Let The Countdown To 60 Begin!

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersHappy New Year!

January 2017 marks the 10th year since I started blogging. A decade has passed since I typed my first blog post capturing my countdown to my 50th birthday. Times have changed but one thing remains constant — boomer women continue to do amazing things.

Some may say that as women age we become more invisible. I say that we’ve only just begun to shine. While we may not be celebrating a female boomer in the White House in 2017, we are a very large community of strong women, estimated at 38.44 million in the USA. As Girlpower Marketing CEO Linda Landers says, “Today’s 50-plus females are the healthiest, wealthiest, most active and influential generation of women in history.”

Arianna Huffington; The Huffington Post

Meeting Arianna Huffington and becoming a contributor to The Huffington Post was a blogging highlight in 2013.

My Countdown To 50
I began blogging in 2007 as an easy way to capture my thoughts and feelings as a boomer woman approaching her momentous 50th year. Little did I know that my countdown to 50 would turn out to be one of the most extraordinary years of my life. Halfway through the year, my husband M took ill. During almost seven months while he was in the hospital, my blog posts became my outlet to share the overwhelming fears that engulfed me as my husband began to drift away. My community of readers became my salvation. I couldn’t wait to get home from the hospital each night to read your emails and comments. Your support made all the difference in helping me survive during that tumultuous time.

ayearto50.blogspot.com; boomer women; post 50

From “Loneliness to Loveliness”
My husband M passed away shortly before our 24th anniversary and two weeks shy of my 50th birthday. I was a widow at 49, The loneliness was deeply felt and I wasn’t sure how I was going to lift myself up.  Continue reading

Women Who Inspired Me in 2016

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

I thought I’d finish off my last blog post for 2016 by honoring some of the talented speakers from the 2016 Pennsylvania Conference For Women. I’d like to share a few quotes that resonated with me from that day. Maybe they will prompt you to think or act differently in 2017.

#PENNWOMEN, Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2016

Nearly 9000 women attended the 13th annual conference in October. The theme was “The Power of Us: Amplify Your Voice.” It was before the historic election when our first female candidate, Hillary Clinton, was on the ballot for president of the United States. It’s interesting thinking about these quotes now — after the November results. To me, these women’s words are even more powerful and the theme more important. Maybe that’s why I signed up for the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st.

Anita Hill Inspired Me
“You are here to be part of a movement that will help all of us move forward together,” civil rights pioneer Anita Hill said. “There are direct business costs related to harassment,” Anita said, noting the need to end ongoing harassment against women in the workplace, 25 years after she testified during the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. “Time, energy and resources are diverted from work into litigation and court. So ending harassment is everybody’s business.”

Anita Hill, attorney and author; #PENNWOMEN

Anita turned 60 in July and is now a professor of law at Brandeis University. She said that despite the harsh treatment she received when she testified against Thomas, she will “continue to stand up and speak out” around equal education and employment protections for women. Quoting lawmaker and former presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, Anita said, “I was, am, and will always be a catalyst for change.”

Continue reading

A Gift Book To Inspire and Celebrate Retirement

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenAs a blogger, many books pass my desk for review. One that caught my eye this season is Hello Someday by Kobi Yamada and John Christianson. It’s a gift book to inspire and celebrate retirement. It’s from Compendium, one of my favorite publishers of motivational gifts and journals. (Note: Read to end for Rafflecopter giveaway.)

I retired from my full-time career in my mid-fifties and wish I had this book to guide me. According to the publishers at Compendium, “In the next 15 years, more than 20% of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65.” That means a lot of baby boomers may be retiring. However, just because you are retiring doesn’t mean you can’t pursue other passions.

That’s where Hello Someday comes in. It offers an optimistic attitude about retirement with questions and activities to get you thinking about and designing the next chapter of your life.

Hello Someday; Compendium; NYNOW; retirement; holiday gifts

“Hello Someday” makes a great gift for a future retiree.

