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Ghost Status -- one more thought

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thanks to everyone who commented. I have given thought to all of the ideas.
There was one more thought on the topic that I thought I would share.....something that occurred to me today.

The organization that I work for provides fire protection and EMS services in my community.
I type the reports for their calls and know the dedication, energy, and selflessness of their efforts. They are sometimes called to come during the worst weather and the middle of the night. Sometimes the scenes are horrific, with people in pain, suffering, fearful, and agitated, even to the point of being near death or having slipped away. In a fire response, their efforts are physically demanding and extremely stressful. I am not always sure that people realize the sacrifice and risk of these generous public servants. Our firefighters and EMTs are volunteers. I frequently think of them as angels for our residents.

In my role as secretary, I try to be as supportive of them as possible in any way that I can.
I see the department as a team and try to make it work well as a whole, for the good of our residents and for the safety and protection of our response personnel. As you know if your read from my other blogs, I was struggling with a feeling of being powerless and invisible. I have begun to understand the many special ways that I have been able to contribute behind the scenes.

Today I realized something else. A ghost is someone that is invisible, but a ghost that does good things for others silently and unseen is an angel. I know that I'm really just an imperfect human being, but maybe I can be the angel for the heroes of my community. Understanding this, I am nearly overwhelmed with the honor and privilege of being, for just a moment here and there, their angel.

Because of personal content, all the "Ghost" blogs will be deleted in a few days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 12/15/2014 5:01PM

    emoticon I Definitely see an Angel here, and it is not uncommon for Angels to not recognize their own Wings sometimes.

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GRLTAZ 12/13/2014 11:31PM

    Oh, that was beautiful ! Blessings !

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2HAMSDIET 12/12/2014 8:11AM


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TRESSWANN 12/11/2014 7:35PM


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2015TODAY 12/11/2014 12:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Lovely thoughts. I already suspected that you are an angel!!!! emoticon
Not just at work.

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KALIGIRL 12/11/2014 10:45AM

    Wonderful - sounds like you are indeed are an angel!

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 12/11/2014 9:56AM

    Yes! I love this wise and sane revelation about how life gets lived with serenity.

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/11/2014 8:27AM


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ALP1976 12/11/2014 7:53AM

    Wow... just wow.... that is a powerful revelation!

It sounds like you help run the behind the scenes show for a lot of very important people!

Good for you.... and for them!

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MYAKAYAH 12/10/2014 11:54PM

    Ghosts a lot of time are responsible for holding the entire team together~

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Ghost Status Revisited -- warning ....long blog

Saturday, December 06, 2014

This is a follow-up to my blog of yesterday. My sincere thanks to everyone who commented.
They were very helpful and did shed some light on the topic. I also did a little googling and read blogs on similar topics.

There are quite a few blogs/articles where women share how they feel invisible as they get older. Many use 50 as the starting point and some even say it is a sudden occurrence.
They also share positives about this, including more freedom and opportunity to have time to do what they really want to do. Some make suggestions for ways to become more visible again.....dressing more carefully, speaking up, making achievements, etc.
So I do think that the status of women aging in our society has a lot to do with it.

Another excellent point is that communication styles and technology have changed.
This I agree with and had not really thought of. Yes, with smartphones at nearly everyone's side 24/7 texting seems to be the preferred method of communication, especially with the younger people. Since I don't text hardly at all, I am out of the loop. There are many ways of communicating and I think that we are dropping talking and even e-mailing in favor of quick texts. Maybe in the texting world, a reply to confirm that you received it is not expected --people just assume that you got it.

Another thing is that people, especially people with kids in home, are VERY busy...and I need to remember that feeling. And this is an especially busy time of the year.

Another thing is that men, especially older men, seem to think they are entitled to dominate
quite a few things, including conversations. If you really think about it, most positions of power in our society are held by older men. If you observe mixed social settings, it is mainly men that do most of the talking. The group often splits up to two subgroups divided by sex. I don't think it is just topics of conversation. I think this is the only chance that women get to talk.

Part of the reason that I am a good "facilitator" is that I am not formally in their hierarchy and my age makes me non-threatening. Because, many times, I am the silent, unbiased observer, I do feel that I can perhaps see things more clearly than if I had some type of vested interested. So, there's an advantage of "ghost status."

