Take a Taxi – Don’t Walk

Believing that even sad events can teach us something I want to share the upsetting news that hit me this week. Filled with sadness I realized that it was a kind of wake-up call. A wake-up call, not just for me, but it should be for every older person who has been told – and we hear this advice very often – be careful how much money you spend because you don’t want to outlive your money.

A scary thought for sure, but how can we be certain it is not our money that out lives us?

No, nobody knows how long we are here and what the future holds. And keeping this in mind we should be more generouss with ourselves! Don’t deprive yourself – buy that new dress – take that trip – go out for dinner with your friends – take a taxi if the bus doesn’t come – do whatever makes your daily life more enjoyable without feeling guilty. And saying this I know that most of us won’t go overboard, but we do deserve a few extra treats.

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When I got the sad news, and before I could accept the reality, I was sitting again with my friend Joan on her porch during the long weekend I had spent with her just a month ago. Her laughter, her joie de vivre was infectious. She was telling me how she looked forward to her trip to Turkey in September, and had some funny stories about her skiing trip to Whistler, B.C. with her grandson. and that she was going on a hiking trip to the  Adirondack next week. Kayaking was part of her like life too, boundless energy.  We had a busy, physically demanding weekend with parties, time on the beach, walks and debates about life. Her life looked like it had a long way to go; she was only in her early 70s. With her unshakeable optimism she told me that now, being partly retired, she was looking forward to ticking of items on her bucket list one by one.

It was not meant to be – Joan died last week.

 

 

….and all her dreams and hopes for the future are being buried with her today.

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Writing this and remembering the way she was always ready to help others I feel like she leaves us with a message which I want to pass on by telling you a little anecdote

A friend of mine asked her father on his deathbed if he had any regrets about his life and he answered: “Yes, I regret that I didn’t take more taxis!”

Don’t let the taxis in your life pass you by  — instead take the ride while you can.

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Joan – may the angels enjoy your laughter as much as I did.

Brigitte

 

 

 

Dress to Impress – Find Out How – 2. Installment

Every Sunday I look forward to connecting with you, today it’s about

TELLING THE TRUTH

To see what you like about yourself, you need—besides an open mind—a full-length mirror. Stand in front of it and try to imagine that the person reflected there is someone else. This way your good points become more apparent. Being more objective will make you more generous. You will give yourself credit for what you have instead of being over-critical.

Start with your hair. Does it frame your face the right way? Is it too short to do so? Or, if your hair is long, would a shorter style make it appear thicker and more sensual? Would more frequent brushing add the life that is missing? When looking at your face, it might occur to you that make-up could improve it. If you are not used to wearing any, or if you don’t want to look made-up, relax: having good make-up that enhances your face does not mean a heavy, painted look. It can be very subtle and still create the effect you want.

Now to your body. In order to know what to do about a large bust or thin arms, you must first be aware of your assets and liabilities. And to help you to get to know yourself well, I would like you to fill out the chart below. Standing in front of your full-length mirror, pull in your stomach and stand straight. Start with your shoulders; don’t accuse them of sloping when bad posture is the culprit. Examine yourself carefully and circle the appropriate adjectives.

HEIGHT: WEIGHT:HAIR COLOUR:  DRESS SIZE:
SHOULDERS: Broad Narrow Sloping Just right
NECK: Long Short Fair Just right
BUS Big Small Fair Just right
ARMS: Heavy Thin Fair Just right
WAIST: TORSO: STOMACH: BigLong-waisted Protruding SmallShort-waisted Fair 

Fair

Just right 

Just right

HIPS:, Wide Narrow Fair Just right
DERRIERE: Big Flat Fair Just right
LEGS (length): Long Short Fair Just right
THIGHS: Heavy Thin Fair Just right
LEGS (below knees): Heavy Thin Fair Just right
HANDS: Small Large Fair Just right
My best features (s):

 What I don’t like about myself:                                                       

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Now that you have completed the list, check it thoroughly. You will find that you have more assets than defects. And don’t feel depressed about something like heavy thighs; most defects (or what appear to be defects) can be corrected or minimized through diet, exercise, better posture, better care, or more attention to detail. There are very few things that are impossible to correct, and even those are easier to live with once you know them . Being aware of your body will help you buy the clothes that will make you feel and look more attractive and confident.

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Until next Sunday when we start to look at  The Importance of Colour, Prints and Fit

And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

Living Longer: Getting Over Grief

The longer we live, the more likely we are to experience the grief of passing loved ones. We may even have to deal with the death of a spouse. Grief can be physically and mentally debilitating. The pain will feel unbearable for most us. That is why it’s important to be aware of the grieving process and the best ways to take care of ourselves during this time.

What are the stages of grief?

WebMD outlines the stages of grief as such:

 

Denial: When you first learn of a loss, it’s normal to think, “This isn’t happening.” You may feel shocked or numb. This is a temporary way to deal with the rush of overwhelming emotion. It’s a defense mechanism.

Anger: As reality sets in, you’re faced with the pain of your loss. You may feel frustrated and helpless. These feelings later turn into anger. You might direct it toward other people, a higher power, or life in general. To be angry with a loved one who died and left you alone is natural, too.