I enjoyed this book so much that I asked if I could interview one of the authors. I wanted to know more from those who created Hello Someday. Co-author John Christianson shared his thoughts: Continue reading

“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 Post 50 Yoga Journey: A New Perspective on the Body and Mind

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessIt’s been a while since I shared progress on my post 50 journey to become a yoga instructor. Through my education at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, I’m gaining a new perspective on the union between the body and the mind.

Our Amazing Bodies
In prior posts, I told you about my deepening knowledge of anatomy and physiology. This spring, I decided to re-audit A+P. Our bodies are very complex with so many muscles, bones, limbs, joints, and organs – it’s truly amazing how everything works together, or sometimes doesn’t work together when you don’t take care of yourself. It’s been said that a consistent yoga practice can help resolve “the issues in the tissues.”

yoga, transformation, boomer wellness, anatomy + physiology

I learned a lot from yoga instructor N and her companion Raja.

The Power of Prana
I introduced you to prana, the Sanskrit word for “life force” and demonstrated different breathing techniques – Dirgha and Nadi Shodhana – to move prana through the body. Over the past several months, I’ve learned additional ways to use breath to calm and focus the mind, build lung capacity, and activate energy in the body.  From Ujjayi, great sound breath, to  Kapalabhati, skull shining breath, Sama Vritti to Vishama Vritti, both with a counting rhythm (Sama is equal counts with inhale and exhale and Vishama has a longer exhale) – I’ve witnessed how marrying breath with movement can bring greater benefits to the body and mind.

yoga, nadi shodhana, pranayama, prana, meditation, life after 50

I practice meditation with Nadi Shodhana breathing, alternate nostril breath, to help lower my blood pressure and relax.

The Artistry of A Yoga Sequence
My artistry of asanas has multiplied with a broad portfolio of poses to choose from as I enhance my own practice and craft sequences to teach others. There are joint-freeing series, reclining poses, seated poses, standing poses, backbends, forward bends, twists, and inversions. There are the three-dimensional aspects of poses, their Sanskrit names, and proper alignments. There are key benefits, precautions, and contraindications for poses, plus modifications and assists for those who may need help.

yoga, asanas, Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, reinvention post 50

Our instructors L and M show us the correct alignment and assists for poses.

We begin each sequence with centering. “Let your thoughts go. Bring your mind to the mat as well as your body,” said my instructor L. We end with savasana, known as corpse pose, the most important asana of them all. It’s when the body and the mind totally relax lying flat on the mat and the goodness of all the other poses melts into every cell. Continue reading

A Cute Chick Flick Sure To Warm The Mature Woman’s Heart

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenMuch has been written in the media about the post 50 invisible woman. It’s been said that women of a certain age fade into the woodwork or fall out of favor as they age.

In the new movie, Hello, My Name Is Doris, I bet you’ll do the opposite and fall in love with the endearing post 50 (actually post 60) female character named Doris. Played by two-time Academy award-winning actress Sally Field, Doris is far from invisible. You’ll also warm to Doris’ handsome co-worker John, the much younger man she pursues, played by the charismatic Max Greenfield.

My BFF L and I went to a special preview of this grownup chick flick this week, which opens nationwide March 18th. It’s a great movie to see with your girlfriends and equally good to take mom to. (Wish my mom was still around, she would have enjoyed this movie.)

Sally Field does a superb job as the eccentric, ever-single Doris, who works as an administrative assistant at a design firm by day and goes home alone to her Staten Island stuff-filled home each night.  When we meet Doris, she is engulfed in grief after losing her mom. Unlike her brother who married and had a family, Doris remained a caregiver to her mom during her entire adult life.

Hello, My Name Is Doris; boomer movies; Sally Field; Max Greenfield

Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions. Credit: Aaron Epstein

Continue reading

Empowering Women In The Art of Wayfinding

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThis week I spoke with Ann Hoffman Ruffner, founder of Wayfinding Women, a connecting, coaching and travel company for women. Ann shared her own post 50 transformation journey with me and discussed how she is empowering  women worldwide to realize their dreams, live joyfully, and positively transform their world. I think you’ll enjoy learning about Ann, her company, and her upcoming retreats for women.

