Author Archive

The Terrible Toos

You’re not too old, and it’s not too late!

Are you suffering from the terrible toos? No, not the toddler tantrum terrible twos when they push the limits, test their boundaries and their parents’ patience.
The terrible toos I’m talking about hits later in life. Instead of aging being a time of growth and development, it may turn into a time of excuses, limitations, and fear.
How often do you find yourself saying things like: “I’m too old, it’s too late, I’m too tired, I’m too sickly, I’m too poor, I’m too alone”? The list goes on and on. All of these toos can be a way to hide what we’re really feeling, “I’m too scared”.

Aging can be a scary process. The future is uncertain and we begin to realize that time isn’t limitless. One definition in the dictionary of too is: to such a degree as to be regrettable. Don’t allow the terrible toos to cause you to live with regrets. No matter what your too is, there are ways to tackle it. Don’t let fear stand in your way. Be creative, find solutions, try something new, and don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help. Don’t let the terrible toos rob you of your joy.
Every day is a precious gift to be opened and enjoyed at every age.

Reflections on Turning 70

Recently, I exited my sixth decade and entered my seventh. As I contemplated this transition, my expectation was that it would be rather depressing—a reminder that my time is running out. When I was young, I believed that I had all the time in the world.

As the day of my birthday approached, I was surprised to find that I had a change of attitude. This decade was a new opportunity to follow the dreams I’d been putting off until ‘someday’.No one is guaranteed ‘someday’. It is a false assumptions of youth, that there would be plenty of time.

There are trips I’ve been postponing until ‘someday’. Books I would finish writing ‘someday’. Friends I would spend more time with ‘someday’. Although the list seemed endless, I had to find a place to start. What were the most pressing items on my bucket list? The trip to Scotland I’ve always dreamed of taking? The book I started writing and put on the back burner? Losing my closest friend recently left me with regrets that I didn’t spend more time with her. I don’t want any more regrets, so I will spend time with the people who mean so much to me.

I’ve made the decision that my seventh decade is going to be a decade of achievement. I’m fortunate that I am in good health although my joints are stiffer and I have various aches and pains. I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says “If not now, then when?”. That is my theme for this decade. Am I going to act now or wait until my eighth decade when there will be even less time–if I’m fortunate enough to make it that far? There are no guarantees.

My only regret is I’ve wasted so much time waiting for ‘someday’. “If not now, then when?” It’s like we’re always told—use the good china, take the trips, hug your family and friends, and don’t save anything until someday. Even if I don’t accomplish everything I want this decade, I know that I will accomplish nothing if I don’t make the plans, reserve the trip, call my friends, and even get out the good china. It’s time to enjoy every minute of right now.

Progress Over Perfection

We are in the middle of February. How are those New Year’s Resolutions going? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably given up on them by now. I’m sure you started out with the intention to succeed. What happened? Chances are, you had unrealistic expectations.

I am an expert at making plans and signing up for programs that promise to help me reach my goals, whatever they may be. I make lists and set up programs on my computer that promise to keep me on track and buy the books. Unfortunately, I forget to open the programs and the books gather dust on the self. What’s my problem? As soon as I don’t follow the program, don’t stick to my goals, or meet my unrealistic expectations, I feel like I failed, so I give up.

Occasionally, we make drastic changes overnight, usually due to experiencing a crisis such as health problems, losing a job, or a broken relationship. To survive, we have no choice but to make changes overnight. Why don’t we succeed at these smaller changes that, by comparison, should be easy? What’s the solution?

  1. Know your why. Often, you may not have a strong enough ‘why’.. Because you ‘should’ will never motivate you long-term. We all know eating healthier, being financially responsible, more organized, exercising more, being more organized, or being more productive are worthwhile goals, but why is your goal important to you? Make it personal.
  2. Have a clear vision. Have a vision of what your life will look like once you achieve your goal. What activities will you be able to do? What enjoyment will it bring you?  How will it change your life?
  3. Have realistic expectations. If your expectation is that you will follow our plan perfectly and when you don’t, you may think you’ve failed and give up. The expectation of perfection is not realistic.
  4. Going it alone. Having support and/or an accountability partner can make the difference between success and failure. Ask for the type of help you need. Do you need someone to hold you accountable or someone to support and encourage you, or both? Don’t be afraid to ask for the type of support you need.

