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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 me at: thisisyourbestyear@gmail.com and “like” us on Facebook (thisisyourbestyear).

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

Good Morning

Vacation is coming to an end–enjoying a great morning.

                                                  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Enjoy it!

Addendum To 5 Tips For A Great Vacation 

Keep living, and you will keep learning. This is just a small addendum to my 5 tips for having a great vacation especially when you are away for more than 5 days.

Again it will depend on your accommodations. I don’t like bringing back luggage filled with dirty clothing. When staying at timeshares there are laundry facilities so there are no worries. But what if you are staying somewhere where there are no laundry facilities or you just don’t want to do laundry? Here is my suggestion.

  • Throw Away Clothing! What am I talking about? You know that blouse, those pants, that skirt, dress and yes that underwear that has been sitting in the closet or drawer for some time. Wear it and throw it away. About once a year when I was wearing pantyhose on a daily basis I would go through the drawer they were in and throw away every pair that was open, and start again.

My new rule since having Lifestyle Consierge help me get my closets and drawers organized is when something new comes in, something old or not being used comes out. If you do the throw away clothing then you will have room in your luggage for all of the great new stuff, or at least you have started cleaning your closets and drawers. It’s a win-win situation. 

Remember “thisyourbestyear” why spend it doing laundry after your great vacation?

5 Things That Will Help You Have A Great Vacation

In my lifetime there have been good vacations, bad vacations and great ones.  I’ve learned how to make them great.  There are certain things that work for me, and have made my vacations truly vacations–not just trips. Let’s take a look at the top 5.

  • Decide where you are going.  Seems strange, but you must know where you are going.  This is so important, it will affect everything else you do.  All of California is not the same–the beach in Texas is not the beach in South Carolina.  One Hawaiian island is not the same as the other one. Do you want hot or cold or somewhere in between? Do you want to sightsee, be active, meditate, be on the go every minute, rest by the ocean all day while reading? Do your research.
  • Decide how long you want to vacation.  I’ve read about people who have vacationed for a couple of days to a couple of months.  You have to decide, and you must include travel time, hotel check-in and check-out times, and one that we forget–departure time.  Sometimes we check-out, and have nothing to do but sit at the airport and wait.
  • Transportation is one factor that we tend to forget.  As women of a certain age, we may not have the children to take along, but some of you might be taking the grandchildren.  Roadtrips can be the best if you are traveling with the right people.  Do you have time to ride the train?  It’s never on time.  There are charter buses.  Remember flying is not the flying of old.  Sometimes the people look like they are on the bus (really), the costs for each piece of luggage adds to the cost of the vacation, and the time it takes to get through the check-in procedure can start your vacation off badly.
  • What type of accommodations do you want to have during your vacation?  Are you going to have a single room, a suite, is breakfast included?  Maybe you would like a timeshare. Maybe you want all-inclusive, one with no children, one that does or does not allow pets.  I don’t do colored bedspreads or pets–that’s just me. Please remember that the internet makes almost everything look picture perfect.
  • Most Importantly!! Who are you going with?  Are you traveling with your significant other, girlfriends, which girlfriends (some of your friends may not get along, or they like different things) or grown children?  You may be going to your favorite place, but who you go with can change everything. This will determine all of the other things you need to do. It may seem strange, but know how much they like to spend on dining out.  Do they get up in the morning with the television on, do they go to bed early?  Do they hog the bathroom?  Which one of you has to sleep with the light on, music going, television on? You know the adage, “you don’t someone until you live with them”, well try traveling with them.

These are just a few of the things that I have found to be helpful when planning a vacation.  You may have others, please share so that we can all have a great vacation.

Great VacationRemember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Vacations should be stress free.

 

Guest Blogger Marianne Cooper on Why Women (Sometimes) Don’t Help Other Women

I first read this article on Facebook posted by a young professional woman who was very interested in the generational aspect of the article. As I read the comments to her post, I read the article again. Is it a myth about women vs women? Do women of a certain age have an obligation to younger women to help them up the career ladder? Why are females considered “Mean Girls” when males are just considered during their job in the same situations? Ms. Cooper gives us a lot to think on. Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN IN GOVERNMENT

It’s not because they’re inherently harsher leaders than men, but because they often respond to sexism by trying to distance themselves from other women.

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By Marianne Cooper, Ph.D., Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University

There are two dominant cultural ideas about the role women play in helping other women advance at work, and they are seemingly at odds: the Righteous Woman and the Queen Bee.

The Righteous Woman is an ideal, a belief that women have a distinct moral obligation to have one another’s backs. This kind of sentiment is best typified by Madeleine Albright’s now famous quote, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” The basic idea is that since all women experience sexism, they should be more attuned to the gendered barriers that other women face. In turn, this heightened awareness should lead women to foster alliances and actively…

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The Amon Carter Museum’s Norman Lewis Exhibit

Guest post written by Dr. Britine Perkins, PhD.

