Loneliness, Solitude and Isolation in Life’s Third Trimester

After our last Topic of Exclusion and Inclusion, I began seeing how I exclude or include myself as a Third Tri.  It’s true for me that I enjoy solitude much more now than ever I did. But, I wondered, does that lead to isolation and eventually to that old bugaboo “loneliness” and all that entails?

lone person on pathI found a wonderful blog post from http://www.timegoesby.net and am taking the opportunity to quote some of her thoughts here about solitude, isolation and loneliness.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

“…we who enjoy a lot of time alone are often seen as suspect by the culture at large. Look at how negative are the words we have to describe such people: hermit, recluse, loner, lone wolf, introvert, outsider. It’s not far from there to believe anyone like that must be lonely and therefore in danger of illness, even early death.

Not true. Not always.

Carl Jung’s seven tasks of aging, which come to many elders quite naturally (without even knowing who Jung was), pretty much demand introspection and, therefore, solitude:

• Facing the reality of aging and dying
• Life review
• Defining life realistically
• Letting go of the ego
• Finding new rooting in the self
• Determining the meaning of one’s life
• Rebirth – dying with life

It would be a mitzvah [a good deed] for all of us to be alert to signs of isolation and loneliness in friends and neighbors and to help when we can. But we should also be careful to make the distinction between those who are unhappy or depressed about it and others who enjoy their solitude.”

So I began exploring these ideas more for myself and found a few other things that relate to this topic.

I found that it doesn’t matter if you are married, coupled, single or have many or little friends. Experts have found that it is the quality of relationships that effect if we are lonely or not.  It’s also a matter of how we look at life.

 

For instance Barbara Dane, an 85-year-old jazz and blues singer who lives in Oakland, Calif., has seen this play out in her relationship circles.

“As you get older, you see the world writing you off,” she said, adding, “So you tend to become passive and think, ‘I don’t want to bother anybody.’ You lose contact with your own kind, your tribe. And before you know it, you’re feeling bad.”

“It’s kind of life a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your eyes start to fasten on the sunset, and you start walking toward it.”

So leave a comment on loneliness, isolation and solitude.  Let’s tell each other what we fear about living alone (or not) about being older and how relationships may have supported or evaporated for us.  Share your own view at this stage of your life and what you have learned as you’ve aged.

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INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION: How is it for you now and how was it back then?

During a recent conversation with some 3rd Tri’s we began to talk about how we were in our teen/hs years and the cliques we belonged to or didn’t.  

 

We also explored some about how we treated others who weren’t in our clique during that time.  This then led us to look at how it is for us now.  Most of us agreed we are more tolerant now of differences in age, sex, interests and possibly even political outlooks. But at the same time, we find we make friends with othersour own age and with similar interests in much the same way as we always did.

Let’s take this time to explore the topic further.  How have you changed or how have you not changed when it comes toinclusion and exclusion.  Were you excluded at some point in your life and what was that experience for you?  Is it easier now for you to tolerate differences in others and what do you think may have precipitated that in your life? Is is possible you have become less tolerant and if so, why?  I bet there are some stories to tell here. We can expand this topic to explore all kinds of prejudice, and the more current controversy aroundbullying.

 

It can also be interesting to discuss ways we are more or less tolerant of ourselves as well.  It seems to me as I age I find I enjoy my own company better.  And, I’m always looking for more and interesting connections with others.  How are you doing with that? Comments are always welcome. 

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Setting Goals — Then and Now

Goals-Step-01

If you are like me, sometime in the past you learned to set goals either personal, business or both.  For me it was a difficult task and I came to it later in life. I had to practice and get a lot support around doing it.

Some of us had parents who taught us goal setting in the family.  We may have been taught well or harshly.  Perhaps we were  rewarded or punished for the results.  Perhaps we handed these ways of goal setting down to our own children.

These days I find my goal setting is less and less difficult and more and more I set very short term ones.

What about you?  Have your goals become more realistic as you’ve aged?  How did you learn to set goals and do you still do it and if soaround what? What place do goals serve in your life now? How have your goal setting habits evolved over time?

Let’s look at Goal Setting Then and Now. Did you set any goals for yourself 10 or more years ago for this time in your life now?  Have they come into being? Are you still setting goals for the future?

I think we can have a good discussion around this topic of Goal Setting Then and Now.  At least I have a goal to dig into it for myself.

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CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN LIFE’S THIRD TRIMESTER

It’s no secret that age brings new challenges that are often seen as aging quoteobstacles.  During the first decade of our Life’s Third Trimester (our 60’s) we see many changes in our bodies, our social and work connections, how we pace ourselves.  The habits we fall into, even new perspectives on life seem to emerge everywhere.

I’ve often equated the 60’s as the adolescence of Life’s Third Trimester.  Of course, that’s not a hard fast rule, but it does seem to bring as many physical, social and emotional changes as we experienced in our teens!

So how do you view these changes?  How does your family, society as a whole see us during this time? Often there are prejudices, mistaken beliefs.   These attitudes have  been labeled “ageism” from not just others, but ourselves as well.

Here’s an example.  If we are slower now, people may consider ususeless or boring or infantilize us unjustly. Seen as an opportunity,slower paces can bring wonderful new perspectives (just imagine the difference between a hike and a car ride).  We may find our thoughts slow down enough to actually become more creative.  Perhaps we begin writing more poetry or are able to express deeper emotions.

What challenges can you come up with seen from this angle?  What are the commonly held attitudes about those changes and what if any can you begin to see as an opportunity as a result of them? We can explore those challenges and changes, the attitudes that seem to surround them and the opportunity they may actually hold for us as we continue on our journey of Life’s Third Trimester. Leave a comment or send me an email with your thoughts.  I’m on facebook as well and always willing to converse with substance and purpose.

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Stages, passages and Other Lessons Learned

stages of life hands

So here we are in our Life’s Third Trimester and there are plenty of new experiences to discover.  But, we didn’t get here without all that went before.  Our previous Trimesters contributed successes, failures and opportunities that have gotten us to where we are now.   Each stage along the way has held lessons, triumphs, losses, growth and of course, regrets.

I want to  explore those previous stages and how they have led to our current life.  Let’s begin by looking at how relationships (yes, and sex too), careers, beliefs and our views of the world were before we turned 60 and if they have changed. What parts of your First and Second Trimester have you let go of and which ones have deepened into who you are in this your Third Trimester?

I have found that people are very different in how they learn lessons from the First and Second Trimester of Life, but often the lessons learned are held in common.  I frequently hear people report that they have learned things will always change: that you won’t feel this way forever. Also that sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. Many people have found real joy only after having heartache. 

Passages often come with the Trimester Shifts.  Age 30, 60 and 90 are common times for major passages into new ways of being.  This, of course is not a hard fast rule, and I’m only reporting what I found people I’ve talked with (plus of course, my own experience) have said.  Still, I think if you look at your own experience, then read some of the research on this topic you will find that those times are times of passage, when attitudes, ways of life and even physical changes shift and are more pronounced.

This being the case, what lessons do you still want to learn and which ones have you learned that you hadn’t even planned on?  What are some of the major passages you’ve taken during the turning of the Trimester period?  There is so much more to think about and share.  I recommend starting conversations with old and new friends on this topic and see what is similar between us though the outer form may vary.

stages-life-chairs

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THE GOOD OLD DAYS. MYTH OR REALITY?

The Good Old Days. When were they again?  High School? Growing up? College? Were they really so good? If so, what made them like that.

Most of us in our Third Trimester have lived through many changes – societal, economic, political, even religious.  What made The Good Old Days good for you?  What have you discovered to be a myth and how have you changed your view of The Good Old Days?

My third daughter, Leslie, asked me the question once “Why isn’t it like it was when you were growing up Mom?” i explained to her all I knew of the changes our country had experienced.  How our thoughts and ways of life had changed over the years.

“Well”, she said. “I want it to be like that again.” She is 48 now and has created a life with her family that is more traditional than I ever did . Still, she realizes you can’t go back.

I think that as we grow old we don’t discard the old ways but we may change their form. The values and principles by which we wereraised may remain.  Or if we need to, we can reject the ones that don’t work for us.

I believe that truth is eternal.  How we live it can take a variety of forms.  The older I get the more secure I feel in my choices. As an older adult,  I know it is possible to create the life I want by choosing the values I live by. Is it just me? I suspect not.

Our local Meetup group will discuss this topic next week.  I have found when we gather together at these meetups, there is always something of value to discover, share and learn.  That’s how we create The Good NOW Days. 

If you want to start a Life’s Third Trimester meetup group in your area contact me at Lifesthirdtrimester@gmail.com.

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BALANCE IN LIFE’S THIRD TRIMESTER

Recently I posted a discussion on Pacing. This post is  about Balance and is related to pace, but different.  Like first cousinsbalance and pacing come from the same family of needs.

We found many of us pace ourselves in a variety of ways,but during Life’s Third Trimester pacing and it’s cousin balance becomes more and more essential as our bodies, attitudes and needs change.  Those changes may necessitate how fast, how slow, how much and how frequently we get things done.

Again as bodies, attitudes and needs change, we balance our lives differently than in our previous trimesters.

