I’m delighted Boomer Cafe published my One Word Resolutions post. Check it out by clicking here.
I’m a numbers junkie. I’ve been in the survey research business for more than 25 years. I’m interested in learning more about Lady Boomers- women of the Baby Boomer generation, so Be Brave. Lose the Beige will be conducting a survey each month targeting this demographic group. Please click here to take a 2 question survey about employment issues. Thank you for contributing.
One of Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s truisms is: “Great ideas come to you in the shower”. We often find that when something is troubling us or there is a question to ponder, that when you remove yourself from distractions and allow yourself to relax (as in a hot shower first thing in the morning) solutions or ideas just pop into your head. Such was the case with me this afternoon. For days I have been considering what to get a good friend of mine for a big “milestone” birthday that was fast approaching. As I have already passed this particular milestone myself a while back, I know that at this stage of life there are few tangible things that I want and actually fewer of those things that I really need. And so it is I believe with many of my Lady Boomer friends. So I have been troubled by trying to find something to give this friend that would not only be meaningful to her, but also in some small way convey my celebration of her presence on this earth (and more selfishly, in my life) and also communicate to her my undying love and friendship. And then, in a flash, in the shower after a long, hot day on the beach, the ideal gift popped into my head….I would write this blog post.
I had recently read an article in one of Kevin Eikenberry’s weekly leadership newsletters entitled, “How to give A Gift”. He encouraged the reader to consider 3 things when giving a gift to increase its meaningfulness: 1) Think about the process of gifting as well as the gift itself, 2) Think about how to show your intention in the process of giving the gift and, 3) Make the gift 100% about the other person. After reading that article I knew immediately that writing this blog was the perfect gift for my friend because blogging is something that she had been wanting me to do for the longest time. But, more importantly, I knew that she would realize that in order for me to give her this gift I would have to face and overcome some of my personal fears and self-created obstacles and give of myself in order to prepare this gift for her.
After this lengthy prelude, my birthday message for my friend (which also popped into my brain while in that same shower)…
What I realized at that moment is that there are Angels on Earth and that this friend of mine is truly one of these. She is someone of flesh and blood, but with one of the most heavenly spirits I have ever known. Someone who lives her life in service to others, but in the most humble and self-deprecating way. Someone to whom others gravitate like insects to a lightbulb because she has a way of illuminating and inspiring each individual and making them believe they are capable of the most wondrous and creative things. And someone who has made such a difference in my life. Although we have known each other for just over a decade, in some sense it feels as if our souls have traveled the same path for eons. And to this Angel on Earth I say, “Thank you” for the gift of your presence in my life and for making me that much more whole than I might have believed of myself. And, “Happy birthday” as I celebrate the time we spend together working, playing, stressing, crying, laughing, praying and all those other things all of us Lady Boomers do together. There is no need to name this Angel on Earth as she will read this and recognize the value of this gift given from the heart (because of course that’s what Angels do). Look around. She may be standing right next to you.
Ten Things You Can Do To Lose the Beige
Exercise Your Creativity–We understand exercising our bodies and minds, but somehow once we get past the age of ten, we start paying less attention to our creative muscles.
Introduce More Color In Your Daily Life–Somehow color and whimsy can make even the most mundane task a lot more fun.
Analyze That Purse Chaos– What kind of baggage are you carrying around?
What’s In Your Empty or Not So Empty Nest?–It’s a question we should ask ourselves as we rebuild our nests and make room for our own dreams.
Go from Working Full Time to Living Full Time- As you begin navigating retirement options, consider how you can creatively spend your next 30, 40, or 50 years.
Park it; Plant it; Pedal it; Preserve it!-Try parking your car and pedaling to your destination once in a while. It’s a fun way to help protect our planet.
Beauty and the Beach–Escape your incessant to-do lists by going to on a beach retreat. The beach offers a place of acceptance and equality regardless of size, age, income level, and even species.
Take Yourself Out on a Date- a shopping expedition, museum outing, a favorite activity to pamper your passions, and it should be done alone. It’s amazing how little time we spend by ourselves.
