Believe in Something Bigger than Yourself

Peace, a Florida sunset

Believe in something bigger than yourself.  Look outside yourself and your immediate surroundings.  We’ve been on a long journey in our work life and we’ve come to an ending only to begin anew.

Practice Optimism!   You’ve had a productive career.  You are finally reaching the “golden years.”  Sure, there are some things we wished we still had.  Like, maybe a waist!!  But for the most part, we are reaping what we sowed.

Let’s take stock

  • Did we exercise enough along the way?
  • Did we eat healthily?
  • Did we put away enough money (whatever that elusive amount equates to?)
  • Have we developed interests outside of “work life?”
  • Do we have healthy relationships with friends and family?

Whether it’s a result of life style or genetics, little things that crop up start to bother us. Subtle reminders that aging is an inevitable process that has inevitable results. As a result of physical, mental or external events, balance may seem just a little out of reach.

Realizing and accepting the reality of change enables you to “keep on keeping on” while choosing the best perspective to maintain that balance and peace.  This is the point where you choose to see the glass as half full…not half empty.

Let’s do a little recap:

In prior Richly Aged…and Loving Life blogposts, we’ve offered common sense suggestions for playing nice with others…in other words, keeping healthy relationships with our “tribe” of friends, associates and family.

In nature; Symmetry and balance

We’ve given a variety of ideas that dealt with ways to keep physically fit and by association, mentally fit. And, we’ve nourished a host of suggestions with diet tips and easily accessible resources.

Blend those tips together and apply to your new beginning and the future is nothing but bright for the real you. Again, a matter of perspective. Now let’s look outward.

Choose your Perspective 

Someone wise, but evidently not with a very memorable name, said “Youth is wasted on the young.”  I think that maybe what they really meant was that youth should last for an entire lifetime. And maybe, to a degree, with good planning, it can.  That choice is up to you with the approach you take in this next life phase.

A lot of success in our lives is about choices.  Choice was a luxury you didn’t necessarily get to use at work.  Whether you chose to perform a task or not wasn’t a choice.  Your attitude was always a choice.

In retirement whether you perform a task or not is your choice just as your attitude is a choice.  I may hate cleaning the bathrooms at home but love the idea that I get to be at home instead of at work and I can do this when I want to. For many, the tradeoff is worth it.  Easy attitude choice.

In previous posts, we discussed surrounding ourselves with people who have positive attitudes and life affirming outlooks.  As much as we want to be around that kind of person…the reverse is also true.

Remember the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy?”  It was a #1 hit in 1988 and was by Bobby McFerrin.  Choosing a “Be Happy” attitude rather than Winnie the Pooh’s friend, Eeyore’s, “Poor Me” attitude will be like a magnet to others and a boost to yourself.  Another choice that’s win-win.

Believe in something bigger than yourself

It’s time to look around you. In retirement you have more “looking around” time.  There’s more to life than your “busyness.”  Difficult to shift those gears after the rigid schedule of day to day work life, the commute and the responsibilities at home. But certainly, the difficult in this case is attainable.

Taking the time to look outward and upward and realize that you are not alone is a calming and peaceful gift.  Considering spiritualty and humankind and the “why”of it all reminds me of lines from one of my favorite poems.

Renascence by Edna St, Vincent Millay

“All I could see from where I stood

Was three long mountains and a wood;

I turned and looked another way,

And saw three islands in a bay.

So with my eyes I traced the line

Of the horizon, thin and fine,

Straight around till I was come

Back to where I’d started from;

And all I saw from where I stood

Was three long mountains and a wood.”  

This is only the first ten lines out of 200 plus lines in her beautiful poem.  Click on the link above or here and enjoy the rest of Renascence.

What do you believe in that is bigger than yourself?

Leave a comment in the comment box or send an email,  writers@richlyaged.com, about your experiences  moving into the next phase of your life.

Dixie

Richlyaged.com

Western Caribbean: Cruising Near or Far

Fun Time on Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Western Caribbean: Cruising Near or Far is a sequel to Travel Near or Far, posted on  richlyaged.com on April23,2017.

