Welcome to the Land of Sunshine

IMG_4082Barclay and I are both settling into our winter (escapist!) homes of Florida and Ajijic, Mexico respectively.  We welcome the sunshine and the feeling you get when you wake up to a clear blue sky every morning.

I am not a hearty trooper and can’t hack a severely cold winter.  I am a sunshine girl through and through.  Forgive me dear neighbor for leaving you in the 9 degree weather of this morning! I admit it.  I’m a wuss!

Sunshine is so good for you, as long as you don’t over expose.  We all know now that sunning oneself with a reflector and baby oil was a really bad idea!  Hey, it was the 1960’s before we knew better and it seemed like a great way to get a tan!

The benefits of the sun though are many.  My super senior dog, Colby, is relishing in it now as he warms his arthritic bones.  He is in doggie Nirvana! No more grey skies and frigid temperatures for the next 4 months.

15 Health Benefits of Sunshine – The Active Times
http://www.theactivetimes.com/fitness/nutrition/15..

Vitamin D, which our bodies crave and need, helps our immune system, warms our aging bones, boosts our metabolism, lessens tension, can help prevent disease, betters one’s sleep (you know how it makes you sleepy when you sunbathe?) even increases your mental acuity, and provides you with higher energy levels.  If that’s not enough, it just plain feels good on your body!

We are lucky to be able to have a change of scenery, shed our winter coats, put on flip flops in January and play pickleball on outdoor courts facing the water.  Blessed for sure. Your surroundings are so important to your psyche.  Though, I love Portland and Seattle,  as cities, I’m not sure I could hack drizzle and gray skies for days on end.  I am a sunshine babe and love those rays on my face and body.  I can still hear Muriel say, “Let the sun kiss you, Joy.” 

Well, mom, I’m listening.

Wonderful to be back and see friends who are now more than acquaintances. This special little village we share with others in their 3rd chapter of life is home for the winter and that’s not a bad place to be!

Name 5 more songs that have the word “sun” in their title. My favorites are:

Sunshine, Reggae

Aquarius, Let the Sunshine

Might as Well Be Walking on the Sun

Walking on Sunshine

Here Comes The Sun (who doesn’t love this song?)

If the sun wasn’t so important to us, would there be so many songs written about it?  I think not!

 

Today’s Takeaway…

-If you can get away for the winter, go!  If it’s a month or several, the respite and change of scenery will do you good.

-Life will still be there when you get back and let’s face it, who doesn’t look good with a tan!!

Enjoy the Ride

xox Barclay & Joy

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I am a Nurturer, but so much more

I am a junkie when it comes to awards shows, so of course I watched The Golden Globes on Sunday night. I confess.  I watch them all, The Oscars, The Golden Globes, The Emmy’s, The Grammy’s.   I love to see who wins, who loses, the gowns, the jewels, who has had good plastic surgery, who looks Asian because their eye lift went awry, etc. etc.  I should have been in the business, but I digress …

The speech that really spurred this post and that made me applaud inside my body was that of Glenn Close. She won for the  role of the woman behind the man. In this case, a Nobel Prize winner in literature who we find out is really not the writer he has pretended to be .  “The Wife” took 16 years to make and, boy, was its timing perfect!  We don’t hide behind anybody anymore! Always a favorite actress of mine, not typical Hollywood, but talented, poised, classy, whether on the stage, movies, or television. Her haunting portrayal of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (so lucky to have seen on Broadway), her creepy role as the spurned lover in Fatal Attraction,  and her transformative role as a man in Albert Nobbs.  (many many other incredible roles make this woman a force to be reckoned with even at 71!)

 

 

She spoke of our role in life, we women, as nurturers, moms, wives, but the fact that we need more. She used the word “sublimated” in referring to her own mother and her role behind her father, feeling as though she never accomplished anything meaningful.  My own mother was a behind the scene gal, who I have no doubt would have flourished in a different era.  Born at the wrong time.  A product of the 1950’s and the Donna Read culture. She never even thought about what would fulfill her as a person. She was an extension of my father and never came into her own as an individual.

