Boomer Renewal of the Body, Mind, and Spirit

Boomer renewal of the body, mind, and spirit: When I was in my early fifties, my health care provider told me that while I was relatively healthy, I didn’t have the same amount of wiggle room as I did when I was younger. In other words, I was mortal. I already knew that my body was already undergoing changes. At the same time, I had recently started a new career after years of working in positions that hadn’t felt like the best matches for me. And, like a lot of other adults who start grappling with their own mortality, I…

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Renewal, Rediscovery, or Reinvention? What Does Retirement Mean Today?

When people talk about ‘retirement,’ what do they really mean? I don’t have a good definition for my life after I officially applied for ‘retirement’ last year. To retire once meant that a person withdrew from work. In earlier times, a person who retired may have quietly lived out their remaining years and perhaps engaged in some leisure activities before expiring. When people ask me what kinds of leisure activities I’m now enjoying as a retiree, I have a difficult time knowing how to respond. My leisure activities aren’t much different now than when I was working. Yet I think…

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Businesses, Community Colleges, and Wineries: Set Out the Welcome Mat

Overall, thirty-five percent of the U.S. population is at least 50 years old. That same demographic group controls  70% of all disposable income. In other words, older adults are a very important demographic for a wide range of industries and services. Businesses and educational institutions need to set out the welcome mat by including images of older adults on their websites. Some industries appear to have made deliberate efforts to not only tell older adults they are valued but to show them they are valued through visual reinforcement. Though my approach was relatively informal, I looked at over 75 websites…

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Creative Abilities Could Increase with Age

We all have it--creativity, and those creative abilities could increase with age. Consider some of the ways you might express your creativity. For example, have you ever told stories to your grandchildren about your experiences growing up?  Have you looked at an empty space in your yard and envisioned a beautiful garden that you then planted?  Have you ever taken a recipe and modified it to make it your own?  Have you ever experimented with something or planned a lesson to teach? Are you good at brainstorming or seeing various points of view? Do you ever feel inspired to take…

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Creativity: Seeing It in A New Light Is Empowering

Following our theme this week, I’m going to share what I’ve recently learned about creativity. I used to think you were either born a creative type or you were not. Such thinking is not based on reality. I had also convinced myself that creativity is some sort of magical spark that can be forever lost. That probably isn’t true either. Seeing creativity in a new light is empowering. When I was a young woman with children at home, I played the piano nearly every day. I even gave piano lessons to neighborhood children to earn a little extra money. I…

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Customer Service and Older Consumers: Keeping Perspectives Balanced

When trying to resolve customer service problems, it is important to keep our perspectives balanced. Service representatives and customers need to find ways to solve problems together. This can be especially true when working with older adults. A lifetime ago when I was very young, I worked as a customer service representative. It can be challenging work with a lot of stress and high turn-over. Often, the service representative is the one who has to deal with unhappy customers. One time an older customer told me that I was probably going to Hell because I didn't solve her problem exactly…

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Don’t Let a Lack of Structure Undermine a Balanced Diet

Snacking or a lack of structure can undermine a balanced diet - even when that diet consists of healthy foods. If you’re like me, your eating habits may have (or may still) change in retirement. I went from a fairly disciplined eater to a free-range grazer. Because I’ve tended to eat healthy food over the past several years, I didn’t think grazing was a big deal. However, if you let it get out of control as I did, it can be a big deal. I adopted the Mediterranean Diet long before it became the go-to diet for healthy aging. I was…

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Balance Work: An Important Daily Routine

PLEASE NOTE: I am not a health professional. For your own safety, be sure to talk with your own health professional before starting any kind of balance routine. I have been jogging since my early thirties. When I turned sixty, I realized I’d slowed down quite a bit. I also started to stumble on occasion. Then one day, I slipped and fell on a gravel path. I convinced myself that anyone could have fallen on loose gravel, so I didn’t think much of it. (I was just relieved that no one was around to see me fall.) A couple of…

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Beyond Ageism: Discovering Untapped Potential

During the early 1800s, brine wells were dug to produce needed salt. Sometimes these wells also produced some oil, an unwanted byproduct.  Imagine sitting on such a valuable resource and not recognizing the potential of what you had. Viewing Older Workers through the Lens of Ageism Research suggests that some employers view older workers as though they were unwanted byproducts when running a business. To a degree, it is certainly understandable that employers don’t always recognize the value that older workers can bring to the workplace. Certainly, older workers often look and think a bit differently. And of course, some…

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Using Our Experience and Communication Skills to Counter Ageism

I studied German for a couple of years while in college. I don’t remember much about the language, but I do remember how my professor used her experience and communication to counter ageism. My professor had plain grey hair and a thick accent. She often wore a grey cardigan sweater and heavy, black shoes. At the time, I saw her as just another old person who knew German because she grew up speaking the language. Using Experience to Add Perspective Nonetheless, because my professor treated all of her students with respect, most all of us felt free to ask questions.…

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