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I Have a Holiday Present For You

November 22, 2016 at 6:00 AM

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Dear friends,

We are constructing a new website. It will be beautiful, clean and easy for you to use.

I’m so excited to give you this gift of being able to access my blog and my website stress-free.

It will take us through the holidays until we are finished.

I wish for all of you the healthiest and most joyous productive and philanthropic year of your life. I thank you so much for being not only my reader, my friend, but cheering me on. I, too, cheer you on.

 

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
― Neil Gaiman

Havana!

November 18, 2016 at 6:00 AM

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Cuba does not disappoint! It was everything I thought it was going to be, and more. It was fun, charming, picturesque, historical, musical, artistic, etc! The one thing I wasn’t prepared for were the wonderfully sweet people. Everywhere everyone was so sweet. They were pretty kind, sweet and happy to see us. You can’t beat that combo!
We did amazing things because we were so lucky to go with some friends that know where to go and who to hire and what to do! We had an incredible guide, Daniel Iglesias, who couldn’t have been sweeter and more knowledgeable himself! We went to fabulous restaurants hidden in alleys, up three flights of Rickey stairs that we never would have known.

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The restaurants reminded me like something out of Cairo in the 40’s with a wonderful sax player and two great singers. They sang American songs from the 40’s and 50’s. In the hazy smoke of the room you could see this older Cuban man playing his sax and hear his granddaughter singer love every note they would play and sing.
And the Cuban music? Don’t get me started!!! It’s played in all the bars and street corners in old Havana and it’s the best! I danced with every band member, every tour guide, everyone I could find.

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The music was so happy!! (And so was I). I felt 40 again! (that’s a stretch, maybe 70). They dressed up in Old Havana costumes for tourists and it was charming! It was a little bit of Acapulco in the 60’s with that “Let’s all dance and forget everything” kind of feeling. We never even turned on CNN. We were having too much fun! Street vendors, the Museo del Arte, artists in their homes, all the old cars, were wonderful.

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We had one very special day. Wayne and Sharol Siemens, our friends who have been there so many times before, set up everything for us. They set up a tobacco tour that makes the finest cigars in the world, and ended the day by continuing out in the country to the baseball commissioner of Cuba farm for a roasted pig! All the family and neighbors showed up to meet us and each one was sweeter than the next. (Yes, I ate the roasted pig and it wasn’t bad). We ate in a clearing in the woods and it was so charming it was something I’ll never forget!

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We finished this off with Hemmingway’s Bar and the great music. We were so happy we were able to go with Wayne and Sharol and our other friends, the Montgomerys. There’s a song that says, “Nobody does it better, I feel sad for the rest,” that’s how I felt about everyone who hasn’t gone with Wayne and Sharol. Nobody does it better!
Thanks guys! What a treat!!

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We Are Going To Cuba!

November 8, 2016 at 6:00 AM

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So excited!! Photos and a blog about it when I return.

Have a good week everyone!

 

New York, New York – What A Wonderful Town!

November 1, 2016 at 6:00 AM

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So this is how the TEDx played out. I arrived on the 25th and went directly to my friend Janet’s apartment (where I was staying). The next day I had a little private meeting with the organizer, whom I had never met. She was not a disappointment!

We had a ½ hour consultation and she was dynamite. Her name is Elizabeth Barry and she is a branding consultant with a lot of good ideas! She was the person that put this all together. That night she had a cocktail party where we met all the speakers that had arrived. Some were still coming in (from Chicago, LA, etc). They were all great! Each of them had a very interesting twist on “It’s about time,” from talking about the whales to motherhood, helping refugees, to growing up gay and black in the “hood” and more. We had all met and read our speeches a couple of weeks before via a phone conference, so we felt like old friends when we finally saw each other! I was the oldest by 35 to 40 years but it didn’t matter a bit. We all wanted each other to succeed!

That night my son flew in from Atlanta and he and I had a special dinner date at the Baccarat. It is so rare we get to be together just the two of us. It was wonderful to catch up. It meant so much to me that he took this time to be there and he was really in it! My husband Bob was nursing his bad back in Santa Barbara, so it was really nice to have Jim there!

After dinner I went back to Janet’s for a good night sleep because I had to be up at 7:30 a.m. to be at the theatre at 9:30 a.m., dressed, made up and ready to go for the day! At 3:30 a.m. I was still tossing and turning, going over the speech and the rest of my life. I did finally fall asleep and got up and made it to the theatre in time! Nerves were running high and we all (the speakers) were practicing our speeches in the halls, in the green room in the bathroom and all over the place. The audience started filling in. Jim and various friends came in and I was a wreck!

TEDx Upper West Women streamed from San Francisco for a few hours for us to watch in New York. They are the mother load as far as TED conferences go; there were all wonderful talks. Then it was lunch break and soon after our turn to go live. I was number four. When they called my name it became a blur (a delicious blur) and soon I was up the stairs (in my high heels) and giving my speech. I really don’t remember the rest but I know I finished and heard the applause. Only later did I find out I received a standing “O.” All the speakers came up on the stage and we all hugged and were so relieved. Everyone did great!! We now had Ted Cred (as they say). I won’t forget any of them! It was over, except for the fun!

