Sixty and Me is an online magazine about life after 60. Topics range from makeup for older women and senior dating to retirement advice and senior travel. Helping boomer women to live healthy, independent and financially secure lives.
Forget Boring Fashion After 60: Create a Unique Style that Reflects Your Inner-Beauty - YouTube
Fashion for women over 60 can often be a struggle to find style in a sea of boring colors and styles. But you don’t have to fade into the background because of your size or age. You can create a unique fashion style that reflects your inner-beauty and glow. In today’s video, I’ll explore exactly how to do this. Join us for a cup of tea (or coffee) and a chat. And, if you enjoy the show, please tell one friend about us today. Your support means so much to me!
Thanks to our sponsor Puritan’s Pride! Please check out their website for more information on how to give your body the nutrition it deserves.
What are your favorite clothing colors? What clothing styles make you look and feel great? Please join the conversation and tell one other woman about Sixty and Me today. The more the merrier!
Disclaimer: None of the information in today’s show should be considered medical advice. Please consult with your own doctor before making any changes to your diet or trying new nutritional supplements.
Life never runs out of things to teach us. Some days it feels like I could fill a library with all my lessons. And I haven’t always gracefully accepted all this learning. I resisted a lot of it.
I like to think that a new level of acceptance comes with aging. That reaching 60 somehow makes it easier to embrace what we’re being handed. I’m still learning about that, too.
Appreciating Our Lessons Isn’t Easy
In a previous post, I talked about ways we can reclaim joy in difficult times. Many of the lessons we learn in this season of life are just plain hard. They can knock the wind out of us and bring us to our knees.
And because we’re now “older and wiser,” we also feel like we should know better, do better, during these times.
I can be pretty hard on myself about how I ‘should’ be handling what I’m still learning. So recently, instead of beating myself up, I tried a little exercise. I invite you to do this, too.
Drop into a Moment of Quiet
Close your eyes and silently list the things you know for sure. Take a moment and feel into the many lessons you’ve learned.
As they wash over you, don’t be surprised if you’re comforted, surprised and enlightened all in the same breath. Especially if, like me, you’ve ever had to learn things the hard way.
Life’s Lessons Are a Treasure
Our life lessons are too numerous to count, yet a few stand out among the rest. I’ve come to embrace these 10 in particular:
Stillness is a sacred place.
Setting compassionate boundaries is an excellent form of self-care. So is forgiveness.
True friends will challenge you but never abandon you.
Rest is not a luxury. It’s a requirement.
We can all open up to all possibilities. What separates the dreamers from the doers is courage. Support. Commitment. Repeatedly.
Death is unavoidable and takes many forms, all of them painful, all of them necessary.
An aging body is a trusted messenger, longing to be heard. And I’ve learned to listen.
Everyone has an Inner Truth. Paths to access it can be learned.
God first whispers, then speaks, and finally shouts… but only if necessary. That’s up to each of us.
Becoming a wise woman means remembering how to play.
No matter our age, as long as we’re drawing a breath, we leave ourselves open to what life has to teach us. And what we learn can come amidst peace or panic.
Either way, the lesson’s message is the treasure – one designed especially for us.
What life lessons have you learned that you still treasure? What are you still learning during this stage of life? Please join the conversation!
Marcia Smalley is a certified life coach, writer and teacher. She delights in inspiring mid-life women to step confidently into their next act and loves helping them design a joyous, expanded life. Marcia firmly believes that you are not too old, and it’s not too late, to create the life you love. Please visit her website here.
I just returned from the New York State Senior Olympics, held about an hour from my home. I played both singles and doubles tennis.
I am proud of playing two straight matches, which is more than 30 games, but I’m a little embarrassed that I let my frustration get to me. I didn’t exactly throw my racket… but it did end up at my feet when my reliable forehand failed me again and again.
My husband politely noted, “I’ve never seen you do that before.” I was channeling my inner McEnroe, and it wasn’t pretty. Here I was, a 56-year-old woman, carrying on about missing shots.
Anxiety Is Powerful
I have a new appreciation for how hard it is to keep one’s cool when it counts. I was wound up like a spring the first match. I simply couldn’t get myself to settle. I tried to tell myself to breathe, relax, and stay in my body, but I felt like I had drunk a quart of Jolt with an espresso chaser.
This from the woman who wrote an article titled “Tennis as a Meditation.” I’ve been meditating for years, and that all went out the window. Here’s a helping of humility!
