IT IS NEVER TOO LATE

So true! But some of us who are older might not think so. They might say, ‘oh at my age it is too late to start’ or ‘I am not up to that anymore’ or I am happy with my life as it is now.’

I hear you, but let me ask you  “do you have something to get up for in the morning?”

Yes, there is the internet, there are your friends, properly most of them on Facebook, not actually sharing real life experiences with you, and then there is your family (who have their own life!) You might even be volunteering. But when all is said and done is there something that you are passionate about? Something you always wanted to do? Something life – your career, your family never allowed  time for?

I will demonstrate my point with  personal experience. Since I am retired I have done all the things I mentioned here and it made me feel good. I was glad that there was no more 9-5, yet something was missing. – I knew what it was. I needed a project. But what? One day, walking in the country an urge of wanting to hang on to the glow of the mountains, the beauty of the scenery, the tranquility of the trees around overcame me. And when I arrived home I had my pockets stuffed with pine cones, stones, pieces of tree bark, and twigs. Spreading them out on the table, moving them this way and that way I  suddenly saw a picture – and I was wondering if  others would too? That was the start and motivation of following a creative urge I always had, but I never had a chance to follow because I needed to earn a living.

Now 9 months later I have created over 30 images made of natural elements and recycled objects. I have a website called  http://www.reflection-of-nature.com and do pop up stores at places like the Pottery Barn, and West Elm. It is a slow start. I have sold only  a few but it is not about sales but about having a purpose. – 

Having heard my story, please don’t dismiss it with thinking something like this is not for you. It is!  Creating art from nature might not be for you , but everyone of us has a talent to be uncovered. A passion deep down in our heart that was never unleashed – now is the time!

And you might have more time than you think. If you are in your 70s and knowing that life expectancy today is  85, 90 plus, you might have 15 to 20 years in front of you. And what will you fill these years with? You can’t rely on the outside world – it has to be with a purpose all your own.

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I want to leave you by remembering my friend Alice who became 100 years old. After she retired from nursing she took up painting – abstract painting – and did this to her last day. Her paintings became less and less sophisticated, but the purpose of painting them never left her. It carried her through all the ups and downs of becoming a 100 – and I suspect that is why she became a 100 years old.

And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

MEMORIES ARE THE BEST INHERITANCE

It has been a long time that I have posted something – life has been busy and challenging in the last year – but enough excuses.

I recently had an experience I would like to share with you. It is about inheritance! It might be helpful to those of us who are 70 or older. Yes, we all would like to leave something for our children and grandchildren – we would like to be remembered! Some of us even keep their lifestyle modest, and say ‘I want to leave something for the kids, you know.’
Yes I know! But when I started thinking about my own mortality, and asked myself how I might be remembered, an interesting question came up – ‘am I leaving my children and grandchildren with enough memories?‘ Of course – was my first reaction, remembering all the Christmases, birthdays, and holidays of the past – but what about now?

NOW became a trip to Europe for the whole family. Yes, doing this I gave away some of their inheritance, but being told – how nice to share this time with you – or the children (nearly teenagers) – will never forget the trip to the Jungfrau or this was the best trip ever – I knew that making memories, which nobody can take away, is worth more than whatever an executor can assign.

How full is your family memory box? Is there room to add a few events? They don’t have to be big events – taking your grandchildren for a ride on the Staten Island ferry is one – or arranging (another word for picking up the tap) a picnic with the family on the beach – are memories your family  carries in their hearts long after the sun has set.

And always remember – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

LISTEN TO YOUR WARDROBE

 

A quarter of respondents said the clothes were unworn because they were waiting to lose weight to fit into them.