Bargaining: During this stage, you dwell on what you could’ve done to prevent the loss. Common thoughts are “If only…” and “What if…” You may also try to strike a deal with a higher power.

Depression: Sadness sets in as you begin to understand the loss and its effect on your life. Signs of depression include crying, sleep issues, and a decreased appetite. You may feel overwhelmed, regretful, and lonely.

Acceptance: In this final stage of grief, you accept the reality of your loss. It can’t be changed. Although you still feel sad, you’re able to start moving forward with your life.

How to Get Through Grief

There is no escaping grief. Trying to ignore it or drown it out will only postpone healing and could lead to mental health issues. Mental Health America recommends the following advice:

Seek out caring people. Find relatives and friends who can understand your feelings of loss. Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses.

Express your feelings. Tell others how you are feeling; it will help you to work through the grieving process.

Take care of your health. Maintain regular contact with your family physician and be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest. Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief.

Accept that life is for the living. It takes effort to begin to live again in the present and not dwell on the past.

Postpone major life changes. Try to hold off on making any major changes. You should give yourself time to adjust to your loss.

Be patient. It can take months or even years to absorb a major loss and accept your changed life.

Seek outside help when necessary. If your grief seems like it is too much to bear, seek professional assistance to help work through your grief. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek help.

Grief is a part of life. Everyone will have to experience it. It helps to be aware of the stages you will go through and accept the fact that you might mourn for months or years. Prepare for the stages of grief, take care of yourself, and seek out professional help if needed.

What has been your experience with grief?

What has helped you cope?

Visit the Online Grief Support Forum.

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And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

7 Books that Will Keep You Younger

Are you ready to live longer? It’s never too late to start enjoying a healthier, more fulfilling life. Learn brain exercises, financial wisdom, and lifestyles that will reset your genes with these seven books on aging from the bestsellers list on Amazon.

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1. The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest

Region by region, Buettner reveals the “secrets” of longevity through stories of his travels and interviews with some of the most remarkable–and happily long-living people on the planet. It’s not coincidence that the way they eat, interact with each other, shed stress, heal themselves, avoid disease, and view their world yield them more good years of life. Buettner’s easy to follow “best practices” and list of healthy lifestyle choices from the Blue Zones will empower readers to live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives.

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2. 399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young.

Based on the science that shows that people middle-aged or older who solve word games and brainteasers have a significant cognitive advantage over those who do not, 399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges is the illustrated game book specifically created to cross-train the brain. Here are 399 games to stretch, challenge, and push the reader, all of which stimulate the formation of neurons—literally, regrowing the brain.

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3. Aging Backwards: Reverse the Aging Process and Look 10 Years Younger in 30 Minutes a Day

The body is programmed to self-destruct as we age, but the speed at which it self-destructs is up to us. Recent scientific studies have proven this fact! In Aging Backwards, Miranda Esmonde-White offers a groundbreaking guide on how to maintain and repair our cells, through scientifically designed workouts.

Healthy cells prevent joint pain, muscle loss and weak bones—helping to control weight, increase energy, and improve strength and mobility. Miranda offers readers of all ages the tools they need to look and feel young. Complete with tips, tools, and her Eight Basic Age-Reversing Workouts accompanied by instructional photos and web clips, Aging Backwards will help you grow younger, not older!

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4. Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond

Both men and women can become functionally younger every year for the next five to ten years, then continue to live with newfound vitality and pleasure deep into our 80s and beyond.

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5. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor

World-class author and innovator Ernie J. Zelinski guides you to:

  • Gain courage to take early retirement; in fact, the earlier the better.
  • Put money in proper perspective so that you don’t need a million dollars to retire.
  • Generate purpose in your retirement life with meaningful creative pursuits.
  • Follow your dreams instead of someone else’s.
  • Take charge of your mental, physical, and spiritual health.
  • Better envision you retirement goals — including where you want to live.
  • Above all, make you retirement years the best time of your life.

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This book is written for you…
  • If you want to thrive and find spiritual strength, wellbeing, wisdom, and wonder as you grow older.
  • If you are willing to recognize that we live in a new period of history where we can live longer and with more vitality than people ever have.
  • If you are ready to embrace this new reality and live the fourth quarter of your life creatively, lovingly, and joyfully.

 

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7. Younger: A Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years

The scientific reality is that 90 percent of the signs of aging and disease are caused by lifestyle choices, not your genes. In other words, you have the capability to overcome and transform your genetic history and tendencies. Harvard/MIT—trained physician Sara Gottfried, M.D. has created a revolutionary 7-week program that empowers us to make the critical choices necessary to not just look young, but also feel young.

Have you read any of these books on aging?

Which one would you recommend?

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And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

Vitamins and Herbal Supplements – Waste of Money or Healthy Habit?

Vitamins and herbal formulas are a multi-billion dollar industry. Natural remedies for memory, energy, weight loss, joint pain, and even libido abound. Everyone is looking for the Holy Grail, but is it necessary to take vitamins for longevity and do herbal formulas even work?

