Archive for the ‘aging’ Category

Don’t Let Your Fountain of Youth Get Clogged With the Sands of Time

July 29, 2017

All of us have one thing in common. Like it or not, we are all aging. As a matter of fact, from the moment we are born, we are constantly getting older. Right now, you are older than you have ever been and younger than you will ever be again.

Before you run out and buy a bucket of “Oil of Delay,” remember that although your body is aging, your mind, your attitude, and your sense of humor don’t have to.

I realize that my body is changing and that the sands in my hourglass figure are shifting! I still have everything I used to have; it is just a little lower now. Sometimes I have to lie flat on my back in order to zip up my jeans and when I stand up, the jeans are zipped, but my nose looks bigger. I guess the fat had to go somewhere. Things are changing, but I also know that I don’t have to let the sands of time clog up my fountain of youth!

If you want to have smooth sailing on the age wave, the trick is to nurture and maintain your sense of humor. I have decided to look at things a bit differently now. For instance, I prefer to think of old age spots as “highlights.” Cellulite has become “texturing” and I once had a small child tell me I have “sunbeams” around my eyes. I like that. It sounds much nicer than crow’s feet.

I have decided that I am not afraid of aging. It is true that age is just a number; at this point, I am somewhere between birth and death and my age will not define who I am. I refuse to look at life through a rear view mirror and moan because I am not as young as I used to be. If I was….I would be dead.

I once had a friend who was 99 years young. She told me that she never worried about her age because her spirit would never get wrinkles, her heart would never get old age spots and her funny bone would never get brittle.

Nobody knows how long they will live but personally, I intend to live life to the fullest and for as long as I can, do everything…except wear a bikini in public and eat liver.

Remember that you don’t stop laughing because you grow older; you grow older because you stop laughing.

 

Visit my website at http://www.lindahenley-smith.com or e-mail me at linda@lindahenley-smith.com to learn more about my presentations and coaching programs.

Rediscover the “Elf” in YoursELF!

January 20, 2016

Sometimes I think people put way too much emphasis on being a grown-up. I know it’s a strange thing to say, but the world seems to be full of lots of cranky, whiny folks who must think that being a grown-up means “groaning” all of the time.

I have to admit that like most other people, I sometimes I get my pants in a bunch…usually over something that I have made into a bigger deal than it really is! When I feel myself morphing into a troll, I try to remember that perhaps I am taking myself too seriously and not properly nurturing the elf in myself. That’s when I know that I need a recess. Remember recess? We all looked forward to it because we could break out of the classroom, put work aside and run outside to be free for a while. Then we would have a snack. It made everything better.

So when did we decide it was no longer appropriate to take a recess sometime during a busy and stressful day? When did we cross over from having the wisdom to appreciate the value of taking a play break to thinking it is necessary to drive ourselves into the ground every day?

The transition takes place when we lose our childlike sense of wonder about life. It happens when we give up living in the present moment in favor of worrying about the future and holding on to grudges from the past. It happens when we put limits on our imagination and our curiosity. And it happens when we stop taking recesses!

I know that very few businesses have playgrounds, although I have visited some who do! But we can all take the initiative to take little mini-breaks when we feel we are about ready to either explode or collapse. We can connect with the little kid we used to be by doing something fun every day…not counting going out to happy hour. I mean we should keep things around us that remind us of who we used to be before we started to carry the pressures of the world on our shoulders; things that can provide us with a little mental recess!

I’ve always loved to color and now it is all the rage! Get yourself a coloring book and see how it reduces your stress. Try keeping bubbles in your car and when you’re stuck in traffic, see how many you can blow before you start moving again. Don’t be afraid to act silly every now and then! Remember that we are really just children in stretched out bodies! In chronological years, our childhood may be over, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to play! Will it fix the world’s horrible global problems? No…but it just might get you through the daily frustrations and stresses in your own little world.

If you really want to get it right, follow a little child around and just observe. Of course, you really should know the child you are following! True, they don’t have the burdens and responsibilities that we have, but if we could recapture just a fraction of the joy they get out of simply being alive, we would probably never have our pants in a bunch again…at least they wouldn’t stay that way for long!

Linda Henley-Smith presents keynotes, workshops and coaching on how to find more joy in life. Check out www.lindahenley-smith.com

What I Know For Sure!

January 3, 2016

We recently celebrated New Year’s Eve, and people all over the world partied with funny hats, noise-makers and champagne. There was even a big celebration in Times Square and I choose to believe that it was all in honor of my birthday. I think I truly believed that for the first 15 years of my life!

