Any interest in the topic of unconditional love?

I just wrote a post on the topic over at my “How to Believe In Love Again” site…

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The Best of the Boomer Blogs – June Edition

Field of Wild Iris near Stonewall

The wildflowers are just taking off in this part of southern Colorado. Springtime here is truly glorious! Check out the yellow flowers on my header, taken last June near our home. We think this beats the hell out of mowing a lawn!

And speaking of spring, here comes a few great blog posts from my boomer friends. Meryl Baer says: Baby boomers grew up during the turbulent 1960s, not so long ago in the minds of those of us who lived through the era. Yet the 60s decade came and went over 50 years ago. old lady jokeThis week Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting faced the harsh fact that the 60s not only occurred over 50 years ago, but are ancient history to younger generations. Read about her revelation in I am History.

cute puppy

Doing a little bowl-sitting…

It feels like the dog days of summer early in her part of the country, so Carol Cassara at Heart-Mind-Soul presents us with some dog posts. Here are her tips for traveling with your dog this summer or any time.  And because everyone loves cute dog photos, which of these gorgeous pups are your favorites?  

On The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, Rita R. Robison, consumer journalist, writes about two pieces of news for consumers. A federal agency is proposing a rule to end payday loan debt traps. And, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing voluntary guidelines in an effort to work with food companies and restaurants to gradually adjust sodium levels in food. While the payday loan rule has the potential to save consumers nationwide billions of dollars in unfair fees and interest, the salt guidelines are voluntary and only will be helpful if companies decide to follow them.

female versus male college graduates

This week Tom Sightings takes on the issue of men and women. In Part I — What Happened to the Men? he discusses recent trends in employment and education, and concludes with one hope for his children.

Reinvention – Lessons Learned

September 22, 2013

An oldie but goodie from three years ago, before all of my major changes really got started! Before we moved down south and built this home…

I am now pushing 60. Looking back, I have found midlife to be the ideal time for self-discovery and personal reinvention.

Most of us have followed the path set out for us by others. What else can we do when we are young and inexperienced? And by age 40 or 50, we know where that leads.

if-you-obey-all-the-rules-you-miss-all-the-fun Katherine Hepburn

By my mid-40s, I felt professionally secure, but stuck and frustrated, having been a good girl and followed all the rules. These feelings allowed me to finally find the confidence and courage to re-structure my life and create something new and different.  My goal: complete authenticity!

Perhaps, like me, you have experienced some traumatic midlife challenges like divorce, job loss, empty nest, natural disasters or illness, as you watch  your parents struggle with their own aging issues. All of these circumstances combined to cause me to question many of the choices I had made so far.

Did I want to spend the rest of my life this way?

In retrospect I see my various crises as golden opportunities to push me towards more appropriate personal choices. In the midst of my own midlife crisis, I spent months reading, looking inside, journaling, and being painfully honest with my feelings. Gradually I realized the future I saw ahead did not suit me. It was time to re-frame and do everything in a different way, MY WAY!

I used my own inner wisdom/intuition as my primary guide. Aware of the limitations of whatever time I had left on this earth, I worked ceaselessly to find a better path for myself.

Stop censoring yourself. Stop telling yourself you can never have what you truly want.  Find out what that is for you, and then focus like a laser on your deepest desires.

midlife crisis queen original headerThere are indeed do-overs before it is all over!

In the midst of my only run in with unemployment at age 49, I decided that I was determined to have a marvelous, unconditional love relationship with another before I died. Then I did EVERYTHING within my power to make that happen, and it did!

Many have called me ‘lucky.’ I call me courageous, determined and stubborn. I began reinventing my life by first finding true love.

Next my new lover, who believed in me even more than I did, helped me change careers. I had always dreamed of becoming a writer, but ignored that desire because it seemed too crazy and impractical.

This time I was determined to get exactly what I wanted. And I am here to tell you, you can too!

“The person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person doing it.”   –  Chinese proverb

laura-rasta-xmas-2012-croppedI’m a newcomer to rural southern Colorado.  After two years I decided to compile a short journal about the ups and downs of moving from a good-sized city to rural America to build a passive solar retirement home:              A Memoir of Retirement: From Suburbia to Solar in Southern Colorado          Please share this information with your friends if they are considering similar life changes. Feel free to contact me directly to discuss any of these challenges, and to order your own signed copies of any of my books!                             Cheers, Laura Lee  (email me: MidlifeCrisisQueen@gmail.com)

 

Where is your brain injury?

parts of the brainSlowly but surely I’ve been fighting back from a serious concussion this past September. Some days are fine, others I just feel like sitting and staring off into space for hours. One thing is for sure, it is quite difficult for me to maintain a good conversation for more than an hour or two. My brain gets tired very quickly.

Today I want to share with you some new information to me. I was searching around the Internet and came upon this very interesting page from the Centre for Neuro Skills on brain function. I guess I did not realize how important it is to specify where your brain has been injured, in identifying what functions are compromised.

For example, my traumatic brain injury back in 2008 damaged my frontal lobe (in the forehead area). According to this documentation this section controls consciousness, how we initiate activity, judgments in daily activities, emotional response, expressive language and assigns meaning to the words we choose, word associations and memory activities.

