Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Thoughts on Aging

We’ve all heard the many sayings about aging:

Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, yet the youngest you’ll ever be;

Getting older is a welcome challenge;

Age is just a number;

You become happier as you get older;

Getting older sets you free;

Over the hill has become a very long trek.

To me, all of these have the same core message: forget the number of candles on your birthday cake and embrace life.

It seems to me that in the past people worked until they reached the magic age of 65 and then spent their days rocking on the front porch looking at the world go by. Today, with 30 or more years ahead, it is a time to join the world instead of just looking at it. It’s a time to fully consider that’s it’s never too late to join the parade, even if you’ve been procrastinating.

When a family friend, notorious for putting things off, turned 60 a couple of years back, she finally realized that her free time could be better spent than in front of the TV, and decided to do something about it. Now, she exercises regularly rather than sporadically, and takes courses to learn Italian. She has lost weight and is planning a trip to Italy. “It’s about time I knew more about my ancestry,” she quips, “and I’ve started looking into writing a family history for my children and grandchildren.”  Small steps have led to her being happier. Good for her, I say.

It’s never too late to make the changes needed to improve our lives and make us happier and more fulfilled. The idea is to get involved in life and to persist in our quest to make it interesting. We have accumulated a lot of experience over the years along with wisdom. Two things that shouldn’t go to waste. You might even start you own business or learn to swim if you don’t know how.

The sky is the limit, not age. To me, judging ourselves by our age should be outlawed.




Thursday, January 10, 2019

Going Retro
Looking at what the designers are strutting as the new trends, there is no mistaking the retro look. My mother used to say that there’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to fashion, just variations. She was right. This year’s crop of the latest designs seems to have found new ways of adapting styles popular decades ago. Perhaps there is a certain comfort in nostalgia and it is affecting more than fashion at the moment.
Retro is also a television trend this season as old popular shows are being retooled as it were. I suppose networks are trying to interest a new generation in the successes of yore. Originally some of these shows were excellent, but like the rest of life, not all of them.
 I suppose that point of view is the result of my having lived some less-than-pleasant work experiences over the years. How can I forget a remark made by my male boss during a meeting where I was the only non-male. I overheard him ask a colleague: Do we really need a woman here? And so it went.  Nostalgia unearths scars.
That was almost three decades ago, yet it still stings. To him, women had no business in a man’s world. Unfortunately, some older men still subscribe to this way of thinking and those who are single look for women who will essentially wash their clothes and make their meals. Of course, a case could be made that it was their mother’s fault, but I digress.
Thankfully, things have certainly changed for the better. Today, men of my children’s generation have evolved and do not discriminate against women in the workplace or anywhere else. They treat them as equals, as partners, no matter what the context, and they share equally in the running of the household and the raising of children. Most of them, anyway.
That can only mean the world is on the right path.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

.... to all those who read my blog

 Here we are: another new year. No matter how many we have experienced so far, this one like all the others gives us hope at this new beginning. We are ready to make positive changes in our lives so we formulate resolutions that will lead to better health and a better overall life.
            However, as experience has taught us, resolutions have a way of being short lived. We hold on for a week or two then let go and forget about the promises we made to ourselves. That is not surprising. Research shows that it takes 21 days for a change in behaviour to be effected. That is a full three weeks. After that it should become part of the routine of life.
            But, even if we fail in implementing our resolutions, try and try again should be our motto.  
            I know a fellow who makes a resolution to clean up his language every January, something he’s been doing for a few years now. While he still swears I must say he has improved and utters fewer spicy words now than he did a couple years ago. I suppose that subconsciously he reminds himself of his resolution from time to time, and it can only lead to success in the future.
            I believe that it’s not such a bad idea to keep repeating the same resolution throughout the year because the aim stays in our consciousness. We can still hope to succeed in losing those extra pounds if we keep reminding ourselves that baby steps do bring eventual success.  
            Certainly worth a try!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

From the mouth of children ….
A first-grade teacher gave each child in her class the first half of a saying and asked them to finish the sentence. This is the result.

Strike while the ....... bug is close.
It's always darkest before ....... daylight savings time.
Never underestimate the power of ....... termites.
Don't bite the hand that ....... looks dirty.
No news is ....... impossible.
A miss is as good as a ....... Mr.
You can't teach an old dog new ....... math.
If you lie down with dogs, you'll ....... stink in the
Love all, trust ....... me.
The pen is mightier than the ....... pigs.
An idle mind is ....... the best way to relax.
Where there's smoke, there's ....... pollution.
Happy the bride ....... who gets all the presents.
A penny saved is ....... not much.
Two's company, three's ....... the Musketeers.
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you. Cry and .......
you have to blow your nose.
If at first you don't succeed ....... get new batteries.
You get out of something only what you ....... see in the
picture on the box.
When the blind leadeth the blind ....... get out of the way.
Better late than ........ pregnant .

