Recently, I started volunteering as a “friendly visitor” and spending time with a lovely new older friend named Dorothy. Dorothy recently broke a hip, and I only visit for an hour once a week, so she spends a lot of time with her round-the-clock nurse, Christy.
Now Dorothy is a sweetheart, and Christy is her angel. Christy monitors Dorothy’s health and behavior, administers her medications, assists with sanitary needs, and offers overall companionship. Dorothy is fortunate to live at home, but that may not be the case for everyone later in life.
So, if it’s not possible to remain at home, then where do we turn? Turn to professionals who are not only qualified, but who love their jobs. Turn to the award-winning best: Barchester Healthcare.
Visit one of their care homes, and you’ll notice the difference immediately. From the warmth of the people to the quality of the service, Barchester ensures its staff is happy so the staff ensures the clients are happy.
When it’s time to seek out nursing care, follow this link and be secure in your choice: Barchester.
Last night I went to bed mad. Not Hulk-throwing-furniture-out-the-window-mad, but disgusted mad. Last week was an unusually frustrating and misogynistic week in Hollywood for me and it all boiled up as I tried to squash my emotions and just sleep.
And I thought to my self, “Self, you can sit on this anger or you can use it.”
I’m aiming to turn my anger into a positive. Here’s how:
1. Recognize that life is not fair. Not for me. Not for anyone.
2. Number 1 sucks, yes, but move on. Action is key.
3. Use anger to motivate, ridicule, self-analyze. But, for God’s sake, use it. Remember number 2: Action.
I write these rules for myself as much as for anyone else. An old therapist once told me that anger is simply depression begging for action. If I don’t use my anger as motivation, I will fall into the inactivity of depression. And if that happens, who wins? Certainly, not me.
Aging Gals and Guys, have you ever dreamed about traveling through time? Well, we may not be able to visit Pompeii in its heyday or fast forward to the year 2070, but we can change our perception of time and even reset our biological age.
I’ve decided I want to be forty again.
And Deepak Chopra is showing me how. In a new interactive online journey, Mr. Chopra is meshing the biology of youth with the wisdom of experience. Chronologically I may be 51, but Timeless You is teaching me how to biologically be up to fifteen years younger.
Positive affirmations lead to belief and that belief becomes reality.
Before you dismiss this all as a bunch of baloney (and I say this to myself as well): “Why not try it?” Starting each day with a positive affirmation has got to be better than waking up deciding if I’m more repulsed by my morning breath or my crusted eye mucus.
I’ve been fumbling for the last few days with what to write, which is to say I haven’t really been in the mood to write anything. I don’t have writer’s block exactly; more like writer’s lethargy.
Then, as if from the gods, this morning I opened my website to discover a comment added last night on one of my long-ago-written blog posts. It was sent by a new reader, to whom I’ve given credit as the author of this post. It reminded me of a book I read last year entitledDear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self, a collection of letters written by celebrities to their younger selves. I thought the book was a great idea and have (in less lethargic times) intended to begin a series of us regular blokes writing similar letters. Some of the book’s letters are uplifting, some are thoughtful and pensive. But, again, those letters in the book are from very famous and well-off celebrities. What, I wondered, would “normal” folks write? Would ours be a chin-up type note? Or an it’s-all-downhill-from-here ditty? Regardless, I’d like to know. Really. So if more readers are interested in sharing their own “letters to my younger self,” I’d be happy to post those as well. Leave a comment and I will get back to you. But, right now, thanks to Susan for finally giving me the kick in the arse I needed.
Here is her comment in it’s beautiful entirety:
Heather, I happened upon your blog after writing my own post on aging…and having nowhere to put it, I’m emailing it to you. I don’t expect you to do anything with it. I just want to post it somewhere. Anybits, I very much appreciate your viewpoint. Nicely done. Keep up the good work. ;)
Here’s my two cents:
Words from the future to my younger self:
You know how you feel now – so isolated and alone? Wishing someone/anyone would see you/hear you/recognize that you have value? That’s how it is, sweetie. You’re going to be feeling that for the rest of your life. Get used to it.
And you know how you’re always chasing boys around the playground? Writing their names on your notebook…sometimes making up a name, just so people will think you have a boyfriend? How the ones you like always let you know they have a crush on someone else? That’s pretty much the way it is. You might as well give it up now because you could be spending the rest of your life looking for someone, and he never shows up.
And then, there’s school. You never manage to get your work done on time. Everyone thinks you’re smart, but you’re really just scraping by. Too bad. You’re going to take those lousy habits with you throughout your life and it’s really going to fuck you up. I don’t know what to tell you about that.
You think you’re kind of funny looking now? Well, you are. You won’t change much. You’ll never grow out of the “interesting” stage. No one is going to be coming after you for you looks, let’s put it that way.
And friends. You never managed to figure out how to make it into the “in” crowd, and you won’t. You think you feel isolated now? Just wait a few decades. It gets worse.
In fact, just about everything gets worse. You can try all you like, and G-d knows you probably will, but it never makes much of a difference. You’ll just keep doing the same stupid things over and over.
So what can I tell you?
Don’t try to please anyone else. They won’t be there when you need them.
Start putting away your pennies, and putting cream on your face now. You’re not going to like what happens when you don’t.