The April post described our 2015 twenty-day relocation cruise to Rome. 

Today’s post concerns a week cruise in the Western Caribbean on Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Both trips were great fun and easily accessible for active adults.

Our most recent trip was just before summer 2017. We travelled with our  good friends and neighbors for an easy-going kind of camaderie. Check out this link below.

Norwegian’s seven-day Western Caribbean cruise.

This trip includes the following ports:

  • Depart Tampa, Florida (only a 1.5 hour drive north of our homes.) Smaller ships can travel out of Tampa, as opposed to the Florida east coast ports.  The Tampa “Sky Bridge” prohibits ships that are as large as the MSC ship we travelled on to Rome.  They are too tall to pass under the bridge.  Plus, it’s so easy to find the port in Tampa, park and board the ship.
  • Day at sea, with adjoining balconies.  Great food, accommodations, entertainment, swimming  and balcony views.
  • Port:  Cozumel, Mexico where we snorkeled off shore and partied on our snorkeling boat.  Yes, we saw colorful fish,
    Beautiful friends and beautiful area of our world.

    and lots of sand and reef.  Yes, the margaritas tasted great when we returned to our boat, were hosed down and dried off.

  • Port:  Costa Maya where we swam with the dolphins in the lagoon, shopped and visited the Fish Spa.  The
    Introduction to the Dolphins before swimming together

    dolphins were amazing, gentle and so smart. The trainer showed everyone the hand commands and had them try the commands with the dolphins.

    In addition, they demonstrated letting the dolphin push you by your foot while you lay on your stomach on a “boogie board.”   The second round was grabbing the dolphin’s dorsal fin as they swam by at surprising speed. They are amazing!

    Yes we did. ‘Fish food’for the fish spa.
  • Secondly, in Costa Maya, we visited the Fish Spa and provided the “foot fish food” for the tiny Turkish Groupers. After having our feet scoured and sterilized, these little fish were both tickly and attentive.
  • Port: Roatan, Honduras, zip lining.  We arrived after an entertaining and
    Ziplining in the jungle. Woo Hoo

    perilously fun bus trip up into the jungle. We were outfitted by a great crew with all our zip line garb. Then we were instructed for our three-mile, twelve separate zip-line runs.  Really beautiful, fun and exhilarating.

  • Harvest Caye, private island in Belize. Norwegian has
    Harvest Caye, one of Norwegian’s beautiful private Islands.

    another private island in the Caribbean but this one is new. It’s equipped nicely and laid out well.

    It included a beautiful beach, balmy breezes, white sand and fun blow-up water sides.  There was also a huge pool with floating bar, fancy umbrella drinks, lots of colorful shops, restaurant buffets. Outdoor showers and misters were randomly placed to keep you cooled off.

    Happy, rested and on the way home. Happy Cruisers.
  • Day at Sea, heading North to Tampa. We were able to try some dancing and entertainment throughout the ship.
  • Disembark Tampa.  What  a great time! Can we go again?

In Summary

We live in America, a beautiful country with several beautiful seas surrounding us.; Pacific, Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.  Enjoy these ports rich with

Make new friends after swinging through the trees.

history, tradition and natural beauty.

Consider traveling near and far.

Consider trying new things and making new friends.

We’ve cruised with Norwegian many times and several other cruise lines as well.  As I mentioned in my previous post in April, it’s really convenient, easy and economical when you live in southern Florida.

All of these adventures add to being Richly Aged in retirement…and Loving Life.

Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences.   Meantime, take care and enjoy smooth sailing!

Dixie , RichlyAged…and Loving life

writers@richlyaged.com

richlyaged.com

 

 

 

Fourth of July. Independence Day. So What???

Fireworks. Fourth of July Independence Day Celebration!

What does Fourth of July and freedom mean to us Americans in this 21st century?

Celebration of Independence Day!

Fourth of July is more than watermelon, homemade ice cream and fireworks. But not to a ten-year-old girl growing up in Southern Indiana.  It was all those things and more.

