attitude


What is Sexy?

A couple of weeks back I was down in Florida relaxing in the pool with some of my friends. Most of the guys were just back from the golf course and having a typical man’s conversation. By now you ladies know that means we were retelling our favorite old stories and jokes. Every once-in-a-while somebody would come up with something new. At one point my friend Tom told us about recently being in a local establishment with some of the guys. Before they left, the waitress suggested they come back later that night. She added, “We get a lot of Cougars in here.” (For those of you who don’t get out much, “Cougar” means an older woman who is looking for younger men) Tom told the waitress, “Hell, for us they’d have to be about 85.” We all thought it was a funny line and had a good laugh. His story, while funny, got me to thinking about this question: As we grow older, what is sexy?

Sex at the age of eighty-four is a wonderful experience. Especially the one in the winter.  

 – Milton Berle

Like any other time in one’s life, I’m sure the term sexy means different things to different people. We certainly know throughout history, one’s sex appeal has differed according to their culture. At one time in many societies, being overweight was sexy because it meant wealth and success. I could have been a king. Today,  influenced by the media, most young women consider sexy for themselves and other females to be pencil thin. For men, things don’t seem to have changed much physically. Being in shape has always been considered sexy.

As we age, does our definition of sexy change?  The answer is complicated. Having done considerable research on the subject of aging and sex for our book, The Best of Our Lives, it appears we seniors now live in a world unlike any in history. Advances in medicine have given us, on average, longer lives. Our lifestyles and technology are changing so rapidly, its difficult to keep up. Not long ago, reaching retirement age meant some very specific things. As far as seniors being sexy, society taught us to play down sexuality and had pretty definite rules on how to dress and act. Today, there are many seniors who still follow that script, and many others who have thrown away the rule book.

Attitude is Key 

Based on my research, it’s no surprise physical attractiveness and fitness are still important components for seniors to be perceived as sexy. Beyond that, a senior’s attitude toward life, male or female, is the most important factor. In other words, you don’t have to act young to be sexy, you just don’t want to act old. Seniors who only focus and talk about subjects considered to be “old” such as illnesses and age-related problems will probably be perceived as old and less sexy. Those who still aspire to accomplishment and look to the future, despite the real-life issues all seniors must confront, are often perceived as more youthful and sexy. One’s intelligence is also considered to be sexy in a senior. Other factors, in no particular order are, appropriate and polite behaviors, a sense of humor, good hygiene, dressing nicely, and being well-groomed.

Did I leave anything out? Yes. Wealth is considered by some to be very sexy. My father used to say, “It’s just as easy to love a rich woman as a poor one.” Of course, he would always laugh because when he married my mom, they had $63 dollars between them, and when he passed they had been married 65 years. The fact is, the comfort of security and an elegant lifestyle are often perceived as sexy. This, of course, should not be confused with happiness. While on a recent cruise, we could not help but notice one of the other couples who clearly had tons of money and became a major topic of shipboard conversation. At every event, dinner, and excursion, the wife was decked out in jewels and expensive clothes. She constantly proclaimed her boredom in every port because she had “been here so many times.” No amount of wealth could have made her sexy. Now for a test. Ladies, does this new $400,000 Ferrari SA Aperta Roadster make me more sexy?

Really? I guess it’s trade in time.

So what’s the point of this little exercise. Well, as I’ve discussed, there are certain qualities most people agree are sexy. It is, however, an individual preference. For instance, my wife is a very pretty lady, is very intellegent, and has an extremely positive attitude. Not surprisingly, I consider her to be very sexy. It’s interesting, however, that when she feels the least sexy, during her daily exercise and work out, I think she is very sexy. There is something about the effort she puts forth to stay fit that I find very attractive. 

In closing, let me share this with you. It’s from a website called suddenlysenior.com. I’ve condensed the poll results in their article entitled, What Older Women Want in a Man.   

At age 22:

1. Handsome 2. Charming 3. Financially successful 4. A caring listener 5. Witty 6. In good shape 7. Well dressed 8. Appreciates finer things 9. Full of thoughtful surprises 10. Romantic lover

Age 52        

1. Keeps hair in nose and ears trimmed 2. Doesn’t belch or scratch in public 3. Doesn’t borrow money too often 4. Doesn’t nod off to sleep when I’m venting 5. Doesn’t retell the same joke too many times 6. In good enough shape to get off couch on weekends 7. Usually wears matching socks and fresh underwear 8. Appreciates a good microwave dinner 9. Remembers my name on occasion 10. Shaves some weekends.