Yes, I had another birth anniversary and I am now older than I have ever been before! I really don’t know how to be this old because in my head, I am about 20….which is difficult to understand, because I have a grandson that age! Go figure!

One of the blessings of getting older is clarifying and declaring things that you know for sure! Experience teaches us what is right for us, and some truths become irrefutable! And so because I was born when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I now share with you some truths which have stood the test of time for me and have proven to be worthy of passing on to others.

Truth #1: It is important to like yourself because you can’t expect others to like you, if you don’t! More importantly…everywhere you go, there you will be! You will never get away from yourself, so you may as well learn to like you!

Truth #2: Do not become addicted to the approval of others! You will never please everyone, and there will be people who don’t like you no matter what you do. Hold fast to your values and always be authentic and true to yourself.

Truth #3: Let your hope be greater than your fear. Don’t spend any time walking through fear storms and avoid creating a negative “atmosFEAR.” Choose to think of hope as Holding On to Positive Expectations.

Truth #4: Give away more than you take in; both in material things and in helping others. After a while, you will probably realize that you have accumulated a lot of “stuff” that you thought was important but you really don’t need. And you will also more than likely begin to understand that the best way to move away from your own troubles is to help someone else. Begin to unclutter your life and your brain.

Truth #5: Life is full of seasons; some last longer than others. Learn to appreciate when times are good and learn not to despair when things aren’t going so well. Situations can change in the blink of an eye and nothing is forever.

Truth #6: Be kind. In today’s world, kindness can be difficult to find. So many people are frightened, and that makes them angry. Remember that being unkind or criticizing someone’s efforts doesn’t elevate you and encouraging someone else certainly doesn’t diminish your accomplishments! Don’t hold grudges because carrying around anger just makes your arms tired!

Truth #7: Laugh a lot! Laughter doesn’t make everything better for you, but it sure makes you better for everything!

I wish you blessings and joy for a healthy and happy New Year!

Linda Henley-Smith is a speaker, author and coach who believes that joy is possible! Visit her website at www.lindahenley-smith.com

DON’T PUT US OUT TO PASTURE YET…WHAT MILLENNIALS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OLDER WORKERS

July 27, 2015

I recently wrote about what Gen Xers and Boomers need to know about Millennials in the workplace. In that article, I promised to present the other side and here it is! There is a huge age span out there in the workforce now and sometimes there is a difference in communication and work styles. Part of the problem may be that the Millennials look at Boomers and see their parents and the Boomers see their kids in the Millennials.

It is projected that in a very short time, Millennials or Gen Yers will be the largest age group in the workforce. But now, they are sharing it with Gen Xers, Boomers and even some Traditionals. People are continuing in their careers longer than past generations and the new crop of workers, those born between the mid nineties and 2000, will soon be in there with us!

We all are coming from different experiences and backgrounds, and I know that some older people can be too quick to judge the younger ones, so here are some tips for Millennials who are sharing office space with Boomers:

  • As a Millennial, keep in mind that those in older generations still have a lot to offer. They may have a few years on you, but they also are rich in experience and can be valuable resources. Boomers and Gen Xers don’t want to feel as if you are just waiting for them to leave. Ask them about their experiences, they probably have some good advice and some pretty good stories!
  • Remember that Traditionals, Baby Boomers and even some Gen Xers were once the youngest people in the workforce. We didn’t always understand the “old folks” who were set in their ways and probably wondered why they didn’t move on and let us run the show. Now we know how those “old folks” felt! Try to understand how we feel. Today’s Boomers are not our parents….we aren’t content to sit on the porch and rock. And remember that there will be a new generation coming in after you and one day you will be where we are. There are already Gen Zers out there on your heels!
  • Don’t get frustrated with those of us who weren’t born into technology. Remember that most of us grew up using dictionaries and looking things up in encyclopedias. We used pay phones that we had to dial and our first cell phones were giant bricks which could double as weapons. Sure, we may take a little longer to catch on to the constantly changing gadgets, but we eventually get there. Most of us have even thrown out our boom boxes! If you don’t know what a boom box is, you are younger than most of my shoes.
  • Just as the older generations shouldn’t assume anything or be judgmental about the younger ones, neither should the Millennials lump all of the older people together. We don’t all raise our eyebrows at your piercings and tattoos. Actually, I have a tat…but it is a lot lower than it used to be! What started out as a little hummingbird is now a flamingo.
  • The older generation comes from a culture of face-to-face communication. Some still hold on to that habit and are more likely to want to talk to someone in person, rather than via text. That doesn’t mean that they don’t understand electronic conversations, it’s just more comfortable for some of them to look at a person’s face when they are talking to them.
  • For your consideration: Most of the Boomer generation was brought up in a work culture in which a person stayed with a company and worked their way up. There was no such thing as tele-commuting or flexible hours. Required office attire involved suits for the men and dresses and hose for the women. This is a whole new ballgame for some people and it may take them a while to get used to a more casual workplace.

