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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Using Experience and Communication to Bridge the Age Gap

Today, my husband and I are enjoying a visit with our nearly fifteen-year-old grandson, Nick. We asked him the usual questions about school, sports, and his future dreams.  Nick also asked his share of questions. Of course, it doesn’t take much effort to ask questions. However, it does take some effort to listen carefully so that we are really understanding each other. When we didn’t clearly know what Nick was talking about, we asked for more specific details or we paraphrased what we thought we understood. Listening is one way we can use our lifetime of experience to bridge age…

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Have You Considered an Encore Career?

It may have started when that ‘big one’ arrived. You know—your 50th birthday. That’s often the point when we start thinking about the finality of time. That’s also the point where many of us started thinking about the future in more concrete terms. Did we want to keep working our tails off for another fifteen to seventeen years? Could we ever afford to really retire? What if we needed to keep working well beyond retirement age just to survive? What if we could afford to retire at some point and ended up living for 20, 30, or more years? What…

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From One Encore Career to Another

I am now using weekly themes for blogs on this website. This week’s theme is “Encore Living.” I read about encore living long before I officially retired from my career teaching at a community college. At first, I thought ‘encore’ simply meant taking on a new lifestyle after retirement. After more reading, I learned that the word ‘encore’ in retirement is often associated with encore careers—something generally thought of as doing meaningful work that we create or find during a distinct period of our life. That distinct period often begins as we enter our fifties. Encore work may include a…

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Closing the Generation Gap Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

As a professional in my thirties, I didn't want someone my mother's age tagging along with me. Yet that was exactly what happened. It was also one of the best things that happened at the time. Before establishing a career in higher education, I spent a few years in the insurance industry as a senior marketing consultant. My responsibilities involved serving and retaining larger business accounts. At the time, I had a lot of confidence in myself. I believed I could pick up new information quickly. I could also communicate complex information in a way others could understand—certainly a plus…

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