There was a party for everyone at a cute restaurant that Elizabeth arranged, and Jim and I went to say goodbye to everyone and then we went to Shun Lee where Jim hosted a dinner for my friends who had come including Edwina Rogers from Washington DC, CEO of Global Healthspan Priority Institute and her new husband.

I feel grateful, still excited (I’m waiting for the crash) and humbled that I feel strong and healthy enough to do this. I feel overwhelmingly lucky that I have to say what my mother always said when anything too good to be true happened, “Poo Poo Poo” (for those of you not Jewish, or under the age of 65, that is to ward off the evil spirits).

So I guess, at 82, I have my feet in two worlds, the world I remember from my mother with all the old wisdom and superstitions and the world I now inhabit, in New York getting TED CRED.

All in all, a peak experience!

Auntie Mame said, “Life is a banquet and most poor bastards are starving to death.”

You know what? I’m still hungry!!

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It’s About Time

October 25, 2016 at 6:00 AM

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Dear readers,

By the time you get this, I will be on the plane to New York and in two days time I’ll be on a stage doing my TEDx talk, fulfilling a long-awaited dream of mine.

Here is a three minute video of the different speakers. I’m definitely going to be the grandma Moses of the group. But it should be fun to work with all these kids. We have one day before the event to meet and read our speeches.

We’ve had many conference calls discussing it. All of our speeches are “It’s about time” and our subject matter after that. Mine is “It’s about time we rethink age.” It’s our job at home to practice by ourselves over and over and over and over until we are spot on.

I hope when I write to you next I can say “I nailed it!”

This is a little beautiful video with all the players in it and a lovely song written just for the occasion by Skye Dyer.

Hope you enjoy and wish me luck. I’m taking you with me!

Beverlye

It’s Our Time, It’s Our Turn

October 18, 2016 at 6:00 AM

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We hear about the Millennials, we hear about Generation X, the baby boomers. But have you heard about the gray matter? The silent generation? That’s us! Those of us born between 1930-1945.

Well, we are not so silent anymore. We’ve found our voices. We are able to have second, third and fourth chapters in our lives. We turned out to be the lucky ones because we are living longer, wiser and in a more healthy state than others before us. We have treatments, options, and medicines available to us, that has never been given to any other generation. We are all taking advantage.

We are living in a healthspan, meaning we can fight off age-related diseases like diabetes, arthritis, etc, for an extra 10-15 years. It’s because we know how to eat properly and exercise, we have gained these bonus years.

Anne Garrett, 80, was fit enough to set an unofficial national half marathon record in the women’s 80 to 84 age division with a time of 2:13:23.

Jane Goodall still does miraculous work at 82. Chief Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 83, needs no explanation.

The formidable and ever funny Lady Trumpington, 91, is the oldest woman in the House of Lords. Dr. Ruth, 88, is a famous sex therapist. Toni Morrison, Pulitzer Winner Writer, 85.

These are only the famous ones, but there is those of us who are learning, taking classes, running races, starting romances and even getting married at 89. That is life for the no longer “silent generation.”

So write on your list, what it is that you really want to do? Because there is still time to do so much. Say to yourself, “I want to write that book,” “I want to learn this language,” “I want to take up yoga.” And then just go and do it.

It’s our time and our turn to show what we have got!

 

Dreams Come True

October 12, 2016 at 6:00 AM

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I wanted to do a TED Talk forever. I wrote it down on my wish list for this year and lo and behold (that gives my age away right there) I got one!! I will be speaking at TEDx UpperWestside WOMEN on October 27 at the Leonard Nimoy Theatre in New York. The theme of the day is “Isn’t it about time?” So my speech is: Isn’t it about time we change the way we look at aging? This is how it came about.

I took a great online course for TED Talks from Tabby Biddle (who is sensational, BTW) and at the very end of the course she suggested to pick out 2 organizers (they run the individual TEDx Talk) out of a list of TT’s online and send them your idea.

She didn’t know them. I didn’t know them. Cold Call! Scary!

I sent an email to one of the organizers, Elizabeth Barry, who said, “I’ll call you in an hour!” OMG, I thought, she’s interested! She called me back in exactly an hour and said, “Pitch me over the phone.” I pitched her for about a minute and she said, “Welcome to my TEDx family.” I almost fainted! “Does that mean I have a slot?” I asked. “Yes, you’re in. Start getting your speech together. I’ll start working with you next week.” And that was it!!!! She’s terrific also!!

That was about ten days ago and now we talk about twice a week to have her help me hone my speech. She’s very generous with her time. This is amazing! Such an incredible experience for me.

Here is the video she asked us to send in for her website. Check out the website and the speakers. http://www.tedxupperwestsidewomen.com

I’m so excited. It just proves we have to keep reaching for our dreams no matter what our age is.

Never give up!

Is Lifestyle The Answer?

