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Ruminations

Posted by [email protected] on April 1, 2021 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (5)

Wouldn’t it be mind-bending if we could see into the future? Well…in a way we can! We all have our life stories or narratives and these stories actually become our future.

 

Retirement doesn’t just happen and is one of those rare opportunities to re-write the life script that may not have served us well. We make it happen our way by re-writing personal life narratives.

 

How others see us, or how we believe they see us, is unimportant because what truly matters is how we see ourselves. That's because you often see yourself, not as others might see you through their personal life filters, but as you believe yourself to be. No one needs to experience drama or pressure for how we choose to live the rest of our lives.

 

Retirement is not about who we were or thought we were, either. It’s life’s only “do-over” and a last best chance to reshape life to give the opportunity to shape and bring reality into perspective.

 

We are women; we nourish, we give life, and are often satisfied, sitting on the sidelines, making sure that those we love are healthy and happy. And that’s ok, as long as we remember not to stray too far off the path of self-care, self-significance, and self-importance.

 

After all, we have earned the right to live a life of comfort to make it our time for self-indulgence and accomplishment of long-held dreams.

 

I'm actually trying, here, to lead you to set you up with a cup of tea to tackle a few of the following questions on your own time. Some may feel it isn’t important and some may have already answered these questions over and over again. Nevertheless, it may be a great time to turn inward.

 

1. If you’re going to live to 80, 90, 100, or more, what can you accomplish? And what should you be planning for? Really now, twenty to thirty or more years is a long time to sit and do practically nothing.

 

2. What are the moments in your life that define you and make you the person others want to get to know and hang around with? Are you becoming a more capable person, one more interesting and valuable?

 

3. What are some of the opportunities you have found which make retirement as rewarding as you had hoped it would be? Are you learning new skills and sharpening old ones? It might be well worth it.

 

4. In the way you eat, the way you exercise, the way you take care of yourself, can you honestly say you are building a greater feeling of health and vibrancy each day

 

Perhaps if someone asked me to answer all of these questions in one sitting, I would probably tell them to take a hike. Nevertheless, I put them out, here, to stir up “the works”. If they bring reflection, then these questions have served a purpose.

A word of warning; if you believe that your life will slow down and capabilities will diminish as you get older, then that’s exactly what will happen. On the brighter side, you could come out ahead of life as a “prime-timer”, waiting to grab on and take off!

Your choice.

 

                                                         Jaye Wurtzel 03-31-21

Moving Forward to 2021

Posted by [email protected] on January 10, 2021 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (1)

 

The new year approaches and this world is certainly changing rapidly. 2020 has been no exception.


I believe, all in all, that our generation has managed to face trials and tribulations this year, with grace, as we stay informed about the electoral college, rising COVID-19 cases and subsequent issues over vaccinations, waiting for agreement on a federal stimulus package and budget, widespread national unemployment and potential housing evictions.


Rick Steiner comments in his book, Retirement, Different by Design, when he says “In the end, even science and the authorities are unclear about the best way to move forward right now. The best any of us can do is to consider our options, make less than perfect decisions, choose what’s right for our families, and explore the possibilities. Only then can we reassess as time goes on and new information becomes available.”


It seems we need not become as overly concerned with the state of the union for which we have little control, but, as elders, we are weathering changes that directly impact us, as easily as one adjusts to the four seasons.


During this time, and although Covid is limiting, we seem to be growing on some internal plane, re-inventing, analyzing our health, making social connections, watching grandchildren grow, and taking time for important personal growth.


I believe we are at a point of ending the “fluff” that really doesn’t matter after all, and are drawing upon inner strength to move forward and flourish in our own small world at home.


Mary Pipher in her book, Women Growing North, says “Attitude is not everything but is almost everything. In fact, in so many situations it is all we have. Especially as we age, we can see clearly that we do not always have control, but we do have choices”.


In this pandemic, one 59-year-old has adapted to change by saying, “2020 was not exactly a WASTED year for me, but pretty close. I had just moved and could have used my time more wisely. Mostly l was unmotivated and disappointed in me. Now, l find myself building up a head of steam for the new year, making renewed plans that can be accomplished within the confines of Covid, new rooms, neighbors, city, and slowed down vitality. I only have to work on sustaining a positive attitude.”