My Aunt and Uncle owned a farm, where they grew chickens, dairy cows, and nurtured a garden where they grew vegetables including corn. It was a great farm and always a treat to visit them and hangout with our family.

My brother and I would spend the day playing croquette in the front yard with our cousins, playing in the hayloft and then taking turns cranking the arm on the old

Home made ice cream!YUM!

wooden ice cream mixer.  That ice cream resulted from milking the cows which we got to help with. Their garden supplied lots of corn on the cob. Crispy fried chicken accounted for a couple less chickens in the chicken yard.  My parents brought the fireworks and the watermelon.

Just to put this in context, this was the age before air conditioning.  Also the age of very few television programs, certainly no cell phones or video games.  Our movie experiences were going to the Drive In and taking our own popcorn then playing on the playground during intermission. Our cooling-off treat was running through the hose and catching fireflies at night in a mason jar. This was just plain fun as we celebrated our lives and the independence of our nation.

Independence from what?

4th Of July. Independence Day.  So what?  We Americans, as far as we can remember in today’s generation have always been free.  Haven’t we?

The original freedom problem was in 1776 when we fought the British for the colonies’ independence from England and the control of the King.  Wasn’t it???  So what does freedom really mean to us??

I remember my grandmother telling me the reasons we celebrate Independence Day.  What will you tell your grandkids?

The Fourth of July is our country’s birthday. When grandchildren ask why? Tell them what happened on July 4, 1776. That was the day our country’s founders declared independence from Great Britain, the King and all that entails.

Click the link for this really good web site for these answers and others that our grandchildren or nieces and nephews may ask.

http://www.grandparents.com/grandkids/holiday-activities-and-crafts/7-ways-to-teach-patriotism-to-your. Grandparents.com

Wasn’t the Revolutionary War, where we defeated the British? That war was the backlash for America’s Declaration of Independence.   What about that Declaration of Independence?  What did that document mean to the fledgling United States?

Let’s review our 7th grade U.S. History class. This link will take you to the Declaration of Independence of 1776. http://www.ushistory.org/Declaration/document/

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —

These United States. Symbols

And while we’re waving our flags at the town parade. What about the flag?

When you talk to your grandkids about Independence Day, explain that each part of the flag stands for something. The 50 stars stand for the 50 states. The 13 stripes stand for the 13 original colonies, which declared their independence on July 4, 1776. Tell them that the flag is a symbol — a way to show respect and a united front.  It’s also a way to show the world what we stand for.

What about Lady Liberty?

Lady Liberty. What does she stand for?

Guarding the entrance to New York Harbor on Liberty Island, the 305-foot (93-meter) Statue of Liberty came to the United States as a gift from France to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Lady Liberty has been a symbol of democracy and hope for the United States since 1886.

Happy Independence Day!

Sixty three years have passed since that ten-year-old girl played croquet and churned the ice cream mixer.

Thank you founding fathers for the foresight and perseverence, against many odds and for creating the cornerstone of our great nation.

Now that we’ve covered all that stuff, could someone please pass the homemade ice cream??  The Fireworks are about to start.

Dixie

 

writers@richlyaged.com

 

 

 

 

Handle Stress in Retirement

Okay, if you’ve been following along, you are now immersed in healthy exercise, life sustaining food programs, great relationships with husbands, wives, children, siblings, in-laws friends and neighbors.

We’ve identified hundreds of opportunities to learn and explore and volunteer and travel, and best of all….we’re retired.

Why stress? You’ve’ reached Nirvana. Retirement.  Right?

stress?
Stressed? Need a break? It happens to all of us.

Every life has stress.  It can’t be avoided.  Sometimes it comes from big events like job changes, moving, or the death of someone we love.  Sometimes, though, it comes from small, but chronic, events like a neighborhood dog who barks continually or a colleague who just drives us crazy.

Let me give you my most recent nemesis and causer of great stress.

Water flowing through my laundry room and over my bare feet, inside the house.  The water heater sprung a geyser and surprise, no spill pan under it.   Nothing $600 won’t cure.

