Tag Archives: finding the balance

Getting Back to Simpler Times

SADHVI
SADHVI

Getting older is turning out to be more interesting than I thought it would be.  I’m even calling myself an old crone sometimes, just for fun, so I can start to realize that I’m not the young Sadhvi that I tend to think I still am!  It also makes me feel wise.

If I am going to be alive this long, I will have more things that I’ve seen than someone who is 20.  Simple math, I know.  And that also means that some things that are around don’t really ring my bell, so to say.

I’m all right if you want to pay lots of money for those things.  But if you talk about how much you love your new iPhone, for instance, and that love rant goes on for more than a minute or so, I will probably have to say something like how weird is it to LOVE your new gadget!

Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Snowy

We’ve been watching the Tintin cartoon series lately to wind down at the end of our day.  The animation is really neat, and they are always exciting to watch.

Tintin is a super hero who goes to different places all over the world to rid the planet of bad people.

And he does it without a computer, a smart phone, texting, having a GPS or being hooked up to social media – my type of hero!

While going through a stack of magazine, I came across an old Vanity Fair magazine from August 2011.  While flipping through the pages, a black and white photo of Joseph Heller sitting in his NYC office with his feet on his desk struck me as something that looked funny, like something was out of place.

Then I realized there is no computer, smart phone, iPad, or laptop anywhere around in that photo, just a typewriter with a piece of paper in it, a rotary dial phone, and some pens and pencils in a round holder.  Joseph Heller wrote the novel Catch-22 back in 1961, which according to many is one of the greatest anti-war books ever written.  Maybe you remember it?

Joseph Heller

While I was only a small child in 1961, I do remember the movie, mostly because it came out in 1970!  I’ve also used a typewriter like the one in the photo a lot, and had a rotary dial phone in the house that I grew up in (where the cord can reach across the room with the phone base not moving an inch!).

I even own one today and it’s in my office 🙂

Looking at that photo made me see how far the whole industry has come.  And how expensive these new technologial “wonders” cost to buy, and how the companies who make them have suceeded through colors and marketing that we can’t live without them.

But I’ve started to notice people of all ages say that they are just not into all of it any more.  Maybe the pendulum is moving back to simpler times?

I’ve heard young people say that they are going back to a flip-phone, because the smartphones feel too crazy on their heads.

Or that they hate FaceBook, and don’t ever use it.

Or take the woman the chestnut stand the other day — after we chatted briefly, she laughed and said how nice it was to connect, and not with FB.  I asked her if she was addicted to FB and she said she used to be, but not anymore; she doesn’t want to “like” of “share” what is going on with her life.  She wants to just live it.

You might wonder why I post for this blog, since it is sharing.  Good question:  the only reason is that I send this out to friends and family, and it’s my way of staying in touch with them.

The idea that Oprah or HuffPost would contact us to be the voices of our generation have long dropped away.  We, including me, just like to write!

 

rotary dial phone sweetie2sweetie etsy

 

 

Annice Asks: Can Balance be Achieved without Winning the Lottery?

It feels great to be recognized by the Huffington Post.  Bravo to them for providing a global platform for women over 50 to speak their mind!   Today, I was going to blog about a friend of mine who was looking for a simplifying expert because she felt so overwhelmed, but since HuffPo posted my thoughts regarding The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power, I decided to re-post.  Looking forward to hear what you feel about this almost universal topic.

I’ve been following the buzz around The Third Metric, and all I can say is why (as women) did we wait so long to start redefining what seems so obvious?  When I was in my 20s and 30s, success meant money and power because that’s how men defined it, and I modeled my success after theirs, as did most women.  My opinion about money and power has changed over time, and as a working woman over 50, I can tell you that power doesn’t have the same connotation as it did in my earlier years, though one thing remains constant: money.  Let me explain.

In my late 40s, after twenty years of a demanding and exciting career in Washington, D.C., I decided to take the plunge and get out of Dodge City.  My husband and I wanted a simpler life, where we could spend more time in nature and not have to work 60 hours a week.  Well, we have that, and guess what?  I miss my big fat salary from D.C.  You know why?  Because money provides you the power to be free — free to buy that airline ticket to visit your best friend who’s been living in Senegal for five years; free to fly clear across the country to your nephew’s wedding and give him a wonderful gift; free to have the funds to send your granddaughter to Shakespeare camp in the summer; free to help a friend whose home is about to go into foreclosure because she just lost her job; free to hire someone to clean your house every week so you don’t have to spend the weekend cleaning; free not to worry about the cost of everything you do.

So, one can opt out of the fast life and redefine success, but the trade-off is often lower wages, because big salaries and big benefits go with big cities and, until I left DC, I didn’t actually know that on a gut level.  Nor did I know how poorly a well-educated person could be paid.  I see women every day, working passionately in a job they love, earning low wages.  Women work hard, often without benefits, and it’s not always because corporations don’t have the resources to pay them.  Sometimes, those businesses don’t give benefits simply because they don’t have to.  You see, where I live, and where many Americans live, some folks think if you’re earning $40,000, that’s a good wage.  Oh sure, I live in the mountains and have a great view and wouldn’t go back to the big city, but even in small towns, women are overworked, overwhelmed and basically depleted.  For many working women over 50, retirement is nowhere in sight.

My women friends and colleagues aren’t complaining about wanting more success or power in conventional terms.  We’re not even complaining about working, being a parent or cleaning the house; we just want more money when we work so we have more choices when we are not working.  We’d love to go to Bali with our girlfriends for a retreat and we’d love to have more time for our aging parents, not to mention the resources needed to keep them comfortable during their elder years.  So for men and lots of women I know, money is still high on the ladder of success.  Only it doesn’t represent power in an egocentric or dominant manner — it represents freedom, pure and simple.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women’s conference, “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power” which will take place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.