As we assume the appearance of leisure during this (pandemic) time and cherish our individuality and uniqueness, we owe a responsibility to ourselves; to try and ignore negative forces that obstruct and keep us from fulfilling our potential and maintain positive thoughts while going through the daily grind.


Another gal is looking forward to the upcoming changes by commenting,” I retired from NC schools in 2018 at the age of 66 only to take a job with Hawai’i schools. Now I plan to retire for good at almost 69 and move back to my home on the mainland this Spring. I’m planning on becoming fluent in French, camping a bit, traveling to Europe some, and having time to explore cooking and homemaking in a more creative way. I also want to find a place to help in some way in the community. I have kids and grandkids there, so I don’t think I’ll get bored! Looking forward to it.”


In this new year, I choose to be the hero of my own story, with dreams to look forward to. A wise word given to self is a pledge to “march on”, be careful about watching TV and live by the motto that I’m never too old to learn, make new friends or check out new places of interest.


“That’s right. Take your brain out of its rut, see and do new things, surprise the brain, break from routine and you’ll surprise yourself," remarked Pipher.


And so, at this closing of 2020, I am also truly grateful to find myself in the role of Women Growing Older Gracefully coordinator. Your hearts are big and your energy is boundless. I marvel at your creativity, innovation, and ability to nurture others, and for this WGOG mission to re-invent and improve the quality of life in our older years.


Note: This blog was written on December 29th , before the insurgency upon our nation's Capitol on January 6th

Retirement in a Social Wilderness

Posted by [email protected] on November 10, 2020 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (1)

As a retiree, there’s something that has been bothering me and I would like to figure it out. I sometimes wonder why some retirees appear to be living in a kind of social wilderness, a place where they have abandoned hope for finding new friends. Perhaps it’s a simple matter to make some decisions. Perhaps not.

One woman put it this way: “Retirement is a perfect occasion worth celebrating. It is one such those fabulous times when you are free from responsibilities and you start living for yourself. It is simply a phase in which you have enough time for yourself, and to enjoy every minute of it; no deadlines to complete, no alarms to wake you up or no burden to take care of”.

Retirement does come with mixed feelings, however. It seems sad, knowing you will not be going to the office to see the colleagues and friends that were (believe it or not) “thrust” upon you before. I guess you could say that some “centering” becomes lost and it may become difficult to imagine what to expect from a new life. And, the loss of people you have known as buddies can be a severe blow..

It’s interesting to note that if the old group of friends don’t suit you as they once did, spending more time with a new one can help pull you in the direction you want to go. The great challenge is figuring out how to recover some of what you’ve lost —the ability to do something you’re good at — and combine it with the newfound freedom you have

No one said that it would be easy, as there seems to be a vast wilderness of people to meet and personal choices that can be made. I’ve found that women tell me they feel out of practice and out of step to start friendships with like-minded adults, as in church, volunteer groups, going to free events and with our WGOG members. Then, there are websites, books, and communities that bring connectedness, as well as other seniors.

When you check it out, you might reconstruct some behavior according to what may have kept you from moving forward in earlier times. Some pointers include the importance of establishing mutual understanding, belief patterns and values in a new relationship. People tend to evaluate you by who you are, first and then by what you say. One needs to listen well and if a matter escalates, it is best to re-visit the subject at another time.

 

Whatever your “thing” is, someone reminded me it’s time to listen to your own personal needs. She wrote, “This is your one and only life which has been frenzied up until now. There comes a time when you can choose what you do every day, even if some day is absolutely nothing. It takes time to re-group in your head and heart. Enjoy the ride.”

The same goes for creating new adventures. One thought is sure; by living the second half of your life with increased vigor with a new social beginning that fit your lifestyle, it’s your job to make this life the best new life you possibly can!

 

Transition: Our Bridge to Somewhere in Retired Life

Posted by [email protected] on November 6, 2020 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)


 The onset of a woman’s midlife crisis can present a challenge. Along with menopause and inevitable changes in family dynamics, it’s another lesson in change for women. As we move from one life stage to another, we must build bridges from where we have been to where we are going, and in order to build these bridges and make them strong enough to carry us across we should or even must:


Understand what we are leaving and what we are going toward because retirement is not about who you were but about who you are about to become. Remember that the wisdom to discover and act upon your deepest passion is within you.


o Restructure your priorities around what is most important to you, like deepening relationships with family and friends, community service or the arts When you make a big transition in your life, take your time.

