Articles in newspapers and magazine, including AARP, TV programs, many featuring health experts, and even doctors now all agree that loneliness can cut our live short. But advice how to overcome it varies. One idea, however, keeps popping up again and again:
“You must make new friends!” Not impossible but easier said than done. Yes, I am out there meeting new people but they don’t always turn into friends. And if they do we have little history together and making history takes time (and how much time do I have?)
So when the other day I was cleaning out a desk drawer I saw an old address book. I opened it slowly and started reading the names – oh, there was Janine’s name – I remember her as a fun person always ready for a joke. And there is Peter’s name – did he ever get married to the girl he was dating? After thinking and wondering for a while I told myself to stop wondering and to pick up the phone and dial the number I still had – surprise – it worked-and many other worked too. And if you wonder how to start a conversation after 5-10-15 years, my opening is, “This is a voice from the past, this is Brigitte.'” Silence – but not for long, “Oh, really what a surprise – how have you been? How nice to hear from you….” and so on and so on.
One of my here is a voice from the past callswas to a couple who had attended my son’s wedding 20 years ago . It took us close to an hour to catch up a little, a promise to meet soon and not to lose touch again was confirmed by exchanging emails.
I have other examples, but I don’t want to bore you with my friends. I am sure you have an old address book too! Reading through it is a nice way to walk down memory lane and to bring back the past – now being older the past is something we need more than ever.
And it might only be a phone call away – make that call and say ‘here is a voice from the past!’
They can make us feel good; they can give us confidence; they can make us look younger; they can make us look slimmer; they can make us look and feel sexy. But to achieve all of this or even just some of it is getting harder and harder. No, not because we are getting older, but because the fashion industry is becoming less and less helpful.
Unless we spend more money or buy a designer label, the quality of clothes on the rack is dropping further and further – the fabric is cheap, the cut is bad, the construction shotty , seams are uneven and the fit – what is that? A little too big – a little too tight – not a problem. Unfortunately many younger customers have never known a well made garment, and therefore, don’t mind if the hem is longer on one side than the other, or very uneven.
I went shopping today in Bloomingdale’s Outlet store here on the Westside. Yes I know it is an outlet, but a Bloomingdale one which have a certain reputation. Yet I could not stop thinking that all these clothes I saw looked like rags – already worn, second-hand. – Here are some images of the racks displaying their ‘latest arrivals.’
It must be a generation gap on my part which makes me more aware of what I have to look out for and what it takes not too to look like I slept in my dress, or that I am wearing a hand-me-down. Here are a few things to watch out for if you still remember how clothes were made way-back-when:
The coordination of colors
With a little extra time, and a little extra money remembering these points will help you avoid the already worn look!
We have all heard someone say, “Oh, you should write a book!” And maybe you have thought about writing your memoirs – but doubting if anybody would be interested holds you back. Your family would certainly be curious, because they don’t know ALL ABOUT you.
How to start is always the hardest part, but help is in sight.
If you are receiving the AARPBulletin (and who doesn’t?) there is an article Tell The STORY of your life (September 2017 issue)giving step by step instructions and information how to go about it.
If you decide to leave this legacy for your kids and grandchildren it won’t only benefit them, but it will give you a purpose for getting up every morning, for being counted, for not feeling isolated or left behind – and at the end of that road you will leave part of you for posterity in the heart of those who loved you.
So the first step is reading the article in AARPBulletin – starting on page 34 – I hope it will inspire you
The other day when I was putting on my favorite black pants, and one of the four sweaters I wear all the time, finishing it with a duffel coat I have worn all winter, it occurred to me that I wear these items all the time. Then I asked myself why? The answer was easy – because I feel very comfortable in them – because I look good in them – because they stand up to wear and tear. They are like old faithful friends, and I can always rely on them to make my day. The reason? I bought the best quality I could afford.
No, it doesn’t mean we have to buy designer clothes, those are for the rich and famous. But it means choosing between a discount store – yes, I know they carry brands too, but often they are the items they could not sell elsewhere, the rejects – and a higher priced department store, like a Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, or a boutique in your neighborhood.
If you have a budget, and who doesn’t, you will buy less by buying better, One advantage here is your wardrobe will be less crowded- and the other advantage is that you won’t have to think so long what to wear, because when you buy better, everything looks good on you.
It is an adjustment to pay $89 for a top instead of $29 but the extra $60 will earn their keep so to speak, over and over by making you feel and look good.
We are still in the beginning of the New Year – could that be one of your New Year’s resolutions? Please let me know, or if you have a question – leave a comment here and I will be in touch with you.
“I just want to put on some lipstick.” is something every woman says a thousand times during her life. And while freeing the creamy stick from its tube, looking in the mirror, and opening her lips slightly she carefully applies the magic that makes her look better and above all makes her feel whole again, because without it she feels incomplete.
