Tag Archives: Midlife

Vikki Claflin Makes Me Laugh

Vikki Claflin Makes Me LaughHumor writer Vikki Claflin consistently makes me laugh and here are a couple of reasons why:

“I grew up with a slender mother and a little sister who wore a size zero if you hosed her down first and weighed her in her soaking wet clothes. My father used to refer to her as the “little one,” and I was always the “wholesome one.” Yeah, that was what a 15 year-old wants to hear. For years I viewed myself as a Swedish butter churner. Big bones and strong arms, yodeling my way through my domestic chores.”

and

“When Baby Boy was born, I didn’t get him circumcised. It seemed a tad barbaric. (‘Welcome to the world, son. Now we’re going to chop off part of your joy stick’) … After an emotional, post-partum promise to my 8-pound miracle that I would never let anybody hurt him, I wasn’t going to start with whacking his wienie.”

These nuggets come from past essays she has written and I still crack up when I read them.

Vikki Claflin is our generation’s Erma Bombeck.

Body image, parenting, menopause, marriage, makeup, pop culture, and those nasty chin hairs — Vikki’s observations about the foibles of modern life are consistently razor sharp and wickedly funny.

I first got to know Vikki’s writing through her blog, Laugh Lines: Humorous Thoughts and Advice on How to Live Young When You’re…well…Not, and found it to be a safe place where I could feel better about my double chin.

It amazes me that Vikki is as prolific as she is, but I guess middle age is rife with material.

Two years ago I giggled my way through Claflin’s Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? and was keeping my fingers crossed that there would be another collection of her essays someday.

And here it is!

Vikki’s fourth book, I Think My Guardian Angel Drinks … Irreverent Advice on Living Well After 60 Because Wine is Always Age-Appropriate — will be available soon and I have had the privilege of getting an advance read.

So let me give you a sneak peak.

From Happily Married, Sleeping Separately:

“He likes the dogs sleeping in the big bed. I wouldn’t mind if they could be trained to sleep vertically, instead of horizontally. The same goes for the grandkids. Two Chihuahuas can push an adult human onto the floor, and little people like to sleep sideways on your head until you give up and relocate. By the third time I get shoved out of the bed, I’m up and hauling two tiny humans, each holding a Chihuahua, down the hall to the guest room.

His favorite sleeping position is a wide X, with arms up overhead and legs spread wide. He looks like he’s making a 2000 pound snow angel. This leaves me trying to curl into the tiny, pie-shaped area under his right armpit and above his right knee, which is roughly enough space for an anorexic gerbil.”

“I like a warm room. He prefers to sleep in an igloo, where you can see your breath when you talk. Hubs will open the window and turn on a fan next to his side of the bed. In December. We’ve had snow in our bed on more than one winter morning. Oh hell no.”

Misery loves company in the name of Vikki Claflin.

Nothing quite prepares us women for the annoying changes that happen post-50. It’s enough to make you want to tear your (thinning) hair out. So we could cry … or we could laugh, because laughing about varicose veins and cellulite is the better alternative. Vikki’s writing has made her an international best-selling author and has secured her a place in the hearts of menopausal women everywhere.

All of Vikki’s books are available on Amazon. Needless to say, I would recommend each one of them.

My fantasy is that someday Vikki Claflin and I will meet for a glass of wine and whine. And lots of laughs.

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Book Buzz: The New Old Me

A woman of a certain age myself, I have often wondered, is it possible to start over at a point when you’re looking at the prime of your life through the rearview mirror? As the subtitle of Meredith Maran’s kick-ass and winsome new memoir, The New Old Me, indicates, yes you can.

Book Buzz: The New Old Me

Let’s hear it for feisty 60-somethings who pivot out of their comfort zone and find out there can be sweetness from the lemons life has thrown at you. You’ll pardon the cliches.

The New Old Me

Maran’s life had already gone through several iterations before she hit a road block that seemed insurmountable. Her loving marriage splintered and fell apart.  Her best friend died. And on a practical level, what would be her means of support now that her freelance writing gigs had shriveled into nothing?

Quite a heavy load for anyone, let alone a 60 year-old. But this 60 year-old was a life force to be reckoned with.

She applied for a regular day job as a copywriter in Los Angeles and got it, meaning a move from her memory-filled Oakland home, where she had raised two sons and lived with her now-estranged wife. Now, her roots were being uprooted. She would leave all the familiar behind.