When you’re making progress, even tiny baby steps, you cannot consider that you’ve failed. Small steps add up to massive success over time.


Big Heart

Our hearts can hold more than we give them credit for. I never thought it was possible to hold intense grief and extreme joy at the same time. Can a heart break and remain whole?

Preparing for my daughter’s wedding was exciting and happy. At the same time, my best friend, JJ was suffering from physical problems.  Her health deteriorated to the point she was unable to speak or swallow. Surgery revealed a rare form of thyroid cancer. I made plans to visit her right after the wedding. I knew it would be our final goodbye.

The day before my daughter’s wedding, I received the phone call I dreaded. JJ had passed away that morning. Every text  I received from her ended with “I love you, my friend”. It broke my heart that I would never get the chance to tell her one final time that I loved her and what her friendship had meant to me through the years.

Would I be able to put a smile on my face during the wedding celebrations? The wedding morning was a beautiful sunny day. The love and joy shining from my daughter’s and her fiance’s eyes made it impossible not to share in their joy and happiness. My heart was bursting with love. At the reception, I asked the minister how I could feel so much grief and happiness at the same time. His response was, “because our hearts are big enough to hold grief and joy “.

I realized that grief needn’t take away joy. My heart could hold both at the same time. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel grief, but I’m learning to look for joy in the memories and not to let it be so all-consuming that I don’t find joy in other areas of life.

RIP my sweet friend. I love you.


As I look at my calendar to plan my week, there is Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday–seven days to the week, There is one missing. It is the one that I place most of my to-dos on—Someday. But it doesn’t exist, so those Someday plans never get done.

This past week, a beautiful soul left this earth. She fought cancer for over nine years.  When I heard about her passing, I was reminded of the lessons she taught me about Someday.

We were sitting in a coffee shop catching up. She told me that her cancer was now stage four and terminal but that she wasn’t planning to die, she was planning to live. When first diagnosed, her first goal was to make memories with her grandson. She renewed the lease on her art studio not knowing if she would be there until the end of that lease. She signed up to take a class she wanted to take. “I don’t know if I will be around to finish it, but if I don’t start, I defiantly won’t.”

When cancer spread to her brain, that was especially difficult because it took away what she loved, her art. But instead of giving up, she explored other forms of art that she could still do. She fought back long after most of us would have given up—right up until the end. Even though unable to walk or get out of bed, she fought to keep all of her faculties, abilities, and talents. She didn’t put off anything until Someday, because she knew Someday didn’t exist.

It’s time to stop planning to live Someday. It’s just another word for never. Planning can simply be a way of procrastinating, even though it may feel productive. The only day that exists is Today—this moment. Maybe not everything on that to-do list will be completed, but nothing will be accomplished if you don’t start, even if you run out of time to finish.




#agingstrong. #fuckoldage. #womenwarriors, #changeaging. #joyfulaging. #agewithpurpose,

#agewithpower, #nottooold , #nottoolate, #agingfit, #changeyourlife


The Voices in My Head

Recently, on a bus in San Francisco, a man across from me was having a heated argument with the voices in his head. (There was no phone or Bluetooth in sight.) He was adamantly telling them to “shut up, you’re lying to me,” and “that’s not true”

My first thought was that the poor man was crazy, but the more I thought about it, I wondered who was the crazy one, the one telling the voices they were lying or, me, believing what the voices in my head told me. The ones that said ‘you’re too old, it’s too late, you’ll never succeed at your age, you’re too fat, you won’t have enough money, you can’t help but fall apart as you get older, there’s nothing you can do’.

Those voices are simply the voices of my negative feelings. The things I’ve heard, believed and told myself were true. The messages I’ve listened to and never questioned. The voices themselves are not the problem. The problem lies in listening to them and believing them—the relationship I have with them.

It’s time to question the negative voices, challenge them and even cut them off and tell them to be quiet; to listen to new voices. The ones that tell me ‘it’s not too late; you can still be productive, make a difference, be healthy and active at any age’.  These positive messages are truer than all of the negative ones.

The voices that will be the loudness are the ones I listen to the most and believe without questioning. It’s time to turn down the volume on the negative ones, tell them to shut-up when necessary, and listen to the positive voices.

I just won’t have that discussion out loud on the bus.

