Category Archives: Feeling Overwhelmed

To Shop or Not to Shop On-line: What do you do?

Annice
Annice

To Shop or Not to Shop On-line – That is the Question? I am not an on-line shopper – at all.  However, after spending an evening with several female friends (they know who they are) I’m wondering if I should be.  Over dinner, they listed all the advantages:  time saved; never running out of things; catching some great deals; and of course they never pay shipping.  So there I sat eating my Salad Niçoise at the Laughing Seed with two nicoisewomen I admire and respect trying hard to figure out what’s up with me that I don’t shop on-line.  Weeks rolled by, and I forgot all about that conversation until I grabbed my must-have Deva (curly) hair product only to realize I couldn’t squeeze out one more drop, and I did not have another one stashed away in my closet.  I’d have to live with a bad hair day for sure.  Digging deeper into this 21st century  phenomenon, I started thinking about my big aversion to shopping on-line is and why I find it all so overwhelming.

Deva
Deva

For starters, I’m on the computer much of my day at work, and then again in my spare time at home working on my book whenever I can, so getting back on the computer to shop doesn’t excite me.  It’s not that I’ve never shopped on-line.  I admit to buying presents at holiday time for out of town family and friends because I hate packing up presents not to mention the waiting in line at the post office during Christmas time. Another reason I hate shopping on-line is all the popcorn, bubble wrap, shredded paper and boxes I have to deal with from my husband who does shop on-line. The packaging spills all over the kitchen and then it piles up in the garage where I then have to nag my husband to break it all down and schlep it to the recycling bins across town.  All that packaging can’t be good for the environment and then what about the carbon footprint?  Besides, I still like to touch things and try things on and neither my feet nor my body always fit into the same size.  And returns?  I really hate that too, re-wrapping and taking it to the post office.

Last Saturday, I was out doing errands – a lot of errands.  I think I spent close to 4 hours driving all over town to Trader Joe’s, Pet Smart, the dry cleaners, and worst of all to the Mall to get the Deva product I had run out of, and then finally to the kitchen store to get the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer Cutter (millions sold in Europe) and I got to thinking veggie cutterabout my two smart friends who said they save SOOOOOOOOOOO much time, and what about the price of gas? It’s a dilemma for me.  So, what do YOU do?  Any advice?

Gift Giving, Thank-you’s, and all the Rest

Annice
Annice

I’ve been thinking a lot about gift giving lately.  Maybe it’s because there’s a lot of it in June.  Birthdays, graduations, baby showers, Father’s day, new jobs, retirement, and just a lot to celebrate.  Coupled with all those celebrations and gifts, I have noticed the lack of thank-you’s over the years and that makes me feel sad.  I know I shouldn’t expect anything in return when I give a gift, and believe me, that’s not why I give, but what about a simple no frills thank you letting me know the gift was in fact received?   I find it embarrassing to call to find out if my gift ever arrived.  And, if it was a check or gift card, why do I have to log into my bank account to verify if my gift was debited, leaving me with the feeling of having just paid my utility bills?  Don’t get me wrong, I have lowered my expectations – I certainly don’t expect a hand-written note.  Heaven’s no!  They are somewhat inconvenient to write and then there’s the stamp and the post office.  But, how about a voice mail or even a 3 letter text that says thx?

Giving Gifts

Thank-you starts with parents teaching little ones what a gift is, and that a gift is not a requirement.  It is not an obligation to give either, and one is not naturally entitled to receive a gift.  This is an important lesson in giving and receiving, not to mention gratitude. I will admit that Baby Boomers (and generations before us) learned to write thank you notes at a very early age – in fact, as soon as we learned to write.  But since kids don’t actually learn to write anymore, I’m very willing to accept a digital note.   Something!  Anything!