My own children are my shining lights, my everything and I would go to the ends of the earth to see them happy and on the right life path.  With my career behind me though, I need more, I want more, I have the energy for more. The speech resonated with many and social media went wild in capturing tears flowing from Glenn’s eyes.  A sincere, heartfelt  acceptance that brought the audience to its feet in a standing ovation.

We women are incredible, my friends who have led similar lives as me, many being the chief bread winner in their family, need to not close the chapter at the end of the work routine, but find new meaning in who they are now. You don’t work for 42 years and stop cold turkey and expect to be okay!  I felt inspired listening to Glenn Close and it revved up my engines.  I’m not done by any stretch of the imagination!  Look out world, 2019 I make my comeback! Watch this space as I launch version 2.0.

Today’s Takeaway-

. Rewrite the rules that are important to you.  Don’t listen to anybody else, but your own inner voice who says, keep moving. (in Barclay’s and Peggy’s words before her)

. Never underestimate a woman.  With your support, dear reader, Barclay and I will take this little blog to Hollywood and Glenn Close will be watching us accept our golden statue one day!

DREAM BIG! What have you got to lose?!

Enjoy the Ride

xox Barclay and Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another New Year’s

So another new year is upon us and the old one is about to exit.

We reflect, we ponder, we think about what we have accomplished and we what we didn’t. Going into my second year of retirement (hard to believe!) I want this next year to be easier, not as much soul searching or scratching my head as to what to do now.  I want a light bulb to go on and a little voice inside of me to say , it’s okay to kick back every once in a while, to take an afternoon nap, make paella on Tuesday, sip a glass of wine every day at 4!  There don’t have to be rules to live by, just to be a good person, a role model for your children, your grand children, the people you care about.

The holidays are filled with great expectation and then they are over.  It all comes to an abrupt end and then reality reenters the picture.  People go back to their lives, their work lives.  This 2 week period where not much happens is an excuse for the world to take a break, a vacation, a ‘call me after the holidays”, take the tree down on Monday instead of waiting until the weekend.  Retired people return to being what?  Retired?  Where do I fit now?  What’s my place in the world?  Big questions for a Sunday, but thoughts that cross my mind and I want to share.

Barclay is headed down to Florida for a well deserved winter break and I will be leaving for Mexico next week.  We are lucky to get away. We have chosen to have a change of scenery, warmth for our bodies, sun for our geriatric dogs (we both have them)   We don’t have to worry about vacation schedules anymore, how many days have I accrued, will my company survive without me?  (believe me, it will!  None of us are that important, unless you are saving lives or working on a cure for cancer) What I’ve learned this last year is that I am the director and producer of this play.  I can change the script anytime I want or feel the need.  If something doesn’t please me or fulfill me, I can for the first time cancel the second act!  No one to account to, but me.  My performance review will be written by my toughest critic, moi!

http://www.revisionistretirement.com has come a long way since we began almost a year ago.  We have written 91 posts, poured our hearts out to you our followers, shared some very personal feelings, painted a picture of the little girls we were, the parents who raised us (where would we be without Peggy and Champe, Muriel and Ben?) the children we adore and couldn’t live without, and the EPH who puts up with 2 women who are navigating waters they never expected to be rough.  Writing has been cathartic, emotional, and joyful. It is an outlet that my fellow blogger and I needed to have.  We wanted to share this journey with both  friends, select family members (those who wouldn’t be offended by anything we say) as well as strangers who might benefit from the trials and tribulations we have faced.

Not so sure I’m making resolutions this year or buying new red underwear (I made my children fearful that if they didn’t rush out and buy a new pair every year, their year would be ruined!), but I will not eat chicken no matter what!  (all traditions that I have followed on New Year’s eve for many years!  What can I say, I’m a very superstitious person!) This year I’m going to shake it up a bit because as much as I am a creature of habit, I’m ready to break free!

In the words of Oprah, “Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right.”

Today’s Takeaway…

-We hope we made you laugh, made you think, given you a glimpse into our souls and that you will follow us in 2019.

