Part Two – Your Age Is Nobody’s Business

         

 

           If Age Is Only a Number – Why Does Everybody Want to Know Mine?

Getting older is inevitable, but how soon you allow it to make decisions for you is your choice. I know that I am not ready for it, and I live my life without thinking about how old I am. Except when my birthday is coming up-that’s always a reality check! Or when a friend says, “Isn’t it your birthday next week?”

“I don’t have birthdays anymore,” I say, “I stopped those years ago.”

I often get a reaction like, “What a good idea!” Over the years, I have heard other people reply, “I am always thirty-nine” or “I have started to count backward.”

As much as I would like to ignore my date of birth, the world will not. It is written on top of my driver’s license….and it makes me slightly nervous when someone asks, “May I see some identification?” I always hope that he or she does not pay attention to my age, and luckily they usually don’t

When I pick up my blood pressure medication, the pharmacist asks, “What is your date of birth?” I wonder if she couldn’t see it in my file or what knowing my age adds to my co-payment.

I answer in a low voice.

“Can you speak up, please?” she asks again

I repeat it once more an now everybody in the line behind me knows how old I am. Most likely, nobody cares-but I do. You might call me vain, and maybe I am, but hearing myself say my age again and again reminds me of how old I am. It confirms it. This is something I can’t allow, or it will settle in my brain and creep into my bones, killing the spring in my step . Maybe it is a small spring, not like someone who is twenty-five or even forty, but I still walk erect, and don’t drag my feet.

Yes, age is only a number. But, oh, how it influences us if we are not careful. My friend Angela, who is very vibrant, active, and looks years younger than her age, recently had a birthday. When I asked her how she wanted to celebrate, she said, “Oh my god, this is a big one. I really don’t feel like celebrating. Can you imagine? I will be X years old.” (No, I won’t tell on her?

“It happens to all of us.” I replied at the time, but she didn’t hear me.

I noticed that after her birthday, Angela started every sentence with, “Well now, at my age,” or “I don’t know how long I can still do this,” or “You never know, when one gets sick, seeing how old I am now……” She never had those thoughts before, but her last birthday gave her a terrible present —it robbed her of feeling not old.

“Please don’t speak about your age all the time; it is starting to depress me,” I said to her one day.

“But it is true, I am X years old now an who knows what will happen, or if I will see my grandchildren graduate.”

Getting a little impatient with her and not knowing what to say anymore, I quoted my grandmother, who all through my life was a beacon of wisdom for me: “You know if you don’t want to become old, you have to die young!”

But Angela was so caught up in her new image of being old, she did not understand what I was trying to tell her, and continued to list all the things she would have trouble doing from now on.

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P.S. This is an excerpt from my book ‘Living Longer Living Well” (more on my next blog)

And Don’t Forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

 

Enjoy Your Money NOW……..

………….. in your Golden Years!

The money you have worked for most of your life is now ready to be spent.  But I know from experience that it is easier said than done. After all  we have been used to saving our money, to being careful and not wasting any and always being reasonable how we spend it. The nest egg we have built that way is comforting, but now is the time to change the rules and  have that nest egg do something for us.

I got my first wake-up call when my husband tried to book a cruise for us from Berlin to Prague. When he finished talking to the travel agency and told me the price my reaction was that this was more than I thought we should spend. He had no comment at first. But after a while he looked at me and said, “Well, if you want your heirs to go instead, we won’t go!”

It took me only a second to say ‘book it’ because suddenly I  was scared that I might not go if I don’t go now, that my time might be limited. No, don’t misunderstand me,  I do want my heirs  to go on a cruise too, but honestly, I don’t want them to go instead of me!

Many friends of mine who are also in their Golden Years don’t buy or do things they would like by using excuses like, “I can get that cheaper somewhere else” or “I don’t really need that” (you don’t have to need it to want it) or “I have to think about it” – really – why?

Oh, yes and then there is  ‘since I don’t know how long I will live I have to be careful.’ True – but what  our generation has learned when it comes to spending money will never make us go crazy or reckless. So letting a few more dollars slip out of our purse for extra pleasures will not ruin us. And if you are healthy listen to my friend Carol who, when paying for a treat, always says ‘at least I am not spending it on medication.’

If you take this little pep talk to heart – the extra dollars spend will give you joy you deserve.

And Never Forget – A Smile Changes Everything!   Brigitte

 

WHY LIVE A COMPLICATED LIFE?

Why Live a Complicated Life?