VITAMINS

Most doctors will tell you that calcium and Vitamin D are necessary to ward off osteoporosis. Folate is crucial to prevent birth defects. B vitamins give an undeniable boost of energy. But studies have also found that the typical multivitamin may not extend life or fight disease. A healthy diet should be enough to give all the body all the needed nutrients.

HERBAL AND NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS

Herbal remedies were human beings’ first medicine. Chamomile, ginseng, echinacea are among the most commonly used herbs. So are fish oil, garlic, ginkgo biloba, and glucosamine. But most supplements have not been studied thoroughly enough and have no guaranteed effect. Other herbal compounds could interfere with medication and exacerbate health problems. Even though herbs seem like harmless leaves, roots, and flowers, don’t experiment with any herbs until you’ve spoken to your doctor.

IT’S UP TO YOU

Most of the claims in made by supplement manufacturers cannot be corroborated by the FDA. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t work. They may just not have been tested for such a use. You’ll find people who swear by certain supplements. So, if you want to try the latest remedy for low energy, sagging skin, or aching knees, what have you got to lose? Just make sure there are no possible risks or interactions first.

 

Do you believe vitamins make a difference?

What’s your favorite herbal supplement?

Share below!

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And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

Sex Secrets From Randy Men Over 60

This arrived in my email inbox today – it came from Disrupt Aging – Real possibilities from AARP – maybe you haven’t seen it – so I don’t want you to miss it!

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Your sex drive doesn’t have to disappear as you grow older — just ask these guys

aging men's sex secrets

Surprise! It is definitely not over…

If the male sex drive is supposed to disappear with old age, how do you explain Mick Jagger? At 73, he not only has a ballerina girlfriend 40 years his junior, but he also got her pregnant, becoming a daddy this past December for the eighth time.

You don’t have to be a rich rock star to stay sexually active as you grow older. “It’s a myth that libido disappears as soon as men hit the midcentury mark,” says Abraham Morgentaler, M.D., author of The Truth About Men and Sex. But what’s the secret?

We tracked down a panel of men over 60 with libidos that won’t quit and asked for their tips on keeping it sexy past prime time.

1. Stop thinking you have to always be horny.

“I don’t think about sex all the time,” says Stan, 68, of Miami. “I stick to Wednesdays. On hump day, I do some humping. That’s enough for me.”

Healthy men, we’re told, think about sex every seven seconds. That breaks down to 8,000 sexy thoughts for every 16 waking hours. But the truth, according to a 2011 Ohio State University study, is less exhausting. College men actually think about sex, at most, 19 times a day. If in half a century, you whittle that down to once a week, you’re doing fine.

2. Adjust your sexy time clock.

“Time of day really is a thing as you get older,” says Franklin, 62, of Eau Claire, Wis. “You could hit me up with a hot, kinky three-way with nubile twins late in the evening and I would be all, ‘Can we get a little sleep and do this first thing tomorrow?’ ”

If “first thing tomorrow” sounds like a better game plan for sex, you’re not alone. A 2015 study by sex-toy company Lovehoney found that the “optimum time for passion” for a guy, regardless of his age, is 7:54 a.m. If she prefers evenings, remind her that sex lowers stress levels, which makes it a perfect beginning for the workday. Also, she may think she prefers sex at night, but according to some studies, women are at peak estrogen levels between 6 and 9 a.m., and estrogen increases sexual desire.

“You want a reason to stay excited? Move to Florida. End of story.” — Jonathon

3. Get more sun.

“You want a reason to stay excited?” says Jonathon, 87, a happily widowed man living in the Villages, the largest gated retirement community in America. “You need to move to Florida. End of story.”

In a study last year at the University of Siena in Italy, researchers discovered that regular exposure to bright light can significantly raise testosterone levels and lead to greater sexual energy and enthusiasm in men with low or nonexistent sexual desire. If moving to a retirement community in Florida isn’t in the cards for you, just make sure you’re getting enough sun.

4. Don’t exercise.

“I spent most of my 20s and 30s at the gym,” says Stan, of Miami. “Now that I’m almost 70, it doesn’t matter anymore. I don’t care if I have a flabby gut. Not caring makes me less self-conscious when I’m naked with a special someone. Actually, being a little out of shape makes me feel sexier.”

That feeling’s not all in his head. Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill published a new study in February suggesting that men who exercise moderately or lightly have significantly higher libidos than guys who work out enough to get washboard abs.

If you’re worried about your sex drive slowing down with age, it might be time to get off the treadmill.

5. Let your fingers do the walking.

Don’t get hung up on erections, advises Larry, 64, of San Francisco. “Boning is dessert,” he says. “The main course is everything else. All the tongues and fingers and stuff that young, insecure people call foreplay. That’s not foreplay; that’s f—ing sex, man. If it makes her howl, that’s f—ing sex.”

In a new study on female sexuality by Chapman University, Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute, women who “orgasmed more frequently” claimed it wasn’t a rock-hard erection that kept them satisfied; it was things like kissing, oral sex and manual genital stimulation.

Eric Spitznagel writes for magazines such as Playboy, Vanity Fair and the New York Times Magazine. The author of seven books, including his latest, Old Records Never Die, he is currently cowriting Jeff Tweedy’s memoir.

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And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte