A Woman’s Age

shoes175

There are three ways to tell a woman’s age: her neck, her hand, and her shoes. The neck and hands you can do little or nothing about, that’s just nature taking its course. You, however, control your shoes.

Neck.  If a wrinkling neck bothers you, find ways to take some of the attention off the neck – both mentally and physically. For example, you can take comfort in the fact that you are not alone; and ignore it. Or you can follow my lead and wear scarves. I wear scarves more and more every day. Not only does a scarf take the attention off the neck, it can add pizzazz to a humdrum outfit.

Hands.  The hands are a dead giveaway. There is literally nothing you can do about aging hands. You can’t hide your hands. You can, again, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone; and work with what you have.  This might mean something as simple as regular manicures (I do my own); and keeping your hands moisturized. Regularly, I treat my hands and nails with extra virgin olive oil. And, I mostly wear clear nail polish.

Shoes. You have complete control over the shoes you put on your feet…from athletic wear to dress wear. No “old lady shoes” for me!  However, even for me, there’s a time and place for “old lady shoes”. If you don’t know what “old lady shoes” look like, just Google “old lady shoes” and check out the images. How similar are these images to the shoes in your closet?  When it comes to your feet, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style; you can have both.  There is absolutely no reason to let your shoes broadcast your age – especially if you’re one of those women who shy away from telling your age.

Take a quick tour of your closet; your shoe rack.

Think on this. By your shoes, what is your age? Are you sacrificing style for comfort?

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What Every Woman over a Certain Age Should Have

What Every Woman

There are a few things every woman over a certain age should have. Here is my personal list.

  • An attitude of gratitude.
  • A healthy self-image.
  • A positive attitude.
  • A little black dress that makes you feel and look gorgeous.
  • A good bra to give “the girls” a boost.
  • A good body shaper to wear under that fabulous black dress, thus hiding a       flaws.
  • Good teeth and a dazzling smile.
  • At least one sexy pair of comfortable shoes.
  • Two good (leather) purses.
  • A strong, healthy mind and body.
  • A “drop-dead” gorgeous (recent) photo of yourself.
  • A strong savings account.
  • At least one good girl friend who knows all of your secrets.
  • A healthy, vibrant companion who shares some of your interests – i.e., walking, traveling, dancing.
  • Something (or someone) you are passionate about.
  • A big screen TV.
  • Several pairs of reading glasses.
  • A Smartphone or I-pad.

What do you think? Did I miss something? If you would like to add to this list, please do.

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Be Heard and Seen… in 2015

Be Heard

Welcome to 2015! Resolve to: let your light shine a little bit brighter than it did in 2014… and have a stronger presence in your community. To do this, here is what I am suggesting.

  • Exercise. You don’t need 1 or 2 hours, you only need 20 or 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, to see results. Shoot for cardio, balance, stretching, and resistance training. For cardio, mix it up – walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, biking.
  • Eat and drink consciously. Be more aware of what and how much you eat and drink. Your food/drink choices can affect my body, mind, emotions, and overall well being – now as well as in the future. Making better food/drink choices isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Drinking consciously means adding more plain water to your daily diet.
  • Volunteer. To add some real excitement to your life, volunteer. The benefits are too numerous to list here. Just know, however, that your community AND you reap tremendous benefits when you give the gift of your time and expertise.
     
  • Listen more. Listen without interrupting, without giving advice, and without telling your own story. You can tell your story, later. Sometimes, people just want to be heard.
     
  • Connect. Have one person you connect with every single day. This is especially important as you get older. It lets at least one person know that you are alive and well. And, it lets the other person know that they matter. Further, it demonstrates your commitment to being heard and seen.
  • Be positive. Every day, resolve to do these three things to maintain a positive attitudesmile, focus on what you have not what you don’t have, and expect only great things to happen to you.
     
  • Be authentic. Everything is easier when you are relevant, helpful, authentic, and “do you”. To “do you” is another way of saying, be yourself.
     
  • Be thankful. Make thankfulness a daily habit. Each day is a gift. So, be gracious and grateful.

What are some of your plans for being heard and seen in 2015? Let me hear from you.

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Being in a State of Gratefulness

State of Gratefulness

“Thank you”… two of the most powerful words in the English language. It’s little, it’s big, it’s easy, and it costs nothing. But, it goes a long way.

Again, the season for gratitude is upon us. In reality, gratitude has no season.  Every season should be one of gratitude; the heartfelt appreciation for whatever one receives. We are to be grateful for everything… for every day, every hour, every minute, and every second; for all things – big or small, tangible or intangible.