So, what am I going to do? I think I am going to relax and enjoy my freedom !
Plus, I've decided that I need to spend more time doing things I enjoy in older female-dominated situations so I have some sense of camaraderie and friendship ! Women in my age group with common interests and my socio-economic status will talk to me. Heck, they even LIKE to talk to me ! They are polite and even LISTEN to me !
Otherwise, I'm just going to be OK with being behind the scenes, fading into the woodwork
and going quietly about my business, work it to my advantage, and maybe even help
others because of my unique status !

Some paragraphs have been deleted due to personal information on 12/10/14.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYAKAYAH 12/10/2014 11:57PM

    I prefer texting honestly, I just don't have the time to carry on long conversations over the phone anymore. Also, I don't have the desire for it~

Enjoy being older and having more wisdom, style and taste~

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KALIGIRL 12/8/2014 8:47AM

    " I think I am going to relax and enjoy my freedom"
Sounds good to me!

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/6/2014 1:15PM

    Interesting. I agree with Pickie98's response.

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STORMIE62 12/6/2014 12:43PM

    Food for thought, thank you for sharing. emoticon

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GRLTAZ 12/6/2014 10:43AM

    Interesting insight. Thanks for sharing.

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ALP1976 12/6/2014 9:20AM

    Wow, your analysis sound exceptional! You're a very observant person, which I think is great. It can and will help you figure out different situations and find a way to work with them. That is awesome, Sue!! Great!

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DI_NAMIC 12/6/2014 9:01AM

    This fascinated me because a couple of weeks ago in the UK, the results of a survey came out on women over 50 and retail.

The over 50s spend 2.5bn per season and 90% of British retailers say the over 50s represent their highest area of growth.

However, 61% of women of that age group feel overlooked by the High Street retailers; similar percentages feel un represented on tv and in magazines and 75% in advertising.

So, on the back of this, what has one of our major retailers done? Brought out a Spanx-type garment for upper arms so older women will feel younger and unashamed of their flabby bits...

Well, so much for diversity, for celebrating who we are and what our bodies become. Sorry we are so unsightly and, Let's face it, we are so all rushing to cram ourselves into younger women's clothes!! (Ironic pause here.)

Any chance it could be because it is so much cheaper to produce 'one style fits all' fashion.

Yes, I do believe you are right. We are talking but no-one is listening.

Thank you for an excellent blog.

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PICKIE98 12/6/2014 8:49AM

    Do you realize that you are a gatekeeper? You have the power of who sees whom, who talks to whom when the phone rings? Anybody who wants something from the bosses, has to go through you.. in some form..

As far as being heard, if you present yourself as confident and knowlegable, you will be listened to. Usually the first time, men are so shocked that you dared to crack through their strutting talk among themselves, that they will listen.
You are right about your situation:you are not threat to their position, so they will "allow" you to talk and participate. Men also know that women control 52% of the worlds' $$ and who really runs THEIR household..they gotta be boss someplace!!LOL!

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2015TODAY 12/6/2014 7:40AM

    Sounds like a very good analysis to me. I like your conclusions. Enjoy your freedom!!!

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Am I a ghost?

Friday, December 05, 2014

First , let me say that I don't feel like a ghost on Spark. My Sparkfriends are quite interactive!

But in my every day life, I feel like I am being stonewalled (except by people that want to sell me something) ! This has happened before to me and it is weird.
Perhaps it is a coincidence, people are busy this time of year, or people somehow think I'm a designated listener. Here are some examples.....I send requests (multiple requests) to friends for info of some sort (recipe, occasion date, information) and get NO reply. People interrupt me and start into long speeches that involve no give and take. No one inquires about my life or seems to care what I'm into or thinking about.

Or perhaps it is:....my boring personality? .....my boring delivery? ....that I am now an "older woman" and thus have a place in society with no power and am expected to be in a supporting role (I really do suspect this is part of it) ? ...that because I am now an "older woman" and retired, people assume that I have nothing interesting going on? (very possible)......that because I am older I am just not sending out any "physical chemistry" that makes them interested? (yes, I do think this is so)

A big part of me actually likes this because it gives me a social break. So I am trying to enjoy the quietude and get involved in my own thing.

I do get that "to have a friend, you must be one" and do try to draw people out and listen to what they have to say. I'll try to more self-aware during interactions.

