I’m delighted Boomer Cafe published my One Word Resolutions post. Check it out by clicking here.
This is the tenth and final post of Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s 10 days of New Years Resolutions.
Previous posts have urged Lady boomers to exercise their creative muscles, to infuse their lives with more color and fun, take mini adventures, evaluate their empty nests, and even examine their purses for excess baggage.
The ultimate objective of the exercises proposed in these posts has been to encourage Lady Boomers and other empty nesters to transform their lives a little bit at a time, through daily activities and choices. “Transformation” can be an intimidating concept. Little steps, however, make this objective easier to achieve. These exercises are designed to remove the obstacles obscuring who you really are. As Rod Styker, meditation and yoga instructor says, ” We are not transforming into something we aspire to. We’re transforming into the very thing we are innately- our best self.”
Here’s hoping you meet your best self this year.
This is post #7 in Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s 10 Days of New Years Resolutions.
Do you suffer from purse chaos? Does your purse resemble the description in Nora Ephron’s, I Feel Bad About My Neck and other Thoughts on Being a Woman? The following is an excerpt from her chapter entitled “I Hate my Purse”:
“Here is what happens with your purse. You start small. You start pledging yourself to neatness. You start with the things you absolutely need…but within seconds your purse has accumulated the debris of a lifetime. The cosmetics have fallen out of the shiny cosmetics bag (okay, you forgot to zip it up), the coins have fallen out of your wallet (okay you have forgotten to fasten the coin compartment), the credit cards are somewhere in the abyss (okay you forgot to put your Visa back in your wallet after you bought the sunblock that is now oozing into the lining…
Why pay all that money on psychoanalysis? An examination of your purse can be quite revealing. If you suffer from the same kind of purse chaos described by Nora Ephron you might be feeling scattered and frenzied, perhaps taking on too much.
Now, if your purse is well organized- credit cards in their designated wallet compartment, currency in chronological order, lipstick cap on tight- it could indicate a need to loosen up a bit, take a vacation with a little risk to it- ziplining through the rain forest in Honduras perhaps.
Maybe an analysis indicates you need to shed extra baggage- that pesky cousin freeloading off you; that clingy co-worker appealing to you once too often for advice. What kind of baggage are you carrying around? What might you eliminate or throw away? How might you simplify your life a bit?
This is post #6 of Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s 10 days of New Years Resolutions.
Adventures don’t always have to be big and bold. Who said the definition of adventure is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or back packing through Europe? Adventures come in many sizes and forms and help us feel young all over again. As we age into our 50s, 60s and 70s, let’s take a sip or two from the Fountain of Youth, at least on occasion.
The other night my husband and I hopped on our bikes and rode to the grocery store. The night was beautiful, the air cool, and the stars luminous. We did not exactly look hip and cool bundled up and helmeted with our flashing bike lights. We did, however, feel exhilarated in the cold air and just a little daring venturing out late on a “school” night.
Friends later chided us saying, “Why didn’t you just take the car? That would have been easier and safer!” Convenience was not the point I responded. Don’t you remember that feeling of freedom you experienced as a kid when you jumped on your only means of transportation- your bicycle- managing to escape from parental oversight and control? I harken back to that time and feeling often when I ride my bicycle.
So, go ahead, dip your toe into that Fountain of Youth a few times in the coming year. Try something even just a little bit out of your comfort zone. Maybe learning to do something you have never done before, such as snow skiing. Even if you don’t ever leave the Bunny Slope, you will be thrilled and proud of your adventurous self.
This is post four of Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s 10 days of New Years Resolutions. I am newly returned from spending the most amazing Thanksgiving week in the mountains of Taos, New Mexico with my husband and our adult children. My kids think this may have been one of the best trips we’ve ever taken. We skied, hiked, dined, and browsed our way through galleries filled with turquoise and terracotta pottery. At least half of our week was spent beholding the beauty of the sage brushed landscape and mountains from our floor to ceiling windows stretched across the back of our vacation home. This three bedroom adobe style home perched on the edge of a reservation was available to us at no cost.
The Holiday, the romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet who exchange their Los Angeles and rural England homes over the Christmas holiday inspired us to join an online site called Home Exchange.com. We were able to trade our beach place for the mountain house in Taos at no expense to either party. While some of the listings are second homes, the majority are primary residences. We have successfully exchanged homes on five occasions. Rather than cramming five people into two hotel rooms where we are forced to eat out every meal, we have a kitchen, living room, and multiple bath and bedrooms at our disposal.
Financing a vacation may sound like a luxury during times of economic distress like we are currently undergoing. Carving out time from stress and schedules may not be a luxury but rather a necessity for our psychic well being and that of our family. It may sound glib to suggest there are alternative forms of vacationing that don’t require taking out a second mortgage to fund it or piling in on top of relatives in other locales. A home exchange worked for us and might for you. Check it out at http://www.homexchange.com.
