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Archive for the ‘Aging with Zest’ Category

When we saw this recent post in the Daily Telegraph, we had to share it with you.  Love blooms when you least expect it.  Reminding us in a most magical and romantic way that when we remain open to the possibilities, Life continues to send amazing and surprising gifts our way.  Our job is to be open to receive them with joy and gratitude.  Read their romantic story below.  The best part…they are going on a two week honeymoon cruise!   This couple just took flourishing to a new level.

Britain’s oldest newly-weds have combined age of 181

Britain’s oldest bridegroom has tied the knot aged 94 to his 87-year-old partner – a record-breaking marriage giving them a combined age of 181.

Published: 7:00AM BST 09 Oct 2009

Britain's oldest newlyweds Les Atwell, 94, and Sheila Walsh, 87 on their wedding day at Oldway Mansion, Paignton, Devon: Britain's oldest newly-weds have combined age of 181

Britain’s oldest newlyweds Les Atwell, 94, and Sheila Walsh, 87 on their wedding day at Oldway Mansion, Paignton, Devon Photo: SWNS

Les Atwell and his girlfriend of four years Sheila Walsh married in front of friends and family to become Britain’s oldest newly-weds.

The couple, from Paignton, Devon, met after Mr Atwell’s cleaner turned matchmaker and suggested he meet her friend Miss Walsh.

They then arranged a first date at a café in a branch of Tesco and four years later Mr Atwell took her back to the same supermarket – to propose.

They are now Britain’s oldest couple to marry – beating the previous record of a combined age of 179 years.

Mrs Atwell said: “A friend told me about Les and I thought he sounded nice, but then she told me, ‘he’s 90’, and I thought ‘oh no I’m not sure’.

”But when we met, that was it, it was love at first sight.”

Mr Atwell said: ”It doesn’t sound romantic to propose at a Tesco but it was where we first met so it was only right that I should ask her to marry me there as well.

”’Once I popped the question it didn’t take us long to organise the wedding. When you get to my age you can’t hang around.”

The couple married at Oldway Mansion in Paignton in front of family members including Mr Atwell’s son Stewart, granddaughter Catherine and sister Mary.

They will enjoy a two week cruise for their honeymoon in the Mediterranean, including Barcelona, Rome and Athens.

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Flourish serves up inspiration in many forms but this UTube video is the ultimate.  If this amazing woman doesn’t get you up

salsa grandma

salsa grandma

and moving…well maybe your butt has been secretly glued to the couch.  It is never too late…you are not too old.  Most of us may not be able to dance as elegantly and beautifully as this amazing woman, but I believe that we all have a little music within us.  So, give it a try when no one else is looking.  Turn up the music and shake it – just a little.   How good does that feel?   Our bodies were meant to move.

Put your dancing shoes on and get going!  It’s Salsa time.

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Don’t you just love those two words!  Makes you giggle just to say them.  Our upcoming Flourish event is all about being “tickled pink”, “in the pink” and all things pink & girlie – pampering, playing, indulging, shopping, eating, drinking, girlfriends, chatting, and laughing.  We’ve got it all put together into one fabulously fun afternoon in Portland’s South Waterfront at the beautiful Rilassi Coffee House.    Tickled Pink is for women of all ages who are ready to carve out a little bit of me time and get their PINK on.   Hope you can join us!

Here’s an invitation with more details or go to the Flourish website and sign up.

tickled pink flyer cc

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A dear friend sent me this article the other day and even though I’m sure I read it several years ago when it was first published in O Magazine, this beautiful piece written by the wonderful author Anne Lamott, came to me just when I needed to read it again. (In the month of yet another birthday).   For all of us who have seen the back side of 40 or even 50 or 60, it is a well worth another read.   Enjoy and take heart!

true bathing beauties

true bathing beauties

An Homage to Age and Femininity by Anne Lamott (from O Magazine)

I was at a wedding Saturday with a lot of women in their 20s and 30s in sexy dresses, their youthful skin aglow.  And even though I was 30 or 40 years older, a little worse for wear, a little tired and overwhelmed by the loud music, I was smiling.  I smiled with a secret Cheshire-cat
smile of pleasure and relief in being older.  I would not give you back a year of life lived.  Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life – it gave me me.  It provided the time and experience and failures and triumphs and friends who helped me step into the shape that had been waiting for me all my life.