I am not totally alone in my thoughts.  I have conducted a very informal survey and talked to women over 50 who have told me if they don’t receive a thank you (in any format) – they simply stop sending that person a gift.  One friend had a great solution for the non-thanker.  The next time she is “expected to give a gift,” she makes a donation to her favorite charity in that person’s name.  What a concept. kidtocamp

Here is what Cicero has to say: 

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

Let me know your thoughts – am I unrealistic?????

Manicures & Spring Rolls

Annice
Annice

Recently, I decided to get a manicure.  It’s not something I do very often but I needed a fast and cheap escape while waiting for my husband at Verizon.  He either lost his cell phone or had it stolen in Miami where he went to have back surgery in April.  Buying a new phone should be simple, right?  But, nothing at Verizon is simple.  Since Len was not driving yet, I had to take him there but the thought of sitting in Verizon and dealing with his problems just felt too overwhelming.  I’ve got my phone and it works just fine – thank you.

Off I went to Hollywood Nails & Spa at River Ridge shopping center.  I had never been there before and was pleased to see how clean and shiny it was.   As soon as I sat down, my manicurist gave me a bottle of water. A few minutes later she came back with two piping hot spring rolls on a little white paper plate and placed them on the table between us.  I’m thinking it’s her breakfast, after all it’s only 9:30.  The aroma is killing me but I pretend the spring rolls aren’t there.  The manicurist (promise to get her name next time) begins to clean and prepare her tools .  “Eat,” she finally says.  I look around to see if anyone else is eating spring rolls but no one is sitting close enough for me to know for sure.  Delicious.

spring rolls

I tell her how much I love her spring rolls and ask her where she is from.  Viet Nam.  I love Viet Namese food and tell her I wish Asheville had a Viet Namese restaurant – or at least a good one.

I’m devouring the second spring roll when the manicurist removes the empty paper plate and replaces it with hot soapy water. “Soak,” she says.  Once my nails are polished and dried, the manicurist gently massages my hands and arms.  Thinking this is it, I’m ready to get up and pay, but the manicurist says she will be right back.  When she returns, she’s got two white steaming towels to wrap my hands in.  So, so nice.  Finally, I get up to leave and I notice several customers chomping on spring rolls.  I asked the other customer at the cash register if everyone here gets spring rolls.  Affirmative.  OMG, this business owner knows a little something about customer service!  Maybe she could teach a class at Verizon.  

hot towels

One more thing, the price was five dollars cheaper than my last manicure.  Guess who got a five dollar tip?

manicure
After the manicure!

 

A Retiring Mind: Part III by Amoke Kubat

If you recall, Amoke shared two posts with us last year about being a newly retiree.  Here she is with her latest episode of her Retiring Mind.

Amoke Kubat
Amoke Kubat

February first marked year one into my retirement years.  My initial days were filled with me grinning and chanting, “I don’t have to go to work no more” and “I can do anything I want” and “I was a teacher” – a lot.  Time was now my BFF.  I have a big imagination and the possibilities were like assorted valuables in a bank vault.

Here is the year in review.  On the eleventh day of my second emancipation, I woke up in a world of hurt.  I could not move without crippling pain.  Thigh and shin muscles visibly pulled away from leg bones in an effort to detach from unrelenting spasms.  My torso twisted into a chicken wing.  An alarming mix of shrieks and sobbing brought both adult daughters to my bedside.  They had never witnessed any medical emergency before.  They didn’t know me as a crying woman.  Agony painted sharp lines and pulsing circles that made my face a new kind of canvas.  Never had I been so scared or felt so vulnerable.  A trip to the ER informed me that I had bone on bone arthritis in my knees and sciatica.  I got medication that made me itch.  I was told I’d get better in time.

This misery lasted until late spring.  Chiropractors, massages, herbal remedies brought some relief, however I began to feel mentally fragile.  My shadowy thinking scared me. What if this was the beginning of my end?  Would I have this pain for the rest of my life?  Will I not be able take care of myself?  A small voice whispered, “You wanted time to write stories, books and screenplays,” yet all I could think about was PAIN!  I felt so helpless. God!  Take me dandelionamokenow!!!

