Welcome to This is Your Best Year!!!

Welcome to thisisyourbestyear!  You and I are on this journey together.  Together and collectively, we will give suggestions on living life to the fullest.  This is a blog for women who thought that when they reached this age, life was over.  This is for all of those women who thought their mothers were old at this age–well they may have been, but that’s not the case anymore.

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We will discuss everything from health, beauty, faith, life, children, grandchildren, exercise, careers, retirement, starting all over again in love and/or career. We will talk about learning the word no, taking time to be who we are.  With this blog we will have fun, we will talk fashion, food, travel and all kinds of products–in other words, we’re going to talk about us.

You can always email us at  thisisyourbestyear@gmail.com and see all the things we are doing by visiting us on Facebook–(thisisyourbestyear), and Instagram–thisisyourbestyear.  We can also be found on Twitter–thisisyoubestyear@mariciajohns

Let’s get excited ladies, and stay tuned.  Remember–“THIS IS YOUR BEST YEAR”!

Reset and Reinvigorate by Rethinking Your Career in 2019

*Guess post by Eva Benoit

If you’re stuck in a rut, there’s no better time to pull yourself out than now. It’s never too late to make changes that will improve your quality of life. Starting a new career is one of these changes, and it’s a big one that comes with both enthusiastic anticipation and fear for the future. However, you can’t let fear of the unknown get in your way. Keep reading for a few tips on how to cross this fragile ground no matter where life has taken you to this point.

If you are stuck in a rut, there’s no better time to pull yourself out than now. It’s never too late to make changes that will improve your quality of life. Starting a new career is one of these changes, and it’s a big one that comes with both enthusiastic anticipation and fear for the future. However, you can’t let fear of the unknown get in your way. Keep reading for a few tips on how to cross this fragile ground no matter where life has taken you to this point.

Do You Have What It Takes?

What do Oprah Winfrey, Sofia Vergara, and Arianna Huffington have in common? They are all successful female entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to take risks, they’re all tenacious and a little stubborn, and they give of themselves 100 percent of the time. They are adept problem solvers who aren’t happy unless they’re on the move. If this sounds like you in more ways than one, you were undeniably born to be the boss.

You Are Not Alone

Our mothers and grandmothers were expected to stay home, raise babies, and make life better for their men. These social standards weren’t necessarily bad, but considering that women-owned businesses are growing at a rate of more than twice that as standard businesses, it’s safe to say that we got restless. Coupled with an ever-growing need for dual incomes, women-owned businesses, according to American Express, are more prominent than ever, with approximately 39 percent of all US businesses being led by women.

Despite the rise in female entrepreneurship, it’s not always easy. Today, experienced women are offering their guidance to new business owners. Reaching out to a mentor is one of the best ways to access information and receive help navigating the seas of success. Experian touches on mentorship, funding obstacles, and other statistics regarding women in business here.

Like a Boss

Starting your own business isn’t something you do on a whim. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll have to take stock of your skills and define your niche. Have a heart-to-heart with yourself by drafting a business plan and recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. Test the waters by seeking clients via word-of-mouth and working on small projects first. FindLaw.com underscores this point by stating, “By starting small, you ensure that you can survive the inevitable hiccups associated with running a small business.”

Once you get into a groove, you can take steps to nurture and grow your business. This is achieved by being consistent and having the right tools at your disposal to get the job done. If you work from home, for example, you’ll need to set up a well-equipped office space with a comfortable working area and a computer that can keep up with your demands. Further, don’t make the mistake of thinking you know everything; listen to your customers. They will tell you what you’re doing right and what you need to change. As the face of your business, it is your responsibility to hear these voices and to provide services that will add value to your relationship. It can help to take a customer service training course to help you learn how to communicate and respond to both praise and criticism.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve been in your current profession. Even if you’re retired, it’s still possible to earn an income doing something you love. It may be a rocky road in the beginning, but with determination and a willingness to adapt to an always-changing market, you can both love and live your passions this and each new year.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. It’s a new year, and time to reset and
reinvigorate your purpose by rethinking and your career.

