Decide what Spirituality means to You

 

Spirituality: picturesque found in Rome

Sound easy?

The spirituality topic has been debated, questioned, studied, taunted, scorned and heralded throughout the ages.

We’re not going to join that debate.

What does spirituality mean to you personally?

As a point of information, the question here is not “what is spirituality” but what does “spirituality mean to you personally.”

Much of the retirement suggestion material in richlyaged.com posts deals with the new you and who you will be in retirement.  Our entire focus is to promote positive aging.

How does spirituality impact positive aging?

Spirituality: found in the ethereal in Spain

Is there a connection between positive aging and spirituality?

Two viewpoints are shared below. Click the link to University of Minnesota  spirituality study.

Spirituality may help you live longer.

An exhaustive review that compared spirituality and religiousness to other health interventions found that people with a strong spiritual life had an 18% reduction in mortality

Spiritual people make healthier choices.

Adhering to a particular spiritual tradition may bring an indirect health benefit because many traditions have rules about treating the body with kindness and avoiding unhealthy behaviors.

So in the discussion of what spirituality means to us, on an individual level, we find important components in our spiritual aging process:

  1. developing wisdom
  2. letting go gracefully
  3. unconditional love

How you define your own spirituality doesn’t necessarily need to have a label. You just need to be able to recognize it.

pompei
Spirituality: found in the ornate in Pompei

What determines your spirituality?

Many times we are too hurried and busy in our careers. We are consumed with parenthood and other relationships and we want to scream STOP! Time seems too tight to develop wisdom, compassion and unconditional love.

As mentioned in an earlier post,”hurry is the enemy of love.”  Love requires time; time to listen, to understand to support. In our later life, the retired one, we have more time to look for and listen to our spirituality.

My Spirituality Story

On a personal level, I grew up in a household that didn’t practice religion.  My mother and I attended church occasionally in a Midwestern legalistic religious setting. My dad and brother stayed home.

I thought hymns were difficult to sing and sermons were an opportunity to get to draw pictures on the church bulletin. Finding the hymnal page was hard but not as hard as understanding the words.  No one near me could follow those hymns either, especially the second and third verses.

Most of all, I wanted to be able to raise my hand on Monday mornings at elementary school. My third grade teacher asked for a show of hands for how many kids attended Sunday school.  Those who attended got a gold star on the Attendance Bulletin Board.   Those who didn’t attend felt crummy. But I knew that I had a spirituality inside me.

Spirituality: found in the majestic at the Tetons

For years I was a seeker. I visited churches wherever I went.

Sometimes, when you have a “can do attitude” and are a “survivor”, (whatever that means) you develop a tenacity that feels you can do it all “on your own”. You don’t need any help.  You’ve succeeded by your own abilities. I think I fell into that category. Finally, I reached a point in my adult life when I could no longer do it all “on my own.”

What I tell friends now is that my adult children prayed me into church.  It’s true.  I was ready.

  • This time, the simple heartfelt contemporary songs really were prayers.
  • The sermons really were written especially for me.
  • I left this all accepting sanctuary with a fullness that helped me come closer to my Father with a peace and calm I hadn’t experienced before.
  • I no longer have to take care of things to “on my own”.  I don’t need to.

I’m embracing my spirituality, my new found peace and gratitude.  Though, even at this age, I’m still a daily work in progress.

So what?

Spirituality: found in simplicity at Ground Zero NYC

This is my experience. Doesn’t need to be anyone else’s. There are lots of studies about being a believer and the impact on positive aging.  There are probably an equal number that champion the opposite viewpoint.

Everyone gets to make that determination on their own.  Just sayin’.

Dixie

  Retire from work, but not from life.
— M.K. Soni

$70 increase: Senior Lifetime National Parks Pass

 

Seniors! Shop now for your Lifetime National Park pass before the increase.

Important Information:  Senior Lifetime Pass for National Parks increases from $10 to $80 August 27, 2017.  If you are 62 or older, buy your pass before August 27, 2017.  The lifetime pass increases from $10 to $80 in one month.

If you have a current lifetime Senior Pass, you may continue to use. If you lose it, you will need to replace it at the new fee.

Best way now to get the Senior Pass

The increase announcement has caused a backlog of mail and online purchases.  The ideal way to obtain the pass before the increase is to visit your nearest Federal park facility.  Follow this link to find your nearest National parks by states.  You will need to provide a photo ID, driver’s license or passport.

 Question:   How much does a National Park pass for seniors usually cost?

National Parks offer Majestic Adventures

The Senior Pass is available either by mail or in person at many federal recreational sites. The mail-in application requires an extra $10 document-processing fee. To find site locations or mailing information, Web users can click Buy Recreation Passes at USGS.gov. 

At vehicle-fee sites, Senior Pass holders and their passengers in non-commercial vehicle can enter for free. At sites that charge per person, the Senior Pass allows up to three other people in the pass holder’s vehicle to enter the site for free.

U.S. citizens or permanent residents of age 62 or older are eligible for a senior pass. The pass provides access to over 2,000 sites. Pass holders are eligible for discounts on other amenities, including guided tours and campsite fees. The pass comes in the form of a hang tag, which can be displayed on the dashboard or rear-view mirror of a closed vehicle or as a decal for use in open-top vehicles.

