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Resolved: No 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

2017 New Year's Resolutions

No 2017 New Year’s Resolutions for me: I’m doing what I did last year. Find what makes you happy and do more of it.

Resolved: Make No 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

At the beginning of this New Year I am making no new 2017 New Year’s resolutions. Except maybe that I will continue doing what I’m already doing.

I know  2016 was a rotten year for many people. But it was a pretty good personal one for me even though Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential election. Now my stoic old heart is broken and the whole country is DOOMED. (I’m STILL With Her, by the way.)

Last year I stopped caring about a lot of things that had hindered me ‘lo these many years…61 to be exact.

I stopped worrying about what other people think of me. I finally like me…and really…isn’t that enough?

So, if I were to make some 2017  New Year’s resolutions, I would just stick with what is working for me.

  • I stopped putting myself down. No, I didn’t suddenly become an arrogant asshole. I merely stopped saying self-deprecating things, trying to make other people feel OK by pointing out all my flaws. I finally learned that when I do that, all they can see is my flaws.  And they think less of me for them. I still tell funny stories about myself, but not to make other people feel better.  I no longer spill the beans on all my insecurities.
  • Ironically, I also stopped telling other people the “great things” I have done. I stopped being so insecure that I had to point out that I also might, maybe, possibly be worthy of their attention.as-far-as-i-know-im-delightful
  • I stopped worrying about how I look. Yes…I still shower and wash my hair and occasionally wear make-up. I quit reading articles about how to look younger. I am 61 years old and I am quite fine with that, thank you very much. I look like I’m 61…and I am fine with that as well.
  • I stopped focusing on how fat I am.  I bought some larger pants that feel good when I wear them. Yes, they have elastic in the waist and I am grateful for that. It leaves my mind open to think about things I like to think about, like:

falling leaves,

happiness,

how good the winter sun feels on my face,

planning a doll house and making the furniture,

illustrating a book,

taking a walk,

reading a good book,

and hanging out with my grandkids.

I no longer focus on my uncomfortable britches. 🙂 🙂  🙂 Whew!

  • I stopped making excuses. If I don’t want to do something and I’m questioned about it, I say “Because I don’t want to.” If I want to do something…and someone questions me about my choices, I answer “Because I want to.” Next Question.
  • In 2016 I spent a lot of time thinking, laughing, working at things I enjoyed, writing, pursuing what is really important to me, traveling to places I’d never been, and looking at eagles and stars in the sky. It made me happy. Very happy indeed.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever heeded is this: Find what makes you happy and do more of that.

I did. I am. And in 2017, I think I’ll just keep on doing that.

 

 

Change of life … what matters to me now

Change of Life … what matters to me now

by Peggy Browning

Peggy Browning

Planting a tree in Costa Rica.

It’s time for a change again. Honestly I go through a major change of life about once every 5 years or so.

However, in the last five years, I have made more changes than I thought I was capable of. I sold the house I loved, moved to another state, quit the job that was supposed to give me pension and sustain me through the rest of my life.

Almost five years ago, I started a blog written specifically for women who were over 50. I wrote a book about how turning 50 had given me a boost toward living a fuller life. I wanted to share that little bit of insight with other women.  I was a bit before my time, as I usually am with any good idea that I find I want to do.

Being “before my time” doesn’t mean I’m a great success at anything. It usually means that I start a project…nobody likes it…I quit…then other people come along and make a success of a version of my idea. Not that they are stealing my idea. It’s not that at all. It’s just that good ideas are floating out in the Universe and lots of people pick up on those ideas.

What I’ve found out about the over-50 blogs is that they are a lot like Facebook. Everybody has an incredibly fashionable, totally spiritual, amazingly healthy and happy life on their blog. They eat off the good china, have goddess spa days, and treat themselves like the special people they are. The life that’s being touted as aging with style, aging with panache, aging with youth and vigor intact…well, it’s like a Being Over 50 is Great club. Clubs have rules… like how to look younger, how to have better sex even though you are not that interested but you know young people are so you try to be too, how to dress appropriately, how to wear your hair, and how to apply your make-up.

