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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes
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BY BETH PORTOLESE

Recently a few things have happened that have unsettled me a bit.  First, the lovely woman who I go to for manicures is retiring.  I’ve gone to her every Saturday for several years so I will miss talking with her.  Second, a good friend in my neighborhood has been talking about moving upstate.  She lives in the next building and I’ve known her for probably 15 years.  It isn’t like I won’t see her anymore but she won’t be in the ‘hood’ available for a quick drink and chat on a whim.  To tell you why these things have been upsetting you need to know about me.  I’m a creature of habit.  I tend to get up at the same time, use the same products, go to the same places and hang out with the same people (with a few different additions annually) all the time.  I know that sounds a bit boring but, I like a routine; it gives me comfort.  I also like having good friends right in my neighborhood.  It makes the city smaller and more manageable.

I’ve noticed lately that as I grow older, changes happen more frequently.  People I’ve known and worked with are now retiring so I don’t see them as often.  Friends are wondering where they should move to after retirement, as if staying in place were not an option.   This all seemed to creep up on me suddenly. Perhaps if I had children I would see the changes in life happening more frequently because kids grow up, you see that and know you are aging along with them.   Since I don’t have children I haven’t seen this.  Obviously the people at work have gotten younger until now I’m the oldest person there, but I really haven’t let that bother me.

All in all, I guess I have to get used to things changing and become more comfortable with it.  The changing is certainly not going to slow down. My father who is almost 89 is someone who accepts that life changes.  Good friends of his have passed away, the town he lives in has changed drastically over the years and his life has become a little more narrow than it was, but he forges on.  It threw him for a while after my mom died, but eventually he decided that he probably had a good amount of time left so he had to make the best of things.  I hope, as I grow older, that I have his attitude because it will serve me well.

In deciding how I want the rest of my life to be, I’ve made a decision about my website.  I started FiftyisthenewFifty when I was, in fact, 50. I think one of the reasons I did it was because I wanted to feel better about aging, which it helped with.  I met great people like our first editor Amber Eden, who taught me a lot about starting and running a website.  Stephanie Schroeder and Lisa Haas continued my education about editing and PR and found the site great new topics while they worked for us. I met talented writers like Holy St. Lifer, Kitt Walsh, Lorraine Duffy Merkl, Jill Matlow, Mary Jane Horton, Kathleen Heins, Steve Nubie, Susan Hornik and, of course, my brother Don Portolese among many others.  Alison Bailes, who I had seen on TV, wrote great movie reviews for the site. I was thrilled that she would want to contribute. I also got a lot of interesting information about middle age I probably wouldn’t have read if it hadn’t been on my site.  I knew nothing about websites when I started Fifty and, even though we never became a huge success, I’m proud of what I accomplished.

But the time has come to wind things down.  It costs me money to run the site and I want to put that money into new interests like ballroom dancing and becoming a makeup artist; two things I hope to continue as I age.  For the next few weeks, I’m going to rerun some of my favorite articles, which I hope people will enjoy as much as I did.

Something I’ve learned over the past decade from all the articles on the site is that the attitude you have while you age and change happens is very important.  I read this saying recently which said, ‘You are never too old and it is never too late.’ I love this and am trying to adopt this as my new mantra.  I think it is a good motto for middle age. Don’t you?

Until next time!

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