Hard to Beat an Honor Student When You Are a B Student
The second match was tough, and I was already tired from my first one. Although it was a gorgeous day, there was no shade to be found. And I hadn’t slept much in anticipation of the Games. My opponent’s strokes were gorgeous.
After she beat me to win the gold medal in our age group, I found out she was two tiers higher rated than I am. That’s like going up against an honor student when you are pulling Bs. I felt good just getting through two full matches. She beat me 6-2, 6-2, but I felt like I’d won.
Let’s Put This in Perspective
Thirteen years ago, I was receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. Always an active woman, my inability to get out of bed to walk my dogs was horrifying.
And now I’ve qualified to go to the National Senior Olympics, with my silver medal – which came out of a zip lock bag of medals. I can’t help but feel good about that. The promotional postcard for the National Senior Olympics, which will be held in Albuquerque next year, is up on my fridge.
There was certain camaraderie that felt good being with all the tennis players from New York. Some of the women were in their 80s! We know it doesn’t count, but we are playing our hearts out. There’s something special about sharing this attitude of dogged persistence.
The game is rough on the joints, and I’m sure there was a lot of Advil going around. But I love the feisty attitude that was present. It might not be pretty, but we’re going to hit that little yellow ball as hard as we can.
Walking the Walk
I’ll be giving a presentation on healthy aging to the Empire Games athletes at the closing ceremonies dinner – and you can bet I’ll be wearing my silver medal.
It occurred to me that I would make a good guest on my own podcast Zestful Aging. I’m staying active, always learning, and being with my people. And in a couple of days, my muscles will be good as new.
Have you ever participated in a competitive sporting event that pushed you past your physical and emotional limits? How did you feel afterward? Did it bring you satisfaction or anxiety? Please share your experience in the comments below.
Nicole Christina, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, podcaster and presenter. She leads an online course based on the Harvard Study of Aging. Her podcast, Zestful Aging, focuses on mature women and the metamorphosis they undergo. She enjoys talking about aging with sass and class, playing tennis, and romping with her dogs.
When looking for a creative and beautiful way to heal your heart after pet loss, have you considered writing a pet loss poem?
A poem can be a wonderful and loving way to remember your pet. Expressing your memories in a creative way by writing a pet loss poem gives you a chance to create a lasting memory.
Keep in mind you don’t have to be a poet or a writer to express your love for your pet. Writing down thoughts in a creative way can help you with your emotions and the pain of your loss.
There are many ways to write a tribute to your pet. If you are having trouble getting started, these are some of my favorite pet loss poems. Also consider the following 3 tips to help guide you.
Make a List of One-Word Qualities of Your Pet
Your list could contain one word or one hundred words. Try and keep your list to single qualities. Your grief may surface, but keep in mind that your emotions are normal and those feelings can be added to your poem.
My client Sally had written these qualities on her list: silly, goofy, adorable, smart, sleepy, rambunctious, and loyal. When we talked about her list she cried and told beautiful stories of her pet Annabelle.
When she put the words into her poem Sally said, “I know I am not a poet, but I don’t care. My little creation is a gift from my heart to Annabelle. This is what matters most. My heart feels full every time I read my poem.”
Make Your Second List by Describing Images
Your second list will include descriptions of your pet and the wonderful things you did together by using your six senses.
When you explore the relationship you had with your pet using descriptions that include sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and movement you have a chance to create a beautiful tribute that is unique for your healing journey.
Sally wrote some wonderful lines when describing Annabelle. My favorite was the beginning line in her poem where she engaged her sense of sight. This is how she described seeing the sun on Annabelle’s fur:
“Sunlight reflects on your fur with warm shiny sparkles.”
When Sally read this to me I was immediately picturing the rays of sunlight hitting Annabelle’s fur. I could envision beauty, kindness, and the loyalty between the two of them.
Write from Your Heart
Once you have your two lists just begin to write. Don’t worry if it sounds good or if it doesn’t make sense.
When Sally wrote her poem, she had a photo of Annabelle beside her. This may help you as well to inspire your feelings. Since your pet loss poem is for your own experience please don’t worry about perfection.
Remember, this is about the mutual love you experienced with your pet. If getting started writing a pet loss poem is difficult I have some favorites that I can share with you.
What one-word quality does your pet have? Can you describe an event with your pet using one of your senses? Please share the methods you use to grieve the loss of a pet. If you would, you could also share your poem.
