Transitions take time …

My old office

My old workplace

I gave up full time work six years ago and I am still adjusting to the changes brought about by that decision.

Many, many times I dreamed I was back at work – usually late and a bit lost – people had moved around and I couldn’t find them.

This week I dreamed my old boss fired me! I was actually pleased, especially when he gave me a cheque for $14,000 (only in my dream)! I thought this might signal an end to my dreaming about work.

Not so! Last night I dreamed we had a work reunion and I woke up with the idea of setting up a Facebook page for my former colleagues. That idea wore off by breakfast time!

I hadn’t realised how much hold the workplace had on me. Hopefully I am ready to let go of the life I had in the workforce and enjoy in the life I have now.

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An interview with Lyn Murfitt, Colour Consultant (on retirement)

I recently posted this interview on my Transitioning to Retirement blog and decided to share it here as well :).

Lyn Interview

Lyn, what does the word retirement mean to you?

BOREDOM! I love working, simply because it is so stimulating for my brain, and it certainly gets my creative juices going!  There is always an amazing experience or lesson to be learned each and every day!

What strategies have you used in transitioning from one phase of your life to the next?

Certainly staying in the workforce and working less hours. However, the remaining free days have allowed me to follow my passion in Body & Style Consulting. Assisting many women to feel more confident in themselves, and to feel less stressed about their appearance and body shape.  This gives me a sense of achievement and happiness in being able to help other women to realize their full potential, to work around the shape they are and to spend less time in agonizing about their appearance.

Exercise is very important to me also. It refreshes me daily to walk in the fresh air, thank the Universe for everything I have, keeps me positive and grateful for the life I have been blessed with!

Tell me about your Image Consultancy business?

This passion of mine came about 35 years ago, when I was employed as a Fashion Consultant with Liz Davenport.

Colour Analysis was an important factor when women were shopping with me. I saw so many mistakes being made with their choices; wrong necklines, lengths and styles that were not suitable for their body shapes. So I studied these factors and did many courses, especially the colour aspect, as that really ‘sets the stage’. Now I consult in Busselton and enjoy every moment of it!  Sharing my  knowledge is a large part of the process.

What drives you to want to help women be the best they can be?

I think the look on their faces when they have done a Colour Consult, or Body & Style, or even had a Closet Audit in their own home.  It really is an ‘ooh aah’ experience, and their pleasure and excitement certainly fulfills me.

Usually I make special friends out of my consultations, as it is a ‘personal journey’ into exploring working around the shape they are and not trying to CHANGE them.

What wisdom would you pass on to other women as they reach retirement age and beyond?

To attract positive people into your life, to make things happen, to join different clubs and organizations. This opens up a whole new world of experiences for you.  Don’t sit back and wait for it to HAPPEN!  Whatever your taste is …BOOK CLUB, SPORTING ACTIVITIES, CHARITY WORK, TRAVEL…….there is so much on offer out there! Read the LOCAL PAPER, that’s how I got started!

Now is the time for YOU!!

Anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?

CURRENTLY, I am ‘decluttering’ my life, and it is so UPLIFTING.  Also, it helps me to remember so many AMAZING POSITIVE things I have done and experienced.  Dare I say, it is tempting me to WRITE about my life, as many people do in later years when they have the time.

It is so enriching, even the sad and silly times.  It is always about GROWTH, and we NEVER STOP developing. There is always a SURPRISE around every corner!  Sometimes a CHALLENGE …..ONWARD INTO FOREVER!!

Thanks so much Lyn. We look forward to reading your book down the track!

