Category Archives: Life

Getting Older? Look Wonderful, Be Cool, Do it Your Way


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“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” Betty Friedan

OK, it’s true. Aging isn’t all that fun.

I don’t wake up every morning doing the happy dance, chirping “Oh boy. I love, love, love getting older.” No, it’s not like that at all. Not for me, anyway.

However, aging isn’t the scariest life event I’ve ever had no choice but to experience. Twice I went through labor. That scared me.

I’ve discovered aging isn’t so much about letting go: it’s about tweaking my mind-set.

Oh, and I finally stopped worshiping the so-called “experts” on aging. Please; I just want to do this my way.

But I Can’t Look Wonderful

For years, I’ve thought about a conversation I heard between my mom and a young woman. It was the last holiday my mom would share with her family.

The young woman, a lifelong friend of my daughter, stopped in at our Christmas Eve party to say hello to my family.

My mother walked into the kitchen. It was a thrill for to see my daughter’s friend, who rushed over to give my mom a heartfelt hug.

With utter sincerity, she told my 75-year-old mother that she looked wonderful. My mom said, “Well, I shouldn’t.” The friend asked, “What do you mean?”

Mom responded, “Because I’m not supposed to look wonderful at this age.” I thought, Wow. What the heck?

Of course, we laughed. Honestly, though, I was sad that my mother felt that way. She did look wonderful. She was still active and lived independently.

That was despite several major health problems including spinal stenosis, breast cancer, and diabetes. I always joked with her that she was the healthiest sick person I ever knew.

Right then, I decided I wouldn’t buy into that line of thought about aging. I plan to experience wonderful right to the end. You can’t stop me. Bring on the compliments. I will, gratefully, accept every one you throw at me.

 Discovering My Self-Worth

My self-worth is much more pronounced since I’ve reached my 50s. Why did it take so long to realize the breadth of my skills and achievements no matter how big or small?

Admittedly, I went through a low self-esteem spell of feeling inept when I was around younger people; mainly, in my business world.

I had no clue what was rubbing me the wrong way. When I considered the achievements I’ve carried out effectively; on a personal level as a woman and career level; it didn’t make sense that I would feel inadequate.

Fortunately, the odd, uncomfortable feeling lost its hold on me. If I start to feel like that now; I recount my accomplishments in my head. I remain focused on my strengths instead of weaknesses.

I’m content and secure because I haves scores of valuable knowledge and life experience to lean on. I have plenty to share.

What is “Cool” Anyway?

So, I recognize I may not be cool in the eyes of some young people; especially in the business world. That’s OK because cool means what, exactly?

As time goes on, my perspective of cool constantly changes. That’s because of maturity and I like to believe, all this awesome wisdom I’ve picked up over the years.

I think people who don’t have a college degree but carved out a good life are cool. Someone who survives cancer is cool. Holding hands with my husband is cool.

My small grandson could pronounce Massachusetts, correctly, since he was two. That makes him way cool in my book.

Overall, with continuing tweaks to my mind-set, I believe aging will be cool too. I hope … I pray.

 

Distraction is a Lifestyle


640px-West_Indian_Day_Parade_2008-09-01_woman_in_purple_costume Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.Distraction is an official lifestyle. I haven’t heard anyone declare it’s their way of life, though. Why?

We don’t hesitate to say we live green, military, vegan, alternative or a musician’s lifestyle.

Heck, I’ll go first:

No, I’m not vegan or green … I am into distraction, which, by the way, is a culturally acceptable lifestyle so why are you looking at me that way? Whew, that felt good. Well, no, it didn’t.

Sad Limited Engagement

Here’s what got me going about this: A couple nights ago I was out at dinner with my family. Two of my grandchildren (5 and 9) were present. When we’re all together we focus on one another.

Cell phones stay in purses and pockets. We were having a great time laughing and catching up.

Seated at a table within my direct view were a woman and young boy. She was eating her dinner while talking on her cell phone.

