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

December 30, 2011

Happy New Year




I am not big on celebrating New Years. I would just like to dance tonight, with a 40+ crowd preferably, which might be a hard thing to find outside our living room window.

For me the best thing about New Years is that I have eleven wonderful months until the hectic holidays roll around again. Still, every time I hear Auld Lang Syne it touches me, especially since hearing this incredibly delicious recording by Scottish singer Mairi Campbell on Sex and the City.

Auld Lang Syne is a Scottish poem that was written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. The words 'Auld Lang Syne' literally translates from old Scottish dialect meaning 'Old Long Ago' and is about love and friendship in times past. The lyrics 'We'll take a Cup of Kindness yet' relate to a drink shared by men and women to symbolize friendship.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


So on this note I wish you all a good New Year.

Best wishes to you for health, happiness, and enjoying life in 2012,

Louise

December 29, 2011

She'll Be There


So who is on the inside?

Because that's the girl you have to fall in love with.

She'll be there, regardless of your looks, or your age, or your physical abilities, until the day you die.

To search for something more is to chase something we'll never catch.

By Elizabeth Davies




To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom and the one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living. 

By Henri Frederic Amiel


Photo by Tree Faerie, Australia

December 23, 2011

Aging Gracefully with Enjoyment


This week's beauty is Bonnie Matheson who is about to turn 70. She is the author of Ahead of the Curve, which is an intimate conversation with women in the second half of life. Bonnie has a story to tell, and all sorts of steps for her audience to take towards a more enjoyable, fulfilling life. I look forward to reading her book.

In addition, Bonnie is a health and wellness coach, motivational speaker, mother, and grandmother. She was the executive director of the Institute for New Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and eighteen years ago became a doula. That was about the same time she caught her own grandchild in her hands when her daughter came home to have her baby. Several years later she started a website for women with information about pregnancy and birth called Childbirth Solutions.  To this day Bonnie strives to work towards better, more empowering births for women worldwide.

Bonnie says she is enjoying her “second fifty years” immensely and has this to share about growing older:

As I reached the age of 50 I began to think about how much I had accomplished in the first 50 years of my life. It turned out to be quite a lot. School, marriage, 5 children, real estate career and childbirth advocate, daughter, sister friend and volunteer as well as student of life. I decided right then that no matter how long it took I would go back to school to earn a BA and eventually maybe find time for a Ph D. It dawned on me that the years would pass whether I was in school or not, so why not just go and accomplish this goal. And I did it. Later I divorced amicably, started yet another career as a health coach and writer. The point is this. It is NEVER too late to change your life. We can remain young at heart, juicy, and healthy far into our 90s. My mother is 93 and going strong. She is happy and she is pretty. You can choose the way you age by choosing your attitude. This is entirely within your power to do starting right now. 

 I will be 70 in January and feel that I have many years ahead to do more of what I love. Even if something were to happen to me prematurely I FEEL as if I have a lot of time. And that is the important thing. Feeling good about aging and not letting it become a discouragement is key to enjoying every day.


Thank you Bonnie for being this week's beauty.

I love what you have to say on this video:

December 19, 2011

Coming Around Again


Like many of you probably, I always feel a little overwhelmed this time of year with all the holiday hoopla. I have whittled my gift giving list way down, and I don't put nearly as much energy into holidays as I once did, but still...it's busy and crazy, nevertheless, with everyone arriving so soon for Christmas.

I yi yi...

Truth be told- as much as I enjoy being together with everyone, I love the month of January when it is all behind us for another year. 

I often feel in January, like I do after winter's thaw in March, that I can relish the many carefree months ahead, before things get zany again.

Last summer my camera got dropped down the stairs and I have yet to repair it. I'm still in a quandary whether to pay the $180 to fix it, or just get a new one, so unfortunately, I don't have a single holiday photo to share. As you can imagine, a blogger without a camera is kind of like a cook without a Cuisinart, or a seamstress without a seam ripper. The good news is that I can at least recycle last year's photos of Christmas if you happened to have missed them.

My favorite thing about holiday gatherings is when dinner is all ready, and we pause, and take a minute to be silent, to give thanks. 

When the kids were young I made up a simple grace to say each night before dinner. It goes like this:


Let us be thankful for all that we have-

for our home,

and our health,

but especially, 

for each other.

Each day is a blessing.

Amen.


I hope you all drive safely, have fun,
and are able to be with someone you love.
(and get more sleep than I am getting)
XO, Louise

Blue spruce photo by Aleksandr Kutsayev.
Pine cone photo by  Rachel Kirk, Grand Valley, Ontario

December 17, 2011

Aging Gracefully with Enthusiasm

This week's beauty is Brazilian born Gigi Schilling who is 53-years-old. When Gigi wrote me she said, "My English is not so good but my words are from the heart."

If you ask me, that's all that matters!

I bring you Gigi:

My name is Gigi Schilling, Brazilian by birth but a nomad by nature. I am the Mother-in-Wonder of Alexander the Great-est (he is 14). For the past 18 years I have owned a distribution company of imported beauty & hair care products in Brazil that sells to salons and retail. Currently I live in Miami, but I lived in New York City for 10 years in the 80s, amongst many other cities.

In March 2010 I founded a group on Facebook named Over Fifty & Irresistible (OFI) because LIFE is irresistible regardless of its sorrows. OFI is all about Ageless Philosophy for Men and Women.

I was inspired by the PARADOX I observed on people not embracing their 50's ~ One is too YOUNG to die at 50 - yet - too OLD to live being 50. I also believe that at 50 and beyond the reflection is from within and the mirror no longer matters.

At 53 years of age I am thankful and I truly celebrate being ALIVE in every sense of the way... it's as simple and as profound as that.