You can imagine the culture shock in La La Land. In her new start-up, a clothing company staffed by stylish and whip-thin 20 and 30 year-olds, she felt like a dinosaur. I am the age of these women’s grandmothers, she observed. One of the shocks was the company’s Workout Wednesdays, the one day of the week when everyone came to work in their Lululemon outfits and had their fat measured in front of their colleagues. For a woman who as a home-based freelancer hadn’t worn a bra or pants without an elastic waistband in forever, this was an adjustment.

Maran is a woman who craves friendship and adventure.  She made connections through networking with acquaintances and began to build back her rolodex of friends who were up for a cup of coffee or a hike in the mountains. Bit by bit, she made a new and wonderful life.

I love this woman. She is lusty, funny, and gutsy. She redefines what it means to be an older woman whose expectations for love, friendship and meaning are not diminished by setbacks. How do we live fully, live deeply, when the ballgame of our life is in the eighth inning? That’s what you will learn from The New Old Me, a home run of a memoir.

 

One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of The New Old Me. Please leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly selected. USA addresses only, please.

I received a copy of The New Old Me from Penguin Random House for an honest review,
which is the only kind of review I write.

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Book Buzz: Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch?

In my family, I’m the peanut butter and jelly between two pieces of bread. The cream cheese schmeared on a bagel. The baloney on rye.

I’m not only a boomer, I’m part of the sandwich generation, which is code for you-worry-about-everyone.

Last week was a time of heightened anxiety for me when a variety of maladies converged on several family members on both slices of the sandwich. With my nerves jangling like the Salvation Army Christmas bells, I knew I had to calm down and find a way to laugh, since laughter is the best medicine as we all know.

Thank goodness for humorist Vikki Claflin, whose new book, Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? got thrown in my bag before I left for the hospital. It turned out to be my lifesaver.

And P.S., everyone is OK now.

Book Buzz: Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch?

Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? Middle Age, Modern Marriage & Other Complications

I am a faithful follower of Vikki’s blog, Laugh Lines, because her essays consistently make me laugh. They are simply side stitch-inducing hilarious. She’s got a wicked sense of humor, that one.

Her latest book is  a collection of these essays and now that I’ve read them all, I think Vikki’s book is better than Prozac.

Vikki’s sizzling wit skewers topics such as marriage, fashion, makeup, bodily functions, ex-husbands, Spanx and midlife foibles. She’s a gifted writer who can zero in on the funny side of life and bring it to life … and nail it, every time.

Paraphrasing Vikki’s gems would be a disservice because no one can tell it quite like she can. So I offer you some of my favorites verbatim, straight from Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch?

The 12 Stupidest Love Songs, Ever

Don’t Know Much About History (Sam Cooke) “Don’t know much about history, don’t know much about biology. Repeat for science, French, geography, trigonometry, algebra, and the nefarious slide rule … “But if I could be with you,  what a wonderful world it would be.” Seriously, dude? You just admitted to being on the wrong side of the Stupid bell curve, and yet somehow you think we’re going to hook up and have a fab life together? Here’s a thought. Get your GED, get a job, and lose my number.

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad (Meat Loaf) “I want you, I need you, but there ain’t now way I’m ever gonna love you. Now don’t be sad cuz two out of three ain’t bad” followed by an entire verse lamenting the one that got away, but whom he never got over. Well, gee, Mr. Loaf. While I appreciate your only slightly arrogant offer and the assumption that I’d be grateful for two-thirds of your awesomeness, I think I’d rather date your ex-girlfriend.

24 Things Women Want in the Pre-Nup (No, They’re Not About Money)

  1. Repeatedly leaving the toilet seat up is the male equivalent of the female “Not tonight, dear. I have a headache.” It means nobody’s getting any tonight.
  2. Borrowing my car and returning it with the gas gauge on “E” tells me it’s been too long since we’ve had a good fight.
  3. Yes, I know you hate the songs on my iPod. That’s why they call it an “I” Pod. Get your own.
  4. Throwing all my delicates into the dryer on High isn’t “helping with the laundry.”

