Destiny

We feel, we hear, we touch. We cry, we scream, we laugh…the utter essence of humanity, which claims us all, resides within every person. Our hearts beat as one, the human race…the greatest joy is not in material wealth, but in realizing how rich we truly are in our sameness, in the commonality of the human race, in our ability to recognize compassion within one another…to change this world and make it a better place for future generations.  The ultimate destiny for mankind.

NOT a big fan of change…

Perhaps it’s life experiences, or simply, it’s imbedded into who and what I am. I look back to my childhood, early adult years and can safely say yes…..I tend to be quite the habitual person.

Now when it comes to my looks, I can see I’ve “evolved”. Being mousy is simply not who I am, nor am I a diva. I am well…just me and right now just me likes straight hair:

 

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A work in progress

I’ve noticed that women my age don’t look like (or act) like those of my mother’s generation. Unfortunately I’ve seen far too much frumpiness for her era.  And though yes, when we reach middle-age we should carry that “I could care less attitude” about what others think about our sense of style and dress…I truly feel you don’t have to look the part (gray hair and dowdy clothes) just because you are gaining more wisdom and wrinkles than smart compliments and cattle call whistles. Just be sensible and not “cartoonish.”

I dress to impress me. To look good for me.

Case in point. My agency contains a high percentage of women and btw…am married. So there is no real need to try and “catch” a man.

 

The following article, Fashion Wardrobe ‘rules’ as you age, by TU Magazines,  contains some common sense advice and tips on what to wear as we women “gracefully” grow older:

Age-Appropriate from Head to Toe

Our experts gave us some general guidelines on age-appropriate do’s and don’ts for wardrobe items that get trickier with age.

T-Shirts
Snug ones are still fine “at the gym” to allow for ease of movement, says Steinborn. Otherwise, limit them as a layering piece only. “I love them under blazers, with some chains for a sophisticated look,” says Evoke Style’s Dollard.

Upgrade your materials. “As you age, the cut and fit of a T-shirt becomes so important, I would invest in them the same way you might a good pair of jeans or boots. We wear T-shirts so much, don’t scrimp on them,” says Fetman.

Plunging Necklines
Consider Your Chest and Neck. “If you have a lot of sun damage, it’s probably better to opt for a [less-revealing] neckline,” Steinborn says. Fetman adds lower necklines can also be aging on a mature woman if she is very thin. “The bones of the chest can be distracting and the skin can really sag.”

Sleeveless Anything
As you approach your 50s, really begin to think twice. “The elephant in the room here is that your underarms can droop just like your boobs,” says Steinborn. So, if that’s happened to you, opt out of sleeveless apparel or limit it to a layering piece.

(read rest of article here)

 

 

When I dress up, when I look nice…I notice my morale, my self-confidence also rises.  I made the conscientious choice a few months ago to bag the jeans and t-shirts as my daily work attire and decided to incorporate a fun sense of style (yet professional)….because I wanted to be noticed in a positive way….and yes, my work habits, and actions speak for themselves.

We women of our 40’s and beyond can be stylish, can be fun and albeit daring if we so wish.  I guess it depends on what your sense of style is and the appropriateness of dress.

Now it get rid of those stubborn pounds!

 

Me at 46

Me at 46

 

Bad choices

We all make them. It’s human to err.

However, when your bad choices spill over into your golden years whose responsible for the fallout? Your kids? Your spouse or significant other?

Why should I pick up the pieces of someone else’s life who’s habitually made the wrong decisions. After the first mistake then it no longer is one. Constant bad decisions means either 1.) You simply have no clue on how to “run” your life or 2.) You don’t give a damn…both of which means you expect someone else to pick up the tab.

THAT irritates the shit out of me.

I come from the school of thought where you take care of yourself, your needs, your wants, your desires, your finances etc.

Why should the kids pay for bad mistakes? Or that of one’s significant other????

Don’t get me wrong…I will help another person out when it’s needed but when that trouble has a long history of financial negligence???????

??????????????????????????

Yes, we all hear the stories of those who lost their 401k due to stock market falls or you had an emergency and had to dip into your savings. Ok, I get that…but what if you never had a savings to begin with? Money was never set aside for that predictable rainy day?

Am I suppose to then drop my life to take care of yours? After you’ve lived your extravagant lifestyle, or poured money into a black hole of a business–no conscious choice made to boost retirement savings.

And with the lagging economy, pricey goods and services, (which surely will not get better,) would someone like myself even have the money to retire at a decent age?

Or, will I end up with the masses of sheep still having to work because my retirement pension and social security (if it’s still even there) will be unable to sustain my lifestyle or my health.

What are we as Americans going to do with this crisis because, I truly feel, it is.

The baby boomer generation are retiring soon, if they haven’t already) and they will be drawing and quite a few, relying on social security to make ends meet.

What are we to do?

The Golden Years

Attended a co-w0rker’s retirement ceremony today.  She had over 30 plus years of service (8 in the Navy) and made me think about my future which is about 13 (give or take) years away. In a couple of years I will have over 20 what with buying back my active duty time while in the Army.

