Women and Friendship

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Women and Friendship

 Last night I saw an independent film “Book Club”, a documentary by Hope Hartman about 8 women who showed up month after month for 62 years to read (and discuss) books. That's right, 62 years. They even planned vacations around those monthly meetings. I can’t imagine doing anything with that kind of consistency for 62 years.  Even one of the members herself said "I haven't been committed to anything or anyone else for that long."  While the story was about reading, it was also about women and friendship. Friendships that flourished because of their love for books, mutual support, and their respect for each other. Facilitated, of course, by their decision to avoid discussions about religion and politics.

My Superwoman of the Week

All of the women were fascinating. The one I found most memorable was Mary Lathram, who has been in the Top Ten in the national U. S. Masters swimmers listing for more than 15 years. I couldn’t wait to get home so that I could Google her. Here is some of what I learned about Mary. In her 90’s, she still competes in four or five local meets a year and attends Senior Olympics and USMS national championships.  When she turned 90 (2005), she garnered a first place finish and set a world record in the 200 M backstroke.

In the film, Mary stated that, initially, she was reluctant to compete; not because she doubted her ability, but because of how she looked – i.e., “her stomach “pooched” out and she didn't look that great in a bathing suit”. After her 1st competition, however, she realized that the only person concerned about what she looked like was her. They only cared about how she swam. 

How often do we concern ourselves with things that matters to no one but us? For example, how we look?  On this, I am guilty. I, too, sometimes obsess over my belly fat. Forget the fact that I am 64, physically active, and look and feel absolutely fabulous.

The lessons: No matter your age, be and do you and accept yourself for who you are; nurture your friendships, especially with your women friends; and be thankful – for everything. 

As I was leaving the movie theater, I found myself wondering what it must feel like to have the same circle of friends for over 60 years; people you see month after month, with regularity and consistency. I also left thinking how nice it must be to still be active well into your 90s.

Do you have friends you have seen month after month for over 20, 40, or 60 years? How does that feel? I would love to hear from you.

Counting down… Next week, I will return with 10 more nuggets for women who want to age gracefully and with dignity and confidence. I will also tell you about my new passion/interest.

Credo for Aging Continued…

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Credo for Aging Continued…

Since my last post, I celebrated my 64th birthday. A few days before my birthday, I was watching Oprah’s LifeClass (with Iyanla Vanzant). The show caused me think about my life; and ask myself, “Am I living the life I wanted or asked for?”  After reflecting and reviewing some of my personal notes from 15 or more years ago, I realized – with a jolt – that my basic lifestyle is what I asked for. It’s what I ordered. It’s a good life. And, every day, I am thankful. Could I have ordered more? Could I have been more specific? Yes. But, today, it is what it is. When I look at my life (and how I see myself), there are three words I use to describe me: fit…fabulous…fearless. Fit and fabulous, I am comfortable with. But, fearless?  I am not nearly as fearless as I want or need to be. So, each day, I challenge myself to step out more. And, each day, I get better and better.

Now on to my nuggets… As of today, I have shared 72 nuggets.  I hope that some of them resonated with you.  Here are 10 more. Again, from my upcoming book, 101 Nuggets of Truth for Women who Want to Age with Dignity and Confidence. 

  • Carefully choose and guard your inner circle.
    “Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives. “ – Susan Taylor 
  • Think like a beginner.
    “In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki 
  • Have people in your inner circle who are young in mind, body and spirit.
    “Hanging out with younger, healthier people helps to keep you young at heart.” –Daisy Saunders 
  • Surround yourself with what you love.
    “Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants and     hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.” – George Carlin 
  • Nurture yourself.
    “Self preservation is the first law of nature.” – Samuel Butler 
  • Ask for what you want.
    “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” – Mahatma Gandhi 
  • Be adventurous.
    “Adventures are to the adventurous.” – Benjamin Disraeli 
  • Say “no”.
    “Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” – Josh Billings 
  • Be good to yourself.
    “The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” ~Sonya Friedman 
  • Put yourself first.
     “Put your own self highest on your priority list.” – Michelle Obama 

If you have some nuggets (or comments) or quotes you would like to share, I welcome them. As always, I am open and receptive to anything you have to say.  And, I am still looking for women who are aging gracefully (with dignity and confidence). Let me hear from you.