Feb 28, 2011

Hot in Retirement Land...Monday Connections

Here's what I found on the web this morning...hot in retirement land:
Have a wonderful week!

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Feb 27, 2011

7 Myths about leakage (bladder control) and other myths related to aging!

Have you noticed what a beautiful day it is???

YES! You Can Teach Old Dog New Tricks

So you're old now.  That little voice in the back of our mind is growing a seed planted all those years’s ago. We heard our mother tell about our father's driving and how, when that he was coming up on fifty, he just couldn't think as good as he used to.  The seed has taken root and we begin to realize that it could be us...someday.  So, do you think that you aren't as good as you were at one time...are you beginning to say it out loud...well, you know, I am not as young as I used to be? We need to talk!

First of all let me tell you about myself...I am not a psychologist.  I am a 69-year-old retired educator.  I am writing about what I see around me.  In fact, like my blog description above says, I can tell you about this from the place where the rubber meets the road.

In an article written for Integrated Psychology Associates a Dr. DeLee Lantz had the list of myths down perfectly:
When people think of growing older, they often have images of deprivation, poverty, poor health, loneliness and loss of mental capacity. Does the prevalence of this view mean that it's likely to be accurate? How true is the stereotype? Is this the future we all have to look forward to? Is it true of older people? Or are some of these beliefs simply myths about aging that we've come to accept because of their repetition?
I am here to say these are mostly myths.  So don't make excuses.
1. Myth Excuse:  I probably am getting dementia because I am old.  Let's get the loss of mental capacity out of the way first...I'm not trying to be funny here but...don't think about it.  If you have ever kept a car because it did not break down or act funny...and were paid for...you can understand this.  When it quits working, it quits working.  Did you begin using it less because you were worried that it would quit?   Well I wouldn't.  I would use it until it quit.  When it was done then so be it.  Why would we even worry about it until the time came?  It is not myth that we will grow old and die if we keep on living.  I don't know about you but I like living a lot and I am willing to accept the consequences of growing old.  Get over it!  Don't think about dementia or other age related mental problems!
2. Myth Excuse:  I am getting cranky because I am old.  The myth is that as we get older we become cute and sweet or cranky and mean.  This is the truth as I know it.... our personalities do not change.  If we are active, smart, evil, mean or even dippy, we will be all those things as we grow older.  We do not change. So don't use age as an excuse to do mean things or to act like you are dippy.  Age has nothing to do with it. 
3. Myth Excuse:  I am feeling depressed but who wouldn't? I'm getting old.  There are some basic sign of depression that all of us should be watchful for...changing sleep patterns, negative thought patterns, appetite loss, pain and a feeling of hopelessness...to name just a few.  Depression hurts!  Get the help you need.  This is not normal just because you are old.  Do your research. If you are depressed, it is a symptom of an illness and can be treated.  Don't accept it!
4. Myth Excuse:  I have gained weight and I can't do anything about it because I am old.  The truth is we can improve the condition of our heart and the shape of our body.  Aching joints could have more to do with inactivity than it does with activity.  In fact, in my case, I can actually make my joints hurt by focusing on them.  I like to wake up with gratitude, think about what I will do and get on with my day.  I will repeat the same advice I gave above one more time...don't think about it.  And, if you have a deteriorating hip or knee, get it fixed as soon as you can.  We are going to live a long time so we need to take care of ourselves. 
5. Myth Excuse:  I will spend all the rest of my days alone because I can never feel love again.  This may be a myth from my generation...I don't know.  I know for a fact that old people can love with as much passion as young people.  If you have lost a mate or divorced at a late age, you can still have a life with another person...age does not change that.  It is your choice. 
6. Myth Excuse:  I am just miserable because I am old and don't have very much money.  Listen, we need to make good choices as we get older.  Living within our means in a positive meaningful way can change the way we look at our old age.  I live in an RV resort for 6 month out of the year.   Here in Arizona where old people gather to sit in the sun, there are small houses called park models.  You can own one for anything from $5,000 up to $60,000.  Yearly rent is $4000 a year (less than $400 per month).  This park has about 200 year round people.  These people have found an affordable, social and active way to spend their retirement.  They can afford it.  There is housing for people that need financial assistance in the community and some have been able to use the aid.  They do not need to be miserable or lonely.  I am beginning to believe that seniors are lonely because of the choices they make. 
7. Myth Excuse: I can't play golf because I have a leakage (bladder control) problem. See, I don't know about this. I don't leak and I love to play golf.   From what I read, bladder leakage is not a disease...it is a symptom.  If you leak, do some research on the websites about an over active bladder or bladder control then get help.  Doctors can make that problem go away.
8. Myth Excuses:  I can't learn to play bridge...I'm just too old! I know people that are learning to golf, play bridge, play mahjongs, quilt, write, make jewelry, and quilt...need I say more.  We continue to learn and actually may even become very wise if we "put our mind to it".  The myth that we can't learn as we get older is the worst myth of all...it is absolutely untrue!
9. Myth Excuse:  I can't do a thing about my life...I am old.  Wrong...many, many of the things we worry about...failing joints, depression, loneliness, poverty are things that can be dealt with.  By being proactive and doing what we should, we can live long, happy, social and productive lives.  You can be sure that we are going to live a long, long time.  Make the best of the years given to you!
News people and advertisers are planting the idea that retirement and aging is an awful place to be.  Pharmaceutical firms want us to believe that we need more and more medication.  Aging is not awful.  Really, it isn't.  We have a lot of choices in this day and age.  We will work until we can or want to retire. Maybe some of us will work longer, maybe some of us less.  It is a fact and always has been.  Don't dwell on it.  For goodness sakes have you noticed what a beautiful day it is?  And it could be that we live out a self-fulfilling prophecy in our old age. How we spend our retirement years will be what we think it will be.  Think positive! 

