Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You're Invited to an Artist Reception

If you live in Southern California, you're invited to an artist reception on Friday, September 5, 2008 at the Thousand Oaks Community Gallery 2331 Borchard Rd., Newbury Park, CA.
My painting entitled 'Memories of the Rainforest' will be on display along with 30 other artists who study with Phyl Doyon. I have a special offer for 'Memories of the Rainforest'. The painting is 27" X 33" Framed. It is for sale at $500.00. The net proceeds of $400.00 will be donated in YOUR name to the World Wildlife Fund. You get the painting and the deduction. Email me if you're interested in the painting.
I hope to see your there.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Phyllis Chase

Last Thursday night I went to a Ladies Who Launch presentation featuring Gina Ratliffe who talked about building an Online Empire. Great stuff!!! Later, at home I looked at the websites of the people who had written testimonials about Gina. I left the page open to Phyllis Chase, Marriage & Family Therapist and talk show host.

The next morning, I was reading an email from Chellie Campbell, another awesome lady who talks about Financial Stress Reduction. At the bottom of her email were testimonials and another one from Phyllis Chase. “Hmmmm,” I thought, “That’s interesting.” I’ve lived long enough in this area of 9 million people to know that it is a small town. But, this was too weird.

I sent Phyllis an email, told her the story and a little bit about me and Retirement Life Matters. She wrote back, and asked if I would be a guest on her radio show that taped this morning (Monday A.M.).

I just got home a few minutes ago. We had a ball. She was delightful and put me completely at ease, since it was my first radio interview.

Opportunities surround us everyday. The key is to open our eyes to them and then follow-through.

Have you had a crazy coincidence and took advantage of it?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Talking of Death

I was looking for inspiration today, so I went to Boomer Chronicles and read a post about funerals-check it out.

I think we need to have more stories about death. Sometimes it’s tragic and horrible, but it’s always a part of life. We just can’t get away from it.

My dad struggled with cancer for 10 years. It was amazing, because he was able to function right up to the end. He wanted to die in his own bed, no tubes and all of that stuff.

He called my mom home from her work on Thursday. They sat peacefully on the couch all afternoon holding hands. They were sleeping is separate rooms and the next morning my mom went to check on him. This sounds gruesome, but she didn’t know if he was alive or dead.

Her worst fear was to call the EMT’s, have them come and try reviving him. So, she called the local funeral home to ask them how to tell if someone was dead. They replied with, “Hey, lady, by the time we get them, there’s no question.” Ultimately, she was able to determine that he was gone.

I was so proud. He struggled for so many years, but ultimately was able to die on his terms.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Are you Present?

This is a bit complicated, but stay with the story. I participated in “The New Earth” class with Eckhart Tolle on the Oprah Website earlier in the year. The were a number of things I took from the series. I’ve tried to incorporate one in my life, which is the concept of being present. Most us have very active minds that are either focused on the past; what happened, what didn’t happened, old wounds, what coulda’, shoulda’ been or the future; what we need to do, our dreams, how our life is going to be better when such and such happens, etc.

Tolle says that all we really have is the present and if you want joy in your life, you’re only going to find in the present moment. Actually, he is not only one to say it, but he says it in a wonderful way and has Oprah to help him.

So, I’m trying to be present. I’m one of those people with an over active mind. I gave up trying to meditate over thirty years ago. When Tolle instructed that to be present all I had to do was focus on one breath, I decided I could do that. Throughout my day, I focus on my breath and become present. This occurs about 12 times a day. So, for about 12 minutes a day, I'm absolutely present in the moment. The rest of the time my brain is going a million miles an hour, forward, backwards and to parts unknown.

The second part of the story is we have a spa in our backyard. My husband, who works the night shift, likes to come home and go into the spa. We decided a few weeks ago to shut the spa off when it’s not in use to cut back on energy usage. It takes about one hour to heat up.

