Embrace A New Reality – Find A New Life

Are you prepared to become 80 years old, or 90, or more? Are you prepared to learn square dancing?

When  we get older and retire how well we adjust to our new life depends on many things, but most importantly on how prepared and ready we are to:

  • learn new skills
  • meet new people
  • go to unknown places
  • let go of the life we know
  • get out of our comfort zone
  • move to a new house or town
  • take risks

Being older and getting older might last a long time. If you are in your sixties or seventies you might have 25 years in front of you. Could you really look out of the same window, at the same world for that long?

Years ago I read an article in which the author advised people to learn a new trade before retiring, giving them a chance at a new life, a new career. But how many of us being 60 or 70 years old have done that? Not many. But maybe we can redeem ourselves by getting out of our comfort zone and start thinking out of the box?

What would be wrong if you moved to another country for a few months of the year. Or followed your desire to paint? Or took a cruise around the world? Or sold your house and moved into a nice new condo?

The kids – the grandkids? Don’t worry about them, they have their own life and just because you spend a few months of the year in Italy you won’t lose them. On the contrary they will be happy to visit you in Italy!

You can initiate a lot of these changes, but also watch out for what the Universe might send your way – let’s say a friend wants to start a business and ask you to be a partner. The answer is not ‘at my age I don’t think I want to take the risk.‘ Instead grab this opportunity. It might sound a little crazy or risky but it will push you out of your numbing comfort zone; giving you a reason to get up in the morning, bringing you back to life, a life which will fill the years ahead.

So are you ready to go to the moon? Image result for photos of the moon

Are you ready to go swimming with dolphins?Image result for swimming with dolphin pictures

Of course you are! Because  – not at any time – are you too old to change and think out of the box!

And never forget – A smile changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

Not Ready to be Old Yet? – Interview


Client Spotlight: Living Longer with @BrigitteNioche

Meet Brigitte Nioche

Brigitte Nioche is the author of Living Longer, Living Well: How to Embrace the Challenges of a Long Life. I had the pleasure of meeting Brigitte through our mutual editor, Candace Johnson. Brigitte is a fascinating, intelligent woman who came from Germany, traveled through Egypt, and now lives in Manhattan. I admire her class, pragmatism, and persistent effort to learn how to use social media. She’s also a witty writer! Check her out.

About the Book

NOT READY TO BE OLD YET?
What’s a woman “of a certain age” to do about sex, social media, and the latest fashion trends? In this charming, often self-effacing memoir, Brigitte Nioche shares her personal experiences of staying positive, dealing with the challenges that come in the second half of life, and living life to the fullest.

Interview with Brigitte Nioche

How long have you been writing?

For a very long time – my first article about a church in upstate New York was published in 1972

Why did you start writing?

I wanted to share my experience with others

When did you publish your first book?

The Sensual Dresser in 1981 published by Perigee.

What gave you the idea to write LIVING LONGER, LIVING WELL?

I think I have explained this in the introduction of the book – but I would like to add the idea of the book is to show people how important it is, at any age, to stay connected to the world

My mother just turned sixty and loved your book. I’m about to turn forty. What do you think it is it about these age milestones that are so difficult?

The Media hype…. they make it sound like you are becoming a different person at that point – whereas the truth is we really don’t feel any different and we are not, so we should remember that – sorry for the cliché – age is just a number

You always say a smile changes everything. How do you keep such a positive attitude?

Well, when you smile the world smiles back at you – when you approach a person, and even though they look cranky, seeing you smile will make them smile too. A smile also says to most people – I like you and that changes everything and it becomes easy to be positive.

You live in Manhattan, a place I love deeply and have always fantasized living in full time. Tell us a little about your lifestyle there and your day to day activities.

I love New York and don’t think I could live anywhere else – NY is vibrant and without doing much one feels always part of something – but when people envy me for living here because of   museums and art, and theater, I always tell them going to work doesn’t leave too much time to see everything – and another drawback is that living here I think I can always go for which reason   I sometimes miss something.

My lifestyle – now that I don’t work full time anymore I try to stick to a daily schedule and set myself tasks – of course the most important is writing – but since that is a rather lonely occupation I make sure to have an outside activity keeping me connected and up to date. Meeting people and interacting with them is my way to stay positive

How do you stay fit, healthy, and happy?