Age (let’s just say much older)

1. Breathing 2. Doesn’t miss the toilet  

Obviously, this survey was meant to be funny. But the question remains, what is sexy? Are you sexy? I guess its in the eye of the beholder. Deep down I guess everyone would like to think they’re sexy, we just hope others can see it. If only.

I want to thank everyone who reads my blog and also those of you who email me and/or make comments in the reply section. As always, if you find it worthy, I would appreciate it if you would forward this blog to anyone in your address book you think would enjoy it. Thanks.

Be sure to visit Trisha’s Dishes:

Meatloaf, Baked Beans, and Soup from Trisha’s Dishes

 

www.TheBestofOurLives.com

 

Yes, another Valentine’s Day is upon us. I’m not sure it’s necessary to buy something for those you love, but you should sure let them know. As a matter of fact, let them know every day.

Some Inspiration

I want to share something inspirational with you. Last Fall, my wife Trisha and I had the great pleasure of traveling half way around the world. We did so with Trisha’s aunt Pat and her uncle Noel. He turned 89 on the first week of our month-long trip, and Pat had recently had another hip-replacement surgery. When we arrived in China, they took off on their own for the last leg of the trip. Pat and Noel are a great inspiration for us because of the way they live their lives and age is just a number.

Last week I spoke to Pat on the phone and she regaled me with the story of her recent zip-lining adventure in Costa Rica. One of the zip-lines in the series was over 1/2 mile long. It sounded so great, I’m in the process of looking for a zip-line location on our next travel adventure.

The point is, here are two people in their eighties with a focus on the future. I know people much younger who don’t have such a forward thinking attitude. I should add, Trisha’s aunt and uncle have the same attitude about life whether it’s at home or on a vacation. It’s not a money issue, its an issue of attitude. We can all learn a lot from them. 

Yummy

If you have not been to Trisha’s blog, Trisha’s Dishes, this time is a must.

Valentine Confections « Trisha’s Dishes

By the way, Trisha is my Valentine and the love of my life.

Rather than “happy,” I decided to go with “stupendous” in my new year’s wish. I truly hope you all have the best year of your lives. In our quest to make every day the best it can be, my wife Trisha and I know that it can be quite challenging at times. By it’s very nature, no matter how much we try to control it, life is one long rollercoaster ride. 

The other day someone I hadn’t seen in a while asked me “How have you been?”  I actually had to pause before I answered because my mind was racing though all the ups and downs life had presented me this year. I suppose I could have said, “Same old, same old,” but the question really put me in a philosophic mode.

In just over a year, my wife and I were blessed with three new grandchildren, had our book published, had fun doing television and radio interviews, were invited to do book signings and personal appearances, nearly lost my best friend to a terrible accident, had a great vacation with some dear friends, traveled with my parents, suffered the loss of my father, had an incredible travel adventure, and worried over my mother’s recent stroke. These are just the major highlights and low lights of the last year, not including the day-to-day issues and dramas that presented themselves.

That last paragraph simply stated is: life. The key is to fill our hearts with as much love as we can, greet each day with joy and thankfulness for the gift of life, and give as much of our hearts to others as we can we possibly share. In this next year, it’s a given we will all smile at some point and in turn shed a tear. How many times can we be the one responsible for the smiles on the faces of others? A very worthy goal for the new year.

Have a stupendous new year!

                                www.TheBestofOurLives.com

How long will you live? Yikes, what a question!

Now then, how long do you expect to live? Having just had another birthday, I posed that question to myself and it made me a bit uncomfortable. I then began to look at actuarial tables and the fact is, the figures didn’t really surprise me.

In the United States, most of the statistics indicate that males will live on average to between 75-80 years of age. Females will live on average to between 78-82. Of course, barring some unforeseen health problem, there are a number of factors that can subtract or add years to your life.

The first longevity factor many folks point to (and in some cases count on) is genetics. Yes, genetics is a factor, but not as much as one might think. There have been studies done with identical twins and they demonstrated genetics plays about a 25-30% role in one’s longevity. The other factors all involve lifestyle.

The fact that lifestyle choices play the most important role in longevity should come as no surprise to anyone. Here are the most important lifestyle choices we can make:

* Do not start, or if you do, quit smoking (this is at the top of every list)

* Maintain a positive attitude and properly manage your stress (reduce hypertension)

* Get proper nutrition with lots of vegetables and fruits (especially those high in antioxidants)

* Eat meals low in fat content (manage your cholesterol)

* Get proper sleep (7-8 hours is still best for most people)

* Get 30 minutes (minimum) of aerobic exercise each day

* Follow recommended schedule of health screenings for your age group

I’m sure most of you have heard that one or two drinks each day is also beneficial. Just this week another study came out with the same suggestion. Great news for some of you. My instincts tell me that taking another walk instead of drinking has got to be better for you, but maybe we can start a study looking at people who drink while they walk.