Stress isn’t all bad, of course.  It’s the thing that compels us to action when we need to do something about a bad situation – like getting away from an angry dog, for instance.  But when stress becomes chronic, we can be overwhelmed.

According to Dr. Oz, in his book You: The Owner’s Manual, too much stress can affect our health negatively.  It can even cause us to age earlier than we should.  But stress can be managed, and it’s not terribly difficult to do.  It doesn’t take a whole lot of time or any special equipment.  Here are some other suggestions for managing stress.

Life is good! How you view it is a choice.
Take a deep breath and try these tips.
  • Identify your stressors. If you’re feeling overwhelmed you may not even know what is making your feel so anxious.  Keeping a stress log will help you identify what is bothering you and enable you to come up with strategies to modify or eliminate those things.

 

  • Enjoy your friends.  Sometimes we’re so busy we put our friends on the back burner.  It’s good for you to spend face-to-face time with people you trust and like.  Take the time to interact.  Call a friend for coffee or meet for dinner.

 

  • Laugh.  Laughing is really good for you.  It reduces your anxiety and tension.  Watch some funny movies or read a funny book.  Go for at least five big belly laughs a day.

 

  • Take a walk or engage in some other form of exercise.  There’s nothing like a walk to take your mind off your troubles.

 

  • Breathe deeply.  When we’re stressed, we tend to breath in a shallow way.  Simply slowing down our breathing and concentrating on our own breath for as little as five minutes can be a great stress reducer.

 

  • Learn to meditate.  Dr. Oz suggests that all we need for meditation is a quiet room and about fifteen or twenty minutes.  He tells us to partially close our eyes, concentrate on our breathing, and repeat the same word – one or um or ohm or whatever word you want.  The word helps to keep us focused, but don’t worry if other thoughts intrude, just acknowledge them and go back to your breath.

 

  • Take a relaxing bath.

    In the long run,  “this too shall pass.”

Make sure to get enough sleep.  It’s difficult to feel calm when you are exhausted.

 

  • Be kind to yourself.  Limit your self-judgment.  Be at least as nice to yourself as you’d be to a friend.
  • Ask for help if you need it.  You don’t have to do everything all by yourself.
  • Stop trying to multi-task and do one thing at a time.  That’s all you can really do anyway.
  • Hang out with positive people.  Avoid people who make you crazy!
  • Unplug as often as you can.  You don’t need to be attached to your phone 24/7.
  • Know and accept your limits.  It’s OK to say no.
  • Start a gratitude journal.  Focusing on the good in your life helps to reduce stress.

Stress free zone

There you have it.  These are just some ideas for getting started with the journey toward optimum health. There is a great deal of wonderful information out there to help you with your commitment to fitness.  On RichlyAged.com , we’ve tried to do some of the research for you.  Let’s not forget.  You are retired and you now have time to be good to you!

As with all journeys, this one begins with a single step and that’s the acceptance of the idea that obtaining optimum health is within your control. You make the decisions about your diet, your fitness and your stress levels.  You don’t have to do it all at once.

In fact, it’s much wiser to make a few small changes and then a few more.  A few changes practiced consistently toward a better diet and a more active lifestyle will give you big benefits in a short time and lead you to the vibrant and healthy life.  Oh and by the way, chill out!

Dixie

richlyaged.com

writers @richlyaged.com.

 

 

Discover your Exercise Style and Stick With It!

First find something that you love to do . . .

Find something you love to do. It’s fun and it’s good for you!

In our last post you took a quiz to discover your ideal diet.  Here are a couple of quizzes to help you discover your exercise style and stick with it!  All it takes is finding something you love.

When I was 30, my husband and I moved to New Hampshire.  I did no exercise at all.  In fact, I got a side ache when I tried to walk only a short mile home after dropping my car off for service.  The whole thing was made worse by living through my first New Hampshire winter after living in Texas.   I mostly stayed under the covers reading books and eating peanut butter sandwiches.  I gained over 20 pounds that winter!  As the weather began to warm, my fit next-door neighbor took pity on me and invited me to take a walk.