This is post two of my 10 days of New Years resolutions. As I’ve mentioned previously, Be Brave. Lose the Beige is not just about color (although I’m crazy about colors..all colors, the more the better). Be Brave. Lose the Beige is really a life choice. It’s about exploring the playful side of your life by escaping incessant to-do lists and experiencing more joy and fun in your life.
Resolution Number2- Try introducing a little more color in your daily lives.
After all, do we really need all that beige? Beige sofas, walls, and clothes? I recently exercised my creativity muscles (see post above) by creating drawer and cabinet pulls like the ones featured in the photo below. These polka dotted, flowered and heart filled clay knobs are now affixed to my cupboard doors and drawers at our beach place. You don’t even have to go to the trouble of making your own. Web stores and brick and mortar stores abound with fun, colorful knobs and drawer pulls. The color combinations alone will all but guarantee delight each time you reach inside for a cup or bowl. Somehow color and whimsey can imbue even the most mundane task, such as setting a table or pouring a glass of milk a lot more fun.
So, go ahead, be brave, lose a little of that beige and take a step toward coloring your life.
Running from meeting to meeting, checking off the to-do list- that isn’t really living. Discovering the playful side of life. Spreading joy. Being colorful…clever…creative. Now that’s living!
This is post three of Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s 12 days of New Years Resolutions. Even though Be Brave. Lose the Beige isn’t just about color, today’s post is. Be Brave.Lose the Beige argues that running from meeting to meeting, checking off the to-do lists, etc. isn’t really living…it is, however, a fact of life. We do run from Parent-teacher sessions to board meetings and on to client conferences. So, let’s accept the inevitable and try to have a little fun with it. Why not try wearing something really fun when you are making the meeting rounds…as an example, try wearing colorful tights. I have and they single handedly make the meeting more fun for everyone involved.
Resolution #3 Try Networking in Color
Recently I attended a women’s networking function at a law firm. Now even the word, networking makes me cringe. It sounds so pretentious and artificial. So, in an effort to introduce a little levity to the mix, I wore a rose colored dress and psychedelic, zig zag pattered tights (photo below). This insertion of color in the midst of a sea of black and navy blue suits caused quite a stir. Young women, middle aged women, law partners and bankers, came up to me throughout the evening saying things like, “I just wanted to meet you, you’re so bold”. People said I was the “life of the party”, all because I deemed to wear a colorful pair of stockings. I had a ball and maybe this act will inspire other women to break out of the beige box and delight themselves and others.
So..Resolution #3- Try Networking in Color
Last year around this time I read with interest a New York times article written by John Tierney about New Year’s resolutions. On an optimistic note he said,
“Whatever you hope for this year you are more likely to make improvements than someone who hasn’t made a formal resolution. You are 10 times more likely to change by making a New Year’s resolution compared to non-resolvers with identical goals. If you make it through January, you have a good chance of lasting a lot longer.”
Adopting a more pessimistic tone, however, he suggested,
“Most people are not going to keep their resolutions all year long. They start out with the best of intentions, expecting they will find the willpower to succeed. By the end of January a third will have broken their resolutions; by July more than half will have lapsed.”
Tierney went on to say, however, that perhaps we should consider the kind of resolutions to make. Perhaps not making too many resolutions requiring strict adherence to resisting temptation (i.e. I vow not to eat Krispie Kream donuts in 2013).
I agree. I think we should consider the kind of resolution to make. Be brave. Lose the beige aspires to inspire and encourage Lady Boomers to discover their own colorful spirits. Is running from meeting to meeting, checking off the to-do list really what life is all about? Lady Boomers! This is a clarion call to resolve this new year to imbue your lives with more creativity and fun. Infusing your life with more playfulness and creativity does not require significant or major life changes. Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting suggestions for you to consider incorporating into your lives throughout the next year. The following is the first of 10:
Resolution Number 1- Try exercising your creativity-
As adults we have come to recognize the validity of exercising our bodies. Working out at the Y, power walking, skiing or swimming contributes to our health and wellbeing. (There is even a book entitled, “Younger Next Year” which promotes daily exercise as a ticket to the Fountain of Youth) Further, exercising our minds is a value our society promotes. We take classes, read literature and news magazines, do crossword puzzles or Sudoku. But somehow once we get past the age of ten we generally start paying less attention to our creative muscles. And, just like our physical muscles that fail to be engaged, so can our creative muscles begin to atrophy. So..resolve to engage your creative muscles this year. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, some of which include (but are certainly not limited to):
-plant a swath of backyard dirt with a garden filled with colorful flowers or aromatic herbs
-dust off your guitar or piano keys and take lessons
-try collaging a few family photographs
-take a pottery class..clay is a wonderful teacher, it comes from the ground and grounds those who touch it. After all, it’s not the pots you are shaping but yourself.
So go ahead and flex those creative muscles. They will definitely get stronger and more defined.