I am not making it up …

about ageI recently had my sixtieth birthday and that means I have done a range of things in those six decades. Sometimes I surprise people when I mention some of those things. I guess we all travel our own journeys and we can never be sure where they will take us. A list of some of my adventures follows:

  • I left home in country Victoria at 17 years old to live in Melbourne and I was a bit into the hippie culture at the time
  • I met my first husband in Melbourne and we married when I was 18
  • My three sons were born in my twenties
  • I lived and worked in several remote communities with high Indigenous populations within Australia including Numbulwar in the Northern Territory, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Geraldton and Esperance in Western Australia
  • I was the Newman correspondent for the North West Telegraph when I was living in the Pilbara
  • I didn’t complete high school but went on to gain university entrance as an adult and have since achieved separate qualifications in management and professional writing
  • Twice divorced meant some time as a single mother of my three sons
  • I started studying theology at one stage but didn’t see it through plus I was a Church Warden, Synod representative and Pastoral Assistant in the Anglican Church
  • I was a Shire Councillor and Deputy Shire President with the East Pilbara Shire and ran as a candidate for the State Government in 1993
  • During my time working for the government I spent time in Education and Training, Culture and the Arts, Communities and Disability Services
  • I am really interested in computers and social media and love WordPress 🙂

What I find interesting is the diversity of some of my activities but I guess there is some consistency in the overall story. There are a few adventures held back – I don’t want to give everything away!

Weekly photo challenge: Achievement

demographics 001 (Copy)I made the above picture (with cloth, glue and cardboard + butterflies) as a way of expressing the importance  of that time in our lives beyond 45 years of age.

The bottom purple rectangle represents our youth up to around 21 years old where we are in a phase of learning about ourselves and the world around us.

The cream rectangle with three gold butterflies represents the years from around 21 to around 45 years. These are usually very productive years for most people – hence the gold butterflies.

The blue rectangle represents that span of our lives from around 45 years to around 80. This is a time when we have a lot of life experience, knowledge and skills – hence the abundance of butterflies.

The top purple rectangle represents those lucky enough to live a long life beyond 80 years.

What I was trying to portray was that the 45-80 years + is a very dynamic phase full of great potential. Notice how this phase is actually bigger than the other three rectangles. I am suggesting a new way of looking at this time in our lives – not of reaching retirement, putting the feet up and waiting for the eventual decline.

This is just my perspective and I would be interested in other people’s ideas and feedback 🙂

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be …

Turning sixty was reasonably painless after all! We had some of the family stay on Friday and Saturday night and then met the other family members (who could make the distance) join us for lunch on Sunday at Flutes Restaurant.

Flutes is my favourite restaurant in the South West/Margaret River region. The food is really good and the views are tranquil and beautiful. The company was great too.

Today I am in recovery mode from too much good living! But then someone gave me a big box of chocolates today. It looks like I might have to postpone the return to healthy eating for a while longer.

So I guess turning sixty isn’t such a big deal and I can enjoy each day as it comes. Soon I will start planning for Christmas 🙂

P.S. I have it on good authority that I can now do as I want, having reached this age – so I didn’t ask Andrew and Joel’s permission to include them in my blog :-). I won’t make a habit of it though! Tom didn’t mind.

Sixty 008 (Copy)

Fifty something …

MondayI want to point out to the world that people over 50 have a lot to offer. I want to point this out to all age groups but especially to people who are past 50 or thereabouts.

I get tired of hearing people talk about retirement. Retirement belongs to the previous generations – our parents and their parents (if they lived long enough). I am not suggesting that we keep working at a job we hate or find too difficult. I am saying that we need to pause and reflect on this phase of our lives. You may need to keep working at your job due to financial pressures but is there the capacity to reduce your hours?

Consider the following:

• Is there so much more you would like to be doing with your time?

• Do you have interests that you would like to pursue now but don’t have the time?

• This period of our lives (say 45 – 80ish) is likely to be very different than it was for our parents who were born before World War II

• If you are anticipating using your time to catching up on years of reading, and are happy to do that, then that is fine. Read no further!

• Maybe you want to spend more time with your grandchildren or are artistic and enjoy you leisure time in these pursuits and find them to be gratifying.

• Do you get up each morning and wonder what is the point of getting up as you did yesterday what you will do again today and the day after?

• Do you get irritable because the world seems to be run by young people – eg doctors, the media, some politicians that don’t look old enough to vote?

