Embrace your age, instead of dreading it. Join the conversation.

September 30, 2011

Shortcut


There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.
~Vicki Baum


All I wanted to do for my 50th birthday this past winter was to have a rock & roll dance party. So I did. It was really fun, but besides the party, the 2nd best thing about it were the weeks leading up to it when I was choosing what tunes to play from the 50s,60s,70s,80s and even 90s.

After days and days of dancing in the full length mirror next to my computer while picking my favorite dance songs (kind of like dancing with a partner..), I was primed. Then my firstborn burned four CDs of the music and we were ready to let the mid-winter partay begin.

The 3rd best thing about the party lives on. I still listen to the music from it all the time while driving around, making dinner, or just hanging around the house. I've been dancing for nine months now and I don't have any plans to stop.

Ever.

Dancing really is a shortcut to happiness.

Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. ~Dave Barry

Or sit down and do it :-)

Forget about what you look like, or what anyone thinks, and just have fun.

Life is too short to be self-conscious don't you think?

Yeah baby!

September 27, 2011

Fall 2011 Fashion Forecast


It’s time for the seasonal fashion report. I want you to know that I bring you this more for myself than for all of you. Actually, I frequently write about what I need support with! Who am I kidding? Now that I’ve been out of the corporate world of fashion for several years I have this fear of wearing inappropriate, outdated clothing.

In fact, I worried about it even before I left:

What???  I LOVE this skirt! So what if it's from fifteen years ago and no one has worn the silhouette since the Clinton administration. My black wool, knee length, A-line, twirly skirt is fabulous I tell you!

Actually this season it just might be. Don't ever throw anything away that you really love.

Ninety-year-old Iris Apfel says that "Dressing is an exercise in creativity." An inspiring concept to keep in mind as we continue along in this journey of growing older and better.

Okay, so new for fall...

For fall, and winter, the waist has returned. Whether on a belted swing coat, a curvy dress or pencil skirt, the emphasis is on the waist. I know, I know. Many don’t like to hear this but I thought I’d at least pass it along. Think peplum silhouettes.

Or wear whatever the hell you want!

The season’s most distinctive looks, include big shoulders, Victorian lace, glitter shoes, fish-scale-like paillettes, and enough fur to keep everyone warm no matter how cold it gets. Ick. Double-breasted is the season’s most classic look. Now this I like.

Fall 2011's Freshest Hues


Also hot this season:

Chunkier sweaters (love.)
Tartan plaids
Choker necklaces
Lots of leather- especially leather leggings (really?) and leather dresses
Black and white
Orange, rust, mustard, midnight blue, and brights!
Clutches and snakeskin
Shimmer
Long coats and dresses with high slits
Mixed prints, graphic prints
Velvet
70s styling
To the knee skirts, midi and maxi skirts
White tuxedo jackets
Polka-dots
Military styling

Humm this forecast sounds a bit similar to the spring one I posted.


 Gawd I love this. How cozy can you get?


I also recently stumbled upon two good fashion blogs. Nowness, which showcases the most inspiring stories influencing global lifestyle, fashion, gastronomy, art, music, design, travel and sport. Basically if you are craving to know what is new and hip it's a great resource. And Advanced Style. This one I really like. Creator Ari Seth Cohen roams the streets of New York looking for the most stylish and creative older folks out there.

Also Tina has once again alerted me to a great documentary about 80-year-old New York photographer Bill Cunningham, a Harvard dropout, who pedals around on his bike taking photos of what people wear for his weekly column in the New York Times. 

Here is the trailer. The movie is available on Netflix. I hope to watch it tonight.


September 23, 2011

Aging Gracefully with Going Gray





This week's beauty is Anne Kreamer who is 55-years-old. Anne has been fortunate to do many wonderful things in her life from being part of the team that distributed and co-produced Sesame Street around the world, to launching Spy magazine, to be being a creative director for Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite where she created and launched Nickelodeon magazine.

Then at the turn of the century Anne switched careers and became a columnist for the business magazine Fast Company after which she created the monthly "American Treasures" column for Martha Stewart Living. In 2007 she published her first book Going Gray, What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity And Everything Else That Matters. Her lastest book, It's Always Personal, explores the new realities of emotion in the workplace.

Anne is also a mom and is married to novelist and host of public radio's Studio 360, Kurt Andersen.

I mentioned Going Gray in a post last March but it wasn't until reading Anne's book recently that I knew I had to contact her. Going Gray was one of those books for me that wasn't just enlightening and interesting but was delivered with such warmth and candidness that I didn't want to put it down, or have it come to an end. Going Gray is about going gray but it's even more about life, about aging, and mostly, about being authentic.



So it is with this that I bring you Anne's honest and to the point answers to a few questions about aging:

What is the best thing for you about growing older?

Anne: I'm gratified by many things. In no particular order of preference, here are a few of my favorites: hanging out with my adult kids, traveling with my husband, feeling liberated to be consistently who I am, and re-connecting with earlier passions like painting.

What image do you have of yourself as a much older woman?

Anne: Not much different from today except with totally white hair!

What do you wish that you had let go of long before you turned 50?

Anne: Chronic worry.

Gosh can I relate to that!
Thanks for being this week's beauty Anne.
I can't wait to see what you do next.
Louise

Photo by Lucy Andersen

September 20, 2011

Webcam 101 for Seniors




I had a different post planned for today but then I saw this clip and I had to post it first because it's so sweet. Bruce and Esther Huffman of McMinnville, Oregon accidentally captured several minutes of themselves on their new webcam while trying to figure out how to use it at their retirement home. Their granddaughter saw the very humorous recording and with their permission posted it on Youtube.

It has gone viral with over 7 million hits already.