I’ve spent my life trying to wriggle free of rules. I see no reason to start following rules now. It takes all the fun out of things.

Change of life. Again.

Anyway…I am now 60 years old. And I’m feeling very  different than I did ten years ago. I feel like I’ve been there, done that, settled a lot of questions about life and love and whatnot. I’m now tired of encouraging women to seek their own way, to be mindful, and to follow their dreams.

My unsettled thoughts and feelings are now suddenly settled since this last birthday. When I was 50 and 50+ I was trying to follow a dream and re-set my life’s course. And I did it.

Now I’m tired of talking about it. I just want to live this crazy little life I’m engaged in. I’m having fun.

Another Change of life

Peggy Browning author

My 1955 name is Peggy. It was #51 in popularity that year. In 2015, I would be named Hailey, which is also #51 in popularity for this year.

Maybe 60 is the Magic Age. Could be.  But, I won’t be talking about how great being 60 is. I’m just going to enjoy it.

So I’m changing the premise of my website and blog. I’m just going to write about what I want to write about. That means I’ll be posting stories about where I go and what I did and what I read and what I cooked. I’m just writing about what I enjoy.

And I enjoy a lot of things.

I enjoy exploring this new place where I live. I enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories. I enjoy following the crazy politics of the state of Oklahoma. I enjoy writing and telling stories.

And one more change of life.

I will no longer be telling anyone how to age gracefully and gratefully. I’m just going to live my life and write about what concerns me.

And the rest of you folks under 60 are on your own because I’m not making any rules for you to follow!

Go forth and be happy. Or don’t. It’s your choice…and I have no advice to give you about how to act, dress, or have sex.

Stop by and visit with me sometime.  I will be right here, telling long-winded stories about the things I see and the people I meet and the things that matter to me.

World Poetry Day : My Favorite Poem…The Swing

Today is World Poetry Day and I’m Celebrating my favorite poem.

Every day is poetry day, but on World Poetry Day the whole world celebrates.

Celebrating World Poetry Day. How do you like to go up in a swing ? Image by Vlado/freedigitalphotos.net

How do you like to go up in a swing ?
Image by Vlado/freedigitalphotos.net

The poem is “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson.It reminds me of my Mama and my youngest granddaughter. It was my mother’s favorite poem and swinging is my granddaughter’s favorite activity.

Santa Claus brought my youngest granddaughter a swing set for Christmas. And I have been putting it together since then. I finished it last weekend with some help from her Mommy, her Uncle Rob, and her. It only took us 3 months or so to get it all put together.

The SwingIt is more than a swing set. It has a little trampoline, a slide, and a teeter-totter in addition to two swings.

 

 

Every time I started to work on the play set, my little helper sprang into action.

The Swing

“Look Grandma! I did it!” she said as she put some springs in the wrong place on the trampoline.

The Swing

Sitting in the box. Pretending it’s a boat. I stopped working on the swing set as we pretended to be floating down a river to find dinosaurs.

 

“Move over, Grandma. I can do it,” she said as she climbed on top of my back while I was trying to put the screw in the ever-so-slightly-off-center hole to attach a leg on the slide.

the Swing

An ever-eager, helpful little person just trying to assist Grandma while I screwed the damn slide together.

“I don’t want to stop, Grandma. Fine. I’m going in the house. You made me sad, Grandma,” she whined as she stomped away (because I told her to get off of me)…in to the house…slamming the door and accidentally locking me outside and in the backyard where we keep the gates locked to keep her in. With no house key, no gate key, no cell phone, no way to get back in.  I had to climb over the fence to go to the neighbor’s house and have him call 911 for us.

Thank you, Officer Jarrett of the Police Department and Mr. Webb our neighbor.

Anyway…now the swing is finally set up and she loves swinging. “Swing me high, swing me high, Grandma!” she says now. “Let’s go out and swing a little bit, Grandma. I can’t do it without you. ”

And she sings as she swings: “I love to swing! I love to swing! I love to swing! In my backyard!”  She giggles and squeals as she flies through the air. 

