Healthy Monday

Playing twister

Out Of My Comfort Zone: The Thrill Of Saying Yes

Let's face it, as convenient as Zoom is, it’s not the same as in-person meetings. I have dearly missed “Live” workshops. Real  people, real time equals real energy and that's just what happened this week at a writing workshop I ran where I got a full dose. I'm still buzzing from the excitement and novelty of it all. Here's what happened.... Back in July my friend Jill and I were talking about upcoming stuff for this Fall and that's when she asked me if I would like to run a workshop for her YPO group in Boston. My heart started beating fast right there and then....

Positive Steps: Getting Into the Growth Zone

“The comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.” There is a great piece in positive psychology about getting out of the comfort zone and into the growth zone and how to do it. "The core idea is that our nervous systems have a Goldilocks zone of arousal. Too little, and you remain in the comfort zone, where boredom sets in. But too much, and you enter the ‘panic’ zone, which also stalls progress."...
Hands hold a beautiful empty nest of birds, made of moss and feathers, against the backdrop of greenery, in the open air. Close-up.

Empty Nesters

My husband, David, and I have two children who are two years apart. So when our oldest, Sarah, left the nest, we still had our son, Jack, at home to keep us busy. But very soon, it was about time for him to leave, too. I spent his whole senior year of high school mourning his impending move-out. I kept reminding David of all of the “lasts” in our lives: our last time having Jack and all his buddies over for enormous quantities of homemade cookies, our last time wishing he would take a shower after shooting hoops for two hours. Our last time going to one of his band’s gigs in Phoenix. The thought of the children not living in the house seemed lonely—and quiet!...
Happy person on mountain at sunrise

Harvard Study Shows Positive Attitude About Aging Could Boost Health

A study of 14,000 adults over age 50, co-authored by experts at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that the people who had the highest satisfaction with aging had a 43% lower risk of dying from any cause over a four-year period compared with those who were the least satisfied. The study also found that people more satisfied with the aging process had lower risk for conditions such as diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease; better cognitive functioning; were more likely to engage in physical activity and less likely to have trouble sleeping; were less lonely and depressed; and were more optimistic with a greater sense of purpose....
Group having dinner at restaurant

The Designated Adult Club

I was on Facebook the other day when a former colleague who has just started a new job jumped in with a query about pension plans. “I need an accountant,” she wrote on her wall. “I need advice on what to with the multiple pension plans I’ve accrued since I started working. I’m not sure if I should combine them –  or keep them separate.” Within minutes, a whole bunch of us who’d worked together with her had glommed onto this thread. Turns out, she wasn’t alone. Several of us had more than one pension plan and we all needed the same advice. At some point several comments in, someone on the thread suggested that if my colleague was able to obtain the answer to this question, she could share it with the rest of us over drinks. (We’d pick up the tab.) And then someone else had this brilliant idea: Why don’t we make a deal where one of us is put in charge of making these sorts of vital, grown-up decisions for the entire group on a six-month, rotating basis....
Woman relaxing

Licensed to Chill

So far, my retirement has been a series of experiments.  Am I happy with the results?  Well, I’ve eliminated a lot of stress from my life, but also some of its excitement and challenge.  Liberated from the demands of work, I’m free to find new arenas and venues where I can explore and possibly master new skills.  Although it is a cliché, I do feel I’ve had to find new meaning and purpose to my existence.  That is the current challenge.  On the plus side......
Mother and daughter in field

My Daughters and Me…Next Phase

The mother-daughter bond can sometimes feel close to telepathic, like high alert empathy that’s super sensitive not just to the words but the pitch and the tone of the words being said. For better or worse a raised eyebrow or a deep exhale is decoded immediately. The biggest lesson I’ve learned after decades at this mothering thing is that my worth increases with every word I don’t say. If one of us suggests a new spice…or TV show…or bra, we’re all in. When returning from a trip, we each unpack and go through the mail the first hour we arrive home. We are all currently obsessed with Jeremy Allen White, star of The Bear. Nature? Nurture? Who knows. It’s just kind of lovely. Playing the cancer card (I think it’s legal to accept any perks that come along with that prognosis) they agreed to joining me on a three-day getaway in the Berkshires,...
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Going Gray Affecting Ageism In Workplace? Listen To Lisa LaFlamme’s Farewell To Her Viewers.