12 Reasons Sex is Better After 50

  1. We can finally put four-inch stilettos where they belong. In the bedroom. And we’re putting them on in bed, because limping to the bedroom, yelling, “Ouch, ouch, ouch!” is not foreplay.
  2. We worry less about having a perfect body. Yep, boobs are swaying like palm fronds in a tropical windstorm and cellulite makes our thighs look like five-pound bags of rice, but he hasn’t seen the six-pack abs of his youth for at least two decades.
  3. We tend to go to bed earlier, which also means earlier sex. After years of youthful and often alcohol-induced “Oh my God, it’s 2 a.m., and I’ve got to work tomorrow,” sex, we’ve discovered that 8 p.m. and sober is great, too. Who knew?

And finally,

From MILF to Middle-Age. 25 Signs It’s Happened to You

  1. Your plastic surgeon asks, “Why did you wait so long?” and offers a complimentary lip procedure with your tummy tuck because, well, he cares about you.
  2. Waiters and store clerks no longer ask you for your ID, even as a flirty joke. And if you suggest it, they just look confused.
  3. We still work out, but the parts we used to skip (the warm-up, the cool-down, and the stretching) are now the reason we’re there. Yesterday’s spinning class is now Tai Chi, often followed by a nap.
  4. When you lament the passage of your youth, you’re talking about your forties.

There is much, much more to giggle over, nod in affirmation with, and share with your girlfriends, while basking in the glow of knowing you’re not the only midlife woman plucking chin hairs.

Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? is available for pre-order on Jan 12, 2016 and will release Feb. 14. You can find it (and absolutely should) on Amazon. Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.

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Words With Friends: How to Improve Your Game

Words With Friends: How to Improve Your GameAre you as addicted to Words With Friends as I am?

Sometimes I think I need a 12-Step program, because I can get so wrapped in my games that I neglect other things. Like taking a shower and getting dressed.

But then, as addictions go, this is a fairly healthy one to have. After all, is it not a workout for the brain? That’s what I tell myself.

If only my other body parts were as well exercised. But that’s another story for another day.

I am not alone in my affinity for Words With Friends. According to an article in The Atlantic, Words with Friends is one of the most popular apps used by my midlife/boomer generation.

When I was a young girl I watched my mother do The New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle and eventually it became part of my Sunday morning routine as well. I love the challenge of word games. When Words With Friends became available as an app, I jumped on it — and it became an obsession.

I don’t profess to be an expert, but over time I have developed certain strategies that have been effective for me. If you are an advanced player these will seem a matter of course, but perhaps you will help me add on to this list.

Save your S tiles, and to a somewhat lesser extent, your R and D tiles.

They will come in handy with making a word plural or past tense

Look for possible suffixes: -ING, -ED, -IER, or prefixes: RE-. IN-,e.g.

These are valuable tools for enhancing an existing word.

Scrutinize the board for other opportunities.

For example, add A to moral to create amoral, or add A to toll to create atoll. Add Y to the end of miser for misery.

If you are the one to open the game, get rid of low-points letters.

That said, if you can make a double word on the opening move, do so only if the point score is worth it.  I wouldn’t do it for less than 20 points.

Never use your best tiles on an opening move.

The point score just won’t justify it. Save them for a bonus square.

Down to one consonant and six vowels? Time to swap.

If you must swap for other reasons, always keep at least one vowel and one consonant in your possession.

Get rid of Is, Us and Vs.

They’re hardest to place.

Play defensively.

Minimize your opponent’s opportunities to take advantage of a triple word score. Assume that your opponent will have the final letter — an S or Y, e.g. — when you are considering a move that will open up the triple word opportunity.

Check the status of the high points letters.

When my game has about 20 letters left to play, I do a quick inventory of the high scoring letters – X, J, Q and Z. Have they been played? If not, I want to make sure I am not leaving a high scoring opportunity open in case my opponent has one of them.

And if you have one of them, don’t get stuck.

If you have an X., J, Q or Z, use it or get rid of it if you are down to 10 letters. Too many games are lost because you are left hanging with one of these.

Learn the language: Words With Friends-ese.

A good vocabulary is your best friend, but also be aware of the two- and three-letter words common in Words With Friends: QI, ZA, SUQ, QUA, RAJ, HAJ.

Are there other strategies that work well for you?

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Group Hug for Bloggers at Midlife

I almost missed International Women’s Day on Sunday. In a frenzied blur of packing, almost missing my taxi-sharing buddy Elaine Ambrose and almost forgetting my suitcase at TSA screening, there was only so much my midlife mind could process.