Q: Tell me a little about your background?
A: “I am considered a connector, a change facilitator, a creator, so to speak, of an experiential sisterhood of empowered and joyful women.

In addition to my 30 years as a therapist, I have 20+ years of extensive leadership experience as an educator and administrator in mental health. In 2007, I co-founded a nonprofit organization, The Partnership for Mental Health, Inc. For the past 8 years, I have served as president of this organization, leading the collaborative of 30+ organizations from the SW Ohio and Northern Kentucky region in educating our communities and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness as well as increasing awareness and understanding of suicide prevention.

I have been a lifelong advocate for women’s safety and well-being.”

Ann Hoffman-Ruffner, Wayfinding Women

Ann Hoffman-Ruffner is founder of Wayfinding Women

Q: What is Wayfinding Women and why did you create your company?
A: Wayfinding Women is the connecting-coaching-travel company I created after deciding to leave my work as a therapist and administrator in 2014. I decided I wanted to create joyful experiences of connectedness where women are inspired and supported to discover and celebrate their gifts and purposes to better serve themselves and the world.

Throughout my adult life, Shari Biesboer, —my BFF since we were both four-years-old —and I have gone on what we call WW’s (Women’s Weekends/Weeks). These getaways helped us manage the demands of our hectic lives by allowing us to recharge, connect with one another, and reconnect with the truest version of ourselves. We always came back stronger and better women.

During one of these getaways in 2011, we began talking about how we wished to share this experience with other women, to create trips that would allow them to feel all the joy we do from friendship, travel and time to reflect.

Wayfinding Women, self-care retreats for women,

Women participate in cooking classes as part of Wayfinding Women self care retreats.

The year we both turned 50, we went to Europe. While there, Shari and I talked more about the idea. We were reading Finding Your Way in a Wild New World by Martha Beck, a Harvard professor turned life coach (and made famous by Oprah). We related to her holistic approach and concepts of “Wordlessness” and “Oneness.” It spoke of the ancient art of “wayfinding” and seemed to call me to a new purpose. Continue reading

A Special Video Summit for Post 50 Women

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersReserve your front row seat! On February 19th, I’ll be a featured guest for an online video summit from author Andrea Pflaumer entitled “Vital, Vivacious, and Visible after 50.”  Taping occurred via Skype a few weeks ago and I haven’t seen the episode yet. (Hope I kept my neck up during the interview so my wrinkles didn’t overwhelm the screen.)

Shopping for the Real You

Andrea Pflaummer; boomer women, boomers, life after 50

Andrea Pflaumer is author of “Shopping For The Real You.”

Andrea Pflaumer is the author of Shopping for the Real You – 10 Steps to a Better Wardrobe for Every Women: Fashionistas, Fashion Phobes and the over 50. Her articles on art, fashion, and shopping have appeared in local and national publications, including the San Francisco Examiner, Oakland Magazine, East Bay Express, San Francisco Weekly, and the East Bay Monthly. As an educator, she has trained thousands on the principles of image and personal branding. Andrea is also a leader in the human potential movement through her work as a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique.

In in the past few years Andrea has had conversations with her readers about fashion and style. But as much as they’ve discussed these topics, they’ve also explored what our lives are going to look like moving beyond our 50’s.

“Women want to know how to keep looking good, but we also want to know how to stay relevant, hip, and lively into our 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, and beyond,” said Andrea. “That means how to stay healthy, how to maintain a sense of humor, how to engage in activity that is meaningful for us, how to expand our horizons and our circle of friends and acquaintances so that we keep growing instead of shrinking – literally and figuratively.”

“Vital, Vivacious, and Visible after 50” Online Video Summit
For her online video summit, Andrea interviewed a group of experts in fields ranging from personal style to health and wellness, from joyful aging to entrepeneurship – all geared toward those post 50 – as well as other midlife women, as she says, “who will be in this category before long!” Continue reading

How To Be “Younger Next Year” With Exercise

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessHappy New Year!