After being unconscious for hours after my bike accident with a serious bleed inside my brain, I struggled for at least a year with judgment, my emotions, language, word meanings, spelling and memory. I never did remember my accident, just the aftermath, and then only barely.

As luck would have it, I had just decided to become a writer in 2006 so writing became my best brain exercise. I actually published my first book by the end of 2008! I’m nothing if not stubborn!

Yes, I got very slowly better and thought that part of my life was history until this past September when I fell backwards onto concrete and knocked a small hole in my skull and injured my left parietal lobe. This led to even more problems with spelling and vocabulary. I now need to ask my husband words all of the time, and that’s very frustrating to me. In fact everything mentioned on this list rings try to me, especially “the inability to plan a sequence of complex movements to complete a multi-stepped task.”

IMGP4453

I see now that brain injuries on top of previous injuries are the worst in terms of trying to get things done. At first I could only stare outside for hours. Luckily the views are fantastic up here! Believe it or not, I think coloring my mandalas has helped my brain a lot. It’s so hard for me to “be here now,” but I’m working on it every day.

Not to make excuses, but I’m pretty sure this new injury is making it much harder for me to put together my new memoir about moving to this beautiful new part of the country to retire. Luckily I don’t have to go to work, but even my new volunteer position at the local veterans nursing home could be a challenge at times. At least I’ll be among understanding friends.

A New Southern Colorado Adventure & Delight!

Yesterday, we celebrated Valentine’s Day in one of the most mellow places I can imagine. We drove an hour and a half west of here and arrived at the Sand Dunes Pool for a long, peaceful soak in the hot springs there.

Sand Dunes Pool Long Lazy River

We started out in the long, lazy river pool at around 100 degrees. This gets deeper the further you go in, and at the end there is a small water fall. The surrounding are surprisingly tropical and the temperature inside is perfect! This is the only pool you can swim around in in the adult section.

Sand Dunes Pool Sauna

When you tire of the long, cool pool you can choose between three other smaller pools from 103 to 110 degrees or take a sauna.

Sand Dunes Pool tropical poolsThe atmosphere is tropical, with cool plants growing everywhere! We saw a few orchids, some very nice succulents, a large Jade tree, and even a few tomatoes on the vine. This place is wonderful, like a moist, warm oasis in the middle of the dry, cold San Luis Valley. No wonder it is so popular! Alcohol is served in this section, and their hamburgers are great.

Sand Dunes Pool outdoor swimming poolEverything I have described so far is in the adult or age 21+ section of this property. There is also an large, outdoor pool for families with kids. The surrounding mountains are incredible, and they also have places to stay there if you are on a vacation or RV camping. We’re just glad we live close enough to drive over for the day!

I do wish to mention one comment from a fellow swimmer yesterday. She was around age 50 and apparently she had been observing Mike and I for a while, when she came up to us and said,

“I just have to say you two make such a cute couple! My husband and I have been married for over 30 years. I just hope we can be like you two as we grow older together.” 

That pretty much made our day!

How did this happen? How did I end up here, feeling so fortunate?

It’s a long story, one I can now share with you in my new memoir!

One of the worst things about aging!

I am not a vain person. I have never spent much time focused on my appearance, BUT I find it so unfair that all of us look worse as we age. It’s like Mike said yesterday, where did all of these wrinkles come from?

I find this especially discouraging when I see pictures of my favorite movie stars from decades ago… what happened? Even those with perfect features go bad with the decades. Sure some have better genetics for this sort of thing, but anyway you cut it, it sucks.

Let’s take Carrie Fisher. Now there’s someone with good genetics, between Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher!

Carrie Fisher-1983In 1983 she looked great!

Carrie Fisher Star Wars The Force AwakensBut over 30 years later, even she is showing some serious aging!

I know, there is nothing new about this information, but just wait until it happens to you. Unless you are partially comatose, it can be quite shocking to look into the mirror some days! I have decided mirrors are not my friend anymore…that goes 7X for magnifying mirrors!

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What does retirement mean to you?

Laura at Cordova Pass Overlook October 2015I have observed that there are just about as many responses to the idea of retirement as there are people. Many count the days to retirement. They see it as complete freedom, and can’t wait!

Others fear that kind of freedom. They are convinced that they need to be contributing at all times, and feel driven to continue for reasons of self-esteem and/or legacy.

I believe this has a lot to do with early brainwashing. If your parents are driven to contribute, than you may also have that driving spirit. If your parents look forward to retirement as reward for a job well done, you may too.

My family is the hard-driving type, and my siblings also feel that they have no purpose if they cannot work.

My new husband at age 50 saw things differently. Because of serious health issues, he wasn’t able to hold down a 40+ hour a week job past age 60.

When I first met Mike ten years ago I was still quite driven. I launched myself into my new writing career with my usual enthusiasm and stubbornness, convinced that I could make it big as a blogger and author.

tell negative committee to shut upOver the past ten years my attitudes have changed dramatically. Mike has convinced me that being hard on myself and driven does not lead to contentment or even a happy life. It just leads to frustration with myself and others.

At what point is it OK to give yourself a break and say,   “You are fine just the way you are.” 

I have given much thought to my feelings about myself when I die. I do not believe that I will feel any better about myself then, if I produce more books or make any more money.

My time now is mine, and I plan to spend it doing whatever I choose, not feeling driven by my fears or my ego.

who you are supposed to be

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