There will always be people who have more than you have. There will always be people who have less than you. There will be always good days and there will be better days. The key is to be thankful for whatever day you have. Even though a situation may look bleak, look for something to be thankful for. Everything counts. My mother exemplified in its humblest and simplest form, the true spirit of gratitude. She was grateful for every moment, every day, and everything she had. Her motto was: Be thankful for what you have, not what you don’t have.

Make thankfulness a part of your daily routine. Keep a gratitude journal. And, at the end of the day, write down all those things you are grateful for – big and small. And, make it a habit to thank people. Thank them for little things. Thank them when they least expect it. It doesn’t matter if you say thank you verbally, with a note, card, email, or a small gift, just say it.

What are you thankful for?

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Embrace Your Age

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

A Work of Art

Paula’s husband, a handsome man in his late 70s, proudly volunteers that he is 78 years old. This annoys his wife of 50 years because, in her words, “He is broadcasting my age; not just his. It’s nobody’s business how old I am”. Though still a beautiful woman, one can clearly see that she is in her mid to late 70s. But, apparently, she doesn’t want this confirmed. While her husband fully embraces his age, she doesn’t.

Whatever your age, it’s something to be proud of! Embrace it!  Be proud that you’re still in a position to be of service; to enjoy life; and to make a difference – in some small or large way. It’s impressive, attractive, and empowering when you fully embrace your age –whether you’re 50 or a 100. My friend, Helen (above), embraces her age; and already making plans to celebrate the big 8-0.

When I think about embracing your age, I am reminded of this Maya Angelou poem which beautifully expresses how we ought to feel about aging. And, it challenges the longstanding view of aging as decline.

On Aging

“When you see me sitting quietly, like a sack upon a shelf, Don’t think I need your chattering. I’m listening to myself. Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me! Hold! Stop your sympathy! Understanding if you got it, otherwise I’ll do without it! When my bones are stiff and aching and my feet won’t climb the stair, I will only ask one favor: Don’t bring me no rocking chair. When you see me walking, stumbling, don’t study and get it wrong. ‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy and every goodbye ain’t gone. I’m the same person I was back then, a little less hair, a little less chin, A lot less lungs and much less wind. But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.”

How do you feel about your age? Do you treat it as if it’s some big state secret? Or do you embrace it?  Let me hear your thoughts.

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Lifestyles of Agless People

Never Too Young

You’re never too young or too old to build a solid foundation for becoming ageless.

Have you ever pondered the lifestyles of people who don’t seem to get old not matter their chronological age?  Recently I have been paying a great deal of attention to these people (mostly women). And, here are a few things I have discovered; a few things they have in common.

  • They are active – in every way. They are engaged and involved in some type of social activity – whether community or church. They all do some form of physical exercise on a regular basis. They walk, play tennis, take group exercise classes or swim.
  • They are conscious about what they eat. They don’t eat a lot of junk.  And, when they plan to put in long hours, they carry apples, nuts, water, and other healthy snacks.
  • They have a supportive inner circle. Some of these women have had the same friends for over 30 years. And, they take time out of their busy schedules to spend time with their friends and family. They cultivate relationships. They remember and celebrate special events like birthdays, and the like.
  • They are current. They keep up with current events. And, embrace technology. They are technologically and social media savvy; sending emails and text messages on a regular basis.
  • They are passionate about something. There are causes (or a single cause) they strongly believe in and commit their time to supporting. They are tireless and fearless – even though it sometimes means stepping outside of their comfort zone.

These women are a living testament to George Burn’s quote: “you can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old”.

Do you have some thoughts on not growing old? Let me hear from you.

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FINALLY: A Study About the Elderly that Makes Sense!

 

A friend shared the following in an email. Don’t know the author, researcher or scientist; or if there is any validity to this information. However, thought it worth sharing.

Brains

Brains of elderly people can be compared to a computer.

 For those of us who are zestfully embracing the aging process yet concerned about our ability to recall people, things, and events, this little tidbit of information will give you some comfort – as least it gives me comfort; and brought a smile to my face.

  •  Brains of the elderly are slow because they know so much. Scientists believe the brains of older people only appear to be less speedy because they have so much information to access, much like a filled-up hard drive computer.
  • So much stored information. Elderly people have so much information in their brain that it takes longer for them to access it.
  • Older people do not decline mentally with age. It just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains. Much like a computer takes longer as the hard drive gets full; humans take longer to access information. Researchers say this slowing down is not the same as cognitive decline.
  • Older people simply know more. The human brain appears to work slower in old age because so much information has been stored over time. Selecting a correct choice from the trove of stored data may take a bit longer.

I don’t know if this is accurate information. However, it sounds good; and it makes me feel so much better.  How about you?

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5 Ways to Age Zestfully

Positive Aging
(This is what positive aging looks like – ages 66 to 90.)

