Archives for posts with tag: time

One of the college seniors I’m working with asked me how I stay so hip.   Flattering?  Well, sure.  At least I hold my own with younger people to some degree, but I’m not trying to be anything but what I am.  I’m not sure I’ve ever considered myself hip, come to think of it.  I may be as hip as I’ll ever get right now and it’s taken me a long time to get here.  Made me think – and I’m grateful that I still can.

Here’s my list of ways to stay kind of “with it” as you get older.  Take it or leave it – just my random thoughts.

1.  Don’t try to act younger than you are.  When people tell you that you look 10 or 20 years younger than you are, just say Thank You.  The truth is that you look good for your age.  That’s all we can hope for.  We are what we are.  Oh yes – dress your age.  You should have found your own style by now.  I always heard that if we’d worn some fad style before, then we shouldn’t try and do it the second time.  Think bubble hairstyles or bell bottom jeans.

2.  Don’t be judgmental.  Younger people, all ages of younger people, do things differently than we did.  That’s ok.  I don’t agree with some of it, but I remember that my parents probably didn’t like some of the things I did either.  Today is different than yesterday in so many ways.  Don’t sit there going Tsk! Tsk!

3.  Don’t be afraid to try new things or to dream of new things.  What have you got lose at this point?  Time’s a flyin’ and it’s now or never.  Make that bucket list!

4.  Keep up with pop culture – to a degree.  You don’t have to know the name of every music group or the latest young star or slang, but you can have a familiarity with some of it.  Listen to some new music.  A lot of it is great.  Remember how shocked our parents were at what we listened to?  It’s the same now.  If you hear something you don’t get, look it up on the internet.  It may shock you, but at least you won’t be clueless.

5.  Keep up with technology.  We’ll never be as fast or as knowledgeable as the generations after us, but there’s a lot that’s wonderful and makes our lives more fun and easier.  If you don’t like it, don’t use it, but don’t act superior about it or turn your nose up.

6.  Enjoy people of all ages.  Don’t complain that children are noisy or teens are disrespectful or your grown children are living the wrong lifestyle.  We used to be them.  Enjoy where you were and where you are now.  We all have to go through it.

7.  Don’t be disappointed in how your life turned out.  Everyone has something happen they didn’t expect, whether it’s about jobs or marriages or children or health or any number of things.  You don’t want to be one of those old people shaking your cane at the universe and how unfair it’s been to you.  Don’t be a curmudgeon!

8.  Smile a lot, laugh a lot, surround yourself with friends and family and people as much as you can.

You can choose to be happy and happiness is probably what makes you hipper than you would ever dream.


The year is half over.  I was reminded by email and it added to my awareness of how fast the days, months, years are rushing by.  I always said that when you reach middle age and go over the hill, the rest is a downhill slide.  Remember how the days crept along when you were a child?  School would never get out soon enough and the days dragged waiting for summer, birthdays, Halloween, Fourth of July, vacations.  You couldn’t get there fast enough.  I can’t think of the last time I couldn’t wait for my next birthday, although I’m glad I’m still here to have them.  They seem to come about every other month anyway.

The trouble with the middle age thing is that you don’t really know what your middle age is.  For my son, it was 17-18.  For my husband, it was 27-28.  For a friend who died this week, it was 34.  If you think about it that way, you start living your life in a way that celebrates every day you have.

So this year is flashing by and it’s time to assess how to spend the rest of the year.  I want to do so much and there is so much to do and they aren’t always the same.  There is work to do and play ahead.  Sigh.

So, this blog is ending quickly.  How much time do I have anyway?


Some friends and I were talking today about how we’ve reached the age when we’re really interested in our ancestry. Not that we weren’t before, but we probably just didn’t have the time to do the research and find the stories. And one of the things we all agreed was that we wish we’d asked our parents and grandparents more questions, learned more about them in the days before they knew us.

There was a day when I asked my mother about her grandmother and she started telling me the most interesting stories. I went home & came back with a recorder a few days later and had her repeat them, not knowing about the recorder. She sat at her desk illustrating her memories for me to explain things I wasn’t familiar with. That recording is a treasure, my mother talking and me asking the questions. Why didn’t I do more of that? How did I miss asking my grandparents and my father and my in-laws things that I wonder about now.

In this age of technological advances that change so quickly we can’t keep up, it’s amazing how little we had when I was growing up and how much I’ve seen in my lifetime. They were watching the changes, too. What did they think?

Here are five questions I wish I’d asked. I know there are more, but here are my first five good ones!

1. What did you do during the war? My father was a Lt Colonel in the Army Air Force in World War II and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Why didn’t I ask him more about what his time overseas was like? My grandmother worked in a parachute factory. What was that like? My grandparents sent three sons and a son-in-law to serve and their youngest son didn’t come back. Why didn’t I ask more questions?

Here’s my father during the war…

Scan 28

He told me some stories, but not all.

2. What did you do for fun when you were young? Who were your friends? What did you play with? Where did you go when you were young adults? They didn’t have electronic games or television…what did they do?

Who is my grandmother’s friend in this photo?

Artie Holt West (right) & friend

What kind of lodge was my grandfather in?

Ben West lodge group (2)

Here’s my other grandfather’s fraternity picture…

Scan 49

3. What kind of work did you do or what did your parents and grandparents do? Or maybe, what was your first or favorite job? I know one great-grandfather ran a mill on the Ohio River and another one was a farmer and another one ran a wagon yard in Ardmore. One of my grandfathers worked for the telephone company on the wires when that was a new thing. What did the women do? One grandmother ran a neighborhood grocery store and rooming houses.

4. What was your house like growing up? How big, how many rooms, how were they furnished? That sounds so simple, but I know it was so different from the way we live our lives today. The way I grew up is different from my parents. I can remember our first dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, television set, air conditioner. Our homes are so much more complicated today.IMG_3731


5. What were your dreams? I don’t know if they did as they were expected to and dropped their dreams behind them and found new ones or what they expected out of their lives.

It’s universal among my friends that we wish we’d asked more. We’re getting to the age where our children and grandchildren should start asking us. One of the problems is we think our life isn’t that interesting. We need to get over that and just remember and share. All of us have interesting stories…all of us.

“Bout time! Time for me to retire, time for me to start writing, time for me to rethink my every days. Time is one of life’s great treasures. Mitch Albom imagined “The Time Keeper,” the story of the person who invented time. Before then, all beings lived as other living beings do, measuring their days by instinct and not by seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, eons. Only human beings measure time, waste time and save time, tying themselves to it by all the gadgets we have invented to make sure we don’t lose it. Life is all about time and how we use it, so I’m going to spend time each day thinking about something that I noticed or heard that sparked one of my random bursts of confetti thoughts. Getting the blog was the first thing and the hardest part of it all. Now I can relax and enjoy it…