Well, there you have it. Probably nothing you haven’t heard before, but certainly worth thinking about from time to time. I’m not really into preaching to others, but rather presenting information and letting people make their own decisions. The fact is I’m a big guy and some might say, “well, do you follow these suggestions?” No, not all the time, but most of the time I do. The average American adult gains  10-20 lbs. per decade. When I retired, I was too heavy but knew that fast and fad diets would not be the answer. Over the last few years, I have slowly lost 40 lbs. and actively try to continue this pattern of slow but permanent weight loss and control. 

How long will you live? No one really knows, but in most cases, your lifestyle choices will play the most important role in the answer.

                                    

                                 www.TheBestofOurLives.com

                                                                        

As we prepare for the Thanksgiving Holiday, it’s a natural time of reflection. Therefore, I pose the question:  “Are you really happy?”

I can hear a predictable response loud and clear: “What do you mean by happy?” Fair enough, let’s give this a try. Here are ten questions I’ve come up with that, if answered honestly, should give you a fairly complete assessment of your happiness:  

1. Do you have enough love in your life?  Do you have a relationship or relationships  in your life that provide you with a sense of caring and support? Do you have friends and neighbors that you can count on? Do you have social groups that provide you with a sense of belonging?

2. Do you maintain your mental and physical health and fitness? Do you care enough about yourself to eat properly and excise routinely? Do you schedule regular screening exams and follow your doctor’s advice?

3. Do you control the stress in your life? Do you understand where your stress comes from and take appropriate measures to control and reduce it? Have you created a stress-free living environment?

4. Have you secured your financial situation by living within your means? Do you have an overall financial plan? Do you have a budget and live within it?

5. Do you regularly help others? Do you give of yourself through time, money, or effort to better the lives of fellow human beings? 

6. Do you live up to the goals, values, and standards you have set for yourself? Do you live a life of honesty, spirituality, and pursue those things in life which are truly worthwhile?

7. Do you express yourself creatively? Do you strive to learn new things, expand and express yourself?  

8. Do you like yourself? Are you satisfied with the person you have become? What changes would you make?

9. Do you have enough humor in your life? Is it possible you take yourself and others too seriously? Do you seek out humor in your everyday activities and entertainment?

10. Are you having fun with your life? Has life simply become a chore or do you take the time for those activities you truly enjoy? 

That’s my list of questions. Perhaps you have your own questions and/or methods for determining personal happiness. Is there any real value in periodically making such an assessment? And what is so important about happiness anyway? Is that what life is really all about? 

One of my favorite class exercises as a university professor was to have my students take note of facial expressions of people they encountered in everyday settings. Based on their observations, I asked them to offer opinions as to each person’s happiness. It was an interesting way to begin a discussion on the concept of happiness, which in turn led to a discussion of values, goals, humanity, stress, etc. It was always an interesting and  valuable discussion. I hope this exercise was beneficial for you.

By the way, don’t miss my wife Trisha’s new blog: 

                                                                       

                      Thanksgiving Side Dishes « Trisha’s Dishes

www.TheBestofOurLives.com

Announcement

On our website, www.TheBestofOurLives.com, there is a page called Trisha’s Dishes. This is a page where my wife Trisha offered her favorite recipies. The problem has been that Trisha had to go through our publisher every time she wanted to include a new recipe. Well, good news. Trisha now has her own site where she will be providing her favorite recipies and a forum for others to share their favorites on a weekly basis.

Do yourself and your taste buds a favor and visit her new site.

Simply go to our homepage www.TheBestofOurLives.com and click on Trisha’s Dishes or click on the link below.

               

My Family’s Favorite Dessert « Trisha’s Dishes

Seniors and a Stree-free Environment 

After coming off a long travel adventure, it has taken a while to get unpacked, organized, and acclimated to our own home. As we were going through this process, I came across an online article that provided suggestions for creating a healthy and happy home. It reminded me of something my wife Trisha and I have been working on since we retired. In our book, The Best of Our Lives: Sharing the Secrets of a Healthy and Happy Retired Life, we referred to it as creating a stress-free environment. Reducing stress is key to maintaining both mental and physical health, especially as we get older.

Have you ever visited someone who has been retired for many years and noticed their living environment had not changed in years? That in itself may not be a bad thing, but the fact is as we get older we need to pay attention to our environment and make sure we create one that is stree-free, promotes good health, and meets our need for safety.