I decided to make “last calls”.  I scavenged through years of old phone books and started calling old friends.  Most conversations picked up where the last one ended years ago.  Laughter, tears and sharing from the heart brought me unexpected joys.  I remembered simple pleasures of yesteryears.  Friends reminded me of who I used to be – way back when.  A Wild Woman!  Crazy cool! Always into something or doing something.  Unflappable, a friend said.  Then, a minister friend of mine invited me to Las Vegas where she was creating a Goddess Study Center.  I went for four days.  At the fundraiser, I met many women my age and older who were cavorting with the Feminine Divine, nature, oracles, music, dancing, and luscious food and drink.  God, I missed this energy!womens empowerment

I returned home, feeling empowered and reacquainted with my wild woman self.  I called my former health clinic and told them that I had no insurance but needed to be seen, as I was not going to live my life in pain.  If I fell down, I was going to keep getting back up.  The hospital social worker assisted me.  I was able to see a doctor and specialists who referred me for assessments that eventually led to better care and treatment.  I am regaining stamina, strength, ability, and hope.

In those 365 days, I grieved the loss of the teacher persona.  I grieved the changes in my body that are not related to physical illness but to inevitable aging.  I discovered I can no longer put coins or dollars in my bra. Not only have the sisters gone south, they have left their posts.  I grieved with friends who have lost their loved ones.  I offered a shoulder to those caring for elder parents or siblings.  I have neither.  I am claiming retirement.  I will keep calling for a purposeful and meaningful retirement just like I call on old friends.  And by the time you read this, I will be on my way to Florida to visit a friend I have not seen in 27 years.

To learn more about Amoke Kubat (writer, artist and community elder living and working in North Minneapolis) visit her website.

Slow Down Your Life: Letting Go of Technology’s Grasp

Barbara Brady
Barbara Brady

Is it just us?  Women over fifty who feel like our life is speeding up each day, and it’s all we can do to keep our  head above water? Jogging in the woods this January, I felt that way, and thought if I could pretend it was 1970 something instead of 2014, then maybe I could slow my life down again to a pace more in keeping with my natural biorhythm. If it was 1970 something now, what would I still do, and what would be different? I would do what I did this morning – make coffee, meditate, say prayers/affirmations, and go running. I would be focused internally, connecting with and filling myself up first, before focusing on the expectations and demands of the external world. Then I may talk to people on mypushbutton phone landline or meet them in person. I certainly wouldn’t turn my cell phone and computer on first thing in the morning or leave them on until bedtime to check voicemails, texts and emails. When I have done that before, I’ve felt pulled from my center. Depletion and disconnection followed, along with the feeling of treading water to keep my head above it. What can you do to slow down and release technology’s hold on you?

  1. Claim one day a week to be completely unplugged from the internet or email.turnoffpcoops50
  2. Set boundaries around technology each day. Create a self-connection routine first thing in the morning and at the end of your day. This could include prayer, meditation, walking in the woods or on the beach, exercising, journaling, painting, etc. It’s very empowering to do this, because you’re telling yourself and the universe that you value yourself and your time, choosing to be proactive and creative vs. reactive and  programmed.
  3. Turn your computer off by 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. and don’t check email after this. Spend your evening connecting with friends in person or by phone. Read, create, play.
  4. Put your cell phone away when with other people and mute it. Honor who you’re with.
  5. Pay attention to your time spent on social media. Is it really adding to or subtracting from your life?“A 2013 study published by the Public Library of Science showed that more use of Facebook meant less sense of well-being and more feelings of envy.”

Yogaoops50Finally if you were to die tomorrow, would you wish you’d spent more time on email or the web? Or would you wish you’d spent more face to face time with loved ones or seeing the world?     Barbara Brady, Coach & Trainer Global Leadership / Intercultural / Transformation through Transition www.mycoachbarbara.com