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I was given the opportunity to preview the new Amon Carter Museum’s Norman Lewis exhibit before it opened to the public.  This was indeed a special opportunity as the ACM is only the 2nd museum nationwide to host this breathtaking exhibit. Because Lewis’s work is about movement, the pieces are grouped to showcase how his art evolved from figurative in the 1920’s and 30’s, to completely abstract expressionist by the 1940’s. He is one of a very few African-American artists to pursue this style of painting.

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When one thinks of abstract expressionist artists from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, immediately names like  Jackson Pollock , Picasso, de Kooning, Max Ernst, and one of my personal favorites, Frank Stella, among many others will come to mind. Unfortunately, what does not come to mind are African-American abstract expressionist artists, which was usually considered a rare departure for an African American artist (at one meeting in Italy that featured the likes of Polluck and de Kooning, Lewis was the only African American in the room, much like this preview where I was only one of two minorities in the room).  For Norman Lewis, who was born in 1909 in Harlem, expressing the energy of the Renaissance unfolding around him profoundly influenced his work. Early on in his career, he realized that he wanted to paint the Black experience, just not in the figurative way that was expected on African American artists of that time. By the 1940’s, he had rejected painting figurative works, and painting what he wanted to paint. Because he was African American he was not truly accepted by the white abstract expressionist artists, nor was he accepted by African American artists who felt the only way to express Black life was through figurative art.

Although considered a successful artist (his work was exhibited in over 130 exhibitions in his lifetime) he did not receive the true recognition as an abstract expressionist artist till after his death, something he has always predicted.  Regardless, he continued to paint the way he wanted:  American life is diverse and so should the art that depicts it, a struggle that Norman Lewis is definitely winning, even if posthumously.  Today many of his pieces are being sold for between $250,000 and $350,000, while during his lifetime, most sold for less than $20,000 as noted in a recent March 2016 CBS Sunday Morning clip (Reappraising the art of Normal Lewis) about his long overdue rightful recognition as an abstract expressionist artist.

After viewing just some of his extraordinary works, one leaves with an overwhelming admiration for a man who fought racism on both sides and yet continued to do what he wanted to do.  Although he was overlooked in his lifetime, I for one am very glad to see him finally get his due as not just an African-American artist, but one of this nation’s greatest abstract expressionist artists.

The Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis will be om diplay until August 21, 2016. To find out more about this wonderful exhibition and all of the other things click Amon Carter American Museum of Art.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, enjoy great works of art.

 

 

 

Nighty Night–8 Tips For A Better Sleep By Arianna Huffington

I am one of those people who leaves the card on my bed at the hotel because I want the linen changed each day (give me a discount, and I might not).  As I reached for the card at my last hotel stay, I read something that made a lot of sense. It was Arianna Huffington’s  8 Tips For A Better Sleep.

As I have matured sleep has become more important.  At one time I could function very well on 4 to 5 hours of sleep, but as I have matured I need more.  As women of a certain age sometimes our sleeping patterns can go into some craziness because of the dreaded menopause.  You know, you just can’t get to sleep, or you wake up and then you are just up for the rest of the night.

Will her 8 tips work?  I’m not sure, but I do agree with trying them.  There are some things that I probably won’t do.  I can drink coffee at 10 PM and then go to bed, and it does not bother me.

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Take a look at the list and hopefully you will get some idea(s) on helping you get a good nights sleep–it’s worth a try.  Sleep does make you feel better and even look better. Ms. Huffington has written a book about the importance of sleep in our everyday life–The Sleep Revolution. It sounds like an interesting read.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear“.  Have a good nights sleep.  Sweet dreams!  In the comment section, tell us some of the things you do to get a good nights sleep.

They Still Got It

Yes I was in the dreaded middle seat, but I didn’t have to pay for my luggage, and I don’t fight for overhead space–I just checked my luggage, and  the crew always seem to be nice–I was flying home on Southwest Airlines.  The latest issue of their magazine caught my attention, it’s their anniversary edition touting they (Southwest Airlines) still got it.

What caught my attention was the cover featuring what I thought were two flight attendants.  Well it turned out to be the same person, flight attendant Sandra Force, and she is featured in her 1971 flight attendant (stewardess) uniform, and her current flight attendant uniform. Yep, that means that she has been flying the friendly skies with Southwest Airlines for 45 years.  She looks amazing. 

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Inside the magazine you find information about this lovely woman of a certain age along with another flight attendant, C. J. Bostic who has also worked for Southwest Airlines for 45 years.   By all accords they have no intention of retiring–they actually like their job.

Click the link to read about this two amazing  women of a certain age:  Southwest Airlines Magazine

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and do something you enjoy like Sandra and C. J.  They still got it!  They show us that women of a certain age can’t be defined.  Got to love it! Do you still have it?

 

7 Steps To Start Your Work Day

When it comes to starting my work day, I am a creature of habit.  Some of the habits were added as I matured, but a few have always been set in place. I’m not talking about brushing my teeth, washing my face–things that everyone should do.  I’m talking about things that help my day go better.