Wendy Van de Poll is a pioneering leader in the field of pet loss grief support and the human-animal bond. As a bestselling author, speaker and coach, she has passionately devoted her life to the mission of increasing the quality of life between animals and people. Wendy has run with wild wolves in Minnesota, coyotes in Massachusetts and foxes in her backyard. Please visit her website.
I am a wife whose husband has cancer. I am a caregiver. I also work with people who have cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, and with their caregivers. I work with the grief that comes with caregiving and death that may follow.
Every day, do you look for changes in your loved one? Are they pale? Are they thinner? Are they anxious or depressed? I do. I look for a sparkle in my husband’s eyes. I wonder if he is okay. I wonder if the chemo is working.
Six years ago, my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma, which had metastasized. He had a tumor underneath his shoulder that was large and too close to his spinal cord. It was inoperable.
He was given an immune boosting chemotherapy that had a 5% chance to cure. He has been in remission for 6 years. We are grateful.
You may have experienced this journey before, or are on this path right now. I am sure your stories are heartbreaking, painful and just as challenging as ours.
When Your Loved One Goes Inward
One of the biggest challenges that I see is when your loved one goes ‘inward.’ For men, especially, they feel a fear that paralyzes. They were raised not to feel, and their fear shuts the world out.
Many caregivers find this attitude challenging and painful when their spouse withdraws. Let’s face it: cancer and other life-limiting illnesses are scary for you and your loved one. Fear about what is happening and what is to come becomes the elephant in the room.
You feel helpless. Both of you retreat to your separate space in silence pretending the elephant is not in the room, fearing the future.
Here’s are a few suggestions from lessons I have learned along this journey.
Use Tenderness and Kindness
Gently open a conversation when you notice fear or any other feeling of desperation creep up. Ask your spouse about it: “I noticed when you said you might be feeling scared. I know this is not easy for you, but I am here and we can share the fear.”
Don’t push it. Tenderness and kindness can go a long way. If you don’t get any response, let it go and try again at another time.
Our tendency is to push, to try to force. This is a fierce journey, which is why patience is important in times of hardship.
Stay in the Present Moment
Don’t consider the future, as this can easily become a dreary topic. Instead, focus on the present. This will help you feel centered and grounded.
Show Compassion and Love
We care for our loved ones, and in time of sickness is when we really need to show it. Face this moment with compassion and love.
Breathing has been known to reduce fear. When fear sets in, our breath becomes labored, shallow, and our body becomes tense and constricted.
There are so many ways to breathe. Yogic breath is optimal, but just being aware of slowing your inhale to the count of 4 and exhaling slowly to the count of 5 works wonders.
It takes courage for both of you to take this journey. It can be one of the most profound experiences for you and your loved one. It teaches you many life lessons about what it means to live life fully.
How do you stay connected with a loved one who has cancer? How do you share feelings with one another? How do you tend to your own feelings? Have you found any methods that have helped you on this journey? Please share your insights and tips below.
Ellen Bachmeyer, LCSW, is the founder of Aging With Heart. A practicing psychotherapist and Life Coach, she has supported women in their 50’s, 60’s, and beyond through many life transitions from divorce to caretaking and grieving, to remarriage, grand parenting and encore careers. She is passionate about helping women face cultural barriers to finding and expressing their wisdom and voice on their way to thriving in every season of their lives. Ellen offers assistance in recapturing your life’s vitality, rebalancing, satisfying your needs and renewing your power to take meaningful action in your life. For more information you can visit her website Aging with Heart.
How Changing My Morning Routine Changed My Life Forever - YouTube
On some level, we all know that how we spend the first few hours of every day can have a big impact on our lives. But, very few of us take the time to consciously plan our morning routines. So, today, I’d love to share some changes that I recently made to my morning schedule. I hope that you find this video inspiring and useful! Join us for a cup of tea (or coffee) and a chat. And, if you enjoy the show, please tell one friend about us today. Your support means so much to me!
Thanks to our sponsor Puritan’s Pride! Please check out their website for more information on how to give your body the nutrition it deserves.
What does your morning routine look like? What one simple change would you like to make to how you spend the first few hours of your day? Please join the conversation and tell one other woman about Sixty and Me today. The more the merrier!
Disclaimer: None of the information in today’s show should be considered medical advice. Please consult with your own doctor before making any changes to your diet or trying new nutritional supplements.
