Category Archives: Uncategorized

Well I Made It!

60 Is The New . . . AMAZING!So I survived the Centennial Celebration (and turning 60!). What an absolutely amazing celebration. I told my friends it was the best birthday since I was able to get my ears pierced when I turned 16.

I was afraid that I had built the possibilities of the celebration up so much in my mind that I would be disappointed by the time it actually happened. Instead, it exceeded everything I had dreamed would happen. It. Was. Amazing.

My life motto is “Live Your Dash” (see http://60isthenew60blog.com/2016/08/20/the-big-day/ for an explanation of the motto) and I spent time doing just that.

The celebration started with a quick trip to Vegas for the Barbra Streisand concert. My husband let me take his brand new Corvette! I’ve seen Barbra once before, but have loved her since I was a teenager and she is always on my bucket list. This time, she started by singing “The Way We Were.” She was about, oh, five notes in when my eyes just started leaking. I didn’t mean to cry, I didn’t realize I was crying, it was just running down the side of my face. Her voice touched my heart!

Then it was back to reality for a about a week and a half (which I spent most of fighting a cold) and then I got to see Adele (the Phoenix concert she did before she got sick and cancelled the second one). She is now on my list of people to see every time she comes. She is a truly amazing talent.

Then it was off to the JW Marriott at Desert Ridge for an entire day–REALLY the entire day–in the lazy river. We enjoyed a couple of their drinks while floating around just relaxing while getting ready for our Centennial Celebration.

Our two out of town guests made it and then we were off. A quick stop at Rock Springs for lunch and pie (because you can’t go there and not have some of their famous pie!) and then a stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona to get our hearts in the right place and on to our Airbnb cabin in Sedona. It was beautiful and had a deck the entire length of the house. The birthday girls snagged the master bedroom (and apparently the most comfortable bed) but everyone had a place to sleep.

We shopped, we ate, we talked, we drank wine, we played games, and we laughed — a lot! THEN we went on the Pink Jeep Tour. As an Arizona native, this was something I had never done, even though they’ve been doing it almost as long as I’ve been alive. It was beautiful views, a fun driver, and a roller coaster ride in a jeep. There is nothing like the Sedona red rocks.

Then one of my friends entertained us with a wine tasting and Italian homemade dinner which was very informative and super delicious and then we ended with a rousing game of Yardzee (a yard version of Yahtzee).

It was then time to leave even though I didn’t want to. I didn’t want this celebration that we had been working on for months to be over. THIS was the perfect celebration. THIS was worth turning 60. THIS was unbelievable friendship in action. I am truly and honestly blessed. I have health, I have a job that I love, I have family I love with all my heart, I have things I never expected to have, and I’m lucky enough to have been blessed through this long life with amazing friends.

I have warned my friends that the 65 celebration just might be driving across the Western US visiting all the places where I can get a free senior meal! I figure by then I might be ready to admit how old I am to get the discount. But maybe not. We’ll just have to see.

The BIG Day!

Today I am 60 years old. It’s taken me a while to be able to say it – although I still cringe a little. Several years ago, I heard a quote I loved and decided to make it my life motto.  “Live your dash.” It means on your headstone is the date you were born and the date you die and there is the dash in between those dates. So I decided to work on living my dash. I am presently in a cabin in the woods with some of my best friends celebrating two of our birthdays that happen to total 100 so we are calling it the Centennial Celebration. It’s a plan that has been in the works for months. And it’s finally here.

I have spent a lot of time in the last few years living my dash. Making side trips at conferences, traveling to Europe, doing the things that are on my bucket list. My mission has been–basically– to kick my dash’s ass. That mission is continuing to be accomplished as we speak!

My goal is to somehow leave a legacy. Whether that is having someone tell me that I’ve taught them something or seeing someone I’ve mentored rise to a new positive place in their life or seeing the things I’ve worked so hard to contribute to be successful. I feel like I will have left a legacy.

What have I learned from this experience?

Surround yourself with people who lift you up. I would not have had the experiences I’ve had or the fun I’ve had without the friends who have been with me throughout my life.

