Beware of Old Information

My father-in-law was having a hard time seeing from one eye. During the visit to an eye doctor, he was told that his retina was almost completely detached and he needed to see a specialist immediately. After making an appointment for the next morning, he headed home. As soon as he settled back into his den, he did what all of us would do; he searched for more information about his condition.

Being more “old school”, he went to the bookshelf and pulled out a ten year old copy of “Merks Medical Guide”. Finding “detached retina” in the index, he went to the article and was shocked to read he was certainly going to be permanently blind in one eye!  He hardly slept that night.  The next morning, the eye specialist agreed that it was bad.  But he was confident that a fairly new surgical process would have a high chance of a positive outcome.  Surgery was scheduled for that afternoon and my father-in-law was home soon afterward.  He brought home a brochure describing the procedure.  I read through the brochure and was amazed at this Science Fiction type medical procedure.

The eye patch was removed the next day and his vision was as good as it was before all this started!  Not only that, there was no extensive healing time.  A miracle!  Impossible according to the ten year old medical guide.

The point of this post is simple:  We live in a world that is constantly changing; basing a decision on old information could easily cause you to make a very bad decision.    Rick

Update:  In light of recent events and the proliferation of “fake news”, we not only need to make sure our information is current but that it is true!  This can be a difficult task.  We all tend to listen to news outlets, celebrities and politicians that spout “information” with which we agree.  That does not mean it is true.  Fox News admits that it is an entertainment show, not a truthful news outlet.  The same is true of the late night show hosts; they are stand-up comedians making fun of current events.  Before you form an opinion based on any news event, double check the facts. Don’t rely on just one or two sources for facts and recognize that any opinion is just that, an opinion.  Statistics and polls can easily be manipulated or “spun.”  Be wary of anything that sounds outrageous or even slightly “off”.  In other words, think for yourself and don’t fall into any “tribe” mentality.  Here is a simple non-political example:  Remember the old “Pepsi taste test” commercials?  First problem:  only people who preferred CocaCola were chosen to participate in the blind taste test.  They were asked to taste unmarked samples of Pepsi and Coke and state which they preferred.  Since there is not a huge difference in the taste of the two colas, not everyone was going to pick the Coca Cola sample.  So, if three of the ten people who said they preferred Coke actually picked the Pepsi sample, the shouted conclusion was, “Thirty percent of CocaCola drinkers actually prefer Pepsi!”  I hope you see the flaws in this taste test.  The exact opposite conclusion would have been made if they started with people who said they preferred Pepsi.     Note: this may not have been exactly how the “taste test” was run.  It is just my re-creation to make a point.

Some fact checking sites:

https://www.snopes.com/

https://www.factcheck.org/

http://www.politifact.com/

The Christian Science Monitor is known for avoiding sensationalism, presenting a more objective and informative coverage of newsworthy events. https://www.csmonitor.com/

Some major newspapers are accused of both, being too liberal and being too conservative.  To me, that means they are at least trying to be unbiased.  Anyone with an opinion is biased.  My only advice is to try to gather and verify as many current facts as possible before cementing your opinion.  If you listen to and read the same “news” sources for years, you are letting someone else form your opinions.  If there are extreme right and left-wing opinions about the same actual facts, you can be sure that the “truth” lies somewhere in between.

 

Seniors-My Best Advice

Seniors are people at least ten years older than me.” – Rick Perkins

I generally advise people to hang out with others who are younger, smarter and wealthier.  This sometimes contradicts my advice to help out people who are less fortunate.  When I help a group of “seniors”, some are wealthier and many are smarter but they are all older than me.

I want to live a very long life.  I enjoy life and of course, there is always something to fix.  I figure the best way to learn about life as a senior citizen is to visit with people who are already there.  “My seniors” think I’m visiting to help them with a myriad of minor, everyday problems.  I certainly do that but I’m also observing to collect information that will hopefully be beneficial to me in my “Golden Years”.

There is nothing surprising about what I have learned so far but a reminder to all of us could be helpful.

1.  HEALTH  If you expect to enjoy life as a senior, make sure you are taking care of your body now.  Exercise, eat right, sleep and keep your mind active and don’t ignore your body when it needs attention.

