Goodbye Corporate America - Hello Life

Seniors, That's Life Comments Off on Goodbye Corporate America – Hello Life
Apr 132012

Shhhh! Don't tell anyone but if you're a senior you're one of the elite and among some of the most lucky citizens.

There have been a lot of people thrown into a quandary and, admittedly many have been pretty angry in the last years. There will be more as baby boomers continue to age. The issues gained momentum as many in their 50s came to the stark realization that they are finding it more and more difficult to get work because of (hush – don't say this too loud) age discrimination aka being "over qualified".

It is a shocking realization that at some point no matter how good you are or how much effort you put into effort to secure appropriate work, after years of climbing the corporate ladder, you're being downsized to baggers, WalMart greeters and the like.

But wait. Is it really all that bad?

OK, so we still have bills to pay and earning less money does put a crimp in efforts to stay up with the Jones family with all the new electronic, high-tech toys on the market. But there's definitely a silver lining when you take the time to find it.

I've been chatting with a number of 30-somethings who are absolutely burned out and terribly unhappy with their jobs. They have lots of reasons from working for incompetent managers to excessive hours and demands on them. And the more I talk with them, the more I realize that we old fogies are the lucky ones.

Think about it:

  • Seniors don't need to invest in appropriate work wardrobes – fancy suits, the latest fashions, stockings, manicures and fancy hairdos any more. No more need to impress co-workers or potential employers. We can dress as we choose.
  • Seniors don't need to invest in all those travel expenses to and from a place of business, we can finally spend lots less on gas, car upkeep and parking.
  • Seniors can pick and choose our work schedules (Oh, yes, there is still viable – meaningful – work we can do. We can do that work when and how we choose:early morning, afternoons, middle of night, in short bursts of time, or 24-hours at a crack. We can take off to visit a sick relative or walk the dog when we choose. And vacations are a snap. No need to get approval.
  • Seniors can do work that we LIKE to do, the way we LIKE to do it.. And this is the best of all benefits. Artists,photographers, writers, inventors, technicians who are working in offices today would die for the opportunity to work full time doing what they enjoy most. Many who worked for "the Man" all their lives, dreamed of the time and freedom seniors enjoy. Better yet, many achieved their greatest success when others figured they were too old to be productive.Think Grandma Moses (101), Frances Bennett (92).

Once you get past the idea that your value is all wrapped up in your job, you can free yourself to live the most enjoyable productive days of your life. Sure, it takes some imagination; but for the first time, once you reach that certain age when corporate America wants nothing more to do with you, you can be free to be all you can be. There's nothing stopping you from becoming everything you ever dreamed of being.

Do you want to be an artist…a photographer….an author…an inventor…a world traveler. Just do it!

Now, I'm begging you, don't tell anyone because once the word gets out we're sure to see others trying to jump on the bandwagon.

Spring - Time for Seniors To Get More Active

Seniors, That's Life Comments Off on Spring – Time for Seniors To Get More Active
Apr 022012

Seniors, who are like me tend to live by seasons. Winter is a time for indoor activities, hand crafts, reading, catching up on movies, baking. If you're like me with less appreciation for bitter cold weather, you're not likely to get outdoors much.

But come Spring, it's a whole 'nother world with opportunities to enjoy all that sunshine and warm weather has to offer.

Some activities move through the seasons easily. Reading and writing are among those kinds of activities. Take a book or a pad of paper and a pen (or your laptop) and settle in under a tree and you can count on a most pleasant and productive day.

Painting and sketching also work. An easel, canvas and paints or a pad of paper and charcoals or pencil  are all that's needed for a talented artist to capture the best of the season. There's no end to the subject matter, whether you like to do landscapes, portraits or even abstracts. . 

But with warm weather we can actually recapture a bit of our youth.

Walking in the wide open spaces, whether in a park or along a lakefront is always good. But if you're really ambitious you might be drawn to such as jumping rope, riding a bike, playing ball and more. It's invigorating activities such as these that remind us that we're only as old as we allow ourselves to be.

