Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Tag: 60 (page 1 of 2)

Climb every Mountain, Ford every Stream….

Here it is 2019 already!

I say that every year…well, not the 2019 part but the “already” part. I’ve heard the older you get the quicker time goes, and I have to agree. 

Last year just flew by.

When I started this blog, it was with the intention of getting to 60 feeling like I had my shit together. Or as my husband says, I want to “have all my shit in one sock.”

So here we are, January 1, 2019 and in just over five months I will be hitting that 60 mark head on. I’ll admit it still freaks me out. Sixty just sounds so much older than 50 something.

Even my granddaughters commented that 60 is old!

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Thank you

Thank you so much to all you who have hit the donate button on my blog….(Shelly D, Cindy F, Mary H, Virginia S, Anne K….and more.)

As you know, blogging is a labor of love that costs more than it earns.

Your donations have helped, and will continue to help me share my story.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

The evolution of Motherhood

I remember from the time I was little the only thing I really wanted to be when I grew up was a Mom. Not very “progressive”, I know, but it’s the truth.

We were very poor growing up and rarely had any new toys. Instead they were passed down from one child to the next.

The neighbor girls I tried to hang out with had Barbie Dolls that came with different outfits you could dress them in.

I had one doll, and she wasn’t a petite little doll, but more of an old-fashioned Dolly with eyes that would close when you laid her down. And with one arm missing.  Continue reading

59 years BOLD

Several friends asked about my 59 years Bold t-shirt I was wearing yesterday on my birthday. Chico’s started a How Bold Are You challenge and the Forever Fierce community teamed up with them to create these very cool t-shirts.

I ordered mine here, and love it.

Order your Bold t-shirt here!

59 years bold!

Grab yours and let’s be bold together!

Thanks again for all the birthday love….you all rock. I’m very excited about this weekend’s celebration and I’ll be sure to share it with you too.  😉

From kindness to criticism

Yesterday I did my usual Wednesday video for the blog. Each week I post a “Let’s do this together” video, picking a theme I want to share. This week’s theme was “kindness”.

If you’ve been following me at all, you also know that I am sharing my authentic self.

Some days I have makeup on and I’m dressed well. Other days I don’t wear any makeup and I have my hair in a scrunchy.

The idea is to stop this nonsense on social media that we have to look or be a certain way. This is so prevalent that many women and men feel either pressure or somehow “less than” when they don’t measure up to everyone else. Continue reading

I found your diary…

Yesterday I found an old journal stashed away in a drawer. I say I found it, but really I’ve known it’s been there for a very long time. I put it in the same exact spot no matter where I’ve lived. It always goes in the drawer of my nightstand. I couldn’t begin to guess how many homes it’s been in.

The front cover is a bit worn, and it must have gotten wet at some point because the pages are wavy, but all the words that were written in it are still there. My first entry was Sept 21, 1990.

I found an old journal

I wrote in that journal for almost 20 years. Sometimes about my family and other times about my own feelings and fears. But my favorites are the entries about our life on the farm.

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Would you trade time for money?

Two things start to stand out most, as I get closer to 60.

Time and Money

I’m going to run out of time, there’s no getting out of that one. And, will I have enough money to live comfortably during that time? Better yet, what could I do with enough money to help other people?

So, I  have a couple of questions for you to ponder: 

 

            If you were given a million dollars today with the stipulation that you would have to give up the last ten years of your life, would you do it?

           If so, why?

Would you trade time for money?

Good Morning

It’s Friday, September 1st…the beginning of Labor Day weekend, and the beginning of the end of summer.

We’ve had a lovely summer and I am looking forward to fall. Autumn is my favorite time of year. I think it comes from growing up in Michigan. You can feel the change in the air, and there is something magical about that for me.

This was the time of year the grapes that grew just up the hill from our garden were ripe. I would run up there each morning and pick a fat bunch so Mom could put them in my lunchbox.

I remember riding the bus to school in the fall, looking out the window and counting the buckets that were hanging from the maple trees. The mornings were crisp and cool and the afternoons were so warm we would be dragging our coats home with us.