*Eva Benoit is a professional life, career and wellness coach. She specializes in helping people with anxiety and welcomes working with people from all walks of life.

Dementia–Might Just Be Menopause Transition

Just read this article The Brain Fog Of Menopause Can Burn Off by Jane E. Brody. It talks about the effects of menopause on memory, and the misdiagnosis of the symptoms leading to some doctors falsely informing patients that they have frontotemporal dementia.

I don’t know about you, but I have been there, and am still there. I’ve started to read with intention, and I even take pictures of where I park at the airport. Don’t laugh it helps.

Take a look at the article, and remember “thisisyourbestyear”–this too shall pass.

Cervical Cancer Awareness

Somebody is probably saying another month and another disease–what color ribbon are we wearing this time? It’s about our health, the health of our daughters, mothers, grandmothers. It’s the health of all women.

We tend to do for others, but forget about ourselves. Getting that husband to the doctor is sometimes a hassle, but if we persist we can get him there. Let’s take ourselves to the doctor when things seem a little out of kilter.

Cervical cancer is one that can take years to form. This is one major reason that we should take the uncomfortable pap smear every year.

Even though the the death rate has fallen over the years for those that are diagnosed with cervical cancer any death is too many. Cervical cancer usually does not strike younger women under the age of 20, but as we mature we tend to think we are immune to this form of cancer. In fact women over the age of 65 make up over 15 percent of the cervical cancer cases in the United States. A few myths are listed below.

As we mature our bodies change, and as we know things happen that did not happen before. Do not take these changes lightly, they may not be anything, but it is always best to have them checked out.

Here are some of the symptoms of cervical cancer that should not be ignored.

  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after douching
  • Bleeding following a pelvic exam (spotting is normal)
  • Having heavier menstrual periods than usual or ones that last longer than usual
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sex

Take time to talk with your doctor. Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Know why you are wearing that ribbon and spread the knowledge. Our lives depend on it.

A New Tradition–Holiday Tea

*Guest post from Tea Lover CYCooper

Is it me or do the holidays seem to pass by quicker every year?  Christmas 2018 has come and gone, but even with all the hustle and bustle the holiday season brings, yours truly managed to travel across Highway 30 for a small staycation at the the MAGNFICENT Adolphus Hotel In Big D (that’s Dallas, Texas for some of you who don’t know).  I’ve stayed at the Adolphus  on a number of occasions, but this legendary hotel recently completed a 3 year renovation.  Yes, it’s more up to date but it hasn’t lost it’s old world charm and elegance.  Built in 1912 by “The King of Beers” Adolphus Busch, The Adolphus has hosted notable visitors including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, U2, Maya Angelou, Madonna, Whitney Houston and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England.  

Besides being a top tier hotel, The Adolphus is also noted for its Afternoon Tea Service or High Tea which it serves throughout the year.  However, during the Christmas season the hotel offers its famous Holiday Tea. This tea is extremely popular and sells out quickly each year.  So, when reservations opened up on Monday, October 1st, @ 11 am, I got on my phone and called.  Let me tell you, it actually took me over 1 1/2 hours to get through and make my reservation.  

My sister and I attended The Adolphus Holiday Tea earlier this month and YES it was definitely worth spending that 1 1/2 hours on the phone to get that reservation.  The Holiday Tea takes place in the SPECTACULAR French Room Restaurant of the hotel.  The French Room, included in the recent renovations, has been restored to its original glory.

The Holiday Tea starts with a glass of Rose Champagne, followed by the first course of finger sandwiches, scones and a light delicious tea from China. The second course of tea cakes & sweets is accompanied by a slightly bolder tea which compliments the desserts.  Looking around The French Room on that December day, we saw women/girls of all ages (and some men) enjoying this delightful and refreshing experience.  The food, tea and service were EXCELLENT.  Much like attending the Texas Ballet Theater’s production of THE NUTCRACKER, having Holiday Tea at The Adolphus may become an annual Christmas tradition.  

