.  Instead of 100% negative self-talk, you will dilute it down with every positive piece of self-talk that you deliver.

Break tasks down into specific steps. If you’re working on your public speaking, urge yourself to make eye contact, talk at an appropriate pace, and sound enthusiastic during your speech.  It is best to just focus on one or two of these habits with each speech. You will soon find that you do them without thinking about them and you can then focus on a different new habit for the next speech.

Picture yourself getting the results you want. Self-talk doesn’t always take the form of words. The images you present yourself with will also deliver either a positive or negative message. When you focus on a positive imagery i.e. achieving your goals, you are reminding yourself that you can do it; that you have the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary to be a success.

Soothing self-talk can help you manage tense moments with more comfort and skill. For best results, accept your emotions instead of trying to suppress them. You can act courageously even if you feel afraid.

Self-talk won’t make life’s challenges disappear. Bad things happen and if you want to continue to grow and thrive, you need to take on bigger and bigger challenges. There will be times when you have doubts and difficulties but these are opportunities to advance yourself.

You don’t have to live with negative self-talk. It doesn’t have to be something which just happens. If you leave your negative self-talk unchallenged, the consequences will continue to get worse, to the point where they cripple your self-belief and self-esteem. Instead, you can channel your self-talk and start moving in a positive direction. Get in touch with the thoughts that automatically run through your head, and turn them into a steady stream of encouragement. You’ll reduce stress, enhance your self-confidence, and enjoy more success in life.

What will you say to yourself tomorrow morning?

Talking the 60 Blog

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If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.

Hump Day.  The day we must get through in order to see the weekend in our rearview mirror.

Fabulous called.  I answered.  How often do you feel fabulous?  When someone asks you how are you, do you usually answer “fine” or list a variety of ailments and problems?  The world would be a nicer place if we all answered the “how do you feel” question with “fabulous!”  “Couldn’t be better!”  “Just fantastic!”

Just saying those words out loud makes you feel better too, doesn’t it?  You can’t say “Fabulous!” without puffing our your chest a little bit and putting a smile on your face!

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Try saying “Fabulous!” in a hushed voice with bad posture.  Your companion would undoubtedly say “what did you say?” and not believe you when you gave your response again.

We must take charge of ourselves.  What we tell ourselves inside our head comes out in our actions and beliefs for the day.  “I feel like staying in bed today” or “I feel a cold coming on” translates to feeling sluggish and eager for the day to end, so you can get home and crawl under the covers.

So stop negative self-talk to reduce stress.  Positive thinking can even improve your health.  (Imagine telling yourself “I feel great and don’t feel like I have a cold coming on!”)  Do not underestimate the power of negative self-talk. If you are consistently reinforcing low opinions of yourself, you will start to believe them and act as if they are real. You may not even be aware of the full extent of your negative self-talk but when you’re armed with a little knowledge, you can make some really positive changes.

You may already have strongly ingrained destructive self-talk programmed in yourself, and turning them around may seem impossible.  A great way to start on the road to constructive self-talk?  Tell yourself that you can see yourself in a more positive light.  Nip the dysfunctional self-talk in the bud.  Once you get in the habit of observing your self-talk, noting whether or not it’s constructive, you’ll find it that much easier not only to inspire others, but also yourself.

We need to hear a message multiple times before we accept it. So, instead of the negative messages which you have been feeding yourself, choose a kinder, more supportive message which you can give to yourself. Whenever you find yourself being negative, take charge of your self-talk and deliver this message to yourself, repeatedly. Your inner dialogue will grow wiser with practice and your self-talk will gradually become kinder.

It’s true that we sometimes speak more harshly to ourselves than we would to anyone else. Instead, talk to yourself as though you were a loving friend. Seek to be truthful and supportive with yourself.

How are you feeling today?