• Does your brain still function the way it used to, or is it even better now that you have abandoned a lot of the crap that came from working full-time and the office politics?

• Are you unsure of how to dress – you don’t want to be masquerading as a young person? How do you see yourself?

• Are you able to graciously profess your views without getting defensive when younger people see your views as obsolete?

• Consider how you plan to spend the next 20-30 years? Do you want to sit around getting old and immobile? If you are still actively involved in sport, then good for you!

• Is there a way we can collectively find a valuable place in society that breaks the common stereotypes of the over fifties?

• Does social media provide us with an avenue to express ourselves and perhaps help others at the same time?

• How would you feel about using some of your skills or developing new skills to assist the community to improve health, education and environmental outcomes?

• How would you feel about gaining your community’s respect and gratitude for the use of these skills?

• Would you be prepared to work for a nominal amount that Not For Profits could afford?

• Can you see the difference between this idea and the tremendous work that thousands of volunteers already do each day in Australia (and other parts of the world)?

• Can you make sense of all of the above and are excited about contributing ideas on how we can change this concept into reality?

If you would like to get more involved with me on this project you can email me on reoh@iinet.net.au

Thanks for reading 🙂

Ideas, dreams and regrets

For some time now I have been thinking about taking some sort of action in relation to raising awareness about the ageing of Baby Boomers and the need for attitudes (in general) to change. We can look at the ageing population as a burden on the government/community or we can look more positively at this cohort of people and somehow leverage off their knowledge, skills, experience and understanding for the betterment of our society.

I started by setting up a website at http://www.encoreaustralia.wordpress.com but I ran out of momentum (for now at least). I would love to have a brainstorming session with a small group of people who share my thoughts on this topic but I don’t really know where to start. I have looked at goals, project plans, research, values etc. I have also researched other websites throughout the internet (there are lots on this topic).

I am unsure what I want to achieve so I guess this is hampering my progress. I think best when I am among a group of people of similar minds. I may have to resort to a brainstorming session between me and my whiteboard!

Any ideas to get me kick started? I would really appreciate any feedback.

about age

 

 

The age-old questions

“Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?

IMG_0482 (Copy)

Some people are really sensitive about their age and try to hide the truth from others – leave them guessing! For me, from an early age I looked older than my contemporaries. I think it is fair to say that trait has stayed with me so I just accept it. In fact, I often tell people how old I am just in case they think I am older!

My 29th birthday is the only one I really stressed over. Leaving my twenties behind seemed really significant at the time. I had three young children by that time. Sometimes I reflect on my life in decades, as follows:

0-10   All that childhood stuff

10-20   Probably the worst decade of my life – being a teenager is tough!

20-30   I enjoyed trying to be the model “Earth Mother”, baking my own bread etc and enjoying my young children

30-40   Wow! What happened? My life turned up-side-down with a broken marriage and being single again with young children

40-50   Life started to really improve at this point. I had a good job, mortgage and started getting my act together (at last!)

50-60   Well, I am not quite there yet. I have my sixtieth birthday later this year but this decade has been really good so far. I don’t know how I feel about turning sixty. I am aware that quite a few people I went to school with haven’t made it this far and I feel really grateful that I have.

60-70   Well, I feel fairly positive about the future. I have strong feelings about people in my age group continuing to play an active part in our world (however that translates for each of us). You might want to check out my other blog at http://www.encoreaustralia.wordpress.com. It has some great links relevant to this age group.

I am looking for ideas on how to celebrate my sixtieth, so send them through please. Big parties have no appeal, nor does jumping out of a plane – something a little less dramatic would be good 🙂

 

 

St Kilda Pier and Luna Park

After spending a wonderful week with my son, daughter-in-law and two gorgeous grandsons, I spent two great days in St Kilda with my two sisters. We walked, talked and ate  – and had lots of laughs!

It was good to get home again and appreciate all that I have, with a renewed enthusiasm.