Friday, April 28, 2017

Indulge Yourself

Something tells you the weekend has arrived
and you can indulge yourself a bit.
                                                                                                       Helen Mirren

Being alone wears comfortably in my psyche – until the weekend comes. What is it about weekends? Since I am no longer 'gainfully' employed in a sense everyday is a weekend day. Yet, when that Friday comes around, it's different. It's the weekend – time to indulge, have fun, go on a date – even if that date is with one's self.

Post-retirement I indulged on a regular basis. Indulging to me is sitting at the bar of a favorite restaurant sipping on a glass of wine while enjoying a favorite meal. I did this frequently – weekdays and weekends – and thoroughly enjoyed it. As happens with anything we overdo, it became habit and lost its charm.

Thus I went from one extreme to another. Rather than going out, I stay home and prepare simple meals for myself – pan seared lamb chops, steak, fish; a kale salad or steamed kale, some beets and a big glass of water.

The time is ripe for me to once again indulge. So this weekend rather than throwing on my blue jeans and Henry Miller t-shirt – I'll put something on that makes me feel I'm going somewhere special with someone special (namely, me). I'll head over to a favorite eatery – sit at the bar, indulge in a favorite meal and then off to a film, play, concert, dance performance of my choosing.

In Helen Mirren's words, if you choose to “indulge yourself a bit”, what will your weekend look like?


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Time to Chill

I haven't quite got the hang of this retirement thing.
                                                                                                         Walter Cronkite


It's been three years since my entry into the world of retirement.

My first day post-retirement I was at the YMCA for my morning swim. The day before my colleagues sent me off with a festive farewell gathering. After my swim, a friend invited me to breakfast. My reply, “I can't go, I need to write thank you notes to my co-workers.” His appropriate response, “You have all day to do that.” Thus began the challenge of my having 'all day' to do that – whatever that was.

My time was immediately filled upon leaving the world of gainful employment. Improv and acting became my new 'surprise' passions. Becoming a volunteer tutor with children allowed me to continue working with children. Then piano and voice came along. And now blogging. All this keeping me busy in a way that brings much pleasure and appropriate challenges – and also requiring me to maintain a schedule to get these self-inflicted responsibilities done.

What I've not allowed myself post retirement, are weekdays where after a leisurely breakfast I lounge on the couch with a good book and cup of tea. When feeling tired, allow myself the delight of a weekday afternoon nap. Ingrained in my genes is the Monday thru Friday, 9-to-5, work routine.

So three years post retirement, I am finally awakening to the realization that during weekday daytime hours I have the luxury to stop mid-day what I am doing – take a nap, read a book, have a cup of tea and simply chill...

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Friday, April 21, 2017

The Ultimate Leveler

I am not afraid of death, I just don't
want to be there when it happens.
                                                                                                Woody Allen

A friend recently told me about his 95-year old neighbor whose declining health has forced him to move into a nursing home. He went on to share about his mother who died a slow death of Alzheimer's and how she repeatedly begged him to help her die.

Many states are passing legislation to allow terminally ill individuals to choose a medically-induced peaceful death. Yet, not all of us are diagnosed with a terminal disease nor do we live in states that have that legislation.

After the death of a loved one we often hear “I'll see him/her again when my time comes.” While many of us have beliefs about an after life or reincarnation, we still cling to this human form in which we travel. This along with the anti-aging propaganda, simply reflect our fear and denial of death. Death is the ultimate unknown. And the ultimate leveler of the human experience.

While I never planned for retirement, I have planned for my death. *Exit International is an organization that supports euthanasia not just for terminally ill individuals, but for those whose body may be aging beyond the point of their being able to live comfortably satisfying lives.

Crossing into my 7th decade, I joined *Exit International. I now have the means that allow me to have a peaceful death. Will I have the courage to do that when this body shuts down to the point I'm not enjoying my life? I don't know. And I won't know till that time comes. But somehow it is a comfort knowing I have the option.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Being Ordinary

And while it takes courage to achieve greatness,
it takes more courage to find fulfillment in being ordinary.
                                                       Marilyn Thomsen*

As I compare the simplicity of OldBoldandBeautiful.Life with sophisticated, professionally managed blogs – many of which have reached celebrity-hood within the blogging world, I think how nice it would be to be amongst them.

There is a voice within me that would like to experience celebrity-hood believing it would make me feel special and successful. Gratefully, as I pondered this, a louder Self shouts that the next step in your journey is to embrace your 'ordinariness'. It is in ordinariness that joy occurs through connection with simple things like the blossoms on my dogwood this morning that put a smile on my face, the morning cup of tea I drank as I looked out the window at the budding trees and sunshine, and the pleasure I felt as my cat came to be petted.

As I took this in – embracing my ordinariness – there was an experience of incredible freedom. Freedom from the need to be anything else except myself as I am in this moment.

Many of us desire to be extraordinary. Yet that very desire takes us out of ourselves in the moment, implicitly it tells us we're not enough.

Truth is when embracing our ordinariness – the desire to be anything but ourselves softens and seems to disappear. My guess is this is just the beginning of my journey into ordinariness and there will be bumps ahead. But in this moment as I write this – there is inner peace, freedom from comparing and a genuine loving of the ordinariness I am.