It wasn’t until I had some down time at the departure gate, scrolling through my iPhone, that it dawned on me. And I realized how fitting it was that International Women’s Day coincided with the first ever Bloggers at Midlife Conference I had just attended.

Bloggers at Midlife, the conference. The first of many, I hope.

It was somewhat of a miracle that I even got there. Because the day before I was scheduled to fly, we got hit with the biggest storm of the winter.

As predicted by giddy meteorologists jonesing for a real snowstorm, the drama began Thursday morning, just after dawn. A few harmless snowflakes at first, then a steady blast of snow throughout the day into early evening.

I checked the forecast every hour. Would I get plowed out before morning? Would my flight take off as scheduled? The answer to both was yes. I was lucky; several of the conference attendees had to bail at the last minute due to canceled flights, impassable roads, etc.

I am so grateful I was able to go.

Bloggers at Midlife. My tribe.

When I started blogging four years ago I sometimes felt like Sandra Bullock in Gravity, floating through space without a tether. Isolated and alone.

Group Hug for Bloggers at MidlifeOh, there were other women bloggers, but virtually no one my age. The mommy bloggers were friendly, but I yearned for contact with others like me, in my stage of life. It was a lonely cyber world out there.  Until one day BlogHer featured a post I wrote about my son being in the Olympics and I tweeted the link. And I received this text.

Group Hug for Bloggers at Midlife

As it happened, I was not attending BlogHer, but Sharon and I stayed in touch and before too long she invited me to join a newly formed Facebook group specifically for midlife women bloggers.

I was lost, but now I was found.

Thanks to Sharon and her partner Anne Parris, this very same group on Facebook now boasts more than 1,000 midlife women bloggers. Their own site, Midlife Boulevard, features content written by many of these amazing writers.

I can say without reservation that being part of this group has changed my life in many wonderful ways.

I never would have dreamed of having the opportunities that came from it. Having my work published on a number of sites, becoming a Huffington Post contributor, appearing on HuffPost Live when one of my posts went viral, becoming a brand ambassador for several major brands, and most importantly, feeling the validation that I had something to offer, something worthy. Which enabled me to fulfill a lifelong dream: I completed the first draft of my novel!

So this past weekend, at the first-ever Bloggers at Midlife (BAM) conference in Nashville, I celebrated this validation with a roomful of my peers. It was a two-day group hug. And you know how good hugs can feel.

Group Hug for Bloggers at Midlife

I shared a room with my dear friend Cathy Chester and reunited with many wonderful women I have come to  know through Midlife Boulevard, among them Kim Jorgensen Gane, Judi Krell FreedmanMargaret Rutherford, Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell HarringtonConnie McLeod. It was exciting to meet others whom I had only known online, like Claudia Schmidt,  Wendy Walker CushingSusan Williams, Doreen McGettigan. And so many more. It was a pleasure to get to know so many talented, bright, accomplished women.

Group Hug for Bloggers at Midlife

photo credit: Dorothy Salvatori

 

We learned a lot about blogging, but even better, we learned about the power of friendship and support, of empowerment and sisterhood.

All culminating on International Women’s Day. That just seems right to me.

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Many Paws and Menopause

I am of the mindset that change is a good thing. I welcome change. Most of the time.

But when it comes to The Change, i.e. the change of life, i.e. menopause?

Not so much.

The change? Hoo boy. Is it ever.

It’s a Hot Mess

Menopause, oh menopause. You antagonize us midlife women with your heartless cruelty.

Let me count the ways.

Hot flashes and night sweats.

photo credit: janwillemsen via photopin cc

photo credit: janwillemsen via photopin cc

Mood swings and hair thinning.

Simultaneous disappearance of waistline and sex drive.

Sleepless nights.

Cellulite dimpling random body parts.

Reading glasses, often misplaced.

Many Paws

Chins multiplying like rabbits.

Sturdy black hairs sprouting under the chin, making tweezing difficult because who can see that close without reading glasses.?

Loss of memory and bladder control.

photo credit: Beige Alert via photopin <a

photo credit: Beige Alert via photopin

Are we having fun yet?

I’m Kidding. Kind of.

So maybe I’m painting a worst case scenario. Surely, there must be benefits of menopause.

When I figure that out I’ll let you know.

But what can you do? Menopause is merely part of life. Railing at it is useless. As with most things in life, you can wallow in self-pity. Or you can laugh.

I endorse the laughing.