In the meantime, I'll just keep my mouth shut and enjoy the peace.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYAKAYAH 12/11/2014 12:00AM

    I like having personal space and quiet so I don't mind it if people see me as a wallflower. Enjoy having time to take with yourself and your interests!
I don't like speaking over the phone much since others tend to dominate the conversation and want to hear themselves talk entirely too much. There is no listening skills it seems~

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CRAMPERELLA 12/7/2014 6:12PM

    Making and keeping friends is harder as we get older. Women become invisible for some reason. I think it takes extra effort to get out there and engage people in conversation. We are also blinded by the cult of personality. Personality is a superficial quality. We have forgotten to measure people by their character which is a deeper quality and which takes time to uncover. Join some clubs and organizations. Volunteer. Get yourself out there. It will take time, but you will begin to make connections. This is a busy time of year and people live in their own little bubbles. I don't think people are deliberately unkind. They just aren't thinking.


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GRLTAZ 12/6/2014 11:10AM

    Wow, a lot of emotions here. No answers since I do not know you well yet. I do know, the fitter you become, the more you shine and your personality changes like a caterpillar to butterfly. You become more confident and then the important things in your life become priority and you chose your friends more carefully and drop those that do bot bring joy to your life because our lives are too short to stay miserable. Keep pushing just for you.

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TRESSWANN 12/6/2014 9:49AM

    I feel much the same way. I am friendly and miss having people in my actual life and definitely feel invisible. I agree with Montreal, only people interaction I get is at work and I don't like most of them and the few I do live miles and miles from me.

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ALP1976 12/6/2014 9:26AM

    I do agree that a lot of it has to do with how people communicate now days I am one who has fallen into the "please text me, not call me" category. That has nothing to do with anyone, but with 4 kids, one of them a toddler, it is almost impossible for me to talk on the phone. The vast majority of my own communication is with a 3 year old all day emoticon

Heck, take the time to enjoy the social break and you time. I am personally a very extroverted person that has gotten used to the social media format, it is hard at times for me to 'get out there' so to speak. I have a harder time relating to others at times because I don't feel like I 'fit in' anymore. Online and in a social media setting, I can instantly contact with people who I know I have things in common with (SparkPeople, my eating the food group, etc).

I think you're a very observant person. It serves you well!

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CHERYL_ANNE 12/5/2014 5:44PM

    You're not the only one... and I wish I could figure out a way to turn it around. I have something similar going on in my life and I am completely baffled by it. If I think about it for too long, it brings up all kinds of long repressed memories from my childhood and abandonment issues. Funny how one thing leads to another but there you go!




And here's hoping that the people you're trying to speak with suddenly have a moment of clarity and contact you!

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    Just to clarify, it wasn't one of those chain recipe sharing things. I just requested one specific recipe.

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BOHEMIANCAT 12/5/2014 1:38PM

    I don't think it is an "older woman" thing. I am retired too and have all ages of friends. Maybe make new friends who appreciate give and take and are positive people. I have had to delete some negatives from my life and it really feels lighter nowadays.
Oh some friends of mine tried the recipe thing and it failed miserably... just sayin'.
Hang in there!

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 12/5/2014 11:31AM

    Sometimes the last thing I get to say is, "How are you?" I don't know why, but it feels like people have become WAY less boundaried in the past few years and have little concern for other than themselves. Is this just a 59 year old perspective (what my friends and I call "clucking?")? I don't think so. I too have been baffled by the non-responsiveness of people, the lack of reciprocity, etc. I too thought it was me. I don't think so anymore.

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2015TODAY 12/5/2014 10:45AM

    I wonder how it was before? Say a few years ago?
Some people just don't know how to listen and have a true dialogue, you know. Did the people who monologue you now use to be able to have a regular conversation? Or is it maybe just how they are. YOU are a very thoughtful empathic person, but most people aren't. (JMHO).
If you send out a mail - these days people feel quite free to ignore it. It used to be different, media like internet and email behaviors keep changing. My friends used to send me long mails, like letters. Now, they just send me two or thee words from their smartphones.
If people that I've known for a longer period of time and that I consider to be friends, do not respond for a longer period of time I phone them... ask how they're doing... see if maybe something is wrong in their lives...

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    I get where you're coming from. Nowadays in this country, people have devalued relationships with others, and are always 'too busy' to talk, to listen, and to interact.

I am divorced, in my early 40s, have grown kids, and I seem to have the same problem socializing off SP. The most human contact I have is at work, but I have no desire to be friends with the people I work with.

So, I'm where you are--I just indulge in my personal interests and enjoy my peace as well.

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/5/2014 9:39AM

    I think this is the way a lot of people are these days. I have an acquaintance I phone occasionally; she does a total monologue and the only way you can get a word or two in is to interrupt.

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Integrated Lifestyle Fitness Plan

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

I finally have something in place that works with me and the physical demands of my life!
There is some room for flexibility as to timing/scheduling.
Bear in mind that I am semi-retired with a sedentary part-time job and don't have kids that I need to run after. I do, however, have a huge yard with lots of trees & landscaping, beach, and boats.