I love quotes and I have created over 100 of them all about being Over 50... they are either funny or profound... so here is the first one: Keep on Fifty-ing... that is the new Vibe!

Stay tuned for my Over Fifty and Irresistible website that will go live in March.


Thank you Gigi for being this week's beauty, beauty.

December 13, 2011

Money, Money, Money




I thought as we promenade head-on into the holidays I would share this neat clip that I found on Consciously Frugal about the new American dream. It's beautifully illustrated, which is helpful for any of you attention deficit, visual learners, like myself.

Every day we are bombarded with gazillions of messages telling us that the good life is attainable by making lots of money and spending it on things that claim to make us feel happy, loved, and good about ourselves...

Unfortunately this can come at a high price for our well being, as well as for the earth's.

As the clip explains, research consistently shows that the more materialistic people are the lower their happiness is. Strong materialistic values also effect our social relationships and effect other people's well being. As materialistic values go up, social values tend to go down. When people have money on their minds they are less likely to be generous, cooperative, and care about the environment.

We tend to focus more on material things when we feel insecure.

Luckily, we can begin to diminish the power of  materialism by doing a few simple things:

  • The next time we have a blow to our self esteem, we can circumvent going out and being a consumer by stopping to enjoy people, nature, or being creative instead. A good question to ask ourselves is "Do I really need this, or do I just want it?"
  • The more that people are exposed to the media the more they prioritize materialistic values. It's helpful to hit the mute button when ads come on TV.
  • It's also helpful to pay more attention to intrinsic values such as growing as a person, being close to people, finding meaningful work, volunteering, and improving the world. As intrinsic values go up, materialistic values go down.

So this holiday season think about giving a gift that doesn't cost a thing. Imagine that. Perhaps it's simply being 100% agreeable for an entire day. Imagine that! Maybe it's running errands for an elderly neighbor or checking in on a friend who is lonely. Maybe it's the gift of sex (did I just say that?), or being the designated driver on New Year's Eve. 

Or maybe it's one of these 17 other ideas in this little slide show, that don't cost a cent :-)


Photo by David Castillo Dominici.


December 10, 2011

Aging Gracefully With The Truth


This week's beauty is Connie Banford who is 61-years-old. Connie and I grew up in the same neck of the woods along the lower end of the Niagara River in New York. She is a certified internet marketing consultant and heads-up her own company Banford Enterprises. They provide an all-in one marketing platform that combines Video Email, Webinar/Webcasts, Mobile Marketing, Email Marketing, Lead Capture, and Social Media into one easy to use system that allows companies to dramatically enhance their bottom-line sales all while personalizing their approach to clients.

Banford Enterprises also offers Customized Mobil Apps.


Connie has a blog called Now What If and has this to share about growing older: 

As each year approaches more quickly than the last, I have come to realize that there are certain things that simply keep one young in mind and in spirit. First is mindset and attitude. Each new decade can bring exciting adventures if you look at them as being exciting.  Two people can look at the same gray hair, for example, and have totally different perspectives. One person might think “old” yet the other thinks “beauty,”  and you have a choice in that thinking! Positive thoughts and a positive attitude certainly can be the key to mental, spiritual and physical health.

It’s crucial to exercise and to eat a proper diet, I’ve found. There is still a lot of world yet to explore so you want to be healthy! Whatever the age, people just need to remember not to “sweat that small stuff” because that just contributes to ill-health and stress.

Interestingly, I used to be somewhat reticent to change, but as years pass, I have totally reversed that reluctance. Change can be very difficult, but to embrace it can be invigorating and exciting. Being open to learning new things, learning technology, and keeping up with the world keeps your mind young and alive.  Reading , and continuation of personal development should be continued activities! 

Babies, little people and young adults will keep you in awe of your surroundings. You forget how beautiful a simple flower or butterfly can be but young people show you that beauty once again. They help you remember those exciting “firsts” – the excitement of tying one’s shoes for the first time, riding a bike “with” and then “without” training wheels, and driving a car! Young adults keep your mind and ideas fresh. 

A huge advantage to becoming older is that it has become progressively more apparent that it makes no difference what others think as long as I am true to myself   Life is great and keeps getting better! 


Thank you Connie for joining us on Lines of Beauty. I love what you said about being true to yourself. If there was only one life lesson to be learned, I think this one might be very close to the top of the list.

December 06, 2011

Shake Your Booty

My mom is turning 90 in January.  Last winter she fell, broke a few bones, and ended up needing a pace maker. She had four hard months of recovery where she couldn't do much. Having been an active woman, this was a big change for her, and there were a few times when I wondered if she was going to be able to snap back. It turns out that she did and is feeling great. I credit this to her being able to exercise again- she is doing Tai Chi and going to Silver Sneakers exercise classes.

Exercise is so important. No one is ever too old to start.

I have this theory that part of the reason people like to smoke is that they love taking a deep breath, which we can get many times over, and much more healthfully, of course, with exercise.

A good friend of mine, who is a therapist, says that the first thing she asks people when they come to her for anxiety and/or depression is if they are exercising.

When we need to heal something in our lives, exercise is the first place to start.

Being fit makes everything in life run more smoothly.

I can't say it enough.

Yesterday Jane Fonda was on the The Today Show. She is now 73, has had a hip and knee replacement, and is out with two new exercise videos for seniors. She had some interesting things to say. She said that exercise is the number one ingredient for successful aging. Having had an eating disorder, she says that people can really get over food addictions. I can attest to this. She explained that she finally decided if she was going to live or die, and to go towards the light. Three times married, she also said that it's hard to find someone who isn't afraid to really show up, be intimate, and be fully present in a relationship, but that in her 70s, she has finally found him :-)

More on exercise in my post Never, Ever Stop Moving.


Yoga photo by Meepoohfoto.

Swimmer photo by Africa.