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Feb 26, 2011

Google Books & AbeBooks.com & Amazon...look what I found! The Last Convertible by Anton Myrer

The Last Convertible
Ask for it on Kindle!
I read The Last Convertible almost 30 years ago and I still play the words over in my mind.  Why is it that some books resonate with us in such a way that we never forget the words and the images they plant in our mind?  Anton Myrers wrote a book like that...I'm not sure if he ever won an award.  I only know that when I point that book out to a friend and they read it, they will do what I did...read it again.  It may be a generational thing...it speaks to the era that I was raised in.  I wanted to climb into the pages and live the story with the characters.  One reviewer on Amazon said she would have given it 10 stars if she could have.  She could have been my granddaughter.  The book is evergreen!

In a book review published on Good Reads the reviewer said, 
"Anton Myrer's beloved, bestselling novel of America's World War II generation is as powerful now as it was upon its publication. An immediate classic, it tells the story of five Harvard men, the women they loved — and the elegant car that came to symbolize their romantic youth. It is also the story of their coming-of-age in the dark days of World War II, and of their unshakable loyalty to a lost dream of Camelot, of grace and style, in the decades that followed. The Last Convertible is a gripping tribute to a way of living that immortalized the "Greatest Generation" ."
When you read it, and you really should, you will find that you know these people.  Crystabel is the girl everyone's husband loves.  There is a beautiful blond self centered and selfish young man that Crystabel loved beyond reason.  The narrator and "keeper of the flame" in the group, George Virdon,  is the guy every girl would have been grateful to have married.  He is solid, steady and deliberate.  His wife, Nan, is frustrating and unpredictable.  The convertible is the object that represents their youth, innocence and lifestyle during the coming of age time in their lives.  Myrer tells the story that spans over 30 years in such a way that you will be swept away.  It is available at Amazon, on Google Book and at Abe Books...just find it and read it.  You won't regret the choice!

I know you all have a favorite...it will be the one that spoke to your heart in a way that is unexplainable.  For me it was The Last Convertible.  

What is your all time favorite and why?


Feb 25, 2011

Hot Stuff from Fab Over Fifty + Is My Blog Getting Big? Giggle!

Graphic Image Luggage Tags  $23 each...Fab Over Fifty Premier
Membership gift!
FAB OVER FIFTY PREMIER MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT:  My luggage tag from Fab Over Fifty came yesterday.  I chose the orange one and I think I will hang it on the beautiful gold purse I bought on 22nd in Portland, Oregon.  Inside the classic gift box it came it I found the tag in a soft microfiber sleeve. Classy, classy, classy!   I love it.  Check out the link for more Fab Over Fifty information!

I  will also be testing (beauty?) products for them and giving them feedback on results.  It should be interesting.  I have never done this before.  I do want to be beautiful so I keep trying.

BLOGGING:  This has been a very exciting week for me on the blog...now I am finding that taking care of email business takes up a big part of my day.  I am learning as I go here so I read a lot about working on the internet,  keep up with issues that affect senior citizens and connect with other bloggers that share my interests.  I even follow mommy bloggers.  After all we are in this together no matter our age!

I have been contacted by people asking to place ads on my blog.  One contact has already received my approval.  Another did not sound quite right...I just do not like to participate in a get more members website even if I profit from it.  Does that make good sense?  Hopefully, you my readers, will benefit from what I bring to you.

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Feb 24, 2011

Comparing Prices for Kindle Books to the Paperback Versions! WOW!!!

KINDLE...my e-reader of choice:  In the world of electronic books, Kindle is the e-reader I own.  I absolutely love it! The choice of books available for this device is amazing.  I love the fact that I can have the book in a few seconds without even getting up out of my chair.

