An Optimistic Attitude Could Lead to a Longer Life

I’ve read a few articles recently about how optimism is generally associated with longer life. One of the articles explained that optimists tend to have lower stress levels and feel more “empowered to overcome hurdles.” I think of myself as a pragmatic optimist. I’m not a ‘Pollyanna,’ and I do try to anticipate situations that could become problems and plan for them. Still, I usually try to look for the rays of sunshine when I see clouds on the horizon. Now having said this, I’ll confess that I’ve had periods when I was less than a ‘sunny’ presence—especially when I…

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Good Health: One of Our Most Valuable Assets

Yesterday I got some good news when I visited my doctor; she told me that she couldn’t detect any sign of a heart arrhythmia I had developed three months prior to retiring. If my work had permanently compromised my health, I would have lost one of my most valuable assets. My plan was to work until I was seventy; I had some financial ‘catching up’ to do before I figured retirement could be a realistic option. I entered the workforce after my children started school. When I was in my mid-forties, I became a statistic – another ‘gray divorce statistic.…

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Beyond Stereotypical Assumptions

This summer, my husband and I had the opportunity to spend individual time with three of our grandsons. Each boy stayed with us for a couple of activity-filled days. Our special guests were 7, 9, and 9; yes, the last two grandchildren to visit are twins. When one of our neighbors asked the last to visit if he was an identical twin, he said, “We aren’t identical. In fact, we couldn’t be more different.” His point applies to everyone: See each of us as the unique individuals we really are; don’t make stereotypical assumptions. Each Younger Person is a Unique…

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The Unhealthy Myth of Self-Reliance as We Age

Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, argues that our cultural myth of rugged individualism serves us poorly as we age. I am learning first-hand how the myth of self-reliance can limit us in surprising ways. I am a planner. I think ahead and try to anticipate what kinds of preparations I need to make for the future. Prior to ending my career in education, I planned what I wanted my life to ‘look like’ once I was in charge of my own time. I read just about everything I could locate on how to successfully…

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You’re Just Old: Age and Outrage

Ageism and Outrage As an older woman, I am becoming more aware of how ageism can affect various aspects of my life and the lives of others—especially when it comes to medical care. I do not believe it is acceptable for any medical professional to discount health concerns by saying, “You’re just old.” Yet this continues to happen to people as they age.  I am learning that when we educate ourselves about ageism and speak up, we have power. Cathy is one of my neighbors. She is an active 82-year-old woman. She has taught dance classes for years. I often…

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Adjusting to Change and Developing Resilience as We Age

When we were children, we had to adjust to a variety of classroom environments, new rules, and new restrictions on our personal freedom. As young adults, we had to adjust to the realities of working for a living. Many of us also had to adjust to living with one or more people at some point in our lives. We’ve all spent a lifetime of adjusting to change.Adjusting to life after 50 is no different in many respects. From our own life experience, we know that sometimes adjustments are frustrating and we don’t want to deal with them.I’ll confess that after…

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Choosing to Live My Best Life

I lived life at high speed during the many years I was officially employed. I learned to do things quickly and efficiently; I thought of myself as somewhat of an efficiency expert.  I also learned to prioritize. Anything that wasn’t on my list of priorities could quickly be forgotten. Up until eight months ago, that was my life. Now I am learning a new way to live. Yes, I’m learning to slow down a bit. But I’m also learning to adapt as needed. I am now choosing to live my best life. Softer Deadlines and Greater Freedom While I still…

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Staying Connected In Retirement is Essential

My Sister lives in Lake Oswego near Portland. I live in Southern Oregon. We’ve always been very close, but the miles make it difficult to stay connected. As we are both retired, we have a bit more time to be creative about keeping connected. Staying connected in retirement is essential. One of the ways we stay in touch is to take phone walks together. One of us will text and ask the other if they have time for a walk. Then we head out with our phones and have a wonderful conversation while getting a healthy walk. Before we started…

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The Retirement Urn: A Fitting Symbol of a Transition Taking Place

Whenever anyone retired at the college where I taught, they got a piece of pottery that many of jokingly referred to as an urn. When I officially ‘retired,’ I also got a lovely piece of pottery that could easily pass as an urn. How many workplaces give you an urn at retirement? Probably not many do so, but I think it is a fitting symbol of a transition taking place.Retirement Involves a Major Life TransitionFor anyone who has read anything about retiring, you already know that it’s a big deal. Even if we’re anxious to ‘get out of Dodge’ as…

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Fed UP with Rhetoric That Divides Rather Than Unites

Some of you know that I feel strongly about some issues. One of those issues is climate change. My intention in writing today is not to make a political statement, but rather to make a point on rhetoric that pits younger generations against older generations. I am fed up with rhetoric that separates rather than unites us on climate change and other issues of major importance. Prompted to speak up I’ve never sent an email to a major political candidate before until a few days ago. Last week, I decided I was tired of talk about how younger people are…

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