Don’t worry about what others think about you. Be you. Your authentic self.

Do good. Helping others helps you. Volunteer, mentor, teach, lead. Find the way that works best for you to do good.

Love unconditionally. Every person is worthy of your love. Share it with them. You will end up the winner when you give your love unconditionally and receive love you don’t expect in return.

One of the songs that really touches me on this very topic is Beyonce’s “I was here.” Please, please check it out at – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i41qWJ6QjPI – and then go out and kick your own dash’s ass because I’m sure busy kicking my dash’s ass right now and it is amazing!

Say Cheese – Again!

imageOne thing that I’m not great at is remembering to take pictures. I love looking at pictures and I’m lucky enough to have friends that document most of our interactions but I’m bad at remembering to take pictures of other important family events.

When people give me gifts that include pictures, it means more to me than any amount of gift card. Pictures are something that you can’t recreate exactly. It is one thing that is irreplaceable.

With our phones that have great cameras that are with us almost constantly, it is crazy not to take pictures of important events. So whip that camera out and take pictures of everything. You can always delete the ones you don’t like (but be careful about deleting pictures that you think embarrass you because you can’t get them back) but you need to take the pictures to be able to make any kind of decision about them.

So go out, live a fabulous life, and document it with pictures. You and the people who love you will never regret it!

Comparison Is For Fruit

Do you have that friend that no matter what they do, it seems to be perfect? I think we all do. But as I’ve heard before, don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20. You have no idea what it took them to get there. You don’t know how many failures they’ve had before they got to their chapter 20. And the fact that they’ve had time to get to chapter 20 speaks volumes as well.

You are in a race with no one but yourself. Life is not a marathon (although it certainly does feel that way sometimes). It seems to be to be a series of sprints. Dating someone you think you can marry – a sprint. Getting engaged and planning the perfect wedding – a sprint. Settling into marriage for the long term – a sprint. The nine months it takes to grow a baby – a sprint. The birth and first year – a sprint. The next few years – a sprint. Interviewing and landing your dream job – a sprint. Staying focused and challenged enough to keep it – a sprint. Searching for and buying a house – a sprint. Keeping up with the maintenance and mortgage – a sprint. Deciding you’d rather live someplace else and starting over again – a sprint.

Every piece of our lives is a sprint, but the thing is, we really aren’t in a race–it’s not a competition. We are only trying to better ourselves. If you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses, you are in for a marathon for which you’ve had no training. Stick to the sprint at your own pace. You’ll get there, you can rest in between, and you’ll have a whole lot more fun doing it. 

Not What Ships Are For

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.” ― William G.T. Shedd“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” ― William G.T. Shedd

I love quotations to motivate me and this is a great one. It reminds me to step out of my comfort zone. A comfort zone is a, well, very comfortable place to be. And it is a comfortable place to stay. It is known, it is safe, it is boring.

Yes, boring. Every once in a while, it is important to get out of your comfort zone and do something just a little bit uncomfortable. It could mean writing a blog post (you don’t have to start your own blog, there are lots of them out there and many of them may be willing to let you write a post or two–including me), it could mean running in a 5K, it could mean giving a presentation, it could mean ziplining for the first time. There are a million ways to get out of your comfort zone. It just takes that first step.

You may well be surprised at how rewarding it is to step outside of the comfort one. When you brain is working through it, it is unbelievably scary because our brains like to think about all the negatives in any situation. If  you use your logical brain to work through it and actually do the thing that is uncomfortable, the rewards are so worth it. You will feel accomplished–you set a goal and actually met it. You will feel pleased with yourself. You will feel amazing.

So think about something outside of your comfort zone that you are interested in doing, decide what you need to do to meet that goal, and then start working toward it. “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” Ships are for sailing on the ocean, not for sitting safe in harbor. You are made to enjoy your life, not sit on the sidelines and watching it flash before your eyes. Inch that toe outside your comfort zone and do something that you never thought you would. You will never be the same!

