Tag Archives: Health

It Was My 50th Birthday and I Decided to Wake Up and Smell the Coffee!

50 Plus Yoga Instructor Dee Greenberg

Dee Greenberg is a dynamic yoga instructor.  Check out her website at www.50plusyoga.com. This is her first entry on our blog.  Welcome, Dee!

Sometimes an impending birthday takes on great meaning. For me, turning 50 was quite a wake up call.

And now, at 58, it’s interesting to reflect back on a time where, relatively speaking, I felt very young, at least compared to how I feel now.  I’m sure you know how that goes.

There is something to be said for the old adage: “older and wiser.”  And for those of us who are consciously and intentionally evolving – it does seem as if  “wiseness happens.”  I’d hate to think that with each passing day I was getting a little bit dumber.  And obviously depending on the state of our health, it may feel like our minds are getting dimmer, not brighter.

That’s why I practice yoga!  I hope to keep my light bulb shining well into what is sometimes referred to as “old age.” And not only do I want my light to shine, but I also very much hope to experience this thing we call old age.

But let me go back in time for a moment.  At 50, I was single, living in Boston, recovering from a dysfunctional relationship and still feeling somewhat beaten up by it.  I was also self-employed, but without any clear goals or prospects for the future.  I had been teaching yoga for 3 months.

So basically, you could summarize my condition at 50 as more or less “spinning my wheels.”  My life lacked purpose, momentum and most importantly, goals.

And then all of that changed, seemingly in the blink of an eye.  At 50 plus, my life began to take shape in an entirely new direction and I am happy to say that now, 8 years later, my life no longer lacks purpose, momentum or goals.

The catalyst for this change was a chance meeting I had with a very extraordinary yoga instructor named Shiva Rea.

I stumbled into a week long workshop with her totally by chance.  She rocked my world, and I am a different person today as a result of the 8 consecutive years I spent studying yoga with this most gifted teacher, who became my mentor.

OK , well,  actually there was one other very significant thing that occurred that same year.  On my 50th birthday, I was at a 4 day yoga retreat nestled deep within the heart of the Catskill Mountains with another very gifted, world class yoga instructor named Dharma Mitra.  Over the course of that weekend, I took a good, long, hard look at my life, and I set some goals for my yoga practice.
There were 2 very difficult arm balancing, inverted postures in which I wanted to gain proficiency.  So I set a goal at 50:  I *would* focus on these 2 postures and gain proficiency.  Two months later,  I stumbled on the aforementioned teacher who would become my mentor for the next 8 years and lead me towards that proficiency.

My purpose in writing this post is to spread my message to the world, which is this:

Life Begins at 50!  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

All right, let me say it a different way: Life begins at 50, or 60, or 70,  or whenever YOU decide it begins!  The actual chronological number is completely irrelevant.  Life begins whenever you decide to begin to live fully in the moment.

So go ahead and decide.  Let your life begin right now!

Amazing Women over 50: Gwendie’s Struggle with Cancer


Gwendie, who writes occasionally for this blog, has been struggling with cancer for the past four years.  She just suffered another setback, as she describes first in an email she sent and then in a blog entry–but, amazing woman that she is, she is still managing to keep her incredible, positive outlook on things.  I think Gwendie should be a role model for all of us in how to meet life’s challenges head-on and never lose hope.  As my friend Barb said, Gwendie is “living with cancer, not dying from it.”  Jane

Gwendie’s email: Well, guys and gals, it had been a relatively quiet several months here in Gwendieland until about 3 weeks ago when I suddenly “lost” my voice and developed a dry cough.  After considering (and eliminating) the various possible causes (virus, allergies, bacterial infection), a CT scan confirmed that I have more and larger tumors in my chest and neck.  So the assumption is that the loss of voice is related to something pressing on my larynx or perhaps a nerve that innervates the voice box.

Anyhow, of course that means a change in treatment.  So, Monday I’ll be starting a batch of new (to me) drugs.  For those of you who have seen me with short frizzy white hair, forget that look.  It’ll be gone soon.  Hopefully the replacement, should we ever get to that, will not have the frizzy component.  And if you call me, I can at the moment speak only in a croaky whisper.  Also, I may be heading off to Duke Medical Center for a consult there.  Sigh.  But at four plus years and counting (since diagnosis), I can’t complain.  Well, I could complain, but I won’t.


I’m shifting gears again.

I’ve been in “drive” for a number of months, cruising along with the same meds, the same side effects, the same tumor markers, for long enough now that it—the condition—was beginning to feel “normal” (to paraphrase Prince Charles—whatever “normal” is).  Anyhow, the bizarre night about 3 weeks ago when I kept waking up with a sharp cough (and now realize I was probably trying to catch my breath) was the beginning of the shift in the gears—a slide toward reverse, which I hope will somehow come to a stop and then shift again, probably at the beginning, into first gear—slow and with lots of effort, but hopefully, quickly move into second and third and even fourth or overdrive—although I’d be more than happy with third gear!

