What’s the Perfect Gift?

December 18th, 2023 by Joan Maiden

 

We’re all busy this time of year we trying to decide on the perfect gifts to give everyone on our list. Whether shopping online or in the stores, we often spend hours looking for that perfect gift and then wrapping it beautifully. We hope they will like and appreciate it.

This year, think outside the box. Instead of things, find gifts that will build memories, bring joy, and a smile to faces for years to come. What are experiences can you  give? Concert tickets, trips to gardens, visit to an art gallery–books and music can bring pleasure for years. Are there workshops or classes they would enjoy? Instead of stuff to show, most people would rather have stories to tell.

The Gift I Gave Myself

When I turned 70, I decided if I was ever going to accomplish some of the things on my bucket list, now was the time because time was running out.

One of the major items I wanted to achieve was to walk the Boudica Way and visit Scotland.

I had not traveled alone internationally for over 20 years. The prospect was daunting. Would I be able to manage? I would never know if I didn’t try. Plane ticket bought, hotel reservations made and butterflies in my stomach. Fortunately, I had I friend who wanted to do part of the trip with me. We were meeting up for the second week of the trip so that helped alleviate some of the trepidation.

The trip was all I’d hoped it would be and more. Yes, I had to run to catch a connection, but grateful I was able to run. Everything went smoothly. I fell in love with Scotland. The B&B in Edinburgh was so beautiful, it made the trip delightful. Roaming the cobblestone streets, I felt as if I had stepped back in time.

I soon learned to navigate the trains and buses, and find my way around the train stations. I arrived in London to meet up with Jen. The first evening there, we were fortunate to attend Evensong at Westminster Cathedral. (For some reason the Beatles song kept running through my head.)

Standing in front of the Boudica statue was moving. I’d been looking at the picture of it for years. The next day we hopped on the train to Norwich to start the Boudica Way. We both loved Norwich–the beautiful cathedrals and history. (The hospital that is still in use was built in 1771.)

It was  an amazing experience. It’s so easy to get in our comfort zone and not challenge ourselves as we get older. The greatest gift I gave myself from taking a risk and facing my fears was renewed self confidence. I can’t wait for the next trip

 

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What’s Your Why?

September 25th, 2023 by Joan Maiden

Transformation the Warrior Way has been my tagline ever since I started my website. Recently I was asked what that meant to me. It made me stop and reflect after all this time, what it means to me today.

Boudica, Warrior Queen, inspired me to emphasize strength and independence. To step out of the status quo and forge your own path.

As I thought about it, I realized that to succeed, you need to know your “why”. Boudica’s compelling “why” was to free her people from the tyranny of the Romans. My why for starting my business and writing the books I’ve written, was to free women from the tyranny of the diet industry and the misinformation that is so prevalent regarding aging.

No matter what your goal is or what you want to achieve, you will not succeed until you identify your “why”. It’s imperative that it is your why. Not what you think you should do, what is good for you, or what anyone else thinks, your why has to be personal, fueled by passion. Whatever your goal, whatever your dream, ask yourself why it is important to you. Once you know your “why”, and back it up with passion, success is inevitable.

The Terrible Toos

June 28th, 2023 by Joan Maiden

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

May 24th, 2023 by Joan Maiden

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

February 24th, 2023 by Joan Maiden

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

January 15th, 2023 by Joan Maiden

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.

Someday

September 6th, 2022 by Joan Maiden

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

August 9th, 2022 by Joan Maiden

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.

 

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

 

Are You On a Path or In a Rut?

July 17th, 2022 by Joan Maiden

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

June 30th, 2022 by Joan Maiden

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
    cabinets
     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

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