I bought The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in the Kindle version...it cost me around $4.00.  My Kindle allows me to adjust the size of the font when I read.   So the Kindle version is equivalent to the large print version of a paperback book. Plus this book has 602 pages so even the bulk of a large print paperback is a consideration especially for older people.

Amazon has copies of this large print book used in paperback for around $10.00 and it appears you may be able to buy them at thrift stores or second hand at about that price.  New large print paperbacks come in at around $17.00.  At the new price I saved $12.00 over the paperback price by buying the Kindle version...even used I would have saved $6.00.  So the question is Would you consider putting the amount you saved by buying the electronic Kindle books in a piggy bank and buying a new Kindle with the money you saved?  The new Kindle would pay for itself in a heart beat if I were to do this...maybe even one trip not taken to Powell's Used Books Store in Portland would put the money in my pocket.

When my husband and I were thinking about moving to a
different location, we make a trip to our local library with a pick-up load (canopy filled to the brim) of books I had purchased over the years.  Not only did the books cost us a fortune, they took up room in our condo that we actually could not spare!  I visit my books at the library now.  The Kindle has changed the way I see my books...and we can actually find a space for our important things on the shelves.  "Times They Are A Changing"...a prophecy from Bob Dylan, 1964!


Link:  Magnifier for the Visually Impaired...Why Not a Kindle?

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Feb 23, 2011

Apartment Therapy....Making My Tiny Park Model Kitchen Look Big!

Apartment Therapy...notice the tiny kitchen at the end of the room!

My Park Model Kitchen
I live in a park model in an RV Resort for 6-7 months of the year.  Most park models boast around 300 square feet of space.  As a result, every nook and cranny has to be used wisely.  We hang pots between the cabinets on a copper pipe and beautiful kitchen tools on the wall.  The small white table (Home Goods) fills the place where a dishwasher used to be.  I slide it out for more counter space when we entertain.   We try not to cringe when we think about putting our dirty clothes in the broom closet.  Life here is not perfect.

My kitchen is big enough for us and I do entertain occasionally for up to 20 people.  The kitchen works just fine.  But I always think of it as extremely small...until I make the occasional visit to Apartment Therapy. They show some beautiful small kitchens that make my kitchen look like a huge space.  As an example I give you the picture at the top of the page.


Feb 21, 2011

Satisfying Retirement: How am I Supposed to Pay For This?

Satisfying Retirement: How am I Supposed to Pay For This?  Check this out if you haven't.  Bob has asked for your input.


What's Hot on the Web...in retirement land!

An example of a WWI Meatless MenuImage via Wikipedia
WWI Meatless Menu
This is the day I go out exploring on the web to see what is going on in the world.  Take the trip with me and make these stops during your day. Here is the potpourri of website for your Monday viewing:
Have a wonderful week.


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Feb 20, 2011

The Good Things about Birthdays When You Get Old!

My husband (orange shirt in the center) at his 73rd birthday party.
Happy Birthday Earl!

There are a few things we old people still love about our birthdays.  Well aside from the fact that having a birthday means you are still alive,  We can celebrate with reckless abandon...no one knows where we work and our parents are beyond caring where we are at night so we don't get in trouble. Our friends don't object to paying for their own dinner. We get the Thursday night discount.  We don't have to put a lot of candles on the cake because the candle place doesn't have that many in stock anyway.  When we get up on that morning we are looking down at the grass and not up at the roots...yup, we love birthdays a lot!  Happy 73rd Birthday Earl!


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Feb 19, 2011

Retirement Reality: What if Your Dreams Don't Come True!

Note: I am going to be bold and ask you to twit this up.  The twitter button is at the bottom of the blog.  And if you have not already done so please become a follow.  I will do the same for you if you leave a comment.

I keep telling people that I write about retirement in a place out here in the world where the "rubber meets the road."  I know about this because I have lived retirement life for almost 15 years.  Generally, I will tout all the positive things about retirement...both physically and emotionally.  But today I want to talk about retirement disappointment!

Most people that have lived to retirement age are very wise and have learned the hard way about dreams that don't come true.  I suppose that is a given.  But there are some dreams that seniors seem to have in common.  Those are the ones I want to talk about.  This is just a reality check of sorts:

Puerta Vallarta Nuevo, Jalisco, MX
  • The I'm going to TRAVEL DREAM:  My husband and I have done some world travel since we retired. It has been a lot of fun because we have children that live abroad.  Because they have access to wonderful places, know the ropes and are willing to share, doors were opened for us.  However, it was very expensive. Our children made part of the travel possible and we saved when we were working. You are NOT going to spend ALL of your retirement traveling unless you give up some very important things. One of those important things might be your home.  Think long and hard about this...living in hotels or an RV is very confining and can test a marriage to the limits! You don't need to give this dream up but you need to be realistic!
  • The Move to a NEW LOCATION DREAM:  Living in the sun in the winter is wonderful. I have seen many people that want to move to a warmer climate after a short visit. Remember, never buy real estate on a balmy day if you are moving to say Arizona or Florida. On a balmy day it all seems perfect.  That dream can turn into a hot summer nightmare.  I have also seen people dream about selling their home in the north and moving to the south. We actually wanted to do this. It was dream. We did not even look at new homes because we are realistic.  Our home did not sell because of builder's faulty construction. We did not go into a deep funk...thank goodness. We have seen this happen over and over to other couples. My advice is to keep that dream in a reality realm until you can follow through.  
  • THE DO IT MY WAY DREAM:  I have seen one spouse decide to downsize in a small condo or park model. In our RV resort a spouse will arrive, buy a park model and get it ready so the husband/wife will be happy when they arrive. This is just so sad. If you are married, remember that your dreams need to be shared and validated with your spouse on some level. The dream will not come true unless both agree. If not, this can be a deal/marriage breaker. 
  • The IT"S ALL ABOUT ME DREAM:   This is a hard one...you love to golf/fish/build dog houses. Your spouse does not share in your hobby or is not as proficient as you. You have planned to spend more time together but secretly what you wanted to do is just make your hobby your new job. Your spouse is shut out and hurt. It could be that both of you will be unhappy. Do you remember, your dream retirement, the one you both dreamed about all those years? Don't always make retirement all about YOU...this dream will not come true if you do that. You truly need to understand where the other is coming from. We are each individuals and that is very important..one partner should not rain on the other's parade at the expense of all the other's big dreams. I have hear so many people say "I would love to travel to _________ or do ______ but my wife/husband won't go." I think that sometimes we need to make a personal dream come true for ourselves. Once in a while it can be all about YOU...just not always!  
  • The BUY A RV DREAM  Here might be the biggest reality check of all.  I know people that saved for that huge RV. RVs cost a fortune. Sellers will finance them fully...remember, you will never, never get your money back. In fact, if you finance for the amount they allow, you will be up a creek and it can cost you so much money your will never get over it when you sell. Don't buy a new motor home unless you  are willing to sell at a sacrifice in a few years. I have seen this happen over and over. This is a place where you need to take into account how you will make up the difference in the future...remember your age, how long you will use it and check to see if there is a less costly way to travel! 
All of these things are possible...but be prepared to be realistic and even disappointed. The rules don't change when we are growing old. Flexibility will make this part of your life easier. The dreams don't need to go away. They might just need some modification and revamping!

Note:  Be sure to read the Retirement blog by Rude Cactus below. You will see what I mean about retirement dreams when you read the comments!


Feb 17, 2011

Vacations Made Easy...tips for a short vacation!

Bridge near New Port, Oregon on the beach!
Have your ever gone on a tour and been in 4 countries, stayed in 6 hotels and eaten every meal in a "tour bus" restaurant?  It is a good way to cover a lot of ground, a pre-vacation of sorts but when you don't make the plans, it is all a blur.   Travel is a very personal thing and tours are not able to meet everyone's needs.  I have a better idea!

There are other ways to travel in a country or city and see a lot in a short period of time.  Our friends call it a "very vigorous vacation"! You can do it...I know you can.  Here is what we do.

  • We choose a hotel or timeshare near the center of the location.  When you rent a car, for example, you are near to almost everything.  If you walk or use public transportation you can get around easily.  We did this in Spain.  We stayed on Costa del Sol, rented a car and took day trips to Rhonda, Granada and even went on a 2 day trip to Seville, Cadiz and Gibraltar.  
  • When we check into the hotel we go to the postcard rack...my friend Norah taught me this trick.  All the major sights are on those postcards.  You can make your weeks plans before you even go to your room!  Buy a packet.
  • Get to know the concierge...these people are a fountain of information.  I used to think they were only for reservations...not so.  They can answer most of your questions or will find what you need.  Take your packet of cards and let them help you find the places you want to go.  If you are in the far east, have this person write addresses for you.  The Chinese, for example, have a unique way of finding places.
  • Most hotels or resorts are surrounded by support businesses.  Take a walk and get the lay of the land.  Local restaurants are generally better than hotel food...sorry!  In Puerta Vallarta Nuevo we walked a short distance,  enjoyed the company of locals and ate at a reasonable price.
  • Talk to taxi drivers.  They are almost better than the concierge.  We have located wonderful neighborhoods, food and local color at the directions of a taxi driver.  They love to show off their knowledge.  Remember the postcards...here you should even find addresses plus pictures to show to a taxi driver that does not have a good grasp of the English language.
  • We sometimes do one local tour.  It is expensive but worth it.  We generally do not go for the glitzy stuff.  We do not eat by candlelight on the beach...unless we light our own candles and take a picnic.  I do not think it is worth it.  I just don't have enough imagination to make the event seem "romantic".  I personally like something that includes several stops...shopping, tour of the countryside, a historic site.  We make up everything else as we go along...no more tours for us.  We don't need too...we have a package of post cards!
Relax...this is not hard.  Even riding public transportation in NYC is a lot of fun.  Ask questions and smile.  People want to help you out.  Vacations should be easy!.

