When we’re young and not especially smart emotionally – aka self aware – many of us have no earthly idea how our actions are impacting others. Or ourselves. And we do some pretty risky, hurtful, downright mean things that often help shape our future.
Even the best of us isn’t immune from behaving improperly, immaturely or impossibly illogically in our youth – and beyond.
If we’re lucky and introspective, we learn about ourselves as we move along in life. About the good and bad. And we act more and more like responsible grownups.
If we never become self aware, we can make the same dumb mistakes over and over, continuing to hurt ourselves and those around us. Our friends. Relatives. Colleagues. Bosses. Even strangers.
Of course, we can’t magically undo what we did 50 years ago, let’s say. But we can think hard about important situations from our past, superimpose them on our lives and people in the present, and see what we can learn ourselves or teach others.
This process is called a “thought experiment,” a phrase I never heard before, I’m embarrassed to admit. I learned it from my son after I messaged him the following random thoughts earlier this week:
“When I had a breakdown as a freshman at Syracuse University, I was 17. My father was 42 (my son’s age today). I called him hysterically five times a day, often interrupting him when he was with a patient.
“I desperately needed him to talk me off the ledge. I never for a moment thought about him. Besides, he was incapable of dealing with an emotional, crazy person.
“Imagine if you had a nutcase 17-year old kid calling you at work five times a day.
“My poor dad. I put him through hell when he was so young. He wasn’t filled with joy in the first place – and then he had to contend with me.
“I wish he would come back for even a few hours so I could talk to him.”
And this was my son’s response:
“That’s an amazing thought experiment. Can’t believe he was only 42. I wish I knew him better.” (My son was 9 years old when my dad died. He was born on my dad’s 60th birthday!)
Whenever I’ve heard celebrities publicly read nasty tweets or comments people wrote about them, I think: “Good for you!” Well, I’m no celebrity, but I’d like to share a nasty comment made about me.
The backstory: Life Line Screening is an exceptional service that offers a battery of preventative health screening tests for a ridiculously low price. I’ve written about my experience with Lifeline on my website faboverfifty.com, and this post runs on our Facebook page:
It’s always rewarding to read the comments from people who have had Lifeline’s tests or plan to have them once they see the Facebook posts. I’m not a saint either, but it pleases me to be able to recommend something that can help someone else. Especially when it comes to their health!
Anyway, I was scrolling through some comments today and noticed one was hidden from a couple of weeks back, so I un-hid it and saw this:
I know the world is spinning out of control in many ways, but what in God’s name would possess a woman to preface her comment ABOUT A HEALTH SERVICE with a statement about how “UNAPPEALING” I LOOK!!!!!!????? I actually think that’s a good photo, but, as they say: “To each her own.”
It’s sad – and a little bit scary – to think about the anger millions of people harbour in their souls on so many levels.
Now, please understand that I have no problem with people commenting about my hair, my weight, my fashion style etc. if, let’s say, I’m writing about one of those subjects. And, if someone like Doreen Caridi-Schmidt gets her jollies passing around my photo at a soiree she’s throwing for all her good (and obviously ravishing) friends in Florida, go to it sweetheart!
But I couldn’t let Ms. Caridi-Schmidt’s comment go unanswered because it’s a perfect reflection of something deeply wrong in our culture today. It takes a special kind of rage for a woman to gratuitously comment about how my photo looks on a post about preventative health screenings.
Anyway, I’m delighted Doreen was “very pleased” with Lifeline and got her results in a couple of weeks.
I wonder how she’d do on tests that measure kindness and joy.
Crepe Erase compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write this article. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit my FOFriends.—Geri Brin
You can’t wait to throw caution to the wind this summer, especially after more than a year of restrictions. What a relief it’s going to be to tear off your mask, get into your shorts and sandals and have a ball. But what are you going to do about the dry, flaky and saggy skin on your arms, knees and feet now that it’s going to be mighty hard to hide them? Excellent news. There’s still time to get your skin looking and feeling sensationally soft and smooth before you hit the beach, thanks to a delightful discovery I’ll tell you about in a moment.
Dry skin is common in later life, when our glands naturally produce less oil.
