Monthly Archives: July 2016

Tip Please!

DON'TBefore I get started on today’s topic, this is the halfway point for what I had planned to do with this blog. If anyone out there is reading it and enjoying it, let me know and I may continue after I turn 60. I enjoy writing it and hope some of you have enjoyed reading it. It won’t be daily, but perhaps once a week. Just leave a quick comment below if you would read an old lady’s rantings for a while longer. Now, on to today’s post:

I am constantly struck by how stingy some people are, particularly with service professionals and wait staff. I’ve been in a nail salon where someone left a $2 tip on a $30 bill. Hair dressers, nail techs, aestheticians, and other service professionals have had schooling and other training to do well at their chosen profession. Tipping is important to show your appreciation for their expertise. Obviously, if you hate what they’ve done, perhaps you won’t tip, but I have not had that kind of experience. I appreciate the time they spend making me feel pretty and their knowledge in what will work with me and my lifestyle and preferences. I think at least 20% is a fair tip and often give much more than that to show my appreciation to them. One of the advantages of being a good tipper is extra good service–sometimes getting fit in at odd times that work for your crazy schedule, sometimes some extra glitter, sometimes a discount on product or service. But always appreciation for recognizing their expertise, and expertise it is. My beauty patrol (and it takes a whole lot of them!) are each experts in their field and are great at doing what it takes to make me look (and thus feel) good.

With respect to wait staff, I tip at least 20%. If you sit and watch them work, for the most part, they work their asses off and deal with incredibly rude people for their entire shift. If they are particularly attentive and nice, I could tip a little bit more.

I have never had a wait staff job, nor have I had to work in the beauty industry. I honestly don’t think I could do either. I have an extremely low tolerance for stupid and mean people and the first time someone yelled about something I have no control over, I would be done. So I have extra respect for those who can put up with that crap–and keep a smile on their face.

Don’t be a cheapskate. If you don’t have enough money to leave a decent tip, perhaps you shouldn’t be getting that service or eating at that restaurant in the first place. This is their chosen profession and they deserve to make a decent wage–just like you do.

Let Others Help You!

This isToday’s post is more of a “do what I say and not what I do” topic. Here’s a news flash: You can’t do it all! Whether it has to do with your job, your home, your car, or any other part of your life, you can’t physically, mentally, or emotionally handle every single task that needs to be done in every area of your life.

I might be able to figure out how to change the oil in my car, but that would require many hours of training, getting dirty, and going into an auto supply store to get supplies. I would MUCH rather pay someone who does that for a living and already has the knowledge, supplies, and tools to get it done in a ridiculously shorter amount of time that I could. My time is valuable too and I would so much rather spend it doing something other than working on my car. It is not my strength nor my passion, but it could be both for someone I’m swiping my card for.

I am currently seriously considering getting someone to do the deep cleaning in my house. I am far too busy with my crazy life and I don’t enjoy it. It is not fun for me and it makes me grumpy and that really isn’t worth it when I can rearrange finances to find money for that. I’ve worked hard for a long time to be able to do that. It’s just smarter for me to spend my time doing other things that make a difference for my family (and make me far less grumpy) than mopping floors and cleaning doggie noseprints off of every window in my house.

I obviously don’t have enough money to pay someone to do every single job that I dislike, but I can pick those that make the most sense and start there. And so can you. If you can’t afford someone to do the task you hate the most, can you trade with someone? There is probably someone you know who loves to do what you don’t and they may hate doing something you love to do. Back in the old days (even before me), bartering was part of everyone’s financial system. There isn’t anything that says you can’t continue that tradition.

Be creative! Figure out ways to let others help you do things that need to be done that you don’t have the energy, time, or desire to handle yourself. You deserve it and you need it to preserve your sanity. Even if you can only get someone once in a while, it will be helpful to you. And that makes it so worth it!

Laugh And Your World Laughs With You.

LAUGHLaughter is good for you. Laughter is contagious. Laughter feels good. Laughter brings people together.

It also helps get rid of stress, helps curb pain, and can release endorphins–all making you feel better. I know being with friends who continuously make me laugh is among my favorite things in my life.

Second to that is watching a comedy show or series on TV, reading something that is funny, or clicking on a Facebook video that has gone viral because it is funny. Remember this one?