Note:  I suggest you look at the Frugal Traveler in the New York Times.  He has some wonderful suggestions for train travel on the east coast. Guide to Cheap Buses (Including How to Score $1 tickets),


Feb 16, 2011

Invention Ideas for Retirees! Can you help?

It is very sad.  There is a need for some invention ideas.  We cannot find our glasses, the clicker for the TV or our favorite earrings. We go to the neighbors to have them call our cell phone so we can find it.  When we find it buried in the bed covers along with our earrings,  we wonder how in the name of heaven they ever got there.

I had a friend who thought she was developing alzheimer in her early 50s because she could never find her keys.  So losing things is a big problem.   We are lost, very very lost!

So, you inventions person you,  this is what we want you to do.  We need a "clapper finder device" for all those things we lose.  We can't have a device that turns on the beeper on our lost items because we will not be able to find it to press the button so we can find our lost stuff...no that will not work.  We need to be able to clap our hands.  One clap for the clicker, two claps for our keys, three claps for the phone and so on.  Calling all inventors...will you please invent this for us?  Please!

While we're at it I may as well mention some other problems we have.  One friend has a husband that comes to her aid when she locks her keys in the car.  She has a key hidden under the fender but when she uses it to get her keys out of the car she forgets to put the fender key back.  She may need a different device but I thought I would mention her just in case.   Another friend cannot find her glasses even when they are on her face.  I will run all over the house trying to find my ringing cell phone only to discover it in my pocket.  I don't think there is any help for us.  But if you have any ideas we would appreciate your help with these problems too.

You may think I am joking...I am just a little but not entirely.  For every problem that seems laughable as we grow older there is a certain about of angst involved.  Though we may laugh, we still could use some help! We need inventions...lots of inventions! Thank you for your attention!


Feb 15, 2011

Arizona Inn in Tucson, AZ...seriously!

Arizona Inn at night!
We went out to dinner last night.  It was a special occasion so we wanted to celebrate in style.  And celebrate in style we did!!!  We drove across town to the Arizona Inn located just east of University of Arizona in a very old and stylish neighborhood.  If you take yourself very seriously, love old world service and world class food, this is the place for you.

Formal Dining Room
My husband had seen a restaurant.com coupon on the webs last spring.  The coupon was worth $50 if you purchased $100 in the restaurant.  It included wine, dessert and an entres.  We found that spending the $100 was no problem.  It was so nice to be served in the formal way for a change.  Wait staff catered to our whims and were close at hand at all times.  And the setting/ambiance is second to none.

The outside patio is available for breakfast and lunch.  Table here have an view of the gardens.

This is a AAA Four Diamond Fine Dining restaurant...you just can't go wrong.

Arizona Inn
2200 East Elm
Tucson, AZ 85719

If you have the Open Table app on your phone you can make reservations there or you can go to the website link above and you will find the Open Table reservation site in the sidebar.


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Feb 13, 2011

RV Resorts: Using the Laundry Facilities! (Humor)

Laundry hung over street in Shanghai, Chin
I am not a laundry room queen...if you have been traveling for a while and do not have a washer in your RV, you will sooner or later run into her...the queen that is.  She is in charge.  The queen will remove your laundry from the machine and leave it on a table or in a chair.  She will tell you how long your laundry has been on the table and ask why you were not there to take care of it. She is the queen.   Bless her little pea pickin' heart!

I, however, am the laundry room clown.  I don't do it purposely.  Who would want to be the clown?  Yesterday I headed off to the laundry will three small loads of wash.  In those loads I had a mattress pad, a set of sheets and assorted small items of clothing.  Simple...right?  I was planning on being done in about an 1hr  give or take a few minutes.  Three hours later I finally finished with my wash.  I had managed to do the following:
  • Pay twice for one load of laundry (not a good start).
  • Choose the machine that does not pump the water out for my mattress pad.  It weight 175 lbs. dripping wet when I drug it across the room to a different washer!
  • Go to the office and summon the repair man and the mop man and beg for my $2 back.
  • Use the $2 to wash the mattress pad again in a smaller washer.
  • Discover it was dirtier when it came out than when I put it in.
  • Watch as the repair man put a sign on the machine that said "Not working!" (I could have done that!)
  • Watch the mop man clean up.
  • Go home to eat lunch...wash was going on automatic by now.
  • Yell at my husband because I remembered that when he washed the day before he commented to a friend that he "didn't see what the problem was with me...he washed and everything when just fine".
  • Yell at him again when he said that he would have just hung the pad on the line wet...that is what the guy did yesterday with his rugs.
  • Yell at him again when I realized that he had know that the machine did not work, did not tell the office and let me go down there to such a day of misery.
  • Yell at him again when he tried to talk to me when I came home for the final time.
The people in the laundry room were in stitches by the time I left...Have a wonderful afternoon they snickered.  One woman even said she had a clock that always read 5 p.m. and a bottle of wine.  I almost followed her home!


