Archive for the ‘Health & Recreation’ Category

The Eyes-Closed Perspective and a Decent Chardonnay

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

On the way home from the Arizona Library Association’s YA Summit in Prescott, AZ last week, I was invited to my niece Jenna’s birthday party at Art Therapy in Phoenix. As you can see from the photo, they had a great . . . something. My niece and her mother, my sister, are super achievers and take their “doing” very seriously. I, however, do not so much. I tend to fall in love with the idea of making something interesting and so experiment with these kinds of crafty, arty and music-making experiences. I learned long ago that I’m good for maybe a series of classes worth of said experience, then I move along, move along. One reason being–what the heck do I do with the end product of that experience? How many poorly crocheted bikinis (yes, I actually did one of those back in the early 70s) or sloppily knitted potholders does one need?

 

Jenna and Rhonda  Find Birthday Joy at Art Therapy.

Jenna and Rhonda Find Birthday Joy at Art Therapy.

I love doing the painting BYOB (and snacks) events with fun people. So far I have “done” three such parties. I’d like to say that each painting I turn out is better than the last . . . but truth be told, NAW.  I’m not interested in getting better at painting these studies in standardized acrylics, but I’m all about going to hang out with artistic hopefuls who like to play, drink wine and graze on really good snacks–which ARE getting better each time I go.

The Process. There is a process to this artistic creating. In fact, it’s so standardized and easy everyone’s paintings look pretty much the same. About thirty minutes into the teaching and our putting paint to canvas, I begin to feel kinda bored. I know what the end product in front of me is going to look like. That observational power isn’t born of second sight or prescient ability. I’ve simply looked at the paintings-in-progress around me. And if I continue to follow directions my picture will look like that, too.

Enter snacks and Chardonnay, yay! I wander over to the goodie table where we’ve laid out our extensive display of tastiness and indulge as I consider my artistic options concerning the Old Door in a Wall project. Full glass in hand and a plate of yummy in the other, I return to my seat to sip and snack and think. Then it hits me–my individual artistic interpretation. I paint the door dark blue, paint in lighted windows at the top and on the plate beside the door the number eleven. Tah Dah! The TARDIS and my favorite Doctor, Number 11 just landed in my painting. It’s brilliant! And as is the way with such endeavors, no one gets it. No one! Except after the class, the instructor/shop owner came round and exclaimed, “It’s a TARDIS! We’ve never had anyone do a TARDIS.” Turns out her husband is British and began to tell me all about his watching very early Doctor Who back in the 1960s. Personally, I wasn’t a fan then, not until 2005 and Doctor #10, when the show was retooled.

As you can see from my photo on the right, my painting looks perfect in my closed-eyes perspective apres Chardonnay. But then what doesn’t?

Mmmmelinda Closes Her Eyes and Gains Perspective

Mmmmelinda Closes Her Eyes and Gains Perspective

BellaBoomerBlog: Planning for Retirement

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Guest Blogger, Mary Corey is the author of The 100 Percent Club, a pragmatic book dealing with the labyrinth of details needed to be resolved prior, during and after the death process. As a seasoned RN who has recently retired, she offers the following thoughts about preparing for retirement.

Thoughts About Retirement

The long awaited day of retirement has arrived. You’ve carefully planned your finances and you’ve taken care of all the practicalities of your new life. You have or will shortly have a lot of company. There are about 76.4 million of us baby boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964 according to the 2012 census. That’s about a quarter of the US population.

Hopefully your health is still good and you’ve made friends outside your daily work life. At any rate you now find yourself blissfully not getting up at 6:00 every morning for the commute. No longer do you have to meet production quotas, put up with coworkers idiosyncrasies, or resolve endless client problems.

For the next three months it’s great to sleep in and rest knowing you never have to return to the nine to five grind. However, one of my high school friends wrote me an email stating she “had great chunks of time with nothing to do”. She is not alone.

You need a plan. This is as significant as your health and finances. Your plan will influence both. What really interests you at this point? What do you want to do with your remaining time? What did you do in the past that was meaningful? It’s a mistake to depend on children for your social life. They have their own lives.

After all these years, you probably have a good handle on your strengths and weaknesses. That’s what great about being a boomer, lots of life experience coupled with wisdom and perspective. It mayt help to sit down and write out possibilities. My neighbor, a former high school principal, tried part time work, the gym, learning Spanish and finally happily became a docent at the art museum. Other friends volunteer at the food bank. One acquaintance is helping developmentally children learn to ride horses. The point is if the initial plan doesn’t work, move on till you find an interest that does.