Saturday, September 7, 2019

Time Perception

I am sure you have noticed that as you age, your perception of time changes.  I read once that your perception of the current part of your life depends on your age.  Like the last 5 years is only about 10 % of your life; but when you were ten, five years was 1/2 your life.  Lately, I realize it is too late for some things.  My long time fantasy of going to law school seems out of reach.  However, becoming a novelist still seems possible, especially in the age of self-publishing!  Lots of research has gone into this time perception thing– interesting article here: https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/the-fluidity-of-time  One finding from this article:  “Just being content or satisfied may not make time fly,” Gable said when the study was published, “but being excited or actively pursuing a desired object can.”  I like this conclusion better.  I am definitely excited about life and actively pursuing all kinds of adventures.  Apparently time does fly when you are having fun.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Gettysburg


We spent 3 days in August at Gettysburg National Park and Museum.  It was amazing.  I am not a civil war buff or even a history buff, and I enjoyed it.  The visitor center houses a museum, movie theater, food, book/t-shirt store.  They also have a cyclorama!  In the 90’s I worked in the Cyclorama Building in Buffalo, NY.  A cyclorama is a picture in the round that people used to pay to view, like going to the movies today.  I just worked in the round building, which made the cubicles a challenge, but I had never seen a picture that was displayed in one.  The visitor center houses one of the battle at Gettysburg.    The oil painting is 377’ long and 42’ high.  Learn more here: https://www.nps.gov/gett/learn/historyculture/gettysburg-cyclorama.htm.
The battlefield is littered with monuments.  Each statue commemorates a person, regimen, brigade or state; the emotional part is they each say how many fought, died, were wounded or missing.  Even with this accounting it is impossible to imagine the carnage.  I think I was most reassured by a deeper understanding that our country had endured a struggle, survived and was improved by that struggle.  Is it perfect today? No, but it is better than yesterday.
My first camping review:  We stayed at Artillery Ridge Campground.  Showers and toilets were clean.  The roads are stone so no mud even though it rained.  Mature trees so there was nice shade.  Spots were too close together, in my opinion.  There was a horse path that led to the battlefield very near the Pennsylvania monument, we rode our bikes in the park a lot.  Overall the town is not very bike friendly.  There are no bike lanes and in many places no shoulder.  On some roads bikes are specifically prohibited. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Forgetfulness


I have to write stuff down.  I don’t really think this is a function of age, it is a function of ambition.  I have a lot of stuff to get done, I accomplish a lot of stuff and sometimes, some of it falls off the list.  I work with college kids all the time and believe me, most of them need to write stuff down.  I blame my forgetfulness on my very full mind.  We all juggle a lot of different stuff.  Up in the air at all times are family member’s schedules, family finances, short and long term work goals, etc.  In addition to that are all the things these various constituencies pay me the big bucks for, like knowing where I put last year’s taxes, what the kids are doing this weekend.  I don’t know if my mind used to be sharper, but I do know that it was less cluttered.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Which Way is Up?

A friend recently suggested I should write about the great things about aging.  I think learning to drive without the aid of google maps was a blessing.  I was good at reading maps, because I had to learn to get from point A to some unknown location of point B.  I generally have an idea of where I am based on the compass;  I am south of here or we need to head north east, etc.  But combining these old map skills and the google map app on my phone can be a challenge.  First of all, is there even a North arrow on these maps?  By the time I blow up the map enough to see the street names, then it is so large I cannot view any of the other landmarks.  I would like there to be a pause button on the app.  There probably is, I just don’t know about it.  If I decide to detour, leave me alone for a while, I don’t need the constant rerouting. Don’t get me wrong, I use google maps religiously, but I miss pulling over and getting a map out of the glove compartment and just figuring out where I am and where I need to go.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Reverse Age Dysmorphia