Many Paws

Which is what I did when I read author Susan DeGarmo’s humorous take on what every woman will face someday: “Many Paws: The Years of Change.”

Despite its title, “Many Paws” is not about cute baby animals. But it is cute. Small enough to fit in your pocketbook, it is a pop-up book with a colorful, whimsical design, and funny pearls of wisdom throughout. How adorable is this??

Many Paws

“Many Paws” is not heavy reading, nor is it a self-help book. It’s a little collection of humor about the nuisances  that all women endure in one way or another.

Like DeGarmo, I will not embrace menopause. Menopause is not my friend. But I will laugh about it with my friends who totally understand.

Because that is the best way we sistahs will get through it.

I can’t think of a better gift for a friend, mom or sister whose hot flashes and mood swings have turned her into Meno-monster. She needs a laugh? This will give her just that.

I have a copy of “Many Paws to give away to a reader. Tell me the worst or best thing about menopause and I will randomly select a winner.

I received a copy of “Many Paws: The Years of Change” for an honest review. No compensation was received.

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In Defense of Elastic Waistbands

If you happened to catch an article in the Huffington Post last week, titled “10 Things You Do That Make You Look Older” you may have heard rumblings from a chorus of perturbed midlife voices, including mine.

The author alleges that we dull our youthful glow by committing such sins as wearing comfortable shoes, using drugstore reading glasses and traveling with hard-cover books.

Really?

Judging from some of the indignant if not hostile comments in response, it was clear the author had touched a nerve. There was a stench of malcontent throughout the land. A veritable sh*tstorm.

For me, a comfortable shoes-wearing, drugstore eyeglasses-sporting, hard cover book-toting traveler, this news was hard to process. Here I’ve been under the impression that I am adequately chic in a midlfe kind of way, when in fact I am one of the offenders of whom she speaks.

Above all, this sentence made me wince:

“If you need an elastic waist for comfort, it’s probably time to face the music that you likely need to shed a few pounds. Elastic waists are what our grandmas wore.”

Ouch.

OK, most of us could stand to lose a few pounds, agreed? I’m in a war with the Terrible Ten myself. But guess what? My body has changed. Losing weight won’t restore the one I used to have. My stomach is here to stay.

When I went through menopause my stomach thought it would be a gas to recreate the way it looked when it was five months pregnant. I was dismayed but not at all surprised.

Where's the remote Snickers?!

(Photo credit: threefatcats)

You see, this is how stomachs roll in my family. And roll and roll. Generations of women in my family have sailed through the first five decades with, at worst, a little bulge in the gastro region that is easily remedied with an intake of breath and supportive undergarments.

Menopause renders that impossible. Our condition is so pervasive, we even, sadly, have a name for it. We call it (without an ounce of sentimentality) the Fineman Stomach, coined generations ago when the first Fineman relative back in the Old Country had to let her pants out.

So yes, my grandma and many grandmas before her wore elastic waistbands. And now it is my turn to carry on the tradition.

At this stage of my life, I’m going to wear elastic waistbands. I’m going to embrace and be joyful for elastic waistbands and lycra and anything else nonrestrictive.

The woman you see at the airport wearing a roomy t-shirt and sensible shoes who is carrying a book?

That might just be me.

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Book Buzz: The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

When it comes to aging gracefully, the French have it all figured out.

I marvel at the way their innate sense of style carries them through the decades, the way they can throw together a pair of boots, a silk scarf and oversize sunglasses at any age, and voilà, they’re perfect.

I love their joie de vivre, the way they seem to seize all that life has to offer. I picture them running to the  Métro, meeting up with friends for a glass of wine, shopping with aplomb on les boulevards, rushing home with a baguette stuffed in their oversize bag.

The best? Their attitude toward aging.

A woman of a certain age is like a fine wine, becoming more delicious as the years go by. By midlife, French women get it. They are satisfied with who they are, comfortable in their own skin. The end.

Right?

That was always my impression.

Then I read “The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles.”

And that myth was busted tout de suite. So with a soupçon of Schadenfreude, I am happy to report, having read this novel, that midlife angst is as alive and well in France as it is here.

Mon Dieu, midlife crisis is only the beginning. Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

There’s also infidelity. Adult sibling rivalry. Teens with raging hormones. Best-selling author Katherine Pancol introduces us to a lively cast of characters in a delightful romp through family dysfunction à la français.