First let me say that when you are fit and feel good about yourself – you are happy. But to stay fit exercise, moving is necessary – no we don’t always feel like it, therefore, we must find an exercise that we like – walking, dancing (yes that is a very good exercise). I walk up 12 floors every day. and feel that is all I need – it is important to find something you like or you won’t do it for long. It should be enjoyable. and again, when you enjoy something it makes you feel optimistic at the same time.

Do you have kids? Grandkids? If so, how do they enrich your life? If not, did you ever regret not having children?

What should those growing older know about aging without children and grandchildren to help? I have one son and two grandchildren – I don’t see them often, but it is always a special day when I do, and I love the way they bring me-up-to-date especially on Social Media – the most important way to connect to them is to ask them about their life and interests and then listen to their answer.

For people who don’t have grandchildren it will be a good idea to get involved with some volunteering to do with children – or offer babysitting services for nieces and nephews

Reaching the age of forty, I feel my time is limited. Death can happen to an anyone at any time. What has given your life meaning? What legacy do you want to leave behind?

Let me first say that at 40 you should not think of this – you are young, in the middle of life – of course we can all die at any age, that’s why it is not useful to think about it at any age.

The Meaning of my life has been to lead a healthy, fruitful, busy life, leading the way by being a good example. And I hope that my legacy would be that my actions, my behavior made a difference in the life of the people who knew me.

Thanks  for answering all my questions, Brigitte!
Find all her links below.


Brigitte Nioche

readytolivelonger.com

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

 

Do You Remember Turning 4O?

Image result for pictures of being 40

Stepping onto the balcony of my apartment on this sunny Monday morning I was wondering if Manhattan was still the same as yesterday, because I was not. I had just turned 40. Today is my birthday. Finally it had happened – I was 40 years old; far away from being young and far away from being old.

I remember as a child I heard adults speak about people in their 40’s, and for me it sounded like they were 100, and more importantly it seemed to be 100 years away. But today the 100 years have caught up with me. But I really don’t feel different, even though I have to admit I look a little different than 10 years ago.

Come to think of it age affects us throughout our life, but in very different ways. As children we hope for nothing more than to be older. When we reach 16 we can’t wait to be 20 because it seems that the world is waiting for us and we can’t wait to change the world. And yes, sometimes we do change the world, but the truth is the passing years change us – and suddenly there is that day when we turn 40.

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I have written this reflection many year ago, and now, closer to being old, I have learned that it is not the number of our birthdays which is important, but our attitude to those numbers. Therefore, just remember they are only numbers – numbers which can’t change a positive attitude and the love of life!

And always remember – A Smile Changes Everything!

bn-small-imageBrigitte

 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

Retirement – a dream come true for so many, including the baby boomers whose numbers, according to statistics increase by 10,000 every day. Retirement fulfills the dream of not working anymore, of being free and walking on the sunny side of the street. But how sunny is that street. A street that might stretch for 10,20,30 year to come. And what is there to do on that street?

Some find their grandchildren there, or they find places to travel to, or helping others by volunteering, but will these really carry us to the end of that long road? Maybe and maybe not.

But there is something that could make us walk along that street with our head held high and feeling once more that we are part of the world and not just passing time. What is it?

Social Media

Here I have to take a moment and tell you how much I have resisted it. I didn’t like it. I struggled with it, and even went as far as I thinking I didn’t need it. Truthfully I would have preferred not to start and end my day with opening and closing that square window in my office which is part of the computer. So what made me change my mind?

Social Media

Why don’t you go online? Follow us on Twitter! Do you have a Facebook page? Get your statement by going to our website. Do you want to pay on line?  These are all questions facing us at one time or another and there is no getting away from it –  so the answer is (excuse the cliché) if you can’t beat them join them.

And by joining them we can:

  • Learning a new skill
  • Giving our life a new purpose
  • Connecting with the world
  • Feeling once more part of the world

Oh, all this is a challenge and not so easy to do. But haven’t we overcome lots of challenges in our life – why not this one?

To help me do this I have been looking for a program that will teach me. No, not online because that is where my problem lies and I won’t get it. So if you are like me, and want to take on this new challenge, try to find a class you can attend in person. Most libraries have such classes and even computers you can practice on. Or ask friends who already made the connection to Social Media to search the web to find a course for you.