I’m taking a break from my blog for a few weeks; back
in January.  
Merry Christmas to all of you who follow my blog.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Big Question
No, I’m not talking about a marriage proposal, but rather what you begin to ask yourself as the years pile on: How long will I live?
When I toiled in the 9 to 5 world, I had no choice but to rise early. Now that my time is my own, I admit that I am a night owl. Not extreme, but I do go to bed later than most people in my age range. According to statistics night owls make up about 30% of the population so I am not alone. However I should not forget that a study has shown that night owls have a 10% risk of dying earlier than morning people. Ten percent is not enough to make me change my ways.
Tons of studies have been conducted to answer the big question. They have demonstrated that those who do something live 5 years longer, while those who do something else will lose 5 years of life. Whatever results these studies indicate they do not and cannot take into account genetics. If people on your father’s side of the family die young while those on your mother’s side live to 100 and beyond, how do you know which genes you inherited? Tough question.
In short, I think that despite all the studies, trying to determine your life’s span is somewhat of dice throw in our modern world. For example, many people have died while taking a selfie because they posed too close to an imminent danger like the edge of a cliff! And more and more people are dying in accidents caused by the simple fact that while on their phone they do not pay attention to where they are going as they walk – like stepping in front of a bus!        
            It seems that life spans are also affected by where you live. A study has shown that on average Canadians live three more years than Americans. Why? I don’t know but perhaps the fact that Canadians apologize for anything and everything could have something to do with it!
However, it seems that living in Monaco is ideal if you want to live longer. Men there live until 86 and women live to 94. Why a study on Monaco? No doubt the researchers yearned to spend time in that principality rather than say, Afghanistan.
            So many studies, so little time. I mean I think everything has been studied when it comes to living longer. It seems study results come out every day, if not every hour. There are so many variable in anyone’s life in relation to their neighbors that a fair comparison is, to me anyway, difficult if not impossible to make.
            Of course, nothing prevents anyone from taking good care of themselves and we do live lives that are more and more easy to measure. Anyone can check their blood pressure in any pharmacy, and an app to measure blood pressure is now available on some phones. There are gadgets that let you know how many steps you take in a day, and exercise machines that can tell you how many calories you burn. The more you know, the better you are able to make changes that will increase your chances of adding a few years to your life.
            We can postulate a lot based on our daily habits and study results, but let’s not forget outside influences. In my case it is the dog next door which often disturbs my early morning sleep something experts say is bound to reduce my lifespan. So, my question is: would I live longer if I moved?
            So many questions before we can answer the big question.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


We all know that in life, nothing is static. Change is the name of the game. Just like the ocean, our lives are constantly in a moving pattern. Some changes are unseen and have little influence on our daily lives, while surface patterns are constantly pushing us to take a new course, but it does not mean we have to let them.

This is especially true when it comes to new technologies. Case in point, I recently heard a woman remark that her mother was really behind the times. “She doesn’t bank on line and still pays her bills by mail,” she complained. I did not comment, but my reaction was that I may also be behind the times. I don’t see why I should necessarily handle my financial affairs on line simply because it is available. I suppose that I feel comfortable with the way I do things, but also part of me still does not fully trust the internet. If hackers can access sensitive data I don’t think it’d be very difficult for them to play footsie with my bank account. Not that there is much to play footsie with. I just feel safer paying my bills myself at the bank.

Before taking to the road for a few hours when going to visit family or friends, I stop at my local library and take out an audio book. It is enjoyable to hear the narrator’s voice as the miles add up, and by the time I return the CD, I’ve been entertained and/or I have learned something new. “That is so passé,” a friend told me recently. “You should download material yourself.”

My first reaction: What’s the difference? Just because I can download books on a portable device does not mean I must do so. Not just yet, anyway. In time, I will no doubt do it, but for the moment the traditional me, says: What’s the point of forever adopting every new thing that comes our way. There is enough surface change in my life as it is.



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fall Prevention Month
November is fall prevention month, something that concerns people as they age. And that means a lot of people since Baby Boomers are turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 people per day. And that number can only continue to increase.
A misstep at home or a patch of ice can start a deadly chain reaction for seniors or the mobility impaired of any age. Since one in five falls results in a serious injury such as broken bones and head trauma, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer sound advice for preventing falls. Talk to your doctor if the medicines you take make you feel sleepy or dizzy. Do exercises that make your legs stronger and improve balance, such as Tai Chi. Have your eyes checked at least once a year, and if you wear bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with only distance prescription for outdoor activities such as walking. Poor footwear can cause falls, so make sure it is good.
There are many steps that can be taken to prevent falls in the home like getting rid of things you could trip over such as throw rugs, putting railings on both sides of stairs, and have grab bars in your tub or shower, as well as next to the toilet. Also make sure the lighting in your home is adequate.
Falls can have psychological consequences even when they don’t result in injury because it often leads to people being afraid of falling and thus limiting their activities and social life. Prevention is all important.
In November we begin to feel the cold winds of the season to come. In winter using a cane can prevent falls and their consequences. If you are a Canadian you may want to take advantage of a company’s Cane for Life initiative.
            “We have pledged to give away 1,000 canes for qualified seniors and mobility-impaired Canadians.” said Renato Cavaliere, CEO of Canadian Safe Step Walk-in Tub Co. The company is an advocate for safety and quality of life for seniors and the mobility-impaired.
            Canadians can apply for a free cane through