Friday, September 12, 2014

Share Music Videos with Others

Photo by Steve. 
Once a week I spend the afternoon with a dozen friends at a local skilled nursing center.

Sometimes we have a lull in an activity we're doing together. 

When this happens, I always offer to sing as a way to fill the time. 

They howl, "No, don't do that."  

This week we were joking about our day being a stereotypical Monday.  One of the residents asked me if I knew the song "Monday. Monday," released in 1966.  

Again, I volunteered to sing. Olivia protested, "Nooooo!"  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Leisure World Cohort Turning 90

Photo by Ryan Dickey.
I was on my way to yoga last week, when I saw one of my husband's co-workers, lifting weights at the same gym.

After sharing our fitness goals, J.V. told me about a story featured on 60 Minutes about longevity.

J.V. remembered that some of the most recent findings encouraged 45 minutes of moderate exercise (with no benefit for more than that).

In addition, he told me that I didn't have to worry too much about becoming  a rail. Why?

The study found that a little extra weight for older adults correlated to longevity when compared to those who were thin.

This information goaded me to find the segment "Living to 90 and Beyond" online.

It did emphasize that obesity is not good for people in any life stage. In fact, those in midlife who were obese had more negative outcomes. But once people age into the oldest stages, a little extra weight was a good thing.

But the issue of weight was just the fact that led me to this goldmine of research.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Emotional Causes for Insomnia

Photo "Scratching" by Kevin of sheep counting people
As promised, here I am writing about insomnia.  Yes, midlife women might have a bit more trouble sleeping during perimenopause, but the causes can be complex and might affect women and men of all ages.

Let me focus first on emotional causes for insomnia and some basics on how to 1) identify an emotion 2) trace its origins 3) neutralize it, and 4) gain habits that prevent or remove insomnia-inducing emotions before bedtime.

1. What emotion am I feeling? People can experience a variety of emotions that interfere with sleep--anger, fear, worry, sadness.  Even positive emotions such as euphoria can prevent people from getting a good night's sleep.  When I have trouble sleeping, I do well to reflect on the emotions I am feeling.   Here is the Plutchik Wheel, just one list of emotions, some of which interfere with sleep:

Image of the Plutchik Wheel by Machine Elf 1735

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Exercise Enlightens

Photo by Raja Sambaslvan.
Going to the gym gives me a good workout--body, mind and soul. If I get myself to the gym, I improve my physical fitness, my cognition, and my peace of mind.

It took me a while to recognize that the gym at time offers me spiritual enlightenment. It's not just the endorphins talking.  The gym offers some insights about life when I take the time to notice.

Photo by Bob Cotter.
1. We are all equal at the gym.  All people are equal when faced with fundamental tasks such as walking on a treadmill.

It doesn't matter how old we are, where we live, how much education we have, or what we do for a living.  The only question is this: can I move my feet to keep pace?

From time to time, I look around at all the people on the cardio machines or all the people in the exercise class and feel great unity with them. We are all united in our quest for greater physical fitness.

I sometimes want to break out in song.  But that would spoil the moment, so I just note the swelling in my heart and smile.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Objects that Mark Time

Photo by Tim Ellis. 
I'm often so consumed by my day-to-day tasks that I fail to note the passing of time. But there are moments that make me very aware.

Yes, clocks and calendars help me mark time.

But I also see a few objects around me that help me realize that time is leaving its mark on various objects--including me!

I experienced a keen awareness of time earlier this week when I visited my centenarian friend Gladys Bever, b. 1910.

Gladys & one of her mother's paintings
Her son Harold Bever had come to visit the same day. Harold carried with him a painting that his maternal grandmother had painted.

Glady's mother is Harriet "Hattie" Amy Leet Beilby Oakley. Here is a link to her grave marker.

Harriet was married twice, having been widowed when Ralph Wright Beilby (b. 1871) died in 1904.

Gladys is Harriet's child from her second marriage, which was to Amasa George Oakley (b. 1874, d. 1932).

Here is a link to the 1920 census record for Glady's family when she was 9 years old.

What struck me most that day was realizing that Glady's mother was born in 1873.