Tag: boomer

GOING GYPSY or How to Escape Old Age & Survive

GOING GYPSY or How to Escape Old Age & Survive

I have followied Veronica and David James of Gypsynester fame since they first flew the empty nest and ventured into the world of life ongypsynester the road. I admired there chutzpah and their sense of humor, not to mention their upbeat outlook on life. It was a breath of fresh air. Life seem more than hard from where I sat and I was curious to see how tossing all one’s cares away would all play out. A very big part of me was wishing I was doing the same thing! I so wanted to escape old age!

Back then, when boomers everywhere were trying to figure out the next phase of life, the internet created an opportunity for us to be privy to some really awesome adventures, and courageous folks telling their stories in vivid detail. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones to read David and Veronica’s blogs along the way, you’ll love their new book, Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All. Humor always prevails in their world and they both have the gift of the story teller. It’s a delightful, page turning adventure complete with pictures.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Then scurry on over to their website and sign on for further adventures. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All

by David and Veronica James

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

FOLLOW David and Veronica on Twitter and Facebook. 

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DO YOU HAVE THE TRAVEL BUG?

You’ll enjoy learning about Carefree RV Resorts

 

Living with Mental Illness and Surviving Suicide – One Mother’s Story

Living with Mental Illness and Surviving Suicide – One Mother’s Story

Leaving the Hall Light On  A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide is the powerful, heart wrenching story of one women’s journey through 17 years of heartbreak and struggle. It is a story of strength and courage, creative genius and despair. Madeline shares her confusion and anger, her hope and disappointment as she recounts the events that led to her son’s ultimate suicide, and along the way the reader has an up close and personal introduction to this debilitating disease and its effect on a family. I came away from this book with a new depth of understanding and compassion for all who are and have been touched by serious mental illness. It’s message has lingered long after the initial reading. It will broaden your perspective and awareness and for that reason alone, this is an important book.

In addition, Madeline is our peer. A woman of our generation and experience who tells her story, not only as a part of her healing journey but, to inform and support others who are struggling with a similar challenge. Whether or not you have someone in your life who suffers from mental illness, there is not a one of us who has not witnessed its destruction, most recently in the shocking and unexpected death of Robin Williams.  We long for understanding. We search for hope. Perhaps together, by raising awareness, we can find a cure, a satisfactory treatment, or at the very least, an opening of our hearts in support of one another.

Madeline Sharples

Although Madeline Sharples worked for most of her professional life as a technical writer and editor, grant writer, and proposal manager, she fell in love with poetry and creative writing in grade school. She pursued her writing interests in high school while studying journalism and writing for the high school newspaper, and she studied journalism in college. However, she only began to fulfill her dream to be a professional writer later in life.

In addition to Leaving the Hall Light On, Madeline co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994) a book about women in nontraditional professions and co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1 (Muse Media, 2004) and 2 (2010). Her poetry accompanies the work of photographer Paul Blieden in two books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy as well as appearing in print and online on many occasions.

Madeline is now a full-time writer and is working on her next book, a novel, based in the 1920s. She and Bob, her husband of 40+ years, live in Manhattan Beach, California, a small beach community south of Los Angeles.

Connect with Madeline online: 

Visit her website: http://madelinesharples.com/

On Facebook: Madeline Sharples

On Twitter: @madeline40

On G+

Still Time to Re-Think Your New Year’s Resolutions!

Still Time to Re-Think Your New Year’s Resolutions!

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION #1: LOSE WEIGHT?new-years-diet

How About Losing Your Girly Thoughts?

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD  

You have just spent most of the last two months cooking, buying gifts, wrapping them, entertaining, and, of course, eating all those wonderful holiday treats. But now the holidays are over and the new year is here. This might mean you’re now dealing with higher-than-comfortable credit cards bills and a larger-than-comfortable waistline or bottom. 

New Year’s Resolutions 

Enter the New Year’s Resolution. Here you have the opportunity to begin anew, to make conscious decisions that will improve your life—and for many of us, this is to lose weight, especially the weight we just gained over the holidays. Goals are good. There is nothing wrong with having weight loss as a goal, but how you go about fulfilling this particular goal will make 2014 either a great year or another year where you start out strong and fizzle fast.

Your desire to lose weight is just what the multi-billion-dollar diet industry has been waiting for. You are reminded to try the latest quick-loss diet plan through ads on TV and by magazines at the grocery checkout (as you’re tempted by the most delicious-looking desserts in those same places). But will that newest plan really work for you? Maybe it’s time to look deeper at what caused your weight gain in the first place.

How About Losing Some Stress? 

Yes, stress. Those extra pounds did not come from nowhere. You are probably a stress eater. This means when you feel stress, you do something to relieve it, and that may mean eating or drinking to just calm down.

