Archive for September, 2008

Women Over Fifty—Dowdy is Dead!

Posted on September 23, 2008. Filed under: Aging With Attitude | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I happened across an article in USA Today that addresses much of the frustration many of us feel when attempting to find a new outfit that flatters our figure and lifts our mood. These days, this feat isn’t so easy to achieve.

Although I tend towards casually conservative clothing, preferring tailored jackets paired with pants, I do want something that’s got some pizzazz and is relatively stylish. It seems that retailers can’t quite hit the mark for many of us boomers. Styles tend to be either frumpy and outdated, or too young and way out. And some of the higher end brands that might fit the bill are so expensive that many of us cringe when we read the price tag. It may well be a sign of age, but I just can’t see spending $600 and upwards on a jacket I might only wear for a very few special occasions.

Plus, often times, the clothes don’t fit my postmenopausal shape. I don’t know about you, but my middle is mounting a substantial presence. My pear shape is morphing into an apple and this transformation is making waistbands a thing of the past.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, it seems that retailers are finally getting the message and realizing that boomer women are a huge economic force. Although recent downturns are hitting many of us hard, we still have more spending clout than other age demographics and we retain our “forever young” spirit. Talbots, Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale’s and other ready-to-wear emporiums are, at long last, seeing the light and shifting their fashion focus to address our needs. Dowdy is dead—or, at the least, it looks like the drab days are numbered. A welcome and long awaited passing, I might add.

In fact, your next outfit might be one that actually flatters, fits, and makes you feel like the sexy, with-it, fabulous, and feisty gal you know you are. We boomers are just getting started on the second season in life and we need a wardrobe to match our indomitable spirit and style. Glory hallelujah—it’s about time!

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Women Over Fifty—5 Teasers for Your Brain

Posted on September 19, 2008. Filed under: Of Mind and Matter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In a recent post, I talked about cross-training your brain. Following up on that theme, I thought it might be fun to tease your little gray cells a bit. Here are five riddles that ought to challenge your synapses to fire with stimulation. So take a gander, give them your best, and then scroll down to see the answers.

1. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires. The second is full of assassins with loaded guns. The third is full of lions that haven’t eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him? 

2. A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be? 

 3. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away? 

 4. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday? 

 5. This is an unusual paragraph. I’m curious as to just how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it. It looks so ordinary and plain that you would think nothing was wrong with it. In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is highly unusual though. Study it and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out. Try to do so without any coaching! 

THE ANSWERS TO ALL FIVE RIDDLES ARE BELOW: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The third room. Lions that haven’t eaten in three years are dead. That one was easy, right? 

2. The woman was a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, 

developed it, and hung it up to dry (shot; held under water; and hung). 

3. Charcoal, as it is used in barbecuing. 

4. Sure you can name three consecutive days– yesterday, today, and tomorrow! 

5. The letter e, which is the most common letter used in the English language, does not appear even once in the paragraph.

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Women Over Fifty—Hurray for Old Broads!

Posted on September 16, 2008. Filed under: Aging With Attitude | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Okay—our girlish assets might be slipping just a tiny bit and it seems the migration south has settled firmly around our waistlines and our hips. But, despite such physical rites of passage, our spirits are soaring ever higher as we grow into our ripe and robust splendor as women in our wisdom years.

We boomers share a long and glorious history of smashing typical female stereotypes—and we aren’t about to stop that now. So you won’t be finding meek and mild grannies in this generation of females over fifty. We’re just too busy pumping iron, starting businesses, writing books, or being actively involved in community and political affairs.

And we’re clearly more self-possessed, smarter, and more confident than in our earlier years: far less willing to be led around by the demands of others. More than that, we are truly coming into our own and it’s time to celebrate the dynamic and dynamite woman we are.

So make a pledge today that you will live your life to the very fullest, take risks so that you continue to stretch and grow, speak your mind with strength and clarity, and mount your own efforts to put the “grand” back into grandmother. We boomers are just the generation to make grey the new groovy and keep those good vibrations coming our way for many years to come!

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Women Over Fifty—Cross-Train Your Brain!

Posted on September 12, 2008. Filed under: Of Mind and Matter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Unfortunately, like the rest of our body, our brain can get a bit flabby with age. Yep, there’s no denying it—going gray doesn’t necessarily help the little gray cells. But the good news is that we can do something about it!

Just like lifting weights on a regular basis is good for muscle tone, routinely lifting mental weights is good for toning up your gray matter. Mental tasks that require focus and concentration are thought to stimulate and even generate new connections between brain cells. The more complex this web like activity, the sharper and more alert you’ll be.

And, just like exercise physiologists suggest you cross-train your body so that certain muscles don’t become over used while others are ignored, brain specialists recommend the same idea. Even mentally stimulating activities that don’t stretch your abilities and knowledge aren’t all that helpful because they’ll consistently exercise only a certain part of your brain. In order to maximize your potential, you need to vary your mental workouts.

So, try some new things. Even simple activities like putting together a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle, memorizing the words to a song, or brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand will tickle the synapses and make them very happy campers. Variety is the spice of life and an array of games and activities that require you to focus and learn new skills will certainly spice up your brainpower!

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Women Over Fifty—Your Encore Career

Posted on September 10, 2008. Filed under: Careers at Midlife, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m reading a fascinating book, ENCORE: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life, by Marc Freeman.

Here are some of his thoughts:

Retirement as we’ve known it is in the midst of being displaced as the central institution of the second half of life.  It’s being supplanted by a new stage of life opening up between the end of midlife and the arrival of true old age, a period that essentially amounts to the second half of life, at least adult life.  And that’s just the half of it:  The new phase under development is every bit as much a new stage of work.

 We now know that baby boomers are going to work longer than their parents did, whether they have to or want to, or most likely of all, will be propelled to extended working lives by some combination of the two.  Four out of five boomers consistently tell researchers that they expect to work well into what used to be known as the retirement years.  And half of those between 50 and 70 say that they want to do work that improves life in their communities.

The movement of millions of these individuals into a new phase of work constitutes one of the most significant transformations in work this country has witnessed since millions of women broke through to new roles in the labor market, roles that had been off-limits to their mothers’ generation.  And much like the movement of women into the workplace, boomers’ extended stay on the job is likely to have reverberations for all generations and for the very nature of work in America.

Longer working lives bring with them many potential benefits for individuals—a longer time to earn and save, as well as purpose, structure, physical and mental health, and an expanding social circle. The people I profile in the book and many others are finding encore careers doing the most important and rewarding work in their lives.  It’s not easy, but they are questioning their values, following their passions, rethinking their training, networking, volunteering as a way to paid employment, and selling their experience as an asset. Today’s typical 55- or 60-year-old is not interested in heading permanently for the sidelines.

Interesting stuff—and, yes, we boomers will continue to change the world. Our Encore careers will be one more major movement to add to our legendary list of far-reaching accomplishments. What a generation!!! 

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