2.  WEALTH  We all know that having money makes life easier.  This is even more apparent when you reach an age where you need to hire people to do things you once did for yourself.  Money can define the quality of your physical life, where you live and the level of your healthcare.  So save up!  If you don’t really need it, don’t buy it.  Save and invest your money to ensure a better retirement.

3. ATTITUDE  It is starkly obvious once again how much attitude affects the quality of life.  The people who are grateful for every day they wake up, for every sunrise, every visitor and every daily challenge are so much happier than the whiners, haters and overall negative thinking seniors.  I’ve heard people say that your bad traits become more prominent the older you get.  A sure way to become a lonely, ignored and miserable senior is to act like a hateful, complaining, poor-me, grumpy old person.  Unless you plan to do something about it, ignore the negative news of the day.  Help someone less fortunate.  Gossip, whining and complaining about the way others live their lives is a great start toward life as a lonely depressed senior.  An activity that seems to lift everyone’s spirits: teach young people how to do something you are passionate about.  Drawing, painting, playing a musical instrument, woodworking, knitting, whistling or storytelling.  Schools have cut back on so much on the fine arts that some kids are amazed at what a senior can do and are willing to give up their electronic devices for a while to learn these hidden talents.

If you want to enjoy a long life, you must prepare for it and definitely not depend on someone else to make you comfortable and happy.  Read through my other posts for more tips and feel free to share your own in the comments.

Memories of Mom

Easter

Easter memories are mostly about my mother.  My parents were still teenagers when they married. Their youth and two early tragedies destroyed their five year old marriage.  Later, my mother remarried and bore my younger sister. Somewhere, in the late 1950’s. my mother started our Easter tradition.

Easter morning in Dayton, Ohio was usually cold and frequently rainy.  I don’t remember it ever snowing but I do remember it sleeting so bad it was hard to see through the windshield of the car.  My mother would wake us up in the dark.

We hurriedly got ready by putting on our best clothes.  If it was raining, my mom would be upset.  Her rather new Renault didn’t like to start in the rain.  My grandfather later found out that that condensation on the ignition wires caused them to short out.  He sprayed them with a “new-fangled plastic coating” from an aerosol can. That made all rainy mornings a bit calmer in our apartment and made my grandfather a hero in my eyes.

So now my little sister, in her fanciest dress and me with my shiny, slick shoes and scratchy tweed coat are in the backseat of the car.  My mother’s long blonde hair is pulled back in a tight “bun”.  Her lips are red and she actually has a small hat on her head.  I remember that because as short as she was, she almost knocked her hat off getting into the little Renault.  Even if it was icy, she wore high heels.  The car filled with the smell of her perfume.  I could see my breath in the cold air inside the car.  It is 6 am, Easter morning, headlights on and we are driving to Carillon Park for Easter Dawn Sunrise Service.

Carillon Historical Park is the home of the Deeds Carillon.  It is an impressive bell tower that plays amazing music during Easter Sunrise Service every Easter Sunday at 6:30am.  The sermon and music are broadcast by a local AM radio station so my mother turns on the car radio before we enter the park.  This is supposed to be a “simulcast” but when the bells start chiming even I notice there is a delay between the real bells and the sound from the radio.  From a kid’s point of view, this is the crazy part.  We got all dressed up in our Sunday best and now we are sitting in a car listening to a church service on the radio!  The few times I remember that were not freezing or raining, we opened the car doors and maybe stood outside.  I don’t remember ever greeting anyone in the other cars.

Even as an impatient kid, the service didn’t seem to last long.  The sun came up, the bells were impressive and then it was time to go.  If it wasn’t raining, my mother drove to the cemetery almost next door to the park.  It seemed big and old and all the little roads looked the same to me.  Eventually, my mother would stop and we would follow her to a small headstone, the resting place of my older sister.  The marker had an oval metal lid on top that I lifted to reveal a sepia colored photo. She was a beautiful, curly haired girl with a hat who reminded me of Shirley Temple.  We were quiet and then headed back to the car.

The next stop made the whole “get up in the dark” experience worthwhile.  Our nicest clothes were about to meet the sticky, messy world of pancakes and hot maple syrup as we headed for breakfast at the local pancake house.  Thanks Mom.