There are individuals here at the agency who are well into their 70’s. The work here isn’t easy…..it’s stressful, time consuming and (at times) overwhelming.  And when you have age added to the mix….I simply don’t see how these people do it.

My goal is to retire, settle down (somewhat) and enjoy my golden years. I don’t want to have to think about making deadlines or getting up at oh-god-thirty in the mornings to make sure I come in at a decent hour so I can leave while it’s still light out.

My plans are travel, travel, and more travel, mixed in with perhaps volunteer work, tending a garden, writing and yesssss…relaxing.

My husband is currently working on our retirement home project and it will be our little safe haven. Nestled in the trees it gives me comfort knowing I will spend the later half of my life with someone who loves me so much. He’s making a tremendous effort to ensure our retirement home will be comfortable, safe, and secure.

 

 

 

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I choose my own company

“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”

― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper
For some, especially extroverts, those social butterflies, the very thought of spending time alone reeks of self-pity and depression.
Not for us introverts.  I took the Myers-Briggs personality test (with a 10 year gap in-between) and also overseen by a professional, and the introvert personality results were the same.

PORTRAIT OF AN INFJ

(click here for the remainder of the personality description)

The Protector

 

 

 

As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system. INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types. INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk. INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get “feelings” about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.

But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people’s feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.

Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubborness and tendency to ignore other people’s opinions. They believe that they’re right. On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves – there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don’t often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don’t believe in compromising their ideals.


I would say it’s true. I do trust my gut instincts, I rather be alone than with individuals who profess friendship but are in the end quite shallow. Not to say I don’t have friends, those I choose, I choose wisely. And…they’ve remained by my side in good times and bad.

 

And…in order to be a writer, a good writer…you have to embrace your solitude.  And it isn’t about being lonely. Far from it. As a writer your mind becomes filled with plots and characters where in true essence….you are never alone.

 

And my penchant for beautiful things…of the natural world…go hand in hand with my love of the written word.  I love being out in nature, when possible….and embracing who and what I am without fear of judgement or reprisals.

 

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“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”
― George Gordon Byron

 

 

 

Reconnecting

Writing isn’t always easy.  Either you feel it or you don’t. And when you’ve suffered from writer’s block (like I have, for years) you don’t.

Really…..what does it take to become inspired?

Well, for me it means really digging deep within myself, sorting out any negative feelings and trying to come up with a way to take those feelings and pen some sort of outlet.

I have read about authors whose brilliance were discovered from some type of catalyst.

When I was a teen it was easy to dig deep and find those feelings. Struck with the usual teenage angst, image issues, you name it….I poured my soul into many a blank page.

Why it’s much more difficult today….perhaps adult problems, a full time job, has cramped my writing style.  I used to be able to pour out each word without much effort….I either felt it or I didn’t but back then…I did.

I need to reconnect with the young aspiring dreamer-bridge the gap of what could have been to what will be.

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
Ray Bradbury

COMPROMISE…WHAT AN UGLY WORD!

Sometimes one the most difficult tasks we can do for others is compromise, especially if we are set in our ways. Compromise to me means sacrifice which means pain.

And pain I tend to shy away from. While others embrace it, I’d much rather do without.

In marriage and any other type of intimate relationship, where we expose our hearts, our faults…to others compromise is a must…depending on the situation.

“Compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity. It is what makes nations great and marriages happy”
― Phyllis McGinley

 

If one person in the relationship is always having to “give in” resentment sets in and once resentment sits in and there’s no dialogue things are bound to fail.

“I wish,” he said, “I had known at eighteen what I know now – that there are some things on which one does not compromise.”
― Mary Balogh, Simply Perfect

 

You always here older folks saying:  “I wish I knew then, what I know now.” And it’s true…with foresight we can make better decisions.  With experience, we make better judgement calls and compromise means doing both. And when one person is not “in accord” there is an imbalance within the relationship.

 

“Disagreement is part of being a person who has choices. One of those choices is to respect others and engage in intelligent conversation about differences of opinion without becoming enemies, eventually allowing us to move forward to compromise.”
― Ben Carson, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future
Loving someone, caring about their well-being sometimes means self-sacrifice. Just be wise about it. Don’t let your decision to stand by your partner mask whatever turmoils you may have going on inside.
Just remember:
“Love without sacrifice is like theft”
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

A unique bond….

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If you’ve never served in the military (or were a police officer or fire fighter) there’s this inexplicable bond which unites each and every one of us because of a shared hardship, because of a commonality of various experiences……why we treasure these memories —–and when a group of veterans come together we share our various “war stories” and it bonds us….and we are one as family.

This is why you’ll see grown men cry when fingering a faded photograph—flooded with memories of youth…..of a different time…remembering those lost—–given to battle.  Tears running down a worn face….various images brought forth of a kinship so few will ever understand or be so lucky to gain.

Why those of us who retire out or who leave the military for one reason or another sincerely miss our military days.

 

There’s really no adequate explanation that fits as beautifully as this quote—–so thanks to all who I served with, you’ll most certainly never be forgotten:

 

 

“One of the things that makes our military the best in the world is the certain knowledge of each soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine that they can always count on their comrades should they need help – that they will never be abandoned.”
Jon Kyl

 

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