Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 26)

Getting older or better?

Are you scared of turning 60?  Or 70?  Or whatever age you’re about to be?

We get a number in our heads and we start worrying…what will life be like, what will I look like, and how much longer do I have…and most of the time, these fears are based on advertising, old movies, or mean old people we knew when we were children.

That crabby lady down the street who never handed out Halloween candy.  The old man who seemed to get so old so fast.  Our third-grade math teacher who never smiled.  When we were about 10 years old, they seemed to be 100.  But of course, they weren’t.

They were just older.  And since it was probably 50+ years ago when we knew them, they were older in a different time.  A time when there weren’t yoga classes for people over 70. Or strength training opportunities for anyone past 80.  Or well-designed communities for people over 55 with everything from an indoor pool to a pub to a non-stop calendar of events.

So, whether it’s true or not, it seems like people “back then” aged faster. They certainly didn’t have all the health and nutrition advantages we do now.  Many of them probably did physical labor for so many years it took its toll. Health conditions that are quite treatable today weren’t then.  People sat outside and worshipped the sun without realizing the dangers, so there a whole lot more wrinkles to rock.

Today, some say 50 is the new 40, 60 is the new 50, and so on. Maybe just say 60 is the new 60!  Maybe don’t worry about the number; but do have a good understanding of the physical changes that occur as we age and how we can enjoy life more than ever.

There are some physical changes to be aware of as we get older… lists a few:

  • Our taste buds are not quite as sharp.
  • Body odor changes.
  • Always loved sweets? You might find yourself with stronger cravings for salty, or vice versa.
  • Feeling stiff and sore in the morning is common as we age.
  • Wonder why you always seem to have a bruise? Your skin is thinner so a slight bump can leave a mark.
  • Feel achy? If you’ve had bad posture or have been inactive for years, it’s going to show.
  • Dry skin. Drink more water and use lotions.
  • Bladder problems can occur.
  • You might forget things more often.

Is it all bad news?  NO!  While it’s a good idea to understand that these changes are normal, it’s even more important to know you can do quite a lot to level the playing field.

Here’s some thoughts from Mayo Clinic about healthy aging:

  • Every day, do something physical. Walk, swim, do chair aerobics…it will help you maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure and feel better in general.
  • Don’t smoke. Eat a healthy diet.  And get enough sleep.
  • Bones weaken as we age. So, get enough calcium, vitamin D and watch your alcohol intake. And join a gym for some strength training—you are never too old to build muscle.
  • Stay social. Find reasons to get out and meet people, stay in touch with friends, have the family over.  Social interaction wards off depression  and stress, which can contribute to memory loss.
  • Exercise your mind by always learning something new…a foreign language, a new way to drive to the store, or a complex puzzle to solve.

The GREAT news about turning older.

Remember when you were 39 and you thought 40 meant it was all over?

Or turning 50 and thinking everything was going to stop?

Well chances are it didn’t….you look back now and laugh, thinking how young you were then, and if “I’d only known” then I wouldn’t have worried.  It’s the same now.  Find someone 10 years older and they will urge you to get up, get active and enjoy life with all the gusto you can.

Because being afraid of what might come isn’t going to help.

Being proactive in making “now” better just might.

  • You can sit in front of the TV all day. Or you can go to the park and walk by a lake.
  • You can never learn another thing. Or you can take an adult education class and learn all about something you never even considered, make new friends, and expand your world.
  • You can eat the same food every day. Or you can go online and find new recipes and try them out on your friends.
  • You can look at old photos and cry. Or you can become a docent at a local history museum and interact with interested people all day.
  • You can decide no one cares anymore. Or you can connect with a volunteer agency in your town and start helping the truly needy and forgotten.

Life really is what you make it.  And you have the wisdom, experience and talent to make it spectacular.  Or at least, more interesting than you thought possible.

It’s your time.  And it’s your choice.

Sit and stew…or rock that wrinkle?

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.

        Henry David Thoreau

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Sizing up aging: finding clothes that fit.

Some people hate going to the dentist.  Others do anything to avoid cleaning out the garage.  Or doing their taxes.  Or  raking leaves.