So much has been written about physical balance in older adults.  And that most definitely needs to be discussed.  We can find out how and why we may not be as steady on our feet as we age, we can look at ways of modifying our behavior in light of those realities. A simple search on the internet will reveal much needed information.  But there is nothing like sharing your wisdom  with others about the changes in your own physical balance as you have aged. Knowing you are not alone as you change, knowing it can be a positive rather than a negative experience is invaluable.  We must talk about the pros and cons to aging, not just the cons.  There is so much more to explore.  Beyond the physical, there is also the concept of balancing our lives’ in general.

Remember how in our 40’s and 50’s how many of us were concerned about balancing work and home, family responsibilities or finding enough leisure time?  Much of that becomes resolved in Life’s Third Trimester as we retire from work, find new ways of being productive, children wed, parents die, many changes in our priorities shift.

Still there are always more to consider. As Steve Maraboli said:  “Life is a balanced system of learning and evolution. Whether pleasure or pain; every situation in your life serves a purpose. It is up to us to recognize what that purpose could be.” That can be done at any age.

So I encourage you to explore with one another (your contemporaries, your friends, family, here on this post, in Facebook or other social media) What are you currently balancing in your life? What is your experience of the need for different priorities now as you are older?  How do you handle physical balance demands?  These and other thoughts can be considered as we start a larger discussion of The Balance of Life’s Third Trimester. 

 

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OUR MOST COMMON HUMAN EXPERIENCE

Whether we’ve experienced the death of a loved one (or many), friend(s), colleagues, neighbors or family, or are contemplating our own death in the future, death is the one common experience human beings share.

birds at sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How you have faced the death of someone you knew? What are your views about your own death at this point in time and what other thoughts do you have about this important transition.

Some of us believe that it is the body alone that dies and what we call “spirit” continues.  Others may believe that when you die, that’s it, everything stops. There are as many ways to explain death as there are people.  But one thing is certain, we will all do it.

Whether we admit it or not, most of us fear Death.   It is possible that the fear of death and the process of dying comes about because it has been removed from our common experience.  Many of us were taught not to talk about death, to “get over it” at a certain point after someone close to us has died. Our language often reflects this.  Phrases like passed on, kicked the bucket, gone to a better place are common.  What has been your experience with viewing death, what were you taught and how do you view it now in your own Third Trimester of Life?

It’s what connects us as human!

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MEMORIES: What do we do with them as we age?

I cleaned out a closet this week and there they were again! Old photos, old journalsletters from friends and family, sweet little messages from my kids when they were young, from grandchildren too.  They are all just old, old memories now.

change and looking On a recent to trip to Salt Lake City, I visited the Family History Museum at Temple Square.  The Mormons really know how to do genealogy and folks can come in, explore, poke around and find all kinds of information on their family.  It occurred to me that our memories fade unless preserved in some way. Genealogy is one approach to keeping them of course, but what are someothers?

What do YOU do with old memories, old photos, old letters? What will you want done with them when you are no longer their keeper?
Let’s talk about memories.  What purpose do they serve if any?  How can they bind us and how can they free us and do we want to have them effect us in any other ways?
grandpa-telling-stories-300x211grandparent and kids questions

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Sex After Sixty

Love sunrise!

 

Ok, the word is out!  It’s never too late for sex! 

 

 

If you don’t believe it, watch the film “Hope Springs”.  Meryl Streep plays a, possibly over-exaggerated, but sweet and outwardly compliant woman in her???Sixties??? And Tommy Lee Jones plays her boring, over-routinized husband.

Streep’s character is still “feeling the urge”. Her husband doesn’t seem to even notice and eventually she lays down the law in a surprisingly strong stand for her own needs and they both go see a couple’s therapist. (Albeit Jones’ decision to join his wife was at the very last minute, he too participates in his own way.)

Beyond that, you have to see the movie for yourself, and if you haven’t, I encourage you to see it. If you have, you may relate to some if not all the depictions in the film.

A discussion on Sex is long overdue for this blog.  I have explored a lot about other relationships in our lives – work, family, societal, personal.  This topic covers all those topics and even more.

Whether we are married, currently partnered, dating or given up on any of those states, we all have much to share.  Remember, our experiences add to our wisdoms at this age. So read on.  All comments and discussions are welcome here.

Certainly, it’s not necessary to drag out old exploits, or even old grudges and resentments to past (or present) partners.  But we can examine with one another what our past, our current and our hoped for beliefs about sex are for us at this stage of life.

Some of the questions I’ve been asking myself and I encourage you to comment about are:

  •      What are some of my beliefs and behaviors with sex in the past
  •      Where am I now in my relationship to my own sexuality
  •      Do I believe sex is “over” for me at this stage in my life
  •      If it’s not “over” how is it different and the same?
  •      How does physical attractiveness play a part in my sex life? (or not)
  •      Fears, anger, enjoyment, anticipation are all emotions I may have about sex at this age. 
  •      What are some other feelings I have around it?
  •      Is sex primarily a physical or emotional experience? Now? In the Past? For the Future?

Let’s see where we go with this discussion.  This is not a place to be explicit, or for others to be explicit so keep comments with that in mind. If you think you want to explore further into the true nature of your Life’s Third Trimester in all its aspects, this may be a good place to start.

While there is a reality about “sexual dysfunction” for both men and women, my intention is to go beyond the medical and physical realities of that, there are plenty of articles and books written around those issues and I’ll be happy to provide links.  I can also set up appointments for further counseling sessions if anyone is interested.

I would hope that this blog discussion is more personal, more positive, and while physical changes at our age are normal, they are not necessarily definitive of who we are!

 

 

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WISDOM: THE GIFT OF LIFE’S THIRD TRIMESTER

 

There seems to be a bright side to our aging process, something to take to heart and happily anticipate as we amble down the road of time. It’s called Wisdom and it can be the special gift of Life’s Third Trimester.

Each event that contributes to our life, good or bad, happy or sad, brings us valuable experience.  Experience is something that can’t be taught in a classroom, it must be lived, shaped through our character and then and only then can wisdom take root.

So where does wisdom come from if not from a book?  Let’s explore how wisdom takes root out of a variety of experiences and how wisdom can or cannot be shared with those who really need it.

Here are some of the fertile soils from which wisdom springs:

  • Work Experience: Assume you worked a 40 hour work week, each year you worked would contain 2080 hours.  If you began full-time work around age 21, by the time you reach (or reached) 65, you will have 91520 hours under your belt. The likelihood is that you have way more than that especially if you worked at a variety of companies.  As a result you would have been exposed to diverse persons, a multitude of skills and that you can thank for creating a degree of expertise in many areas. Some of those areas are working out conflicts by increasing your ability to reach a common ground, how to smile in the face of adversity and a variety of ill-behaved people. Other work experience may have provided making decisions based on imperfect information or asking the right questions to get to the heart of the situation
  • Life Experience: By Life’s Third Trimester we have lived a life of various highs and lows. Included in Life Expeience is the economy.  We all know about financial cycles and random events.  Through the years these influence our perspective on security, risk and the future. Think about how the Great Depression influenced our parents’ view of life. We’ve lived through more ups and downs than at any other time in history. Think OPEC oil crisis, dot-com bubble, Savings and Loan crisis, housing bubble, Madoff. The list goes on and doesn’t seem to be stopping.

Of course family and friends also have been a big influence on our life experience. Deaths, sickness, caretaking all make us tougher and even when we are thrown for a loop by them, they become an intimate piece of the person we are.  Advice and counsel will reflect the effects of these events.

If you have not yet experienced younger people eliciting the wisdom of you, the elder, know that soon others will be coming to us as we approach that time in our life. As Mark Twain said “The exercise of an extraordinary gift is the supreme pleasure in life”. Our experience and our wisdom is that type of gift. Don’t Waste it, Share it!

grandparent and kids questions

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TRADITIONS IN LIFE’S THIRD TRIMESTER

As Third Trimester’s how do you view Tradition?

This is a month where tradition abounds. Many traditions are religious based even though we may not consider ourselves to be religious.  During Hanukkah the tradition of lighting the menorah, at Christmas the lighting of the tree and both include the giving of gifts and story telling as a tradition. Solstice also brings the tradition and ritual of light bringing as does Kwannsah. Other traditions this month may include social traditions of volunteering, feeding the poor and hungry, extra charity giving.

Of course there are Traditions around every time of our year. National Holidays like Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Memorial Day hold many traditions. Some religions have traditions around the Spring of the year such as Easter, Yom Kipper, Spring Equinox and Naw Ruz. Birthdays carry many traditions as well.  So, you can reflext on Traditions in your life’s from an all year round perspective.

As you look at what traditions you  have developed and what  purpose they serve you can ask yourself:  ”Do I still hold tradition as sacred or as a tool to gain what it is I want to be, do or have?”  You can also reflect on how you view Traditions from a Life’s Third Trimester perspective. Do you hang on to Tradition in order to maintain it or do you recreate it out of sentiment?  Do you reject it as old-fashioned and not worthy of our better nature?  Or do you simply view it as choice – something to continue or discontinue.

What does tradition serve for YOU and how do you maintain it if you want it to survive?  Are some traditions better left alone? Some simply outworn and need to be put aside or better yet away?