-This 3rd chapter promises to be full of surprises and Barclay and I are ready to take it on!

Happy New Year to all and Enjoy the Ride.

xox Barclay and Joy

 

 

 

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Screen Shot 2018-01-25 at 1.53.49 PM   From the bottom of our hearts, Barclay and I thank you for your support as we navigate this retirement road.  It’s been a lot cheaper than therapy!! ( We’re not on medicare yet!)

We are taking a bit of a break as we enjoy our families, friends, one big birthday, and the end of another year.

May all your wishes and dreams come true.

Enjoy the Ride

xox Barclay and Joy

A wonderful read as you enjoy this holiday season-

http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pewforum.org%2Finteractives%2Fwhat-keeps-us-going%2F&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNEFAkcd6QEopqlg6Vw8d_dMZws3Eg

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Christmas Memory (still)

macro shot photography of christmas stockings ornament on a christmas tree
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

I (Joy) had always wanted to have a Christmas tree.  As many Jewish children will tell you, pleading, making the argument that the tree can be a Chanukah bush, that it isn’t truly a Christian symbol, ya de ya de ya de…  It didn’t work with my father and I’m sure it doesn’t work with many Jewish families.  Though in today’s world, times are different and maybe a small tree might fly!

Fast forward many years later at the tender age of 23, I marry a nice Catholic boy.  Finally, I would get to experience Christmas!  (Why else marry outside your faith?!!)

It was Christmas 1977 and I was so excited.  We didn’t own a car since we commuted into New York City by bus from New Jersey.   I had a driver’s license, but never drove having grown up in New York City.  My husband walked with a shopping cart to the local supermarket, a distance of a mile or more, to buy a tree and surprise me.  I remember it vividly when I came home to a tree standing tall in a stand ready to be decorated by newlyweds who were doing everything for the very first time.  I cried putting the tree up and I cried taking it down.

I have been carrying on this tradition for years, but this first Christmas will always be one I cherish in my heart and memory.  There is only one first and the ones that you remember are special, never to be duplicated again.

Christmas, just like many family holidays triggers memories for many people.  If you have lost someone, a parent, a spouse, someone dear to you it is a time for those memories to be felt acutely.  Recognize that the most mundane things we do can be made memorable.  Live in the present, not in the past, but hold the past locked in your heart for safe keeping.  These reminiscences will make you smile now and 10 years from now.  It’s your unique story that is unlike anyone’s else.

So, indulge Barclay and me, if you will, as we muse on Christmas past and present.

Charles Dickens, where are you?

Today’s Takeaway…

. Time is your friend now.  You don’t have to compete with your job, raising children, getting dinner on the table.  Savor each baked Christmas cookie and each unwrapped ornament as if it was the first time you ever experienced it.

. Make new memories and blend them with the old. After all, your retired life is just that, a patchwork quilt that you are weaving together.

Enjoy the Ride,

xox Barclay & Joy

 

 

 

SWEAT- it’s a great feeling!

By the sweat of my brow, sweat equity, blood sweat and tears, don’t sweat the small stuff, etc etc.  I (Joy) got to thinking about this sweat stuff and realized after a hot yoga session-sweat is good.  It makes you feel alive!  It lets you know you’ve worked your hardest – or that the room is 95 degrees and you are attempting to do downward dog!

Sweating is a bodily function that makes me happy, satisfied with my performance.  In the words of Winston Churchill- “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”  Winston must have known something!

My daughter desperately wanted a yoga room in our basement so last winter we renovated the space and installed a sauna. (I wasn’t planning on it since I am now retired and watching my spending!)  But I love saunas and so does she. A perfect addition to a yoga space complete with light that turns from green to red by remote control,  Very Zen indeed! There is nothing like going downstairs in your own home with a towel wrapped around you to sweat for an hour!  This is sweat not from hard work like exercise, but pure heat raising your body temperature.  Ah sweat!  It’s wonderfully sinful! Next a hot tub!