Me…shopping for clothes.  Oh it used to be fun, years ago. Maybe I’m crazy  but it sure seemed clothes were more attractive back then.  Putting them on wasn’t difficult.  (Weren’t the buttons bigger?  They sure seemed bigger.)  Looking in the mirror wasn’t akin to watching a vampire movie.

Not anymore.  Is it me, or does there seem to be a conspiracy of ugly clothes, impossible sizes and dressing room mirrors that double as carnival sideshows?

Just because we’re boomers, we shouldn’t have to be tortured when we go shopping.

Things change.  We’ve changed.  And clothes have changed…and it seems, not for the better.

  • A new study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education reveals, “The average size of an American woman is now between 16 to 18, which is an increase from 10-year-old data that indicated most women in the U.S. were a size 14.”  Scientists have now determined that the average waist circumference has increased 2.6 inches in the past 21 years, which is why there has been an increase in clothing size.
  • According to a study by J. Walter Thompson London, 69% of women between 53 and 72 feel that they’re ignored by the fashion industry.  Some 82% of the women surveyed believe that the clothes aimed at their age group are too old-fashioned.
  • And it’s not only women.  The average weight of American men has increased by about 15 pounds over the last two decades, according to a new study published today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Especially depressing is to embark on a new fitness program, sign up for classes, be ready to sweat and work hard, and then try to find workout clothes you can breathe in.  Surprise!  They are made for 75-pound people who run along the shore all day posing for soft drink commercials.  They are not made for anyone who wants to lose 10 pounds.

Why are we letting this happen?  We should rebel.

All of us. 

Give us clothes that ft. Give us clothes that we feel good in.  Give us clothes we can actually leave the house in.  

After all, it was OUR generation that transformed fashion, took risks, brought high styles to women in affordable, wearable clothing. So why have we been abandoned?  Why does it feel like a scene from a James Bond film when we shop?  (“We’ve caught you, double agent 543, and now for the torture…you have to try on these clothes, in front of a 3-way mirror, and actually walk out into the store!  And if you don’t give us the secret war codes, you’ll have to try on….a swimsuit!!”)

According to Forbes:

“Boomers are finding themselves trapped between two worlds–desperate not to become their parents and reluctant to dress like their children. Their challenge is to find clothing that is age-appropriate and fashionable….Unfortunately, according to a Mintel survey of Baby Boomers, more than half of respondents said there are few retailers that carry appealing merchandise, and one-third said stores catering to their demographic have unstylish clothing….

Yet it’s us baby boomers who have the most money to spend. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the current 83.4 million Boomers have a collective spending power of more than $2 trillion and hold 50% of all discretionary income.

Add to the dilemma the barrage of messages you get online about all the things you should not wear if you’re over 50.  Not that too many of us are running out the door in a micro-mini skirt or speedo swim trunks, but come on.  After a while, it starts to feel like we should stay inside with the shades drawn, or just put a hole in a potato bag and tie a rope around our waists.

(Yes, children, potatoes used to come in bags. See how worldly we boomers are?)

RockTheWrinkle has made this appeal before to retailers: pay attention to us!  Macy’s, Dillards, Chico’s, J Jill, whoever and whatever…get smart!  If you stock it, they will come!  Of course there’s always the great catalogs who seem to get it more than others, like Land’s End, LL Bean and others.  Clothes that fit, sleeves long enough to cover a few brushes with too much cheese dip, and forgiving lines.  And they actually look good.

But so many times a trip to the dressing room is just too depressing.  And it shouldn’t be.  We are NOT (most of us) a size 4.  And we don’t want to be.  We are beautiful, or handsome, just as we are and we should be able to dress that way.

And don’t even get me started on shoes .  (But thank the universe for Aravon, Taos, Merrell, Cobb Hill, Rockport, Rieker and Jambo, to name a few.  You make stylish shoes for women that take orthotics.  Thank you.)

So what do you think?  Do we stop shopping?  Do we write designers and clothing manufacturers and tell them what we think?  Do we call up online catalogs and offer our opinions?  If you have an idea, I’d love to hear it.  How are you handling this frustration?