I remember my mother-in-law, even at 91 years old, always had a lipstick close by. When she had diner at home or in restaurant a lipstick was right beside her plate. And no sooner had she finished her meal she picked it up and gently applied it to her lips. No, she needed no mirror, and no, she never missed, all was perfectly in place.
From all the items in our make-up kid the lipstick is the most effective:
it makes the face look alive
it makes the face look pretty
it adds sex appeal to the face
it protects the lips against dryness
it brightens up your smile
and most of all it makes us feel whole
Today’s women are not the first to enhance their appeal with lipstick. In 1923 the first lipstick in a tube was sold. But as far back as in Ancient Mesopotamia (5000 BC) women decorated their lips with crushed gem stones, and in Egypt Queen Nefertiti (1370 BC) was always depicted with red lips.
And ever since women have enhanced their beauty by coloring their lips. And our choices have grown ever since. It is an overwhelming task to find the perfect shade – (the reason we end up with dozens of lipsticks in our drawer). My personal chagrin is that every time I find the perfect color it is soon discontinued. I was told by a cosmetic company executive that women get very excited by new shades and it guarantees a sale.
But with all the options we have, beware of the following missteps when getting a little older:
too bright colors – can easily look garish
too dark colors – don’t give any life to the face
lip-gloss – tends to run into the little lines around the mouth
A statistic showing that when times are bad sales of lipstick go up certainly confirms that a lipstick is the most important item in our paint box.
Vending machines have been part of our life for a long time, but last week when I wanted to buy a train ticket they competed with a real live person.
Pennsylvania station in New York is a very busy place. Trains are leaving from here to Washington, Florida, New Jersey and Long Island. Never having gone to Long Island I was not sure where to buy my ticket. So I walked up to a young, very young policeman in his early 20s and asked,
“Where can I buy a ticket to Long Island?”
“Over there on the ticket vending machines.”
Wondering where ‘over there’ was I looked in the direction he had pointed to, and seeing my hesitation he said,
“Or do you want a real person to help you?” (is there any other kind?)
“Yes, that might be better” I answered.
“In that case turn right at the end there and you will see glass windows where real persons sell tickets.” and making sure I had understood he said again with great emphasis, “A real person will help you there.”
Following his instructions I found the windows and a real person sold me a ticket.
Of course there will come a day when the vending machines will win and there won’t be real persons behind glass windows to help us, but until then ‘let’s all enjoy the real people!
The cover of a book is your first contact with an author and his story.
If you have been to my website and read my blogs you will have seen the cover of my book Getting Over Growing Older with the header displaying a photo of me.
Since the reaction of the buyers always was “Oh, that’s a nice picture of you” and since that was not the reaction I had expected or the message I wanted to convey, I decided to change the cover – and instead of smiling at you, I hope the new cover will tell you more clearly what the book is about, namely sharing my personal experience of growing older, and assuring women in their 40s or 50s plus that growing older is not only about going down hill. But it gives us a chance to enjoy life in many new and interesting ways.
Now that you have seen the new cover I would mean a lot to me if you would tell me how you like it. Please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
But today so many years later it looks like the writers of this TV show were ahead of their time. They addressed a need and gave a solution for something so many seniors are facing today, namely living alone. And for most of these older people it is not their choice, but a reality which is hard to change, and which circumstances of life have imposed on them.
So here come the Golden Girls – not long ago I read an article – sorry I forgot the name of the publication – but since the article was so a propos I didn’t forget what I had read. It was about three women who have put this idea in motion, and they were grateful for
not to being alone anymore
knowing if they fell sick somebody would be there to help
sharing expenses – which allowed them to live in a nicer place
sharing their thought and feelings with another human being
Of course what to watch out for was also mentioned
never buy a house together with another person
there has to be just one owner – it leaves the door open for everyone to come and go if things don’t work out
have house rules re cleaning, cooking time, meals, etc.
take your time to make a commitment
look at many options before you do
and above all
make sure you like the person
Shortly after I had read this article there was a television show about three men living together, about 65 to 75 (my guess) and when they were asked how it felt sharing a house and their life, they said laughingly while pushing each other like school boys, “We haven’t had so much fun in years.” And they truly looked happy and alive.
Of course these are the pioneers. But every major change and movement started with a few who eventually convinced the rest of the world – and here we are speaking about the fast growing group of older people looking for solutions to their changing world.
Most of the Golden Girls have left us, but we are lucky to still have Betty White. What a role model! Over 90 her enthusiasm for life is contagious. She looks nice, is well dressed, and always has a positive attitude. Is that why she is still round? Maybe? Whatever the answer staying positive is like sunshine making your days brighter and your life happier.
Thank you Golden Girls for the years of laughter and sunshine you gave us and for showing us a way of life that could just make the difference in our life now!