 

o You don’t have to change every area of your life simultaneously within the next 30 days. Changing too many things at once can be stressful.

 

o Retirement is not about the destination but about the journey. Ultimately if you want to get closer to the “best possible life” for you, you have to pick your own itinerary. You can’t merely live up to what others think of you. If you try to conform, you’re going to waste your life compared to what you might have done with it if you chose a better framework.

 

o Accept that life in retirement will be different than in work, and accept the reality that this shift from work to retirement will not be perfect nor easy, but that there will be stumbles and setbacks and that the end is worth some struggle and anxiety.

 

o Make the choice to no longer wait for your ambitions to come real because you’re now willing to make room for them.

 

o Learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others-talk with those who have preceded us, don’t invent the known or suffer the slings and arrows of the journey on your own if someone else has a map. Remember, easier is better.

 

o Have a vision of the things you love to do and who you’d like to do them with. Respond to new opportunities. Remain open to the unlimited options the world has to offer. Build on the past, take what works and discard what hinders-it’s a new life, a new day, make your retirement personal, one size does not fit all.

 

o Be comfortable with and actively seek the unfamiliar and the unknown…walk new ground. Continually explore the power of opportunity, the power of self-resolve, and the power to do something simple or new every day.

 

A Better Life

Posted by [email protected] on November 4, 2020 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Many people think there is nothing they can do about aging, although this isn’t true, unless you want it to be that way! I would rather like to think about the plusses that being a senior has to offer.

 

One of the most obviously important life lessons we've heard from time to time, is that the past is gone forever, and the future will never be here. Rather, the present is the only moment where we get to apply our knowledge and skills to enjoy making our world a little bit healthier and happier

 

It's really quite simple and true about what older folks already know in finding and keeping one's happiness and contentment. Studies reveal that the happiest people know it as a choice in attitude, and doesn’t happen by thinking along negative lines Rather, the blessings they’ve been given come from being grateful and harnessing a strong sense of gratitude.

 

Undeniably, it is those tough challenges, handed down throughout life, which make for the strong who and  fight against life's unfortunate events.


I love to hear it when elders don't seem to become overly upset about the added wrinkles or a lessened ability to see or hear. Rather, being a senior allows us to look within the heart, move on and forget that wrinkled butt, the great belly or the birthmark they’ve had all their lives.

 

It’s the process of evaluating one’s life and going deeper, when more joy is expected, especially when able to make time to focus ones self. As with all life stages, maintaining independence is crucial.


What we experience has a huge value, as we are volunteers, philanthropists, supporters of houses of worship and as helping hands to our neighbors and friends. We are that generation of makers and doers who continue to explore more possibilities. A great method for casting out loneliness and rejection is to bring on this newness and maintain a check on older hobbies.


Such new enthusiasms and having a sense of purpose for life brings with it a heightened feeling of satisfaction and well- being. Seniors should have realized the wisdom to act comes from within, and not and by doing what others think is best. Nor are seniors consumed with achievement or ideas about security (which the young haven’t yet seemed to grasp).

 

Whether to maintain and preserve the physical side of things, socialize with friends and supporters, maintain healthy (lifestyle) habits, it all adds up and makes life a worthwhile venture. 

 

Ah ...to be healthy and attractive we MUST exercise! Yes, but going to the gym, attending exercise classes, playing at a sport, or watching exercise videos at home does take a lot of time and energy. But isn't it worth it? I think so.

 

Some would report that the issue of 'thrashing about' isn't that beneficial to our health; our muscles are fatigued and starved of oxygen and lactic acid is released in the body and can serve as a toxin. Ok. That may be true. Proponents here suggest less gruesome exercises like swimming or walking that relax the body. They say that less dynamic recreation brings a sense of release and freedom.

 

Even though I was active in my younger days, managed a figure spa, biked for miles at a time and actively pursued many outdoor sports, the tendency to do less and less as time goes by, makes me want to shudder! And so, I'd like to think that all forms of exercise are being good, with specific ones geared to our personality and health requirements.