I’m not saying this is how you should start your work day, but give it a try–it may help.  I always start the day off in silence. A minister told me once that you can’t hear God with all the noise–television, radio, etc. Here’s how I start my day.wake-up-monday

  •  Prayer–I always start (and end) my day thanking God for waking me up.  Sometimes all I can say is “thank you, thank you”, and ask blessings on my family and friends and a few others.  The prayer can be long, short or in between, but it is always a prayer of thanksgiving.  Even when I don’t feel well–I still pray.
  • While my coffee makes, I do stretching exercises.  Don’t laugh, they really help.  You can hear your bones popping, and feel the stretching.  Watch a cat get up from a nap, she never just gets up and moves, she stretches–slowly and then she is off. Take about 5 minutes, sit on the floor, lay on the floor however, you want to do them.  You can find some easy ones online or just make up some.  The point is stretch.
  • While drinking my coffee, I read my devotional.  One of my favorites is by President Jimmy Carter.  It gives you scripture, but it also gives you daily examples that pertain to the scripture.  I like this devotional because you don’t have to do it in any particular order.  You can find a great many online.
  • I finish my coffee with a little something for breakfast.  In all honesty I try to eat a little something healthy–oatmeal, toast (avocado toast is amazing), fruit and nuts or just toast and jelly.  Yep real butter and jelly.
  • I finally turn the television on.  I turn to the local news.  It seems that the local news has more good news than the national news–local sports, girl scouts, paying it forward, etc. (I watch the same local news each day, we’re on a first name basis).  I have to see about the weather forecast and the traffic report. While looking at the news, I look through the local paper.
  • After the local news, I look at about the first 10 minutes of the national news to make sure we as a nation are still okay.  That’s about all I can take.
  • When I have had enough national news, I find something funny to watch while I get dress for work.  It is usually an old comedy rerun.  They make me laugh, smile and warm my heart. Laughter will allow you to keep calm when you are cut off in traffic–seriously it works.

It may seem that this is a lot, but I have it down to a science.  If I miss a step, it seems that my work day is off.  Each of the steps has a purpose, and flows directly into the next step.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Start your work day off to a good start–it takes planning.

Leaving Home

My uncle who is 96 recently left his once beautiful home for over 60 years and moved into an assisted living facility where he has his own one bedroom apartment. This move was one that was at times easy, and other times it was gut wrenching. As one of the people in charge of this move, I called on everything in me to get through this. This journey is one that many women (and men) of a certain age will be responsible for as we mature, and our parents, aunts and uncles find they can no longer stay in their home.

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This process took a long time to complete with many different factors coming into consideration. I had not physically seen him for some time, but talked with regularly on the telephone.  He was forever telling me that he was doing just fine. Maybe physically he was, but for some unknown reason the state of his life was spiraling out of control.

When his brother, my uncle called to inform me that he had been taken to the hospital, but would be released in a few days I was a little concerned, but feeling okay since he could go to his home.  My cousin informed me that the house was no longer a home but something that was unsafe and unclean.

My cousins and I were not prepared for what we saw. Our once dapper, sharp dresser was thinner than usual which was not the shock, but he was disheveled, dirty and so unkept. This once proud man was sitting in this once grand house smiling his brilliant smile at my cousins and I.

Our mothers oldest brother could not live like this–we wouldn’t let it happen. The good part about this is that our uncle’s mind was as sharp as a tack.

Mentally there was nothing wrong and physically he was as fit as any 96-year-old could be. We immediately went into action. Since taking the truck keys would be hard and leaving home would be a hard sale, we went with home healthcare workers. The decision was made by everyone concerned, he even told us what time he wanted them to come each day–noon to 6.  While they were coming, we got together to find an assisted living home for him, one that he could make into his home.

This was not an easy chore, we did not need a nursing facility, we needed a place that had space, gave him independence, but still looked out for him.  The supervisor of the home healthcare workers was amazing, she gave us the name of someone and we were off.  We Uncle visiting Brookdale (1)visited three different ones, and all of us decided on the second one.  On the day that he was to make his visit to see if he like it, he was up, sharply dressed and ready.  He passed all of the assessments.  His only needed assistance was to make sure he took his 3 daily medications.  They could not believe he was 96 years of age.  He hadn’t had so many pictures taken in years–he was the man.

Even though the visit went great, there were still many hurdles to jump.  Some were more paperwork, doctor visits and more.  Moving day came, and the rain drops were the tears we all were feeling. To our surprise, he liked his new home!!

We know that there will be other obstacles that will come up, but we are so happy and pleased that our uncle, our mothers oldest brother is safe, clean, making new friends in his new home. He made us all remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and it is a blessing to have a great family that works together for the good of family. I love them all.

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Isn’t She Lovely–Mother’s Day Giveaway Winner

 2016 Mother’s Day Giveaway Winner–Tracy Marshall

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Tracy is an amazing woman of a certain age. She is the creator of the lifestyle blog–Tracy Marshall 1961 Blog which features articles on topics from travel, great gifts, family adventures and more. She is the winner of our 2016 Mother’s Day Giveaway.  Her lovely price is the beautiful statement necklace donated by Kendra Scott*

 

Congratulations Tracy!  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

*Special thanks to Kendra Scott, 1612 South University Drive, Fort Worth, TX  76107

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