You Are

www.60isthenew60blog.comThere are many things that you are, and if people don’t tell you, you should tell yourself. As difficult as that is, it will get easier. One of my favorites was from Dale Smith Thomas, a keynote speaker at a NALS conference a few years ago, who told us when we look in the mirror each morning, our first words should be “Good Morning, Gorgeous!” Trust me when I say the first time or two, you may giggle, but keep at it.

Remember that you need to be your biggest fan. You cannot depend on anyone else to tell you what you want–and need–to hear. Make a list of your greatest attributes (and there are some, so you better have a list!) and pick one to become your positive affirmation for that week and then cycle through them.

Remember that you are . . .

Smart
Beautiful
Friendly
Talented
Loyal
Funny
Thoughtful
Nice
Perfect
Strong
Unique
Wise
Loving

. . . Enough. You. Are. Enough. Believe that. And repeat it if necessary. You may not be Superwoman or Superman every single day. You may not be Employee of the Year every single day. You may not be Parent of the Year every single day. But you are enough.

Please watch this video and if it touches you, pass this post along to friends who need to be reminded that they are enough too – https://www.facebook.com/mysimplereminders/videos/1330678063632779/

 

 

Be Kind

BE (4)There is one thing that is not at all difficult and makes a huge difference–being kind. Be aware of what’s going on around you, and the people around you, and what you could do to be kind. Can you give a smile to someone who needs one? Can you slow down and open the door for someone behind you? Can you help someone who is struggling with a load? Can you just be kind?

I saw this video on YouTube quite a while ago and rewatch it fairly frequently. I love the message–be kind without expecting anything in return and you will receive untold riches in return. By “riches” I don’t mean money, but riches in the form of the feels. Things that will make you smile and will do your heart good. My favorite part of the video is the other people who thought he was crazy for doing all he is doing. But his reward was worth it to him–and would be to me. So let’s go out and be nice without a motive!

Here’s the link to the video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJjZ4ZU5f-g

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Don't worryBe Happy (1)You’ve all heard the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” And hopefully you’ve also heard the followup “It’s all small stuff.”

I have one word for that – TRUTH. Most of the things you’re worrying about right this minute seem huge and perhaps unsolvable right now, but you will see that they were neither. In the heat of the moment, it does seem like there is no answer to the problem and your whole world is going to come crashing down by the weight of whatever the problem is. But although it may happen, it truly rarely does.

We spend so much time and energy worrying over things that really, in the scheme of our entire lifetimes, are the “small stuff,” the meaningless things, the things that have a hand in helping us grow, but certainly don’t deserve the attention we are giving to them. I would much rather spend my time and energy on finding solutions to problems like where my group of best friends will take our 2019 vacation (because we’ve already figured it out until then), or what options I might have if I were ever to retire (which probably won’t happen – but I’m not worrying about it!), or what kind of gift to get my grandchildren when they graduate high school (because there are five of them right in a row and then a couple of stragglers).

You need to decide what deserves your attention–not your worry–and then focus it there. Quit worrying about the small stuff. It honestly doesn’t matter. Most of it won’t change your life enough one way or the other to matter. So worrying that you’re about out of laundry detergent and have 30 loads to finish in the next three days doesn’t do you any good. Focus your attention on figuring out when you can go out and get laundry soap (or order it from Amazon and have it there in 2 hours) and who can help you complete the laundry task. If no one can help, get your timer out and keep it moving. Easy peasy task done. Instead of worrying about it for three days, you have a plan of action you are working through.

Worry is a natural reaction when we start our mental list of everything going on in our world. When you start feeling that STOP and start writing things down. Get it out of your head–it is taking up valuable real estate there–and get it down on paper. Then if you need to prioritize it do that with different pen colors numbering items, different highlighter colors designating importance, or whatever way works best for you. I would suggest you NOT completely rewrite the list in order (I know you are out there thinking that!). Take a deep breath and try to organize your list another way or you’re adding another worry because you’re taking too much time on your list! It doesn’t have to be framable–it has to be functional.

