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 needthat” (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
The origin of this quote is disputed. But if it was Buddha who said it or not these words should make us stop in our tracks. Asking us if we want to fly? Of course we do! What has delayed us for so long? Life, family, work, responsibilities. If all that is behind you, like it is for me, it is now or Never!
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
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?
Are you ready to go swimming with dolphins?
Of course you are! Because – not at any time – are you too old to change and think out of the 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!
When I first lost my husband it was a difficult time. I felt lonely. I felt left behind. Daily life was not fun anymore and the worst thing was to go to a restaurant. Sitting alone and seeing mostly couples around me made me wonder if the world really moves in sets of twos?
But with the passing years things changed. Now when I sit in a restaurant and look closer at couples – older and younger – who I envied before – I see something else. Some look like they wished they were somewhere else. Some don’t say a word to each other all through their meal. Some are on their cell phones, and sometimes both are. But if only one is busy on the phone their partner looks increasingly displeased.
Observing this I feel relieved and grateful that I can just enjoy my glass of wine, and going even step further I remember my blessings:
I don’t have to cook everyday
I can come home late or later – or not at all
I can buy that expensive handbag without having to justify my purchase
I can stay up as late as I want
I don’t have to wash socks
I can travel anywhere I feel like going
I am free to do what I want- when I want
These are just a few of my reason, but I am sure every single woman reading this and enjoying her freedom has her own list. Would it be too much to ask to share it with us? Grateful if you could leave a comment!
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
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!
Before ending the book signing at The Bell Pub in England I did a little survey by asking who of the ladies had a Bucket List. Two hands went up. When I asked why others did not have one the answer was always something like this, “I never thought about it. I know there are things I still want to do before I die, but never made a plan.”
Well a bucket list is a plan. Life coaches and therapists often suggest to write down what is in our heart to show us what we really want.
I handed out paper and pens and after 15 minutes collected the answers. Here are some of them:
A nice young man – ( this came from a pretty, vivacious blond)
Botox facial filler
Go up and down the High Line in New York
To walk the Inca Trail
To walk the full distance of the Great Wall of China
Learn to surf – well
To build and own a donkey sanctuary
Travel to Venice on the Orient Express
To visit all the wonders of the world
To write a children’s book
To run the London Marathon
Go to Iceland
Travel to Avignon and stay for a long time and paint
Take a train across Europe and stop at the places I really want to see
See more of South Africa
Take a river cruise down the Danube
Go to Koblenz in Germany to see a painting my grandmother did, which now hangs in a museum there.(I asked her if she had ever seen it and she said never)
Some of these dreams are a little more difficult to fulfill than others, but not unreachable if you allow yourself to make it a priority.
By the way the lady who had never seen her grandmother’s painting is on her way to Koblenz. She said, “I am glad I came today, this is really a wake-up call.”
Tell us what is on your bucket list!
The following photos are an encouragement for the lady who wants go to Avignon in France and paint.
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.
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).
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.