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.

                                                                   *********

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.

IMG_8141 (3)

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).

IMG_7809

 

Getting over growing older 03 (1)

IMG_3788

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.

unnamed[4]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

                                                                     *******

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!

********

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.

DANCING FEET

Good Morning Everyone

If you love to dance, love Rock and Roll Music, and live in New York this is for YOU.

While I am sitting here massaging my feet, I want to share my new discovery. Living in New York as long as I do I can’t believe I have just found out about SOCK HOP SUNDAYS!

 

When we arrived around 9 pm, I went with my friend Pat, the place was crowded and jumping. Jumping with men and women dancing. Another surprise was – which is  a rarity in New York City – there were more men than women. Age didn’t matter either – from young to old, to older, to real old everybody was happy to be there. Partners were changed often and it felt like the joy of dancing was the reason for being here.

Not wanting to keep you in suspense any longer here are the details – SOCK HOP SUNDAYS takes place at the Iguana Café on 240 West 54th Street (yes, in the heart of Manhattan) for all other information go to http://www.sockhopsundays.com

No, I am not on their payroll to advertise, but having had such a fun and unusual experience I can’t help but share. And should you be worried that it is a pick up place, like my friend Pat had feared, believe me it is not. – It’s really about the joy of dancing – and we danced all the way home.

Never Forget – A Smile Changes Everything

Brigitte

YOUR THOUGHTS – If you know of any other places, here in New York or elsewhere in the country, please share here on my Blog. Thank You so much!

 

 

GRAY LOCKS – THE WAY TO GO

For a very long time companies like L’Oréal and Revlon have helped women hide any sign of white hair – a reminder of aging – and who wanted anybody to know that they were getting older? “I must have  my roots done” my friends used to say while pointing to their scalp.

Well, having your roots done is the past, because the latest fashion fad is Gray Hair! And not only for older women, but for women of any age. As for me it is just happening at the right time because lately I have noticed my hair turning white and since I have never colored my hair and didn’t like the idea I was wondering what to do.

woman-gray-hair

But seeing Helen Mirrem looking so beautiful I found the answer. I am now looking forward to having my hair turn white. And so can you!

Never forget – a smile changes everything!

scan0003-3Brigitte

PUTTING ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER

……will eventually get you there.

As an Indie author I have a rule – I must to sell a book a day – to whom? Anybody who will buy. I recently got a note from our doorman who had bought a book for his mother. He sent me the following message – Thank you so much for the book! My mother is enjoying it a lot since it fits her personality! Wish you great success!

Of course I would rather sell more books a day, and often I do, but these little encouragements are kicks carrying me forward, forward to bigger things to come.

And never forget…….a smile changes everything!

scan0003-3Brigitte

 

JEANS WITH RIPS AND HOLES………..

……..belong to the Young and Restless!

Visiting my bank yesterday a lady came up to Michelle’s desk, the bank clerk who took care of me and said, “Sorry to interrupt, just wanted to wish you a Happy Easter.”

While we chit chatted I looked at the lady. She was about sixty, of medium height. She wore a bulky sweater which, even for her not slim silhouette, was much too large, and a pair of jeans with more rips and holes than was flattering for her legs.

I don’t know if she didn’t feel comfortable in her jeans, or if she had noticed me looking at her, but she suddenly said, ” I’m going out to buy some clothes now” and before I could stop myself I said laughingly, “You might need some.”

No, she wasn’t offended, she was a good sport and pointing to her jeans explained, “I just wanted to be a fashionista.”

And getting out my book Getting Over Growing Older I made another sale.

And always remember …a smile changes everything.

scan0003-3Brigitte

 

 

 

DON’T GET STUCK IN THE PAST

“Look at them they are wearing bedspreads” the man standing in front of me on the escalator said excitedly, while he was pointing to the two young girls in front of us.

FullSizeRender (2)
This could double as a bed spread, but it is a Ralph Lauren Poncho – the latest fashion Copyright BN

“Bedspreads? Really?  Well he was not so wrong some of the outfits could have passed as bedspreads. When we reached the top he stopped me and said in an even louder tone, “Don’t you see those are not dresses to go to a concert in – that’s not what women wore when I was young.” (This was at the  David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York a week ago))

“Well times have changed, it’s not the same anymore” I said while trying to go to my seat, but he followed me and continued, “And the worst is, everyone is in black, and often not wearing any make-up they look like they are already dead!”

Visibly upset he walked away still shaking his head and mumbling to himself. I guessed he was in his late 60s, dressed in a dark suit and tie.

I hoped for him that he would calm down, because if he didn’t and continued to be obsessed by the past – he would allow the past to spoil a beautiful concert.

Change is constant and if we don’t go with we will get irreversibly stuck.

And never forget – a smile changes everything

scan0003-3Brigitte