Woefully, the things that delight us in summer, from romping in the waves to picnicking in the park, can make the problem worse. Saltwater in the ocean, chlorine in the pool and air conditioning can steal natural oil from our skin, leaving it super dry. Even the sun’s UV rays are drying. Just put a bunch of grapes in your backyard on a bright hot day. Voila! You’ll have raisins in just a few days And you surely don’t want your skin to look like that.
What’s more, our skin loses its terrific foundation of collagen and elastin, making it loose and saggy.
Even continually using body lotion from Thanksgiving to Easter won’t provide lasting hydration or softness, and won’t do a thing for the crepiness. I’ve bought dozens of lotions and body creams–drugstore to high end– over the years, so I can speak from experience.
As editor of a popular website, I’m often invited to try out all kinds of beauty products. One brand–Crepe Erase®—jumped out at me because I’ll never forget seeing the actress Jane Seymour talk about it on TV. She looks amazing at 70, and has been using Crepe Erase for years, a fine endorsement right there!
The formula features TruFirm® Complex, an exclusive blend that includes three plant extracts to help reinforce our skin’s netting, so the skin can appear tighter and firmer, and looks like it did when we were younger. Crepe Erase also contains seven powerful hydrators, including coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, beeswax, cassava and Vitamin E, which absorb quickly and work to visibly soothe and renew the skin.
Crepe Erase is the #1 Selling Anti-Aging Body Treatment System for Dry, Crepey Skin*
(*Based on Crepe Erase sales data & IRI & NPD sales data for 2017.)
The Essentials Kit only includes two simple steps:
I grab my bottle of Exfoliating Body Polish when I shower, to lift away dead, rough surface cells and make my skin look smoother and more radiant. (By the way, don’t take long, hot showers because they’ll dry your skin even more!) After the shower, I massage the Intensive Body Repair Treatment, with the TruFirm Complex, into the crepey skin around my neck, chest, arms and legs. The Body Polish has a beautiful, fresh scent and the Repair Treatment absorbs quickly and isn’t one bit greasy.
As I mentioned earlier, the skin on my body has felt smooth and hydrated for a few years, including during bitter winters. I’ve learned that the more consistently you use skincare products, the better the results. Adding Crepe Erase to my skincare routine has paid off when I need it most!
Results will vary.
The Body Firm team is so confident that you’ll love its products, it invites you to use them for 60 days, and, if you’re not satisfied, you can return the tubes–EVEN EMPTY–for a full refund, less s&h! This offer even gives me more confidence that these are quality beauty products. Plus, the line is incredibly reasonable in the first place!
This is a short story about a big move my son made today. If you have a story that you’d like to share about anyone – or anything – please email it to email@example.com
I am sad and happy. First, why I’m happy. It’s 6:30 am and I just left my son Colby at the JFK Virgin Atlantic terminal for his flight to London, where he’s going to work at his company’s headquarters. He was supposed to go last April – but Covid derailed that opportunity.
Colby’s work stimulates him, and after 15 months of life on hold, he’s off on a new adventure, professionally and personally. He’s been to London many times (loves it) and knows many of his colleagues across the pond (adores them), which should make the transition easier.
“They can’t wait to hear whatever comes out of my mouth,” he chuckled.
All exciting. London. The dynamic company where he works. Learning new disciplines. Making new friends. A new place, absent his mother upstairs. Colby’s looking forward to the experience and I’m thrilled for him.
Now to my sad side. Although Colby has lived on his own since he graduated from college 20 years ago, he moved into the garden apartment of my house in Brooklyn in 2017. We actually hadn’t lived together full time under the same roof since he started high school, when he lived with his father.
We have separate entrances, so it’s been easy for me to keep out of his way (and hair). Days would come and go without a second of contact between us.
Confession: Once in a while I’d surreptitiously open my front door late at night and peek to see if the light was on in Colby’s living room.
I loved the small things that came from our physical proximity: Hearing his muffled chatter wafting up through the fireplace. Interacting with him – albeit briefly – when he dashed upstairs to print a document, look for pretzels, tortilla chips or sour cream, and to make espresso.
Knowing he moved the day’s The New York Times from the front yard – where it had been haphazardly tossed – to my front door before he left for work.