Taking the bus home from school, my brothers and I would get off at the farm that was over the hill and through the woods behind our place. It was so fun running through those cool dark woods towards home. Sometimes we would stop to look for the last morel mushrooms that would be growing under the damp leaves.

I think the other reason I loved autumn so much was because it was also the end of summer work. There were no more cherries to pick, the garden had been harvested, and we could spend the early evenings outside playing hide and go seek.

It was the best time of year. And it still is for me.

 

Go enjoy your long weekend…because after autumn, winter is coming.

Aging in the era of ageism

Someone please stop me if I get on a rant here. My fear is once I open up this can of irritation towards ageism, I won’t stop complaining.

But let’s talk about this for just a minute. I’ve been experiencing ageist behavior, every since I turned 50. It started with my glasses.

I’ve been wearing reading glasses for most of my adult life. I am extremely far-sighted and can spot an eagle a mile away. That part is really cool. And needing glasses to read wasn’t so bad until I reached that certain age.

All of a sudden I would get comments like, “Can I hold this farther away so you can see it?” or “Uh oh, must be getting old, you need glasses!”. And there have been many more statements said in that vein. Why do people do that?

Just because I wear glasses doesn't mean I'm old

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Eclipsed by regret

I’ve been accused of having FOMO more than once. You know, Fear of Missing Out? Apparently it’s become such a big deal that it needs its own acronym. I used to take offense to it, thinking I was somehow a bad person because I had it.

I don’t really care anymore. I would rather be accused of having FOMO than regret. Which is where I am today, feeling regret.

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Jump in, the water’s fine

The other day I shared a blog post called A Look Inside. I wrote about feeling off that day, and shared that I spent the day trying to understand why. I got a lot of very nice feedback on it, and several people shared some of their off moments with me too.

I like that so many people have commented and shown support. And I’m using several different platforms to share my blog, in hopes to reach people who can either relate, or just find my stories interesting.

I am also learning as I go, which is sort of the point of the blog. You know, reach 60 and be wise, healthy, happy and content. One thing I’m learning is that there is a bias towards sharing one emotion: Happiness.

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The Day the World Changed

I would like to dedicate today to August 3, 1970. This is a repost from a while back.

The Day the World Changed

My brothers, Johnny and David and I used to play Cowboys & Indians on the farm in Michigan where we grew up. It never seemed to fail that they were the cowboys and I was the Indian. I had a make shift bow and some sticks for arrows. They had toy guns and sometimes even the kind that had rolled up red paper with actual gunpowder on it that would pop when fired. My arrows didn’t really fly and I usually felt a bit overwhelmed by the cowboys and their cap guns.

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How do you serve yourself?

Growing up I was taught early on that women were second to men. Wow, that was hard to put in writing. It’s one thing to know it, and another to face it and say it out loud.

I like to think of myself as progressive and a feminist, but old habits die hard.

You don’t just unlearn a behavior pattern. My family was the perfect example of the notion that men come first, and it was taught to me daily.

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Cheating

Is it okay to cheat? Do you do it?

When I started telling people I am trying to lose weight and get back in shape, I got a lot of opinions and ideas on how to do it. I’m learning that there are as many ways of accomplishing that goal, as people who found what works for them.

Cut out sugar, don’t eat fat, avoid carbs, don’t eat fruit, just eat fruit, test your pH level, eat fat, eat whatever you want but in moderation, never eat grains, eat only plant base foods, just eat protein… and on and on.

One of the suggestions I have heard from several people, including my husband, is to have a “cheat day” each week. You know, a day to indulge and eat whatever you want. I know for a lot of people that works well.

For me it’s a slippery slope to allowing it to happen two, three, or six more days of the week, and I’m not sure why. Maybe once that door is opened, I feel like I’ve broken the “rules” and so fuck it, I might as well eat whatever I want.

Once that happens, another little voice starts whispering in my ear. She says, “You should love your body just the way it is. The average size woman in the US is 14. Embrace your curves. There’s nothing wrong with being a little overweight. Some women my height would love to be 175 pounds. Be happy!”

It is easy for me to listen to her, because I’ve gotten validation about all those things. I see it everywhere. And while those sentiments are good and affirming, they can also give me permission to cheat. Give me permission to go back to overeating, over indulging, and taking my scooter instead of my bike to the store.