I could not stop laughing and could not stop watching it. And it made me feel good. Which is much more than most of what is posted on Facebook. It was a really simple thing–straight laughter. I’m going to try to post more motivational and funny material on my 60 Is The New . . . 60 Facebook page and maybe on my personal page to help make others laugh–or at least smile a little. There is enough bad news everywhere we look these days, a short “laugh break” would be welcome and necessary.

Laughter is really important and sharing that laughter with others makes it even better. It doesn’t take much to find the joy in regular things, but it is super important to do that. Work at finding the good in every situation–even the bad ones. Do you wake up every morning? That would be good in any situation. Do you have food? A roof over your head? Clothes to wear? That’s the good. Do you have friends? Can you read? Do you have a job? All the good. Just stop and think about things. You may not have the perfect job, but you have a job giving you experience and money. You may have to budget carefully and not get to buy the extras every week, but you get enough to keep you alive. So find the good and smile about it! It is definitely something to smile about. Look for the things that make you smile and the things that make you laugh. They are out there, you just need to be aware of them. If that doesn’t work, then manufacture them yourself. There is nothing wrong with making yourself laugh! Just don’t do it in a crowded room where people will think you’ve gone crazy and haul you off!

Just laugh and get your world to laugh with you.

Pokéneck, Pokéback, Poképosture!

Your Phone Is Bad For Your Posture (1)The Pokémon Go craze reminded me of this piece of advice–which is the same advice I got from my mother, my grandmothers, and I’m sure they got it from their moms and grandmothers too–STAND UP STRAIGHT!

I see people walking kind of zombielike trying to find little creatures around town. While I appreciate that getting gamers away from in front of the televisions and out in the great outdoors is a great start, it is still staring at a cell phone. I know just looking at my cell phone while walking, riding the elevator, and standing and waiting for something has affected my posture and my neck. My massage therapist confirms this is true. I’m trying to be better about putting my phone away and standing up straight while doing those things to make it less of a problem.

This pain is just from having a cell phone for the last 10ish years. I can only imagine what children who get cell phones at 6, 7, 8 years old will look and feel like once they get to be 60.

It is really important to take care of your posture. As you get older, the results of consistent bad posture become more and more apparent. Hips need to be adjusted, back needs to be adjusted, and massages become a necessity, not a luxury.

In addition, there is a possibility of running into people or things, falling down steps, falling into fountains or pools, even getting hit by a car because you’re not paying attention to where you’re going because you’ve got your head buried in your phone. It really is dangerous and it really is preventable.

So put your phone away, sit up straight, and have a conversation with someone while actually looking them in the eye! Interesting concept, I know, but you might be surprised at how much better the conversation will be.

Positively Positive!

PositivelyYou already know that you, and you alone, are responsible for your attitude all day every day. No one can force you to have a bad attitude–that is a choice you make. You can decide to let others bring you down, or you can decide that you, and you alone, have control over what has power in your life. I choose the latter.

Sometimes to help with that, I like to read or listen to motivational things–whether podcasts, daily readings, motivational quotes, daily motivating Facebook groups (they really do exist!), or another form of motivation. It really doesn’t take long to completely change your attitude if you will read or listen to things that truly motivate you and then take those words to heart.

It is empowering to know that something as important as your attitude is in your own hands. Especially since most days it seems like I am in control of so little in my life. My attitude, however, is completely under my control. I have to remind myself of that most days, but it is definitely true. And it definitely makes for a much better day!

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” ~Dalai Lama

“When you have exhausted all the possibilities, remember this: You haven’t.” ~Thomas Edison

“Life is 10% what happens to you . . . and 90% how you react to it.” ~Charles R. Swindoll

“Don’t let anyone’s ignorance, hate, drama or negativity stop you from being the best person you can be.”

“Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds you down or polishes you up depends on you.” ~Jacob M. Braude

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”

“Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside.”

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ~William Shakespeare

What is your favorite motivational quote? Comment with it below.

Will Work For Travel!

TravelFor most of my life, the most traveling I did was back and forth to work. For some reason, I have rarely had a job within 10 miles of home, so driving 45 miles each way makes for a 90 mile round trip and that’s traveling!

Once I discovered the joy of REAL traveling, I was hooked. Not only traveling to conferences for my professional association and staying a day or two to see the area of the country we are in, but it has escalated into international travel and I love it!