When opening your closet you see rows and rows of clothes patiently and seemingly silently waiting for attention. Yes, you show preference for some of these items by picking them again and again, but if you stopped for just a moment you would hear the cry for recognition, the plea to be chosen by the rest of your clothes, but your mind shuts down as quickly as you close the wardrobe doors. You don’t want to hear the green jacket asking you ‘why have you ignored me for the last 2 years?’ You don’t want to feel guilty for always choosing your favorites things, those which make you feel and look good. And even if you acknowledge that you have too many clothes you don’t want to admit that your bulging wardrobe is your doing. You make-believe you don’t know how this happened? Your closet just becomes fuller and fuller.
But if you took a moment to listen to what your wardrobe has to tell you, you would be happier with your clothes and your clothes would be happier with you. What is really happening is that when you open your wardrobe there is a voice in your mind that makes them speak – and here is what they say:

 –  why do you never wear me?
–  why do you keep me if I don’t fit you anymore?
– why did you buy me? red is not your color?
– when will you ever go dancing again or need a cocktail dress?
– why do you keep me – I am 10 years old and look worn?
– why do you keep something that is out of fashion?
– why did I get into your closet – I am not your style?
– why did you buy me – because I was on sale – I was a good deal?
– why don’t you remove the tags from me – will you never wear me?
– why can’t you control your impulse buying?

If you answer these questions honestly – especially this one – was it on sale – and take action you will silence these voices and have a slimmer wardrobe you love and which loves you back.

And Never Forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Beauty Over 60: Getting Rid of the Old Girl

I have always worn my hair shoulder length and  liked the feeling of my hair touching my neck. But that good feeling vanished when I looked in the mirror – who is that old girl looking out at me? Reluctantly I admitted it was me, and decided it was time to cut my hair  short.

When I came to the hairdresser he asked, “What do we do today?”  “We get rid of that old girl” I answered. He laughed, “Don’t say that.” He was polite of course.

When looking  around it is amazing how many older, and even very old women wear their hair long; some very long – but it never makes them look younger; on the contrary! I do understand that cutting off those long cherished locks feels like losing ones youth.

I am convinced shorter hairstyles make a woman look younger. We can’t hide the extra years with flowing locks, they belong to the young and restless.

Walking out of the hair salon I felt naked, and looked in every window or mirror I passed to reassure myself that I had done the right thing. But hearing others say  ‘Oh, I love your hair you look so much younger’ reassured me that I will never miss that old girl.

Remember that the face is the first thing you see when looking at a person and to enhance it there is nothing better than a nice hairstyle that makes you look younger!

And Always Remember – A smile Changes Everything!

Before

 

 

After

Brigitte

 

 

Beauty Over 60: Torn Jeans – Really?

 

Holes and more holes are all over the  most popular garment in the world – our jeans. And the way things are going, one day  there will only be little bits of fabric holding the holes together.

Years ago this look caught on and then faded away but now it is back with a vengeance. From designers to mass market brands, jeans are full of tears and holes and the biggest rips get the highest prices – which makes me wonder – if I wanted to wear ripped jeans why could I not rip them myself and save some money?

 

But being over 60 ripped jeans won’t do anything for me. The appeal the young find in the holes – I think it is sex appeal – might give the wrong image for us more mature women.

While my friend Marie, well over 60,  was visiting me, she wore a pair of ripped and torn jeans. At one moment during the evening Betty,  another friend took me aside and asked with empathy in her voice, “Doesn’t Marie  own a decent pair of jeans? These look so sloppy.”

Jeans are here to stay. If you are a child or 100 years old. but the fads applied to them might not be something to follow after 60.

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And Never forget – A Smile changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO FIND A ROOMMATE

On April 21, 2018 I posted a video on this site “Having a Roommate in Your Golden Years.”

But talking about something and actually doing it, are two things. And therefore, I started wondering how I would go about finding a roommate. In my video I did suggest that maybe some of our friends might be candidates to becoming a roommate.

So, when by chance, I got the opportunity to try it out I took notes – which I would like to share with you.

Spending a few weeks in a summer place in the country I had invited, separately, five friends, each one for a week. No, not with the intention of taking notes. But after my third visitor left it occurred to me that this would be a way to find a roommate when the time comes.

