I am honored to have participated in an interview with Growing Bolder’s Marc Middlleton and Bill Shafer. Growing Bolder is the perfect place for Boomers. Click here to listen.
Exercise Your Creativity– We understand exercising our bodies and minds, but
somehow once we get past the age of ten, we start paying less attention to our
Introduce More Color In Your Daily Life– Somehow color and whimsy can make even the most mundane
task a lot more fun.
That Purse Chaos– What kind
of baggage are you carrying around?
What’s In Your Empty or Not So Empty Nest?– It’s a question we should ask
ourselves as we rebuild our nests and make room for our own dreams.
Go from Working Full Time to Living Full Time-
As you begin navigating retirement options, consider
how you can creatively spend your next 30, 40, or 50 years.
Plant it; Pedal it; Preserve it!- Try parking your car and pedaling
to your destination once in a while.
It’s a fun way to help protect our planet.
Beauty and the Beach– Escape your incessant to-do lists
by going to on a beach retreat. The
beach offers a place of acceptance and equality regardless of size, age, income
level, and even species.
Take Yourself Out on a Date- a shopping expedition, museum outing, a
favorite activity to pamper your passions, and it should be done alone. It’s
amazing how little time we spend by ourselves.
yellow squash, red peppers, purple pomegranates. All this rich beautiful color
costs the dieter 0 points in the Weight Watchers World.
Try Taking Mini-Adventures- Adventures don’t have to be big
and bold. They come in many sizes and
help us feel young all over again.
Don’t you sometimes think (or at least hope) your little
idiosyncrasies are invisible? I choose
to think that about mine. Therefore, I
find it a little disconcerting when friends and family members delight in
calling attention to one of mine. Ok, I
admit it…I like a good beverage. Typically
when dining out I order multiple beverages.
I enjoy the little buzz I get from a glass of wine; the caffeine from my
unsweetened iced tea keeps me awake and alert; and the ice water actually
quenches thirst as beverages are supposed to do. This liquid combination is really the perfect
I’m not sure whether it’s
my lengthy drink order or the fact my thirst
quenching threesome encroaches on my dinner companions’ table space that
attracts attention. Whatever the cause,
my tablemates can’t resist making comments such as, “there she goes again with
her three drinks!” Sometimes they
even jump in to order for me.
Nevertheless, I’m undaunted. I believe in my sipping strategy.
Thus, I was so surprised when my soon to be daughter in law
mentioned recently I had liberated her beverage habits. “I thought you could only order one drink at
a time. It didn’t occur to me I could
order coffee, water, etc. I feel so free”. I was thrilled. This was the first time someone had actually
embraced my strategy and adopted it as a ritual of their own.
Be Brave. Lose the Beige (the name of my company and blog)
is about defining your life as you would like it to be. It gently pokes fun at societal rules and
norms. It says yes, when the world
around us says no. I think my being a 3
fisted drinker is a small example of this philosophy. Try making one change in your life; it
doesn’t have to be a major one, just a baby step even, like altering your usual
restaurant order. It can be quite
Two weeks ago today I started on Weight Watchers. I toyed with the online version of Weight Watchers a few years ago. This time around I’m going to the meeting version of WW, the one with accountability built in- the weighing in front of other people kind of accountability. I’ve spent the past two weeks tracking every morsel I put in my mouth, and every step I take (ok so perhaps going to the mailbox should not count as “activity points” but, what the heck).
The meetings I’ve attended include motivational lectures with titles like, “Snacking Smarter” and “Produce Power”. During my very first visit, the meeting leader distributed a brochure urging participants to “color up to your plate” as a dieting strategy. The color comes in the form of orange carrots, red peppers, yellow squash, and green leafed lettuce. All this rich, beautiful “color” costs the dieter 0 food points in the Weight Watchers World.
Hearing this I could not help but think of Be Brave. Lose the Beige (the name of my website and journal). Color is a defining characteristic of BBLB. While I am crazy about color (all colors, the more the better) the color component of Be Brave. Lose the Beige is really used to encourage people to think creatively about their lives and make interesting choices ( An interesting life is a choice after all).
I feel like Weight Watchers is a good choice for me. Any system that uses color to achieve a successful outcome is the place for me.
Lose the Beige is not only the name of this blog, it’s also the name of a
movement we are hoping to create among women’s groups. My friend and colleague in this effort,
Jackie, and I facilitated a workshop at the annual UCC (United Church of Christ)
women’s conference a few weekends ago. We conducted an intergenerational session
entitled, “The Power of the
which attendees participated in a journaling exercise. The exercise focused upon an artistic
rendering of a red and white polka dotted bandana purse with Rosie the Riveter’s
“We Can Do It!” affirmation in the
background. The principle sentiment
behind this clay sculpture is Women’s Empowerment, financial and
were provided with a journal prompt that said, “
empowerment impacts the way we view ourselves and even how others view us. This is not just an issue about working women
versus non-working women. There are many
income producing women who have little control over their pocketbooks; there
are women not in the employment sector who exercise considerable control over
family resources. What about you? Do you feel you have power over your
Many of the
participants in our session belong to the generation Time
a 1951 cover story, labeled, “The Silent Generation “. They were born
between1925-1945. This was a generation
that did not issue manifestos, participate in protests or demonstrations, or
carry placards and posters. One of the characteristics
of this age category has been their silence.