To repeat; If you have a current lifetime Senior Pass, you may continue to use. If you lose it, you will need to replace it at the new fee. So hang on to it!

Question:  How do you get a senior discount pass for state parks?

National Park Babbling Brook

Policies on senior discounts for state parks vary by state. In most states, a discount pass is available to those age 62 or older. Usually these passes can be purchased by mail or through the state’s Parks and Recreation website.  Check this link to ensure that the quoted amounts are still valid.

As an example, in California, seniors can get discounts at state parks simply by showing their valid photo ID. The “Golden Bear Pass” is available to seniors receiving SSI or CalWorks aid. This pass costs only five dollars for each calendar year and allows the bearer and their spouse entry to most state parks without having to pay a vehicle usage fee.

Vermont’s “Green Mountain Passport” is available to seniors who are Vermont residents for only two dollars. This pass provides free day use for life to seniors aged 62 or older and to honorably discharged military veterans.

Seniors aged 65 or older in Missouri only need to show their valid photo ID at campsites to get a discount of two dollars per night.

Find additional questions and answers about the increased fee.

For more questions and answers on the new fee increase follow this link, USGS Update

Questions about why the fee jumped and information about other benefits included with the Senior Pass are discussed.

My recent story about National Park passes

J.N. “Ding Darling” National Wildlife Refuge
Sanibel, Florida

We are visiting Rocky Mountain National Park at the end of the summer.   I checked back to my previous National Park article, went to USGS and was surprised to find the increase.

I visited the National listing for parks in each state (link above) and found the nearest location to me in Florida. Called the number to confirm that Senior passes were available, what they required for identification and their hours.

We drove to J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and purchased our passes in the Nature Gift Store. They looked at our photo drivers licenses took our $10 per pass and issued us our cards.

In Summary

The transaction took five minutes.  While there, we used our passes to do the driving tour through the beautiful refuge.  Everyone was pleasant and helpful.

Get your pass as soon as possible.  Remember, If you lose it, you will need to replace it at the new fee. So hang on to it!

Dixie

writers@richlyaged.com

richlyaged.com

Share Your Talents – Reach out to others

Share your gardening talents with others. Brighten their day.

Reaching out to others is important to your happiness.  Sharing your talents and skills will benefit both the receiver of your talents and you as the giver. Volunteer gigs were covered in our February post. Taking care of the elderly (however old elderly is?) is one way to share our good fortune with others.

But I am not necessarily talking about structured volunteer opportunities or about monetary sharing.  I’m talking about the sharing you can do from your own home. More like sharing plants, cookies, books, magazines, laughter, game playing and most importantly time.

Share your sweetness with neighbors and friends.

Share your talents.  You have a wonderful set of skills.  Different from anyone else’s. Share those skills whenever you want to. What would that look like?

  1. Are you a good cook?
  2. Do you like to bake?
  3. Is gardening a gift you have?
  4. Can you sing?
  5. Do you have the knack of remembering and delivering a good joke?
  6. Are you always crocheting something?
  7. Do you like to work jigsaw puzzles?
  8. Are you a talented woodworker? Birdhouses?
  9. Do you have computer skills?
  10. Do you have a green thumb?
  11. Can you handle a screwdriver?
  12. Are you a thrift store guru?

What’s your special talent?

Sometimes we get great pleasure from creating something.  Anything.  But the four dozen cookies we just baked are too many to sync with our Fitness goals defined previously in one of our fitness posts Share them.  Wrap them up along with the recipe and deliver them to folks who live alone or those that have small children and working parents.

An example of sharing tips

Love to crochet, knit or sew? Let’s look at crocheting afghans.

  • There are only so many Afghans you can make in so many color combinations to go with your home’s interior.
  • Create a list of friends and families whose homes you’ve visited
  • Make some notes on their color combinations and make that a long term goal for your favorite everyday past time.
  • Once your yarn construction is finished you can visit them for a little chat and “spin a little more yarn.”  They will be thrilled and you feel great.
  • Still have Afghans left? Donate to the blanket drives for the homeless.
Share the warmth of friendship.

Gardening from seed requires patience but the product you receive is good quality and abundant. Cuttings from existing plants are also nice for sharing.  Repot those little treasures and share them with neighbors and friends along with a small card that describes the plant and the care needed.  Every time they tend their little gift, they will think of you and how you care for them.

Making a roast or a large casserole sometimes exceeds our personal needs.  Share the rest with those that have only themselves to cook for. Same goes for baking pies and cakes. It will be a wonderful change and so well received.  Or if you don’t cook or bake, exchange handy man jobs with friends for their cooking excesses.  Everyone gains and a little camaraderie is thrown in for good measure.

What about your beautiful singing voice?  Other than Christmas caroling, it’s a little harder to bust into song on someone’s front porch.  Sharing your singing talent may be better utilized in an organized singing group that goes from place to place.  You may be able to work in a few jokes while performing.

Sharing equals Win/Win

The act of sharing,  gifts both you and the receiver.  This too is a win-win situation.   Wouldn’t life be great if all our interactions worked out like that?

 Make a list, however short, of your special talents.  Then make a list of friends, neighbors and acquaintenances that you would like to gift. Follow through on the example above. They will be appreciative and you will feel happy for them.

Let that be your win-win goals.  Would you like some cookies?

Dixie

writers@richlyaged.com

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