All I have to do is get up in the morning and turn on the spa. Do you think I can remember to do that? I took a post it with ‘SPA’ written on it. Originally, I stuck it on the sliding glass door because I have my morning cup of coffee on the patio. That worked one day and then my mind was busy with other things, and I didn’t see the note. Next, I placed it on the Tolle book. That certainly would work, don't you think? Actually, it worked for two days and then I didn’t notice it. Now, the note is the microwave where I heat the water for coffee. I’ve succeeded two days in row. So much for the quest of being present. I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday Web Watch

I’m a bit of a Pollyanna. Let me qualify that. Last year my husband and I saw a report about a church that encourages people to go 21 days without complaining. We couldn’t do it. In fact, neither on of us could make it 20 minutes. It was very quiet around the house while we were trying.

With that said, I would much rather surround myself with positive versus negative energy. I would rather be around people who are trying to improve the world rather than just talk about how bad it is. Do I measure up to my own expectations? Not at all. That doesn’t mean I don’t keep trying.

I love the idea spreading good news. CBS Sunday Morning is my favorite television program for that very reason. Daryn Kagan is committed to spreading good news wherever she finds it. The site is uplifting, inspiring and motivating. Daryn was a reporter who got tired of the news concept of “if it bleeds, it leads”. The Internet allows her to share the good news of the world.

Share web sites that make you feel good, inspire or motivate.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back from War

My son moved back home last week. He arrived in the states from Iraq in May and is now discharging from the Army. He was in the service for six and a half years.

Children moving back home is a hot topic among people nearing or in retirement. My husband and I always knew we wanted to him to move back home. It’s a tremendous transition to go from the military to being a civilian. I wanted him to know he had a soft place to land.

As we learn to live together, parents and adult child, I’ll write more.

For right now, I want to say thank you to my son who went war. I want to say thank you to all the other sons and daughters who have gone to war.

I had hoped that by this time in our evolution, humans would find a better way to resolve conflict. Maybe we never will.

Until we do, thank you to all those who do what needs to be done.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Is there something wrong with me? I was scrolling through my email yesterday when I saw in the subject line, “Relive Woodstock”. I gotta tell you reliving the sixties is not the end all of my life.

I didn’t go to Woodstock, but I do appreciate the event. I used to listen to the album, but I sure hope the next thirty years has more to offer Baby Boomers besides looking back at Woodstock and the sixties.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Internet Public Library

Web Wednesday

Yesterday, I told you about Mark who is exploring what he wants to do next. Most of the recent books about retirement extol the need for new retirees to find a passion. It’s easy to find a passion if you know what it is. If you don’t have a clue, finding new interests can be quite challenging. For people who have been devoted to work and family, knowing where to start looking for new activities can feel daunting.

The key is to try new things. Don’t just look at something and say, “Is this my passion?” You need to experience new activities.

A great place to research volunteer, hobbies, and work activities is the Internet Public Library. The categories are organized well and easy to scroll down. Under Arts and Humanities, there are fifteen sub-headings that range from Classics to Philosophy to Language.

In the History Sub-Heading, a quick scroll took us to The George C. Marshall Foundation. “Biographical information, interviews, essays and research materials about General George C. Marshall and World War I." Obviously, this isn't for everyone, but an indication of the breadth of resources available.
Take a look at the site, what is has to offer and start exploring what you want to do next.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The New Retirement

The company my husband works for is undergoing a reorganization. We are very lucky as he intended to retire July 1, but has postponed his date to see the details of the new retirement package. For those individuals’ who had not intended to retire this year, there has been a lot of evaluation as to whether or not it is wise for them to leave. Many still have children at home or in school. The offer was made to those who will be at least 55 years old by December 31, 2008. The single biggest question they are asking is, “Can I live the rest of my life with the amount of money that is being offered?”

We are bombarded with news about how poorly the Baby Boomers have planned for retirement. Granted the United States has one of the poorest saving rates in the world, but is it realistic to expect to work for thirty years to fund another thirty years of not working?