Travel includes lots of things for lots of budgets. Whether it was a road trip to the outlet malls in California (before they had such great outlet malls here), a road trip to Disneyland, or a road trip to Vegas, going with friends and sharing the costs of gas and a hotel room makes for the ultimate bonding experience.

We also build in travel when we go to conferences. I have been able to see amazing things in places I otherwise would never go to. I’ve seen the Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati, Williamsburg, VA while going to a conference in Norfolk, the Gone With the Wind Museum in Atlanta, and many more.

Having been born and raised in Mesa, Arizona, my lifetime landscape has always been a dry desert valley. When I travel to other places, I get to see grass, rivers, bridges, and unbelievably beautiful scenery.

And the things I saw in my trip from Spain to Italy were remarkable. Just knowing the history of that part of the world is so much longer than the history of the United States and seeing pieces of that history still standing was truly awe inspiring. Pictures online don’t do it justice. Seeing those things with my own eyes is something I will never regret and will always be thankful for.

Traveling certainly isn’t cheap. Traveling with friends helps cut the cost down, but it is still expensive. But I’ve worked hard for years to be able to do things like this. And it keeps me working hard so I can continue to travel. Oh yes, I will continue to travel! I have a very long bucket list to catch up on!


I Feel Pretty!

I feelI was not (nor am I now) a makeup aficionado in high school. I wore the obligatory blue or green eye shadow, but not much else. Since then–actually long after high school–I have discovered the true joy of makeup. It covers a multitude of skin flaws (particularly flaws that appear with age) and makes me feel pretty.

I’ve been lucky enough to have great aestheticians, makeup artists, and makeup passionistas (I kind of love that word!) who have helped me learn how to take care of my skin and how to apply makeup well and in colors that complement me (which aren’t blue or green!). In fact, I have been known to ask my granddaughters for makeup advice since those who are old enough to wear it, wear it beautifully. I have also looked on YouTube for makeup advice. YouTube is actually a terrific source of information. If you are trying to use makeup to help deal with an age issue like hooded eyes, check YouTube.

You don’t have to use makeup. It seems the trend now is getting away from it and going au naturel, but if wearing makeup helps you feel more beautiful, then wear it, and wear it proudly.

If you don’t know how to apply it, which of the gazillion choices you should buy, or what colors work best with you, you have options. Find an aesthetician who also does makeup and have them help you figure out what will work best. Find a friend or someone you can talk to that wears makeup like you would like to and ask them what brand they use. Then find someone that sells that brand and see if they will help. You can also go to Ulta or Sephora or other beauty bars in some department stores and they will help you choose what will work for you.

While I own something like at least 10 different lipsticks, glosses, and lip balm, I rarely remember to put it on. Or I put it on in the morning and that’s the best it gets. I forget for the rest of the day. But wearing lipstick is my physical reminder that I’ve taken the time to make myself look as good as I can. It is also always a danger signal for those I work with who think if I’m wearing lipstick, I must have a job interview.

It sounds like a lot of work and it is, but if it makes you feel even more beautiful than you already are, then go for it! If it will help cover things that make you more self-conscious, then go for it! If you’re perfectly happy without wearing any makeup at all, then go for it!

It is definitely your face and definitely your choice. Just please don’t put others down because they “makeup” differently than you do.

Worship In Your Way

WORSHIPIt’s important that we worship often. The definition of “worship” is “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” Therefore, worship is not necessarily attending a church service every week.

I’ve done that in my past. In fact, I taught 2 and 3 year old Sunday School for a few years. And I know that some people truly appreciate the structured service that their church offers. It is hard for me to attend church and not get involved. That is me and my over-volunteering self. Right now my plate is overfull and I’m working hard to learn not to add things to my plate that don’t require my specific expertise (which is a very, very short list of things).

It is more important that your form of worship means something to you! But you do need to spend time being thankful, loving, helpful, and kind. My form of worship is that I sometimes walk outside of my house where I have a direct, nearly unobstructed view of the Superstition Mountains, along with visiting quail, rabbits, and lots of different birds, and other desert flora and fauna and I thank God for all of those things while I pause to take it all in. I do pray–often–for myself and for friends. I say a short prayer when I’m driving on the freeway and see an accident. I say a prayer of thanks when I see something particularly beautiful, like a sunset or a rainbow or flowers. I say a prayer of remembrance when I see a yellow butterfly, which I’m sure is a sign that my grandmother is watching over me. I say a prayer of appreciation when I go to a memorial to our armed forces or see members of the armed services in our building at work (there is a recruitment center in the same building).