I fit into me now – mostly.  I have an organic life finally, not the one people imagined for me or tried to get me to have or the life someone else might celebrate as a successful one – I have the life I dreamed of.  I have become the woman I hardly dared imagine I could be.

There are parts I don’t love – until a few years ago, I had no idea that you could get cellulite on your stomach – but I not only get along with me most of the time now, I am militantly and maternally on my own side.

Left to my own devices, would I trade this for firm thighs, fewer wrinkles, a better memory?  On some days.  That’s why it’s such a blessing I’m not left to my own devices. Because the truth is I have amazing friends to whom  I can turn.  I have a cool kid, a sweet boyfriend, darling pets.  I’ve learned to pay attention to life, and to listen.  I’d give up all this for a flatter belly?  Are you crazy?

I still have terrible moments when I despair about my body.  But they are just moments – I used to have years when I believed I would be more beautiful if I jiggled less; if all parts of my body stopped moving when I did.  But I believe two things now that I didn’t at 30. When we get to heaven, we will discover that the appearance of our butts and skin was 127th on the list of what mattered on this earth.

And I know the truth that l am not going to live forever, and this has set me free.  Eleven years ago, when my friend Pammy was dying at the age of 37 we went shopping at Macy’s.  She was in a wheelchair, with a wig and three weeks to live. I tried on a short dress and came out to model it for Pammy.

I asked if she thought it made me look big in the thighs, and she said, so kindly, “Annie, You just don’t have that kind of time.”  I live by this story.

I am thrilled-ish for every gray hair and achy muscle, because of all the friends who didn’t make it, who died too young of AIDS and breast cancer. And -what other people think of me and how l am living my life. I give these things the big shrug.  Mostly. Or at least eventually. It’s a huge relief.

I became more successful in my mid-40s, but this pales compared to the other gifts of this decade – how kind to myself I have become, what a wonderful, tender wife I am to myself, what a loving companion.  I get myself tubs of hot salty water at the end of the day in which to soak my tired feet.

I run interference for myself when I am working, like the wife of a great artist would: “No, I’m sorry, she can’t come. She’s working hard these days and needs a lot of downtime.” I live by the truth that “No” is a complete sentence.  I rest as a spiritual act.

I have grown up enough to develop radical acceptance.  I insist on the right to swim in warm water at every opportunity, no matter how cold, no matter how young and gorgeous the other people on the beach are.  I don’t think that if I live to be 80 I’ll wish I’d spent more hours in the gym or kept my house a lot cleaner.  I think I’m going to wish I had swum more unashamedly, made more mistakes, spaced out more, rested.

On the day I die, I want to have had dessert.  So this informs how l live now.

I have survived so much loss, as all of us have by now – my parents, dear
friends, my pets.  Rubble is the ground on which our deepest friendships are built.  If you haven’t already, you will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken; and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of a beloved person.

But this is also the good news.  They live forever, in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a leg that never heals perfectly – that still hurts when the weather is cold – but you learn to dance with the limp. You dance to the absurdities of life; you dance to the minuet of old friendships. I danced alone for a couple of years, and came to believe I might not ever have a passionate romantic relationship – might end up alone!  I’d been so terrified of this my whole life.

But I’d rather never be in a couple or never get laid again than to be in a toxic relationship.  I spent a few years celibate. It was lovely, and it was sometimes lonely.  I had surrendered; I’d run out of bullets. But I learned to be the person I wished I’d meet – at which point I found a kind, artistic, handsome man. We have been together 20 months now.  When we get out of bed, we hold our lower backs, like Walter Brennan, and we smile.

Younger women worry that their memories will begin to go.  And you know what? They will. Menopause has not increased my focus and retention as much I as I’d been hoping. But a lot is better off missed. A lot is better not gotten around to.  I know many of the women at the wedding fear getting older, and I wish I could gather them together again and give them my word of honor that every one of my friends loves being older, loves being in her 50s, 60s, 70s.  My Aunt Gertrude is 85 and leaves us behind in the dust when we hike.

Look, my feet hurt some mornings, and my body is less forgiving when I exercise more than I’m used to.  But I love my life more, and me more.  I’m so much juicier.  And, like that old saying goes, it’s not that I think less of myself, but that I think of myself less often. And that feels like heaven to me.

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