Don’t bother looking for love. If it finds you, you’ll be lucky. And if it doesn’t, you won’t have wasted years of your life searching for something that isn’t there.
Try to find something you can trust and believe in.
But, as I’ve written before, I have always needed some form of vision correction. From Coke bottle lenses to contact lenses to Lasik surgery to progressive glasses, I’ve lived through every trend in eye wear since 1962.
Rock your sunglasses like me and Gaga
Now I’ve found Solar Shield shades. My current pair of glasses, a retro pair of tri-focal Ray Bans actually make me look (and feel) hip and cute (shocking, I know). The only problem was wearing them in the bright Southern California sun. My eyes are quite sensitive to the rays from that giant ball of fire, but I didn’t want clip-on shades to wreck my frames.
That’s when I stumbled upon Solar Shield’s “fits over” sunglass collection. I ordered a pair of the Shades by Solar Shield, which are not only ultra lightweight and fit perfectly over my Ray Bans, but they block 100% of UV rays. Oh, and they also rock my image.
So if your eyes also need protecting from that giant ball of fire, and you want to look like a rock star (like me and Lady Gaga), then check out all the styles from Solar Shield.
Okay, confession time: You know that little kid in elementary school with Coke bottle lenses for glasses? That was me.
And I hated it. I hated the discomfort of such heavy lenses. I hated feeling like a fish in a distorted bowl. I hated being ugly.
So when I hit high school, I got contact lenses. And, as an adult, I even opted for laser surgery. For years, I haven’t worn glasses at all.
Then something very odd happened: I missed wearing glasses.
Fortunately, I’m at an age now where I need readers to get through ordinary tasks in my day — ordering off a menu, reading a letter, or writing this post. And, even more fortunately, I found the hippest glasses courtesy of Borghese readers from Icon Eyewear.
And what’s not to love? The Borghese style is rooted in Tuscan royalty, combining traditional Italian beauty with modern sensibilities. Check them out: http://www.iconeyewear.com/
Their readers are easier on my aging eyes than other over-the-counter brands I’ve tried, plus their light weight makes me forget I’m even wearing glasses (but I don’t forget that I’m stylish).
Bitty even got herself a pair of the sunglasses and loves the gradation of shading. She can read through the lighter shade in the lens while the darker portion shades her eyes from the sun. And, trust me, Bitty knows sun.
How great are these glasses? Jack T. Dog even wants a pair…
Disclosure: We received a free product sample for review purposes, but the opinions stated here are entirely our own.
Don’t mean to sound bossy. But, to borrow from Mandy Patinkin’s character in The Princess Bride, “Prepare to die.”
What happens if (God forbid) you are in an unexpected accident? Do you have a will? An advanced directive?
Have you even discussed your end of life wishes with your family or close friends?
Again, not to be bossy. But DO IT.
I’m not just talking to you older Aging Gals and Guys. I’m also talking to you twenty and thirty year olds.
Think nothing will happen to you? Read this New York Times story about a young mom and her healthy, athletic husband who was training for a bicycle race one second and hit by a van the next. Then go to her website for free templates of all the forms you’ll need to, as she says, get your shit together.
Or if, like me, you use Quicken then perhaps you too have access to Willmaker. I am practicing what I’m preaching — I sat down a few days ago and followed the easy steps to fill out my first Will and Advanced Directive. I got two friends to sign as witnesses and it didn’t cost me a dime. Easy peasy.
And now I can go on my tandem skydive next month with a clear conscience. Geronimo!
A few months into my 50s, I’ve decided to succumb to major surgery… by cleaning out all the crap I’ve collected over my five decades.
I am shockedflabbergasted appalled at all the stuffjunk crap I have held onto over the years. Now I’m not talking about family heirlooms or valued collectibles. I’m talking about plain old useless crap:
The tiny plastic baby that was a garnish in my cocktail from that hip New York bar I went to in 1986. My high school cheerleader’s outfit with a waist so small it now wouldn’t fit even one of my thighs. Hundreds of holey old T-shirts that I’ve kept because their logos have “meaning.” Oh, and about the same amount of Dallas Cowboys figurines (a.k.a. dolls) from their Super Bowl winning decade in the ’90s… housed in plastic bins in the garage… for twenty years… because I am a freak. Or, as Bitty would say, a “crap collector.”
So as I was cleaning out this crap (throwing away some, selling the rest on eBay), I had an epiphany — we spend the first half of our lives collecting stuff and the second half getting rid of it.
Two things I’ve never had a problem with — eating and sleeping. In this regard, I was the perfect toddler, teen, and adult.
Then I turned 50.
Now, I still have no trouble wrestling up an appetite. But sleep? Dream on…
What I do now is what I’ve named… Think/Sleep. It’s not really sleeping and not really thinking, but both at the same time and neither done very well.
I’ve long been a wacky sleeper. I talk, cry, snore, and generally torture whoever shares a bed with me. But those habits never bothered me. Now I’m, well, I’m worrying. About everything — money, career, if the sky is falling, how many licks it really does take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop… and on and on and on…
It’s like I turned 50 and have really grown up. Oh my God!
How did I used to deal with worry, you may ask? I slept. Doh! So much for that plan…