During Covid isolation gray hair was trending and rather than the fashion magazines of Madison Avenue setting the hair styling rules of the road, the women have spoken.  The letting go of the coloring and bleaching cycles have given way to a freer and easier look which embraces aging and now the magazines are supporting this shift with women over 50 looking gorgeous with silver hair on their covers.  But what about how gray haired women are viewed in the workplace? When letting the hair go gray affects one's work that is a much much bigger choice. ...
Ginny Poleman

“More of THAT, Please.” An Exercise in Manifesting the Perfect Guy for Me

I recently discovered a dating coach on social media who put out a challenge — a kind of manifestation. She said, “instead of being discouraged by the stupid shit men do [my words, not verbatim from the dating coach], focus on the behaviors you like, and say to the Universe ‘Yes, please! More of THAT!’” I liked this idea of giving a thumbs-up on what worked instead of kvetching on the negative. Too many times I’ve shaken my head feeling discouraged, frustrated, and sometimes, downright pissy about dating. For example, texting with obtuse men like Michael on dating apps. Michael: How’s your day so far babe? Me: Good! Thanks. Isn’t it a bit premature to use “babe” before we’ve even met? 😉 Michael: Babe, it’s nothing. It’s just a name to show how much I appreciate you. Well, I hope you appreciate this, Michael: *Unmatch.* Oh Universe? No more pet names, please....

Sleep Divorce: Can’t Sleep with Him…..Can’t Kill Him

I'm considering Sleep Divorce....It’s three a.m. and the mass lying on its back next to me is emitting unearthly sounds. I awaken, surfacing from a dream in which I’ve tried to weave the snorts, rasps, whistles, and jagged breathing into the plot. Clad only in a polka-dotted bikini, I’d been floating through a field of daisies towards Freddy, my third-grade boyfriend, while my husband lay serenely unbothered by his own tortured cacophony. I love my husband. We spoon perfectly, taking comfort in one another’s warm, pliant presence. Randy and I watch TV shows and tennis tournaments in bed, snuggled with our small mutt Zadie, all of us munching popcorn. Awake, we’re blissful. But turn off the lights, shut off the electronics, and we join the ranks of couples contemplating divorce. Sleep divorce, that is....
Lulu and Me

LuLu and Us

I've had plenty of time to observe the dog walking parades everywhere throughout Covid and the runway of breeds to choose from is endless. But the dog that gets me crouching and cooing are these little golden doodles.   Shamelessly, I barely look at the human at the end of the leash and talk directly to the puppy and just listen for the answer.  "Oh you are the cutest, you are so cute." And then, in the rudest of unapologetic behaviors I nod to the ancillary human asking -- "Are you empty nested, how did you decide to get a pup?" And so the stories begin.  My interviewing  of humans has been a courage building process. I have unconsciously been looking for the one thing that will push me to over ride my better instincts and my husband which are screaming at me as to why it makes no sense to get a dog now....
Taking a nap

I Sleep Around. And I’m Shameless

This past year I started again. I hadn’t slept around in years but now I do It regularly. I relish the delicious illicitness, that feeling of surrendering to a higher power. The desire is overwhelming at times. When I succumb, I savor the sense that I’m slipping out of myself, completely letting go. I crave the cool Egyptian cotton or silken Italian leather beneath my bare skin before giving myself over. I confess. I’m a slave to the nap. I’d like to blame the pandemic. The fear of catching a potentially fatal illness. Or losing someone else to it. Maybe it’s age. I’m 65. I’ve lived a lot. Run too many miles, hit too many tennis balls, worked too many all-nighters. But I think it’s more a capitulation, an acknowledgement that it’s okay to be tired. Napping has become my friend....