That’s her way of saying “I do think it the pleasantest thing ever a child can do.”

Find your favorite poem and Celebrate World Poetry Day.

The Swing

HOW do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall, 5
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown— 10
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

And here’s a talented little boy who loves to swing and sing, too.

Inspiring Women over 50: An Interview with Children’s Author, Margaret Arvanitis

Margaret Arvanitis chose writing as her second career. She started writing children's book after she turned 50.

Margaret Arvanitis started writing children’s books at the age of 50.

Source: Inspiring Women over 50: An Interview with Children’s Author, Margaret Arvanitis

What if we liked ourselves?

What if we liked ourselves?

we liked ourselves

“If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business.” —Gail Dines, professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston
image by stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

 

I’m serious. What would happen if we women decided that we liked ourselves just as we are?

If we accepted our age spots? If we accepted our body shape? If we accepted clothing as merely a utilitarian body covering to keep us warm and dry and comfortable? If we accepted our hair color just as it is? If we no longer lined our eyes with kohl or lengthened our lashes with mascara?

What would happen if we stopped searching for our beauty in a mirror and simply forgot about our looks? What would happen if we stopped dressing for each other and started dressing for ourselves? What would happen if we stopped thinking about how other people see us?

What would happen if we decided to use the time and money that we spend obsessing about outward appearances and did something more worthwhile?

A Fine Revolution

I’m thinking that we could start a revolution, if only we liked ourselves and stopped fretting about how we look. Am I the only one thinking this? Am I out of step with my gender?

I know that I am utterly exhausted with all this wasted effort.

If we took our minds off trying to staunch the flow of the fleeting beauty of our youth, maybe we could develop into more beautiful beings than we can now even imagine.

Maybe we could use our time and energy to find cures for common diseases. Maybe we could support the efforts of other women, rather than competing with them. Maybe we could prevent wars and promote peace. Maybe we would be more curious, more accepting, more giving, more loving, more creative, more inclusive.

Maybe if we decided to accept “us” and love “us”, we would decide to accept “them” and love “them” too. Maybe we would dance more, laugh more, love more and live more. And maybe, just maybe…that glow that we are longing for would shine from the inside and be recognized on the outside.

 

Dear Oprah: Don’t Mess with the Thin Woman Inside Me

dear Oprah

stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

Dear Oprah,

Oh my dear Oprah, I have listened to you speak about issues for more years now than I care to count.

You have done many good and inspiring things. Heck, you started a mini-revolution in the publishing industry just by recommending books to read. Dozens of authors can personally thank you for reading their book, suggesting it as a good read, and initiating a rocket launch for their book sales.

Lots of women listened when you spoke.They still do.

But, now you should listen to me.

It’s time that you give up on this weight loss thing. I don’t care what you personally do about your own weight, but stop trying to influence the rest of us.

Recently you said, dear Oprah, and I quote:

Inside every overweight woman is the woman she knows she can become. – Oprah –

 

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

I am already the woman I know I can become. I became her a long time ago.

I am sixty years old. And I finally feel OK about myself. I don’t need you to transfer your insecurities about your own weight issues to me. I don’t have any of those insecurities any more.

I’m over it.

I don’t have a thin woman inside me who is trying to get out. Long ago, that thin woman said “fuck it” and just started living her own life.

Now that woman in me is just fine with the way she looks and the way she feels and the way she dresses  and the make-up she wears. She is fabulous and smart and funny and kind and sarcastic and hard-working and creative and wise. And she’s soft in all the right places, especially her heart.

I like her a lot. She used to be such a whiny bitch, but she finally succumbed to age and red velvet cake and we get along just fine now.

So, please, dear Oprah…it is time we parted ways. I know you just bought 10% of Weight Watchers stock, but I don’t need you to tell me to that there’s someone wonderful inside me if I could just lose enough fat to find her.

I know where she is. And she’s happy. Leave her alone.

Grandma, Interrupted ZestNow

Grandma, Interrupted

by Peggy Browning

Grandma, Interrupted

Sometimes you have to take time from your exercise routine to wear a crown.