I suffer from Reverse Age Dysmorphia.  Don’t try to look this up, I coined the term myself!  This is where I think I am about 30, but I am really about 50. I thought I was the only one that had Reverse Age Dysmorphia.  But apparently I am not alone: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/aging_b_4050176 .  Body dysmorphia is that terrible disease where people don’t see their image in the mirror as they really are.  People that suffer from this can become anorexic and/or bulimic to name a few horrible maladies.  Age dysmorphia is when people think they look older than they are.  They react similarly obsessing over every line or wrinkle.  It is sad.  I wish these sufferers better health.  What are the side effects to Reverse Age Dysmorphia?  Certainly Weekend WARRIOR Syndrome, where you go out and do some physical activity besides walking from car to office and sitting at a desk and are then hobbled by strained muscles.  Biting Off More than you can CHEW Syndrome, where you start some project, usually of the home improvement variety, and then realize you should have just hired someone to do it.  Real Face SHOCK Syndrome, where you finally get into good light or have sighted the “in between” lens correctly and can make out the age spots you somehow gloss over daily.  Empowered Sustenance website https://empoweredsustenance.com/age-dysmorphia/ has a great quote "Underlying all forms of body dysmorphia is the false belief that what our bodies look like determines our value and worth as human beings.”  Thankfully I am free of this.  I propose the definition of reverse age dysmorphia is “Underlying all forms of reverse dysmorhphia is the belief that our minds eye is powerful and determines our value and worth as a human being.”

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Trifocals are Trying


My husband is aging more gracefully than I.  This is hard to take on many fronts, but he also does not want to admit to some changes.  I encouraged him to get reading glasses when he called me into our kitchen to tell him what some numbers were on engineering drawings.  He claims the readers made his eyesight worse and now wears trifocals.  This is hilarious.  I have worn glasses my whole life.  For those of you that knew me in high school and are thinking, “she didn’t wear glasses”, I was just vain.  I went through most of high school in a haze.  Most of the high school haze was caused by blurred vision.  So back to the trifocals.  Apparently he needs to see distance, close up and the “in between”.   What,  is the “in between”?  Well the best example of the "in between" is the dash on the car.  He wants to read the dials.  So he spends a lot time moving his glasses, his eyeballs and his head around to focus on what he wants to see in the correct lens.  He complains about these glasses all the time.  I tell him to just get bifocals, that is what I wear and they are great.  But what about the “in between”?  This is where never having 20/20 vision in my life comes in.  Just guess about the “in between” is my advice.  OR “they have this great thing on most cars where you can get digital display of your speed and the font is very large; you could use that.” I say.  He refuses, just like he refuses to use the back-up camera – don’t get me started.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Empty Nest


The kids are both in college.  It is awesome.  I bet you are thinking we run around the house naked and are having amazing sex on the kitchen table, right?  Sorry, this isn’t that kind of blog.  What is amazing is that we have sandwiches for dinner, often.  After 20 years of coming up with dinners that included a protein, a starch, veggies; I am relieved to have the pressure of a well-balanced meal off my plate.  I prepared for this transition by announcing to my kids several years ago that during summer I was only providing one meal a day.  They could fend for themselves for the others.  But the really hard part is getting used to just needing less food.  Our milk now expires before we have used it all and we are sick of the leftovers before they have been eaten.  The other thing I am enjoying is that my husband is the only one who needs 20 bucks on a regular basis.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Missing My Shoe Fetish


My feet are ½ size to a full size larger than before I had kids.  They are also wimpy.  What I mean is that if shoes were cute I don’t ever remember worrying they would be uncomfortable or that I regretted wearing cute shoes because my feet hurt.  I don’t quite wear thick, orthopedic sandals or tennis shoes, but I can see it in my future.  I don’t buy all kinds of cute shoes because I can tell they will be painful.  Peep toe shoes hurt my big toe, any sort of thong shoe annoys the space between my big toe and the next toe.  A lot of shoes are tight across the bridge of my foot.  Some shoes with heels hurt my back.  Do you get the picture?  The most annoying thing is that I used to wear a size 7 PERIOD.  Didn’t matter the shoe, a size 7 fit.  Now in the age of internet shopping I can’t count on this, sometimes I wear a 7  ½ sometimes an 8.  I still love shoes but it takes longer to find ones that meet all my prerequisites.  Old age tip #78, use spare time to shoe shop.

Monday, July 1, 2019

DENIED


I have been rejected by google adsense. “After reviewing your application, our specialists have found that it does not meet our program criteria.” These are the people that put annoying ads on a website.  I am hoping it is because I don’t have a privacy or disclosure policy.  So I added these and not one of these reasons…
  • Adult themes in family content
  • Pornography, adult or mature content
  • Shocking content
  • Content that threatens or advocates for harm on oneself or others
  • Content that harasses, intimidates or bullies an individual or group of individuals.  Is my blog bullying the middle aged?  I did make that snide comment about millennials.  Millennials are probably the ones to approve my application.  I will edit that sentence out.
  • Content that incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.  I was just kidding about the trials of being old, really it is preferable to the alternative.
  • Excessive profanity
  • Hacking/cracking content
  • Software or other content that violates the Unwanted Software Policy
  • Malware or adware
  • Illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia content
  • Content that promotes, sells, or advertises products obtained from endangered or threatened species.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