How about you? What works for you? Do you give yourself a cheat day? How do you keep it to just one day?

Vulnerable Rebel?

How I see myself, and what’s reality can be quite different most times. Take riding my scooter, for instance. I can see myself on my pretty blue Vespa, sundress and sandals on with a baguette poking out from under a basket on the back.

But I’m a bit of a rule follower. I like to think of myself as a rule following rebel. I have a tattoo, but not too many people will see it. I have a Vespa, but I wear protective gear. Every time.

I thought about writing a post about giving oneself permission to be safe instead of cool. Or maybe saying safe is cool. So, yesterday I asked John to take some photos of me with my scooter showing my top of the line, super safe helmet, my full armored jacket, boots and jeans on, and gloves near by.

It was fun and we got a couple of good shots. I was able to find one I thought was cool and I posted it.

When I look at that picture, I feel good about myself. I look a little bit like a rebel too.

In reality, I was feeling fat and hyper sensitive about many of my features. My face looks funny, I’m squinting, my belly looks fat, my jeans are showing my fat….blah, blah, blah.

So today I feel a little guilty about posting that photo. It was the old me saying, “look how cool I am!” which translates to “please like me”. I didn’t do what I set out to do as much as go right back to that old mantra.

What I want to do is learn how to be happy with me, by exposing my insecurities to anyone who cares to listen (are you listening, Loretta??). And maybe help anyone else who feels like I do.

So I’ll keep working on it.

I let a couple of screws get me down

I’m hard on myself sometimes. And I don’t mean just metaphorically. I mean like dropping a five-pound mallet on my right foot, or cutting my left thumb. Somehow, I keep injuring the same areas.

Four years ago, I dropped a crystal clock on my right foot…this was a few years after dropping the mallet. Man did that hurt. That damn clock was a gift from an old real estate client of mine who was ready to sue me because she was sure the home she purchased was giving her headaches. I managed to avert getting sued by selling that home and helping her buy a new one, affectively earning me thousands of dollars and…. a lead crystal clock, which smashed my foot.

I grew up in a family that believed you don’t go to the doctor unless you’re brought there by ambulance. So I just let my foot heal on it’s own. That was a mistake.

I managed to hobble along on it just fine, and it felt better before long, so I just figured, that was that. About a year later, I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk without crying. John insisted on taking me to see a doctor, and that started a long journey of injections and physical therapy, and ultimately ended in surgery to fuse the joint in my big toe.

For three years, I let that foot slow me down and even stop me from exercising. Not walking properly, lead to my knees and hips hurting. My knees got so bad, I went to see yet another doctor who told me I had chondromalacia; a tracking problem with my kneecaps. He said I’d had it from birth, and it would get worse when I got older, like in my 40’s. When I told him I was 57, he said, “oh, you are already old!”. Thanks doc.

Turns out all those years riding my bike had kept my knees tracking the way they are supposed to. And I love riding my bike, so why did I let a bum foot stop me for so long?

I think there are times we get in a rut. We think, “well, this is the way it is now”, and just live with it. But I also think that’s how we let age sneak up on us and define us as old and aching.

I don’t want to do that any longer. Time for a bike ride.

 

The Great Cover-Up

Growing up on the western shores of Lake Michigan was the best. I think it seared my love for the beach into my soul. We hung out on those beaches as often as possible, and it was always a treat.

As a teenager I would put Sun-In on my hair, baby oil on my skin, and get as blond and tan as I could. All my friends hung out there too, and it was like growing up in a Beach Party movie.

I always wore a bikini, like most of the girls. It was the 70’s and we were young and didn’t care if we let it all hang out.

Later on, after having my kids, I thought maybe I was supposed to wear a one-piece suit, you know, something more adult and mom-like. I think we do that to ourselves sometimes…act like we are “supposed to”.

It didn’t take long before I abandoned that notion and went back to my bikini. I felt like I could get away with it because I was skinny. Only skinny girls get to wear bikinis, right?

Growing up in the 70’s on the heels of the Twiggy movement, thin was in and it was engrained in us to aspire to be one of the skinny ones. If you had ANY body fat, you sure didn’t show it. Cover it up, girl!