I am sure that he doesn’t remember me. I was in the pulsing sea of 15,000 young 16-year-old girls in Detroit, on Sunday, September 6, 1964, at Olympia Stadium in Detroit, Michigan.
Beatleamania had hit the motor city and the fab four, as they were called, sang and danced their way through a cacophony of noise. The screams and tears and passionate shouting were overwhelming.
I was there in the crowd because a very good friend’s father worked at the Windsor Star and allowed me to join him with his press pass. I even got to shake hands with Paul McCartney! I was the celebrity of the neighbourhood for weeks as I adamantly refused to wash my hand!
You couldn’t hear a note during the concert, so it was wonderful to discover this video that was filmed at the performance.
The Beatles at Olympia Stadium, Detroit MI on 6 September 1964 - YouTube
Beatlemania and the British Invasion
“Beatlemania” soon gripped the world, and many women in our community were caught up in it, just as I was.
At the age of 14 Paul McCartney was deeply affected by his mother’s sudden death from breast cancer. Shortly afterward, he wrote his first song.
His future bandmate, John Lennon, also lost his mother at a young age. This must have created a connection and close bond between the two musicians.
Paul began his lifelong love affair with music at an early age. In fact, I was surprised to read that by age 16, he had already written When I’m Sixty-Four. His story is musical legend.
Joining with John, George and Ringo, he emerged in the early 60s with a distinctive song writing style that touched the hearts of generations. From 1962 to 1970, The Beatles released 12 studio albums before disbanding and going their separate ways.
Life in Transition After the Beatles
After the Beatles split, Paul McCartney formed a group called Wings with his wife, Linda Eastman, who stayed by his side for 30 years. During those years he lost both Lennon and his wife. It was a sad time for him.
In September of 2001, Paul watched the 9/11 attack on New York City from the tarmac at JFK Airport, and became one of the organizers for The Concert for New York City.
Like most of us in our 60s, his personal life was filled with complexity. He married for the third time to a New York businesswoman called Nancy Shevell in London in 2011.
Interests Beyond Music
Paul McCartney created a fabulous life through his family, filmmaking, writing, painting, meditation and activism. He has been a long time vegetarian and has focused at various times on great causes related to the environment.
When asked about his retirement plans, McCartney replied, “Why would I retire? Sit at home and watch TV? No thanks. I’d rather be out playing.” And that is what he is still doing!
Thanks for the Memories and the Music!
So, Sir James Paul McCartney CH MBE, the man and the Beatle, turns 76 today and I want to personally thank him for that handshake and for the amazing timeless, inspirational music that fills my heart every time I hear it.
Here is a version of Let It Be recorded in 2010. It is still so beautiful and his solo performance at age 68 so poignant.
Paul McCartney Live - Let It Be - Good Evening New York City Tour (HD) - YouTube
Happy Birthday, Paul McCartney! Let’s give him our birthday wishes today and thank him for the memories that are woven into our lives.
What is your favorite Paul McCartney song? Do you have a special memory connected with him? Please share in the comments below.
Tariffs have been in the news a lot lately. First, the U.S. shocked its allies, Canada, the EU and Mexico, by announcing a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum. Then, just last week, President Trump said that he wants to put tariffs on $50-billion worth of Chinese goods.
In the case of steel and aluminum, the Trump administration justified their decision to impose tariffs based on national security issues. The tariffs that they launched against China were, among other things, intended to punish the country for intellectual property violations.
In this article, we’re not going to get into the debate regarding whether tariffs are “fair”… or even whether they are effective. We’re also not going to take a partisan perspective. Besides, since the Republican Party was traditionally free-trade focused, it’s hard to know what a partisan perspective would be in this case!
Instead, we want to focus on some of the confusion that surrounds tariffs, generally speaking. Then, we want to help you to understand how they might impact older adults. We hope that this article helps you to prepare as the world, potentially, enters an unprecedented trade war.
What Are Tariffs Really?
Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple. When a country places a tariff on another country’s goods, they are effectively placing an additional tax on *their own citizens.* The goal of a tariff (tax) is to make a foreign country’s products less appealing, thus “encouraging” domestic consumers to buy local products.
The important point to note there is who pays the tax – it is the consumer, not the producer. So, when the U.S. places a tariff on a Chinese dishwasher, the American consumer pays the tariff, not the Chinese producer.