It could be that in our Second Trimester (our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s) we tossed aside many a tradition or built new ones especially around holidays.  In that Trimester we found many traditions we thought prudent to ignore or to change. How many of us remember the tradition of having a family fight during a holiday? Or, obligatory visits to disagreeable relatives that made everyone uncomfortable? What about trying to impress family or friends or bosses with expensive gifts?

But this our THIRD Trimester and a different view of tradition may creep in that is neither for nor against what we used to consider to be a straightjacket tradition of the past. It’s important to look at  how we in our Third Trimester Remember and Hold Traditions, how we in our Third Trimester have Created New Traditions and What Traditions will we be creating as we travel through our 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Share your ideas from this exploration of thought with others, friends, family and most importantly yourself.  Write in your Journal, create a Poem or a Story or even a List of your Own Traditions.  Have Fun!!

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We Are All Story Tellers

 

Whether you know it or not, if you are alive, you have stories to tell. Many people don’t think they are story tellers, but we have found at Life’s Third Trimester that story telling is as unique as each individual. One person may write her story, one may reminisce and another one may dramatize his. Stories are powerful ways of connecting to others in our own generation and those generations who proceed and follow ours. It seems to be ingrained in each of us to tell stories to others and with that in mind, here are some questions that can help you begin to find YOUR story to tell.

What purpose does telling stories serve? 
What makes for a good story? 
When is the best time to tell a story? 
Do you believe that the stories of the elders are important or just boring?

If you feel you have a story to tell, don’t hesitate to write it down or pass it on via Facebook, email, videotape, audio messaging.  The important thing is to capture it and keep it so it can be heard over and over.  That’s how stories have been passed down from generation to generation.  YOUR story is as important as anyone else’s story.  You just have to put it out there.  When we share our stories, we become stronger as a culture, family, nation and world. 

What’s your story and how will you preserve it?  

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USING THE INTERNET TO MEET UP FACE TO FACE

 

What’s Meet Up?  It is a wonderful new way to get connected beyond the internet and to expand your local social network.  Here’s the deal.

At www.meetup.com you will find a page that explains how meetup works.  The “landing page” has oodles of information on it.  I suggest you click on “help” in the upper right corner and you will find descriptions like this:

WHAT’S A MEETUP GROUP?  A Meetup Group is a local community of people. A Meetup Group hosts Meetups, which are face to face meetings that happen in real life between members and Organizers.

So what does that mean?  Well, it means you can search for Meetup groups in your geographical area (and other areas too, more on that later) that may be of interest to you, sign up if you like it. Then, notices and messages will be sent to you concerning  the topics, events, activities, gatherings,and  locations for that Meetup.

There is no end to the variety of meetup groups and the best part is,  you can start your own if you are so inclined.  How cool is that?? In Tucson, where this blogger lives, I have started a Life’s Third Trimester Meetup that meets every other week to discuss topics of interest to those 60 and over.  It has been a great success and if you want to check out some of the topics we’ve explored feel free to visit www.meetup.com/Lifes-Third-Trimester/.  You will find the current topic  as well as as discussions from previous meetups we have had.  In addition, there are tabs labeled Discussions and Pages that expand on our activities, topics, upcoming events, resources as well as “seed questions” for each Meetup Topic.

Find out what Meetups are in your area, explore, visit and if you want, start one of your own.  There are wonderful technical support people to help you get started, suggest ways to optimize your meetup ideas and generally work with you to help you succeed.

One of the best features of the Meetup Phenomenon is that it is a perfect marriage of the internet and personal face to face communities.  For those who have found themselves cut off from community by either age, or geography or our present social shifts, will find Meetup serves to connect you with those of similar interests.  Meetups use the best of both the internet and traditional social  gatherings.  Have a wonderful time exploring ways you can expand your social life this way! 

If you are interested in starting a Life’s Third Trimester Meetup Group in YOUR area, I am available to mentor you and you can connect with my group to share your experiences and thoughts.

MEETUP ROCKS!! ( just to use some current jargon–a part of our discussion this week on Intergenerational Relationships)

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Male Female Differences: Does it change in the Third Trimester??

We have all come through many cultural changes when it comes to the differences between men and women. Who doesn’t remember the “Consciousness Raising” time. Or, the“Women’s Lib” movement of the past. Did you read Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus with enjoyment or anger? How were you treated in the work place by men if you were a woman, and by women if you were a man? So much water has gone under the bridge and I for one don’t think it’s over yet.

Surely we can share many stories and memories from that time period whether we are men or women . You may remember turning points, opening to new ideas and changed behaviors from that time continuing on through the present. Thexe experiences can lead us to shaping our current goals in the realm of differences in general.

One of my favorite memories is from a time when I was well on my way up the Corporate Ladder having become a successful Management Trainer for a major corporation. I taught a week long class to Oil Refinery Supervisors, mainly male and often in the South. This was soon after EEOC and Affirmative Action, so changes were already afoot in the workplace.
Women were becoming more and more visible in traditional male roles.
However, after the week long event, we always had a celebration party to socialize and congratulate ourselves for the job well done. Many of the men were complimentary to me as a workshop leader and often told me the communication skills they had learned would also be helpful in their marriages. One, in particular however, touched me deeply and I have never forgotten his comment.

“Sandy”, he said with all respect. “Until this program, I never knew that a woman could be smarter than a man, but now I do.” Once I overcame my initial shock of what I thought I’d heard, I realized I had contributed to bringing down a long held prejudice so common in his life and it would have a long term effect. I was touched and honored by the remark.

Isn’t that what it is all about really? When we can see ourselves in a new light, our old opinions may be questioned and we can begin to relate to those we have even considered inferior, differently.

What’s your experience? We’ve all come a long way and I’m sure there will be many such stories to tell. So, a question to consider  could be:

“What experience have you had that opened your eyes to either your own worth or to the worth of those you had previously held as negative?” 

In addition, you may have a time when you stood up for yourself and your gender in a way that was courageous and life changing. Perhaps you had to face your own prejudice or you found a way to make a point that was impactful and meaningful to others.

I know I have many stories to tell and I’m sure you do too. Let’s see where this goes, there is alot of territory to cover and perhaps another topic will emerge from it too.

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Filed under Change, Choice, family relationships, friendships, intergenerational communications, Male Female differences

Making and Being a Friend in the Life’s Third Trimester

We’ve all experienced it. The death of a close friend, leaving friends behind as we move to a different city or state or friends leaving us behind when they move. Maybe as you age your interests have changed and who your friends are changed too. However it may happen, it’s not unusual to find ourselves in the difficult position of having to make friends and in evaluating our own ability to be a friend during this the Third Trimester of our Life.  

Over the years we may have found the need to evaluate  relationships, making sure they were having a positive effect. More often than not, that  evaluation begins  because we experience a negative effect that had begun to drag us down.

Too often spending precious time and energy engaging in friendships  let us down and led us to slowly begin to cultivate ones that were supportive instead.  Little by little we began to understand that life is difficult enough without people who drain our energy.  When we began to surround ourselves with people who understood  us and who positively supported our path we began to make better friends.

Of course, we  had to be sure were a good friend as well. Not only did we begin to be more of a friend to others, we soon discovered it was the path to  being a good friend to ourselves too. This has become  a lifelong process.  You can be  a better friend now than ever before. And with the intention to be a good friend, you will extend that intention to the work you do, your communications on the internet, and to each person you come in contact with during daily life.  

Is it perfect? Of course not!! Is it better? Yes. Like many things in this time of Life, Third Trimester friendships are more satisfying now than ever before.

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Filed under Change, friendships, Giving Back, Uncategorized

INTERGENERATIONAL COMMUNICATION: How’s it going for you?

When was the last time you had a conversation with someone 20, 30 or even 40 years your junior who wasn’t a member of your family?  Who was that person?  How did it go?

Was it a good experience or did you feel you were being talked down to, ignored or simply misunderstood?  These are common experiences with many older adult/younger adult communications.

On the other hand, you may have some kind of positive interactions depending on your own approach, their past experiences and any number of other factors.  Suffice it to say, there are always positive and negative aspects of intergenerational communications. it’s up to us to decide how and what we want to

If you have found that younger people are beginning to talk down to you, simplifing their language or patronizing you in other ways, you can do something about it. If you are wanting to engage with them on an equal basis, you have the ability to do so by following some simple steps.

1. Remember you are NOT their parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt.

2. You are entitled to respectful and clear communications

3. They may not have a positive image of older adults and so you can actually serve them by modeling someone positive and interesting to know.

It’s important to realize that in our society, many people are not growing up in intergenerational families any longer.  This is less true with many ethnic or first generation immigant families, but for the most part, the majority of younger people serving you in stores, at the theaters, or restaurants may not have the experience of knowing a sincere, engaging person your age.

Still, when you run across someone who wants to talk with you on an equal basis, either in public or at a social gathering,  you have a real opportunity to expand your own way of interacting.  The generations may not have much in common, but they are all human beings and your age and wisdom can be a guiding example of where they are heading in their own lives.  Don’t pass up an opportunity to engage in conversation about their lives, about current affairs or even relationship dynamics.  You may be surprised at how very grateful they will be to hear your opinions or have a kind, listening, understanding ear for a change.