Feb 10, 2011

10 Best Places to Reinvent Your Life in Retirement - US News and World Report

This is a wonderful article from USNews.com.

 10 Best Places to Reinvent Your Life in Retirement - US News and World Report
"Like previous generations, boomer retirees are going to take up new hobbies and volunteer. But those who didn't save enough or choose to continue working will also start businesses and begin second careers. As life spans continue to increase, retirees are likely to embrace a mix of work and leisure activities."
Be sure to read it!

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How do you replace the "job related" rewards in retirement?

Like a windmill I have come full circle!
Palm Springs CA
What do you do that gives you the most satisfaction?  When we were working, there were other things that kept us going aside from the income.  One of those thinks was the awards for a job well done.    After we retire, we lose that positive, motivating feedback...the awards and cudo's don't come our way. We need to find a motivation within.
 Here is what I have done.

"Occasionally my blog will be mentioned on a BIG website...."

I have know people that just couldn't find a worthwhile outlet for the energy the employment required.  They tried try hobbies or sports or reading or even going back to work.  Those are all wonderful things if they work for you.  There is no right answer.  It may be a little of a lot of things. The trick in this is finding your passions...those things you love and have done in a past life or dreamed about doing in retirement.  Some of those things may be a transition to the bigger passion. Traveling may be what you have always wanted but unfortunately most of us cannot afford as much as we want.

My computer and Me!
Finding a fulfilling passion in retirement was no problem for me.  I have always loved the process of self-taught learning.  I suppose you could say that I am a "research junky".  However, like many people seeking a job, I needed a place to work/play that would require that particular skill...if you are or were a person that had a talent but didn't know how to use it in a job search, I am sure you know what I mean.

I think those of us that are retired have a wonderful opportunity...we can experiment with hobbies.  If we don't like it the hobby and quit, we still get our retirement income.  It is very liberating.  One day, if you work though the process of seeking, your passion will be laid at your feet.  Then you only need to answer the questions:  HOW? WHY? WHERE?

Almost 5 years ago my son invited my husband and I to visit him for three weeks in China.  It was during the visit, I shared my secret passion to write with my son. I don't think I was even conscious of my yearning to write until the words came out of my mouth. I had mentally set up road blocks...who would care, who needs to be serious, why would I write if I couldn't interact with other people?  In other words why would I write, where would I write and how would I go about doing it.  My son and daughter-in-law had the perfect answers.   So it was that was during the visit I got the little push I needed to get on with what has become my avocation.  I was introduced to the world of blogs.

Blogging was just becoming a mainstream thing.  Mommy's started blogs for Etsy shops and families began "journaling" online.  I wanted to send missives home to my grandchildren about our visit to China so they could share with their classmates and I wanted them to be able to follow our adventure immediately.  My son and his wife helped me set up a blog called Barbara's Travels (renamed It Crossed My Mind Blog).  My thinking was that, if they were interested, they could find out what was going on in our lives even when we were apart...but that is another story.

For a traveling pair with a limited income, my husband and I were getting around quite a bit.  I had more material to write about than I could keep up with.  I was off and running!  Since then I have learned about story writing, technology, style and life in general.  I have connected with very interesting bloggers and learned from them.  Then there was the research...it was the thing I loved best.  Since the start of my blogging life,  I have sorted my material very much like a kindergartner sorts blocks.  Different styles of writing have different blog homes.  I love the challenge.

Now here comes the beautiful part of the full circle.  This blog will be mentioned occasionally on a BIG website as a place for people to read about retirement life because this is a rubber meets the road kind of blog.  Today I found myself on Business School Directory in a post called 40 Best Blogs for Your Retirement.  Now, just so you won't think I am bragging, I will tell you that I am number 40 on the list!  That made me smile.  However, the list was categorized so I still was very pleased.

I am also in the link list for the very big style blog for older people called Advanced Style.  Ari Cohen commented on his blog that he would  be choosing some additional links to add to his blog list if we would let him know that we wanted to appear.  So there I am in the blog list right between Refinery29 and Sea of Shoes.  Ari calls his list "reading material"...I liked that a lot!

