Downsizing: The Thing To Do As We Age

Downsizing is a growing trend for us 50-plusers.  Time for shedding, minimizing…. downsizing!  There’s so much “stuff” that we’ve accumulated over the years and we’re all wondering when did it all happen?  I know I am!  Mind you, I’m nothing near the folks that are on that television show “Hoarders.”  Hell no!!  I just love having lots of nice things and even though I do, I’m seriously organized.  I however, love to have everything in its place as much as I possibly can.

What I Did To Start Downsizing

As the years went by, I found myself becoming disgusted with having a large living space (not to mention the expense of maintaining it) and recently moved to smaller living quarters.  I’m here to tell you that I feel as if I’ve lifted a ton of bricks off me.  One of the best moves I’ve ever made.  I even rented a storage space to assist with the unloading and storage of some of the “stuff” I’ve accumulated over the years.  This will give me a place from which to leisurely sell and donate some of these items from.

Downsizing helps you and your loved ones as well.  Who wants to get old having accumulated so much that when you’ve passed, your family has the daunting task of getting rid of all you’ve accumulated over the years?  My daughter has begged me (she really didn’t have to, though) not to accumulate too much so that it all falls in her lap when I’m gone.  I’ve seen what that does to the some families and really wouldn’t want to put any of my loved ones through that.

Reasons for Downsizing

Here are some of the reasons I can think of for downsizing:

  • Letting go of items for the children you’ve saved, claiming sentiments attached
  • Pieces of furniture that are dated and you no longer use
  • Those clothes you haven’t worn in ages because you’ve either lost or gained weight
  • The children are grown and have gone off either to college or on their own
  • You can no longer find the time to take care of that large living space
  • The yard has become too much to take care of
  • The expense of utilities for a space where it’s just you that’s living there

These are just a few but there are so many other reasons we can think of to downsize our living conditions as we age.  It makes sense that we are being urged to do just that and I’m in total agreement.  Let’s free up our space and our minds as we age.Downsizing_1

Uncertainty. Do You Embrace the Wisdom It Can Bring?

Chatanooga TNUncertainty can sometimes be a good thing, giving room to open up a whole new world.  This picture of me is an excellent example of how an unplanned trip to Chattanooga, TN turned out to be one of my best one-day trips ever.  A truly exciting trip it was!

This past year went by with quite a bit of uncertainty with many things, the results of which proved to be quite rewarding.  In prior years, my life was just one big having-my-ducks-all-in-a-row circle for pretty much everything I did.

Quote from Dr. Chopra About Uncertainty

Deepak Chopra, MD, founder of the Chopra Center for Well Being once said: “I embrace the wisdom of uncertainty, because if everything is certain, where is the creativity?’

After reading that quote in the May 2015 issue of Oprah Magazine, it opened up a whole new world for me. Such truth! Creativity is a wonderful thing. It means ingenuity. Inventiveness. Resourcefulness. Vision. Innovation. Originality. Inspiration!!

Living your life in a way that everything you do or want to do must be certain, planned or scheduled can be crippling. A really cool friend helped me realize this, as throughout my younger life, that was my normal way of living.

As I age and have now become this 50-plus woman who is a bit more wiser, I leave room for creativity by working very hard to let go of being certain, scheduling or planning every single move I make.  It’s actually working well and it feels great! It has opened up my world!  So many new things have now come to mind. Things I can now do, places I can now go, people I can now see, things I can make, instruments I can and have always wanted to learn to play, activities I can participate in — my cup runneth over!  Lol…

Have I been my own drill sergeant?  It looks that way, doesn’t it?  It’s just that I’ve always loved having almost every aspect of my life carefully planned and scheduled.  So much that I was often teased about it by my close friend.  My profession in the legal field over the years is partially to be blamed. Lol!!  Mind you, there will still be things that do need to be planned, organized and/or scheduled.  I’m actually talking about no longer doing so in every single aspect of my life.  Enough already!

It is now time for creativity!  Yes – the time has come.  Now that I’m approaching my 60s, this is a time when I want to be doing new things and in particular, things I’ve always wanted to use my creativeness and resourcefulness to accomplish.

Dr. Chopra was right and his quote was timely. I most certainly embrace the wisdom of uncertainty.

What are your thoughts on his quote?  Have you been doing that in your life?  Share your thoughts with me.

Making Decisions As We Age

Have you ever made a decision and acted upon that decision the minute it came to you? Right there on the spot! Snap—boom—done!! 

I did that recently. I was in the middle of working on a project I’ve been immersed in for several weeks, and all of a sudden I  just didn’t feel good in that space anymore. I immediately stopped what I was doing, put everything down and made the very swift decision to be over and done with it right there on the spot (while brushing both palms up and down).

