Nostalgia Benefits Age Esteem

November 23rd, 2017 Comments off

“Wake up, Bonnie. It’s Thanksgiving!” As I raised my sleepy head from the pillow, I began singing with my sister Suzy, “Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow. Oh!” We loved Thanksgiving Day.

During my early childhood, Thanksgiving Day was celebrated at my paternal grandparents. Cousins, aunts and uncles who we saw only on that day, would arrive to share in the feast and happy banter. It was a day of conversation, laughter, aromas, flavors, colorful foods, and a feeling of pure happiness to be together around the table. It was a day of joy, peace, and love.  – At least that is how I always remember it.

When our tummies were full and we could not eat another mouthful of even the delicious pies, the men would retire for a philosophical discussion in the living room, and the women would gather in the kitchen to chat, pack left-overs, and wash dishes.  This was a special time for us children, too. We were free to roam through the rambling house, seeking treasures like the old fox neck wrap in the middle drawer of the front bedroom, or secret places like the stair step that opened to show a tool chest underneath. We always seemed to discover something new.

Then, all too soon, it was time to drive home through the snowy, unpaved roads of the times. Suzy and I would snuggle up together to keep warm in the unheated back seat of the car. Just when we were really getting chilled to the bone, we would arrive home. Mom would make us hot chocolate with a marshmallow on top to warm us before we curled up in our beds to doze off with happy memories of the day.

Research shows that it is beneficial to be nostalgic about our earlier years. It improves our sense of well-being and gives us a more positive outlook on the future to remember happy moments. Nostalgia is good for your age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

Blessings of the Day

November 16th, 2017 Comments off

A blessing is defined as, “a beneficial thing for which one is grateful; something that brings well-being.”

During times when we feel like the world is crashing around us, there are blessings that still exist all around us. Even when those blessings might be difficult to notice, there is a blessing within you. The reality is that our human nature sometimes prevents us from remembering how blessed we really are. When you go to bed and recall events that encouraged you or brightened your day, your life becomes a blessing.

I challenge you to grab a journal, place it by your bed and write down 5 new blessings or things for which you are thankful for each day. Do this for a month! You will form a habit in seeing the good, blessing you with a better life.

What Is Your Gift To The World

November 13th, 2017 Comments off

“Recognize your special uniqueness as your gift to the world which you can offer in multiple ways.” – Bonnie Fatio

What is your special uniqueness that can be offered as a gift to the world? We all have greatness within us! Even if a bed measures one’s boundaries, the challenge most of us face is to accept and acknowledge the special gifts within us.

Did you know that there are actual health benefits to giving? Studies have found that giving can not only lower your blood pressure but it can lower your stress levels too. Who would think that giving of your time, through volunteer work, could increase self-esteem, decrease depression and lead to a longer life? Researchers also think that giving back might give individuals a “happiness” boost by providing them with a neurochemical sense of reward.

In this month of thanksgiving, I challenge you to find your special talents and give them to the world.

 

Gratitude Surrounds Us

November 9th, 2017 Comments off

Gratitude surrounds us. However, news is usually depressing and deals only with disasters and misery. Go on a gratitude hunt. As you go about your daily activities, notice the good that surrounds you. Use all your senses to capture the beauty and goodness of the day. Watch children at play, adults at work, and neighbors going about their business. What are they doing that you can be grateful for? (ideas: helping another, teaching, making something pretty, taking care of someone, repairing a bicycle tire,…) Yes, catch people doing good, and be thankful, It will boost your age-esteem.

Blessings That Come With Age

November 6th, 2017 Comments off

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, ask yourself these questions: “What are you thankful for about being the age you are?” What are the blessings that come with being 43, 58, 62, or 97?

To answer these questions, reflect on the ages you’ve been and what has changed as you have grown into who you are today. The young are often energized and dream about things to come while the more mature are blessed with insight. They understand that relationships are what sustain us, not the accolades we have collected along the way.

When you are in your 40’s you are full of self-determination and aim for respect and accomplishment.  You’ve had the opportunity to learn how to connect with others and have begun to feel a sense of gratitude for wisdom gained from previous life experiences.

In your 50’s the satisfaction of accomplishment and the value of connecting with others sets in. The demands of your 30’s and 40’s are diminishing, allowing you to diversify your interests. You are gaining back time to do things you have put aside for years.

When 60 rolls around, you are entering an entirely new, exciting point in life. You possess the ability to see yourself clearly and take action on things that you feel need more attention. The park has more meaning as you appreciate the moment, and the morning air becomes the kind of potion that you have not known since childhood.

At 97, you are a marvel! The quality of reflection you have on life is so different from the young that your words must certainly be listened to. You become society’s living history. You have seen triumphs and tragedies, revolutions and wars, and great achievements in technology. Gratitude shines in the freedom from the urgencies of earlier days and you have truly learned to cherish each moment.

The truth is that no matter what age you are, life is about doing every age well. So find thankfulness in your Age-esteem!