So stop needless worrying. Think about the big picture. Does the thing you’re worrying about right now really, truly matter? Is it easily solved? Is it really even your worry or is it someone else’s worry that you’re getting sucked into? When you find yourself worrying about something, try to find a quiet place for a couple of minutes and have a conversation with yourself where you can determine if your energy needs to be spent worrying or if it is better spent figuring out how to solve the problem. And then go do that instead.

Trust me, life is far too short to spend so much time worrying about things that don’t matter–and most of our worries don’t. Like the song says “Don’t worry, be happy!”

Let It Begin With Me

Let It BeginWhen I think about world peace, I often wonder why we can’t be like children at play. When they are playing, children don’t care what color you are, if you are differently abled than they are, if you have money, a good job, a nice house. They don’t care if you even speak their language.

Several years ago a friend had a son and grandson visiting from Germany. The grandson didn’t speak English and my grandchildren don’t speak German. But somehow they managed to spend hours playing together, laughing, chasing, sharing.

I’m trying to be more like children at play. But it is hard as a grown up. Too many of life’s “moments” have had an impact. Too many bruises and hurts from others have built a wall. Too many lies heard in the news and from others have hardened me.

Think about what a great world it would be if we could all love one another without any of the protection from hurt we have armed ourselves with. If we could just play without worrying about anything. Where someone else’s color, religion, disability, gender, or intelligence didn’t matter one single whit. Children are extremely adaptable and if someone can’t keep up with them, they will be the first to slow down and help. If someone doesn’t know how to play, they will teach them. If someone is afraid, they will calm them. If someone doesn’t understand, they will explain it again and again until they get it.

I know I’m thinking of the perfect child in the perfect world because even children these days aren’t all like that. But that’s because they’re learning bad behaviors from the rest of us. They see us being impatient, so that’s what they learn. They see us being frustrated, so that’s what they learn. They see us being bullies, so that’s what they learn.

We need to seriously think about what we’re teaching others. And not just children. People are watching you almost all of the time. And then they are emulating you. Are you behaving in ways that should be repeated by others? If not, change how you are acting. Change your attitude. Change your life.

Let’s go back and start over and be like children at play where everyone is welcome, everyone is valued, everyone is cherished, and everyone matters. That sounds way more fun to me than the way we are playing now. Wanna play?

Share Your Talents

share your talents (1)What are your talents? What are you pretty good at? What do you love to do? If you answered “nothing” to these questions, I know you’re lying. Everyone has some kind of talent. Are you good at cooking? No? Then are you good at coming up with meal plans? Are you good at matching clothes and looking fabulous when you leave the house? Can you sing? Can you dance? Do you get comments on your makeup? Do people love the pictures you take (and do you take pictures of things other than selfies)? Are you good at sports? Do you get good grades? Do you have a happy attitude?

Talent isn’t just something that you do in the Miss America pageant or the junior high talent show. Talent is something that people look to you for, comment on, or that you’re just proud of even if no one says a word. Because honestly it doesn’t matter what other people think. If you think it is your talent, then it is. When you think that way, you work on developing it. You learn more, you teach more, you just do more with that talent.

When you have a talent, what you do with it is important. You have a talent because you were meant to share it. There is always someone who can benefit from your talent. Just think about your talent and who would benefit most from it and then think about how you can share it with them. My talent is proofreading. I share it by my Proof That blog (proofthatblog.com) where I share Grammar Giggles and point out why it’s wrong and write articles to teach correct grammar skills. I’ve seen people who are really good at makeup post on YouTube to teach their technique to others. You could do the same with cooking. Facebook is full of recipes and videos with new recipes. I’ve actually made some of them and they are delicious and easy, so if that is your talent, send those to me!

You might be surprised at how many people will appreciate your talent once you share it. Just saying I have a proofreading blog sounds really boring to most people (and several have even said so), but those who read it regularly spend their time letting me know they appreciate it, so that makes it all worth it.

So what is your talent? And how will you share it? All that matters is that you do, so go out there and impress the heck out of them!