An exception to the rule is what has been dubbed as PSD or Painful Self-Disclosure.  You know the type.  Those people who only talk about their ills, or pains, or troubles. Younger adults will almost always shy away from such conversations.  In their publication on “Aging, Identity, Attitudes, and Intergenerational Communication” Sagepub.com gives this advice:

“We tend to reserve intimate information for our close acquaintances and family members, and we tend to disclose such
information relatively sparingly. Thus, when older adults engage in PSD, it is often difficult for younger people to cope with. They don’t know quite what to say next, they feel embarrassed, and they sometimes feel like the older person must just be totally depressed or totally self-centered.”

 So the best rule, if you want to have meaningful conversations with younger people, is “Just don’t do it”. 

In our ever changing world and society, it’s important we all get along and that includes people in all ages and stages of life.  What have your experiences been both positive and negative and how did you deal with them?  Comment below, and let your voice be heard for what it is, an important and meaningful conversation with others no matter what age we are.

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Filed under Aging, Change, family relationships, Giving Back, Uncategorized

FLYING IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER

When is the last time you flew from or into a major airport? If you are in your Third Trimester you may have found it confusing, challenging, boring, fun or frustrating depending on your location and/or your frequency of travel.
It seems our Trimester has a range of experiences with air travel.  There are the well seasoned travelers who know the ropes well and manage all the ends and outs like a pro.  Then there are those  that find the airways changed in ways that are very disturbing.  And of course, there are all variations inbetween.
Whichever kind of traveler you are here are some tips to consider, if you want more detailed information, click on the links wthin the items.  If you truly are a seasoned traveler you already have these drills down and you are welcome to add  your personal favorite practices in the comment section.
  • Get to the airport earlier than you think you need.  You never know what may delay you, traffic, changes in parking directions, missed terminals, bigger crowds than you expected.  You can always use the extra time to wander around and enjoy the shops, get a bit to eat or take that last minute bathroom trip.
  • Get your bearings once you are in the terminal.  There may be big crowds, but usually the lines are well organized and if you can take your time orienting yourself to how they are moving, it helps.You will need to first check-in probably at an automated kiosk.  If you haven’t ever used one, as one of the attendants near by to help you.
  • Once you get your boarding pass (it spits one out after you’ve entered your information on the screen) you will still need to check any baggage.  Usually there is a second line for that.  Sigh!
  • So you have your boarding pass, you have checked your baggage and now it’s time for going through airport security checkpoints. Remember,  there are certain things you can’t take through to the boarding areas.  If you don’t know here is a link that lists them
  •  how to travel with liquids and gels.
  • the list of prohibited items.

There are two security posts.  One looks at your i.d. (driver’s license or passport) and boarding pass and usually your face just to make sure.  You can put your i.d. away in a safe place after this post, but keep you boarding pass handy.  Then you still need to go thru the wonderful scanners, take off your shoes, place all electronic equipment outside their case, take off a jacket and/or belt if it’s got alot of metal, heavy jewlery and empty pockets of change, the list goes on.

You can reduce the chance that they will need additional screening by removing all items from pockets – including metallic and non-metallic items such as keys, wallets, and jewelry –and placing in bins prior to being screened  Seasoned travelers usually do this quickly and with degrees of disdain for those who are less experienced.  Don’t let it daunt you.  You’re fine.  It’s just a routine and if you haven’t gotten used to it, you will each time you go through another.  A handy site to check out if you aren’t sure is http://www.tsa.gov/index.shtm

You’ve made it through!!!

Now to find your gate, get yourself a refreshment, potty break whatever you need to make yourself comfortable as  you await the boarding process.  I usually find a  relatively quiet spot, if I have quite a bit of time, I may even go to another gate that is less crowded than mine, settle in and read, people watch or even meditate.  Just don’t forget to stay within earshot of your gate location so you can hear when they call for boarding.

So here’s the drill!  Boarding procedures are all different. Some airlines use Groups (more and more are doing that these days),  some still use Rows. Pre boarding has changed recently so unless you are in a wheel chair or a highly preferred customer, you will probably have to wait even if you are traveling with small children.  Good luck.

No need to check in again at the desk unless you are savvy enough to know you might get an upgrade, and even then it’s usually all in the computer. So just wait until your group or row is called.  Have your boarding pass ready (no i.d. needed after security, I always put mine away in a safe place even before I go through the scanner.  I had a bad experience once of losing it in line and it took precious time trying to find it).  You are almost there.

The long, time consuming job of getting to your seat is next.  Down the gangplank (they still use those old terms from the ships) into the plane — more often than not you will walk past the lucky few in First Class avoiding any eye contact and trying not to look too envious!  If you have carry on, it must fit in the over head bin or under the seat in front.  You may remember a time when the Flight Attendants assisted you with  your carry ons. not anymore!  So be sure yours is manuverable by you in case no good samaritans are around.  Usually people help each other out, we all want to get off the ground on time!

That’s about it, if you have a window seat, get in, buckle up and wait.  if yours is the aisle and no one has arrived for the middle, you may want to situate yourself but be ready to get up when the middle seat passenger comes in.  it’s all just a shuffle game, so good luck with that.  Once buckled in, the attendents give their annnouncements, and you’re on your way.  How hard was that???

Here are a few more reminders you may find helpful if you are not an experienced traveler

  • -hydration is essential and even of you concerned about having to use the bathroom too much inflight, I recommend you hydrate liberally.  The added stress of travel, the air in the airports and on the plane are all factors here.
  • Using the bathrooms in-flight is often a science and an art as well.  If there is a cart in the aisle it’s difficult to manuever past it, so most people use the loo before or after service. Another good reason to take one last potty break before you board.
  • It’s always a good idea to ask for help if you need it.  it’s better to appear a bit “green” than not get the right information, you are after all, the consumer.
  • Getting a wheelchair at the airport is a whole other task.  Here is a link that can get you through the process  try the airline help desk or check out this link from the TSA:
  •  http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/disabilityandmedicalneeds/tsa_cares.shtm

Enjoy your trip!  And leave a comment below about your own experiences.  Happy Travels. 

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Filed under Change, Intention, Travel, Uncategorized

A Definition of The Third Trimester: Who we truly are

 

FOR ALL THOSE IN OUR THIRD TRIMESTER:

We no longer retire, we revise and rethink and redo and remember. We are the Third Trimesters and we know we have an important purpose because we have been pursuing it through our other two preceding trimesters. It is in this trimester, the Third that we claim ourselves even more fully.

If we have just begun our quest for self and purpose or have been plodding along for years and years, it doesn’t matter. It seems the Third Trimester is gifted with the chance to have a life of happiness beyond our wildest Second Trimester dreams. This realityis so strong it often frightens us into retreating back to the old ways and old thinking just because it is new to us. Embracing the new was always easy when we were young, our natural drive at that time was to embrace the new. We could be open to all possibilities, to try out and discover and begin to strengthen ourselves for the purpose we came here to do.


The gift of the Third Trimester, if we choose to accept it, is to demonstrate the most authentic self we have become. It doesn’t matter what that authentic self may be, as long as we are who we are, we are being authentic. And if we don’t like who we are we, now we know how to change it. We’ve had plenty of practice and we can even tell others how to if they ask. We shine like a beacon to those in peril. Our light moves with grace and grandeur and has much fun in the process. We are the Third Trimesters weaving our final coat of many colors.

And so will you. And so do all of us.

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Filed under Aging, Choice, Giving Back, Spiritual

What is Your Legacy? The Third Trimester is for giving back

“My children and grandchildren are not mine by blood. But they turned my view of despair in the third trimester, into a time of comfort and hope. I had been so worried about the world they would inherit and there was so little I could do about it. Suddenly I realized that they have greater capacity to change it than I ever did, and would not simply fall victim to it. All I need to do is get their minds thinking compassionately and creatively. They will reach far beyond what I ever achieved; and somehow it comforts me to know that in some sense, they will plant flags on pinnacles I could not have traversed … and “Heepa’s” (grandpa’s) initials will be in the credits (posthumously). I rest easy now.”

from Steve Andison

This post is about our Legacies, what we give back to the world. How we want to be remembered. What change can we still effect even if we are no longer here.  The above quote by Steve is a poignant one. It speaks to what many of us in our Third Trimester have in common, progeny, grandchildren, family, descendents.  But what of those of us who have not had children, who even, perhaps were only children with no siblings, and little family?

The concept of giving back is a strong, insistent conversation for this time in our lifes when we are contemplating the inevitable future and reviewing the recent or long ago past of our lives. So it can be a good time to figure out the answer to the question:

WHAT IS A LEGACY?

Does it include money, talents, gifts, art, concepts, good works, new ideas? Can anyone leave a legacy? If so, what legacy will you intend to leave when you are no longer on this earth? Here is the Oxford definition of Legacy:

leg·a·cy


[leg-uh-see]  noun, plural - cies
1. Law: a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor
or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.
3. an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent.
4. Obsolete: the office, function, or commission of a legate.
5. (adjective) of or pertaining to old or outdated 
computer hardware, software, or data that, while still functional, 
does not work well with up-to-date systems.

HOW DOES THAT APPLY TO YOU?

Hmmmm, that number 5 definition of legacy as pertaining to old or outdated equipment that functions but does not work well with up-to-date systems could be a hint to those of us living in the past.  Will that be our only legacy? Our out-dated views, our clash with the present? I think not for me and not for many other Third Trimesters as well.  Yet, the constant battle to stay current in the world with current events, technology, human interactions, not to mention fashion, jargon, film, art, music . . . the list goes on and on . . . can be a challenge but can also be an opportunity.