  • Miss someone?  ….  CALL                    
  • Wanna meet?  ….  INVITE
  • Wanna be understood?  ….  EXPLAIN
  • Have a question?  ….  ASK
  • Don’t like it?  ….  SAY IT
  • Like it?  ….  STATE IT
  • Want something?  ….  ASK FOR IT
  • Like someone?  ….  TELL THEM


NOBODY WILL KNOW WHAT’S GOING IN YOUR MIND.

IT’S BETTER TO EXPRESS RATHER THAN TO EXPECT !!!  

           We have just one life. Keep it simple. BE HAPPY !!!!

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And never forget….A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

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Available on Amazon

IS BEING MULTILINGUAL THE ANSWER?

This is the result of a study done in Luxembourg. A country where, through proximity of other countries, people speak at least 2 if not 3 languages – German, French, Luxembourgish.

The study was done by Magali Perquin of the Department of Health and it concluded that  compared with other countries the percentage of older people with dementia is lower in Luxembourg, 3.8 % against 6.4% in Europe, 7.1% in Latin America and 8% in Canada.  They believe there is a strong possibility that it is the result of people speaking several languages.

It has long been said that challenging the brain with mental exercises like Crossword Puzzles will help to keep individual brain cells alive. But maybe doing crossword puzzles is not your thing? Therefore, could learning French be an option?

No, it’s not too late. Quite the contrary. It might be the answer to the question many older or retired people ask – how can I find a new purpose or an activity to occupy my time? And if it is not French you want to learn but you wouldn’t mind speaking another language, think of your vacation or travel plans – going to Italy next? Wouldn’t it be nice to order your dinner in Italian?

An added advantage to taking classes – no, not  on-line- will be that you meet other like minded people – and you never know who you might meet and who is ready to go to Italy too!

couple in luxembourg

And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything

Brigitte

 

 

AARP MAGAZINE

Do you get the AARP Magazine?

It has been put in my mailbox for some years, but I never read it until recently. And now turning the pages I don’t miss anything. And if you receive the magazine I would like draw your attention to an article in the June/July issue entitled Leading Ladies.

The Leading Ladies are Sharon Stone, Alfre Woodward, and Jane Fonda – as my grandmother used to say “age happens to everybody.” But without giving the story away here are some of the points they made – and I quote:

  • Sharon Stone  58- I don’t think we have to accept the assignment of aging, that all of a sudden you’re supposed to be dowdy………..
  • Alfre Woodaard 63- Age is what you decide you want it to be. I am still in motion.
  • Jane Fonda 78 – If you would have told me when I was 20 or 30 that I’d be happier at 70, I would have said to you ‘You are out of your mind.’

The encouragement of these ladies is uplifting and can inspire any woman to make the best of life’s third act.

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Do you have a story you would like to share? Would love to hear it!

And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything

DSC08016-2 (2)Brigitte

EVERY GOOD THING COMES TO AN END

Including vacations —  including mine to  England and Italy. No, I didn’t send you a postcard but I brought one back to show you how beautiful the Trevi Fountain has been restored.

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However, I did not start my vacation in Rome. I first visited London, where in a quaint country pub (pubs equal England for me) called The Bell  in Purleigh, Essex a friend of mine who lives in London had organized a book signing party. The building dates back to the 14th century and is believed to have been the home of George Washington’s great-grandfather, who was the rector of the village in 1634.

A perfect setting  – and while enjoying cones with cream and strawberries plus a good cup of tea,  listening to a chapter from the book made it a delightful afternoon. The ladies shared their feelings about growing older and answered a questionnaire about what is on their Bucket List (which I will tell you about in my next blog).

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And when after a few hours everyone went home with a signed copy under their arm, I felt that the book had made a big step forward by coming to England.IMG_7811

 

 

And never forget – a smile changes everything.

Brigitte

 

WISH YOU WERE HERE!

postcard italy

Do I really wish you were here? Maybe! And then maybe not! But these are words which will resonate with anybody who went on vacation during the 1960s and 1970s. Postcards arriving from Italy, Atlantic City, New York, or from anywhere in the world reassured us we were missed.

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Writing postcards was an important part of any holiday at that time. I remember sometimes I sent as many as 15 + cards. No, I didn’t think ‘what a drag’. I liked to do it, because I knew my friends were waiting for them. And when I had forgotten somebody I had a lot of explaining to do when I came home.

I am going on vacation next week and a friend just told me, “Be in touch – you know on Facebook  – I can see where you are, if you are having a good time, and how the food is.”

Postcards didn’t show what we ate and once dropped into a mailbox we could enjoy our vacation without Facebook hounding us for more news.

I think here is a generation gap?

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I will be away for three weeks and will try to stay in touch – please check back here or on my – yes, Facebook page. Happy July!

And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything

                                                    Brigitte

http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Over-Growing-Older-Positive/dp/069262385X/