Let The Good Times Roll!

E-bikes have become quite popular in the last two years, especially with seniors and it’s no surprise!

Imagine cycling with your kids, grandkids & friends, like you used to,  even with a bad knee. You still have to cycle, but when you need a boost to assist you, it’s there.

We recently talked to a Wellings of Picton member, Greta, about why she loves her e-bike. “I can go anywhere and for a longer distance. It keeps me active and smiling! It was really fun to see Rachel (General Manager) take it for a spin. I was lucky to get it back!”

Tracy Reid, of Fitness Powers, demonstrates how easy it is to ride one, and we thought you would enjoy this article from bicycling.com on the benefits of using one on your overall well-being. Watch Tracey’s video here

Happy Trails!

A Wealthy Person Is Rich In Friendship

Some of the great treasures in life are health, family, time and friendship. We’ve said it here before: humans are made for community, we’re built to be social and this Pandemic pause has really challenged our inborn need for connection. In the soul searching we’ve all been invited to do over the last many months, I hope we’ve all learned the value of friendship.

There’s a sign in my kitchen that says “Every friend is a gift, a blessing; a reason to be grateful.” I love our family and I love my friends, who are family by choice.

Growing up, our little clan of five moved from one end of Canada to the other, as my Dad was transferred for work. As a result, we had to forge new friendships a few times as kids and that wasn’t easy. I don’t have those lifelong friendships some people are blessed to have but I also don’t spend a lot of time reliving the past. I’m open to nurturing new friendships as well as maintaining the connections that feel aligned with my values. I’ve also done the challenging work of editing out relationships that in some way are out of step with who I am today.

“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.”  -Ally Condie

In order for us to be happy and healthy, especially as we age, our social circles need to be enriching, supportive and positive. Friendship to me is not only companionship: friends help us cope when times are tough and they challenge us to continue growing. In short, friendship is good medicine and science concurs.

Studies show that people with strong social connections have a lower risk of serious health challenges like obesity, anxiety and addiction. The longest running study on happiness by Harvard Medical School has found that “the key to healthy ageing is relationships, relationships, relationships.”

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”Thomas Aquinas

It’s challenging to maintain healthy social circles, depending on our life circumstances. It’s also easy to stop expanding our community, thinking that what we have is enough and sometimes it is. Geography and other priorities in life may mean that friendships take a back seat for a time. But putting in the effort pays off when it comes to friendship. Even when we can’t be together, staying in touch however we can, reminds our beloved friends that they are important and they matter in our lives.

Meeting new people is good for our mental, emotional and physical wellness just as editing out friendships that are not uplifting and supportive is practicing good self-care. There are a number of ways to expand our social circles through church communities, volunteering, through mutual friends, through work or by taking courses.  Not every new connection will grow into a meaningful friendship and that’s okay. We’re still pushing out of our comfort zone and that’s what will keep us feeling youthful and protect against cognitive decline.

Friendship, when it works well takes effort. I used to joke that getting my circle of friends together back in the day was like herding cats. I’ve since learned that I don’t want to be a cat herder; I’ve learned that my phone is good for incoming as well as outgoing calls and I know that when a dear friend is struggling, it’s a privilege to be there however I can, to make sure that person knows I care about them.

“When the world is so complicated, the simple gift of friendship is within all of our hands.” —Maria Shriver 

Friends make us feel that we belong; that we’re okay exactly as we are. Friendship provides a sense of purpose and meaning, giving us confidence and increased self-worth. In my view a good friend brings joy that fuels happiness.

Here are a few tips to help when it comes to making new friends and maintaining existing friendships.

  1. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable about making new friends. Prepare yourself with some engaging conversation points and you’ll feel more comfortable.
  2. Be a good listener. Ask creative and meaningful questions to learn more about your friends. Only give advice if you’re asked for it.
  3. Don’t wait for someone else to make the first move. Take the initiative and invite someone you want to get to know to meet for lunch or tea.
  4. Go for a walk. Talk with your neighbours; you never know a new friend could be one conversation away.
  5. Be trustworthy. Honour your word; if someone confides in you keep their confidence.
  6. Make your friendship a refuge from our chaotic world. Always be kind.

 Until next time, I’ll leave you with some wisdom from a beautiful soul:

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”  -Audrey Hepburn

Happy Father’s Day!

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”

-Oprah Winfrey

It always hits me in June, realizing that my Dad is no longer with me in the physical sense. Fortunately, Dad and I had a relationship that was a good one. He was a life force you couldn’t ignore, and he is omnipresent. My Dad wasn’t the best communicator by today’s standards, but I was a reasonable observer and always felt loved and supported. I was acutely aware of how he did things, how he conducted himself and lived in awe of how much he accomplished with less than a high school education. By the time he came clearly into my vision, I had observed that passion with hard work and charisma would yield a life that provided much for us kids and our Mum.