If we are in fact able to stay in touch with the rest of the world in a relevant, contributing manner, is that a legacy we leave for others to follow in our footsteps?  Is it saying – “Yes, we can be viable, contributing members of society as we age?”  In fact, it can say that  we are even more able to contribute because we are in touch, because we can relate to all generations and serve as an example to others what this age is capable of within the entire make up of our society. ( see my previous post on using the internet without frustration)

WHAT WILL YOU LEAVE BEHIND?

When my oldest and last to be married daughter asked me to give a toast at her wedding reception, I thought long and hard about what I would say.  Drawing from my experience in public speaking, I considered the audience.  What I saw was a conglomeration of friends and family from all age groups, all races and in various relationships.  Here is what I said:  

“When my children were young, I knew I would not have much of a monetary legacy to leave them, and so I looked into the future and asked myself ‘What will they most need to survive’. I realized that living with change and diversity would be the best legacy I could give them. And so I taught them how to do that. Here today, I see that legacy alive. Kathleen and Carlo have many diverse friends, their families include step parents, siblings and step siblings, half siblings and grandparents on both sides that are very different one from another.  Yet here we are all celebrating their union and contributing to their marriage in ways that will live through all our lives and theirs as well.”

COMMENTS ARE WELCOME

What legacy are you now building for the future? Are you sitting on past laurels, spreading your gifts in the now, making plans for future generations? Does your legacy simply include monetary assistance, or a combination of all you have to give?  I’d love to hear from you whether you are in your First, Second or Third Trimester.  This is about us.  This is about how we all build a future together. Legacies are alive and can be given freely as well as saved for the future. Tell me your story.

 

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Filed under Aging, Change, Choice, family relationships, Giving Back, Grandparenting, Intention, Technology, Uncategorized

WHAT ARE YOU NOT FACING ABOUT FACEBOOK?

 

 Have you ever noticed that which we are most afraid to face is that which gives us the most satisfaction once we do? Have you ever heard the saying “Face your fear and do it anyway?”  What about “What we resist persists”?

 

For many of us that are over 60, Facebook seems to bring up so many excuses NOT to participate, that we begin to believe them and never really give it a chance.  Some of the most common excuses may include:

-        It isn’t secure and I may get hacked

-        I’ll get addicted to it 

-        It creates lazy grammar

I’m more comfortable with email 

-        I’m already isolated, Facebook will make me more so

-        It’s too hard and I can’t figure it out

-        It’s so superficial, I won’t get anything from it anyway

-        I’m already too busy, I can’t fit it in

 

SO WHAT IS THE TRUTH WHEN IT COMES TO FACEBOOK?

The truth is what YOU make it!  You’re the one who can create safety, who can use it without becoming addicted, expand your comfort zone, create connection not isolation, receive assistance and support about what you don’t know how to do, make it meaningful and a place to express your unique voice, YOU are the one who benefits from making new ways to manage your time to benefit your own needs.  In other words, How you use Facebook is up to you and that’s the TRUTH!

Still, the controversy about Facebook is growing. A recent article in The Atlantic Magazine,  May 2012 makes a strong case that individual isolation and lonliness has grown with the use of the internet. Not everyone agrees. The jury is still out on that one. There are many reasons isolation and lonliness has grown in our society besides the internet or specifically Facebook.

There is no doubt that misperceptions and victim mentality continue to grow around this issue.  It’s as though Facebook does it to us, instead of us doing Facebook. If you read my last post on Intention you may begin to get an idea that Facebook, like the internet, is a tool and how you use it is up to you.

WHAT CAN I DO??

The fact that you made it to this blog site proves you have mastered how to navigate the internet and probably a great deal more. This ability to use the internet expands as truly as our minds do!  What better resource to have at your disposal than a made to order mind exerciser!  How many of us have gotten as sloppy about our minds as we have about our bodies?

With the internet, we can exercise the mind, we can find resources about any topic we want – health, nutrition, education, the list goes on and on. But, you don’t have to do it alone.

If you are ready to “Face your Fear and Do It Anyway”, if you have a found an Important Purpose and clarified a Positive Intention around using the internet, I invite you to join me in an exciting class I’m forming called “Practice Making Friends”.   This will be a “secret” group, meaning only those who are signed up are able to see the posts and conversations of other members in the group.  It will NOT be a heavily technical class. It will be tailored to your own intentions and there will be exercises and assignments with lots of fun conversations with members.

Ready Set Go!!!

Sign up today

One payment of $99.00 will reserve your spot for three months.

 

 

This group will be a place to learn and grow step by step with others

 

Once you’ve signed up you will receive your next step directions

See you on Facebook!

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Filed under Choice, facebook, Intention, Technology

TAKING THE 2nd STEP FORWARD: Using The Internet Without Frustration

Once you have determined your Purpose  you can use it for a guide in  selecting your Intention.

When it comes to the internet, our Purpose may be to expand our ability to connect, our Intention has to do with “how” we make those expanded connections.  Or if your purpose is to send a specific message out into the world your Intention can be who you want to reach, or the quality of that message. And so it goes.  Just as with determining your Purpose, Intentions can change, shift, be fulfilled or just re evaluated.

SO, HOW DOES INTENTION WORK?

Intention can be defined as a course of action that a person intends to follow or similarly, the goal or purpose behind a specific action or set of actions. Whichever one you prefer, intention always includes actions.  Purpose is more of a vision and Intention is the actions or quality of actions you will take to get to that purpose.

Author Lynn McTaggart asked that question and began a series of scientific experiments to answer it. She has been overseeing a range of intention experiments on the web – as well as a peace intention project that harnessed the intentions of thousands of participants on the troubled island of Sri Lanka, which has been devastated by civil war for nearly 30 years.

Your ability to intend may not expand that far into the world, but there is good evidence that what we intend happens and there is more scientific proof for that every day.  Not only does intention seem to help with change but it can also have a positive effect on the intender.

Participants in the peace experiments Lynn McTaggart conducted found their relationships with others changed for the better.  When they held a positive intention for strangers, their own relationships primarily between parents, children, in-laws and siblings showed changes as well.  Apparently it helped them to feel more love in general even if they did not know the recipients in Sri Lanka.

Another better known author, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, has explored this topic extensively in his book The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way. He presents a view of Intention as an energy to be directed rather than a kind of determination propelling us to succeed at all costs by never giving up on an inner picture.

Whichever way you think about intention, it is an important step in getting what you want.  So, if you have defined your purpose for using the internet, it is time to create an intention around that. Then you can  focus or direct your intention in whatever way you want.  I know that my intention in using Facebook has always been to have substantive conversations with others. For me, when I open my mouth (or keyboard) I hold that as an intention.  It’s amazing how much substance actually comes out as I write.

But, my intention goes two ways.  I become more substantive in my conversations on the internet and off, AND, I don’t engage as much with those who are not having substantive conversations. My big exception of course is family contact which can be both substantive and simply informative.  You can do the same.

SO, WHAT’S YOUR INTENTION FOR USING THE INTERNET?

Try one out and see if you receive the result you want.  If not, try another intention until you do.  Let me know how it goes and if you need any help either in setting your intention, knowing a purpose or just general how to questions—Please contact me on my fan page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lifesthirdtrimester.

 

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Filed under Change, facebook, Technology

FINDING A PURPOSE TO USE THE INTERNET: How we can begin to change the world

Are you a loving, good friend, family member who is serving your community, Faith, friends and family with your talents and wisdoms?  Are you someone who sometimes thinks the world has gone to Hell in a Handbasket or some other version of that old axe?

If so, there is something you may be missing and I’d like to help you find it.  I’m talking about Communicating on the Internet. (click on this as a link to see my previous post on this topic)   Before you stop listening, give me five minutes of your time and if you still do not want to proceed forward with Using the Internet Without Frustration, that’s not a problem.  But, if you want to stand for your beliefs more fully and do what you are best at doing even more, this will be of benefit to you.

So, if you haven’t gotten my first guide of Taking the Next Step Forward: Using the Internet Without Frustration, you can easily receive it by clicking on the mailing list box right now.  In this little guide, the very, very first step is to Identify Your PURPOSE.  That’s a big first step for many people, but the good news is, it’s ok to just identify “A” purpose. We all serve where we are at and waiting to get some place else first is not beneficial to your purpose to serve.

My purpose of using the internet has been and always will be to more fully connect to all generations in a positive and supportive manner.  Someday, I may change that purpose, it’s permitted!!! No kidding!  But for now, that’s my identified purpose.  So if you haven’t already identified a purpose for using the internet for yourself, give it a shot.  Let me know via comments at the bottom and we will work on it together!  Anything goes on this, just reach into your heart and see what it is.

After identifying your Purpose, there is the next step of making an Intention.  We will address that in the next post.  Welcome to a world of connection, a world of unity and a world that is getting better through our own gifts and wonderful selves.  Thanks for listening and see you on the next post.

