Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Third Anniversary - Changes Ahead

Antonia’s Senior Moments has been a thriving blog for three years. During that time, over 200 posts have been published, which have been viewed over 36,000 times by readers in 10 different countries including Poland, Ukraine, Russia and China.

Now Antonia’s Senior Moments is growing up, hitting the big time. Early next month this blog will be changing its name to The Joy of Aging Gratefully, and will become a full on website that will grow and expand to meet the needs of my senior audience.

Did you know older women are the largest demographic in the world? I'd like to continue to grow a community of readers who are interested in making our seniordom a vibrant and joyous time.

As a result, you'll continue to see myriad age-related information and subjects that hopefully strike a chord with you. We’ll also be open to any suggestions you have for subjects you’d like to see or issues you’d like to share.

It’s going to be the same, but different. That's how I've felt about getting older … the same as I did in my thirties but different in my older body. I bet I’m not alone in this feeling.

As I go forward, I’d like to thank all my friends and readers and specifically the following people for motivating me to keep going:

Ruth Barnhart
Jane Beach
Fran Bolduc

Debbie Butterfield
Randall Friesen

Lorna Johnson
Chris Michaels
Norma Miller
Barbara Stafford
Christine Sullivan
Rod Sverko

Edward Viljoen

Contact Antonia at antonia@thejoyofaginggratefully.com  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Death Part 2*, or The Momentary Joy of Being Curious

I was sitting on the deck with my friend, Effie, taking in the cool beginning to what was forecast to be a warm summer day. The jays were squawking, the hummingbirds were fighting over the standing-room-only feeder at the end of the house, and Effie and I were solving all the world’s problems. I enjoy solving world problems with my friends. We were laughing and having fun but then…

…uh-oh, I mentioned the “D” word.

I’m not sure how the subject came up but, given Effie is my age, I probably just out-and-out asked her. I cringed after kick-starting the conversation and clutched my mug of coffee a little tighter. She, however, did not flinch a bit -- in fact, she kept right on smiling and said (wait for it...):  “I’m really curious about what’s on the other side.” She spoke without fanfare or angst or hyperbole; she was just being honest.

The moment she said those words I got goosebumps. In a flash, I saw and felt a different aspect of death than I ever had before. It was fleeting but my thought was, “Wow, can I actually be curious about what’s on the other side?” And immediately the answer came, “Yes, I can be curious,” and that got me excited.

For a moment I felt open … really open.

Standing strong, arms spread wide, face lifted to the brilliant sky, eyes closed I saw an alternative to the dreaded logistics of the death experience. I transcended the rigmarole of illness or accident, saying goodbyes, getting things in order (if I’m lucky), and found myself in a place of inquiry and sheer wonderment. This led me right into, Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s not scary, maybe it’s bigger than me and my emotions and even the physical plane of the entire universe.”

I’ve tried to express to my husband and friends the exact feeling of that brief awakening, but it just doesn’t translate. Perhaps I’ll never find the words. Perhaps it’s just too new or unfamiliar. Perhaps I dreamt it?

Like I said, that moment was gone just as quickly as it had swept its way through my being. I can sort of remember what it felt like, as it seemed to leave a spiritual thread behind in my soul.

Since that morning on the deck with Effie, I’ve been on a quest … a quest to recapture that ephemeral feeling of curiosity. It’s not a subject that can be Googled or easily tracked down in literature. And even if it could, it wouldn’t be the same.

But I’m hopeful of what I can learn and that I’ll have that feeling again. It has opened me up and made me a smidgeon less fearful of a situation no one can control. When death happens, it happens. My prayer is that I remain curious, even until that last moment.


Thanks Effie!

*Note:  I talk about death for the first time in my blog post of October 1, 2013, which you can read here.

Contact me at antonia@thejoyofaginggratefully.com

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In The Know - October

~If you're like me, music from your younger days always lifts your spirits and takes you out of the everyday hum drum to a place that makes you smile. This article takes a look at how YouTube can bring a lot of no-cost, no-calorie, no-guilt pleasure to your days.  

~This 100-year-old athlete, Don Pellman, is still breaking records. He is truly inspirational to me ... especially on those days when every joint in my body aches. Check him out here.