More about the Carillon Historical Park:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carillon_Historical_Park

https://www.daytonhistory.org/events/special-events/easter-sunrise-service/

Passion & Purpose

Life Purpose

If you have yet to find your life’s purpose, this post is for you.
You may have raised a family, had a career, contributed to your community, and made your parents proud. So why do you feel like something is missing? An entire adult life, many, many years in the making is now complete? But it doesn’t feel complete…you don’t feel complete. Why? Because you have yet to reach your full potential and fulfill your purpose in life.

Good News

You are in luck. You may easily live another twenty to forty years or more. That is an entire “Second Adult Life”! Think about it. This is your chance to take everything you have learned and earned in your first adult life and start again with one goal to be laser focused on. Start to live your life with passion, knowing every day you are moving toward fulfilling your purpose in life.  This is the opposite of most “Self-Help” advice.  I could convince you that exercising is good for you or starting a business would solve your financial problems.  You would agree and then never take the action steps.  Taking action is no problem once you discover your Passion & Purpose.  This is a mindset problem.  Once you find your solution, nothing can keep you from taking massive action.

Passion & Potential cover

Contents

Discover Your Full Potential pg 5
Your Mind is Your Biggest Asset pg 7
So What is the Deal About Passion? pg 9
How Do You Find Your Purpose? pg 13
How Do You Commit to Your Purpose? pg 19
Why is This So Important? pg 23
Taking Action pg 25

Download and read the entire booklet (for FREE)  click on title:   Passion & Potential after 50

 

“A Wise Man Once Said…Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow”

Share Your Life Lessons and Let Wisdom Grow where it may.

Wise Advice

 (Add your best lessons to the list below)

Many of us would like to think that we have gained some amount of “wisdom” during our first round of adult living.  I like to think that we have all learned something from our experiences but I’m not sure that can be called wisdom.

The dictionary defines wisdom as: “the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.”

The catch here is the ” just judgment as to action” part of the definition.  We may have discovered “what is true or right” but how many of us always take the right action based on that knowledge?  If you were truly “wise” you would, among other things, avoid sugar, exercise every day, never have unprotected sex and always listen much more than talk.

No matter what we say, true wisdom may not be something the average man or woman even wants.  So instead of sharing our “wisdom”, let’s just go with the “knowledge of what is true” and “insight” part of the definition and call it “Life Lessons”.  We can pass on this knowledge and let our children and grandchildren or even complete strangers decide whether to become wiser with this knowledge.  This totally supports the saying, “A smart person learns from his mistakes; A wise person learns from the mistakes of others.”

Send one of your best insights to me,  dearrick@midlifehelp.com   I will try to put them into categories so that everyone can read and perhaps benefit from your experiences.

Note:  I’m sure many of these quotations and observations are not original.  Obviously, many of us, through our years of experience, have discovered the same life lessons.  If anyone thinks one of these is their original or copyrighted thoughts, please let me know and I will give you credit.

I will start it off with some of my own observations:

  • Success is really about getting things done. – Rick Perkins
  • The only problem with having a great day is that you never want it to end. – Rick Perkins
  • Live in the present, prepare for the future and enjoy it all. – Rick Perkins
  • People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be. – This has been attributed to Abraham Lincoln but I think most mature adults have figured this out.  The unhappy ones may know it as well but haven’t made a decision to change their minds.

Category: Unsorted (so far)

  • You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. – Beverly Sills
  • Give things that are within your means and never expect to get something else back in return. Giving is not a boomerang.
  • Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face, it’s about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and a pretty soul.

What Do You See?

Workaholic

 

 

 What is your first thought when you see this sketch?

Internet marketer replied  that he see a marketer who has reach his dream, “Happily working from anywhere including a beautiful beach”.  Another Capricorn Baby Boomer said she saw “a man enjoying his work in a beautiful setting”.

“Normal” people, including the wife of an Internet marketer see something entirely different.

Much of the clipart I use in my business is from Corel Corporation.  This particular one is labeled, “Workaholic”.  Did that make you stop and think for a moment?  No matter how much we love our work, there is more to living.  Do you stop to smell the roses?  Do you take the time to notice all the beauty in the world around us?

Happy News

When do you smile and laugh and feel good about your life?

As I read more and more requests for advice, I realize that a huge number of people are waiting for someone else to “make” them happy.  You are the only person responsible for your happiness.  Now you may use a “crutch” of sorts when you are just not feeling the happiness inside, a photo, website (like laughing babies) or maybe a comfort food. Here is my younger daughter, a beautiful girl acting silly…it makes me smile every time.  So what is your “crutch”?