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

thisisyourbestyear–2019

It’s about to be 2019. 2018 was a wonderful year for “thisisyourbestyear”. We hope that you have enjoyed the ride. The ride tried to inform, educate, give you laughter, keep you engaged and more. It is our hope that you are ready to continue this journey.

In all of these activities, events, seminars and other things we have always wanted to inform you. Being women of a certain age, we wanted to show you that the world is now ours to do with as we wish. Sometimes we couldn’t believe what we talked about.

In 2018 we expanded our social media outreach. Not only are we on Facebook and Twitter we finally made the leap to Instagram plus we even do Instagram TV. We’ve tried to post to at least one of these outlets on a daily basis. We even did our first podcast this year–it was great (Inspired to Greatness with Matt Blake). We were excited that Dallas Voyage Magazine labeled us an “Influencer” (April 25, 2018).

As we enter 2019 we are excited to see what it will bring. As we have previously found out there is so much to do, see and learn. So 2019 should be even better. We are here for you.

We’ve already started on our review of Clark’s Botanical Skincare. It is a review that will take us approximately six weeks to conclude. You can find out more about the beginning of this review on our Instagram TV channel (thisisyourbestyear) or on our Facebook Page (thisisyourbestyear).

Here are some of the things we talked about in 2018

We are looking forward to sharing even more with you in 2019. Let us know what you would like for us to talk about, events that you would like for us to cover and more. We will try our best to meet your request.

Thank you for voting us Best Blog/Blogger 2018 in the Star-Telegram’s Fort Worthy Contest.

Please follow us on our social media sites at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Happy New Year. 2019 is going to be great. You are not too old!

Shopping Small With Women Owned Businesses

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Don’t spend all of your fun money during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Save a little money for Shop Small which will be on Saturday, November 24, 2018. Women of a certain age are a large percentage of the many small business owners. In many instances these women are now doing the jobs they have a passion for.

Take a look at the small businesses in the slideshow below. You might find something that catches your interest. These businesses are all female owned.

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Click on the links below to see more about the small businesses in the slideshow. They are all located in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

In the comment section or on our Facebook page, give us the name of a small business you frequent, their website and the city in which they are located. Word of mouth is great advertising.

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Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Shopping small can have big benefits.

Interview Prep: How To Get Ready To Snag The Job Of Your Dreams

by Erica Francis

Interviewing for a job–especially when it’s a job you really want–can be overwhelming and stressful, which can cause issues for you when you’re speaking to the person in charge of hiring. You want to be relaxed, confident, and prepared in order to show how well you can handle yourself under pressure; this will give your potential employer a good idea of what you’ll be like if you’re hired. It’s not always easy, so it’s important to prepare as much as possible before the interview so you’ll feel comfortable.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get ready for the big day. From holding a mock interview to get familiar with possible questions to looking for ways to boost your confidence, you can start preparing weeks ahead of time. Ask a friend or family member to help you out, and start thinking about your physical appearance as it can be important when it comes to a first impression.

Keep reading for some wonderful tips on how to prep for a job interview.

Hold a mock interview

Ask a friend or family member to help you hold a mock interview; you can find some possible interview questions here. Thinking about your answers will help give you confidence on the big day and will prevent you from fumbling over your words when speaking to your potential employer. Think about how you want to present yourself, and write down sample answers to prepare; remember to speak eloquently and professionally, as this will reflect on you and your ability to interact with clients.

Get ready for your first impression

First impressions are incredibly important when it comes to job interviews, because it’s your chance to let your employer know what you’re all about. Don’t underestimate the power of a great outfit or a good haircut, and consider buying some new makeup or hair styling tools to help boost your confidence and give yourself a leg up on the competition. Go here for some great tips on how to get started.

Do some research

It’s imperative to do some research on the company you’re interviewing with so that when you’re asked what you know about their history, you can show how invested you are in the job. Get online and find out how many people they employ, what year they were founded, who the president is, and what their goals are. For instance, many companies these days are making more of an effort to go green for the environment; if this is important to you, it’s a great talking point in the interview.