~It's humor, not politics. Cute article about how people are posting pics of their cats and other pets that look like Trump and other candidates. Cute! 

~Leave it to the New Zealanders' to create a fashion-forward line of incontinence lingerie. Find out more about this underwear here

~A recent study showed for older adults the more you exercise the better shape your body will be. However, this was not true for your mind as well. Whether you exercise 75 mins a week or 225 mins, the test participants scored nearly the same in cognitive tests. Read more here.

~Money is a huge issue for retirees, especially women retirees. This article presents 10 tips for retired women on fixed incomes. 

~With the recent passing of Oliver Sacks' I reread his delightful piece on aging gracefully in the New York Times. It's definitely worth reading!

~Did you see it? Why is it that old people being affectionate is such an event? I don't know, but I thought "awwww" when I saw it too. Watch here.

~And finally, while we're speaking about affection, here's an interesting article about why sex scenes for the over-60 crowd are rarely shown in film. What do you think

~October Birthdays:

Roger Moore, 87 on the 14th
Angela Lansbury, 89 on the 16th
Catherine Deneuve, 71 on the 22nd
Chi Chi Rodriquez, 79 on the 23rd
Nanette Fabray, 97 on the 27th
Dan Rather, 83 on the 31st

Contact Antonia at antonia@thejoyofaginggratefully.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Do You Suffer From Action≠wordophobia?

Action≠wordophobia is the fear of not being able to match your words with your actions.

It goes something like this:

I’m “healthy,” but my diet is crap. I’m “nonjudgmental,” but I share my opinion like it’s the word of God. I think I live in integrity by not initiating gossip, but when it’s laid before me, I partake. 

And I’m always making suggestions for things my husband could do better but that I never do myself. Bazinga!

My actions don’t always match my words. 

That’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s the truth.

It’s easy to call out someone whose actions contradict their words. Parents are the worst. I remember my mom and dad castigating me not to smoke, but they both smoked like chimneys their entire lives. They’d tell me not to “yell at my sister,” even as they argued fervently night after night. It makes for confusing messages. What’s the old saying:  Do I say, not as I do?

Okay, but what’s the big deal?

Your husband tells you he loves you, and that you’re the most important person in his life. But, he’s late for dinner, changes your plans with him at the last moment and takes calls or texts during meals and other times with you. See the problem here?

When actions don’t match words, credibility is ruined. This is obvious in the business world where failing to follow through on a promise can make the difference between keeping and losing clients.

Your reputation at home is equally precious. It’s trashed when you, for instance, say you’re sorry but continue to behave badly. Kids pick up on this quickly and learn to disconnect words and actions as they grow into adults. Without stellar credibility, children and spouses will have a difficult time trusting you.

How much of what you say is, in fact, what you do?

I don’t believe people, including myself, say one thing and do another out of a conscious intention. It’s more likely a lack of awareness that our doing and saying aren’t jiving. So, don’t be too harsh on yourself right off the bat.

Take a moment -- heck, take a week -- and see if what you say coincides with what you do, both with yourself and others, at home and at work. I guarantee it’s worth it.

How to change.

Assuming you find that you need to work at doing more of what you say, there are things you can change. It’s safe to say that if any of our actions are going the opposite direction of our words, it’s likely we’re cultivating a well-embedded habit.

My first suggestion is to be honest with yourself. If your diet is crap, quit kidding yourself that you’re doing all you can to be healthy. Take a good hard look at places in your life where you give knee-jerk responses about what you do without really checking to see if you’re making an honest statement.  What about times when you say you’ve done something you really haven’t done completely? Being honest about what you say will help bring your words and actions into alignment.

Along the honesty lines, my next suggestion is to read Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements.  One of the four agreements is to “be impeccable in your word.” When you learn to be more honest with yourself and others, your voice will automatically flow into your actions. It takes practice.

Finally, a way to break this bad habit is to just share your word less often … period. You don’t have to make any statements about how healthy you are. Zip it! Take the time to just be a listener. The integrity of both your personal and professional lives are at stake. Don’t risk it. Be sure your actions match your words. 

As seniors in our communities, we are role models. Be sure those coming behind us see the value of what we say and that it matches what we do.

Contact Antonia at thejoyofaginggratefully@gmail.com or
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