 

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Filed under Aging, Choice, facebook, Technology

Bridging the Gap: Adults and Their Parents 3rd in a series

The challenges in families are family’s greatest gifts. How else could we learn of real love, and of true compassion, and of total acceptance?~ Neale Donald Walsch

This the Third in a Series on Adult Children, and it addresses the heart of the matter —  The Home, past and present. The Home is where the family begins and lessons we learn of love, compassion and acceptance. The Home is where family grows, connects and experiences all that we know of relationship until the time we leave to create our own family.

How were life’s lessons learned in your home? What lessons did you learn as a result of being a parent? How was the process of raising a child like or not like how your parents raised you?

Some of us were equipped to be parents through the examples of our own parents. Others of us made different choices due to poor examples or any number of societal factors.  But more often than not, parenthood crept up on us with the rude awakening of our own incompetence.  I used to say to my teenageers (of which I had six).  ”I don’t know all the answers.  I’ve never been the parent of teenagers before!!”"  It was the same for most of us. We all seemed to learn as we went.

 

Over twenty years ago, I practiced psychotherapy with a number of young adults who needed to establish their own identities, separate from their parents and still keep healthy relationships with them.  What I found was that many of the parents were not equipped to understand or work through the issues because they had not had the same exposure to personal growth as their adult children were doing.  That has changed now, and a new generation of Parents of Adult Children are seeing that relationship work is worthwhile and necessary as the roles of Parent, Child and siblings shift.

What is your story of how you coped as a Parent and how that now effects your relationship with your adult children.? If you are an Adult Child, what do you want your Parents to know and what kind of relationship do you want to create with them now? This is a place to speak your truth.  to inspire others, request support or simply allow yourself to recount a warm memory.

 

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Filed under Change, family relationships, Parenting

BRIDGING THE GAP: What do You Remember?

This is the Second in a series of Three posts about Adult Children.

Can you remember when you were the age your children are now?  It’s an amazing thing to do. If you look at your lifestyle, the culture, world events and technology,  of course it is all different now.  But what about your view of older adults (like as old as you are now)?  What and How did you view them then?  Perhaps, this is what is meant by the Generation Gap.

Many who are now in their Third Trimester can also remember when the term  Generation Gap was first used to describe the “gap” between parents and their children.  It was the 1960′s and 70′s after all.  Many people in their early 20′s broke from tradition, let their hair grow, didn’t trust anyone over 30 and spoke their mind on everything from sex to war to civil rights. It was NOT how their parents behaved and was definitely NOT what was acceptable. Perhaps you were one of them.

Today, we are more lenient toward differences.  Today, it seems there are as many differences between people, less concern and more acceptance than any other time in our memory.  Fashion is a good example.  Sure, teens still wear what their friends are wearing, and sometimes you can’t tell one 20-something from another.  But in general, hemlines are up, down and nonexistent. Formal wear is no longer required to attend a concert, even a symphonic one and colors are mixed with abandon.  Actually, it was at one time verboten to mix green and blue, but not now.

So consider how your adult children view you now.  Can they see you as “different” or do they consider you to be old stodgies? Are they following in your footsteps or blazing their own trails? Does it matter to your relationship that they are or are not like you?

If you feel there is still a gap in generations, I’d like to hear from you.  If you are concerned about the way your adult children are living their lives, let us know what you would like to see differently.  As well, if you can see that your adult children are their own persons, but not counter to your own values, tell us about that too.

And while you are at it, what does this quote mean to you?  A society grows when old men plant trees that they know they will never sit under ~` Greek Proverb! ♥

 

 

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Filed under Aging, Change, family relationships, Parenting

BRIDGING THE GAP: Being a Parent in Life’s Third Trimester

More than likely, if you are a parent and you are over 60, your “children”, are adults. This stage in a family relationship carries different problems and gifts than previous times.

What kinds of new behaviors have emerged since your own children entered their Second Trimesters?

After age 30, most people are dealing with adulthood for real, many are beginning families of their own, occupations are being formed and almost all of them have to let go of past resentments and mistaken beliefs about how they were raised (or not, as the case may be).

Have  you had trouble with keeping your nose out of their business, giving advice when not requested, judging their choices anything from cars to spouses, to clothing and other ways they spend their money? Are you still hanging onto old beliefs from when they were in their First Trimester? (which includes their teen years, of course). Many of us have had a variety of challenges during this time.

More than likely,  they may have been exposed to more Personal Growth work for themselves than you did at their age.

So, how does that effect your relationship with them? Have your children come to you to “clear” while they were in therapy? Does it sometimes feel as though they are speaking a different language? In general, how are you doing with creating the BEST relationship you can have with your Adult Children?

If your answer to that last question is, “Just fine, thank you”, please share with the rest of us what makes your relationship so good.  What do you find are guiding principles for being the parent of Adult Children.  What advice can you give that would help others to enhance their relationship too?

I will be beginning a special online workshop for Parents of Adult Children in the near future.  I’d love to hear your experineces, needs and wisdoms in this area.  Thanks for being a part of Life’s Third Trimester!  Know there will be assistance for those who need to Take The Next Step Forward in using the internet, so, please let others know  what is happening here and we can all be  .

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Filed under Change, family relationships, Health and Well Being, Parenting, Technology

Telling The Truth About Aging: We all do it!

So you’ve made it to your Third Trimester. Now it’s time to tell the truth.  You really are aging! It’s natural and it can actually be fun.

This except from  10 Secrets to Better Aging – Woman’s Day  says it all.

Make it a point to reflect on the benefits of aging, instead of focusing on the negative. “Your knowledge and experience mean you don’t make as many mistakes as when you were younger. You stop comparing yourself to others, and that’s a great psychic relief,” says Bennett of TimeGoesBy.net. “Most older people let go of the cultural insistence to do, do, do and accomplish, accomplish, accomplish. It’s time to reflect on what’s gone before, to get to know yourself and your world better. And, there’s time to follow up on all those things you put off during midlife because you were too busy with your career and children.”

When we tell the truth about aging, we find it is really a GOOD thing, not the NEGATIVE thing we were lead to believe when we were younger.  I have interviewed many Third Trimester people and they all say the same thing. ” I am happier now than at any other time in my life.”  Statistics show this is true as well.

The now famous U-bend is shown here.  There seems to be no doubt after the 2nd trimester (30-60 year olds) we just get happier and happier.

If you are in your Third Trimester, tell us how it is for you.  Are you in fact, happier now than ever before?  If you are approaching or are just entering the Third Trimester let us know your fears about aging and what you are doing to embrace it with positive attitudes rather than fear and trepidation.  Upcoming blogs will speak to health issues sometimes encountered in this the Third Trimester, but first, it is important to know that well-being is NOT lost as we age.  It just gets better and better.

Comments and questions are welcome.

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Filed under Aging, Change, Choice, Health and Well Being, Introductory Material

What Does The Internet Really Offer? Third Trimesters Want to Know.

 

the computer age is growing!

If you are like most of us, you use the internet in select ways.  But what does the internet really offer and what will we in our Third Trimester need to know?  Most of us have learned about the internet mostly from younger people, early on at work, or from younger friends, family, even our grandkids.

Do you still think you will  get caught in a “web” of confusion if you venture any further than email and an occassional browse to look up some information?  Perhaps you learned to book airline tickets online when the rates went up and the old method of booking flights carried extra fees.  So necessity was the mother of invention. You may have a few online games you play, solitaire, bridge, jewels, etc.

But there is so much more now!

SOME FALSE MYTHS

  • “The internet takes too much time”
  • “You’ll neglect your friends and family”
  • “There’s just superficial nonsense on Facebook”
  • “You’ll get hacked and someone will steal your money”
Are these myths true?  Social scientists say no.  After at least a decade of research new data has shown we can’t believe the negative concerns about the internet. Even hacking is not that common for the average person. Most people just need better information to take the next step forward.
Today the vast majority of people in Western countries have access to the Internet and many are reaching out to forge new relationships every day. Can you imagine having friends in England, Germany, France, Australia and several other countries all at the same time?
Social networking tools actually encourage building our existing relationships too. There have been studies to show that connection on the internet actually leads to a greater sense of well-being!  Perhaps it’s because we can express more freely with less concern and more frankness when we know we are fairly safe in our own environment.  What could be more healthy for anyone than frankness and expression!
REMEMBER WHEN …
Do you remember when people at the workplace used to send around cute little sayings and cartoons?  If you worked in an office, you probably know what I mean.  Even if you didn’t there were messages with pictures and sayings on bulletin boards, in the cafeteria, motivational posters were quite popular at one time.
Well, more and more people on Facebook post motivational messages, jokes and wise sayings every day.  If you like that kind of thing and haven’t been doing facebook, just begin to check it out.  It isn’t just for conversations, although there are plenty of groups, special like-minded people who are always ready for a good question to discuss and much more. Your day will be enhanced by a wisdom saying, a beautiful picture and links that are there for even more information about all kinds of things.
Is politics your interest? How about sports? Home Decor? Spiritual awakening? This list can continue on and on and all of it is available in one form or another on Facebook (and other social sites too, more on that later).
WHAT IS POSSIBLE?
Could it be that once we, Life’s Third Trimesters, become more and more of a presence on Facebook, it will change the entire way people communicate, share their wisdom, their natures and we will all become even more connected?  Isn’t that the goal anyway? Isn’t it important to be able to continue to shape the world for the better? It is to me!
If you want to learn more about social networking,  follow me on Facebook, leave a comment here and fill in the mailing list box on the right.  You will be notified every time there is a post.  Upcoming topics are listed under the tab “COMING SOON”.  If you have a question or would like some support on getting started, expanding more, let me know, we will work out a time to talk together (on the internet of course!!!).
I wish for you all more expansion, more pleasure and much, much more connection every day.  See you on Facebook!