We began slowly, just walking around the neighborhood, but soon we were walking five-miles-an-hour through the lovely New Hampshire countryside.  The walking made me feel good.  It gave me energy and a sense of control.  The conversation that I shared with my new friend as we walked made it even more fun. That simple invitation to walk led me to fall in love with exercise.

Soon, I joined a gym and added classes and working with weights to the mix.  Over the next 38 years, I’ve engaged in many kinds of exercise, but all of it has been fun.  I only do things that are fun for me. That’s the point.  We need to find things we love to do.  That way, we’re in it for the long haul.  I still do some kind of exercise six days a week.

Exercise is the best medicine . . .

Here’s another success story.  Dixie and I have a friend named Jim who retired and wanted to learn a new sport.  So he took up tennis, playing several times a week.  At his prior yearly physical, he had been told that he had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.

After six months of playing tennis, but doing nothing else different, Jim went back to the doctor where he discovered that his blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar were all within the normal range.  When he told his physician that the only thing he’d done differently was to play tennis, the doctor said maybe he should get a racket and take up the game too!  It turned out that playing tennis was the best medicine.

“TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. IT’S THE ONLY PLACE YOU HAVE TO LIVE.”  Jim Rohn

This isn’t about holding your nose and doing something awful that is good for you.  It’s about finding something you love to do and enjoying it most days of the week.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Dance by yourself or in a class (line dancing, ballroom dancing, tap dancing, ballet, aerobics, Zumba).
  • Walk briskly with a friend or with your spouse or by yourself.  Walk around your house during commercials.
  • Jog or run.
  • Take an aerobics class.
  • Explore Yoga or Pilates.
  • Swim or just walk or run in the pool.  It’s great for your joints.
  • Take a hike.  Enjoying nature makes this all even better.
  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Hire a personal trainer and develop a personal workout.
  • Begin lifting some weights.  Even cans out of your pantry will work.
  • Buy an exercise video and do it in the privacy of your own home.
  • Find an exercise program on television and do it three or four times a week.
  • Join a running group and begin to train.
  • Consider kayaking or canoeing.

    Learn to Tango! Dancing is great exercise.
  • And here are a few more . . .

  • Learn a new sport.   Golf?  Bocce?  Shuffleboard?  Pickle Ball?
  • Play tennis.
  • Walk the golf course.
  • Do something again that you used to enjoy.  Racquetball.  Volleyball.  Softball.
  • Train for a race.
  • Walk your dog.
  • Take a spin class.  You can go at your own pace and it gives great fitness results.
  • Find a new winter sport – skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing.
  • Try out rock or wall climbing.
  • Join a fitness challenge.  It’s a great way to stay motivated for a set period of time.
  • Take a Boot Camp class.  Some people love them!
  • Subscribe to a fitness magazine.  It will inspire you.
  • Keep a fitness journal.  How far did you walk, run, ski, and swim?  How did you feel?
  • Set some measurable fitness goals.
  • Reward yourself – not with food – but perhaps with a new workout outfit or some particularly nice golf balls.

Then stick with exercise for the long term . . .

 Once you’ve found something – or many things – you like to do, keep doing them.  You’ll see benefits within a very few weeks.  Amazingly enough, older people who begin exercising gain more benefits than those who are younger.  Aside from the obvious health benefits, you’ll gain a sense of pride and accomplishment from taking charge of your health.  Here are some things to help you stick with it.

  • Bring a friend along.  It’s always fun to do something together.
  • Make it competitive.  Some people enjoy exercise more when it’s part of a competition.
  • Join a team.  Once you’ve made that commitment, you’re required to show up.
  • Use music or podcasts to inspire your workouts.  Studies show that listening to music while running, for instance, makes exercise seem easier.
  • Join a gym or your local YMCA.  You’ll have some skin in the game, and you’ll make friends in the classes, as well.
  • Create a fitness journal to chart your progress.
  • Reward yourself with something big if you do something big.  When we finally stopped smoking, we went on a cruise!

Let us know about your own journey toward fitness!  We’d love to share it.