Of course, the business-savvy among you may point out that it’s a bit more complicated. Chinese producers may choose to lower their prices slightly to compensate for the increased tax. But, ultimately, the consumer will almost always end up paying more anyway.
What Are the Most Likely Impacts of These Tariffs for Older Adults?
The first – and most obvious – impact of these tariffs is that many of the things that you purchase may be about to get more expensive. For example, if you are in the market to buy a printer from China, you may see the price go up. Or, if you choose an American-made equivalent (assuming you can find one!) you will likely have to pay a premium.
Many of the products hit by the $50-billion tariffs that Trump announced were industrial or commercial products. As a result, you may not see an impact from them immediately. However, since many of these products are used to make other consumer products, the longer this trade-war continues, the more likely it is to impact you directly.
For example, many of the products that were hit by the recent tariffs were in the medical industry (lasers, X-rays and pacemakers). This means that, eventually, Americans may see an increase in their medical costs. This is especially important for older adults, who have seen their healthcare costs rise dramatically over the last decade.
Second, if China retaliates (as it has promised to do) and the U.S. imposes additional tariffs (as President Trump has promised to do) the scale of the tariffs on both sides could reach the point that inflation, overall, starts to increase.
For older adults on fixed incomes – and there are many of us – this means that our money may not go as far as it used to.
In addition, rising inflation may cause the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates, which could make it more expensive for us to borrow.
How Can Older Adults Prepare for the Coming Trade War?
First and foremost, everyone reading this article should take the time to think about the potential results – negative and positive – of imposing tariffs. After all, if you support them, you are basically voting for a tax on yourself. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this. As a society, we choose to pay taxes for all kinds of things. But, let’s be clear about what a tariff is so that we can have an informed debate.
So far, a majority (52% of Americans) support placing tariffs on Chinese goods. So, politicians will likely continue to support – or at least not actively oppose – the actions that the Trump administration has taken against China and other countries. As always, whether you support or oppose this decision, make sure that your voice is heard. Older adults are a powerful political force.
Second, talk with your financial advisor or accountant about what a rise in inflation might mean for you. For example, should you consider investment options that adjust to inflation, such as TIPs (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities)?
Also, if the Federal Reserve does increase interest rates, make sure that you don’t get stuck in a low-interest-rate account. Talk with a professional about how to take advantage of higher interest rates when and if they come.
Finally, as Canada, Mexico, the EU and China retaliate against these tariffs, it is likely that many American companies will be impacted as demand for their products decreases abroad. If this happens, they may be more likely to let employees go to save costs. This is just one more reason that I am strongly in favor of older adults developing alternative and diverse sources of income in retirement.
If you are looking for ideas on how to make money in the years leading up to and during retirement, I encourage you to read the following articles on Sixty and Me.
I hope that you found the information in this article useful. Once again, our intention is not to argue for or against these tariffs. We simply want to cut through some of the noise so that you can better prepare for their potential consequences.
Do you support tariffs on China, Canada, the EU and Mexico? Why or why not? Did you know that it is you, the consumer, that pays any tariffs that are placed on foreign goods? Let’s have a conversation!
Even after 50 years of astonished viewing, the meaning of 2001: A Space Odyssey remains open to discussion.
It was a joint project from renowned movie director Stanley Kubrick and famed novelist Arthur C. Clarke. Since its debut in 1968, science-fiction enthusiasts and fans of great films have been debating its meaning.
However, despite years of researching, Benson readily admits he still isn’t certain exactly what Kubrick and Clarke were trying to say in their “implicit rather explicit” film.
What Is It All About?
“It is a masterwork of oblique visceral and intuited meanings which permits every viewer to project his or her own understanding on it. And that’s an important reason for the film’s enduring power and relevance,” Benson says.
In 1968, Kubrick claimed he wanted audiences “to pay attention with their eyes” as they viewed his epic, evolutionary journey of humans from “ape to angel.”
When it was released 50 years ago, the film was initially dismissed as incomprehensible. But it quickly found favor with hipper elements of the Baby Boom generation, who were looking to drugs and ancient Eastern philosophies to take them on an inner journey.
They viewed the film as a similar attempt to grasp the complexities of an even more mind-boggling universe.
One of the Most Influential Films Ever Made
Soon the movie began receiving critical praise as well. Today, it is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. 2001 was named the number 1 science fiction movie of all-time by the American Film Institute (AFI).