“Style is something each of us already has, all we need to do is find it.” —Diane von Furstenberg

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” —Yves Saint Laurent

“When in doubt, wear red.” —Bill Blass










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Calling all warriors.

Have you been called upon to be a warrior?

Are you answering an inner urge to start over? To try a new scary path that no one else supports or understands?

To branch out on your own and seek new successes even in the face of huge odds?

OTRAS (3)If you’re a boomer and beyond, and you bravely decide to truly change your path, you’re going to encounter a lot of strange looks, shaking heads, and arguments about why it will never work. Yet if you truly know that your new path is where you have always wanted to walk, you must do it.

American Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chodron touches on this in her book, “The Wisdom of No Escape.” She writes:


“When you really start to take the warrior’s journey—when you start to want to live your life fully, and you feel this passion for life and for growth, when discovery and exploration and curiosity become your path—then basically, if you follow your heart, you’re going to find that it’s often extremely inconvenient.

“Wholeheartedness is a precious gift but no one can give it to you. You have to find the path that has heart and then walk it impeccably. In doing that, you again and again encounter your own uptightness, your own headaches, your own falling flat on your face. But in wholeheartedly following that path, this inconvenience is not an obstacle. It’s simply a certain texture of life.

file8961250911676“Not only that, sometimes when you just get flying, and it all feels so good and you think, ‘This is it, this is the path that has heart,’ you suddenly fall flat on your face. Everybody’s looking at you. You say to yourself, ‘What happened to that path that had heart? This feels like the path full of mud in my face.’ Since you are wholeheartedly committed to the warrior’s journey, it pricks you, it pokes you. It’s like someone laughing in your ear, challenging you to figure out what to do when you don’t know what to do. It humbles you. It opens your heart.”

 Now is the time.  Listen to your spirit.  The universe has quite a sense of humor—laugh with it.

Falling down a few times isn’t the worst thing that can happen to us.

Not trying is.

“Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.”

       Carl von Clausewitz



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Is the party over?

It’s hot.  It’s late July.  Are these the “Dog Days”?  I used to see that on my father’s calendar in his office and wonder what that meant…were dogs suddenly going to appear somewhere?

Now I understand.  You just feel like walking around with your tongue hanging out.

It’s been a weird summer  Weird weather.  Weird interactions in the workday.  Weird injuries.  It’s frustrating because I always feel like every day is so precious and I shouldn’t waste it….I should get out there and be doing things.  But sometimes I think Nature finds a way to slow us down, make us stop, and be still.  Really still.  Or, as a member of the clergy reminded me the other day, “put our toes in the sand.”

Sounds pretty good to me.

Already, we’re in a rush.  We let Sunday advertising tell us it’s time for back to school.  Put away the toys, balls, and bats kids, because it’s time to start worrying about school.  Hurry up and take that vacation everybody, because it’s about to all be over.  What are you waiting for?  Make your reservations or forget it.

Was it this way when we were children?  I can’t remember already getting depressed at the end of July.

IMG_0130I remember thinking in late July I had one more month of freedom.  So I savored every second of it.  Popsicles at night, hide-and-go-seek on the street corner, cool dirt and soft grass to run in.  Surely now that we are so much older, we can give ourselves the permission to extend the summer as long as we can.

Because really, it should be a state of mind.  A place where we can go when life just gets too hectic.  And it is too hectic.

We’ve made our lives insanely busy.  But sometimes I think through all the appointments, commitments, and requirements, we’ve forgotten to live.  To even notice where we are or who we are with.  At the end of the day, can you answer these questions?

  • Was it sunny today or cloudy?
  • Did you smile at a stranger today?  Help anyone?
  • How many times did you laugh?
  • What have you learned today?
  • Did you remember to have some moments of gratitude?
  • Was there even a minute when you stopped, looked around, took a deep breath and really noticed your surroundings?
  • Isn’t that what living is supposed to be about?

Don’t let advertising tell you when it’s time to relax or play. Or when it’s time to stop.  If you’re a boomer and beyond, you know better.

You know life is what you make it…and maybe right now, you’re ready to make it fun.


“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.”

      Helen Keller


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