One year and one month ago, on my 59th birthday, I made a public declaration that I was taking my life and health back. I would exercise daily, eat well, lose weight, and take charge of lowering my blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol.

I was going to ride my bicycle, walk three miles daily, bend myself into yoga positions, and maybe even do some old-fashioned sit-ups. That was my plan. I was determined to stick to my regimen. I expected that I would be lighter, healthier, and happier at the end of one year.

Then, of course, the Universe intervened and interrupted my well-thought-out life plan that I had made…the one that included only me…the one that put ME first…the one that I thought would be the very best for me. The Universe merely laughed at my plans and threw a few obstacles in my path.

My single-mom daughter took another job in another town in another state. At the time of my lifestyle change declaration, she and my (then two-year-old) granddaughter lived approximately three city-blocks away from me. I offered to go along with them to be the live-in nanny-cook-and laundress.

Within one month of my sincere vow to lose weight, lower my blood pressure, blah…blah…blah… I also moved to another town in another state. And I started another job, if you could call it that. I stayed with my energetic, curious, and talkative red-haired granddaughter every day…all day.

Read More at ZestNow…

Feeling Grateful Today

The perfect body has hands that can be raised in joy. image by gameanna/freedigitalphotos.net

What’s important. image by gameanna/freedigitalphotos.net

Feeling Grateful

by Peggy Browning

This morning I woke up feeling grateful. I have many reasons for feeling grateful, but I thought I’d make a list of just a few of the reasons I’m feeling grateful. And happy…did I mention that I also feel happy?

“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.” — Ralph H. Blum

I am feeling grateful because:

I slept well and had a peaceful night’s sleep. My neighbor didn’t have this luxury…I heard him groaning through our apartments’ shared bedroom wall during the night.

I started the day in a peaceful way. When I carried the trash to the Dumpster this morning while it was still dark, the sky was clear and I could see a quarter moon, Orion and Scorpio. Hello, stars! I’m so happy to see you!

I am spending the day with my granddaughter. Yesterday we went to the library and she picked up acorns from the live oak and red oak trees and put them in my purse. I expect more of the same today.

It’s going to be sunny and warm today… perfect for taking a walk to see the ducks at the park.

I am feeling well. And better yet…all my immediate family is feeling well. No sore throats, no fevers, no upset stomachs, no toothaches. A-OK.

I have a pair of shoes that are comfortable and allow me to traipse around all day with no pain. Excellent!

”The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.” — Richard Bach

So, basically I’m feeling grateful. for the simple things…the good things…the things I often take for granted.
  • Sunshine
  • Moonshine
  • Peace
  • Warmth
  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Smiles and hugs
  • Stars
  • And a purse full of acorns picked by a little red-haired girl.

What more could I possibly wish for?

I can’t think of a thing. 🙂

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When Insomnia Strikes: Yawn & Enjoy It

Insomnia: You Might as Well Enjoy It

by Peggy Browning

Insomnia: You Might as Well Enjoy It

I can’t sleep at night. But I am a World Champion Napper.
graurcodrin/freedigitalphotos.net

The best cure for insomnia is a Monday morning. ~Author Unknown

 

 

 

 

Last night I stayed up long past my bedtime. And my bedtime, dear friend, is pretty darn late to begin with. I usually don’t fall asleep until after midnight. Last night/ this morning… dawn was approaching when I finally fell asleep.

Last evening I had a lot on my mind as bedtime came and went. Someone told me I had been rude. I confess… I had been rude and I felt remorseful and guilty…but that shouldn’t have interfered with my sleep so drastically. I stayed awake mostly because I am an unapologetic insomniac.

I don’t sleep well at night. That is a drastic understatement. However, if napping was an Olympic sport, I would bring home the Gold Medal year after year. I am a World Champion Napper.

I hear women complain about being unable to sleep now that they are older or because they are going through menopause. Menopause has not altered my sleeping patterns whatsoever.