Make me smile

The Healthy Dozen “Super Foods”

We all have in mind what we think are “healthy” foods. If you are reading this, you probably know what foods are “bad” for your body. I try to convince myself that I’m safe if I follow the idea of “All things in moderation” especially when I’m looking at a tub of my favorite Blue Bell ice cream. I found myself hesitating to list what I thought were healthy foods so I looked at what the experts eat. Here is a peak into the favorite foods of professional Registered Dietitians and nutritionists.

Hummus
“This is every nutritionist’s ‘convenience food.’ In just a quarter cup, you get fiber, protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat from the olive oil.” —Jennifer McDaniel, a registered dietitian nutritionist in St. Louis and an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson

Cinnamon
“This is one of those powerhouse spices every R.D. tries to work into his/her diet. Research shows that just half a teaspoon a day can help regulate blood sugar—and when our blood sugar drops, we feel hungry, so cinnamon can curb your appetite. I add a teaspoon to my coffee beans before I grind them; it infuses my coffee with flavor and health benefits.” —Jennifer McDaniel
See Rick’s article on cinnamon here: http://midlifehelp.com/cinnamon/

Dark Berries
“A bowl of berries is what most nutritionists have when they’re craving something sweet. Berries are jam-packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants—crucial for aging well. We favor super-dark berries, like blueberries and blackberries, because they have the highest doses of those powerful antioxidants.” —Keri Glassman, a dietitian in New York City and author of The New You and Improved Diet

Almond Milk
“No matter what we think about dairy, most of us agree that it’s too easy to overdo. Yogurt, cheese—even that whey protein in an energy bar is dairy. It sneaks into more than you might expect. That’s why R.D.’s love unsweetened almond milk. It has a consistency similar to cow’s milk but half the calories—and you still get vitamin E. I love using almond milk in smoothies, and I also swap it for milk when I make oatmeal and pudding.” —Carolyn Brown

Avocados
“Every dietitian I know agrees that avocados are a must-eat food. They are a great source of healthy fats, which help fill you up so you’ll be less likely to want a snack later on. Plus, they taste really decadent. I love putting avocado slices on my salad; research shows that it helps your body absorb nutrients. And they are the perfect food if you’re on the go. When I fly, I stash an avocado in my carry-on. I cut it in half, sprinkle on a little salt and pepper, grab a few crackers, and I’ve got a perfect plane snack.” —Carolyn Brown, , a registered dietitian at Foodtrainers in New York City

Greek yogurt
“Dietitians are a little obsessed with Greek yogurt, but for good reason: It’s got two times the protein and less sugar than regular yogurt; it’s filled with probiotics, which help keep your immune system strong; and it’s lower in lactose than other dairy—great for someone with lactose intolerance.” —Kate Geagan, a dietitian in Park City, UT, and author of Go Green, Get Lean

Eggs
“You’ll find a carton of eggs in any R.D.’s fridge, including mine. Eggs have gotten a bad rap due to their cholesterol content, but research shows there’s limited evidence linking egg consumption and heart disease. Plus, this protein-rich food has 70 calories, 13 vitamins and minerals, and the anti-inflammatory nutrient choline, which most Americans need.” —Jennifer McDaniel

Extra-virgin olive oil
“Dietitians love it when good taste, nutrition, and health meet—and extra-virgin olive oil is a triple win. It’s teeming with antioxidants and good-for-you mono unsaturated fats, and it’s delicious. I always buy it in a dark-colored bottle; light can oxidize the oil, minimizing some of the health benefits.” —Kate Geagan (NOT FOR COOKING)

Nuts
“Too many of my clients steer clear of nuts because they’re high in fat, but dietitians eat them because we know that monounsaturated fat, in moderation, can help you maintain your weight or even lose. Almonds and walnuts are my favorites. They satisfy a crunchy craving, and the fat-fiber combo fills me up. Nuts are also loaded with protein, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.” —Keri Glassman