My first visitor, let me call her  Jane, and I have known each other for about 10 years. I like her and we look at the world in very much the same way. She is a strong personality and always told me that she needs to be in charge – nothing wrong with that, but since I also like to have my say, her being in charge – such as – telling my friendly fresh egg providing neighbor that we don’t want any eggs today, without consulting me, would not be my way of sharing.

My second visitor, let me call her Wendy, and I have known each other for over 40 years. Yes, there have been ups and downs in our friendship, but our history always smoothed things out again. Unfortunately over the years she has become fearful and her well mend advice of ‘watch that step’ or you shouldn’t have that standing there, you might fall over it’  are  reminders that would not make my days happier.

My third visitor, let me call her Genie, and I have also known each other for a long time. She is very laid back, does not worry about many things if anything, and is very pessimistic. If I wait for the plumber she has now hesitation to tell me ‘he probably won’t come, they never do! ‘ Maybe he doesn’t come but I don’t want to know before.

If this would have been a competition – my fourth visitor, let me call her Diane would have won. We have  known each through business connections over 30 years. During her visit in the country we laughed about the past, the present and had no trouble to disagree and then agree of where a picture should be hang.

Then my fifth visitor, Marie from Switzerland came. We have no history together, but have always liked each other and coming from the same corner of the world gave us a connection. She is funny, and having a hearty laugh is easy. But when she told me she buys only chickens when she knows where and by whom they were raised, and the same for fruit and vegetables I started thinking. But the last straw came when I did the laundry and asked her if she wanted me to include hers, and she said, “You really don’t mind if my sweat mixes with yours?” Is there really more sweat than water in a washing machine?

Of course this is a one-sided story, and none of my friends are looking for a roommate, or have been asked if I would qualify, but what I learned is – and this is important – never expect to find somebody exactly like yourself, or there is no roommate out there for you. But there will always be a kindred spirit if you look for one!

Just remember Maud, or Betty, or Blanche, or Sophia of the Golden Girls, if they could make it – we can!

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And Never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

 

Part Three – Your Age Is Nobody’s Business

How Old is Old?

It is interesting how, as we advance in years, we push the boundaries of what we consider “old age.”

“I am so depressed,” my friend Irma told me the other day. When I asked why, she put her hands up in despair and answered, “I am turning thirty next week. I never thought I would get there.”

No, none of us ever thinks that we will get “there.” What? Becoming thirty of forty, or fifty? Or even older? No way! That happens to others — not me! But as the years pile up, you’ll find yourself kicking the idea of “old” farther and farther down the road.

When I was a child, I wondered why people like my grandparents looked so different. I can’t remember my grandmother being anything  but old. She wasn’t old, she was only in her fifties, but fifty is an eternity from ten, and I never thought that one day I would belike her

There is a line somewhere in the Bible that states, “Blessed are the ignorant.” And I think the young are blissfully ignorant. Forgive me for using another cliché (I think clichés hang around so long because they tell the truth), but “youth is wasted on the young.” for a long time, I did not understand the meaning of it, probably because I was one of those ignorant young people. When I wasn’t young anymore, it clicked. Youth is wasted on them because they take their good fortune for granted, not realizing that it won’t last. To quote my grandmother again,”The only good thing about aging is that it happens to everybody.”

Irma was right: the first hurdle is thirty. At that age, you are no longer a girl, but a young woman. And just when you grow used to it, you turn forty. Now that is a real game changer. You are then a woman, and here and there, little wrinkles show up.  What saves you in your forties is that for most women, life is so busy with careers, children, or both, that you don’t have too much time to analyze the whys and hows of your changing body and attitudes.

During your fifties, you begin to realize that your body is irrevocable changing. Typically, women experience menopause –and hot flashes, of course. But speaking for myself, I was never happier than when “that part of me” was out of the way. What a relief! No more cramps, no more mood swings, no more fear of pregnancy –just the joy of sex!

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

And Never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

Quote Of The Day – Love Has No Age!

Love has never been a question of age . I shall never be so old as to forget what love is.                                                                                                                                Colette

This is true for me and I hope it is true for you too!!!!

And Never Forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte