Why I’m Voting For Replens™ in the 2016 Election

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

Sit down. We have to talk. There’s a crisis that’s about to happen in the coming years that none of the presidential candidates are talking about. It’s bigger than global warming. It’s “so huge” that it may cause emotional upheaval in this country due to the enormity of the population that is currently — and is going to be — impacted by this unfortunate feminine physical condition.

What am I talking about? Can you guess?

The Trends Tell The Story
I’ll give you some hints. It has to do with post 50 women. Just listen to these stats. These facts are from The National Association of Baby Boomer Women:

By 2030, 54% of the 78 million American Boomers will be women.
By 2030, there will be 71.5 million Americans age 65 or older, more than double the number currently within that demographic. And more than half of them will be women. We’re a mammoth population that is growing. And you know what physical changes happen during our post 50 years?

Can you guess what I’m talking about now?

Okay, let me give you some additional clues:
It happens during menopause, or sometimes when you are peri-or-post.
It’s part of the changes that occur during our midlife years, especially with the decrease in estrogen in our body.
You may even be experiencing it now and don’t know what to do.

Still trying to figure it out?

Okay, I’m going to tell you. It’s vaginal dryness. No wonder none of the candidates are taking on this issue. There is nothing to debate. (Although you would think Hillary would be aware of the importance of solving this problem and have a Town Hall on the subject. It might make her more relatable.) 

vaginal dryness; Replens; post 50 women; baby boomer women

Boomer women have been a force for change since the 60s, so we can talk openly about this subject and others. There’s no need to live in what feels like a desert of dryness. My friends at the Replens™ brand know the repercussions and have figured out solutions. They clearly see what’s ahead with the increasing population of post 50 women. They want us to be happy and well moisturized for our second act. They asked me to share their news with you so I thought I’d tackle the topic head on.

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“70Candles!” Shares Advice on Positive Aging

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersLast month, The New York Times journalist Jane Brody wrote an article about “Thriving at Age 70 and Beyond.” I enjoy reading Jane’s weekly columns on Personal Health, but this one was especially appealing. Jane mentioned a blog called 70Candles!, with stories from women in their 70s, and a book by the same title written by bloggers (and now authors) Jane Giddan and Ellen Cole.

While I am fast approaching my 60s, I was intrigued by the advice that these two long-term friends had to share about how women are “thriving in their 8th decade.” I contacted Jane and Ellen to ask if they would participate in an interview for my blog. Their wisdom about positive aging is very inspiring for baby boomer women who are following in their footsteps. It’s great to know that there is much to look forward to into our 70s, 80s, 90s, and maybe 100s! (Note: if you cannot view the video below please click here.)

A Practical and Positive Guide
The book, 70Candles! Women Thriving in Their 8th Decade, is a compilation from the conversations that Jane and Ellen had during gatherings with women of this era and from many of the women who contributed to their blog. The authors do a great job pulling all the pieces together into as they say, “a practical and positive guide to have at your side as you traverse your seventies.” Included are lessons learned from their gatherings, a review of pertinent literature on this topic, and a look at the future. In the back section is a handy reference with relevant web sites and additional readings.

The Taos Institute, the publishers of the book, kindly provided a copy of 70Candles! for a giveaway. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment on how you intend to stay vibrant during your second act.

Now let’s hear more from Jane and Ellen: Continue reading

My First-Ever Twitter Interview With @Encorepreneur

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThis week, I was asked to participate in a #EncoreChat interview on Twitter @Encorepreneur, hosted by Judi Bonilla, aging expert. Judi runs Encorepreneur 101, a resource for entrepreneurs 50+. Through her website, she offers advice, information, inspiration, and resources to boomers who are pursuing startups at 50+. As Judi says “Our philosophy includes lean startup, quick launch, and mistakes are an opportunity to grow your business.”

Judi Bonilla, @encorepreneur, #EncoreChat

Judi Bonilla tweets at @Encorepreneur and hosts weekly #EncoreChat.

Each day, Judi tweets @Encorepreneur on growing your business and weekly she hosts #EncoreChat a Twitter Chat for entrepreneurs. In addition, she also blogs and pins articles of interest for entrepreneurs.

So, here’s my interview. Judi taught me about Storify and how to share my interview on my blog. I hope it works. Here goes. Let me know what you think. Maybe I’ll share more Storify stories in the future.

Judi Continue reading

Boomers Play Role In Changing Family Trends

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThis week, I had a chance to talk with Will Palley, Trend Strategist at JWT, about the ad agency’s “Meet The New Family” research study. It was clear from the report that boomers are playing a major role in the evolving family structure both in the USA and abroad.

“The family is such an important concept around the world,” said Will. “What it means to be a family is changing. Boomers are an untapped opportunity.”

The Changing Nuclear Family
According to the report, the classic nuclear family is not only declining, but there is new gender dynamics between husbands and wives. Dads are taking on more domestic duties, while more women are becoming the primary breadwinner. (Once again I was ahead of the curve. When my kids were young, I became the breadwinner and my late hubby was a stay-at-home dad. It was rare in the 1990s. Glad to see that co-parenting is becoming more popular.)

The report highlights the growth in same-sex couples and childless couples. In addition, it says that “urbanites are increasingly weaving together families out of friends, as millennials are constantly connected to social networks but often physically distant from families.”

Silver, Solo, and Multigenerational Families

life after 50, over 50, Will Palley

Will Palley is Trends Strategist at JWT agency.

Boomers are impacting the growth in silver families, as lifespans increase with longer, healthier, more active lives. The report says that “boomers are less likely to see middle and old age as a time when life slows down and more likely to re-evaluate the status quo and seize new opportunities.” (Will and I discussed how boomers are reinventing and transforming during the second half of their lives. Mind you, I think Will is a millennial who could easily be my son D’s age. I was glad to hear that he recognized his elders who are positively paving the path for his generation.)

 

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Tips on Optimal Aging from the Louisville Innovation Summit

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersWelcome to Louisville” boasted the signs on the streets when I arrived in Kentucky last month for the Louisville Innovation Summit: America’s New Frontier in Aging. I was invited to attend this first-ever summit and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had never visited Louisville. It was cold and blustery outdoors, but there was a warmth inside as the speakers revved up about the ‘tsunami of aging’ that will shift demographics in the U.S. and across the world during the next few decades. (According to the UN Population Division, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. are expected to be 65 or older by 2035. I will be in that group. Will you?*)

Louisville Summit on Innovation In Aging, life after 50, optimal aging, boomer women

Louisville hosted the Summit on Innovation In Aging

At first, it was scary thinking about the growth of the elderly population. A tsunami is very mammoth, very large, very overbearing. What will our ecosystem look like? What kind of healthcare will there be?  How will we manage our well-being?  How will technology impact our health and our homes? Will more and more people live to be 100 or greater than 100?

As the talks continued, my fears faded. I was jazzed by the University of Louisville Institute for Optimal Aging and its mission to expand the knowledge base for optimal aging. Go UL! Go UL! Go UL!

Louisville Summit on Innovation in Aging, optimal aging, life after 50, over 50, boomer women

Christine Costello from the Business Innovation Factory in Rhode Island shared research on optimal aging.

 

I was energized from speakers like Christine Costello of the Business Innovation Factory in Rhode Island, who shared research about transforming aging experiences through social connections. Christine mentioned the Golden Girl Network of shared housing for aging women. Continue reading

Mastering Master Class

When the publicist for “Master Class: Living Longer, Stronger, and Happier” sent an advance copy of Peter Spiers’ new book to me, I  knew it would jump to the top of my pile. After reading the first few chapters, I was hooked.  “I want to be a Master during this next phase of my life,” I said to myself.  “What does it take to master the Master Way of Life?”

Spiers is Senior Vice President of Road Scholar, formerly known as Elderhostel, the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and educational travel. Much of his book is based on research and feedback from past travel participants. Elderhostel changed its brand name a few years ago when they realized that for Baby Boomers the world “elder” is no longer acceptable. (Much agree with the name change. Ooh, ooh, ooh, soon I will be of the age to participate in Road Scholar trips — can’t wait.)

According to Spiers, the four key dimensions of the Master Way of Life are socializing, moving, thinking, and creating. Many who are Masters gravitate to activities that combine a few of these dimensions like gardening, participating in book clubs, volunteering, walking with friends for exercise, maintaining a website or blog (me, me, me, meee!) or other activities.

Spiers says: “For everyone, no matter what the specific trigger, this stage starts when something causes you to look up and see that you’ve been running at full speed, often out of an admirable obligation to care for someone else, and to realize that it’s time to take care of yourself for a change.” (Hmm, hmm, this is starting to sound like someone I know. Ah, yes, this sounds like me, me, me, meee! I do hear that small voice in the back of my head. It is planting new dreams and reawakening old ones. It is starting to scream pretty loud.)

Spiers says that “the more you make of this stage of your life, the longer it can last.” He says that “true Masters – are still going strong in this life stage in their eighties and even nineties.” (I think my mother who is 90 is definitely a true Master. You go girl. Yes, you keep going and I’m going to follow. And so is my sister N.)

Spiers says that “this life stage can last 30 or even 40 years, making it for some extraordinary people the longest, happiest, and most enriching and satisfying period in their lives.” (Wow-o-wow, I am so excited to become a Master.)

Spiers provides a step-by-step guide with exercises, charts and activities to become your own Master. He also provides life lessons from those who are already mastering Master Class. As part of this blog post, Spiers offered to share one of his own life lessons. Here’s his story:

“My childhood friend Kevin and I reconnected through Facebook; we hadn’t been in touch since the day in 1972 when we graduated from high school.  Despite the gap of time we soon discovered a shared passion—running.  Kevin was more dedicated, tracking his distance and pace with a GPS watch and posting his runs to a website called RunKeeper.  I was more casual, running 10 or 12 miles each week to Kevin’s 20 or more and keeping no records.  Kevin’s approach inspired me; at the end of 2011 we formed a goal together to run 2,012 miles in 2012.  I got a GPS watch for Christmas and launched into the quest on New Year’s Day.

Things went well through April.  The winter was mild in the Northeast, my favorite dirt trail stayed blessedly clear of snow, and I consistently reached my goal of 84 miles each month.  (I’d even lost eight pounds since the Holidays!)  With a few days left until the first third of the year ended my total mileage stood at 324, 12 miles short of where I needed to be at April’s end to stay on pace.  I ran nine miles on Sunday, April 29th, and needed only three more on Monday.

Five years ago I began to experience intermittent pain in my left knee which my sports doctor diagnosed as arthritis.  The pain came and went and, even when it came, it was tolerable.  I adjusted, cutting exercises like squats and lunges from my gym workouts, and not climbing stairs two at a time.  But I kept running, racking up around 600 miles each year and doing some five- and 10-kilometer races.  A thousand miles in a year didn’t seem like a big stretch, though I guess I knew in the back of my mind that a collision with fate might result.

 So I ran my long weekend run on Sunday, April 29th, and the next day, despite long habit, I didn’t take the day off.  After work that Monday, the last day of April, I ran an easy three miles; reaching the milestone—running those last three miles to push myself through the checkpoint—seemed more important than resting.

The next day, May 1st, I got out of bed and knew immediately something was wrong.  My knee felt stiff, my range of motion limited.  All day the pain gathered; by late afternoon I felt like a giant had put one hand on my thigh, another on my calf and twisted the two parts of my leg in opposite directions.  I swallowed some ibuprofen, made an appointment with my knee doctor, and waited.

 Within days the pain began to subside, but I knew better than to risk running for a while.  I swam a bit and, after a week or ten days, tentatively ventured out to walk a few miles at a medium clip.  A week later I started running again, taking it short and slow.  On the last Sunday in May I ran five miles, and on the first Sunday in June—just two days before my doctor’s appointment—I ran seven.

The next day I was again in a lot of pain; I could have scripted my doctor’s appointment. We compared x-rays from five years ago with new ones and the incremental wear on my knee was obvious.  It wasn’t anything catastrophic—just a steady grinding, another notch or two ratcheted toward never running again.

 Don’t stop running, the doctor told me.  Just not so far and so often.  Reality had finally caught me, slamming right into my thousand-mile dream.

 I’m fifty-seven.  It’s getting harder for me to hear conversations in a noisy bar or restaurant.  My shoulder sometimes aches, thanks to tendonitis and a couple of long-ago bicycling accidents.  And now my left knee was sending a message I couldn’t ignore.

 Despite these inevitable signs of aging, I’m not throwing in the towel.  Physical fitness is too important, not only in combating everything from heart disease to diabetes, but for cognitive health, too.  Our culture separates mind and body, forgetting that the brain is just another organ, dependent on a healthy cardio-vascular system to provide it with oxygen and sugar.

 I’ll adjust and find another, lower-impact form of exercise to obsess about.  As a teenager I swam competitively and, though I don’t cycle as much as I used to, my Cannondale is still hanging in the garage.  And the doctor didn’t say I couldn’t run at all, so… triathlon, anyone?

I hope Peter Spier’s story inspires you to think differently about how you want to Master your own journey during your life after 50. Let me know what you plan to do. Share a comment or two.

Judi

A Peek Into The Future With Ford

I recently attended the Go Further With Ford Trend Conference sponsored by The Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan.  This was the second year I was invited. (Wonder if they spoke to my astrologer from several years ago who said that I stay ahead of the trends? Or maybe they invited me because I’m just such a trendy boomer girl who likes to keep her boomer girlfriends up-to-date on all the trends.)

What’s that?  You want to know all that I learned at Ford. Here’s a peek into the future:

Urbanization: Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s Head of Global Trends Future, said that by 2050 there will be a global population of nine billion. Plus, that population is aging, both here in the USA and also in emerging markets that are not ready for it. Sheryl said that by 2050 more people will be over 60. Mobility is going to be an issue around the world, that’s one of the reasons that Ford is interested in this trend. (Ooh, how old will I be by then? Let me do the math. Ah, if I’m still ticking I’ll be 92. And if I am still ticking or even if I’m in heaven, I may still be driving because Ford is going to add technology that may allow my car to virtually drive on its own with driver alerts, traffic jam and park assists, lane departure warnings and a whole lot more.)

Carol Coletta, a specialist in developing cities and creative communities also spoke about the growth of cities. Carol said that the average homebuyer today is paying more for a house with a higher walkscore and if there is good transit, they’ll pay even more. While millennials like city life, so do many baby boomers who often move back into the city when they become empty-nesters. According to Carol, cities underpin the economy and offer more variety, discovery, and opportunity. (Hmm, hmm, hmm, after hearing Carol talk all about the benefits of city living I was tempted to go to walkscore.com to check the scores of my home.)

Streamline & Simplification: As Parrish Hanna, Global Director of Human Machine Interface for Ford said, this trend is all about what German Painter Hans Hofmann refers to as “the ability to eliminate the unnecessary, so the necessary can speak.” With so much technology available now, we’re connected all the time. Parrish said that over 40 percent of those who are always tuned in really desire a slower lifestyle and want to de-clutter and prioritize what is most important. (Amen, I second that philosophy. Between my emails, my iPad, iPhone, iHome and Macbook, my TV remote, my cable remote, my DVD remote, my DVR buttons, I always feel like I am on overdrive. It’s like “The Busy Trap” that Tim Kreider wrote about last week in the New York Times.) Not to worry, in the future, there will be voice activated driver wellness right on the steering wheel – to sync my smartphone, check my heart rate, and sense my breathing patterns. The good thing is that Ford is testing these simplification systems on older drivers to ensure that they work on all generations.

Age of Accessible Design: Since I consider myself a fashionista, this trend was one of my favorites. That’s because it is about style and seduction. It’s about the desire for products and services that work and that also have good design. Guess who I met at this session? Do you see who is in the picture with moi? Yes, it is Christian Siriano, the youngest winner and fan favorite of Bravo’s “Project Runway.” (I was very impressed with Christian and want to follow him on Twitter @csiriano. He shares his design process so if you are a fashionista like me you may want to follow him too.)

Eco-Psychology: I saved the best trend for last. That’s because DO YOU KNOW WHO I MET? Yes, I am shouting. DO YOU SEE WHO TOOK A PICTURE WITH MOI?  Yes, it is Adrian Grenier from Entourage. Yes, he is as gorgeous in real life as he is on TV. (All the female bloggers sat in the front row for this session.) Adrian is doing some really cool stuff that is aligned with this trend on his new website called SHFT. Eco-psychology is about an awareness of health and well-being and the relationship with nature and how we heal our bodies and ourselves with nature. This trend is about the butterfly effect, about how each one of us can make small changes now to improve the environment, that will impact big changes in the future. I think when I purchase my next car I may look at a hybrid model.  By then, my new car my be able to find the location of a nearby charging station, track my CO2 emissions and plan the most efficient driving routes for all my trips.

My post would not be complete without highlighting some of the interesting bloggers I met during the conference.  Check them out.  Some are boomers and some are mommies.  Some write about entertainment and some write about travel and technology.

Elise’s Ramblings by Elise Crane Derby

MidLifeBloggers by Jane Gassner

GeekGirlfriends by Christina Tynan-Wood

Everything’s A Buzz by Michelle Spreckels

Connect with your Teens by Jennifer Comet Wagner

Traded My BMW for a Minivan by Elizabeth Peterson

Enjoy…see you in the future.

Judi

P.S. – Calling all boomer girls…this blog is my newly updated site. I hope you like it. As part of the relaunch, anyone who signs up to receive my posts via email or leaves a comment on any blog post during the month of July, or sends a note to me with feedback about my newly designed blog, will be entered into a raffle for a copy of “I Remember Nothing And Other Reflections” in remembrance of the late writer Nora Ephron. (Note: To leave a comment on a post you can click the little bubble near the title of the post.)