The definition of retirement needs to change. When Social Security was established in 1933, the life expectancy was 65. If you were lucky enough to live to 65, the government was going to help you with a financial stipend for the rest of your life. It was never intended to be an entitlement for one third of your life.

Mark is a great example of the New Retirement. He retired from the entertainment industry at 51. This is a similar to the retirement age of police, fire and military. Mark wanted to be involved in raising his son, so he started a business he could run out of the house. This has served him well, but his son is now graduating from high school and Mark is ready for a new challenge.

He is looking for work where he is challenged, but more important he wants to feel like he’s contributing to society. He still needs to earn income, but that is the secondary focus.

This is the opportunity for the New Retirement. No longer should the sole question be of the 65 year old, let alone someone at 55, “Can I live for the rest of my life on this fixed amount? But, what opportunities are available to me now?”

Baby Boomers have the opportunity to reinvent themselves in many different ways. The days of existing on the golf course are shifting for many. They are looking for new challenges, and interesting ways to create a more fulfilling life.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Vibrant Life: Yoga in the Middle years and Beyond

Book Review

Unlike other forms of keeping fit, Yoga has multiple layers. Some view yoga as a spiritual as well as an exercise practice. I use it mostly as a way to stretch and strengthen muscles. I try to stay focused on my breathing when I’m involved in a routine, but my wicked brain often journeys to the day’s tasks and paintings I’m working on. I always feel better when I do my daily yoga, and miss it if I don’t. I’ve been doing yoga, either at home or in classes for over ten years.

I was intrigued when I started to read A Vibrant Life : Yoga in the Middle Years and Beyond by what I know, but also what I don’t. Felice Rhiannon does a wonderful job of explaining the elements of yoga that will inform the beginner, but also enhance the knowledge for the more experienced practitioner.

Felice Rhiannon shares her story about being bed ridden for a year. Barely able to move, she started practicing postures in bed, followed by floor and then chair exercises. She believes yoga was instrumental in her healing process.

Felice wrote the book for the individual who is out of shape, older, or intimidated by classes. Felice goes into focused detail about yoga without the burden of extraneous explanations. The purpose of the book is to engage people, whether they can get up or not.

The book is loaded with pictures of Felice doing poses with explanations of the pose, how to go in and out of it, as well as cautions and benefits. The book also contains a section of chair poses for those who have mobility issues.

Felice makes you believe you can do yoga. There is a calm and reassuring presence in the book. You can tell Felice cares about not only yoga, but also helping others to learn and grow with this wonderful practice.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What Do You Rant and Rave About?

Web Wednesday

How would you answer the above question? I first heard the question when I took a speech class. I wrote down, ‘ injustice, cruelty-things being out of balance, stupidity, selfishness’. Then, I wrote down ‘waste’. That was it! Yes, I hate all the things I wrote initially, but ‘waste’ gets my heart pumping and blood boiling.

I’m a career counselor because I hate to see people waste their talents and potential. I’m an environmentalist because I hate the way we’ve squandered the resources on this planet.

What gets you excited, passionate and revved up?

The next question is, “What are you going to do about it?”

If you’re not sure where to start, visit Global:Ideas:Bank. It’s part suggestion box, networking group, forum and inspired entertainment. People share ideas, sometimes crazy, about how to solve the problems of the world.

Individuals submit suggestions which are catorgorized, then others vote on the feasibility, originality and humor of the idea. Some submissions are whacky, but others make a lot of sense.

It's a great way to connect with others around things you're passionate about and see how we can maybe solve some of the challenges we face.

Share sites/blogs that inspire and motivate you.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Age is No Longer an Indictment

My inbox today contained an email from Boomer Chronicles about the oldest athletes participating in the Olympics this year. There are two equestrians in their 60’s, six in their fifties, including the oldest American and three in their 40’s.

I saw this sight yesterday on a Santa Barbara Beach. It’s hard to tell his exact age, but the gray hair and the way he walked told me he was past our image of the typical surfer.