RV’er


I married my husband for two reasons 1) He seemed like he was going to do the income taxes and 2) He hated camping.  Well 20+ years later I don’t think he has ever done the taxes and we are the proud owners of an RV.  We got the bug while hiking at various national parks out west.  Now don’t go thinking we are outdoorsy types.  I use the word hike euphemistically – it is more like a vigorous walk.  When there is an elevation change I call it a hike.  But after sleeping in our hotel outside Zion National Park we were envious of the campers inside the park – they could wake up right here!  So now we make monthly payments on a beautiful Class B or maybe it’s a C motor home – it is the size of a full size van.  I don’t know that I recommend it, we could have committed to spending $6000-8000 a year on a vacation, but where is the adventure in that?

Friday, June 21, 2019

Oh My Aching….

My back is the worst, but don’t tell anyone, this just starts a competition of whose pain is worse.  My knees often ache at night.  I can’t really turn my neck that well anymore (please don’t mention this to DMV).  I am getting the 360’ rear view camera on my next car as seeing my blind spot is near to impossible.  I thought I would be 60 or 70 years old before these ailments befell me.  Am I defective?  Did I physically abuse my body with various physical pursuits in my younger years?  All I know is I can’t sneeze without first carefully bending at the waist to keep my lower spine from jostling painfully during the sneeze.  Once in a blue moon I take a Tylenol PM if my knees are really acting up – that stuff is like gold.  In the mean time I am still waiting on being able to predict the weather.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

I don’t need Depends YET…


The most educational thing about watching television is to contemplate your demographic from the commercials you suffer.  I am forced to watch untold numbers of commercials about bladder leakage products.  Is this really my future?  If any of my current friends are using these products – I can’t tell. This seems to be a major pitch of the commercials – that the product is discrete.  Are all men my age using ED drugs?  Or like many things; is there a small portion of the population ads are directed towards and this makes most of us feel like everyone is using them?  I hope this is the truth about anti-depressants, arthritis, and hepatitis drugs. In the mean time I am adding all these maladies to the list of things I worry about and just know if I need depends, I am getting toddler pull-ups with Wonder Woman on them!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Skunk Stripe

I started to gray early, like when I was in college.  I have never really associated gray hair with age.  See picture of me about 40 with natural hair color.  My husband hates it (I think he feels it ages him).  So I have dyed my hair for about 10 years.  I have decided when my brows get gray I will stop – I have one white eye brow hair – I can’t wait for more!  I am pretty sure it will be stark white when I let it go.  In the mean time I am lightening my hair so the roots are not such a white stripe in contrast to my un-natural brown hair.  But even with lighter hair I need to go to the salon every 3 weeks.  My scalp, nor my wallet can afford that so I spend about 1-2 weeks covering the skunk stripe with L’OrĂ©al Root Magic – which is sort of like spray paint! Then I do my own roots, usually with Clairol root touch up, but I just tried New & Improved Root Touch UP – which was kind of awesome – no mixing and you can put lid back on and use again!!!  About every 8 weeks I go back to the salon.




Thursday, June 6, 2019

Grateful to the Greatest Generation


75 years ago ½ the world battled the other ½ and won, today marked the beginning of the end.  Thank God and thank you to the greatest generation. If you want a heartfelt story try this one: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/561371/all-american/

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Why GenEx and Not GenX?

It was purely a typo to write out GenEx for the blog name.  It is not like I don’t know that’s not how to spell it.  But the blunder got me thinking, what is my subconscious trying to say?  It took all of 3 seconds to tap into it.  EXHAUSTED – my generation has been working and saving feverishly in our 401K’s for 25+ years.  We have been on the hamster wheel trying to approach the wealth of our parents, the baby boomers, with no hope in sight.  Oh, how nice it would be to be a millennial and throw up our hands and say we can’t pay off student loan debt, buy a house, have kids, OR save for retirement.  What we can do is pay $6 for a coffee.  EXUBERANT – Are we the last generation to feel joy and gratitude?  It feels that way sometimes.  Everyone is so angry at everything today.  There are other EX’s I could add to the list EXTROADINARY, some EXPATs, EXPERIENCED, possibly in the midst of an EXISTENTIAL crisis, in the mean time I need to go out and see if I can buy the name GenXGetsOld.com too.