The truth is that no one, no matter their age, wants to be labeled or pigeon-holed as behaving or believing a certain way. I even question naming each group; Millennials, Gen Xers, Boomers, etc. The generational mix can be exciting and productive. The world is changing rapidly and the next group of young workers entering the workplace in a few years will be the first totally global generation. We all bring something to the table and all of us should treat each other with R.E.S.P.E.C.T. That’s what Aretha told us to do. And she is a Baby Boomer.

Linda Henley-Smith is an author, coach and speaker who presents keynotes and workshops on Managing the Generational Mix and Zapping the Gap! Visit her website at lindahenley-smith.com

How To Not Act Old…Even if You Were Born When Dinosaurs Walked the Earth

July 25, 2015

For the first time in history, there are four generations out there in the workplace. Obviously, people of different ages are coming from different experiences and that can sometimes create difficulties in communication and work styles. Every generation brings something of great worth to the workplace and it can be very beneficial if everyone respects the differences.

For instance, Millennials should try not to see Baby Boomers as fossils who have outlived their worth in the workforce. On the other hand, older people need to appreciate the innovativeness and fresh ideas of the youthful. I know this is important, because I am one of the (ahem) more mature workers. I will not reveal my age, but in dog years, I’m dead. Just kidding. Maybe.

I love the younger generation and in my Generational Workshops (“Dude…What’s Woodstock?”) I encourage the older workers to open their minds to the possibilities and to not be afraid of new ideas and technology. I tell them not to fall into the “We’ve always done it this way….” or “In my day, we…..” mentality. The times, they are a’changin’ and if we don’t change with them, we will be left in the dust. And so I offer some tips for the more mature worker:

Don’t be a technology dinosaur (Technosaurus): If you are wondering if you have fallen into this category, here are some guidelines to help you know for sure: You might be a Technosaurus if you still use cassette tapes and a matching player. You are definitely a Technosaurus if you have an eight track player. However, this does not apply to owning vinyl albums and a turntable on which to play them. This just makes you retro and that is cool. Sometimes it takes a while to catch on. When I first started presenting webinars, I had a hard time aligning my head with the camera so that participants weren’t watching a pair of talking eyebrows.

Learn the terms: If you think that Twitter is something that only birds do and that Skyping is the act of birds winging across the sky while they are twittering, you may need to brush up on some of the modern terminology and techniques. Understand that lol does not mean Lots of Love, and now there is more than one meaning to the word “cloud.” Streaming doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with water and nobody under the age of 35 knows what a floppy disc is. If you say you have some, people will think you have a problem with your back. If you don’t know these things, well OMG you ARE a Technosaurus!

Don’t be critical of younger people utilizing texting rather than face-to-face communication. This is the way it’s done now. I know that it’s difficult when your Smart phone outsmarts you. I have fought with auto-correct many times and lost. It caused me to send a message reading, “I can hardly contain my excrement!” That has a much different meaning than excitement, which is what I meant to say.

Don’t be critical of the way the younger generation dresses or speaks: Remember bell bottoms, mini-skirts, go-go boots and trying to look “boss,” “bitchin’” and “groovy.” And while we’re on that topic….

Do not try to be younger than you really are: Age is an attitude and the wisdom you have acquired is valuable! Part of not acting old is not trying to act too young. Dress appropriately…I have a tee-shirt which reads “So Many Men And So Little Time!” As I get older, that statement takes on a different meaning! I also have one which reads “I’m Still Hot…It Just Comes in Flashes Now.” I don’t wear that one because why advertise? Be comfortable in your own skin….mine is more relaxed-fit now, so I’m pretty comfortable.

Do not wear sunglasses over your bifocals. Choose one or the other.

While ordering in a restaurant, understand that the waiter or waitress does not need to know why you’re not ordering bacon and buttered toast. Your cholesterol numbers are your own business and of no concern to your server. And please remember that no one at your table, coworkers or even your best friend needs to hear what onions do to your digestive tract.

Of course, I am having fun with this topic but the point is valid. There are many benefits to having multi-generational workforces. There is a wealth of experience and knowledge that can create magical things, if everyone is non-judgmental and appreciative of each other. Life is a continuum and so is our learning!

Linda Henley-Smith is a motivational speaker, coach and “But”-Kickin’ Diva! Learn more about “Dude, What’s Woodstock? (Managing the Generational Mix)” and other programs at www.lindahenley-smith.com.