So, unfortunately I still have that tag line running in my head. Cover it up. I’m trying to let go of it, but it’s like set in stone inside my head.

I live at the beach now and it’s my favorite place to be, and I’m struggling with what to wear. Most days, I just wear my shorts and a shirt. Apparently, there’s a lot of other women who are struggling with this too, because my facebook feed keeps showing me Modlily ads for two piece bathing suits that are nothing like the ones I wore on the beach in Silver Lake.

So, I succumbed to the ads and bought my first Modlily two-piece. Now I can go to the beach and make sure I “cover that shit up”.

Screw it….now where did I put that bikini?

Shame

Starting a blog like this was not easy. It took me a while to come to terms with the idea of sharing truths and exposing myself. Everyday, I question myself asking, “What gives me the right to think I could do this and that anyone else would care?”

This morning I got a private message from an old high school friend. I do appreciate Facebook for giving me the chance to find old friends and connect on some level. I’ve been following her, and enjoy seeing how happy she is, and love reading what she shares. When I opened up the message, her first words were: “Dear Loretta, I thought I’d send you a private message because your blog hit me right in the heart! Right in the fat. Right on the thighs, ass and tummy! That said, I’d like to tell you MY story!

She went on to tell me about her life and that her first husband was verbally abusive. She was stressed, and unhappy and very thin. I was struck by her story because I didn’t know any of it prior to her message. She is clearly happy now, and it shows. She told me how after she remarried to a loving man, she too gained weight. It was great to read about what she did to get back into shape, and feel good about herself and her body.

But what hit me in the heart, was when she said she has been body shamed for being too thin, and for being built like a boy….

…ouch, I’ve done that 🙁

I have never said anything directly to anyone, but I’ve said it to myself, and others with me. “Wow, that woman has no curves, she looks like a boy”. Unfortunately, there’s probably a list of other shitty things I’ve said, that I could write here. Which really sucks.

Has it become so easy to judge others, that we don’t even realize it when we are doing it? I know my judgment comes from insecurity, so how do I stop it?

My friend said the best thing in her message….she said she has learned to LOVE her body and the way she looks. I know her to be non-judgmental, most likely because she has accepted herself. I better start working on that …

Thank you, my friend, for teaching me a valuable lesson.

Inspiration

Inspiration comes from the strangest places.

Have you ever seen that Modern Family episode where Phil tells his wife, Claire, that he had lunch with a colleague who recommended the wedge salad, and that she should try it? It’s one of my favorites, because Claire is upset with him, as she had been saying how great the wedge salad was for years… but Phil never listened.

I don’t think it’s that we don’t want to listen to our people; it’s just that we can’t hear them sometimes. Sometimes, it takes someone else saying the say thing, for our brains to connect.

I’ve been thin most of my life. Except for the last four years. Friends and family have offered good advice for what has worked for them. I’ve tried most, except one.

Last week, I had lunch with a very good friend of my son’s. He was in town visiting his family, and I hadn’t seen him in about seven years. It was great catching up and chatting about life. He’s one of those people who should probably be a motivational speaker because just about everything he says, you find yourself excited about.

I mentioned that losing weight in my 50’s has been so much harder than any time in my life. He chuckled and said he felt the same after 30. He mentioned that he went on the ketogenic diet and it worked well for him and he felt great. When I got home, I looked it up and pretty much started following it right away. I feel great, and I’ve lost five pounds already.

I told my husband about it, and he said (with a bit of frustration), “yeah, that’s the diet I’ve been telling you about…where you go into ketosis and burn fat”.

Next time, I’ll try to listen better.

 

The day after

I let it all hang out yesterday.

With encouragement from my husband, I posted my first revealing, realistic, relevant photo of myself…in my underwear. The truth is, I was nervous as hell. I was sure I was going to be publicly shamed, virtual stones thrown, maybe even rotten fruit and vegetables, all while everyone was laughing.

In reality, a couple of things happened. Luckily, not many people saw the photo. Of course, that was carefully executed on my part. I just started this blog and have very few followers. But the other thing that happened was, I got some really cool messages from people. All positive.

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