Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

3 weeks to 50!!

The countdown continues, and I am still finding things to get excited about.

For those of you facing fifty and beyond, never fear! As always, I have turned to books to find inspiration, and I have some recommendations for you.

The Grace of Aging: Awaken as You Grow Older by Kathleen Dowling Singh
The Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty by Michael Gurian
The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully by Joan Chittister
This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity by Susan Moon
Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up by James Hollis
Mindful Aging: Embracing Your Life After 50 to Find Fulfillment, Purpose and Joy
by Andrea Brandt
The Spirituality of Age: A Seeker’s Guide to Growing Older
by Robert L. Weber, PhD and Carol Osborn, PhD

These, of course, all focus specifically on aging after 50, but feel free to find inspiration in any book that talks about following your heart and finding joy. They all address the deep down reason for our fear when the Big Five-Oh looms around the corner – unfulfilled dreams and loss of time.

When we were young, 30 seemed old. Now, we are reaching the point where we have already passed our 30 year high school reunion and we are a bit shocky. How did this happen? Weren’t we just 25 yesterday?!

The biggest gift we can give ourselves as we approach these momentous birthdays is the permission to finally, truly live the lives we were meant to live. We need to allow ourselves to finally speak our truth and not be afraid to show our hearts to the world.

Be yourself. Let that freak flag wave. The world will adjust. 🙂

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

4 weeks to 50!!

In my last post, I talked about turning 50 next month. I am truly trying to approach this as an adventure instead of facing it with fear.

I have been looking for inspiration and have found a few treasures to share with you.

Duncan Hines (yes, that was actually a real person!) didn’t write his first food and hotel guide until he was 55. Then at the tender young age of 73 he licensed the right to use his name to the famous cake mix company.

Charles Darwin didn’t publish his Origin of Species until he was 50.

Ray Kroc was over the age of 50 when he bought the first McDonalds and developed the franchise.

Julia Child was 51 when she made her television debut.

Harlan Sanders didn’t become the Kentucky Fried Chicken mogul until he was 65.

Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book at 65.

Grandma Moses was 76 when she painted her first canvas.

Edmond Hoyle didn’t start writing his technical rules for card games until he was in his 70s.

Jack Cover developed the first taser when he was 50.

Ronald Reagan was elected to his first public office at the age of 55.

Judge Judy became a household name when she was 53.

Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel at the age of 71.

According to Michael Gurian, author of Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty, research shows these uplifting statistics:

  • 1/3 of the accomplishments of the 400 most famous people were made between ages 60 and 70
  • More than half of what researchers call “the world’s greatest work” was achieved by people over 60

With this kind of inspiration, how can we be anything but psyched to reach this awesome age!

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

5 weeks to 50

In about five weeks, I will be turning 50! Yep, the Big Five-Oh!

According to just about everyone, that will put me over the hill. And as logic would have it, many of my friends are also facing this milestone this year. It is amazing to me the huge swing in reactions that they ar exhibiting.

On the one hand, some friends are embracing it, with a Bring It On attitude. They are meeting the day with new adventures, tattoos, and a lot of alcohol to celebrate. Others are meeting it with a lot of alcohol, but from more of a fetal position from the dark corner of their closet. They are laying awake at night, terrified.

As I approached this post, and the big day, I did what I usually do. I went to google and started some random searches to see what popped my intrigue level. And according to my google searches, those friends in the ball in the corner have the right idea.

Most of the articles I discovered discussed all the things that start to go wrong with your body and health the minute the clock turns and you are no longer a young pup in your 40s. Your skin goes from taut and silky to a wrinkled mess with the texture of sandpaper. Your hair goes gray and you will be left standing terrified and alone in the hair dye aisle of your local drug store. every conceivable ailment will become a reality  from arthritis to high cholesterol, diabetes to erectile dysfunction to full-scale dementia…

The. Minute. You. Turn. Fifty.

Women are facing even more dire health issues because of menopause. Hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, inability to conceive, insomnia. Is it any wonder any woman of a certain age can even manage to get out their front door in the morning, let alone function?!

Add to this the financial uncertainty of retirement planning and investing that you obviously should have done from birth, along with all the potential scams aimed at seniors. Stir into the mix your inability to fight off attackers or out run bears and it is a miracle anyone makes it to 51.

If I hadn’t suffered from anxiety and depression for years, these articles definitely would have brought both on. Thankfully, not many of these issues loom large for me. I have dealt with gray hair since my 20s. Thanks to a chronic medical condition, I have suffered from weight gain, cholesterol issues, insulin resistance and other lovely side effects my whole adult life. I faced the inability to conceive throughout my late 20s, 30s and into my early 40s.

So before I fell into that impending downward spiral, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I still am only 49 and have the strength in my pointer finger to close the Internet page. Yep, I have the choice in my still non addled brain to choose what to read and choose how to react.

I reacted by finding a whole slew of different uplifting articles about aging. They spoke of the freedom to finally own my life, errors and missteps and all. To embrace my not so perfect temper, and my not so perfect body. They reminded me that now is the time to do something new, to plan  a new adventure, to revel in this one life.

So many people are not given the luxury of reaching this age. They are lost far too young. And I can attest that as I age, the age of far too young gets a lot older. Worse still are those who reach their golden years and spend them in that fetal position in the corner because they have read too many of those negative articles and are now living in fear.

I say, turn around and face that fear head on. Look it right in the eye and proclaim, the best years are still ahead of me. And then go do something you have always wanted to do but told yourself you were too young, too  old, too fat, too unathletic, too unmusical, too whatever. Make up your own rules about aging.

 

 

 

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

Finally Here!

They have finally arrived!! And they are BEAUTIFUL!!

Kala Baritone in solid acacia

Pono Tenor with solid cedar top and solid acacia sides and back

Rob was immediately able to start playing these little lovelies. His guitar background had him ripping off chords and melodies in no time. Me, not so much. I have plinked some strings and played a few chords under his watchful eye, but I am definitely a work in progress.

Thankfully we have technology. A smart TV that we can stream YouTube through so those uke tutorials are big and easy to see. I promise I will check in with my progress and a tune or two!

     

Aren’t they gorgeous!! Love that woodgrain!

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

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