It was an announcement that the casting website was still open for the new show, THE GOLDEN BACHELOR!
(Author’s note: Sorry, but by the time you read this all slots will have been filled.)
I’m guessing you are familiar with the success of the two previous shows, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Well, this version’s contestants are all over 60, and the handsome bachelor making his choice stands by the tagline “It’s never too late to fall in love…, again!”
Instead of hearing older people referred to as a has been, a curmudgeon, cranky, elderly, and an old geezer, what a pleasure it is to hear this new description as “a lifetime of experience, including love, loss and laughter, and still hoping for a spark that ignites a future full of endless possibilities!”
Maybe you don’t want to publicly be the next GOLDEN BACHELOR or BACHELORETTE, but I’m sure you want the life ahead to be full of connection, meaningful relationships, and the possibility of falling in love … again!
You want that spark that can re-ignite those endless possibilities!
(By the way, this applies to current relationships as well as those that may occur in the future. Have you been married 30+ years and are feeling your partnership needs a boost? Maybe you are single and have realized that for years you put work first and took those around you for granted. You want to change. You want that spark that can re-ignite those endless possibilities!)
Did I just hear you say, “But how do I do that?” Well, you don’t have to wear red stilettos and a low-cut dress, nor do you require sporting a gold tailored suit and pink shirt by Armani (although sometimes a wardrobe makeover could be a great idea).
What you really need is a good look at who you are now.
What do you have to offer? Gerry (that’s the guy in the ad) hosts barbecues, plays pickleball, dotes on his grandkids and likes exploring new places with friends. You don’t have to do all that, but how about asking yourself if you are interesting, kind, and fun to be with?
Whether you think you already are or if you need a refresher course in being interesting, kind, and fun to be with, here’s what I suggest – especially during retirement:
Step One*: Focus on being a positive and optimistic person.
If you consider yourself negative, stop it. Yes, you can retrain your brain, so make it a priority in your life because:
1. Research has shown that 50% of your personality is predetermined, 10% is random, and 40% is your intentional activity. That means you are in control!
2. You can direct this intentional activity to surrounding yourself with positive people. Recognize the people in your life that bring you down and become unavailable to them. If some are family, make a point of consciously avoiding large amounts of time together.
3. I’m giving you five things to do daily for 30 days that will help you train yourself to Make Happy a Habit!
Start practicing your Make Happy a Habit assignment now and enjoy noticing the effect you will have on others. Stick with it because it takes 30 days to make a habit.
Yes, it works. If you need some help discovering the road to your own happiness, contact me and we can talk.
*By the way, Steps Two, Three, and Four are "Repeat Step One."
As we adjust to the Fall season and all of the joys that come along with cooler weather, leaves changing color and cozying up in our favorite sweater, I find there is another common feeling during this season. So, I wanted to reshare last year's Halloween post, which still resonates.
Lately, I've gotten a lot of requests for my services as a Life/Retirement/Transition Coach. This time, I immediately thought the answer was group coaching.
Normally, I don’t share information about clients, but in order to help you understand that we need to reach out and help each other, I have obtained releases from anyone involved in this note.
Last week I held a group session with five attendees. Each had their own issues, and each was truly concerned. I’m sure you will recognize them:
I asked each in turn “What is going on?” and here are their answers:
I gave her a questioning look.
“I was on my broom and one of my earbuds fell out. I had to look down to retrieve it - and SLAM! There I was, face flat into the tree. I heard people laughing! Why didn’t my radar warn me about the tree? Am I getting too old? Should I retire?”
Cornelia: She spoke softly and made eye contact with each member of the group.
“Look, as early as the 1880s I became popular. My three colorful layers are attractive, and I’m small and easy to eat.”
She teared up.
“At least I WAS easy to eat. I’m the most fun to eat by the handful! And, I mean, really, with COVID-19 people don’t want to eat anything by the handful!”
She started to sob.
“I’m fat free and keep in the refrigerator for up to 9 months, but nobody really wants me now... Ok, Ok, I guess I should just retire – right?”
Casper was next.
Casper: "Yeah, it’s not rocket science. You all know me – you know me by my full name, ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost.'"
He started to smile a little, and then the smile faded.
“That’s right; I’m a non-conformist. I’d rather make friends than scare people. I know I’m different from the rest of the haunt team, but it is who I am. I like people; I’ve made friends before. I don’t like scaring them.”
Wanda started to snicker.
“Whoever heard of a friendly ghost?” she muttered. I had to shhh! her.
“And now there is COVID-19,” Casper continued. “People can’t even be with their regular friends, so you can bet no one wants to talk to a friendly ghost! What should I do? I have a lot of years ahead of me!”
Then it was Terry’s turn.
Terry: “Ha – you think you guys have issues? You think you don’t know what to do ‘next’? When I was a little tiny tarantula, my Mama told me I was cute. Then I left the nest, and it all ended.”
He looked around, daring people to challenge him.
“I remember the first time I became aware of Halloween! Look around, guys! Do you notice how many phony spiders people put out – on the lawn/on the bushes/crawling up the front of the house! THEY ARE ALL TARANTULAS! What do you think this does to my self-image?”
Everyone got quiet.
“I know, I crawl; I have long hairy legs, and I have eight eyes. But I’m harmless to people! If I bite, it’s no worse than a bee sting – okay? Look it up! So, what’s a young guy like me to do with a reputation like that?”
Wanda started muttering again. “Maybe you remind people of the COVID virus,” she whispered.
I talked over her. “Ok, Peter, it’s your turn.”
Peter: “Well, in comparison, maybe my problem is not so bad. I mean, let’s face it, the pumpkin is the symbol for both Fall and Halloween."
“I know, I’ve been pretty lucky over the years - always the one up front – inside and outside – enjoying the popularity and fun.
His voice softened.
“But then, enter plastic and inflatables. Enter strange colors and shapes. How can I keep up with those inexpensive, use year-to-year decorations? Even on the flavor side – so many cheaper, easy-to-use imitations! In chips/pancake mix/coffee – even donuts!
People are pumpkin crazy, but they are not using the real thing!”
He looked up at me and sighed.
“And now COVID-19. There used to be pumpkin carving parties. Now no one is gathering groups together to sit close and carve. I may be able to hold out for a few more years, but I need a plan, a new direction. Should I retire?”
I let the air settle for a few minutes. Group sessions are not easy. A person (or a pumpkin) can listen and feel their issue is not so bad, or the participant can take on everyone’s problems and go away feeling worse.
I decided there was only one answer and it applied to the whole group.
Ask yourself important questions like
Before I left the room, I looked around and smiled. “Of course, If you want to talk more about planning for the days and years ahead, give me a call!”
As the door shut, I heard Casper shout:
“That was amazing! Ok, everybody, MASKS ON – Let’s have a Group Hug!”
~ HAPPY HALLOWEEN ~
Here’s the quote most often heard from people discussing plans for retirement:
"One of the main things I plan to do when I retire is TRAVEL."
If you have followed me long enough or simply know me well, you are familiar with the four areas of non-financial retirement I discuss, preach, talk about, and emphasize that are necessary to prepare for retirement: mental, physical, social, and spiritual.
Today I’m writing this column while traveling abroad, and I dedicate it to all of you who are saying,
"One of the main things I plan to do
Loretta Saff, M.A., CPC, CPRC