In 1991, the film was deemed “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on 2001, but I have seen the film a half-dozen times in my life.
I first watched it as a 16-year-old when it was released, and most recently as a 66-year-old at a recent viewing at the Smithsonian Museum of American History which was followed by an engaging, thought-provoking talk by Benson.
A Modern Day Odyssey
So, after five decades, what do I feel certain about when talking about the film?
First, as its title implies, it is a saga about a journey, one loosely informed by Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, a sequel to the equally famous The Iliad.
While The Iliad is about the fall of Troy, The Odyssey follows the 10-year, action-packed journey of one of the greatest surviving Greek warriors, Odysseus – known in Roman myths as Ulysses – as he struggles to return to his kingdom in Ithaca.
But while Homer’s tale was bound by the limited knowledge of the ancient world, 2001 tackles the vastness of interplanetary, interstellar, and intergalactic space with a fantastic adventure encompassing 400 million years of human evolution – from howling apes discovering that bones could be weapons of death to the fictional rebirth of a sole surviving space explorer as a new superhuman “star child.”
The greatest homage to Homer is the fact that the eerily calm-speaking, yet decidedly-evil rogue super-computer Bowman must “kill” in the film is represented by a glaring single eye, echoing the central characteristic of the mighty, one-eyed Cyclops Odysseus must overcome in his journey.
A Story of Human Evolution in Mythic Terms
There is no question that Kubrick and Clarke were determined to offer their story of human evolution in mythic terms and were steeped in the ideas of author Joseph Campbell’s seminal work The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
In his book, Campbell contends that rite of passage for any mythological hero encompasses “separation-initiation-return,” a sequence which perfectly captures the tale of both Odysseus and Bowman.
Much of the mystery of the movie comes from the giant black monoliths – the first seen in the opening scene with the apes.
Another black monolith, later discovered buried on the moon, proves the finding that launches Bowman and his fellow astronauts – who like Odysseus’ men do not survive – on their incredible journey to Jupiter and beyond.
Here I concur with the belief that the monoliths are the creations of a super-alien race which, like the overlord gods of ancient Greek legend, has continued to have a hand on affairs on planet Earth.
Of course, the biggest impact of the film rests in its visually spellbinding scenes, which can still astound today.
From the disturbing appearance of the murderous apes, to the various spaceflights, to the lobotomization of HAL-9000 – “I’m sorry Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that” – to the final strange, abstract “Star Gate” sequence where Bowman ages, only to finally materialize as an ethereal floating fetus, the film offers an experience which has yet to be duplicated even with our modern technological advances.
There is no question 2001 deals with some of the major issues of modernity including evolution, the benefits and perils of technology, artificial intelligence, space exploration, and the concept of God. However, the film poses more questions than it answers.
In fact, the lasting brilliance of Kubrick and Clarke’s creation continues because it allows us to make our own decisions of meaning. Much as in the reality of our actual lives, we must weigh the possibility of human transformation through technology against the warnings of the dangers of that same technology.
Is 2001: A Space Odyssey an Optimistic or Pessimistic Film?
Much of the disagreement about the film lies in the perception of its meaning. Some viewers regard the film – especially its ending – as an optimistic statement of humanity. Others argue the film is a pessimistic account of human nature and humanity’s future.
And so, if its first 50 years are an indication, it appears that unlike Odysseus’ travels in the ancient Odyssey which did finally conclude, the journey depicted in 2001: A Space Odyssey will continue as long as there are questioning humans on Earth, enticing planets to visit, and bright stars to light the sky.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY - Trailer - YouTube
If you have seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, what do you think of the film – is it optimistic about the future of humanity or a warning about the dangers of technology? What impact did it have on you as a viewer? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
A retired journalist and educator, Dave Price now operates a freelance writing/speaking/consulting practice in Washington, DC. Price focuses on four subjects – the Baby Boomer generation, classic rock, issues of aging, and grandparenting. You can follow Dave at his website or on Facebook or Twitter.
Poor communication is often the source of unhappiness in a relationship. However, many couples in their 60s and over, who have been together for years, even decades, may not be aware that they even have a communication problem.
This is often due to over-familiarity and losing touch with the true person of your partner. The way to go forward is by discovering why your relationship may not be as good as it could be, and taking some steps in the right direction.