I have been an insomniac since I was a little kid. I remember lying awake when everyone else in the house was fast asleep. I pulled my covers over my head and sometimes that helped me go to sleep. I didn’t pull the covers tight over my head because I was scared of under-the-bed monsters. I did it because the lack of oxygen helped me go to sleep. It is called “sleep induction by suffocation.” (I made that term up, but that’s basically what I did. I would do it now, except that I am afraid of killing brain cells and I don’t have any to spare.)

I remember the first time I ever went to a truck stop in the middle of the night. I was delighted. I had finally found my tribe.

When Insomnia Strikes, Find the nearest truck stop and hang out with your sleepless tribe.

I found my tribe at the all-night truck stop. stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

People were everywhere: drinking coffee…laughing…eating…telling jokes…flirting with the waitresses…staying awake all night long. They all looked tired and ragged and exhausted as hell…but they were awake and talking and that was all that mattered to me. I was awake and I was no longer alone.

I remember moving from a small town where NOTHING stayed open past 9:00 p.m. to a larger town that had an all-night Albertson’s grocery store. Oh my goodness! I could wander around the aisles with other insomniacs, then I could buy a Diet Coke and a bag of Cheetos and go back home…later…much later.

That was the mid-1980s. Very few businesses were open 24 hours in the western fringes of North Central Texas in those days. Things have changed in the last thirty years. I have more places to go now when insomnia strikes.

Now when it is past midnight and I have made myself sick from Netflix binges, I go to a Wal-Mart Supercenter and cruise the aisles. I read the magazines without buying them; I peruse the book aisles.  I look at the sewing patterns and think about projects that I will never do. Because. I. Will. Be. Napping. Later.

The best time to shop at Wal-Mart is sometime between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. There are lots of interesting people out at the time of day. I stay there to commune with my fellow insomniacs until I finally get sleepy and then I go home.

I’ve spent lots of time at the all night International House of Pancakes, drinking decaffeinated coffee and waiting for the first newspapers to be delivered.

Yes, I have tried sleep aides. I’ve spent a fortune on melatonin, antihistamines, Sleepy Time Tea. I even tried prescription sleeping pills. Nothing works. Yes, that’s what I said. No sleep aides work for me. Wait…maybe there was one…Nope. Nothing. And all those tips to help you sleep better? Pshaw…they don’t work either.

Insomnia keeping you up at night?!? Five Tips To Help You Go to Sleep Quickly   (These didn’t work for me either.)

Nothing works for my insomnia … except for tuning in to the Jack Van Impe TV Show. Too bad Jack and Rexella’s chatter can’t be bottled.

My F**K It List

The F**k It List

There comes a point in your life when, instead of adding things to your Bucket List, you The F**k It Listanalyze what you really desire and what you really care about and how much time you have left to accomplish what you want to do. That’s when you make a secondary list. That’s when you make your F**k It List.

President Obama and I have a lot in common. We both work off the same list.

When I turned 50, I made a Bucket List. And truthfully, I accomplished a lot of the things on it. I give myself credit and pat myself on the back for that. I. Am. Awesome.
Now I’m closing in on 60 and I’ve realized there are some things that I thought I wanted to do, but that I really don’t want to do. The perfect time to do those things has passed and I have no regrets. I can revise that Life List any time I want.

Here’s my Revised List…The F**k It List:

  • Try harder to be pleasant. I tried…didn’t work.
  • Forgive people who have hurt me. At my age, it’s way easier to forget than forgive…and that’s pretty much what I’ve done.Don’t remind me.
  • Put more effort into my “real” job. Oh, please.
  • Skydive. Oh, hell no.
  • Stop making fun of the people on Fox News. Not gonna happen. There are some things I just can’t control.
  • Give up sugar. Huh-uh.
  • Stop buying shoes. No.
  • Improve my image, wardrobe, and looks. That has changed to: Be Comfortable Always.
  • Act my age. Oh right. Giggle, giggle, snort, snort. I don’t know how to do this; I’ve never been this age before.
The View Through My Rose-Colored Bifocals

For more about my Original Bucket List and a little about my F**k It List, purchase my ebook.