When you feel stressed, you feel you deserve that brownie; it has your name on it, doesn’t it? After all, desserts is just stressed spelled backward!

Consider this scenario: You’ve had a really bad day at work. You deserve a beer or that glass of white wine . . . or two. As part of the eating frenzy that is a family dinner, your kids want spaghetti—seconds, even—and if they’re going to have seconds, you will as well.

Stress is a given in your life. But to lose or reduce it, you need to figure out what is stressing you.

Dieting Stresses You Even More 

If you are a stress eater, if you eat as a way of calming yourself, dieting only increases your stress because you are taking away your stress reducer. This is why diets do not work. Dieting increases your stress. You are now in a no-win situation.

 The Stress of Girly Thoughts 

Focusing on reducing a negative way you are dealing with stress is one strategy. But a strategy with an even bigger pay-off and no back-end payout is to reduce your stress level. And what stresses women out? All those societal messages—those girly thoughts—that tell us we are

  • too fat
  • too young
  • too old
  • too aggressive
  • too smart
  • too boring 

So is it any surprise that you take solace in something that gives give you immediate satisfaction, like eating or drinking? But what if there was something you could do that would accomplish the same thing? Something that would calm you down, give you satisfaction, with no calories?

Challenging Your Stressful Girly Thoughts—A Zero-Calorie Solution 

Learning to talk back to that negative inner dialogue where your girly thoughts are found is one way to do that. How does this work?

  • Identify what is causing you stress. If it is your girly thoughts, then name them. Naming something for what it is gives us power over it. 
  • Don’t let a thought determine how you feel. Don’t feel if this, then that. Having a negative girly thought, or any negative thought, does not have to determine how you feel. It is, after all, just a thought. 
  • Tell your girly thoughts to take a hike. You can choose to not indulge a negative thought about yourself. Instead you can: 
  • tell your girly thought to get lost
  • treat your girly thought lightly, thanking it for its wisdom but saying you’re not interested
  • invite yourself to think of something else, something more pleasant, such as a massage or sitting on the beach 

None of us can control what pops into our minds, but we can control what we allow to be there rent-free.

We can control what we think, and by doing so we can reduce our stress, cut down on our stress eating and drinking, and save some money on all those worthless diet books that we rarely read anyway.

So for a real New Year’s ResolutionSTOP THINKING THOSE GIRLY THOUGHTS! 

Dr. Patricia GormanDr. Patricia O’Gorman, Ph.D is an internationally-recognized public speaker known for her warm, funny, and inspiring presentations, coach, psychologist, and a consultant to Lifescape Solutions in Delray Beach, Florida. She is noted for her work on women, children of alcoholics, and trauma, in the child welfare, mental health, and substance abuse systems. She is in private practice in New York.  READ MORE

Author of eight books including: 

Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012)
12 Steps to Self-Parenting (celebrating 25 years in print)
Coming in April in 2014:  Out Your Girly Thoughts . . . Embrace Your Strength
Rediscovering Your Gifts

Rediscovering Your Gifts

personal growthWe each carry within us a treasure. Living deep inside, it is a quiet place where we can go to find our untarnished heart and a soul that is still pure. We once knew this place, our place where there is peace and understanding, wisdom and strength, though it may have slipped from our memory.

The hours, days and years that we have struggled and pushed, yearned and stretched toward something more has powered us through our lives. It is “life yearning for itself”. Our desire for something more and incessant discontent led us down many a winding path and along the way we collected bits and pieces of life’s debris.  Instead of tossing the debris aside, we often instead as packaging material to insulate us from the world.

Sometimes we build a wall of anger, of fear, or of resentment, so thick and so profound that we forget our treasure ever existed. When we feel the sting of hurt and rejection we recoil inside of ourselves and do not remember the gifts of understanding and forgiveness we once knew so keenly. The longer we live the more likely we are to have lost our connection to our treasured self, as life’s rubble piles up upon us despite our best intentions.

We may begin to feel as though we might smother, or die without meaning or purpose for having lived. We fear we may wither away into nothingness. We might feel emptiness, an overwhelming sense of loss, or confusion or an aimless uncertainty.  It is precisely these uncomfortable stirrings that are our reminders. They are prompting us to return to the treasure that was born in us so many years ago, to dig down deep inside and uncover that precious someone who still lives and holds a pure and loving heart; who knows the value of trust and forgiveness. She understands the meaning of life and the purpose of her living.

