Begin Again, Today.

I always think of each Season as a new beginning.

But the truth is:

each day is a new beginning.

When we open our eyes in the morning, a new day begins.

A new chance

A new opportunity for change

a new beginning for the rest of our lives.

What we do in that day can change the course of our life

or the course of someone else’s life.

So use the opportunity

 

 

Smile at everyone

Say Hello

Offer help in any way,

Hold a door,

Offer your seat to someone standing

Pay for someone else’s coffee

 

Give a homeless person some money

and don’t worry about what that person will do with it.

Not your problem.

You are to be kind- that is all.

No judgments necessary.

When you get into bed at night,

think of the ways in which you made a difference that day

I guarantee you, it will become a good habit.

And when enough of us are doing it,

We can change the world.

The Awful, Dirty Truth about Retirement.

yourbeststyleguide

Here is an Upsetting Truth:

Retirement Sucks!

In reality,  retirement looks nothing like what I thought it would be.

I was looking forward to some fun…. free time.

“Flying by the seat of my pants” stuff.

I thought about lazy mornings in bed with a hot cup of tea.

Let’s see………

Who is having a meltdown on “The View” today.

Relax, stay in my pjs…

I’m not going anywhere!

No more meetings with clients.

No more “perfection”. No more deadlines

No more working!

I can take all the time I want.

I’M RETIRED!

I can finally commit to reading all the books on my

“FINISH ME ALREADY”  pile.

There’s plenty of time for:

Lunching with the girls…

Trying new restaurants…

Museums…..

Hopping a bus to New York for the day-

just to buy Chocolate Babka at Zabars!

(well- maybe not that)

OR

Jumping in the car and day tripping to…

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The Awful, Dirty Truth about Retirement.

 

Here is an Upsetting Truth:

Retirement Sucks!

In reality,  retirement looks nothing like what I thought it would be.

I was looking forward to some fun…. free time.

“Flying by the seat of my pants” stuff.

I thought about lazy mornings in bed with a hot cup of tea.

Let’s see………

Who is having a meltdown on “The View” today.

Relax, stay in my pjs…

I’m not going anywhere!

 

No more meetings with clients.

No more “perfection”. No more deadlines

No more working!

I can take all the time I want.

I’M RETIRED!

I can finally commit to reading all the books on my

“FINISH ME ALREADY”  pile.

There’s plenty of time for:

Lunching with the girls…

Trying new restaurants…

Museums…..

Hopping a bus to New York for the day-

just to buy Chocolate Babka at Zabars!

(well- maybe not that)

OR

Jumping in the car and day tripping to the shore,

just to take a walk on the beach and listen to the waves.

Yeah-

that’s the kind of stuff I was planning

and…….possibly taking a watercolor class.!

 

NOT HAPPENING

There are no lazy mornings-

because I have to go to Physical Therapy three times a week for my rotator cuff recovery.

My rotator cuff never gave me a moment’s trouble in my entire life!

Never heard  “a peep” out of it.

Barely knew I even had one.

until I retired in October.

Then, that thing went BAT SHIT!

Words like “Debridement”, “torn tendon”,

………”worse than we thought”

were being bandied about.

What originally was going to resolve with an operation

and five weeks of therapy

would now take six months!

REALLY?!

Those therapy appointments are squeezed in between

 a plethora of Dr. appointments

and my volunteering commitments.

And let’s not forget the MRI’s…

(” I am NOT going in there without some valium”)

After the Rotator Cuff Surgery, there was a nasty incident on the staircase, with my ankle.

Broken or Sprained?

Four months later

The Jury is still out on that.

This required a cast and MORE THERAPY.

 

Let’s just say… plaster is not a good look for anyone over 12!

So, they ripped that off and replaced it with a boot so big,

I could barely lift the afflicted leg.

Plus it adds like 10 lbs when you have to get on the scale at the Dr.’s office-

which is now almost every week

I always say no, but then they look at me the same way my mother used to:

implying I really have no choice.

What I really want to say is;

For Christ sake- I was just here last week.

Can’t you just use that number? How difficult would that be?

BUT NO… they can’t do that!

You wouldn’t want us to get in trouble, would you?

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”.

I just don’t want to get on that scale!

By February, life seemed to have calmed down a bit.

I could see the light at the end of the tunnel-

at least that is what I thought it was.

Maybe it was just a glimpse of the afterlife.

 

Then, one day, a day like any other,

I moved some boxes up from the basement,

into the car and back into another basement.

Now

I can barely stand up.

THE BAD BACK IS BACK!

 You guessed it…..

I am back in Physical Therapy.

I have made a commitment to my Physical Therapist

to help put all his children through college .

By Memorial Day- we  could be half way there!

 

My Orthopedic Surgeon

uses a lot of medical terms to explain my back problems.