Here are a few suggestions for creating a stress-free and healthy environment:

1. Reduce clutter – This is my personal favorite because I’m claustrophobic and clutter makes me very stressed. Clutter also increases your chances of tripping and falling (see my last blog). Now University of Chicago researchers have found that living with clutter actually makes you more tired and that fatigue creates a hormone called cortisol within your body that can cause you to eat from 200 to 1,000 more calories per day. I was just going to use the “big bones” excuse.

2. Keep it light – Scientests have shown that keeping your home environment filled with natural light is good for both your mental and physical fitness. There are some studies that now contend an abundance of natural light in our environment can even help prevent disease. I’m always intriqued when I walk into a person’s home that has closed blinds or heavy window covers that prevent light. I’m sure it has something to do with privacy, but keeping our living environment filled with natural light is very important.

3. Keep it simple and spacious – This doesn’t mean you have to have a large home, it simply means don’t over fill your living space with furniture, plants, etc. When my wife and I bought our first home (sometime back in the last century), I could not wait to get one of those big sectional couches. Well, I got my wish. Of course, even the kids had a hard time walking around in our living room. As my old baseball coach used to say, “You have to learn from losing.” Allow yourself plenty of space and wide walking paths.

4. Keep it personal and upbeat – Have you ever watched one of those television shows where exerts come into someone’s home and help them redecorate (o.k. guys, now you know I do watch some of those shows)? They will often look at the paint color or some art object and ask why it’s there. The person typically responds, “It’s been there since we moved in.” Yikes! How much does two gallons of paint cost. Why are you hanging on to grandma’s old quilt hanging on the wall? If you are retired, it’s definitely time to make your living environment your own. Look through some magazines, watch some of the decorating shows, and create the kind of living space would make you happy.

5. Enjoy your space – Once you have created the perfect space for your retired life, make sure you enjoy it. My wife Trisha and I have added a mid-afternoon break to our schedules. When we are home, around 4:00 or so, we stop what we’re doing and sit down for some hot or iced tea, sometimes a snack, and just relax. Sounds very English doesn’t it. It just seemed that around that time we are usually still going strong on various projects and a nice peaceful break would be beneficial for us. Our stress-free environment is the perfect location.

See you next time and don’t forget to share this site with your friends and family.

 

  www.TheBestofOurLives.com                                          

When I was 15 years old my mother took my sister and I on a train trip to visit our grandmother in Iowa. It was early in the morning when the train made a prolonged stop in Omaha, Nebraska. Being from southern California, I was used to warm weather, lots of cars, buildings, brown hillsides, and smog. When my mother gave me permission to get off the train and explore for a while, I raced to a bridge above the train station and gazed out at the river below, the blue sky, and the greenery for as far as the eye could see. I was in a different world and have never forgotten that feeling of excitement in discovering someplace new. I also met  a number of characters on that train who were completely different from others in my limited experience. Ever since that time I have always been thrilled to see a new place or meet some interesting person. It can be around the corner or around the world, the thrill is still there.

Now that we have retired, my wife Trisha and I have more time to devote to this passion for meeting new people and visiting new places. We have just returned from a wonderful four week travel adventure which took us to many new and beautiful locations in Alaska, Russia, Japan, and numerous cities and historic sites  in China.

We would have to write another book to fully describe all the  wonderful people we met and incredible places we visited. Rather than do that, let me share a few of the nearly 1,300 photos taken by Trisha with her new camera. In future blogs I will share more of our adventure, but here is a small sample.

In Dutch Harbor with new friend and fellow traveler Jean Michel Cousteau

Catherderal of the Holy Life-Giving Trinity in Petropavlavsk, Russia

  

In Hakodate, Japan after cable car ride to top of Mount Hakodate.

Trisha taking in the beauty of the ancient Shinto Temple in Sendai, Japan

Standing on glass platform of the Tokyo Tower, 1091 feet tall.

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

Trisha in beautiful Nagoya, Japan

Riding the cable car to the top of Mt. Rocco in Kobe, Japan

Making new friends aboard ship.

Making friends at the Nagoya Castle.

With new friends Vicky and Bob in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.

Trisha in the Forbidden City.

Overlooking "Birdsnest" site of the summer Olympics in Beijing.

Terra Cotta warrior in Xian China.

Beautiful performance at the Xian Opera House

Aboard the 220 MPH Bullet Train in Shanghai

Loved this train.

Enjoying a beautiful garden in Suzhou, China.

Boat ride through the canals of Suzhou.

Enjoying a traditional tea ceremony in Shanghai.

Incredible Shanghai

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