I’m back from the gym and finished my aerobic exercise with 20 minutes on the elliptical. My heart rate was at 70 – 85 percent of my target – a high endurance workout. (Go Judi! Go Judi! Go Judi!) I also completed some strength training and stretching with an hour yoga class. (Go Judi! Go Judi! Go Judi!)

Dr. Henry Lodge (also know as Harry) and Chris Crowley, authors of the Younger Next Year series would be proud. Harry’s first rule to help limit decay in an aging body is to “exercise six days a week for the rest of your life, especially during your life after 50.”  I had heard about this series, but never read any of the books until Younger Next Year for Women and their latest Younger Next Year The Exercise Program review copies arrived.

Younger Next Year, Chris Crowley, Henry S. Lodge, M.D.. aging, exercise

Henry S. Lodge, M.D. (Harry) (left) and Chris Crowley are authors of the “Younger Next Year” series.

Younger Next Year for Women
“Harry’s Rules will change your life,” says Dr. Oz. “It’s got all the tools that women need to achieve longer, sexier, and more passionate lives,” says Dr. Hutcherson, Codirector of New York Center for Women’s Sexual Health. Wow-o-wow. With more than 1.5 million copies of the series in print and a 10 year history of helping change lives for the better, I was curious to find out what passionate followers had discovered. Continue reading

It’s Time to Positively Rock In the New Year!

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThe new year is almost here. Feels like the past 12 months flew by. Does time speed up as we age? Some say it does.

Reflecting In The Rearview Mirror
While I’ve been doing a good job of practicing mindfulness and living in the present, come December I find myself looking back in the rearview mirror. There are more wrinkles on my post 50 neck and  face, but not for lack of anti-wrinkle creams and serums. Thanks to all the nice  PR reps from Loreal, AHAVA, EB5, and Beverly Hills Cosmeceuticals for keeping my skin care in check in 2015.

Loreal, AHAVA, EB5, Beverly Hills Cosmeceuticals

Thanks to all the PR reps who sent me anti-wrinkle creams and serums.

My blogging brought me other good fortunes this year, with a trip to Portugal on my first-ever Viking River Cruise and my first-ever international trip with my boyfriend L. It was an adventure and the best part is that L and I still love each other after eight days onboard.

Viking River of Gold Cruise, Portugal, Douro, river cruise, over 50, life after 50, boomer travel

My boyfriend L and I took our first-ever Viking River Cruise to Portugal.

In addition to my travels, 2015 brought great personal and professional growth as I started my training to become a yoga instructor at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies in Camden, NJ. Being a student again after more than 35+ years has not only physically stretched my body, but also required me to emotionally open my mind and spirit. The best news is that I passed my first semester. (Go Judi! Go Judi! Go Judi!)

yoga, The Eight-Fold Path of Ashtanga Yoga

In 2015, I started my training to be a yoga instructor.

Time To Rock In The New Year
The January magazines are on my night stand with bold headlines for 2016: Vogue says “Be Yourself!” InStyle shares “How To Get Away With The Best Year Ever!” AARP The Magazine advises “Experts Agree: Slow Down To Live A Longer, Healthier Life.” Oprah says in O, “No moment but this one is guaranteed, so I’m ready to be in each as the healthiest, strongest, fittest, most conscious, most alive me I’ve ever been.”

I hear you all. My headline is to “Positively Rock In The New Year!” That’s right. I plan to positively welcome 2016 with my BFF L and her hubby and my boyfriend L when we celebrate New Year’s Eve together – if we can all stay up until midnight. Then my plan is to continue to positively rock in 2016 – each and every day. (BTW, I’m wearing a Rock Cotton – Cotton For Your Body, Rock For Your Soul – tee-shirt dress that the nice PR rep N sent to me. Each shirt comes with a matching rock necklace. My rock was onyx – with properties of strength, positivity and stamina. Perfect for my 2016 theme.)

Rock Cotton, Rock Cotton tee shirt dress, yoga

I intend to rock in the new year wearing my Rock Cotton tee shirt dress.

So Excited For 2016
I know I’m supposed to live in the moment, but there are so many things I’m excited about in 2016: Continue reading