And above all don’t be part of the 35% of seniors (a statistic mentioned by Senior Planet founder Tom Kamber) who don’t have a computer. If you don’t have one, get one and if you have one, learn all about it -be on the highway of life not on a  road leading to nowhere.

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And never forget – A Smile Changed Everything!

2016-01-27 12.40.02 (5)Brigitte

 

 

THAT’S THE SPIRIT

Sitting in the bus yesterday I sat opposite a lady who was reading the paper. When the bus stopped at Columbus Circle, she looked up and fumbling to put her newspaper away, as well as trying to hold on, she said,

“Oh my, this is my stop. I have to get out.” Having trouble to steady herself a young man got up and took her arm. With a big smile she looked at him and told him,

“Young man I don’t need help, because you see I am not old, I just look old.” and with that she stepped slowly out of the bus.

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And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything               photo- pink

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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Getting over growing older 03 (1)

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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

 

BLESSED AT THE BEGINNING OF LIFE AND AT THE END

Today is the end of the school year here in Manhattan, and while I was out I met Simone who had just picked up her daughter Corey (9 years old) from school. Corey had a big smile when she said,

“You know I am off for the summer now?”

“That’s great!” and without thinking I added “So am I!”

She looked surprised and I went on to explain,

“You know we have that in common. When you are young, like you, you have free time and when you are old….er, like me, you have free time too.”

I don’t think she understood. I gave her a high-five and walking home it occurred to me that there are other things the young and old..er have in common;

  • we have free time
  • we have people who take care of us
  • we have people who love us
  • we are learning – they go to school – we learn from them
  • we don’t have to work
  • we have little or no responsibilities

So being a kid or old…er, like being a Grandmother, are the best of times.

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And Always Remember – A Smile Changes Everything

Brigitte

OLDER BUT NOT DOWN AND OUT

Many people under 50 are putting people over 60 in a different category.

I don’t understand why? Because looking around one sees many vibrant, busy, contributing elders around. Some of them are far beyond retirement age of 65, but are still out there making a difference to the world.

Recently I had a chance to change someone’s mind about who we are. It was at the Bottomless Closet where we help women with proper clothes for an upcoming interview. I was helping Sheila, who is in her  40s and is applying for a retail position.

When we were done, I showed her a pretty, glittering top and asked,

“How do you like this?”

“I love it, but it’s not work appropriated, is it?”

“No! But you won’t only work, you can wear this when you go out.”

“You mean when I hang out with my friends in a bar, or restaurant?” and then looking at me a little closer asked,

“Do you still hang out?”

“Of course I do. What makes you think I don’t?” Hesitantly she answered,

“You are retired, right? I just thought ……. retired people don’t do those things anymore!” (I think she meant older but not wanting to hurt my feelings choose to say retired).

“We do – and many other things that would surprise you.”  IMG_2984

 

 

 

 

 

When she left, hugging me she said, “Thanks for your help and the pretty top  —– maybe I see you when I hang out next time?”

Was she telling me she saw retired people differently now?

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And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything

Brigitte

 

 

Before sharing my experience about an aid who took care of my mother, I want to say that when the day comes I need somebody around the clock to take care of me I won’t rejoice. It won’t be such a good day. But once over the first chock I will be grateful that there are people willing to do what is not always a pleasant task. Unfortunately it was not how my mother saw it when the time came and Anna moved into her apartment to look after her.

Anna was a kind and gentle soul who had recently arrived in the US from Poland and who spoke little English. My mother complained about it, and when I suggested it would be a worthwhile project for her to teach Anna English her response was,

“I am not here to teach her English, she is here to take care of me.”

They struggled along for the next few weeks and when I came for dinner one night my mother said, “Just so you know I let Anna go to church last Sunday.”

“That was nice of you” I replied  wondering who wanted to get rid of whom? I found out soon enough. I met Anna in the lobby when I was leaving and  after asking her how things were I said,

“I heard you went to church last Sunday! Which church did you go to Anna?”

“Church? Me? No Anna not church, Anna sandwich.”

Anna only stayed for a few more weeks, but I have never forgotten the incident. With a kinder attitude on my mother’s part they could have enjoyed a sandwich together!

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And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything

BrigitteAlice O'Connor Art 144

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

P.S. If you have a story to share, I would love to hear it. Please leave a comment or email me – bbnnic@gmail.com – so that we can post it here. Thank you.