Kale
“If there’s one veggie that every nutritionist across the country eats and recommends, it’s kale. That’s because the leafy green is so nutrient-dense. It’s loaded with vitamins K, A, and C, fiber, and calcium. And it’s packed with so many cancer-preventative antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. My favorite way to eat more is making kale chips, a total party favorite and kid pleaser. Just rip up the kale, massage a little olive oil into the leaves, and bake at 375°F for 10 to 15 minutes. They’re as good as potato chips!” —Carolyn Brown

Quinoa
“Most nutritionists reach for this grain over brown rice or wheat pasta because it’s a complete source of protein, which means it has all the essential amino acids your body needs. It also contains more fiber than most grains, with five grams in every cup. And it gets better: Quinoa is packed with plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which makes it a great way to get those anti-inflammatory fats in your diet.” —Jennifer McDaniel

Water with lemon
“A lot of my dietitian friends start their day by drinking water with lemon, and it’s my morning ritual as well. Unless you’re eating mostly whole, plant-based foods, the pH balance in your digestive system is probably on the acidic side. Lemon is very alkaline** and helps bring the body back to an ideal balance, which is important for overall health. Plus, downing a big glass of water right after you wake up is a great way to get your digestive system moving.” —Carolyn Brown
Notes:
* For the full lemon water benefits: pure filtered water and lemon creates the ultimate water to start or end the day! The trick however, is to have the water lukewarm. If the water is too hot or too cold then it will cause the body to expand energy in order to process it. Lukewarm water also has that comforting feeling to it…especially on a cold morning! – Ross Bridgeford
** Obviously, lemons contain acidic acid but it is not the relative acidity/alkalinity of the food but rather the effect it has on the body that is important. Seemingly acidic foods such as lemons, limes and tomato are acidic in their basic state, but once metabolized by the body have an alkalising effect. The high alkaline mineral content of these foods means that once consumed and metabolized they increase the alkalinity of the cells of the body. On the other hand, because of the sugar content, an orange stays acidic and has an acidic effect on your body.
***Do not leave the lemon in lemon water. If you are going to drink the water right away by all means leave it in, but if you are making up a batch for later, the water can easily get too lemon-y if you leave in the squeezed lemon chunks and more importantly, unless you have REALLY washed the lemons or have bought organic, pesticides and chemicals could leach out of the rind and into your water if they are left soaking for too long, losing the lemon water benefits.

Maybe there are no surprises in here for you but I think it is always good to review our daily habits and eating is certainly a habit that has a huge effect on our physical and mental health. If you are gulping down carbonated sodas and vending machine snacks every day, you might want to give lemon water and nuts or kale chips a shot. A small change in eating habits can make a big improvement in the way you feel.

Problem Solving – Men vs. Women

Advice for men.

(Ladies, feel free to print this out or forward it to your clueless guy.)

Why is she so upset with me? I was just trying to help.

Every time I see a question like this from a mature male, I wonder how he ever got a second date much less, stayed married for years and years. Men and women are natural problem solvers but that doesn’t mean they go through the same process. Men meet a problem with an immediate desire to solve it. A list of possible solutions jumps into our minds and we start weighing the outcome of every one. Granted, for some men, avoiding or ignoring the problem is a legitimate solution but still it is part of his thinking process. When the woman he cares about is upset about a problem in her life, he naturally wants to help. So what does he do? Immediately, he launches into his problem solving mode by offering a list of possible solutions…”Here is what you need to do.” or “Have you tried this or that?” WRONG!! All of her raw emotions turn to frustration and rage focused on her clueless partner. What these men do not understand is summarized very well in this quote by John Gray:

Problem solving

I am Mr. FixIt, a compulsive problem solver, and believe me when I say I know how tempting it is to start offering solutions to anyone with problems. But when your partner comes to you, stressed and upset about a problem in her life, she is seeking support and understanding, someone to listen and empathize with her. Bite your lip if you have to, offer a hug, open ears and at most an “Uh-huh”, “That’s terrible” or “I understand”. Even, “It’ll be okay” might be too much. You can offer all the solutions you want a little later when she is ready to solve the problem. If you want her to brag about you to her friends, be the best, most understanding man alive and keep your mouth shut.

A note to my female readers:
I know most of you are strong, independent women who might want to bash me for using a stereotype emotional female image in my post. Please don’t. Not all guys are the clueless idiot character either but they are out there and need help. If you have some more advice for men in this situation, please add a comment.

One day at a time is the only way we can live.

Rick