February, Facebook, Fake News

February, Facebook, Fake News

February.  It has been a brutal month so far.

Just days ago, on Valentine’s Day, 17 people died while doing whatever they normally do on a Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  The families and friends of the victims are settling into their grief right now, forever changed.  Just like the people of Rancho Tehama Reserve, North Park Elementary, Umpqua Community College, Marysville Pilchuck High School, Santa Monica, Sandy Hook, Oikos University, Chardon High School, U of A Huntsville, Northern Illinois University, Virginia Tech, West Nickel Mines School, Red Lake, Appalachian School of Law, Columbine, Thurston High School, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden, Heath High School, Pearl High School, San Diego State, Frontier Middle School, Lindhurst High School, University of Iowa, Stockton schoolyard, CSU Fullerton, Olean High School Kent State, Mesa, University of Texas Tower, have done before them.   I remember all of these incidents.  I hope I never hear of another.  I hope my grandsons feel safe and will be safe throughout the rest of their years in school.  I hope your family will be safe.

I just took a break from Facebook.  I have to keep my personal page in order to have my Beyond Sixty Project page, but I really needed a break.  Do you ever feel that way?  I know Facebook entered into a global fight against fake news about a year ago, but I am not sure how well it is working. To me, most of the fake stuff is easy to spot.  For starters look at the source.  Then fact check the stories before sharing.  What I have learned is I can do a better job of creating a more effective ” filter bubble” for what I want on see on my Facebook feed and I can stop reading the comments attached to some of the topics.  Negativity, hate and disrespect has become the norm for so many.  It saddens me greatly.

I love social media for the connections it provides.  I am able to connect with film people all over the world through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  I have access to tools and information I need for my project instantly.  I am able to maintain a connection with family and friends who live far away through text or social media as often as I want.  I have been reunited with people I care about through social media.  It is mostly a beautiful thing.

In a world filled with tragedy and sad news there are ways to reset yourself without going into hiding and I have been experimenting.  I began meditating each day.  15-20 minutes is all I can do without the restlessness setting in, but it is refreshing and helpful in shooing away the negativity.  I use some of the music from Canyon Ranch, where I first learned to silence my mind (Alice Boyd!).  When the weather is good, taking a mile walk around my neighborhood while listening to music has been a big plus.  Lastly, baths.  I have a big soaking tub and have been using it quite a bit this winter with some salts or bath tea.  20 minutes does it for me.  These examples are simple but I have never been good at doing them routinely and I am glad I am now. Maybe in older age I am finally becoming wiser?

It is good to reset rather than turn off don’t you think?  I am constantly looking for new and improved ways of changing how I assimilate the negativity of the world in my daily life.  If you have any suggestions I hope you will share them.  The older I get the more I realize how important this is. So please tell me what you do!

I am looking forward to February ending.  It will end on two positive notes.  My eldest grandson, Adam, will become a teenager this weekend.   Thirteen years I have known this incredibly wonderful human.  We will celebrate him and be very thankful.

After a bit of a break I am now back full swing into editing the second rough cut of my film, looking forward to all the final steps we need to take before I can report we are done!

I hope you end your February on a positive note or two and do whatever self-care you need to keep on marching and smiling.

Peace and Love to all,

Melissa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aging Gracefully

Aging Gracefully

Now that I am older this subject comes up regularly.  If you hang out with women my age you will hear, “Oh, she’s growing old gracefully.”  Or, “I plan on growing old gracefully.”   Then that compliment someone gives me on occasion, “you are aging well.”  What the heck does it mean?

I looked up the definition of graceful:  displaying grace in form or action; pleasing or attractive in line, proportion or movement; elegant

I think I might be in trouble.  I don’t think I have ever been graceful. When I was in the 8th grade I decided to take ballet lessons.  I can’t remember why.  Maybe a couple of my friends were in the class and it offered me a night out of the house?  Anyway, by the third class the dance teacher took me aside and said, “I think you might want to consider an activity other than ballet.”  I was not graceful in 8th grade.

This “ungracefullness” has carried me though six decades, now pushing into seven.  How is it that I will ever be able to age gracefully?

Women are living longer. That gives me some hope as I may have a good amount of time yet to learn to be graceful!

For me there will be no plastic surgery or alteration of body parts. That seems like cheating.  The one cheat I still allow myself is some hair color. My gray is uneven and not that beautiful shiny silver you see on some women. I am not sure how long I will continue this routine, maybe until just before it looks ridiculous.

The best I can do is to eat right, exercise regularly and take good care of my skin. Oh, and try and be more graceful!

Food. What we put in our bodies definitely has an impact internally and externally. Eat organic, clean food as often as possible. For me that means no chemicals, pesticides or GMO’s in any of our foods. No antibiotics or homones in meat or dairy. The problem with me is portion control. Working on that.

Exercise. I have never been athletic in any sense of the word (remember ballet?). However, I have read everything related to the benefits of regular exercise and am sold on the need for it and how it can help you “age gracefully.” I just joined a local gym determined to try and revive my familial-cursed metabolism once and for all.

Skin. I have never used soap, but rather plant/vegetable based facial cleansers and body washes. I don’t spend too much time in the sun and wear a little makeup with sunscreen in it. I try to get a professional facial at least twice a year and I use lots of organic moisturizers. While my skin is in pretty good shape, I have totally given up on my neck.  I have decided my neck is graceful enough. Women in my age category will understand this comment.

Aging gracefully.  It is so much more than how we look at a certain age. It is so much more than appearing younger than our actual age. It is about our relevance. About our wisdom and opinions and spiritual understanding. It is about staying in the game and playing our finest game. It is about ignoring the biological changes in the mirror, maybe learning to embrace them.

Aging, gracefully or not, is a great achievement.