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IMG_5563It's been a while since I've updated you on mom.  She'll be 94 years old in four months and doing pretty well if I may say so!

She converses and jokes around pretty well but often goes off into things she has already said.  Very often too.  We understand and we let her.

Her appearance is a bit different now though.  She's thinner now - not underweight though.  She eats well.  Asking for seconds is a regular thing.

Her eyes are quite glossy.  We're told this is to be expected.  She's slower too; gets up slower and walks around slower.

But let me tell you, her mouth has not slowed down!  She can get feisty in a hot minute and we find it quite funny.  We love it though.

Only about two years ago, we were planning her funeral as she had gotten so sick.  She however overcame all that and promptly told us "Fooled you, didn't I?"  She's something else!  We were so glad to have her back (so to speak).  This is one of the times that you feel really great as a caregiver.

The family and and some of our long-time friends visit her on a regular basis so she gets no time to feel lonely.

We're thankful as she hangs on and gets to meet her great-grands each time a new one comes along.

 

Love is more vibrant and becomes truly about companionship.”  ~Candice Bergen, Emmy-winning actress, 68.

This statement by Candice from an article in the April/May 2015 Edition of the AARP Magazine about later-in-life love, rings very true.  As we age, relationships are truly more about companionship.  Almost everyone who is a 50-pluser that I have discussed this with, shares this same view.

Having probably gone through many different experiences in relationships, true companionship becomes very important as we age.  Someone to have deep, meaningful conversations with, share our life experiences with, travel with, dine with, shop with, work-out with, dance and listen to good music with, talk about our children and grand-children with, discuss health concerns with—all these wonderful things that are so share-worthy.

In our younger years, we were probably busy having our various experiences and were just simply going about the daily business of living our lives.  But then one day we woke up, find we are now 50 years old and suddenly realize that this is now a completely different time in our lives.  Many of us might have gone through a separation or a divorce due to either the death of a spouse/significant other or, what I find is common among many of us, simply might have just grown apart from our spouse/significant other.  Things might have changed over the years and especially if you were married to someone who was a high school sweetheart or someone you grew up with, as we got older the various changes start happening.  The kids might have also now grown up and may have moved out of the house or gone off to college and we now find ourselves as empty-nesters.  Becoming a single empty-nester can be scary and so along with that usually comes the concern of not having good companionship which now becomes cause for major concern.

As a result, when next we go looking for love, we are this time looking mostly for someone who can provide true and solid companionship.  It is super important at this age and stage and many 50-plusers are looking for just that today.

You can call me crazy if you want to, but I believe good companionship can even lengthen our life-span and that the lack of it can probably shorten your life-span!  It’s therapeutic and essential, if you ask me.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?  Have you ever paid attention to the things you say to yourself sometimes?

 --You may look at a picture of yourself and it may not be one of your favorites and you say something negative about it.

--You may have made a mistake with something and you quickly call yourself an idiot or something similar to that.

 --You missed out on something you should have followed upon and a ton of negative words about how dumb you are comes flying out.

--I'm too fat.

--I'm too dark-skinned.

--I don't like my hair.

...and these are just a few of the instances of how we become our own worst critic.

Now​, if someone were to treat us in a similar manner, I bet it wouldn't be well received.  Am I correct?  You KNOW I am!  Then why do it​?

Let's begin to get seriously positive in the way we treat ourselves by doing the following:

--Don't criticize photo​s of yourself. Just observe the person in the photo. No judgments.​

--Don't ever call yourself stupid after you've messed up on something.

--Don't complain about any part of your body--be it your face, stomach, legs, arms, hair...no part on your body!

--Don't blame yourself for someone else's actions, even ​if ​it's your own child.

--​Refuse to go into a depressive state because you lost your job.  Know that when one door closes, another one opens (just listen to Bob Marley). This is an opportunity to let yourself feel hurt and angry, and then to move on to explore your brand new life options!

--Don't blame yourself because someone treated you wrong; instead, ​consider that it may be their loss.

--Don't blame yourself if a loved one walked out on you.  It means they were not meant for you.  Instead, ​grieve, but don't let it consume you. Make it your priority to remember that you can move on and say...NEXT!!

--Don't dress to suit anyone but yourself.  Be comfortable in your own skin.  Experiment with new colors this fall! Post the pictures on your social media accounts and celebrate yourself!​

As you begin to be positive and comfortable with your own self and not depend on the thoughts and opinion of others, you find that you exude more confidence and that it will even show that you're doing just that.

In my younger years, I was guilty of being my worst critic because I cared so much about what people thought.  Now as a middle-aged woman, I'm a work in progress and I'm definitely not as hard on myself as I used to be.