All of a sudden, that task no longer served me. It just didn’t make sense to me anymore…physically, emotionally nor financially. So, why waste anymore of my precious time that I have now learned to value so much? The answer to that was very easy.

You see, this was not my story as a younger woman. Back then, I spent way too long thinking, lingering and pondering and therefore wasted precious time, on situations, and relationships that didn’t serve me, and either never acted upon them or took way to long to make a move. As a result, I stayed in relationships that didn’t make sense, in jobs that I shouldn’t have, and overall did things and made moves that I really shouldn’t have made, many of which turned out to be some regretful situations.

As I got older, the decision-making process became easier because I remember how they made me feel. Fear, anger, many years lost. It was time for that to be over. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life…the decision to improve on my decision-making process. Makes sense?

Folks as we age, we must be in spaces that serves us, in relationships that makes us happy, doing things that improves and continues to improve us, that will benefit us, that will enhance us, that will feed us, that will nourish us, that will be FOR US! The 50plus era is a great time to start (if you haven’t yet started) so that the remainder of your years will be the best ones ever.

My message to you is this: Say no to something or someone if you have to. Remove yourself from spaces and relationships that no longer serve you.

After all, your life—the rest of your life—could depend on your decision-making process.

Well Done Mr. Mandela!

NelsonMandelaI’m glad to have been alive at a time when an icon such as the great Nelson Mandela made his contribution to mankind.

Many of the other heroes I learned of were before my time and I could only read and learn about them while growing up.

Madiba stood up in the face of adversity, did what he felt he had to do, served his time, became President of his country, stepped down after the first term for quiet retirement, then passed away peacefully.

He never held a grudge nor showed animosity to those who hurt him; instead he befriended and worked alongside them.

Who does that?

I’ll tell you who…


Thank you Madiba.  Thank you for your contribution and what a great contribution you made to mankind.

That’s The Plan

I haven’t written about my student life in a while.  Been too busy plugging away and trying not to place too much emphasis on it.  For the most part, it has been wonderful but there have been some trying times.

Some classes are a breeze (easy for me to say, right?) and some are not.  Some can be easily taken online, where you set up your own schedule so you’re on target and won’t miss your submission date and time.  On the other hand, some classes have to be taken in the classroom.  You must have that classroom interaction with the professor and at times, other students.  Explanations may need to be given more than once to get the full understanding, you may need to have a one-on-one with the professor, or you may need to buddy-up with other students to get your homework done.

I have found some professors to be inflexible, tough, unfriendly, forgetful and just downright mean for no particular reason though.  These are mostly the online ones.  My thinking is that the ones that are like this probably just feel that they should because they have the title of “Professor”.  Almost all the time there is usually no particular reason to have these type of traits — except just to say that “I’m Professor So-and-so, remember that – you student!”  I can’t think of any other reason and those are the classes where you pray for the semester to come to an end so you can end your dealings with the egotist.

I quickly ignore that type though, because I can’t allow him or her to cause me to lose focus (and if you’re not careful they can) as I’ve seen students quit because of a professor’s behavior.  I returned to school in my 50s for a reason and a mean professor is certainly not going to derail it!

My ability to learn at this age and stage of my life has not at all  diminished.  In fact, I’m a quicker learner now.  Glad I’m keeping my brain “tuned-up” so that when I’m in my eighties I’m still razor-sharp.  That’s the plan here folks…that’s the plan.

Maya Angelou gives me even greater hope!

Maya_AngelouI just finished watching Dr. Maya Angelou on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) in the Master Class series. Oh what a joy it was to watch this 82 year old woman speak. She said that her 50s and 60s were great, her 70s – even better…that she loved that era, but her 80s…she’s having such a good time! She gave me the chills! Most people are so afraid of becoming older and this great woman makes it look so much like something to look forward to!

You know what? I’m with her. That’s my reason for starting this blog in the first place. As Dr. Angelou got older, she became even wiser through her various life experiences, and has certainly mellowed with age. She even looks more fabulous as she ages. Such grace and eloquence. All this time, I had not read any of her books. Can you believe that? Oh — that is going to change now. This is my first real look at this woman. What greatness! What a wonderful role model she is. Amazingly as she spoke, I detected not even one ounce of anger in her despite being raped at age 7 by her mother’s boyfriend, not being wanted by either parent upon their separation, being called all sorts of names, the brutality of racial discrimination – these among the many trials and tribulations she experienced in her life. She came out completely unscathed despite all that! What an icon!

She is making me look even more eagerly towards my 60s, 70s, 80s and even further (longevity happens to run in my family) with great anxiety. Uplifting and inspiring is what Dr. Maya Angelou is.  A global renaissance woman indeed!!