I also try to love everyone–at least a little bit–which I think is the ultimate worship and why we are all here. I don’t need a building to do that. If  you do, that’s awesome and I hope you continue to do that, but if not, take time regularly to pause, reflect, and thank God for all that you have and all that you don’t have. Sometimes He knows better than you do that what you need is not always what you want.

Your Health Is Important!

Your HealthWe all know we are supposed to have regular dental checkups and medical checkups and mammograms and colonoscopies and, and, and. Regular checkups and timely testing is important.

I’m what I call a “heart attack sandwich.” My dad had a quadruple bypass and my son had a quadruple bypass, so I always feel like I’m a quadruple bypass waiting to happen. I went to the cardiologist regularly for the first few years after my son’s bypass, but then got out of the habit. I recently figured out that while I knew I needed to go for a checkup, I was really afraid of what I would find out since it had been so long, so I procrastinated on even making the appointment. I finally bit the bullet and made the appointment. When I showed up at the doctor’s office I was a nervous wreck. Once I saw the doctor and he ran the tests, everything was fine. So basically, I worried myself into a frenzy for nothing. But it would have been better had I kept up with regular appointments. The fear would not have built to such a level. It is really crazy to be so stressed out over something so easily prevented.

It is important to stay as healthy as possible. And if you go to the medical provider of choice and something IS wrong, if you’re going regularly, it should be found early enough to be more easily treated. There are, of course, always exceptions, but the sooner you know there is a problem, the sooner you can decide on the best treatment plan.

There are other options available now besides the regular doctor’s office, so look around. I heard a commercial one Saturday morning for a one-stop women’s clinic where you could go get a well woman exam, have a mammogram, get blood drawn, and meet with a nurse practitioner, all on the same day for one co-pay. Several months after I saw the commercial, I actually made an appointment and LOVE the office. The people are exceptional, the office is comfortable, and it is unbelievably convenient. I had to go back for a redo on the mammogram for a “questionable” area, but the radiology tech spent time showing me the first xrays and describing to me what they were looking for with this test. Just in case anyone in the East Valley area is interested, it is Ma’am Exams. Right now, I think they only have that one facility, but they did tell me they are planning expansions into the Phoenix area, so keep watching for that!

You only have one you, so you need to take care of you. If that means you need to get regular checkups, then please do it. The inconvenience of taking the time to go to the medical practitioner could be worth it if there is something wrong that can be treated. You are worth it, so if you have a nagging voice telling you it’s time to make an appointment, stop right now and do that. You are more important than whatever you are doing or watching or playing right now!

Talk, Talk, Talk

Hi!The personality trait that I envy the most is the ability to talk to people you don’t know. I am missing–well I don’t think I’ve ever had–that trait. Watching people so easily talk to others always makes me wish I could. While I’m getting better, I’m still not there. Once I get to know you, you can’t shut me up, but if I don’t know you, I’m really quiet.

I’m not quite sure why I’m that way. Maybe because I think the person will think I’m stupid if I open my mouth. Maybe because I think I won’t have anything interesting to say to them. Maybe because I’m scared. Of what, I’m not sure, but I’m scared.

Start now. When you find yourself sitting next to someone you don’t know, strike up a conversation. All it usually takes is starting. If they are interested, there will be questions and conversation back and forth. When that happens, it makes me feel good. And I’ve gotten past my fear and have a new acquaintance who might possibly turn into a friend.

This irrational fear of mine I assume is shared by many. When I think about it logically, I know that talking to someone I don’t know is not going to kill me, I know I’m not stupid so I doubt they will think that, and I’ve lived (so far) an interesting and full life, so I’m sure I can find something interesting to say.

The thing that I notice most when watching others start talking to people they don’t know is that they ask interesting questions–once they get past the my name is, what do you do, etc. kinds of conversations. Things like “what is your favorite vacation spot?” “How long have you been here and where did you live before this?”

I know I can learn so much from other people that it’s just silly that it’s so hard for me. In our local professional association meetings, we ask an icebreaker question during introductions. I am amazed every month with answers I didn’t expect from people. Asking questions is a great way to learn about people. Imagine that!

Obviously I know I can do it and I know I have nothing to be afraid of, so I’m going to make a concerted effort to have conversations with new friends. What do you do to talk to new people? I’d love to hear what works!