Sweat is just fat crying-can’t take credit for this marvelous quote, but had to use it!

 

Barclay chiming in…

My friend, Geri, observed that when you first begin a hot yoga class, you think you look OK.  Your hair is neatly tied back; you’re wearing the right gear.  But then gradually over the course of the hour, you begin to turn into a monster.  Your hair becomes alternately matted and frizzy; your mascara from the night before has descended to your cheek; and you are pouring out sweat in all the wrong places.

But, you feel amazing!  Cleansed.  Accomplished.  And perhaps a tad high on endorphins.

The site, Medical Daily, tells us that sweating (while exercising) detoxifies our body, boosts our immune system, and cleanses our skin.  It’s even better, they say, if we do so with other people.

“Exercising increases the level of the “feel-good” endorphin hormones that are naturally released during physical activity. A 2009 study published in the journal Biology Letters found group workouts actually increase endorphin levels and cause less pain for those who work out together than those who train alone. Sweating it out during a group exercises like Zumba or hot yoga can help put a smile on your face.”

Oh, and it also helps get rid of any alcohol that may be lingering in your system from the previous evening.

So sweat away.  It’s empowering; it’s feminine; it’s mood lifting.

Channel your inner Jane Fonda, circa 1980, with her legging-socks.  A style that YOU could bring back into vogue!

 

Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 2.38.51 PM

 

Today’s Takeaway –

-My mother was right AGAIN.  She loved to sweat during a workout.  Check out Keep Moving!

-Do not look in the mirror when you leave your Hot Yoga class.  You will see a frizzed out monster which in no way resembles you!

 

Enjoy the Sweaty Ride!

xox Barclay and Joy

Mrs. Grossman, is that you???

This is an addendum to the post of several weeks ago about reconnecting through social media.  
The Last Time I Saw You We Were 7!!

 

Mrs. Grossman was one of my favorite teachers of all time. All us girls at P.S. 165 (shout out to the upper west side before it was hip and cool!)  She was 21 at the time and we were her second teaching job ever!  (just learned this recently) She was pretty  and when you think about it not even a full generation removed from us 7 year old girls!

My friend Paula wanted more than anything to reconnect with Mrs. Grossman and she made it her business to find this woman.  Eureka!!  Through the skill of Scott, Paula’s husband he found a phone number and hoped this was the right woman.  Last night Paula had a 2 hour phone conversation with her that was filled with tears of happiness and nostalgia.  The only reason it didn’t go on longer was that Mrs. Grossman’s phone died!

Just as I had said in my previous post, how does one catch up on a hiatus of over 50 years?!  The answer is you can’t. You don’t.  You ask about children, parents, births, marriages, deaths, health.  You let the person know you have thought about them and how much they influenced your life.  Paula actually became a teacher because of 2 people that deeply influenced her.  One was Mrs.  Grossman.  How must that feel to tell someone that they chose their career path because you were a role model.

Mrs. Grossman was so touched and flattered.  She mentioned names of other students from our class that she had recalled and asked if Paula had kept in touch with anyone.  Of course, our own story of reconnection was told.

It brought back for both Paula and me a time of innocence and simplicity.  It made us both happy to talk about the effect this one gesture, a phone call had on the life of a woman who we still remembered.

One person can have a dramatic effect on another human being.  In Paula’s case she saw Mrs. Grossman as the teacher she might be one day.

My dear blogging partner, Barclay, became a wonderful reading specialist.  Not sure who her influence might have been or even if there was one.  I have no doubt she was  nurturing and passionate  in her career  leaving an indelible impression on many young children.

Today’s Takeaway

-People are effected and influenced differently.  We all have the ability to shape an opinion, an impression and shouldn’t diminish what we bring into this world.

-Lest I get too serious and philosophical, I have included my (and Paula’s) 2nd grade class picture which features my Mamie Eisenhower bangs!  Who knows, perhaps skirts with straps will make a comeback and pixie haircuts with Mamie bangs!  They tell me fashion is cyclical!

Enjoy the ride

xox Barclay & Joy