 

Moreover, the one thing we must remember, exercise or not, is to keep moving and that being healthy is simply a function of the lifestyle one leads. I would only hope I can live up to a somewhat healthy lifestyle, as I walk along a path to more graceful living in this older and wiser age.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Living Optimally in Retirement

Posted by [email protected] on October 30, 2020 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

 

I wonder…is normal acceptable?


It is, during this extremely difficult time and during the unbelieably horrendous virus, that I must challenge on how to optimally live among some of the goals that haven’t yet been realized.


The blessing of retirement is the realization that life is not over but beginning in a whole new way, as we adjust to what we've already known.


It's a pity I haven't taken advantage, but now seems a good time to take charge of retiements offers, despite Covid. I'm curious how other women are managing in this stage in life.


For me, it is important to seek out opinions and stay well-read, in order to be aware of local community and world affairs.


In his book, Retirement, Different by Design, Rick Steiner writes “Retirement is one of life’s most defining moments. It can be a bittersweet time for some because we all need to come to terms with our aging selves and recognize that life as we know it will dramatically change, hopefully for the better, and that we are on the slippery slope to “old age”, whatever that means to us.”


Defining old age is truly a difficult matter, at best. Nevertheless, it’s appropriate, after working for years, to live the good life and decide what is most important and what isn’t. Of course, health and well-being figure into these plans.


It’s also about bridging from where we are to who we are becoming. I believe It’s partly about letting go of expectations, while eliminating worries of what others may think of us.


We also know that we should be to looking at the future and not the past, as words from Thomas Monson declare, “The past is behind, learn from it; the future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.”


We all know that a fulfilling life is a life that is shared with people you enjoy being around the most, cherished and treated as you would like to be.


Retirement is about having friends with those who stand together in love and hope and share the ups and downs of living a life


One example is a call to rejoin life more meaningfully through the Women Growing Older Gracefully Meet Up's, of women to connect in both happy and hard times, and when being their normal happy selves.


We now have the world by at our feet, making it easier to get up and begin life all over again. I am able to do the things I’ve put off for years, and cannot become unmoved by beautiful moments that are here, now.


I find it a true measure, to enjoy every hour of the day. Better yet, now is the time to flourish, as embracing such tiny gifts allows for living this happy retired life, as best as I am able.


 

Re-Inventiveness in Retirement

Posted by [email protected] on October 29, 2020 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Can you redefine "aging" and “senior” without getting upset that each day makes you older than the day before? It’s all about staying in that right psychological, physical and emotional state that allows for peak levels of happiness. One requirement is to become mentally tough and shift away from seeing aging as a threat.

For example, would you like to think that (all) older people are frail, forgetful, can’t drive, and are slow? Or that elderly people can’t learn anything new or that old people are always sick and live in nursing homes? These are a few examples of how not to not accept such stereotypical proclamations about aging.

It’s true…You get out of retirement what you are prepared to put in it, and how you approach your retirement, how you respond to your retirement, how you behave in retirement, how you handle retirement, and ultimately, how you live in retirement is really up to you.

Retirement gives us all an opportunity to redefine ourselves, search for who we choose to become. This point in time can become a trip of invention and innovation, to decide exactly how you wish to spend your years of freedom from the working life.

Did you ever think that many of us will live to be ninety? And if you realize that retirement begins around age sixty-five, that would leave twenty five years of unlimited expression to welcome and ultimately, do whatever you want!

Along with positive thinking comes a positive life, and in order to live a positive life, you've got to have integrity, be honest and decent to yourself. You will be making choices to follow through with what resonates in your heart and I hope that what you do will make a difference, if not to others, then to you.

Thinking positive is just the beginning to a wonderful life, especially to have fun, enjoy life and do what you’ve put aside for years.

Being retired also means you have more opportunities and freedom to express yourself. That old saying, that the best things in life truly are free, allows one to keep present in each and every moment. Being spontaneous and stepping outside of your comfort zone, any chance you get, is essential. The good life consists of wanting to get out of bed every morning, excited to take on whatever each day has in store for you and where being a positive “champion of the outcomes” is so critically important.

For now, simply think about re-invention, relax, and have confidence in your life. And remember, being able to adapt, create a future and re-design yourself brings even more possibilities for happiness, satisfaction, well-being and longevity.