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Techno-Phobia

Everyone I know has a SmartPhone – not me. Everyone I know is on Facebook – not me. My MacBookAir and flip phone serve my needs. I've chosen not to keep up with technology. Who can keep up – given the fast speed at which it moves. I am plagued with a techno-phobia.

One arena where I've broken through my techno-phobia is in birthing the blog, OldBoldandBeautiful.Life. The motivation for this is to address ageism, its impact on women, and, specifically, my own journey. Thus my entrance into the blogging world of technology.

Having no idea on how to start a blog I did what we all do these days – either a google or youtube search. Through a google-search SCORE* came up which is a volunteer-based organization that counsels individuals on developing their own business. Thankfully, they had a techno-guru, Marc Czarnecki, who has guided me in developing OldBoldandBeautiful.Life.

By comparison to the many super techno-savvy blogs, OldBoldandBeautiful.Life is simple. And in its simplicity is fully congruent with me and what has been a lifelong style of simple living. Many would say I am resistant to embracing our techno world of today. I admit this is true. Yet, I must say that rather than spending time with 'friends' on Facebook or hypnotically engaged with my SmartPhone, I prefer to sit on my sofa with a cup of tea and a good book. The only thing that might make this better is if a best friend/lover/companion were sitting next to me with his/her good book and a cup of tea.


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https://asheville.score.org


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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Female Dalai Lama?

If some people have the belief or view that the Dalai Lama 
has some miracle power, that's totally nonsense. 
                                                                                                            Dalai Lama*

During my open mic debut Tuesday evening, a female comic preceded me.  In her routine she stated the Dalai Lama indicated there could one day be a female Dalai Lama but she would need to be attractive.  

Later that evening, I went to youtube and there it is in several interviews the Dalai Lama stating that a female Dalai Lama should be 'very, very attractive'.  Thankfully, in the video I initially watched (link below), the Dalai Lama also acknowledged that a female would bring more affection and compassion to the world.

I don't fault the Dalai Lama for this belief about the importance of attractiveness in women – it is a belief most of the world holds. Don't we each, male and female, want to be thought of as attractive. Don't we ourselves place attractiveness as a value we look for in others. I suppose we like to think of spiritual leaders of the world not being as vulnerable to these beliefs that have plagued us for eons. What the Dalai Lama has revealed to us is that any one traveling in a physical body is vulnerable to the hypnosis of world beliefs...

The world is filled with sexism – it is perpetrated upon men and women. I suppose if I had one wish about this particular sexist belief – it is that the world begin to recognize that just as a naturally aging man is still considered attractive so it would be for a naturally aging woman. But I won't hold my breath for that to happen...


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*https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/dalai_lama.html

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Comedy Debut

*The creative process is a process
of surrender, not control.
                                                                                             Julia Cameron

My open mic comedy debut took place Tuesday evening. A chill went up my spine hearing myself introduced: “Our next comic, her first time performing, Blair Fielding.” I felt like a pro as I took the hand mic off the stand and looked out at the audience. Thank goodness they were still clapping as all I saw was total darkness with a bright light shining on me. Not being able to see the audience, I became nervous which made connecting difficult.

My open mic experience was a reminder of the importance of connection. Further, that the connection between audience and artist(s) is key to the success of any live performance. The foundation to connection is authenticity and vulnerability. I recall being in the audience of Lily Tomlin's one-woman show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Tomlin's authenticity and vulnerability were so present, I felt connected to her as though she were performing for me.

Self-consciousness was a companion during my debut. Being aware of myself performing, kept authenticity and vulnerability from fully emerging. I'm okay with that as I continue to genuinely applaud myself for doing something I never thought I could do.

I will continue my classes in improv, acting, stand-up, piano, and voice. I am tapping into my creativity which has been dormant far too long. And to think it has all begun post 65 years of age. Once again, in the words of Maurice Chevalier “I'm glad I'm not young any more."

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Tiny Rant...

It's in our biology to trust what we see with our eyes.
This makes living in a carefully edited, overproduced
and photoshopped world very dangerous.
                                                                                                         BrenĂ© Brown


Season three of Netflix' Grace and Frankie opens with Grace and Frankie manufacturing vibrators for older women. Future shows of the season go on to address other issues olders experience – Bravo!

Yet, the show embodies the sexist-ageist message that while men are allowed to age, women are not. Grey hair and naturally lined faces are okay for actors Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, but not okay for their female counterparts. Rather we witness Jane Fonda's surgically sculpted face and body eliminating any of the natural signs of aging. While Lily Tomlin allows for a few grey hairs, she, too, has succumbed to surgical facial tightening.

Mallory (daughter of the Grace character) in one show rambles off the things she dreads about aging. Intermittently, during the rambling we hear: “I'll have my face done,” she continues, “and I'll have my face done again.”

There's no stopping the anti-aging propaganda that 'ugly-fies' the natural signs of aging and promotes plastic surgery. Remember media propaganda is not here to honor us in our aging journey, but rather to promote and sell us things to correct what is a natural and beautiful unfoldment into our deeper selves. Let's remember the quote that birthed OldBoldandBeautiful.Life:

OLD is a perfectly good word.  
At a certain point we are old, but can still be beautiful.
It has far less to do with Botox and plastic surgery, 
than with personality, style and courage...

So claim your Self as described above and be:

Old, Bold and Beautiful!
Wear That History Proudly!
Be Old Now!

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