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Filed under Change, facebook, Technology

USING YOUR GIFTS: Even When You Think You Don’t Have Them

This is the third in a series on technology and Life’s Third Trimester.  I hope you have enjoyed them.

So many of us don’t believe we have the “gift” to find our way around the internet. Well, if you think you don’t, then you probably won’t.  How would you like to discover you have exactly the right gifts to use the internet and increase your ability to reach out to others, share your stories, impact the world, being the person you know yourself to be.

WELL YOU DO!!!!

Using the internet isn’t any more difficult than  finding your way around a parking lot at the mall, or driving on the freeway. Can you remember how you learned to do those things?  Think of times when you had to find your way around a large office building, new city streets, airports or some other place you’d never been.

The skills you learned there are exactly the skills you need to use the internet.

  • observation and focus
  • memory (more about that later)
  • purpose
  • intention

My free guide “Taking the Next Step Forward: Using the Internet Without Frustration” will be ready soon  I hope you will join me in seeing your ability to use the internet more fully is as easy as taking the Next Step Forward.

STAYING CONNECTED TO OTHERS

Many of us have trouble thinking beyond our immediate family, our neighborhood, or our current  place of worship as the primary places for making connection with others.  That is not to diminish the value of those places to build community and friendship.  And its not to say that those places  have to be given up when one enters the net.

You may think if you increase your presence on the internet, you will stop connecting with the friends and relationships you have currently in your life.  I think it’s just the opposite.  You will in fact, expand your ability to make more satisfying connections. You will improve how you show up in your current relationships. You will find more and more wealth of information to share.

And There Is More!

We learn can  balance from this. It is not just our bodies that need to strengthen so we don’t fall and lose our balance. Our minds need to engage and learn in order to remain strong. Isn’t it convenient that we got the internet just in time for us to use it. If we can see that everything is a gift why not see the internet that way as well.

Something About Gifts

I love getting gifts!  When I was younger, I used to hold on to them sometimes ratherthan use them because they were such beautiful gifts.  I was afraid to use them lest I tarnished them or used them up.  Somewhere along the line, I learned to take out my best china just for me, to use that pretty candle even though it would be gone once I burned it.  I learned to appreciate the gifts given to me as something not to hide away fearing I’d break them, or ruin them, or lose them.  I actually appreciated them.  Appreciation is not only a feeling word, it is a word that means “to raise in value”.

In my thirdtrimester I have found my gifts waiting for me. Even though I was often afraid to use them, or didn’t even recognize them earlier, here they are  waiting for me to pick them up and find a new way to use them.  Many of those gifts are gifts I can use when I engage on the internet.

I love my gifts now.  I live them. I love them as I live them. What are your gifts and how are you using them in this trimester?

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Change, Technology

THE INCREDIBLE WORLD OF TECHNOLGY: Why do We Resist Using It?

 

It still amazes me how fortunate we are to live in a world with such incredible technology. My last post addressed how we in our Third Trimester have multiple and varied experiences and abilities in this new and exciting world of technology. Today, I’d like to address why many of us continue to resist stepping into this world.  What we tell ourselves and what we tell our friends and family may not, in fact, be the real reason we are not changing.

According to A. J. Schuler, Psy. D., author of Ten Top Reasons We Resist Change, we resist change more from fear of the unknown as much as perceived satisfaction with our current situation. In other words, we rationalize that everything is fine the way it is and we don’t have to change.  But, in reality, we are afraid of change because it always involves a risk and most of us are risk averse. Making a change is all about managing risk.  The power of the human fight-or-flight response can be activated to fight for change, and when it is, there is NOTHING we can’t acheive

 

It Starts Early

Remember when you were a kid and played on the monkey bars??  I do.  There were some kids who could skip right through them swinging away hand over hand like a real monkey.  I was one of those who either couldn’t hold on long enough to move forward, or if I did hold on, I would reach out one hand and then bring my other up next to it on the same bar.

Years later, I remembered that agony of not being as “good” as the other kids. I learned I still created change in my life that same way as I moved across the monkey bars.  Sometimes, I just quit because I wasn’t strong enough to hang in there.  More likely, I kept one hand on my old habits and reached out to grasp the new habit with my other hand.

Which one are you?  Do you swing from one place to another, making change with flow and ease?  Or do you quit before you ever see if you can move forward at all?  Maybe you are like me, and you have trouble letting go of the old patterns so your progress is slow, or you stay stuck in one place.

. . . And Continues 

Dr. Schuler also says that as social creatures, we just don’t want to leave the crowd.  Our friends might think we are prideful, or won’t understand what we are doing, or any number of perceived loss of friendships if we change, even a little. More importantly, we don’t always have a model of what that new way is going to be.  We just stay where we are because it is familiar.

Of course, there is always the conversation we have with ourselves, that we are “just not good enough to do it”.  I thought that way a lot about the monkey bars.  I’m too weak, I’m not athletic enough, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t was my constant conversation about many things.  It was only much later in life that I realized those kinds of conversations were keeping me stuck when I really did want to tackle a new skill or make a change in my life.

Overwhelm is a big cause of resistance to change.  If you have so much on your plate you can’t take on one more thing, you don’t.  This can be changed by reviewing the advantages of the change and giving and/or receiving lots of positive feedback when you do something new.  Beating oneself up is never a good motivator.

The list goes on about the reasons people resist change.  BUT —- They all boil down to one thing.  If it is more painful not to change than it is to change, we will.  Every time.

There is Always Hope

I think the pain of losing touch with 80% of the population, the pain of seeing society segmented and divided by ageism or by prejudice of any kind are good reasons to begin to reach out and see what is available on the internet.  We are social animals. And that can work for us as much as it may work against us.  If you have been feeling left out, if you have been complaining you don’t have enough friends, or if for any other reason, you can find a good reason to use the internet more.  I say do it.

And here is one way . . .

I’ll be offering more ways to ease yourself into increasing your use of the internet in coming posts.  This is just a beginning. We can create supportive groups online and learn together at our own pace.  I will be happy to serve not so much as a technology expert, but as an experienced change agent.  You decide.  If you want more, let me know.  Stay tuned, open up the conversation.  Explore your own resistance.  Share your desires around learning more and using the internet more.  Together we can create whatever is best for you!

Comments and discussion are welcome.  My promise is to reply to every comment. Stay tuned for new developments in Third Trimester Reach Out Groups.

 

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Filed under Change, Choice, Technology

BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING? Life’s Third Trimester and the Internet

WHAT’S HAPPENED?

Within the Third Trimester’s population is the widest diversity of computer literate and illiterate persons in any age range. It is no wonder, either. We, the Third Trimesters, are placed in the stream of time that spans the birth of computers to the present. Major change for the first time in history has become intra-generational.We all have our stories of watching technology grow right before our eyes. “If you  have a technical question about the use of your computer, ask your grandchild”, has become a common saying.
Many of us have not grown along with the internet. Or many of us grew just so far, and stayed there or were so quickly outstripped it seemed hopeless to try to keep up. Many of us have proceeded forward, gained mastery and enjoy our facility with technology. We are diverse!

WHAT IS POSSIBLE?
Now, just at the time in our lives when we need community the most, it seems we are left out even if we have built community around a geographic and temporal commonality.
It doesn’t need to be so. It also doesn’t need to be our grandchildren’s experience we emulate.  We simply need to take one or two steps forward and engage more in the world of computers in our own way.  There is a great experience out there for us to have, and WE are the ones to determine the quality of that experience.
If we want a lot of contact, we can get it.  If we want family ties to strengthen, we can do that. If we want information, it is readily available.  There are as many uses of the internet as there are persons.  It can assist us, companion us, inform us, amuse us, and humble us, to whatever degree we allow. We decide, we determine, and we benefit.
BUT…and there is always a but.  We must overcome our resistance and our fear of technology enough to learn a few exciting ways to expand our abilities on the internet.

HOW DO WE DO IT?
We Trimesters have reached a point where we decide more for ourselves than at any other time in our history. We have weathered many years of balancing our needs and the needs of others and many of us have arrived at a place where that balancing is no longer difficult, but a regular part of our lives.  Now, we can determine more easily what we ourselves want and what we don’t want.
It is no different with the world of high-tech.  There will be many who are not interested.  There are those who are curious, and perhaps even excited to think of the possibilities open to them.  Then, there are always those who have been hungering for the very experience which the world of  high technology – the internet, the world-wide web and computers – holds for them.  We will all be able to discourse with people about their personal desires and brainstorm with them how the internet could be woven into that.

LET’S BEGIN
We can all enjoy the experience of connecting with others, of contributing to the greater good, of expanding our own minds and thoughts through real and significant contact, all in an inter-generational mode; a way in which all can hear what each other are saying, and a way in which communication and support runs in all directions, regardless of age.
The high tech world is just one of the ways to improve our worldwide communication and support.  I hope this Third Trimester Blog includes how others are bridging the gaps; how they feel left out or not. We can share stories and much more.  If anyone wants to, they can do anything they want and with ease and with pleasure.  Let’s all be a part of that ease and pleasure.  Let’s all use this Third Trimester blog as a path to the world of High technology and thus improved communication and community. It’s just fun!