Monday, June 3, 2019

My Body, My Rectangle




I used to have an impossibly small waist when I was 17.  I even got my figure back after two kids. But middle age, menopause, and middle management have all conspired to turn my body into that lovable geometric shape, the rectangle.  To combat this I have watched every rerun of TLC’s What Not To Wear; where Stacy & Clinton help lots of women like me look presentable.  I have learned 3 things that I try to do 1) Cinch something to give you a waist – usually slightly below the rib cage, when I have to cinch around my neck I will break down and join a gym or hang myself.  2) V-necks elongate your figure – this one I am not too sure about but I’m trying it anyway (note: age spots rapidly appearing on my neck and chest – this may be short-lived). 3) Wear straight-leg pants, I really think this works but these are virtually impossible to find –if only these tapered, aka pegged leg, pants were available when I was in junior high and used to peg them myself! I honestly would not be seen in public in the outfit with the belt.  TLC please put Stacy and Clinton back on and PICK ME!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Bell Sleeves & Socioeconomic Commentary


There is a long history of societies using fashion to make a statement about the wearer.  One example: In medieval times European men wore shoes with fantastically long toes to tell the world they didn’t have to work.  So what you say does this have to do with fashion today?  I propose that the bell sleeve is the modern day equivalent.  If you can wear these you can’t possibly do dishes (therefore you must have a maid), perform young child care (you must have a nanny) or work at a job (I sit at a desk most of the day and these are impractical).  I keep thinking they are finally out of style, but as I can’t really afford high end ready to wear it has moved down the fashion ladder to the likes of JC Penney and Walmart where I do regularly shop.  Hopefully it is just about gone!

Friday, May 31, 2019

To # or NOT to #

As I am doing this whole blog on the premise of making money, I need to drive traffic to my blog therefore hashtagging seems appropriate.  I googled several things about hashtags, like most google searches I just read the titles of the researched topic, not the actual articles.  But I did learn I should research my hashtags and to try to "utilize trending hashtags"  - thank you #google.  I also learned that I should not put spaces between words as this will only use first word in the search.  This ruffles every fiber of my middle aged being but I digress.  Finally there is hashtag etiquette.  The rules consist of don't over hashtag and make sure your hashtag isn't heartless and unrelated to the trending hashtag.  Thank you https://www.adlibbing.org/2013/12/16/hashtag-etiquette-dos-donts-hashtags/.

This really brings into focus a much wider issue of technology.  While my generation is the leading edge of the technology revolution, I find myself becoming unwilling to jump on every bandwagon. Case in point, I don't have a Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest account.  I also don't listen to podcasts.  I am sure there are other things I don't do, but I don't even know about them to know I am out of the loop.  So the I don't hashtag ends now, maybe I will jump on a few podcasts in the fall.

Middle Aged Skin

#Neurtogena
I have always been fairly comfortable in my skin.  Until that skin started to dry out and grow age spots.  I haven't tackled the age spots yet, anything that I think will require 1) a trip to any sort of doctor or 2) some painful procedure at that doctor, I avoid.  More on this topic and my terrible back problems later.

But I did start using an amazing product Neutrogena Deep Moisture night cream.  My actual tip is to use it day and night.  They do make it in day cream with an spf, if you live somewhere sunny I recommend this, I only use it June, July and August, the rest of the year I take my chances.  It has just occurred to me that my noticeable age spots started about this time - UG - I have probably given myself skin cancer when I stopped using an spf lotion all the time.

So why is this an amazing product?  First of all it works for me.  It really keeps my face and neck plump and well moisturized throughout the day.  Also, almost as important to me, it is readily available.  Meaning I can buy it at Walmart or the grocery store which I regularly go to (remember I promised lifestyles of the middle incomed).  The last requirement for any product I recommend is that it is relatively inexpensive.  Now if only I could get my husband to start using it too.

Introduction

Like you I am starting to think, OK fantasize, about retirement.  Of course the only thing holding me back is money.  So I start to wonder how I could make money without really working.  This lifestyle thing seems to get Kylie Jenner money, though I am not sure how, and I thought, why not me?  Of course I am not young or beautiful, but I thought I could write about the not young and less handsome among us with real passion and experience!  I hope you will join me to laugh and ponder the trials of getting old from becoming a regular Jeopardy watcher, to traveling, to weight battles, and fashion tips.