Diet in Color- Oranges, yellow squash, red peppers, purple pomegranates. All this rich beautiful color costs the dieter 0 points in the Weight Watchers World.
Be Brave. Lose the Beige is the name of this blog and the name of a group of Lady Boomers with whom I have the privilege of working. Be Brave. Lose the Beige encourages women to discover their own colorful, creative spirits, and to adopt a more playful attitude in their daily lives. As evidence of how these women are taking this advice to “heart”, I’m attaching photos of clay creations made by participants at a mini-Valentine’s retreat. Thank you ladies for agreeing to share these adorable creations.
This is post five of Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s 12 days of New Year’s Resolutions. This resolution is directed at Lady Boomers and their empty nests.
Ah, the empty nest, a syndrome that simultaneously fills us with dread and delight. The prospect of our children leaving home potentially evokes a multitude of anxieties. (Often this anticipatory anxiety is for naught when our children ricochet back to their rooms when life out of the nest, with it’s pesky responsibilities, thwarts their efforts at independence).
“What’s in Your Empty Nest?” is a question we should ask ourselves as we rebuild our nests and make room for our own dreams. Of course there will still be some “room” (although perhaps a shared one alongside your guitar, art supplies and exercise equipment) for the kids to come home on the weekends. I am here to testify, it is possible to create a fun, interesting life after the nest empties, fills back up, and empties out again. So, Lady Boomers, what’s in or out of your empty nest? Here are a few possibilities:
(1) yappy foo foo dog; (2) golf bag complete with driver (with enormous club head), putter, irons, ball retriever, pink balls, great outfit, lessons with cute golf pro; (3) Eiffel Tower or other fantastic destinations; (4) extra branches in case baby birds ricochet back to their rooms, (5) tickets to a Broadway show (ON Broadway); (6) cap, gown and one more diploma to add to your CV; (7) membership to local YMCA; (8) lots of gift cards to restaurants.
Have a blast!
Two years ago I took up golf. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would take up golf. Hitting a tiny ball into a little hole outside in the hot Florida sun did not sound remotely appealing. Besides, I already had a hobby that could produce as much frustration as any golf match- pottery!. Centering eight or even five pounds of clay on a potter’s wheel could exasperate a cat. In my early potter years I had a wheel in my garage. I would get so frustrated trying to center the clay I would throw handfuls of it into my backyard. (Well it was mud after all. I was just forcibly returning it to the earth). As I grew in pottery proficiency it became almost a badge of honor for me to say, I’m a potter I don’t need another hobby to frustrate me”. .
But once I became art director of the Jeremiah Project (a pottery program for at-risk kids), pottery became a little too much like work. I wanted to engage in an activity that felt like play. Golf certainly fits that bill. There is no way I could ever consider a professional career in golf, not with my score (when I keep score which is hardly ever). I refuse to play with anyone who takes the game or themselves too seriously. I love playing with women, because they will laugh if they shank, (whatever that means), hook, or slice a shot…If my ball happens to travel farther `than 130 yards, I don’t care which direction is goes I’m so busy squealing with delight.
Guys, if they are reasonably coordinated, seem to have sports for life. They’ll play pick up basketball or football games, tennis, golf, etc. Historically, Lady Boomers have suffered from Failure to Play Syndrome (FPS). As we enter these Empty Nest years, playing is a strategy we can employ to combat ENS (I love making up acronyms and syndromes). Shopping has been a Lady Boomer pastime. There are women who love the hunt. But trying on bathing suits under fluorescent lights (a concept immortalized by Murphy Brown) is not my idea of play. One of the questions posed in my Lady Boomers survey was “In the past few years, have you taken up any new sport or hobby that 10 years ago you would not have considered, such as golf, skiing, bowling, etc?”. Only 29% say yes. So, ladies, try taking up a new something to play. I have to say, I’ve been bitten by the golf bug. I really like whacking that ball from the tee box. You might too.