I do what I call "cardio" 5- 6 times a week for an hour. This can include outdoor walking,walking to Leslie Sansone DVDs (sometime with bands), or artistic line dancing. Lately it has been more times than this which I feel makes sense because sometimes my days are otherwise too sedentary. If I had more NEAT, I could do less organized "cardio".

I do strength training (in my basement) for my upper body 2X week.

I have added PopPhysique work-outs (DVD) which I plan to do at least 2X
per week. This seems to work muscles that are not worked in my cardio
and strength training. It seems to be the muscles that are needed in dance.

I stretch about an hour every night when I am watching TV.

I do yardwork outside & cleaning inside as needed. Truthfully, I am not loving either.
So I am trying to control and minimize both. The yardwork can be repetitive and make me really sore and I have to undo that to be good at dance. It is easy to get overuse injuries with yardwork, I think. And I have always disliked cleaning, although I am good with organizing.
I do keep up with the basics of cleaning, but have decided to lower the bar and not worry about everything being super clean. I have a cabiny vibe at my house anyway and fussing just doesn't fit with my vibe.

I try to add extra physical activity to get off the couch and away from the screen....
by doing anything !!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BE-MY-BEST 11/17/2014 11:39PM

    I think your doing Great!

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KATELJM 10/19/2014 5:53PM

    I hear you about "if I had more NEAT I could do less organized Cardio." I run into the same thing!

As for housecleaning, have you tried FlyLady?

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KALEWINE 10/12/2014 9:36AM

    Sounds like a fabulous, well thought-out plan! You have to find what works for you. What works forgone person doesn't usually work for everyone else.

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FIFIFRIZZLE 10/9/2014 1:06PM

    Sounds idyllic.
I work part time too and have a biggish garden to manage. SometImes I get behind because of physical limitations and weather.
I am the reverse of you, not so organized but happy to clean.
I didn't used to like housework but all that changed with a move to green cleaning. I now use microfibres, water, vinegar & baking soda and Castile soap for all cleaning. It has become so easy and a pleasure. And I do a bit each day.
I have been working the Organised Life team to complete a goal each month. Organizing got so much easier once I cleared out my closet.
So do you have any organizing tips?

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LE7_1234 10/9/2014 9:10AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BANANAMAG 10/8/2014 2:32PM

    Wow, sounds like you're very active! At the same time, it sounds like you're keeping track of how you feel, so I know you're not overdoing it. I think it's good to let go of some of the housework and yardwork if it's stressing you out. There is a fine line between cleaning to the point of stress and cleaning so that you're less stressed. Keep up the good work!

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KALIGIRL 10/8/2014 8:47AM

    Interesting - I'm with you on the inside cleaning, although I loved this blog: www.dailygood.org/story/687/clean-y
But opposite on the emoticon - probably because I love this time of year and feel such a sense of accomplishment seeing the pine needles glisten in the sun. (Do have to admit they annoy me as they keep falling...)
Sounds like you are doing fabulous and while not familiar with PopPhysique, like that you're adding something new - keeps the journey active!

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/8/2014 8:22AM

    Sounds like a good plan for you. Best wishes for success.

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LORILEEPAGE 10/8/2014 7:41AM

    I know what you are saying about a cabiny vibe! My parents' cabin is that way. I don't notice a little clutter here and there. It's a cozy feel.

Yard work is great cardio!

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 10/8/2014 7:31AM

    I'm with you on the cleaning for sure! Neat and mostly clean is my motto. I think since I left the workforce in 2008, cleaning has become even less appealing because it's my main job. It seems like I'm always cleaning because unless I'm presenting a class, that's all I'm doing for work. Anyway, good job on figuring out ways to make yourself more active. I keep thinking about setting a timer for an hour and making sure I do 5-10 minutes of vigorous exercise every hour or so throughout the day in addition to my regular pool workout. If I don't schedule it, it doesn't happen.

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October Goal -- For Now Anyway !

Monday, October 06, 2014

My goal for this month is to "find out what really makes me feel good."