Driving him to the dentist when he didn’t feel like running a few miles, or to an appointment in Manhattan at the last minute.
Getting his incredibly valuable input on an important proposal I was writing.
Just seeing his face. Laughing at one of his witticisms.
Hearing him quickly say “love you” as he retreated to his own space, and life.
When Covid came calling, and Colby was remotely working at home full time and isolated from his friends and colleagues, he accepted my offer to make dinner. He’d occasionally eat upstairs with me and his father (my former husband, who had moved in). But most of the time, I’d put his dinner on a tray, which he’d take to his apartment.
After about a month of hectic ordering online from the supermarket, Colby and I started taking bi-weekly jaunts to Wegmans. We’d leave at 6:30 am, separately race through the aisles assiduously avoiding other early bird shoppers, and arrive home before 8 am. And oh, we’d listen to Howard Stern during the 20 minute drives there and back.
Colby never failed to carry my weighty grocery bags up the front stairs.
During our final Wegmans run last week Colby asked, “How are you going to do Wegmans now?”
“I’ll be able to handle it. I have strong arms,” I answered.
It’s been wonderful having Colby close by during these last four years, and I’m going to miss him terribly. He thinks he’ll be in London for about a year, and will probably return periodically to work with the team in the New York office. Plus, Douglas and I plan to visit him.
I know in my soul that this is the start of a tremendous new life for Colby. While we won’t be thousands of miles away from each other forever, and he’ll likely return home to New York, I don’t expect we’ll ever live as close to one another.
It was heart-wrenching to wave goodbye to eight-year-old Colby in 1987, when he went off to sleepaway camp for the first time.
I was depressed when I left the campus of the University of Michigan in August 1997, where Colby was starting college.
Apprehensive when he left to live and study in Barcelona during his junior year.
Now, in 2021, I’m filled with a new kind of overwhelming emotion that instantly brings tears to my eyes. Maybe it’s because I look at life much differently now that I’m in the home stretch. And there is nothing more valuable than the people you cherish.
Godspeed, Colby Brin. You are an exceptional young man.
P.S. Colby works for Wise, “the cheap, fast way to send money abroad.” If you need to send money to anyone in the world, don’t ever use a bank. Wise is a brilliant company. Of course it is! It hired Colby.
“This post is sponsored by Wealthramp, and FabOverFifty may receive compensation from Wealthramp if readers use their services. Regardless, we think Wealthramp is an important service and as always we only recommend products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers, as we’ve been doing for 11 years! The article contains affiliate links for Wealthramp, which can be accessed directly at https://wealthramp.com” – Geri Brin
Married at 19 years old, Sarah rarely stressed about money during the next 50 years. “My husband Rob was in charge of the finances from day one,” she said. A mid-level administrator at a printing company in New York, he was sensible and competent at everything he did. Sarah always turned her modest salary as a nutritionist over to him.
But when Rob died at 74 after a short illness, Sarah’s money worries began.
She had no earthly idea whether their mortgage was paid off, or if Rob kept his life insurance when their sons moved out on their own. She didn’t know a thing about their investments. And, she didn’t have a clue about their monthly expenses. Rob prepared their income taxes. He paid all the bills.
Sarah was beside herself with anxiety as she waded through mountains of files trying to get a handle on money matters.
Halfway across the country in Chicago, Barbara had another type of distress when her ex died suddenly. Assuming their 17-year-old twins were still beneficiaries of his life insurance policy, Barbara was shocked to learn he left the money to his new – and much younger – wife. “I was counting on the inheritance to help pay the steep tuition bills when the kids went off to college in a year,” Barbara fretted.
Barbara is still kicking herself that she didn’t confirm the beneficiaries of her former husband’s insurance policy since their divorce. “I would have paid the premiums just as long as the money went to our children, but I had no one to advise me,” she groaned.
DON’T WAIT FOR DEATH OR DIVORCE
Stop right here. Are you like Sarah or Barbara? If your husband died or you and he split up, would you know if your and your family’s financial future were secure?
Or maybe you’re single and make a decent living, but haven’t done a thing to ensure you’d be in decent shape if you lost your job or could no longer work. And what are your retirement plans?