The world is, very nearly, at your command. See it, be it and do it!

 

Writing Your Life Story

Posted by [email protected] on September 16, 2020 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)

How much time have you invested in scripting out the life you have? What if, today, you started to write out the script for your future? What would change for you? How do you really want to spend your time? What would it involve?

The key to living a full life is finding out what really matters to you, determining what you want and going after it full force.There has never been another you and this is your chance to figure out what you would like to change and allow others to learn who you are.
Everyone who is alive has a story to tell, so let’s play pretend for just a moment.


It goes like this; imagine you’re the star of a new movie, seen in each background scene and as the main character in each chapter, exciting or otherwise. although you may then be asking why doing this would be remotely important.If there ever comes a time to evaluate your values and beliefs, to reason with old truths and share new meaning, writing a life story would make you the hero.


Yours is a beautiful story, so celebrate the wins and share your dreams. Creativity and discovering new skills, making choices about what to say well, and personal satisfaction are a definite outcome to this life design project.


Most of the time we are able to tell stories that are somewhat limiting to us. We will counter this by working on connections and having a purpose. A celebration of the vitality can be assembled into your book with pictures (optional) for an extra special keepsake.


What new journeys would you take? What do you want your legacy to be? You have everything you need to make your life story happen. Please don’t delay. 

Obstacles or Opportunities?

Posted by [email protected] on September 12, 2020 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)

If you periodically ask yourself whether you are happy doing what you are doing on a mundane or day-to-day basis you might carefully think about changing your approach.

 

By practicing these small achievements it can bring inspiration and re-start the process you change your attitude and sense of well-being.

Jim Rohn wrote in his book, "The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle, "Activity is one of those most important basics that we cannot afford to neglect.

 

Successful people manage their action and work to make their goals happen. Meanwhile, while many of us continue to dream, they are doing what counts”.

You may be wondering about how this all relates to you. I would like pose a few questions to include in your life story to help you along. However, they require follow up.

 

What 3 outcomes would you most like to achieve over the next 3-6 months?

 

 

What actions have you taken in the past (whether on your own initiative or with support) to address these issues and with what success?

 

What qualities, strengths and values that you have do you think will be most helpful towards achieving these outcomes?

 

What are your 3 biggest worries as to what might stop you achieving the outcomes you are looking for?

 

Given your answers to the above, list a few actions that you can now take to begin to move towards and to achieve or to deal with your worries.

 

Ultimately and in order to lead into a better future, we must discipline ourselves in daily activities, convert dreams into plans and plans into goals. The choice is yours to make.

 

Change Your Closet Change Your Life

Posted by [email protected] on September 10, 2020 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

It tickles me to think that I have several outfits hanging dull in my closet, unused for whatever reason. They aren’t going anywhere because I haven’t worn them anywhere. I guess I suffer from the term, “wardrobe clutter”.

 

Perhaps this is because making a choice in what to wear can be overwhelming. For example, It is a fact that women wear twenty percent of their clothes eighty percent of the time.

 

Let me ask… do you have some alcohol or champagne that you’ve been saving for a special occasion? Do you own several candles that have gone unlit? What about your heirloom silver and china that only comes out on holidays ? What about the car that spends more time in the garage than being driven?

 

I believe we can all feel guilty over something stashed away, not doing anybody any good. The point, here, is that we gather things because we have decided they’re “special”, as those clothes that tell us they're too nice to wear.

 

I'm sorry to admit, but tashing clothes and sundry items comes from purchasing what we don’t really need.

 

Perhaps it comes from by telling ourselves that we don’t have "enough”. Instead, we may be looking for things that have gone missing in our lives. It is under this guise that we tell ourselves we have not become “enough” or think, falsely, of “someday…when” After all, it seems an okay choice at the time.

 

With the YOLO experience, or what you make of it, my best advice is to get a new mindset count by using your things and not letting them rot away in your closet.

 

Your challenge, should you decide to take it, is to make no excuse for forgetting and leaving “special stuff” hidden where it doesn’t do anybody any good.

 

Better yet, why not prove to the rest of us that you can wear that outfit that doesn’t belong anywhere, the one which has been hanging around for a very long time and has nowhere to go?


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