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.

Good Eats!

Yes, friends.  As I get more accustomed to eating less meat and more vegetables (I’m already a fruit freak), I’m totally enjoying the ride.  VegetariCurryVeggieCookup1an and vegan meals are super delicious, something I thought I would never be able to say!

Take for example this dish of curried cooked-up veggies, rice and kidney beans, avocado and plantains.  Let me tell you!!    This tofu cook-up I did sometime ago was excellent as well.  TofuCookUp

I’m finding that having several meatless days in the week is really helping to keep my weight in check to an extent. In fact I’m only tempted by some good Jamaican-style curried goat or oxtails.  Other than that, the vegetarian way of eating is mostly what is done.

Bravo!  Kinda proud!


Embracing Technology As A 50-Pluser

Surprisingly, many of us 50-plusers are refusing to embrace technology! Take for example, something as simple as having an e-mail address.  I’m still meeting people who are saying they’re not interested, they don’t have the time, that’s all young people stuff…  Really?  In today’s world? Keyboard1

Now, no one is asking that we all go out and get a Master’s Degree in Computer Technology or Computer Science.  All I’m saying is that we at least should be somewhat technically savvy.

I remember being reluctant to join the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest crowd, but it got to a point where I simply had no choice but to do so.  Everyone I know, including my three little granddaughters ages 11, 9 and 8, are quite up-to-date technology-wise.  They have their own little gadgets, know how to access the various websites for programs that are appropriate for them, how to post something, research, play games and even have their own email addresses.  Now THAT woke me up! I wasn’t going to be left behind!

Most contact these days are made either via text or email as everyone is quite busy with one thing or another.  I understand that because that certainly is my story.  Therefore, I very often don’t have time for a lengthy phone call with anyone and I’m finding that sometimes sending a touching-base-with-you text right quick, works, and it appears to be the general feeling of many of us out there.

Facebook allowed me found some of my long-lost friends – from childhood days – and I’m oh so happy that I found them.  How else could I have found my little playmates from way back when?  I now even have access to pictures of family members and friends that I wouldn’t otherwise have, due to their posting and sharing on Facebook.  It’s the best thing ever!  I’ve often reflected on what I would have been missing had  I not made the decision to embrace technology!

As for Instagram – what a joy!  Pictures and musings of things as they happen are posted and I get to be friends with people from all over the world.  I’m quick to post pictures of my salads, smoothies, juices and other meal items for the world to see, and not to mention selfies! Lol! The moment I get all dressed up to go out, a selfie is in order.  It’s so much fun!

What if at 50-plus I hadn’t decided to embrace technology?  What if I had ignored the request of my children to “get with the times, mom!”  Then I was simply going to be left behind.

Folks, it’s nothing but fun.  Social media is not meant to share your personal and private business with the world.  It’s meant for fun — and it is indeed fun!!

If you’re one of the 50plusers who still can’t see the need to get onboard the Facebook, Instagram, email, Twitter, or Pinterest bandwagon – think again.  If you don’t want to be left behind, you really, really should.  They will open you up to a whole new world.

Are You Your Worst Critic?

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.




Preventive Care for the 40-plus and over

So I had my annual physical done today and am happy to have that over and done with for another year. Preventive care, once you hit the 40s, is extremely important. I’m sure you already know this.

What you’re actually doing by exercising preventive care, is preparing for a healthier tomorrow. We all would love to have a healthier tomorrow, don’t we? The we must keep abreast and in tuned with what’s going on with our own bodies.

You might be surprised as to what can happen in a year – the date you had your last physical to the date your next one comes around. Remember that many diseases are age-related hence the reason for staying on top of things. Things like diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, stroke, cancer, high cholesterol, vision impairment, hearing impairment, heart conditions – just to name a few. When you stay abreast and manage your own health, you’re prolonging your own life. If, for example, the doctor warns you about your numbers regarding becoming pre-diabetic getting a bit close, you have a strong chance of not getting the disease at all if you properly manage your health. This scenario actually happened to a friend of mine. She was determined that she was NOT going to have it and she got to work, managing her health to keep that number down!

If you follow some of the general rules of staying healthy, i.e., eating healthfully, staying active, not smoking, drink plenty of water, reduce stress and anxiety levels, maintain a healthy weight, etc., you are bound to stay ahead of the health game.

Despite probably being genetically predisposed to any of the various diseases, I believe that if we make the decision to properly manage our own health, we’re doing our own selves a huge medical favor.

I’m a firm believer in preventive care and try to live accordingly. My parents always had a saying which I have held steadfast to over the years: “An ounce of prevention is BETTER than a pound of care.” Powerful statement, isn’t it?