So far:
*Walking 5 miles with Leslie and using bands in some of the work-outs.
*Tried out PopPhysique DVD and loved it! This is unique and very targeted.
Just what I needed after doing cardio.
*Stretching. I have been stretching in the evening while I watch TV. I can't
say enough about what stretching does for me.
*Discussing something with my husband that I have been needing to for a
loooong time.
*Living and nourishing my inner "girly girl". My early youth was in the 50's,
what can I say. I am rocking red nail polish, new hair (highlights, lowlights),
and actual pajamas that are pretty but not cutesy (an upgrade from old t-shirts).
I gave myself 3 different kinds of facial treatments and worked on my feet.
*Realized that I need to simply avoid my trigger foods. I can't moderate them.
I'm not even gonna try because it doesn't work. I have proven that to myself
time and time again. I can moderate lots of foods that are delicious. But the
trigger foods, no....(peanuts, pop corn, potato chips...or what I call the "3 P's".
I also can't moderate heavily sugared foods if they actually have real sugar
in them....cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, full sugared pop. I have substitutes
(with artificial sweetener ...gasp...Splenda) or fruit, and eat a serving of sweets
only on holidays.
*Eating smaller amounts of food more frequently. I don't function as well
when I am stuffed! Yet, at least once a day I like to feel full.
* I like including some of the foods that I was raised with.....BLT's (no bread),
potato salad (light mayo), french fries (baked) , jello (sugar-free) with fruit,
deviled eggs (light mayo), hamburgers (94 % fat free) on a bun. I find that you
can modify recipes and use ingredients that are lower in calories without
tasting any different. I'm not afraid of potatoes, dairy,or wheat in small quantities.
* I seem to do best when I eat a diet mainly of lean protein and vegetables.
* I love being out in nature and find that very healing. Here's a picture of me
kayaking on the great Mississippi River with my friend.

I'm the one in the yellow kayak.

Can I be a nature girl and a retro glamour girl all in one?
I think so.... I'm calling the vibe Country Glam !

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LE7_1234 10/8/2014 1:06AM

    Love your list!

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WATERMELLEN 10/6/2014 8:57PM

    Country Glam -- works for me too. Love the kayak pic!! It's good to figure out what makes us feel good and then do that!!

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SPARKED2BFIT 10/6/2014 8:06PM

    I've only begun to rock my youth a few years ago (I'm no spring chickadee) and totally LOVING it!! I firmly believe that age is only a number and not a precursor or 'writing on the wall', on how we 'should' look, act or feel. We truly are what we think and I'm thinking... young enough to do whatever rocks my world and old enough to not give a hoot or a holler!! so you go country glam girl!!!

and I'm all for finding what makes you feel good...life is too short to do otherwise.

I wish there was a YOU GO GIRL or a DO YOUR THANG emoticon!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

ps.. thanks for your encouragement and support on my latest blog. I've added so many small changes that have become a natural part of me that I don't see them as changes unless I think about it. thanks again and let's rock our world!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEKOCHARM 10/6/2014 2:18PM

    Country Glam! I love it! I think that might be my style too. emoticon And I really like your list of finding out what makes you feel good. I'm going to take a cue from you and start a list of my own. Because for a long time what made me feel good was sugar and chips. But there HAS to be more than just junk food! It's just easier to do what has always worked. Or do what HASN'T worked, really. emoticon

I'm finding out that this getting healthy stuff takes A LOT of effort. Sitting on the couch and just "going with the flow" is not going to cut it anymore. Not if I want to reach any of my goals.

I love the pic of you kayaking! It looks like so much fun! And so relaxing at the same time. emoticon We have a few lakes up here, and I've been looking into giving it a try. I told my husband about it, but he's afraid that he'll get stuck in one and not be able to get back out. lol Yeah.. He's gained weight right along with me! The good news is that now he's losing it right along with me, too! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 10/6/2014 11:07AM

    here's to Country Glam ! and great goals

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AQUAGIRL08 10/6/2014 9:03AM

    I love the term Country Glam! :) you remind me that I too need to pamper myself more. Great October goals!

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 10/6/2014 7:20AM

    Being thoughtful about your program is a real winner as far as I'm concerned. Finding out what works, what makes you feel good and what doesn't is such an elementary concept and yet it eludes most people. I used to try to cram myself into the specifics of various programs forcing myself to eat things and do things that I hated or that made me feel awful but no more! Now, like you, I am seeking a way to lose weight healthfully but also enjoyably.


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ALP1976 10/6/2014 6:46AM

    Wow, you are doing so well!!! I can totally imagine you being Country Glam!

You really seem to have a good handle on what works for you! I think it is great. You've done so much investigating and fact finding that it is going to make things great for you to be able to know what you need to be doing and should be doing -- but the most excellent part is that you've done it through trial and error, not because someone told you to!

Keep at it! You're doing so great!

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