While the wonderful qualities of this generation are numerous, a
dominant characteristic historically has been their reluctance to stand up to
“authority”. For many of the
women in this group that authority figure often took the form of their
resounding refrain among these silent generation women was how little control
they exercised over their household purse strings. Some of it was by choice, as was the case for
a lady from Barbados. Following her move
to the United States, she ceded many of the financial responsibilities to her
husband. This posed somewhat of a
problem upon his death when she was left with little to no experience in
balancing a checkbook or paying taxes.
That “choice” did not belong to a second
woman, whose controlling husband allowed her no input into their family’s
financial matters. She has found it
strangely liberating since his recent death to have control over her own money. She has taken to bestowing gifts upon herself
(something her husband rarely did) saying, “thank you for my sweet
woman, happily ensconced in a 25 year second marriage, discussed the ego
depletion of her first. Her first
husband not only allowed for little to no monetary input, he did not permit her
to even have a driver’s license.
candor of these brave women was astounding.
They were willing, even eager, to share their stories as a way to urge
their daughters and the daughters of other women, to exercise control over
their own purses, and thus, their own lives.
in that room, those women truly embodied the “Be Brave” aspect of our
“Be Brave. Lose the Beige” movement, and it was a privilege
witnessing this generational transformation.
I was recently
certified as a True Colors facilitator. True Colors is a color version
of the Myers Briggs indicator. The founder of True Colors, Don Lowry liked
using color as a metaphor to translate complicated personality theory into
It was kind of a no
brainer marrying True Colors with Be Brave. Lose the Beige, since there is a
fun color centric focus to the process of identifying your color spectrum.
While Be Brave. Lose the Beige is not just about color, I liked the idea
of using color as a metaphor in our quest for self discovery. Yes, even
at our “age” as Lady Boomers, there is still room for self discovery and
increased self awareness.
Jackie, and I have been conducting a four week study during Lent. The Lenten
season provides an excellent opportunity for journeying into the wilderness of
your selves and gaining an appreciation for your own skills, talents and
abilities, as well as that of those around you. Once our participants
(and there have been at least 25) identified their true colors (blue, orange,
green, or gold), we encouraged them to engage in a “brightening” exercise in
which they illustrated their color spectrum. The following are a couple
of photos of our Lady Boomers’ art work.
As an an avowed
“Blue”, I have loved listening to the stories from our Lady Boomers and
beholding their creative efforts. I look forward to more.
This is post #7 in Be Brave.
Lose the Beige’s 12 Days of New Years Resolutions.
Do you suffer from purse
chaos? Does your purse resemble the description in Nora Ephron’s, I
Feel Bad About My Neck and other Thoughts on Being a Woman? The
following is an excerpt from her chapter entitled “I Hate my
“Here is what happens with
your purse. You start small. You start pledging yourself to neatness. You start
with the things you absolutely need…but within seconds your purse has
accumulated the debris of a lifetime. The cosmetics have fallen out of the
shiny cosmetics bag (okay, you forgot to zip it up), the coins have fallen out
of your wallet (okay you have forgotten to fasten the coin compartment), the
credit cards are somewhere in the abyss (okay you forgot to put your Visa back
in your wallet after you bought the sunblock that is now oozing into the
Why pay all that money on
psychoanalysis? An examination of your purse can be quite
revealing. If you suffer from the same kind of purse chaos described by
Nora Ephron you might be feeling scattered and frenzied, perhaps taking on too
Now, if your purse is well
organized- credit cards in their designated wallet compartment, currency
in chronological order, lipstick cap on tight- it could indicate a need to
loosen up a bit, take a vacation with a little risk to it- ziplining through
the rain forest in Honduras perhaps.
Maybe an analysis indicates
you need to shed extra baggage- that pesky cousin freeloading off you; that
clingy co-worker appealing to you once too often for advice. What kind of
baggage are you carrying around? What might you
eliminate or throw away? How might you simplify your life a bit?
This is post five of Be
Brave. Lose the Beige’s 12 days of New Year’s Resolutions. This resolution is
directed at Lady Boomers and their empty nests.
Ah, the empty nest, a
syndrome that simultaneously fills us with dread and delight. The prospect of
our children leaving home potentially evokes a multitude of anxieties. (Often
this anticipatory anxiety is for naught when our children ricochet back to
their rooms when life out of the nest, with it’s pesky responsibilities,
thwarts their efforts at independence).
“What’s in Your Empty
Nest?” is a question we should ask ourselves as we rebuild our nests and
make room for our own dreams. Of course there will still be some
“room” (although perhaps a shared one alongside your guitar, art
supplies and exercise equipment) for the kids to come home on the weekends. I
am here to testify, it is possible to create a fun, interesting life after the
nest empties, fills back up, and empties out again. So, Lady Boomers, what’s in
or out of your empty nest? Here are a few possibilities:
(1) yappy foo foo
dog; (2) golf bag complete with driver (with enormous club head), putter,
irons, ball retriever, pink balls, great outfit, lessons with cute golf pro;
(3) Eiffel Tower or other fantastic destinations; (4) extra branches in case
baby birds ricochet back to their rooms, (5) tickets to a Broadway show (ON
Broadway); (6) cap, gown and one more diploma to add to your CV; (7) membership
to local YMCA; (8) lots of gift cards to restaurants.
Have a blast!