October 4, 2016 at 6:00 AM

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In my family, every woman died before the age of 64! As my friend said the other day when I turned 82, “you have just missed the opportunity of dying young, Beverlye.” That’s OK with me. I have the privilege of having the knowledge that sadly my grandmother, mother and two sisters did not have.

Medicine has come such a long way, teaching us not only about what to do once we have our diseases but how to do preventative medicine. My mother didn’t exercise, my sisters didn’t exercise and my grandmother was way too busy putting out the wash for her eleven children. That was her exercise.

My groundbreaking generation, not only has the opportunity to learn how to protect ourselves from the effects of aging and to push back age-related diseases, but the responsibility to pass that information on to the generations behind us. It’s our job. It’s our pleasure!

Do you remember (those of you in my generation) that little man in his one-piece jump suit that we naively made fun of, Jack Lalanne? Well, we are not making fun of him now. He was way ahead of his time! He lived in a good healthspan until 96 years of age. He drank green juices, exercised every day and stayed the same weight his whole life. His theory was that our bodies needed less food as we grew older and he was right about that too.

I’ve lived nineteen years longer than any woman in my family and I believe it’s because of the lifestyle I have chosen. I drink green juices too, Jack. I exercise every day. I have plans for my future, more speaking, more books, perhaps another documentary or video. I have so many things left to do, so consequently I need my strength to do them. When I feel tired, I push myself to do just five more minutes on the hiking trail. When I’m exhausted I listen to my body and get in to bed. If I need to stay there a day, I do. The next day I am back walking or back at the gym feeling wonderful. I plan events that will excite my brain.

It’s easy to isolate as we grow older. We must fight against that. It’s important to leave our houses (which become our havens) to socialize and to keep our bodies and our minds limber. It is as important as eating healthy foods. Keep looking for firsts. They excite our brain and start our endorphins going. They are there for us, you just have to search fort them. This year I took up Tai Chi. It’s very cool! Find a first and do it.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Your genetics load the gun, your lifestyle pulls the trigger” by Mehmet Oz

Something will eventually pull my trigger, but it definitely won’t be because of my lifestyle.

 

Sweet Dreams

September 27, 2016 at 6:00 AM

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He woke up early, maybe around 6:00 or 6:30. He slept, snored, talked and moved around all night. I laid awake, hoping for some shut eye, fixing my pillow, moving around, finally giving in to reading, taking another pill and falling into a shallow sleep.

I hear him lift the dog up saying, “Let’s not wake your mom.” I think I’ll never go back to sleep but I do. The sweetest sleep, more out than in, dreaming, all dreams. My sisters come and talk to me. My friends drift in and out, all in a nice way. My Dad was in one of my dreams this morning. He was going fishing, just like he used to. I hope he is still fishing. He loved it.

I’d be half awake myself, mentally scanning my date book. Look at the clock, one eye closed. I have another hour to sleep. I don’t think I can and then I do fall back into the half sleep with all the dreams. The room is quiet. The room is dark! Just the way I like it. No dog, nor husband talking, snoring. Comforter up over my shoulder, yum!

I fall deeper, but still a little conscious and dreaming. Dreaming all the time. I’m fixing up one of my houses, moving a chair here, moving a painting there, sitting on the porch at my beloved Tollis Avenue, about to have a party, table all set, camera ready. Life is good.

I know I’m missing early hikes. I know I’m missing early coffees. I know I could be with friends chatting about our day, but I just love my morning sleep.

The sweetest sleep of all.

Aging Today

September 14, 2016 at 6:00 AM

I just read a book that is a best-seller and a very well written sweet book. But I must admit, it did annoy me a lot! It was about two people who had fallen in love, and about their neighbor friend Ruth, who was a very little old lady at 82!! The two people that fell in love were in their early 70’s and everyone was shocked that they would be that old and still find happiness with each other.

What’s going on here? I quickly looked to see when the book was published, thinking maybe it was from the 40’s, but no, it was from 2015. Where have they been? What century are they talking about? I talk in senior citizen homes all the time where people are vital, vibrant, getting married in their late 80’s, and taking up yoga at 93. No one I’ve met is old at 82. We might be a bit slower, a lot more forgetful, and maybe a touch more hard of hearing, but the people I see in their 70’s , 80’s and 90’s are all as involved, optimistic and interesting as they ever were. They are so busy working out and preparing for races, classes, giving back and travel they have no time to think about being “old.”

This is a changing world and I intend to be a one-man band, shouting from roof tops to change the thinking about aging. I want to show that my ground-breaking generation is here to let all of you coming up behind us know that aging is different today. We have taken care of ourselves in a way that no generation before us has ever done. We have kept ourselves strong in mind and body, and because of that we need to be looked at and treated differently!

We have important things to share we have learned along the way. We can’t wait to show why you (you collective 40, 50 and 60 year olds) should not be afraid of aging. If you eat well, keep exercising, be optimistic and plan ahead, your body will be living in a healthspan that will carry you for the rest of your life. I could go on and on!

Really, don’t get me started!!!!!!!