A Month of Thanksgiving and Gratitude

November 2nd, 2017 Comments off

Many countries and religions have special days to give thanks. In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month.

Families gather around tables that are laden with more food than one normally eats. It is part of the tradition to have a stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, vegetables and salad followed by apple, mince and pumpkin pies.

It is also the time when we hold hands and bow our heads to give thanks for the many blessings we have received.

Gratitude is important for our age-esteem. It has power to help us feel good at every age. In future blogs, I will share some of the ways this is true.

Bonnie Fatio

Allow Yourself To Play This Halloween

October 30th, 2017 Comments off

You might know that pumpkins are a great source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that plays a significant role in cancer prevention, and pumpkin seeds can fight bad cholesterol. However, did you know that a pumpkin is also good for your age-esteem?

Imagine yourself letting go of worries and concerns by allowing yourself to get into the mood of witches and goblins. Take part in a costume party. Wear something playful and out of the ordinary. Spend time carving a pumpkin and creating a work of art while enjoying the health benefits that pumpkin has to offer.

Grab some dark chocolate, benefit from those antioxidants and allow your age-esteem to shine this Halloween.

Are You An “Old Fogey”?

October 23rd, 2017 Comments off

“You’re a bunch of old fogies”, my father told the homeowners. He spoke in his deep, commanding voice that made people sit up and listen, whether they wanted to or not.  It was an authoritative tone that often left people speechless.

His less than diplomatic outburst was because in the adult community where he lived people had forgotten how to interact with youth. To live there you must be 12 years old or older, and most residents were at least 65.

Why the excitement? Someone had rented their home to a family with teenagers.  And the teenagers made noise when they went to the pool in the evening. – Not raucous noise, but enough to be heard, just like the adults could be heard at the pool during the daytime.

In the eyes of the majority it was clear that something had to be done. Surely the youth were drinking, and maybe even taking drugs!

My dad was the only person who had taken an interest in the young people sitting around the pool. He had asked them questions and gotten to know them. Dad knew the kids at the pool were from the High School baseball team. Talk was about their latest game. Their drinks, which were sodas, were in plastic glasses to keep with the pool rules.

When Dad took his evening walk he made it a habit to go by the pool and to chat with them. They were “good kids” in his opinion and had the same right to bring friends to the pool as any other member of the community.

Certainly calling people “old fogies” is not recommended if you want people to listen to you. However, the story has a good message. Let’s not judge people of other generations by assumptions and generalities. Let’s chat with each other, work together, and take time to know each other as individuals.

An important key of age-esteem is to remain relevant, and to have active interaction with people of all generations.

Bonnie Fatio

Fear of Traveling Alone

October 19th, 2017 Comments off

Several of my peers are afraid to travel, because they do not feel comfortable traveling alone. If a friend were free and could afford to travel with them, they would gladly pack their bags.

Even the suggestion of joining a tour group where everything is organized and planned scares them. They still fear traveling alone.

One of my friends even backed out of a special invitation to Rome just because she was afraid she would not feel comfortable. (Rome is less than a three hour train ride from where she lives, and she is fluent in Italian!)

These same friends are always eager to hear about my travels and to praise me on how courageous I am to travel alone.

Another friend who lost her husband two years ago, travels alone to foreign countries to places she knows, and joins a tour group for the more exotic places that are new to her. As she says, “If the group is boring or not interested in including me in conversations, I always carry a good book to read during any free time or I strike out to visit something not on the tour.”

Not everyone wants to travel or can afford to travel. That is fine. What is disappointing is to see people give up part of the life they wish to live due to fear.

Are you among those who wish to travel but are afraid to go alone? The first step to doing anything new is to take that first step!

  • Travel with an organization that specializes in destinations for older people. For example, Road Scholars (formerly Elder Hostel) has destinations where you are involved working together to help people within the country or have classes so you could easily get to know the others in the group, many of whom are also on their own.
  • Take language classes to learn the language and culture of the country you wish to visit. It will give you confidence.
  • Organize a trip with friends to a country that speaks your own language or join a tour to that country. It will be less foreign even though very different.
  • You can prepare yourself to visit the country of your dreams by renting videos, researching on the internet, attending conferences and travel lectures.

You may also find that the first step is to plan a trip near home in your own country. Whatever you decide, the first step is all you need to get started.

Flaunt your age-esteem and take that first step!

Bonnie Fatio

 

Walk For Healthy Aging

October 16th, 2017 Comments off

Walking is one of the healthiest and most easily accessible exercises to keep yourself healthy as you age. And, except for the purchase of a good pair of walking shoes, it is free!

Walking, and doing other outside exercise, is healthier for you than exercising indoors with the treadmill, for example. Studies have shown that your brain functions better when you are not in an enclosed place. Your body is away from places that give it stress in the first place, like going to a spa in a building where you work. You feel happier and boosts your age-esteem.

Physical activity such as walking is very necessary in fortifying your bones and preventing osteoporosis. Walk for healthy aging.

Grandma Nature