Don’t like getting older? Consider this: aging is a privilege many are denied. Since aging is inevitable, here are 5 ways to seize age; to grab it with gusto

  •      Zestfully embrace the aging process. Don’t fight it; embrace it. Contrary to what we may have been told, aging isn’t a disease to be avoided at all cost. It’s something to look forward to. If you don’t think so, consider the alternatives. You embrace the aging process by recognizing and accepting that negative things may happen to your body and your mind but they can only happen to your spirit – if you allow it. In zestfully accepting and embracing the aging process, you decide how you want to enter this phase of your life; the second half of your life. You decide if you want this phase of your life to be filled with fun, excitement, and the freedom to be who you are; a phase that is filled with unlimited opportunities and possibilities. Or, do you want it to be filled with trepidation, uncertainty, turmoil and regrets? Which one you choose is entirely up to you.
  • Stay physically, intellectually and socially active and engaged. Over and over again, we have heard about the importance of exercise, mind stimulation, and being socially connected and actively engaged with family, friends, and colleagues. This is the cornerstone of aging well.
  • Adjust your attitude. Aging well is all about attitude. Change the way you look at getting older, keeping in mind that aging is a privilege that many have been or will be denied. Consider yourself lucky.
  • Never stop learning. Learning is a vital part of positive aging. You can never stop learning. And, thanks to technology, learning is so much easier. Technology makes your life easier, more comfortable, and it helps you to maintain your independence. With technology, the whole wide world is just one click away.
  • Live with passion. Be passionate about something. Passion keeps you young in body, mind, and spirit. It gives a deeper meaning to your life. In some ways, it can keep you alive.

Are you grabbing age with gusto? Let me hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Women, Erotic Literature and Aging

Young Man Hiding Red Roses Behind His Back

“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves; we need oxygen and a candle to help.”  – Laura Esquival, Like Water for Chocolate

The 50 Shades of Grey trilogy has sold over 100 million copies, many to women over the age of 55. I think I am the only one of my boomer friends who has not read the book. However, after reading an article in the March/April 2014 issue of The Taos Institute of Positive Aging Newsletter, I just might revisit my reading list. Here’s why.

A team of Columbian researchers conducted a study that suggested reading erotic literature has a special power to enliven adults over 65!

According to these researchers, reading and discussing erotic literature had a positive effect on mood and overall wellbeing. During the yearlong study, adults over 65 gathered every 15 days in a university course to discuss the books they were reading from a list of suggested books that included Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival, Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence and similar books with strong erotic passages and themes.

The vast majority of the readers were women. Before the yearlong meetings, the women were evaluated on cognitive skills – including attention, memory, and narrative skills. At the end of the study, these diverse capacities had become stronger than before. The literature encouraged the group to share their own stories of romance, to express interest in others’ views and experiences, and to create an uplifting and light hearted atmosphere. Fewer participants expressed depressive thoughts at the end of the course.

Agree or disagree?  Have you read any erotic literature lately? What kind of impact did it have on you?

 

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5 Habits You Can’t Afford to Put Off

Healthy Foods

People who are aging in a positive way engage in the following lifestyle habits:

1. Eat breakfast. Positive agers (Pas) eat breakfast every single day. No, a calorie and sugar loaded donut and a cup of coffee do not count as breakfast. A nutritional breakfast is one that is high in fiber and other nutrients such as protein. Breakfast gets your metabolism revved-up resulting in more energy and fat-burning benefits throughout the day.

2. Eat healthy. PAs understand the importance eating healthy. My octogenarian friend told me that she attributes her longevity to her decision to take charge of her health, specifically concentrating on the foods she ate.  She avoids high caloric carbohydrates, high sodium, and sugar. She eats plenty of fruits and vegetables; and NEVER adds sugar or salt to anything.

3. Exercise. PAs engage in some kind of exercise every single day or at a minimum five days a week. Studies show that exercise, at any age, is beneficial. For example, there are health, longevity, and psychological benefits to exercise. And, the more you do, the more benefits you experience.

4. Pay attention to their dental health. PAs understand the benefits of good dental hygiene – a sparkling smile, healthy gums, fewer cavities. They also know the impact that poor dental hygiene can have on overall heath. Therefore, PAs are committed to flossing and brushing at least twice a day. And, they see their dentist at least once a year.

5. Use sun screen and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Everyone should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and wear sun screen. While the risk for skin cancer is lower the darker your skin, lower doesn’t mean zero. People of color may not wrinkle as fast as their blond, blue-eyed, freckled or lighter-skinned sisters, but their skin can also suffer the same kind of damage which includes skin cancer.

Think on this: Which of the above lifestyle habits you practice on a daily basis?

 

 

 

 

 

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