Get some sleep

It can be difficult to get good rest the night before the big day, especially if you’re nervous. However, it’s imperative to get a good night’s sleep so you’ll be fresh and at the top of your game. Put away all screens–computer, television, and smartphone–at least an hour before you go to bed, and refrain from drinking anything with caffeine or eating meat (which is hard to digest and can interfere with your ability to go to sleep).

Getting ready for a job interview can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The best way to stay calm is to prepare as much as possible beforehand, and to give yourself plenty of time to do it so you won’t feel pressured. With a good plan and a little help from a loved one, you can make sure you’re ready to blow away your potential employer and snag the job of your dreams.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–be prepared to nail that job interview.

They Gave So Much For Me To Vote–I Have An Obligation To Let My Light Shine

Women were not always able to vote, and even when they were given the right to vote it was only for white women.  Native American women were the next group of women given the right to vote.  Some 32 years after women were given the right to vote Asian women were allowed to cast their ballot.  It took 44 years for African American women to be given the opportunity to do the same.

As an African American woman of a certain age, I owe all of these women for giving me the right to vote.  There are many men who I also must remember, but on this day I remember Fannie Lou Hamer who was “sick and tired of being sick and tired”.  She made it possible for my grandmothers, mother, and aunts to have the opportunity to cast their ballot, and they did.  I owe it to all of the women who fought, lost homes, husbands, children and even their lives for me to cast my ballot every time there is an election.

Take a moment to listen to Fannie Lou Hamer as she speaks before the Democratic National Convention in 1964.  The full written transcript is below. I owe so much to Mrs. Hamer and her peers.  She was put out of her home and beaten all for trying to register to vote. Through all of this, she continued to always sing her favorite song “This Little Light of Mine”. The debt can never be repayed.

Mr. Chairman, and to the Credentials Committee, my name is Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, and I live at 626 East Lafayette Street, Ruleville, Mississippi, Sunflower County, the home of Senator James O. Eastland, and Senator Stennis.

It was the 31st of August in 1962 that eighteen of us traveled twenty-six miles to the county courthouse in Indianola to try to register to become first-class citizens. We was met in Indianola by policemen, Highway Patrolmen, and they only allowed two of us in to take the literacy test at the time. After we had taken this test and started back to Ruleville, we was held up by the City Police and the State Highway Patrolmen and carried back to Indianola where the bus driver was charged that day with driving a bus the wrong color.

After we paid the fine among us, we continued on to Ruleville, and Reverend Jeff Sunny carried me four miles in the rural area where I had worked as a timekeeper and sharecropper for eighteen years. I was met there by my children, who told me the plantation owner was angry because I had gone down — tried to register.

After they told me, my husband came, and said the plantation owner was raising Cain because I had tried to register. And before he quit talking the plantation owner came and said, “Fannie Lou, do you know — did Pap tell you what I said?”

And I said, “Yes, sir.”

He said, “Well I mean that.”

Said, “If you don’t go down and withdraw your registration, you will have to leave.”

Said, “Then if you go down and withdraw.”

Said, “You still might have to go because we’re not ready for that in Mississippi.”

And I addressed him and told him and said, “I didn’t try to register for you. I tried to register for myself.”

I had to leave that same night.

On the 10th of September 1962, sixteen bullets was fired into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tucker for me. That same night two girls were shot in Ruleville, Mississippi. Also, Mr. Joe McDonald’s house was shot in.

And June the 9th, 1963, I had attended a voter registration workshop; was returning back to Mississippi. Ten of us was traveling by the Continental Trailway bus. When we got to Winona, Mississippi, which is Montgomery County, four of the people got off to use the washroom, and two of the people — to use the restaurant — two of the people wanted to use the washroom.

The four people that had gone in to use the restaurant was ordered out. During this time I was on the bus. But when I looked through the window and saw they had rushed out I got off of the bus to see what had happened. And one of the ladies said, “It was a State Highway Patrolman and a Chief of Police ordered us out.”

I got back on the bus and one of the persons had used the washroom got back on the bus, too.

As soon as I was seated on the bus, I saw when they began to get the five people in a highway patrolman’s car. I stepped off of the bus to see what was happening and somebody screamed from the car that the five workers was in and said, “Get that one there.” And when I went to get in the car, when the man told me I was under arrest, he kicked me.