And Pancol does not spare the men. They are muddling their way through legal entanglements, failed business ventures, first-time fatherhood at age 60, and unrequited love.

Set in Paris and its suburbs, as well as Kenya, the story revolves around middle-aged Joséphine Cortès, a 12th century scholar, whose life is crumbling due to a series of misfortunes. Her husband, Antoine, runs off with his mistress, financial problems mount, and her bitter mothers stops talking to her … and that’s just for starters.

Poor Joséphine is not your typical French woman. She is a bit frumpy, insecure, overwhelmed at times. In other words, totally believable.

As her anxiety about her dwindling finances grows, a solution presents itself through her wealthy socialite sister, Iris, who convinces Joséphine to write a novel using her expertise in 12th century history. With Iris’ connections in the publishing industry, she is certain she can get the book into the right hands. The proceeds will go to Joséphine and the credit to Iris. Reluctantly, Joséphine agrees.

Pancol’s sense of fun and affection for her characters leads us through the ups and downs of a family struggling to find its way. The book’s themes of love and loss, reinvention and redemption are universal.

A mega-best seller in France and around the world, “The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles” has been translated into English for the first time and is available now. The book was a fun read with such finely drawn characters that I kept thinking of them afterwards. I was happy to learn that this book is the first part of a trilogy and I look forward to finding out what happens next with this family.

I am delighted to be able to give a free copy of this book to one of my readers. Please leave a comment and I will make a random selection.

Happy New Year! Bonne année!

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary copy of “The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles” from Penguin Books for review as well as a copy for one of my readers. All opinions are my own.

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10 Lessons Midlifers Can Learn From Diana Nyad

We have a new athletic superstar to applaud this morning: the amazing swimmer, Diana Nyad.

If you saw her wading haltingly onto the shore of Key West after this historic swim, you had to feel her sheer exhaustion along with the thrill of her incredible feat.

swimmer Diana Nyad

She finally realized her “Xtreme Dream,” her long-sought goal of swimming the distance from Cuba to Florida, a herculean effort that took 58 hours.

I’m not the only midlifer virtually high-fiving Diana for showing the world what a 64 year-old can do. Her words of wisdom once she arrived on sandy Key West shore?

“I have three messages,” Nyad said. “One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team.”

Her three inspirational messages bear repeating.

1.         Never, Ever Give Up. This woman tried five times. Five times! The first time was when she was in her twenties. She. Never. Gave. Up.

2.         You are Never Too Old to Stop Chasing Your Dream. She did not use her advancing years as an excuse for not trying hard, harder and hardest. She did not think, as some of us might, “I am in my 60s and too old to reach my goal. I’m going to rock in my rocking chair and dream of what could have been.”

3.         There is No “I” in TEAM. She swam the 110 miles by herself. She should get all the credit. But her 35-person crew was right there with her, making sure she was safe, providing her with nourishment, and undoubtedly keeping her spirits high. She is wise enough to know that she couldn’t have done it without their support.

Forgive me if I am being presumptuous for adding a few more.

4.         Physical Fitness is Forever. I don’t know how Diana Nyad stayed in the shape required for this feat. But clearly she has never stopped working out at an extreme level.

5.         Know Your Limits. Why did the last four attempts fail? I remember storms, sharks and jellyfish thwarting her effort.  I remember footage of her crying when she had to call an end to one of her attempts. Bitterly disappointed she surely was, but sensible enough to know when it was time to get out of the water.

6.         Follow Your Heart.  Why was this so meaningful to her? When a reporter once asked British climber George Mallory why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, he famously replied, “Because it’s there.” Diana Nyad wanted to be the first person to complete this route without the safety net of a shark cage. Just because. And that was enough.

7.         Jump Back in the Water. Or get back on the horse. Pull yourself together and get back in that ring or on that playing field. Don’t give up because it is the easy thing to do. Force yourself to keep on keeping on.

8.         Focus on Your Strengths. The woman is 64. Obviously she does not have the abilities of a much younger athlete. So how did she compensate? What was her strategy? Did she work more on her upper body or her leg strength? Only her trainer knows the answer to that.

9.         Ignore the Naysayers. Were there naysayers? Maybe, maybe not. Have the self-confidence so if there are, you can tell them to bugger off.

10.       Don’t Stop Believing. She never did. She knew she could do it. And she was right.

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