Are there other places?  I don't know.  I am a member of linkedin and Networked Blogs (facebook)  I write on HubPages and Generation Fabulous.  I try to keep up on who is visiting and what they were searching for when they visited one of my blogs.  Even staying informed about statistics has turned out to be a challenge.  I continue to learn.  I don't think I will ever become tired of this blogging thing.  When I am dissatisfied, I just make a little change and it all seems new again.  And the cudos come just often enough to keep me going.  Round and round we go!

Have a wonderful day.


Blogs/domaines I own:
Retire In Style Blog
It Crossed My Mind Blog
Just Give Me the Facts-b
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Feb 8, 2011

Should we AGE IN PLACE or Are There Other Choices?

Retirement Bliss!
When my husband and I moved into a condo with several flights of stairs 9 years ago, a friend asked me what we were going to do when we got old.  My goodness, I thought, this is not even my second to the last move.  I won't be aging in place.  Not on your life!

Aging in place is a phrase that is thrown around a lot these days.  Young people have the idea that their life and life of their parents will be simplified if they just widen doors and retrofit the sink, etc.  The children can come home to the house they were raised in for Thanksgiving and MOM/Dad will have the same bowl they ate out of when they were two.  I know that is what I thought when my mother was facing her eighties.  She asked about the possibility that she might need to move because she could not do the things necessary to maintain the house.  I remember being flip with her and talking about aging in place.  I regret that now.

But as time passed I changed my mind!  Communities are different now and older people are so isolated in a neighborhood where everyone works night and day.  I have come to the opinion that we are better off seeking a community that surrounds us with age mates and lots of activities.  Living is what we need to do...not age in place!  Even the blog called Aging in Place talked about the "context" of aging in place. There are no rules or directives.  We just need to remember that making the bathroom door wider is not enough.  Your parent is not going to be happy because they have a big bathroom door...your parent is living the last part of their and the life should be full and beautiful.  So, if that cannot happen in the house they have lived in for 40 years, then there needs to be a positive change.  If children do it right, the parent will be delighted.  It is all about the context of the suggestion. Here some things I have learned:

  • Living with my age mates is a good thing.  I did not realize how much younger I felt around people my own age until we began spending our winters in a 55+ RV Resort here in Arizona.  I actually felt alive, interesting and even young...by comparison. I have learned about being active in my old age and I saw good examples for living a very long time.  
  • Try it on first.  It could be that those of you that are debating about your next life choice could benefit from trying the lifestyle change your debating before you make the leap.  Cohousing, condo living, 55+ communities and even Retirement Housing may not be the life you are seeking. That is what we are doing now.  I have learned that resort living is lots of fun and I will seek something that mirrors the life I have here...but with a little more help!
  • Take the lead.  I would like to have figured it out before my children have a chance to take over. If we are to get just what we want then we need to begin finding how and where we want to live.
  • Transitional change?  As we age the stages of life are playing themselves out.  I hear people in their late 50s talking about moving into something forever.  My friend calls it her "forever house".  I am beginning to think post retirement is a good time for a transitional home purchase.  Like The Three Bears home,  the house should be "not too big, not too little but just right".  Boomerang children are discouraged from coming back to nest but they can visit for a short while but not get too comfortable.  We can get rid of part of our stuff but keep enough to satisfy us and we can learn to share the space with a little more room.  As we downsize gradually, we will adjust better.   It is just a thought!
  • Stay Bendable! Here is the biggest challenge of all. Although we hate change even worse as we get older, we need to remain flexible if we can! I know...it is like changing the tides in the ocean. But still, it is absolutely the truth! If we don't see change as a good thing, we will have choices made for us and honestly, we will probably be cranky about them.
  • Close but not too close.  I know that I will want to be close to a family member.  I do not want to ever move in with them...ever.  Even if I didn't see them very often, I would find comfort in the fact that we were breathing the same air.  
So there you go.  I just thought I could help you think this through with someone that is walking this road.  Come on out to play.  We could hold hands and giggle along the way.


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How to be more yourself...change the story!

How to be more yourself...change the story!

Feb 7, 2011

Elder Cohousing; Senior Housing, Retirement Option - AARP Bulletin

Duwamish Cohousing (formerly Ciel Cohousing), ...Image via Wikipedia Seattle WA cohousing project. Elder Cohousing; Senior Housing, Retirement Option - AARP Bulletin

This wonderful article appeared recently on the AARP website. The author was also quoted on Aging in Place as a part of a post about where we live in the context of living not the disability that demands it. Sally Abrahms, is a writer from Boston, wrote this article as part of her MetLife Foundation Journalists on Aging Fellowship in partnership withNew America Media and the Gerontological Society of America. Information from AARP Bulletin 
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Feb 6, 2011

Wanted: Pre-thinker. Must pre-think fast!