I was carried to the county jail and put in the booking room. They left some of the people in the booking room and began to place us in cells. I was placed in a cell with a young woman called Miss Ivesta Simpson. After I was placed in the cell I began to hear sounds of licks and screams. I could hear the sounds of licks and horrible screams. And I could hear somebody say, “Can you say, ‘yes, sir,’ nigger? Can you say ‘yes, sir’?”

And they would say other horrible names.

She would say, “Yes, I can say ‘yes, sir.'”

“So, well, say it.”

She said, “I don’t know you well enough.”

They beat her, I don’t know how long. And after a while she began to pray, and asked God to have mercy on those people.

And it wasn’t too long before three white men came to my cell. One of these men was a State Highway Patrolman and he asked me where I was from. And I told him Ruleville. He said, “We are going to check this.” And they left my cell and it wasn’t too long before they came back. He said, “You are from Ruleville all right,” and he used a curse word. And he said, “We’re going to make you wish you was dead.”

I was carried out of that cell into another cell where they had two Negro prisoners. The State Highway Patrolmen ordered the first Negro to take the blackjack. The first Negro prisoner ordered me, by orders from the State Highway Patrolman, for me to lay down on a bunk bed on my face. And I laid on my face, the first Negro began to beat me.

And I was beat by the first Negro until he was exhausted. I was holding my hands behind me at that time on my left side, because I suffered from polio when I was six years old.

After the first Negro had beat until he was exhausted, the State Highway Patrolman ordered the second Negro to take the blackjack.

The second Negro began to beat and I began to work my feet, and the State Highway Patrolman ordered the first Negro who had beat to sit on my feet — to keep me from working my feet. I began to scream and one white man got up and began to beat me in my head and tell me to hush.

One white man — my dress had worked up high — he walked over and pulled my dress — I pulled my dress down and he pulled my dress back up.

I was in jail when Medgar Evers was murdered.

All of this is on account of we want to register, to become first-class citizens. And if the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America. Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off of the hooks because our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?

Thank you.

There are so many others to thank, to them I can say

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Remember “thisisyourbestyear”  you have a privilege that many before you didn’t. Honor them by casting your ballot, and letting your light shine.

Why Sit When You Can Stand?

It is amusing that people try to dictate when people should revert to rocking in the good old rocking chair.  Don’t get me wrong, I love rocking chairs.  There is something about rocking in a chair that reminds me of the comfort of home.  But saying that I was recently asked by someone who I considered to be a good friend when I was gonna sit down.

I didn’t answer, but it was a question for thought.  She said that it seemed that I was always on the go, always doing something, and even when I was just at home, it seemed that I was busy even if I was doing basically nothing.

Then it hit me, this person was one who loved to talk about age.  You know the person that loves to tell you how old they are, and the things they can’t do anymore.  Why is it that we are constantly telling others and most importantly ourselves what we can’t do anymore?  Most children think they can do just about anything, it is only as we age that we embrace what we can’t do.  My grandson recently attempted a gymnastics routine as I call it where you slide down the slide, propel yourself up and catch the monkey bars.  He did catch the monkey bars, but as the broken arm will attest he let go.

Even with the broken arm, he has decided that he is not to young/old to attempt this feat.  He goes go school, tutoring, plays sports, participates in worship at church, has play dates, studies, and so much more.  He knows exactly what has to be done, and those that he and his parents consider to be of less importance.

I say all of this just to say when he gets tired, and believe it or not he does get tired–he sits down for a rest.  But guess what, when he regains his strength, he is on the go again.  I know, I know you will probably say that he is all of nine years of age. But it should be the same for any age.

For once I am taking Honey’s Baby’s lead  (that’s my name for him).  When I get tired, I’ll sit down and rest for a while then get up again. My mother always told me that one day I might not be able to do the things I want to do so go for it.  I am also taking her advice.  So when I can’t any more, I will have great memories to bore my grandchildren with.  They will see that Honey had a ball even when she sat down and rocked.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  You will know when it is time to sit down and rest.

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