#aging strong. #f*ckoldage. #womenwarriors, #changeaging. #joyfulaging. #agewithpurpose, #agewithpower, #nottooold , #nottoolate, #agingfit


Are You On a Path or In a Rut?

I’ve been in a rut. How do I know? Because I’ve been trodding the same ground over and over, going nowhere. I thought I was on a path but realized I was in a rut when I no longer had a destination in sight.

When you’re in a rut, you know exactly where you are. It becomes a comfort zone, but unfortunately, a comfort zone doesn’t lead anywhere. The rut can get so deep that you can’t even see over the top anymore. I lost sight of my destination, and even forgot what it was. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what I wanted my destination to be anymore, so I had no clear direction in which to go. Paths have a way of changing directions on their own.

“You don’t want to be stuck in this rut? Then don’t look at the rut. Always look at where you want to go.” Francesco Quinn

A path can be a scary place to be which is why a rut can be so comfortable. How did I get off the path? I sure spent a lot of time planning, making lists, and doing research, but n

ever taking action. There are expectations and risks on the path but none in the rut. I came to realize that planning without action is procrastination. When I take action, I may fail. I may not arrive where I want to be, but without action, failure is guaranteed and I will go nowhere.

We all fall into our habits, our routines, our ruts. They’re used quite often, consciously or unconsciously, to avoid living, to avoid doing the messy part of having relationships with other people, of dealing with a person next to us. That’s why we can all be in a room on our cell phones and not have to deal with one another.” Andrew Stanton

As comfortable as this rut is, I don’t want to stay here. It’s time to once again evaluate where I want to go and forge a new path. The thing about paths is that there isn’t just one path. I have walked many different paths in my life. There is no wrong or right path, there’s only my path—the one I create and choose. Choosing a path is important but also knowing when to step off that path and forge a new one.

“Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another.” Maya Angelou

I know I am on the right path when it leads me to explore, learn, push my boundaries, and grow.

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” Henry David Thoreau

Are you on a path or in a rut? Are you ready to move ahead on your current path, stay stuck in the mud, or forge a brand new path? The choice is yours.

How to Find the Fountain of Youth

Is it inevitable to become weak and frail as we age? Absolutely not! What it the answer?

Strength training.

The CDC recommends that exercise for seniors include strength training:
Adults aged 65 and older need: At least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5
days a week) of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking. Or they need 75 minutes a
week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running. At least 2 days a week
of activities that strengthen muscles.
There is a natural loss of muscle as we age. Much of what is considered normal aging is actually caused from muscle loss. Muscle mass is generally greatest at age 30, when it starts to decline.
By age 70, most people have at least 20% less muscle tissue that they did at 30. If you’re not
careful, by retirement, you can lose one-third to one-half of your muscle tissue. The good news is you can avoid, and even reverse muscle loss with regular exercise.
Benefits of Strength Training:

  •  Increased muscle mass ,
     Increased walking speed,
     Increased leg strength ,
     Increased upper body strength,
     Reduced risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes,
     Improved cognitive performance ,
     Experience less depression,
     Increased bone density. Decreased risk of osteoporosis and broken bones.
     Improved balance and lowered risk of falls. Falls are responsible for more than 18,000
    deaths and nearly 450,000 hospitalizations each year. Strength and balance training can
    reduce the rate of falls by up to 50 percent.
     Improved arthritis: You need muscles to support your joints. Experience less back and
    joint pain.
     Increased ability to get up, walk, exercise, and get around more easily.
     Get out of bed with more confidence, Walk around the garage and back yard with improved stability.
     Enjoy those tennis lessons, gardening or bike riding again.
     Be more Social: Begin to see and enjoy your friends and family and go places by yourself
     Get up off a chair or sofa unaided
     Daily tasks are easier—groceries—pick up dropped objects—get things out of low
     The ability to live independently..Avoid the pitfalls of becoming frail and elderly by starting a strength training program today.

With a moderate amount of strength training twice a week, you can see an increase in muscle
strength after just eight to twelve weeks.
Strength training is often called the Fountain of Youth, because it reverses and reduces muscle
loss associated with aging. Build back that muscle and turn back the clock.  Remember, even after 90, it’s, never too late to start.


#aging strong. #f*ckoldage. #womenwarriors, #changeaging. #joyfulaging. #agewithpurpose, #agewithpower, #nottooold , #nottoolate, #agingfit

Living Distracted

It is estimated that a person will spend 6 years and 8 months of their lives on social media.