The unearthing process can be approached alone or with the assistance of a friend, a mentor, a spiritual guide, a life coach, a therapist or any of a number of other guides.  There are as many methods of personal and spiritual growth as there are individuals. Here are some of the methods I have used and found helpful:

  1. Guided imagery meditation – A guided meditation by a trained practitioner using imagery and imagination to bypass thought and ego
  2. Solitary meditation – I recommend reading Full Catastrophe Living or any of a number of Wayne Dyer’s books and audios for more information on common meditation practices.
  3. Contemplation and mindfulness
  4. Journaling
  5. Reading or listening to the writings of spiritual teachers
  6. Work with a therapist or life coach to gather some movement if you are stuck
  7. Body work – massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, deep tissue massage, exercise
  8. Self-care – Learn listen to and follow the directives of your body, mind and spirit. If you feel tired, sleep. If you feel restless, go for a walk. If you feel stressed, meditate or make an appointment for a massage. Say no to demands that are being placed on you that cause your body to constrict.

Rediscover the treasure of your heart. It is waiting.

Health News ~ Are We Taking too Many Prescription and Non-Prescription Drugs?

Health News ~ Are We Taking too Many Prescription and Non-Prescription Drugs?

Healthy aging for women over fiftyAs women over fifty, it is often difficult to discern truth from fiction when it comes to treating our physical concerns. Which aches and pains should we do something about? Which discomforts come with age and which should we consult on with a physician? Should we be taking the medications we are taking? Should we have the tests that are being prescribed?

The medical and health field has been in a stage of rapid advance in recent years. Like technology, it’s moving full speed ahead. What I see developing is a growing respect for alternative treatments and a skepticism regarding prescription drugs. My conversations with Aging Abundantly women regarding this subject often revolves around the general feeling that physicians often treat symptoms with medications rather than getting to the root of the problem. This is not, of course, everyone’s experience, but I hear it more often than I used to.

The questions  arise: What are we to believe? Who are we to believe? Can we trust our doctors to advise us correctly? How do we know if this alternative treatment is safe? It’s a minefield of uncertainty and fear. The ability to access information on the internet has intensified the dialogue. We have, at our finger tips, detailed information that keeps us better informed, but the fact remains, we are not doctors. Can we really see the whole picture?

My mother lived to be ninety seven and rarely even took an aspirin. In her mid-nineties her doctor talked her into taking calcium and something for her allergies. She fiddled around with anti-depressants a time or two, but she would go days and weeks without taking any of them. Was she unusually healthy? Perhaps. She also modified her behavior when necessary. She ate a healthy, balanced diet, was physically active (not in the way we think of today) and lived a simple life. She gardened, cleaned the house, kept up with her friends and family, cooked three meals a day and took care of my Dad who lived twenty years after a stroke. He lived a similar lifestyle, although the stroke added some medications to his daily regime. Their first line of defense when they were not feeling well was always to modify their diet and rest.

The key to taking care of our bodies as we age is to have a sense of what they can handle on their own, and when our physical health would benefit from medical attention. I have been exploring this issue for myself and over the months ahead I will be sharing with you what I have discovered and information I have learned in my research. I will be inviting experts to share what they know on a variety of topics and welcome your input and comments.

Aging abundantly requires seeking health and peace in body, mind and soul. I do not believe we can have one without the other.

Cures for “Midlife Madness Fatigue”

Cures for “Midlife Madness Fatigue”

I love Sophie Lumen's artwork. She exemplifies the aging abundantly spirit in all that she does. Be sure and visit her website www.feedthebeauty.com.
art by Sophie Lumen, artist and founder of FeedtheBeauty.com

There’s a lesson to be learned by those just beginning their journey into midlife from my experiences that I describe in Midlife Madness. The most important of which is that it’s time to fasten your seat belt and hold on for dear life! You’re in for the ride of your life! All kidding aside, midlife madness is jam packed with life lessons and I say as often as I have the opportunity, the decade from fifty to sixty was, without a doubt, the most challenging, demanding and fulfilling decade of my life thus far.

The intensity of the challenges we face are equal to the intensity of the depth of our soul we can reach. I do not wish misfortune on anyone, even myself, but it is bound to place itself in our path sooner or later regardless of how much effort we put into protecting ourselves from it. The good news is that we come out the other side a fuller, deeper, richer, more compassionate human being.

If you are struggling with aging parents, health issues, difficult marriages/divorces, strained relationships, financial difficulties, take heart and take hold of the wisdom to be gained in them. When we face our problems head on, evaluate our responses to them, give up our need to constantly control the outcome, and love and accept ourselves despite the mistakes we make, we are gaining wisdom and we are learning to age with an abundance of spirit.

Women are survivors.  More importantly they are thrivers. At their very core, they believe in love. They believe in happy endings. They believe that life is good. It is that very belief that gives them so much power to heal the world.

Midlife madness fatigue may give you pause, but it will not defeat you. I promise.