I'm reminded though that you want to start slow. It's not difficult, your body really never forgets these kinds of skills. But you do want to remember that it may take some time to rebuild your stamina. And, of course, when it comes to something like biking you will want to be particularly careful. Even though cities like Chicago are encouraging biking by arranging rental programs and setting aside designated bike trails, you do need to remember that streets are highly congested and drivers tend to be less than courteous at times. And, of course, it's up to bikers and pedestrians to pay attention to their own safety. 

You really don't need to spend a lot of money to engage in stamina building at your local health spa. Just get out there and do it. Start slow, and build gradually.

Spring re-introduces us to a more leisurely life style and helps us to re-capture a zest for life that many of us forget throughout the winter months. If you tend to suffer from depression or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, the bane of those who are affected negatively by cold dreary days) you're in for a pleasant surprise as your spirits start to soar. While you're at it, expect an added benefit beyond just re-awakening your appreciation of the finer things this world has to offer. You may well meet new friends who share some of your interests. It's amazing what you can discover once you get out of your house and your car, and start enjoying a slower pace.

Whatever outdoor activity you choose to engage in, enjoy.

Camera Fun

Seniors, That's Life Comments Off on Camera Fun
Mar 232012

If you are lucky enough to have a digital camera
you have the source of countless hours of entertainment. Keeping it close at hand will ensure that you can capture those precious moments that otherwise would escape our attention.

Witness the photo to the right. I was trying to get some work done this morning. When I got up to
fix a cup of coffee, I noticed my two cats (Twiggy
on top and Sparrow below) The picture was too precious to pass up. Now, normally I need to go digging for my camera, but today I had it on my desk so I grabbed it and started shooting.

Now, I don't pretend to be an expert photographer and my eyes aren't as good as they once were,
but I was thrilled to be able to capture this composition.

I've learned that in order to get the best possible picture it takes a lot of trial and error. Practice makes perfect, they say, and it certainly is true
with photography.

Digital cameras offer an amazing amount of control for us novices. My favorites are the zoom and the setting that controls shaky hand.

The important thing is to just keep playing with the camera settings until you get familiar enough with them to understand which settings work best in each circumstance.

We older citizens can appreciate digital cameras because they allow us to take and delete photos without the exorbitant costs and delays in seeing the results of our efforts which were so common in the past.

I hope you enjoy your camera as much as I do. It opens the door to a cost effective hobby you can enjoy any time of day or night..

Don't ever apologize...

Seniors Comments Off on Don’t ever apologize…
Feb 292012

When an individual reaches that "certain age" it's easy to fall into the trap of apologizing to others and to himself or herself for being old.. Ok, so we do have brain farts. That's not necessarily an indication of anything age-related so much as a reminder that we've failed to challenge our our brains and let them get lazy. It's no different for any other part of our bodies. legs that don't take us for leisurely walks from time to time get cramps, too.  

Garson Kanin had the right idea. He is reported to have said, "Youth is the art of nature, but age is a work of art." Think about it. along with age comes all sorts of personal benefits. The older you get the richer and more fulfilling your life can be – if you embrace it for what it is. With age comes a certain dignity and wisdom that many youngsters would die for. You don 't have to work so hard doing busy work or chores and can, finally focus on dozens of creative activities. By the time you've reached that "certain age" much of the drudgery of life has long since faded away, most daily tasks have pretty well become second nature and you've eliminated all the excess fluff and "must dos". Finally, you can spend your time and energy doing what you decide are important, relaxing or challenging.

When you reach that "certain age" you discover that actually, you're really not that far from the days of your youth. You even enjoy getting carded…seems like the older you get the more that happens.

There is nothing wrong with age,..the only time age matters is in cases of fine wines, cheeses and masterpieces.  When we reach that "certain age" we discover we have a lot to celebrate. When we can say I've been here for more than half a century we join a unique class. Dignity and worth are enhanced exponentially with age…ask any collector of arts, antiques and other valuables.

So, raise your head high when asked for your ID. You've arrived! 

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