Resisting distractions is one of our greatest challenges.

As I sit down to write this article, my computer thinks I need to be notified of the latest news feeds and the popup covers up my document. Once I finally get it to go away, I get back to my article. Email dings to tell me that I’ve got mail. Better check it just in case it’s something important. It wasn’t. It takes awhile to get my mind back on the task at hand. Just as I get back in to writing the article, I get a notification that I have a message. It only takes a few seconds to check that as well. I wonder why I am not more productive. It’s easy to fall in to the distraction trap.

We lose an average of 2.1 hours daily with these distractions. Just one single distraction can stop you from working for 5-10 minutes, and this can happen as often as every 15 minutes. But we don’t just lose those 5-10 minutes. It takes about 25 minutes to return fully to the task at hand. A typical mobile phone user checks their phone more than 150 times a day, making focusing almost impossible. I am guilty as well.

Not only does social media take us away from our tasks, it often takes us away from people and places. How many times do we see two people out to dinner and both are on their phone instead of talking to each other? Or children trying to get their parents attention only to be ignored while the parents are busy on their phones. Living in California in a popular tourist spot, I often see people using the beautiful view as the backdrop for their selfies or taking in the scenery on a 3”x5” screen.

Has social media become an addiction?

Has social media become an addiction? Research shows that when people are denied access to social media they become anxious. Is it an addiction to social media or a fear of missing out? Will everyone else know more than we do sooner? What will friends think if we don’t comment on every post?  (They probably won’t notice.) Does having something to say make us feel important? Do we need to weigh in on every opinion?

People have always been addicted to gossip and drama. My grandmother got her gossip by listening in on the party-line and my mother shared gossip with her friends by phone or in the coffee klatch. Now there is a larger platform on which to share. Instead of friends and neighbors

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, we are sharing to the whole world and getting their gossip as well. When I was growing up, keeping your own counsel and not sharing all of your business was considered wise. It was generally agreed that some things were better remaining private. Today, nothing remains private and people don’t hesitate to share the most intimate details of their life and air their dirty linen or every little thing that happens to them however unimportant. No wonder we are overwhelmed. There is an information overload.

“We rarely find answers in the distractions.”

Tempted to procrastinate? A distraction is just a click away. Resisting distractions is one of our greatest challenges. I find myself seeking the distraction when I’m bored or struggling to make myself sit down and get busy.

“We rarely find answers in the distractions. But oh what possibilities live within the quiet of solitude.” Scott Stabile

Quiet and solitude have been calling me for a while. I can’t accomplish things that are meaningful to me if I am always distracted by the small, unimportant things.

So what is the antidote? Do we need to go cold turkey and give up all social media? The answer is to fill the void with meaningful goals that challenge and stretches you. One you can become fully engrossed in.

Pick up your pen, paintbrush, garden trowel, or go for a walk—whatever creative activity you enjoy. The more you become fully engaged in what you are doing, the less distractions will distract you.

It is estimated that a person will spend 6 years and 8 months of their lives on social media.

“Don’t be on your deathbed someday having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams.” Derek Sivers

“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” Christopher Columbus


#aging strong. #f*ckoldage. #womenwarriors, #changeaging. #joyfulaging. #agewithpurpose, #agewithpower, #nottooold , #nottoolate, #agingfit

A Beautiful Sunset

February is my birthday month. Every year is a reminder that there are more years behind me than ahead of me. I am in my “sunset years”. The sunset on the prairie is amazing and on the west coast where I now live, I am awed by the beauty of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Even though it is nearing the end of the day

, the sun goes out in a blaze of glory. It spreads its beautiful colors across the sky until the last minute when it disappears behind the horizon.

It reminds me that I have a choice of how I approach my own sunset. I can choose how brightly I shine. I can allow the clouds of worry, regret and anxiety to dim my light or can I can shine through the clouds. I don’t knows when my sun will set but I will not concern myself about it but shine and make the most of every minute until that time.

It amazes me how long the glow of the sun remains after it slip below the horizon.  I hope that after my sun sets, I leave behind a warm glow when people think of me, have made a difference in some lives and inspired others to live their best life.

“Therefore, with joy I enter into the activities of the day, and with confidence, I look forward to tomorrow, and without regrets I remember the events of yesterday.” — Ernest Holmes