Pam

writers@richlyaged.com

Finding Your Ideal Diet and 10 Tips for Weight Loss Success

Finding your Ideal Diet

Dieting success is 80% diet and 20% exercise.

There are plenty of diets out there.  Just check out those magazines as you wait in line at the super market.  Every magazine has a diet on the cover.  It’s our national obsession.   I saw one this week that guaranteed a 38-pound weight loss in one week!

Let’s see, there’s the low-carb, high-fat, the low-fat, high carb, the Mediterranean, the every-other-day diet, the no-sugar diet, and too many more to count.  The truth is that they all can work, though I’m leery of that 38-pound claim, but the real secret is to find the diet that works for you.

I’m not going to describe them all here, but check this link to see the most successful diets of 2017. They all sound good to me in theory, but how do they work in the real world?

What Works in the Real World?

I hadn’t seen my friend Annie for several months when she hopped out of the car for a tennis match looking a svelte 26 pounds lighter!  She said she had decided simply to count calories – 1400 a day.  And she could eat whatever she wanted within that range – including two drinks in the evening.  That number of calories satisfied her and made the weight loss easy.  She’s also very active – playing tennis several times a week and walking every day.

Almost the same thing happened when I met my sister-in-law for lunch after not seeing her for a time.  She’d lost 22 pounds with Weight Watchers while working with a personal trainer.  Weight Watchers is her go-to diet.  It always works, and she looks great.

Dixie’s daughter, has had great success with a protein shake and nutritional program, again coupled with an ambitious weight-lifting program.  She’s lost more than 60 pounds and kept them off for more than three years.  She looks better in her 40’s than she did in her 20’s.

All three of these women found a particular diet that worked for them, and although they lost weight in different ways, they shared some common habits of successful dieters.  Here are some tips that can help you on your way.  All of these ideas come from Prevention Magazine.  Here’s a link to the complete article. 

Ten Tips for Weight Loss Success

Start with a Positive Attitude

This isn’t about what you can’t eat and you can’t do; it’s about how you choose to eat in a healthful way.  Definition is everything.

Plan

This will probably help you more than anything.  Consider what your week is going to be like and make sure you have the food and snacks that will make the week easy for you.

If you have a particularly busy week, maybe you could cook several meals on Sunday afternoon and they’d be there when you get home.  Also, if you have good snacks already organized, you won’t get too hungry which can destroy your best intentions.

Eat Breakfast Every Day

Most Americans don’t eat a good breakfast.  If you eat at least 250 calories of good protein, fat and carbs in the morning, you’ll be less hungry all day.

Drink Up

Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day.  Often we mistake thirst for hunger and would be satisfied with a tall glass of water.

Write It Down

There’s something about writing something down that makes us feel accountable.  If I have to write down that 200th chip, I’m less likely to eat it!

Slow Down

It takes about 15 minutes before our satiety response kicks in, so if we scarf down our entire meal in 10 minutes, we don’t even know we’re full.  This is a hard one for me.  I’ve tried all kinds of things – putting my fork down between bites, chewing every bite at least 20 times, even talking more.

I remember being told at a Weight Watcher’s Meeting once not to put something in my mouth while I still had something in my mouth.  I was surprised to find that I almost always put the next bite in before the first bite was gone!  If you’re going to eat a treat, take at least ten minutes to do it.

Breathe or Count Away Your Cravings

Try a few calming breaths or count to 100 until the immediate craving is gone.

Ditch your Baggy Clothes

It’s really easy to overeat when you wear those comfy sweats!  A tighter waistband makes it more difficult.

Don’t Get Too Hungry

Keep some good snacks around.  Have some veggies already cut up or buy them that way.  Eat before you go to the party.  Don’t starve yourself.

 

Finally, try adopting the 80/20 rule.  If you make good, nutritious, choices about 80% of the time, you’re going to succeed.  You don’t need to be perfect.

 

Good luck with finding the diet that works for you.  Here’s a quiz to help you find your best approach!

We’d love to have you share your successes with us.

Pam

writers@richlyaged.com