He had confidence, a fierce drive to win, and always felt a sense of pride when any of us achieved our goals, no matter how big or small they were. He didn’t realize it, but through his living example and our working relationship that spanned more than 25 years, he taught me about confidence, self-worth, following my passion, authenticity, loyalty, and humble pride.
 

It’s no surprise I married a man with some very similar characteristics, and he might be considered the champion of my life. I have set a course for myself and find that when my true North is elusive, he’s there for guidance and encouragement. Kevin recognizes more of my strengths than I do, and he reminds me to look back at my life and take it all in. At that moment, I am sure I stand just a little taller. I couldn’t be in a better place!

SO, this June, I want to acknowledge the men in my life who have been champions for me and so many others. They are solid and fierce winners in all they do: husbands, fathers, partners, providers, sons, friends, mentors, BBQing kings, and jokesters. These guys love life and are often heard saying, “bring it on!” They are the ones I think of when I need a boost of confidence or a breath of fresh air. I love strong humans who live life as only they can, this includes my family and friends, and I am so proud to see many of us embrace our authentic power. I have a strong belief in empowering women to change the world, and it’s happening! In my world, strong masculine types have always been a part of my life and a substantial positive influence, often encouraging me to follow my passions and, in so doing, make positive change. Dad taught me early that it was okay to stand up for my beliefs and give more weight to those playing inside the arena I was in. Not all lessons were easy, but I am happy to have these remarkable men in my life and have fully embraced my male energy. Humanity is masculine and feminine, and we are better together. When I embrace the fact, I have both male and female energies to work with, it makes for a good formula to handle just about anything that comes my way. I hope that’s the case for you too!

Love you guys, and Happy Father’s Day to those of you who are Dads.

Blooming in all Seasons: Finding Meaning and Purpose in Midlife

The one thing we can all count on in this life is change. People, situations and circumstances all change; yet we struggle. We fear and resist change because we can’t see what is beyond our current situation. Isn’t it ironic that change is the one thing we can count on; yet we can’t count on ourselves to yield to it?

Language is shifting; technology is evolving faster than we change our bed sheets in some cases. It’s important to recognize the value of being open minded and understanding that change is a positive, powerful force instead of expending energy fighting against it or defending the past because it’s all we know.

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.”  – Actor, Hugh Laurie

For the most part, we have no reason to question our purpose when we’re young, we seem to have a road map for that chapter but once we get to midlife and beyond the route looks muddled. In midlife our purpose can be challenging to connect with because we’re so used to seeing ourselves in the role we had before. It’s vital to keep our minds and our hearts open and remember that there is no perfect time, so don’t think you have to wait until you’re ready.  

As we do our investigative work, it’s important to remind ourselves that we’re not starting over; we’re starting from here, standing on all of the experience and wisdom we’ve gained so far in life. The questions that come up in midlife are important on our journey of discovery, as the answers become our signposts along this adventure. Who am I now? What do I enjoy doing? How can I make a difference for others? This newfound freedom allows us to find purpose in hobbies, education, volunteer work or starting a business.

We all need to feel purposeful to feel fulfilled but too often, we look outside of ourselves for the answer; the fact is that we connect with purpose when we go within. We can read books or speak with a coach for guidance but it’s important to listen carefully to our own inner wisdom to hear the answer. Try asking yourself who or what inspires you: the answer might be your spouse, your grandchildren, your children, your hobbies or your friends. Then ask yourself what it is about the activity or person that inspires you. If it’s their kindness for example, ask yourself where in your life you can invest in more kindness; if it’s their appreciation, ask yourself where in your life you can be more appreciative. If it’s how you feel when you’re immersed in your hobby, ask yourself how you can invite more of that feeling. Connect with your values, your interests and what brings you joy for cues on your purpose in whatever chapter of life you’re living. 

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” –Albert Einstein

 It’s being in the mystery: in the process of reflection combined with action that leads us to our purpose. Life is not meant to be stagnant but sometimes we have to nudge ourselves to recognize again that we are important and we matter. It’s not so much about us finding purpose but allowing purpose to find us through self-reflection.

It seems that in midlife it’s more about meaning than money. Although finances are an important part of life, remember that money isn’t everything. Some of the richest people I know are wealthy in kindness, empathy and love which makes them feel really good. Of course, we have a choice to stay in our so-called comfort zone, where life feels familiar but we limit our possibilities. Prioritizing purpose in midlife is important because our world doesn’t reflect back to us that we’re relevant. We have to claim it; we have to take up the space we rightfully deserve. There is no boutique selling meaning or purpose, it’s all inside of us. The unconventional route and the one I choose, is one of freedom and growth, staying open minded, open hearted and having some fun along the way.

Here is a link to an article in Psychology Today about finding purpose and community after retirement. There are some great questions to guide you and some helpful insight to inspire you.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/mindful-anger/201907/4-secrets-finding-purpose-and-community-after-retirement?eml

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