Comments and discussion are welcome.  My promise is to reply to any comment.  You can also sign up to follow me on this blog and you will receive an email when a new post is forthcoming.  Look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Change, Choice, Technology

The World of Work in the Third Trimester

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courtesy of Scott Wright Photography

If we don’t change, we don’t grow.
If we don’t grow, we are not really living.
Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.

~ Gail Sheehy ~

It doesn’t matter what your past experience with the world of work has been. There is a wide range of mix of experiences in our age group.

Some of us have worked for one employer all our lives or a series of employers. Some of us have always been self employed, self generating entrepreneurial persons. Some of us have tried entrepreneurial work during our Learning Years and gone back to employment

We have held traditional roles, we have broken free of tradition . We learned and grew from every experience with work we have had. And, that was good for our Learning Years, our first two trimesters.

Here, in the Third Trimester we often experience change in regard to our perspective about the world of work.

  • Days seem shorter
  • Less is more
  • We work when we want, or can
  • We often have the experience of being “fuller” than before
  • Work itself becomes an end, not a means and we actually enjoy it

The idea of re-tire-ment changes too.  It’s as though we get a new set of tires for that vehicle that has served us for so many years. We actually can create a new version of how we want our lives to be after 60.  What are you planning for your new lifestyle? Is work a joy or a necessary burden? How do you view work now?

If you are approaching your Third Trimester, how do you see what others have done or are doing in light of your own vision for yourself?  What kinds of models and examples do you want to see?

My promise is to reply to every comment and your views are always welcome.  There is always more!

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Filed under Choice, Uncategorized

GETTING SET IN OUR WAYS: Third Trimester inevitability or an opportunity for more?

There is an old adage that says as we age, we get “set in our ways”.

Many of us have believed this to be inevitable. What if instead, it was an opportunity for more? More stability. More focus. More pleasure. There can be many things that in our previous decades we attempted to accomplish and failed or did not accomplish to our satisfaction due to poor habits, lack of time, or any number of obstacles.

Now, in our Third Trimester, being set in our ways means we can set our ways more easily. Becoming more habitual can aid us in developing good habits. We can set new ways as we choose.  I’m sure this is as individual as each of us;  but if you think about it, can you see that developing good habits has become easier for you?

Even if you had good habits in the past, or if you have had bad habits and tried to break them by replacing them with good habits, building habits is a process.  Whether it is sticking to a diet, or keeping the house straight, or even driving under the speed limit.  The process is generally the same. Have you noticed it isn’t as hard as it once was to do that? I could be that becoming more habitual is an opportunity, not a detriment.

Consider the horizons it would open to us.  We can learn new skills, new ways of behaving, even learn a new sport with less struggle and more ease. Science has proven in recent years that learning is a key to longevity. Learning does not have to diminish with age.  We do not have to be slaves to our old bad habits either. The messages we have been given and the misunderstandings we have believed simply led us to think so.

I would like to hear comments about this topic.  What have you learned lately?  What new habits have you built? Is this a new thought and if so, are you willing to try it out and report back to the rest of us? As we begin to appreciate the wonderful advantages life gives us during this time, our lives become even more precious.

My promise is to reply to every comment and I welcome your thoughts.

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Filed under Aging, Choice

Being Your Own Best Friend: A Third Trimester Bonus

It’s a bonus we receive in our Third Trimester to be our own best friend. Ironically, we seem to receive this bonus through experiencing loneliness.

You may have heard that as people age, they get more lonely.  You could say that there is something to that,  that the reality of loss often increases during this time.  Sometimes it seems to me that we are “supposed” to experience loneliness for the teaching it has to give.   Could it be possible that loneliness is one of the roads to self?

It’s very possible that loneliness drives us to connect.  We are after all, pack animals. The fear of being excluded is within each of us. It is a fundamental driver. So when we reach out, when we participate, the loneliness diminishes.

Reaching out also means being proactive in putting out love. In doing so,  you inform yourself about your unique gifts. When you give more love, joy ,help to the world you receive back more and more.  The more friends you make, the more love you feel.

If you are your own best friend, that’s what gets you past those losses that seem so inevitable.  That and keeping up your ability to make friends.

If you have not mastered this wonderful state of being your own best friend, it is well worth attempting to expand into it just a little more. Usually with very little practice most of us get the picture really fast.  So when you take time to practice being with yourself in a friendly way,  it becomes a habit (more on habits on another blog). You will discover the best friend you can have.  Yourself.  Of course, not in lieu of other friends but certainly as a primal point of focus.

Here’s my advice and as always it’s free

  1. Every time you post of Facebook” like” yourself.  Click on it to let the universe know that you are here and you are at the ready.
  2. Give yourself the gifts you would give another person.
  3. When you are with yourself, make yourself comfortable as you would with a guest.
  4. Offer yourself the things that are good to have and spend time with yourself in a variety of ways.
  5. Remind yourself when you are alone you are not alone.
  6. Realize you are always with yourself. And that is a marvelous place to be !

Once the decision is made within to be your own best friend, the process of growth begins.  Others are attracted to us. We find connection flows more easily  And, we receive more than we ever dreamed.  Gratitude fills the heart and in doing so, spills out to the world as a natural part of our being.  We are pretty cool people!!!!

If your heart is full, if you still want more, if you like yourself  I’d love to hear all about it.  Post a comment and let’s hear some really good stories.  The Third Trimester is listening as well as telling. We get really, really good at listening because there is so much to hear!!!!

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Filed under Spiritual

SO WHY ARE WE REALLY HERE? Purpose and the Third Trimester of Life

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Has it ever occurred to you to wonder why we are still alive? What purpose are we still here to do? When we enter Third Trimester, we find more and more friends and family are leaving this world and it often sets us to wondering (more on an upcoming blog about the “D” word).

Why am I still here?

We can site our good health, habits, genetics, luck – any number of reasons for us to still be here when others are gone.  Yet, how can we not consider the real purpose of our lives when we know our days are truly limited now.

Recently, I had a discussion about this topic with a group of thinking people from many generations.  The concept that our Purpose changes had not occurred too many, but I have found my Life’s Purpose to grow and evolve.  Currently, I believe we are here to help one another.

In our present culture, this usually means giving up a parking place or thanking the person in front of you who opens the door or giving up our place in line. And, we would be right.  Those of us in our third trimester understand that by being who we are authentically we help others more than anything.  When we can place our authentic self above all else in our lives we help build a world by example. We show others it isn’t as important what you do, but who you are as you do it.

Some say that during our latter years, the need to contribute grows.  I think contributing is a natural outcome of being our own true selves. We contribute because we are. We have become the change we want to see in the world.  Surprisingly true!!

I’d like to hear from others about this as well.  Why do you think you are here? What is it that you still want to bring to this world before you leave?

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Filed under Choice

It’s Not About Age, It’s About Fulfillment

The Third Trimester is not just about your age.  It also denotes a fulfilling time. When we as humans begin to feel fulfilled and not just desire fulfillment, it is generally a sign that the third trimester has begun.  This can happen at any age, but it cannot be manufactured, learned or practiced. It can only emerge.

It is natural to work on creating the life you truly want. We envision and practice and gain knowledge toward that end.  We can look at the natural emergence of fulfillment as the fruits of our labors. In Life’s Third Trimester, after the work, after the practice has resulted in living the life we want, this fulfillment brings even more fruits.  Now we are able to let go of past unwanted behaviors more quickly. (see my upcoming blog on good habit building)  It is less important to acquire skills and more important to enjoy the mastery of our skills.   Now is the time we can share our authentic selves more and more.

For myself, I treasure this gift in ways I have never treasured it before.  I respect life more now than at any other time. Yet it doesn’t look or feel anything like what I thought it would when I so desired to love my life more, to respect life, and to fully embrace life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts around this.  As a manifester of life, as a person with dreams that are coming true, we can share with one another and serve as magnificent examples of what the Third Trimester can be.  We are the forerunners of a New Age and those who come after can begin to see a new way of being for themselves in this Trimester too.

“It’s not the events in your life that matter. It’s the kindnesses” – SM 2011

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Filed under Aging

LIFE’S JOURNEY CONTINUES

Welcome.  If you are on a life’s journey and have found your way to this blog, I am grateful and know there is more than coincidence that has led you here.

This topic is a natural outcome of turning 70 and realizing not only how far we have all come in life, but also of how far we still have to go. Journeying with others has always been a delight to me. As a psychotherapist/Life coach working with many people (mainly women) who wanted release from past emotional wounds, and to create more healthy relationship, I found we all want much of the same things.Now as I transitioned through my 60′s and entered my 70′s,  the gift of guiding others through change has evolved into more connecting with others as a changed being.  People everywhere who had made this wonderful journey and who have arrived at what I consider to be the Third Trimester of Life are welcome here.Blogging and discourse and of course social networking will be a mainstay of this journey.  There is more to come.  By the way, I’m beginning to use “online community” to better represent that phenomena.  So dear friends,  there will be more.  There is much to say, talk about, share, create and become.  I will post again very soon.  Stay tuned. Comment at will.

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Filed under Introductory Material