How?

This is one delightfully wholesome and loving couple who could be poster people for aging gracefully.

I love it when 86-year-old Bruce says to Esther, "just drop your dress a little bit to see your boobies."

I almost fell off my chair.

Bruce and Esther married seven years ago after both their spouses from previous marriages passed away. Here they are on the Early Show.

Thanks to my dear old friend, and great cook, Tina for sending this in. Tina has a very yummy autumn apple and carrot muffin recipe posted this week on her blog Mad River Kitchen.


September 14, 2011

The Art of Aging


Sophie Lumen was interviewed last week by journalist Barbara Hannah Grufferman in The Huffington Post. I love Sophie's energy and her Art of Aging creed. She's inspiring. Sophie's Art of Aging already has over 10,000 fans on Facebook.

What if we think of aging as an art?

It's too bad that Sophie and I reside on two different coasts. We'll just have to make due with our cyberspace connection and our common enthusiasm in forwarding the beauty of aging message.

In The Huffington Post article author Grufferman also added her own aging creeds.

I like these:

  • Be fearless after 50.
  • Embrace your age, no matter what it is.
  • Don't focus so much on what others think.
  • Embracing your age and wanting to feel pretty, healthy and fit are not mutually exclusive.
  • Whatever you do, do it for the right reasons.
  • Get angry about ageism, and take action.
  • Know how beautiful you truly are.
  • Support and encourage other women. Chances are good they feel as you do.
  • Be a role model for younger women by showing them how fearless you are.

  • And lastly:

    Love yourself, love your life, stay as healthy as you can, move your body, be informed, stay engaged, use your mind, keep a handle on your finances, be bold, be brave, walk with confidence, live with style . . . and then . . . you will know how truly wonderful life after 50 can be.


    I also added my own creed to the mix:

  • Remember what a gift it is to allow ourselves to be right where we are supposed to be.

How about all of you?

Are there any creeds that you'd like to add?

September 12, 2011

Tonight's Harvest Moon




Harvest Moon is pretty much my favorite song. I was telling a friend this week that it isn't just Neil Young's lyrics and melody, but the harmonic that really gets me (see minute 3:48).

Oh man what a song.

Tonight's Harvest Moon has been shining brilliantly for several days but this evening it will sit low, and appear to be bigger, and brighter, and more colorful than other full moons.

Be sure to catch it.

Tonight farmers can gather their harvest by moonlight long after the sun goes down.

And lovers will dance in it's glow.


I have a great quote to share via beautiful Monica:

Let the things that enter your life wake you up.
~Pema Chondron

It's a good one. 

I think I should say it again-

Let the things that enter your life wake you up.

September 09, 2011

A Little Weekend Humor

I apologize in advance if this clip is a bit too crass or inappropriate. I have kind of a warped sense of humor and don't mean to alienate anyone.

That being said, Comedian Retha Jones's take on menopause is pretty funny.

xo

September 07, 2011

Criticism Kills Love



Ten years ago, when I turned forty, all I wanted for my birthday was to take a weekend course with Tom called "The Joyful Partnership". We were coming off the back end of the heavy child rearing years and I felt we needed a tune-up. It turns out it was one of the best things that we ever did. The course was based on the book Getting the Love You Want, by Harville Hendrix, and one of the key concepts was that criticism kills love. I thought I'd mention it because it's a really important thing to remember as we grow older -not only with our partners or spouses- but with everyone we love, especially our kids.

Criticism pulls people away from each other.

Criticism kills passion.


Here are some of the other key points that I remember from the course:

  • Intimacy is the single biggest challenge in everyone's life.
  • Don't fight in front of others- especially in front of children. In a "conscious relationship" anger is expressed by appointment only (which also gives the "expressor" time to cool down).
  • What you believe about your relationship is essentially what it will be.
  •  Love isn't just a feeling, it's actually also a decision.
  • Feeling distant from your partner? Exchange notes about what would make you both feel more loved and cared about.
  •  Kids just want to be heard- not necessarily guided. They get their guidance from watching us.
  •  Happiness is a choice.

I have a feeling there is something in there for everyone.

Have a good week!

Louise



September 02, 2011

Aging Gracefully in the Water


This week's beauty is Olympic swimmer Dara Torres who is 44-years-old. If I am able to really bust my ass and get strong enough and fast enough to cinch the national record for women ages 50-54 for the 50 freestyle, I am certain that Torres is going to come along and gobble it up with utmost ease when she turns 50.

So far Torres has swam in 5 Olympics and at the age of 41, was the oldest swimmer to ever earn a spot on the team. She is now training for 2012 in London.

Talk about inspiration.

Dara says that she is in far better shape in her 40s than she was in her 20s.

How does she do it?

She recently was quoted as saying that while her goals may be very different from other people, the need for drive, will-power, and support are still the same.

She also says that finding what motivates us is important, whether it’s watching the number on a scale or seeing the difference in how our clothes fit.

It’s also easier to find motivation if we know when we’re more likely to stick with a fitness routine, she explained. She is more of a morning person. Doing her workout first thing helps her to feel revived and gets her day going.

She says that recovery and rest are important. She trains five days a week and rests on the weekends.

And she allows herself to splurge once in awhile because she believes if we're so restrictive we’ll just crave something and eat more than we actually want to. So if we don’t overindulge, she says, a little splurge is fine.

When asked recently if she has ever overindulged and consumed as many calories as fellow Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, whose diet made a big splash during the 2008 games in Beijing, she laughed and said: “I’ve had a few meals with Phelps and let’s just say I could keep up.”

Oh baby.

More on older athletes pushing the limits here.

Dara also has a book out. I haven't read it yet, but it's on my stack.