We are always adding to our repertoire of knowledge. Wouldn’t life be utterly boring without curiosity, the spirit of inquiry? Every day we engage with others, which transforms us in some manner. Perhaps it opens up a blind spot. Other days, maybe it makes us more human. Occasionally, something prompts us to take a stand that is unpopular.
We may remind ourselves to enjoy the small things in life or realize we are lonely and decide to join a group. And maybe a window opens where we take a moment to snap a portrait of ourselves and appreciate the woman we are after the age of 50+. I have recognized I must continue to free myself from others’ ways of doing things by living life on my terms.
From Our Condo in the Sky
I am sitting in the living room in front of my computer, listening to the background noise of the television and my ultimate concierge turning the pages of the Wall Street Journal. America is in a chair next to me, chewing on an elk bone.
I look outside my window from the 71st floor of our condo in the sky at the most breathtaking scene below, the stillness of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier. Love and peace surround me because I have learned to take the time to understand what makes me tick. Have you?
This month was a wake-up call to take ownership in an area that makes me uncomfortable. It’s the month that a close girlfriend who is also a business owner talked to me about loyalty in a company. This month, I added a new interest to my life: cruising the world as a means of travel. This was also the month I decided to add an Apple watch to my tech arsenal.
Nothing is more important for a woman over 50 than recognizing what she knows and playing it to the hilt. In other words, take your knowledge, apply it to your life and pass it onto your adult children and grands.
What a gift to yourself and your family!
A Lifetime of Learning
My parents were my first teachers and I applaud them for the stable foundation they provided me and my brother. They taught us invaluable virtues and neither of us veered off track. Of course, we have our imperfections but we both have a strong conscience that keeps us grounded.
10 Lessons My Parents Taught Me That Still Apply Today:
- Let your conscience be your guide. I notice so many people don’t practice this. I don’t know if the reason is that they are lacking in that area or they don’t know right from wrong. Choose to spend time with people who mirror you. Speak out and speak up when you should.
- Embrace change. Don’t allow the fear of the unknown paralyze you. Dare yourself to dare.
- Forgive. Not granting forgiveness harms you. Your action to forgive does not mean you forget. It merely means embracing positivity and shrugging off negativity.
- Have an opinion. There is tremendous value in having your own opinion. It furthers your self-confidence.
- Be inclusive and enjoy conversations. Life is full when you open your door to people of all walks of life: younger, older, wiser and funnier. Other people’s personalities and viewpoints will expand your own.
- Respond to adversity. Adversity will certainly knock on your door. Everyone experiences it in one way or another. Don’t falter; meet it head-on. Everyone is capable of learning the art of resilience.
- Be kind. When you are kind to others, you are kind to yourself. Kindness is a virtue after all.
- Never trade in your character. Honor yourself. Don’t follow the pack. Be noble, principled and high-minded in your actions.
- Be loyal. Show your loyalty through your actions and your words. This is a virtue.
- Love and respect the person you are. When you love who you are first, you will be able to love others. Loving oneself is never vanity; it is self-respect.
Staying True to Myself
A lesson I put into practice this month: to thine own self, be true.
I recall a lesson from my mother and father. They reminded me to stand up whenever I believed an injustice is taking place. My mom added, tongue-in-cheek, “Remember, when women talk about you, at least you know you are not boring!”
I know one’s childhood has lasting effects. Most adults package their childhood experiences, the good and the adverse, in a positive manner and become good parents, good friends, and good citizens. There are those few occasions when people’s actions dismay and shock me. I am thinking of a recent incident that personally offended me and I am certain it offended others.
Our Country Club Group
It was brought to my attention a few months ago that a group my ultimate concierge and I belong to was not allowed to be mentioned in our country club activities calendar.
One of the members objected. They brought their objection before the board while the President was vacationing. The vote came down to eight in her favor and three against.
Before the President left on his trip, I phoned him because I wanted to be certain what I was told over the phone was accurate. He verified the conversation and I wrote a letter to the Club Manager arguing against this member’s proposal. My letter arrived before the vote took place.
Our Club in California
The club is in California. It is an old Jewish country club open to all religious faiths. Many years ago, Jews were not allowed to join a Gentile club. Frank Sinatra, who was not a Jew, and others decided to build a Jewish country club so Jews would have the opportunity to enjoy the sport of golf.
Golf is not as popular of a sport today because of its cost and the time it takes to play the game. These days, fathers are involved in raising their children–good for them–and families are spending their money on other things. Therefore, country clubs all over the world face membership problems.
There are many different groups at our club. In my opinion, every group, whether its leader is a club member or someone outside the club, should be allowed and welcomed to have the name of their group listed on the monthly activity calendar so all of the club members can have the opportunity to join.
Disagreements Over the Activity Calendar
The group I am talking about is not a newly-formed group. Last year and again this year, we asked that the group’s name, day of the week and time of the meet up be added to the activity calendar. The group is run by a local rabbi and all faiths are invited to attend. It is a history lesson in Jewish Studies and not indoctrination into Judaism. It is called Jewish Studies.
A member of our country club spoke out against allowing the Jewish Studies group to be mentioned on the activity calendar. This member doesn’t want to promote that we are a Jewish club because they are afraid we won’t attract a diversified group.
Not All Groups Are Treated Equally
This disagreeing member is also Jewish and runs a club group that politically leans in one direction. Does that send a message to diversified and prospective members not to join because they lean in the opposite direction? Why is their group allowed on the calendar while the Jewish Studies group is not allowed?
I think the board is using the excuse that club meetups should be run only by club members. The rabbi is not a member.
I am appalled by this member’s comment and the decision of our board. Is this a form of antisemitism at my Jewish country club? It feels that way to me.
Our Group Always Has and Continues to Be Open to All
I learned the history of the Jewish people, a 4,000-year-old story, in the rabbi’s Jewish Studies class. As a result, I studied and celebrated my bat mitzvah when I was a grandmother. My bat mitzvah was one of the four most memorable experiences of my life. I am proud of my Jewish heritage.
I am ashamed of both this woman’s actions and the board for coming to this disingenuous and hypocritical decision to exclude the rabbi’s group on the activities calendar. Our club is known far and wide across the country as a Jewish country club.
We are proud members who open our doors to all religions and nationalities with the rabbi’s Jewish Study group.
A Lesson Learned
To all my friends at Honey Good who are of another faith or choose no faith, I am glad you are in my life. Your presence enriches me and I hope in some small way, my presence enriches you too.
I have reached a wonderful stage in my life where I have to please my conscience. It is a good feeling to be true to one’s values, standing up when it feels right. I hope you feel the same way, darlings.
Although you might feel uncomfortable making waves, you will feel far more uncomfortable if you stand by the sidelines. Amen.