The boy was eating his meal while watching her talk on the phone. The restaurant filled up and the woman and boy were now out of eye shot.

It Gets Worse

When we ordered dessert, there were a few empty tables and again, I could see the child and the woman. He was coloring. She’s on the phone.

Now, though, her back was against the wall and she had both legs laying across the empty chair next to her like she was in her living room.

It took about 15 minutes for our dessert to arrive. Another 20 minutes passed while we leisurely enjoyed chocolate lava cake and hot fudge sundaes.

Unbelievably, the lady had now been on the phone roughly 55 minutes. What?

Focus Problem

That night on the local news there’s a story that fit this same scenario of lack of focus. A small boy is walking on a sidewalk playing with his iPad.

Here comes a man who snatches the iPad right out of the boy’s hands.

The mom or whoever he’s with is walking a fair distance ahead of him paying him no mind. Video cameras at one of the businesses caught it on tape.

The man could have grabbed the boy instead of the iPad. Where is our attention these days?

I’m Guilty, Too

I’m a fool for distraction. I’ve been in that tangled web for years. I multitask (my padded word for distraction) and not in a good way, either.

I made a $3,000 error in me and my husband’s small business because my focus was everywhere but where it should have been.

I was too busy reading and writing emails, scouring the web, submitting content to three or four websites, and texting.

I was like the woman in the photo that accompanies this post. She’s marching in a parade in this magnificent, flamboyant costume … and she’s on her cell.

If the Internet and iPhones were around when my children were young, well, I don’t even want to think about that!

Are you distracted? Is it a problem in your life? Share your thoughts.

Source:

PsychCentral – Distraction: A Serious Problem of Modern Life, by Therese J. Bouchard Associate Editor

Image Credit: -west_indian_day_parade_2008-09-01_woman_in_purple_costume-wikimedia-commons-creative-commons-attribution-share-alike-3-0-unported-license by Fordmadoxfraud

 

 

Cathy with a “C” – Blah to Yeah!


 Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license byMy name is Cathy. No, it’s not short for one of the silkier-sounding names like Cathleen or Catherine. I’m just Cathy.

My name is spelled with a “C,” though, not a “K.” My mother said that was special, so it must be, right?

Forever, I believed that “C” somehow provided me the right to step ahead of the pack when it came to ordinary names.

Sacred No More

Well, that was until the birth of the Internet. Everything you didn’t want to know the truth about is just a “search” away.

The fantastical “information highway” steamrolled right over and tamped down my lifelong reverie of Cathy with a “C” is special.

Unique My Foot

Sad, but true, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration, I’m one of 82,698 Cathy’s born between 1950 and 1959.

You’re probably wondering what my reaction was to this piece of knowledge. It went like this:

What? Oh, that just can’t be correct. Mom said my Cathy with a “C” name was distinctive. Honestly, I’ve run across a few Cathy’s with a “C” but come on … how could there be 82,697 besides me? How many more are there now?

Wuthering Heights and My Name

Somewhere in time, my mother told me another “name” story: She claimed she named me after Cathy, of Wuthering Heights fame.

She is, of course, the daughter of Edgar and Catherine Linton. You know, Emily Bronte’s classic literature tale Wuthering Heights … yeah, that Cathy.

That was rousing news and all but it came out of left field when I was in my twenties. So, was it true? It was Mom’s favorite book.

After reading Bronte’s novel myself, I felt an odd kinship with Cathy’s perky, although at times, disturbingly selfish character. Hm.

It’s All Good

Because my mom is no longer here, it’s likely I’ll never know the truth about the Wuthering Heights connection to my name.

I do know that while my name is not unique and far from fancy …  it’s who I am. I’m just Cathy with a “C” and that’s OK with me.

*The Daily Post at WordPress.com – Weekly Writing Challenge: Power of Names

 Sources:

Social Security Administration – Top Names of the 1950s

Literature.org – Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

 Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license by Bequw