Just not this reverse, please.

Not only do I not like the physical symptoms, but it scares me.  I’m not a big fan of backing up.  Going forward has always felt a lot better to me.  Oh, my.  This analogy is bringing on a cough.  A bad sign that I’ve slipped out of neutral again into reverse. Damn these gears, shifting without any input from me.  Well, I’m ready to take control again.

Bring on the new chemo and let’s shift back into first gear.

Oops 50: Check-in from Farmer Nancy: Emmy and Otis

Last week I had to take our dog Emmy to be pts.  I can’t even write out the words.  She was diagnosed with lymphoma last October, and, after researching it, we decided to try chemotherapy.

We had to take her to the vet in Clayton, an hour away from our farm in Rocky Mount, and she hadn’t been in a vehicle since we’d first gotten her.  We’d always had to drug her with Ace to get her there for regular visits, and even then, she drooled, panted and tried to escape from the truck for the first 30 minutes.  I figured that by the time we’d get there, she’d be practically asleep– but I knew it would be stressful on her system.  The vet wanted to try her coming without drugs.

On the fourth trip there, we made it, with just some hard breathing, and Ems was the perfect lady in the waiting room.  She let the vet techs draw her blood with no problem.  Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.It worked—for a while.  Her appetite returned.  We had read that a high-protein diet would combat the cancer, so she feasted on stew beef, pork chops, turkey burgers and chicken.  No more biscuits for treats: she had beef jerky.  As a vegetarian, I’ve never bought so much meat in my life.  Thank you, Costco!  My carnivore stepson, who became Emmy’s personal chef,  also benefited from this diet–probably not in a good way. Continue reading Oops 50: Check-in from Farmer Nancy: Emmy and Otis

Oops50: Great Resource from North American Menopause Society


I just heard about a website that may be of interest to our readers:  the North American Menopause Society’s website at www.menopause.org.  It’s got all kinds of interesting information, so it’s certainly worth a visit!  Also, they now have a special extra resource:  a whole page about sexuality and menopause.  Who knew?!  I’ll just attach the press release they sent, since I might get too embarassed if I tried to summarize it:

The New Year is still young and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  What better time to take stock of your sexual health?  We’ve got just the thing to help with that: Sexual Health & Menopause, a new online resource from The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) for the midlife woman who wants to know what menopause may mean for her sex life.  This authoritative resource, written for women (not doctors) and complete with tables and illustrations, is available free of charge on the NAMS website at www.menopause.org/sex.aspx.
“Menopause and aging can bring changes in sexual function for some women,” says NAMS

Executive Director Margery Gass, MD, NCMP.  “These changes don’t need to mean the end

of sex as you knew it, but they might mean taking some steps to maintain good sexual health

at midlife and beyond.”  Sexual Health & Menopause will walk you through the following

topics in a user-friendly format that allows you to dig for more details where and when

you want:

  • Changes at midlife affecting women’s sexuality
  • Sexual problems at midlife
  • Causes of women’s sexual problems at midlife
  • Effective treatments for women’s sexual problems
  • Further resources and reminders about midlife sexuality
  • Frequently asked questions

Sexual Health & Menopause was developed by NAMS under the direction of Dr. Gass and

co-editors Jan L. Shifren, MD, NCMP, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Harvard Medical School,

and Sheryl A. Kingsberg, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Case Western Reserve University

School of Medicine.
Check it out today at www.menopause.org/sex.aspx!

Sending a Shout-Out to Beautiful Women over 50


Sending a Shout-Out to our beautiful women over 50 who’ve been asking about writing a post on the oops50.com blog.

We invite you (all women over 50) to share your stories and experiences with our readers.  We know there are tons of subjects you care about because we know, like us, you never tire of speaking your mind!  And, don’t forget to ask your mothers, sisters, cousins, friends, colleagues, etc.  We all have intriguing and important stories to tell.   We’ll take your article (not more than 250 words) and we’ll edit it, post it, and promote it.

Some of favorite categories are: Friendship,  Aging parents, Children/Grandchildren; Cooking; Gardening; Pets;  Relationships; Health and Wellness; Spirituality; Menopause; Sleep (or the lack of); Work; Retirement (I wish); Starting Over; Books; Films; and of course, if you are inspired, you can always write about Death and Taxes.

If you’re interested, please contact me at: Annice@oops50.com and I’ll send you our guidelines.

I’m all Ears