NEXT006 The Dirty Little Secret at the End of the Road

Posted on : 16-04-2011 | By : Lynn | In : End of the Road, Featured

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Do you have a loved one in a “skilled nursing facility” or perhaps you may be looking down the end of the road  towards such a place for yourself? Well then you know the “dirty little secret at the end of the road” that most of us don’t talk about and if we do talk about it, the rest of us don’t listen.  It’s just not a very pretty scenario.  And for those of us who have grown up in the U.S., we don’t like to look at many things that aren’t pretty.

Let me be the next one in line to say that a.) I’m going to keep myself very healthy physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially so that I don’t have to depend on outside institutions to take care of me and b.) I’m a huge crusader for creating a different way of aging and living such as small 5-10 home communities with a main dining, living and library room for all to share as well as a separate quarter for nurses and doctors.  I have just enough entrepreneurial blood in me to know that this is one of the next big waves to create and there is a lot of opportunity out there but only have enough energy to create it with friends for ourselves and encourage it to be copied.

Helping a good friend to enter a senior skilled nursing facility this week definitely triggered all my flight or fight responses. She is not happy there, is miserable and wants out. I “knew” from friends and family that have shared such experiences with me in the past that this kind of reaction is par for the course, but it’s one thing to “know” and an entirely other thing to experience it.  Especially when you’re like me and just want everyone to be happy.  I will say that when we went out to the smoking area so that she could enjoy her two cigarettes for the hour (don’t ask…) I met two pretty cool smokers , both about my friend’s age, who were nice and full of information.  My thoughts were confirmed that if anyone could figure out a way around the system, the smokers would.  And they had!  These people seemed happy and had both been at this particular home for about a year.

I know it must be scary to lose the power over yourself physically, mentally and financially by degrees and then to find yourself with what worldly goods you could fit, in a room about as small as the inside of a small suitcase.  Trust me, it’s small but at least it’s private.  I think this is only one way that many end our days because I know others who have created pathways for their end days that fit with who they are and what they are and it is because they were willing to look at the hard truths of life.  Still, it’s one of those dirty little secrets that as a society, especially an American society, we seem to sweep under the rug and not talk about very much.  Now that more and more Boomers are reaching the spot in our lives that we have to pay attention to such things, maybe more voice and impact can be given to how we want to handle the end for ourselves and how we can create a plan.

I, for one, know that I sure want to be in control of the kind of environment and people I surround myself with and enjoy in the twilight years of my life, what about you?

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Blog #28 Getting Older With Grace and Aplomb

Posted on : 18-04-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I’m wondering if it would be useful for me to write a book of sorts on how to grow older with grace and aplomb (neither of which I have simultaneously for very long at any one time).

I remember both my parents telling me at various times in my adult life that they felt like a teenager. My dad still beats the pants of many people on the tennis courts at the young age of 77 and my mom walks her Great Pyrenees on a regular basis along the road that meanders through the hill country estates where they live. I have an aunt and uncle who hiked to the top of Enchanted Rock with David and I (at 79 and 81 respectively) another aunt who still rides, breeds and boards horses (just turned 81) and another uncle who is looking for his next career after a long successful career as an estate attorney (he’s 71). All this to say I sure have it in my genes to live long and prosper.

But as Betty Davis said, “getting old ain’t for sissies”. Especially American sissies. Especially Texas women sissies. And most especially Austin, Texas women who are getting older. I haven’t looked at the stats for older women in Austin but I suspect that we have a few 100 prides of cougars in various locations throughout the city. Very gorgeous women (and men too).

I met with one such woman today for coffee to brainstorm about being her manager/producer/assistant for a television show she is considering. I will keep this person’s identity under wraps until she is ready to make this whole thing public but let me say that she is in her mid-40’s, has eyes the color of amber and wears no less than 2 inch heels at any one time (can run up and down hills effortlessly in them and not break a sweat). She is even more beautiful inside than outside which may be hard for some people to see through to because of her outside beauty.

But I digress (I really hope someone puts that quote on my gravestone)…What does all this have to do with getting older with grace and aplomb? Well, for me it is about reconciling being a woman with energy and enthusiasm of a teenager and wanting to be attractive and sensual AND not getting so caught up in the outside trappings that I totally get lost from the connection with a higher power.

Than I stumble upon an opportunity for my higher power to humble me. I must have signed up for this because this seems to happen quite frequently for me.

Today I tried a little FB gadget to see what celebrity I look like. Well, as you may have noticed, this is not posted for all to see. Do you want to know why? I used the photo from my profile photo that Randal Ford took and chose a sequence of photos for the celebrity look alikes that fanned out to the one I most look alike. The good news is that it chose the one I most looked like was Jennifer Connelly. Not sure how it got to that, but okay. There were even a couple of nice surprises along the way to Jennifer (like Scarlett Johansen God Bless her) but the one that it started out with…..

The one that said less than 35% chance of me looking alike….

Was Sir John Gielgud….

OH MY GAWD!!!!!!

So, okay. Lesson #1555 for my book on getting older with grace and aplomb: DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANYONE and most certainly DO NOT SEE WHAT CELEBRITY YOU LOOK LIKE. Repeat as necessary.

Now I’m going to go feel good in my own skin and love on my husband! I know he doesn’t think I look like Sir John!

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