But, in laymen’s terms, his assessment is:

“YOUR BACK IS A REAL MESS!”

So- no surgery because that would just make it worse.

And, of course- no opiates.

That’s fine with me because my raging sugar addiction is all I can handle.

But you know what we could do?

I’m waiting to hear the dreaded words.

We could try some ….

Physical Therapy!

( and you need a new MRI..)..

“More Valium Please”

 

I’m thinking about going back to work.

I need a break!

Retirement is a just place people go to fall apart,

so death doesn’t seem like such a bad option.

It’s a scam. It’s not fun.

It’s a pain in the… everything.

So, yes, sorry to tell you:

 Retirement is a hoax,

perpetrated on all of us for years,

merely to lull us into thinking if we work hard our whole lives

we will wind up with years of carefree enjoyment.

Don’t fall for it….. it’s a ruse.

We should start out in retirement in our 20’s

get our retirement money

when we have the bodies and energy to really enjoy it

 then start working after 50-

when everything turns to crap anyway.

Work for thirty years  to pay back our retirement advance

and then; just die!

That way, we get to spend our money and enjoy our lives!

 

Here is my advice…….Keep working!

Because once you retire,

it seems the body is programmed to immediately disintegrate.

All those years of investing, saving

and worrying that you would have enough money to retire- that’s over.

You aren’t going to have the time to spend it

because you won’t ever get out of Physical Therapy.

Then what happens?

Your kids finally get all that money

and THEY travel

spend it  ALL

and have years of fun on your dime!

 

At least now you know what is going to happen!

Plan Accordingly!

And don’t say no one ever told you!

.

 

 

 

 

Our Season of Liberation

I believe in the saying:

“For every thing there is a season

and a time for every purpose under Heaven.”

Many of us considered ourselves “liberated” women in the 60’s and 70’s

when we started our adult lives

Now, as we approach the end of all that stretched out before us so many years ago,

we have an opportunity to be liberated again.

 Every ending brings a new beginning.

 This is finally the season for many of us

in our sixties and beyond

who are divorced, widowed or still married,

to begin a new phase of our lives .

We have been liberated from all the roles we’ve had to play

and from many of the duties and expectations surrounding those roles.

Some, for the first time,

will be experiencing this new season

without a man in their lives;

due to divorce, death or disinterest!

A life of our own; defined only by us,

might be frightening at first

but can be exhilarating as well.

At this point in time,

We are no longer able to re-produce,

(Thank God)

not looking for approval or validation,

and

no longer searching for a mate.

We are comfortable in our own skin-

wrinkled though it may be.

 

Most of us are retiring or near the end of our professional lives.

We have raised our kids, loved, cared for and buried our parents

and don’t need to tolerate relationships

that sap our energy and waste our time.

 

Partners or friends who aren’t able to recognize or appreciate our

 intelligence, strength, accomplishment and compassion,

don’t need to be in our lives.

Now there is only time and energy for those who love and support us.

 

It’s time to become the center of our own lives,

which is contrary to everything we were taught as children

and practiced as adults and parents.

Carpe Diem!

Seize the day, buy the dress, take the vacation.

Re-invent yourself and then wake up tomorrow and do it again.

Have some fun!

What are you waiting for?

 

Don’t feel the least bit guilty about it

because we have earned it.

The prospect of this new-found freedom should bring excitement

as we enter this new phase our lives.

 

Growing older doesn’t seem to have a lot of advantages in this culture

but one of the best is that

The superficial aspects of life have quietly faded away

along with our youth.

and……

We no longer need to be self-conscious at the beach

because NO ONE is looking at us!

 

The only expectations we need to fulfill are those we have for ourselves.

That is freedom!

 

I love the saying :

” Aging is not about becoming who we are.

 It’s about letting go of who we aren’t.”

 

Let’s keep letting go of things,

situations and people

that no longer serve us or fit into our lives,

until we are reduced to the most concentrated,

 powerful, vibrant version of ourselves:

Older Woman XXX…

Triple Strength!

Let’s make this

The Most Exciting Time in our lives…….

Our Last Season of Liberation.

The Nostalgist

 

I finally have a word for what I am:

a “Nostalgist”

a person who romanticizes

the past and periodically yearns for things as they used to be.

Not in every way of course-

but generally for the way life used to be, when I was young.

I know I shouldn’t be looking back because

I AM NOT GOING THAT WAY.

But honestly,

sometimes spending time in the past

 gives me strength to face the present,

and the future, as well.

It’s a security blanket of memories from the past

which brings me comfort.

I remember those wonderful times in my life-

days when

 my parents and grandparents were alive,

there were big Sunday dinners and picnics,

 long leisurely afternoons spent swimming,

until we were shivering,

blue-lipped & red-eyed !