Why do so many long-term relationships and marriages fail? Some of the most common reasons include cheating, deception, and over-involvement with work, the children and grandchildren. But poor communication is often at the heart of all these issues.
Here is some advice to help you tackle your communication problems.
Make Time to Talk
When you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it can be easy to take each other for granted. You may think you know your partner well and thus assume you don’t need to put too much effort to say much.
Never fall into the trap of believing you can drop the ball when it comes to communication. Make sure you take time out of your day to talk to your partner.
Whether it’s a simple comment to ask how their day is going, or a long conversation, they’ll appreciate it. If you get a one-word response like, “Fine,” bring up something that is of interest to them or something important that has recently happened.
Your attention will make them feel valued and let them know you’ve been listening.
Eliminate Distractions and Interruptions
Sitting next to each other watching TV isn’t communication. It’s more like being alone while you’re together. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se. In fact, being able to do this comfortably is a sign of a good relationship. However, you can’t let such activities take over your communication.
Distractions can be used as a tool to avoid each other, especially when you’re having a conflict. Eliminate any kind of distraction you can. This will give you the freedom to talk to each other without any interruptions.
If you are used to watching TV at a certain time each day, postpone it for 10 minutes or so and just sit with one another.
It’s important that you make sure you don’t interrupt. If you have a habit of butting in and taking over the conversation, take a step back. Always let them finish what they have to say before answering.
Are you really listening to what they’re saying, or are you just thinking about what you’re going to say as soon as they’ve finished? It’s something to keep in mind.
Don’t Bottle Things Up
When something’s bothering you, it can be tempting to keep it inside instead of talking to your partner about it. This might be because you shy away from confrontation to avoid upsetting your partner or creating a fuss.
You may even assume your long-term partner should know you well enough to sense something is wrong and ask you about it. That’s simply being stubborn.
If that is your strategy, you could be waiting forever. All the while, you’ll be getting more annoyed and nothing will get resolved. Remember, it is your responsibility to speak up about what’s troubling you, not theirs to second-guess and fix.
Making a habit of bottling things up can cause serious communication issues for your relationship, and they can end up snowballing into something bigger, or coming back to bite you in another conflict later down the line.
However uncomfortable, it’s best to raise an issue when it first starts to bother you.
State the Obvious
You might think that your partner knows you love and appreciate them, especially if you’ve been together for many years. Still, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t tell them from time to time. This is often something that your spouse wants you to do but won’t tell you.
A relationship needs to be nurtured constantly. Tell your partner every now and then how wonderful you think they are, and what you love about them.
Don’t Be Passive Aggressive
Giving your partner the silent treatment when they do something to upset you won’t solve anything. It will only fuel further conflict, causing the gap between you to widen. This is passive aggression and it can be incredibly damaging.
Be direct about your wants and needs in a relationship. Otherwise, how can you expect them to be met?
Simply listening to your partner isn’t enough. You have to respond with empathy.
That means being attentive to their feelings and needs by trying to put yourself in their shoes. Consider how they might be feeling, and you’ll have a better perspective on how to solve your communication issues together as a team.
If you are not sure how to be empathic, you could try and express in words to them how the same situation might make you feel and ask them if this is the same for them. This shows you are trying to relate to what they are going through and also helps make a conversation flow.
Know When to Soften Your Words
Good communication means being honest and truthful with one another. However, there are times when you need to take care in the way you speak so as not to hurt your partner’s feelings. You can often soften blows in general conversation by changing “you” to “I.”
If you’re always saying things like, “You hurt my feelings,” or “You shouldn’t have done that,” you’re constantly directing blame and responsibility towards your partner.
This is an easy way to make them feel resentful or defensive, and it could shut communication down altogether. Instead, try to use phrases such as “I feel that…” more often. You’re likely to get a better response and have a more open conversation.
Be Happier Together and Rekindle the Romance
If you follow the above rules, you’re bound to have fewer communication problems in your relationship, and you are on the way to experiencing an enjoyable companionship within your relationship.
And if you are looking for further advice on how to rekindle that old flame, you can read more here.
What things do you do to create strong positive communication in your relationships? What things do you do to rekindle the romance in your love life? Please share what strategies worked in your relationship. Let’s have a chat!
Dr. Carissa Coulston is a clinical psychologist who specialises in the research and treatment of adult mental health problems including depression, mood swings, anxiety, worry, trauma, etc. She conducts therapy with individuals as well as couples to promote better mental health, relationships and quality of life.
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