Go ahead and work on yourself if you need to.  You know the saying...better late than never.

 

 

 

It's really sad, but I have found that once you've hit 50-plus, you begin to hear more than ever, of acquaintances, friends or family members who have become very ill or who have passed.  I agree that the cycle of life must continue and it's for this reason that at this time, you begin to hear much of this sad news.

I'm finding that several middle-aged people have become seriously ill and have passed away from what seems to be age-related illnesses.  That is why it is of utmost importance for us to start taking care of our bodies at an early age.  Even if you have to begin in your 40s, 50s or 60s--go right ahead with eating right, exercising, minimizing stress--any activity that can lengthen your life-span.

With regards to stress, I am now learning of yet another middle-aged person I know who is now suffering from stage 4 cancer, has been transferred to Hospice Care and have been given a few months to live.  I also know that she had been having quite a bit of stress in her life lately.  I'm positive that this is the main contributor to her illness right now.

I lost a friend just under 6 months ago to the very same thing--a stressful marriage, which led to stage 4 cancer and to her ultimate and quick demise.  These are not the only 2 people I know of either.

I can't emphasize enough that we MUST choose ourselves in every situation.  We cannot let life issues and circumstances break our bodies down, leading to our own demise.  I know that we can sometimes be genetically predisposed to certain illnesses, but there is no hard and fast rule that it will in fact happen to us.  If we take charge of our lives, it may very well skip us.  If your job or business is stressful - change it; if your relationship with your loved one is stressful - get help or get out; if you are inactive or lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle - get on your feet now and start moving.  We MUST save our own lives.  I'm seeing too much of this happening lately.

My mother is going on 93 years old and has no illnesses whatsoever.  She has always been active--walked to just about anywhere she could, never let anyone or anything cause her stress - she simply got rid of whatever the situation was, and mostly ate a plant-based diet or meats from animals she or someone she knew raised.  See what I mean?  That right there is your recipe for longevity.  Hello!!!!

Middle-agers, 50, 60 and 70-plusers let's begin to save our own lives!!!

ValerieHeadshotHave you ever had a day when everything went...right?  When everything you did and said just turned out right for you?

Today was such a day for me.  Nothing planned, just flowed with the tide of each thing that I did and by golly, I got the exact results I wanted.

I'm finding that as I get older, if anything I do is done without fear, tension, nervousness, apprehension, concern, the thought of what others will think...all that negative "stuff", I get great results.  I've gotten bolder and couldn't care less about what others think.

One example is being interviewed for any reason.  I HATE interviews!  I would get nervous, fearful, tongue-tied, forget the questions I planned to ask, and sweaty palms.  Well, I had an interview for a project today and it was one of the easiest ones I've ever done.  I did a quick review of the company online before going in and had in mind the questions I was going to ask.  I didn't even bother writing them down like I normally would.  I walked in, sat down, chit-chatted with the interviewers as if I knew them before, they volunteered information and I simply asked questions along the line of the information given...really vibed well with the ladies.  At the end of it, I thanked them both, shook their hands and left.  I felt great!

I got out of the building and was still on my way home when I received a call from their office, saying how much they loved me!  That I made them comfortable and that they didn't feel like I was a person they were meeting for the very first time.  I thought "wow, it's so much easier being yourself and not try to change into this fearful, nervous soul in everything I do."  It worked for me!

Wish I had adhered to this way of thinking earlier in my life.  Anyway, better late than never.  Right?

I just returned from the funeral of a relative in Florida and while I sat there during the funeral service, reality set in.  You might ask how come it's just now setting in so let me correct myself by saying...reality set further in.

As we continue to age, we middle-agers are now experiencing the reality of our parents and other older relatives becoming sick or disabled and the entire process that comes along with that, until the day they pass.  Then there's the preparation for the viewing, the funeral and the repast.

When I was a young girl, a funeral was an entirely sad occasion.  Today it's more of a celebration of the life of the deceased.  People are now beginning to say that their loved one would have wanted a celebration...not an entire two days of constant mourning and sadness.

Families go all out at these celebrations these days.  Good food, music,a  meet-and-greet for those who haven't seen each other for ages (yes--sometimes several years!)...an unplanned family reunion for sure.

That is what this one I attended turned out to be and it was great!  We ended up spending the entire day together for a funeral that started at 10:00am.  E-mail addresses and phone numbers were exchanged.  iPhones and iPads were pulled out to show pictures to bring each other up to date.  Singing, dancing, picture-taking, reminiscing on the life of the deceased...just a wonderful celebration overall.

I much rather the occasion being called a "celebration" and certainly not a "funeral" because after all, everyone was gathered to celebrate the life of the deceased...not the passing.

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