You see a doctor about medical issues. Rely on a plumber when a pipe leaks. And make a mad dash to a mechanic when a warning light pops up on the car dashboard.
Isn’t it high time you met another expert – a financial expert – who can advise you about one of the most crucial components in your life: Your Money?
You may feel more comfortable letting your partner deal with the family finances. Or perhaps you’re embarrassed that you know next to nothing about investing and would feel like a jerk talking to an expert. Or maybe you think your “future” is too far away, so why start planning for it now! But you should stop making excuses. If you start learning about your finances today you’ll help give yourself a secure tomorrow.
“SHOW ME THE MONEY, HONEY”
“Even if you don’t control the money, a lot of ‘what ifs’ can happen, so at least learn where the money is and where it’s going,” said Joyce Streithorst, director of financial planning with Frisch Financial Group. “It’s a lot easier to gather this information over time than to be forced into it by a divorce or a death.
“You’re not looking to take over control, but to educate yourself and be involved,” Joyce added. Get copies of your tax returns, investment statements, credit card statements, bank statements. Discuss where your money is invested. Go through the estate plan and the beneficiaries. Find out if your husband bought disability and long-term care policies. And make sure your home isn’t in his name only.
“Tell your husband that you want to be on the call when he next talks to the accountant or financial advisor so you can try to understand what’s happening. If the advisor talks over your head, ask him to go slower. If you think commissions, not your interests, are his priorities, suggest to your husband that it might be a good idea to get a second opinion from another advisor,” Joyce recommended. After all, you want to make sure you have the right person working for you.
Frisch Financial is part of Wealthramp, a free online referral service that connects consumers with top independent, fee-only financial advisors who best fit their needs. After all, each woman’s financial requirements are as unique as her health or beauty essentials, stressed Pam Krueger, Wealthramp founder.
Also co-host of Friends Talk Money podcast and creator and co-host of MoneyTrack on PBS, Pam spent three years personally vetting every advisor for her smart Wealthramp service. She had heard one too many tales of woe from women who suffered financially because they were horribly mismatched with advisors. Or they accepted the advisors their husbands chose, not meeting them even once.
THE WEALTHRAMP DIFFERENCE
Sixty-something Carol discovered Wealthramp after she sold a building she owned for almost 30 years, and was searching for an investment advisor. Single and a construction management professional, Carol had always been frugal and lived modestly, putting most of the money she earned from her job and tenants’ rents back into her house. When she decided it was time “to start enjoying life instead of fixing toilets,” she put the building up for sale. Her modest down payment had turned into a handsome profit, and she knew it was time “to grow up and have an investment portfolio.”
Discouraged by meetings with women from a Forbes list of top advisors, “who’d blab on and on about themselves without asking me a single question,” Carol was encouraged to hear about Wealthramp on Pam Krueger’s podcast. “Pam was personable and seemed to care about her clients,” Carol remembered.
After submitting a two-minute Wealthrampsurvey, Carol had a 45-minute call with Pam, who recommended two advisors. Carol interviewed both of them at length and chose Joyce. “She created a detailed document explaining how she’d invest my money, what the businesses did and why she chose them,” Carol said.
Carol speaks to Joyce whenever she has questions or gets nervous if she sees the value of her investments dropping and needs reassurance. “Joyce gets back to me right away,” Carol said. “I’ve never felt that she put me on the back burner or pushed me off. She doesn’t talk mumbo jumbo and say things I don’t understand.”
Working with Joyce for the last five months, Carol has seen a good return on her investments. “I never had my life so stress-free, EVER! I know my money is in good hands. And so am I.”
The advisors in the Wealthramp network don’t require that you invest millions like Carol. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to invest at all; you can simply get a sound analysis from an expert about the state of your financial affairs.
You probably know Bombas as the brand that donates one pair of its socks to a homeless shelter for each pair purchased. This became the company’s social mission when the two founders learned that socks are the most requested item of clothing in shelters.
Now the brand is carrying its social consciousness to its new underwear collection. What’s more, the Bombas marketing mavens are conscious of another important fact: Women who wear underwear aren’t all Victoria’s Secret models. When I opened up one of the Bombas emails the other day, and started looking through its online shop, I was intrigued to see the panties on the bodies of ‘real’ women. Real women with thighs, hips, buttocks, tummies and legs that don’t resemble washboards, beanstalks, and pencils.