WhrrlImage via WikipediaDear Boomer+ friends,

I wrote a blog yesterday about the fact that my blog header disappeared as I was thinking about replacing it.  I found it very strange and wrote a blog called Can Google Read Our Minds?  Then I got this comment:
  Don't laugh- I have a friend who works for  Microsoft. His job is to "prethink" for the consumer. 
Microsoft actually has a "pre-thinker" on the payroll!!!  Maybe he is the guy that erased my header yesterday. He pre-thinks what I am going to think before I actually think it.

The internet has gotten so fast... if it gets much faster it will be preloading before I actually turn it on.  My blogs will be written and I will quit thinking and wait from my pre-thinker to tell me what to think.

John C. Havens' over at iMedia  is of the opinions that we even are becoming prethinkers...without wages of course.  By following websites like Whrrl or even twitter, we begin to a instinctually get a feeling for where the story will go next.  One begins to wonder how our minds are being changed by our ability to constantly follow the world as it evolves.
This process of collective intuition is amplified by AR [augmented reality] applications like Pelago's visual storytelling tool, Whrrl. The service, according to CEO Jeff Holden, is a "real-time storytelling product for people's daily lives," which aggregates multiple tweets, posts, and updates to form a kind of visual Twitter. These communal events are also shared to the larger community, which can comment while stories take place. This process creates a form of public prethinking known as group awareness. And it's the data culled from these multiple communal stories that will form the basis of future interactions in commerce and culture at large.
So there you have it...Google does know what we are going to think...there are people out there in the world that watch, note, graph, input and analyze everything we are doing.  Every FourSquare, Twit, Facebook checkin is noted.  They can then predict when we are going to buy blinds or revamp our blog!  You heard it first right here on Retire In Style!  Smile!


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Feb 5, 2011

Can Google Read our Minds????

I have a new header on my blog today.  Not because I didn't like the one that was there because I think I did. When I woke up wanting to make a change, it was a total surprise to me!  Who knew?

Well obviously Google's blogspot knew because when I turned on my blog, my beautiful header was gone.  POOF!!!  Now how did blogspot, google and maybe everyone in the web world know...well accept for me...that I would be thinking about changing my header?  I had not looked at headers!  I had not even told anyone I was thinking about a change. Google just plain scares me sometimes.

Pia over at Courting Destiny had the same thing happen to her a couple of weeks ago.  Ads began appearing on her FaceBook page sidebar and they were for something she had been thinking of buying but had told no one.  I swear...they are reading our mind!

I just thought you would want to know.  Be very careful what you think when you are at your computer.  Big brother may be watching!


New header from Theme Headers
Link about reading gestures:  Meaning of Gestures in Different Cultures
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Feb 3, 2011

I Wish I Was a Mommy Blogger....I want to rule the world too!

Now we all know that as we get older more experienced we are listened to less.  Isn't that weird?  I mean, when you are the great fountain of information, a Cliff Claven of sorts, people tend to tune you out!  Sigh!

I suppose that is why I woke up this morning wanting to be a mommy blogger...you know one of those young women with little children that are funny as a crutch and so, so, so cute.  Oh, and they belong to her.  I don't want the children at all but I want a whole pool of other woman that read me and laugh at all my embarrassing moments.  Their blogging world is just so darn easy!  I want to be them, just without their children or lack of experience or PTA meetings or soccer games!

Being a Grandmother Barbara has some very wonderful perks.  The children can come to visit, be cute and get spoiled with cookies and mac 'n cheese.  Then, wonder of wonders, they go home and their mommy has to deal with tummy aches and throw-up.  I like being a grandmother a lot.  But, without the children, mommy bloggers just don't care about my life.  It's not fair!

So, I am declaring myself a very experience mommy blogger...I have lots of stories and cute stuff and embarrassing moments.  I can do that.  I could even throw in a story about myself once in a while!  In fact, at my age, I have friends that are going through their second childhood and I could write about them!

Mommy Blogger Maddie's Minute and Amelia's Moments
my daughter-in-law
For example, the other day my friend Carole was invited to a party.  Being the good adult, grown-up person that she is, she offered to bring something.  Bring a green salad the hostess suggested and Carole was so excited to help she offered a quick yes, I can make a green salad.

Carole went to the store and bought...(pregnant pause)... green jello, cottage cheese and pineapple in a can.  When she showed up at the door with her green salad she could not understand why the hostess collapsed in hysteria.  It had never occurred to Carole that they might want a lettuce/spinach salad!

See what I mean.  So Mommy Bloggers here I come...!  I want to rule the world too! (see Kari Henley's article below)


Great Mommy Blog:  Absence of Alternative
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