There was food and laughter.

We were young, happy and healthy.

and we were all together.

 

I am now the oldest living person in my family and statistically

“the next one to go”.

I don’t find that comforting in any way.

( and I don’t intend to comply with statistics)

It’s hard to get older and see friends and loved ones

leaving the planet.

I miss the days when I had

my entire life spread out before me,

like an endless novel, with all sorts of plot twists

and different endings-

just waiting for me to choose.

There was absolutely no sense of my own mortality.

I’m not sure if that was a gift or a curse.

Of course, I had no idea how much things would change.

I was surrounded by family who encouraged me,

cared for me, loved me and

made me feel safe.

Now, it’s my job to do that for others.

As we get older

I suppose it’s perfectly normal to look around at life

and be somewhat shocked at how the world has changed in the

years since we arrived.

Thoughts of my childhood

are filled with blue skies, sunshine, puffy clouds,

and soft, romantic colors;

like a Bonnard painting.

Not too precise.

The past is comforting because

We don’t see it in the reality of the present.

It’s not fixed in our minds,

so much as it rests there-

light as a feather,

easily embellished and re-imagined.

So, for now,

I will continue being grateful for what is…

living in the present moment.

with it’s challenges and rewards,

sadness and joy

 gifts and burdens

 accepting each thing as it comes.

But I will continue to look back as well,

being comforted and finding strength in what used to be.

After all, if I didn’t do that- I couldn’t call myself

” A Nostalgist”

 

 

 

Letting Go of Summer

 

 

As Summer falls away,

she leaves me with a myriad of vivd memories.

All the images are worth savoring and they are coming with me,

as

Autumn sends a note of golden leaves,

floating on air, announcing her arrival.

The seasons are all visitors.

I’m happy to see them come and

I’m sad when they leave

but there is always another to follow and that is exciting.

 It’s good to remember just how wonderful every day life really is.

Perfect, Balmy Summer evenings…

The Ocean on Hot, Sunny Days……

 Hummingbirds and Honeysuckle… …..

Tomato & American Cheese on White with Mayo……..

Laughter with friends…..Ice Cream with peaches

The Majesty of Thunder & Lightening Storms….

Wind Chimes…… Peace & Quiet…

Sadness at the passing of another season.

Joy that I was here to experience it.

 

I’ve stopped making too many plans

or thinking a lot about the future .

Because the truth is:

You just don’t know what’s coming.

So, swim in the present moment,

“until your fingers get all pruny”.

Then, gently let go of Summer.

Wait for your old friend, Autumn

to appear in all her splendor.

Welcome her with open arms .

She is bringing

more wonderful things, new experiences,

 and another season of change and surprise.

And Rejoice!

Rejoice that you are here to see it.

This Tiny Life

 

 

A dear friend of mine, who passed away a few years ago, referred to our time here on earth as:

“This Tiny Life”.

At first I didn’t quite understand what he meant, but I believe I do now.

At the beginning of my life, the thought of living 80+ years seemed like an eternity.

Time passes so slowly when you are young.

There were days I couldn’t imagine I would ever be 21.

That was years away!

But once you get going- on your own, in the real world,

things speed up.

There is college, career, dating, marriage(s), children, divorce(s)

your children’s activities, camps, family vacations,

school, work travel, moving, creating a home, climbing the ladder at work ,

sick children, sick parents,

 disappointment, sadness and joy.

It leaves little time for reflection.

When we do find the opportunity to reflect on time, we’ve used up most of it.

I’m 68 and I honestly do not know where the last 50 years have gone!

I know I’ve lived them.

But so much is just a blur in my memory.

The less time we have left, the faster it goes.

I’m beginning to panic, because I feel like I am just starting “to get it” –

just starting to understand what I’m doing here,

how to do it and how to make the most of it.

I’ve struggled, as we all do ,

trying to figure things out and

I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to figure things out

is a waste of what little time we do have.

Just live. Jump in. Do it!

Do your very best and always try to do better.

 Embrace this tiny life, on this beautiful blue planet.

Be happy for each and every little thing along the way;

Celebrate being here and how much beauty  there is.

 Be grateful for each blessing you have

and believe me, there are many .

 

All the pain and misery we endure along the way

is something that cannot be helped.

 It cannot be avoided so all we can do is change our response to it.

 We can lessen the effects through our gratitude for life and

our determination to be happy with “what is”.

Don’t let anything rob you of your happiness.

In doing so, we may live out this “tiny lifetime” the way it was meant to be lived;

joyfully, loving and being loved;

 secure in the knowledge that we made the most of all of it.

When it’s time to leave, there will always be sadness, tears and pain.

But hopefully ,we will leave without a lot of regret

about how we lived this tiny life.

The choice is ours to make.