When I launched Figure magazine for plus-size women around 2004, the bodies of the larger models we used still didn’t have a bit of hanging or bulging skin. But younger women today champion body acceptance, not body shaming.
I’m not advocating that women should accept bodies that can wreak havoc on their health. “Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers,” reports the Mayo Clinic website.
But not all bodies with excess skin (let’s say after dramatic weight loss or pregnancy) or moreheft are unhealthy or unsightly. We may not be used to seeing them on the pages of magazines and catalogs, but millions of women see bodies like this when they look in their mirrors.
I remember to this day heading to the “Chubbette” department with my parents when we went shopping for new school clothes around the end of August every year during my childhood. I don’t think I read the copy in ads like this one in 1957, when I was 10, but reading it now makes me realize why I grew up thinking myself unsexy (I wasn’t, by the way, but it took years of therapy to discover that).
“If your favorite little girl is on the plump side, dress her in Chubbettes and see her blossom into a lovely lass – as happy and self-assured as her slimmer schoolmates. Chubbettes are created for the chubby-size young figure – a perfect combination of fit, comfort and slenderizing design.”
The ad also offers parents “POUNDS AND PERSONALITY”, a free booklet that will help them understand their child’s “problems, talent development, shyness, tactless remarks, the ‘game’ of dieting, etc.” And, it was written by a woman from New York University’s School of Education.
At 5 am on a Friday in mid January a New York man in his 80s tragically took his own life.
I remember reading about this but learned a few days ago that the man was the husband of Barbara Tober, who I met many years ago when we were both editors. Editor in chief at the time of phenomenally successful Brides Magazine, Barbara’s poise and elegance stood out in the heady and hectic world of magazine publishing.
I met Donald Tober only briefly when I dropped something off with Barbara at their stately Park Avenue co-op apartment. The handsome couple was getting ready to leave for one of the many events it attended throughout the year.
A Harvard law school graduate and successful businessman, Donald had taken over his father’s food distribution company, which helped make the Sweet ‘N Lo brand a household name.
Both previously married, Donald and Barbara, now 86 years old, had no children. Besides enjoying their active social and professional lives, the Tobers loved skiing, horses (they owned a horse farm), dancing, music, and entertaining. And, they were very philanthropic.
A victim of mentally and physically debilitating Parkinson’s Disease, Donald had grown increasingly depressed being confined at home when Covid upturned our lives.
Without the constant stimulation of work and play, he began to talk often about ending his life, Barbara said in her online tribute. But she never dreamed Donald would do it, she added, choking back tears.
My heart goes out to Barbara for her grief. It is profoundly sad when someone says goodbye to a long-time love and best friend.
But, despite losing her intense physical, emotional and intellectual connections with Donald, Barbara’s independent spirit, world of friends and admirers, and deep interests will undoubtedly help sustain her.
Barbara is not a woman who is going to wallow in her sadness. She will bear it with her trademark poise and elegance.
While many may disdain Donald’s decision to end his life, I do not. A man who successfully maintained control over his life for nine decades (he died two months shy of his 90th birthday), he couldn’t let his disease take the reins.
“Life, if well lived, is long enough,” reportedly said the Roman statesman Seneca, who died in 65 AD.
Donald Tober knew he led a life well lived. Barbara knows it, too.
Crepe Erase compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write this article. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit my FOFriends.—Geri Brin
We call my friend Barbara’s attractive and active 20-year-old daughter an “old soul” because she has wisdom beyond her years. Like this young woman’s, my complexion was radiant and my movements quick when I was her age. “Old soul” I was not. But, now that my skin droops here and there, and my body has slowed down, I’ve definitely picked up the “soul” that usually comes with aging.
I may not look like I did decades ago, but I’ve gained the self-assurance and sense of calm I could have used back then. No more second-guessing myself or going into a funk when a line appears on my face or an extra pound on my body. Confidence and loving the skin I’m in “look” a whole lot better. So, naturally I said “yes” the moment the team at Crepe Erase® invited me to participate in a campaign about what #BodyWithSoul means to me.
While I love feeling cool, calm and collected at my age, I haven’t stopped trying to make my aging body look – and feel – the best it can. After all, a good appearance and good health never get old. Crepe Erase®is one of the exceptional product lines in my beauty regime, hydrating and smoothing the skin on my body like nothing I’ve ever used. More on that in a moment.
Speaking of skin, it often becomes dryer and more delicate later in life. We naturally lose oil glands as we age, and the overheated indoor air we rely on to keep our homes comfortable during the winter makes the problem worse! Think about a favorite pair of leather shoes that’s stretched out and cracked after years of wear.
Like leather, your skin has countless pores that absorb or release moisture. When it releases too much of its moisture, it will dry up. If it dries up too much, cracks may form, especially on your elbows and feet. What’s more, your skin loses its wonderful foundation of collagen and elastin, making it loose and saggy.
Even if you continuously use body lotion from Thanksgiving to Easter it won’t provide lasting hydration or softness, and won’t do a thing for the crepiness. I’ve bought dozens of lotions and body creams over the years –drugstore to high end– so I can speak from experience.
But, the skin on your body can stay soft, supple and sensationally smooth throughout the winter – and all year round – if you do what I’ve been doing for the last four years. My legs, my arms, my hand, my neck – all smooth!
As editor of a popular website, I’m often invited to try out all kinds of beauty products. One brand–CrepeErase®jumped out at me because I’ll never forget seeing the actress, Jane Seymour, talk about it on TV. She looks amazing, at 70!, and has been using Crepe Erase® for years, a fine endorsement right there!
The secret ingredient that powers Crepe Erase® Advanced is TruFirm Complex, an exclusive blend that includes three plant extracts, to help reinforce our skin’s netting, so the skin can appear tighter and firmer, and looks like it did when we were younger. Crepe Erase® Advancedalso contains nine Super Hydrators, including coconut oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, squalane, grapeseed oil, Vitamin E and a trio of glycerides to deliver 48 hours of intense hydration to dry, crepey skin. Absorbing more quickly than the original Crepe Erase® – without leaving a greasy residue – the light and airy moisture-rich formula works to visibly soothe and renew the skin.
Before stepping into the shower, I massage the luxurious and rejuvenating Refining Facial Scrub with TruFirm over my whole face, down to my neck. It gently removes rough, dead skin cells to give me softer, smoother, firmer and brighter skin. Paraben free, too!
In the shower, I grab my bottle of silky Body Smoothing Pre-Treatment with TruFirm and gentle exfoliators to lift away dead, rough surface cells and make my skin look smoother and more radiant. The lovely, fresh scent is a bonus! (By the way, don’t take long, hot showers because they’ll dry your skin even more!)
After the shower, I massage the Advanced Body Repair Treatmentwith TruFirm into the crepey skin around my neck, chest, arms and legs. Just like its name says, this lightly whipped formula restores firmer, healthier-looking skin all over my body. Absorbs quickly and isn’t one bit greasy.
Even after a late night, I can count on my Flaw-Fix™ Eye Cream to instantly reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles. It absorbs quickly and can be used at night and in the morning. Great as a hydrating mask, too.
I never leave home without applying Restorative Facial Treatment, a deluxe, ultra-hydrating formula with TruFirm and a blend of moisturizing oils. Along with its sister products, its plumps, smoothes and firms, and diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Make Crepe Erase® a part of your daily beauty routine for gorgeous results
Based on 8-week user perception study for Crepe Erase Advanced
**Based on results of an evaluation by expert clinical grader measuring decollete, knees & arms
Crepe Erase® is so confident that you’ll love its products, it invites you to use them for 60 days, and, if you’re not satisfied, you can return the tubes–EVEN EMPTY–for a full refund, less s&h! This offer even gives me more confidence that these are quality beauty products. Plus, the line is incredibly reasonable in the first place!
I hope I’ve inspired you to own your body and soul whatever your age. Cheers to feeling good and looking good in a #BodyWithSoul!
There’s more. Order the 5-piece Deluxe Kit and receive 4-in-1 Eye Renewal Capsules as a free thank you gift. Packed with intense, concentrated moisturizers for an eye-opening experience. A $38 value.