Gratitude, the Emotion that Can Radically Improve Your Life

Gratitude, the Emotion that Can Radically Improve Your Life

September 21st is Gratitude Day, and I must say, right off the bat, that I am grateful to the people who initiated this commemoration. Ironically, it was first marked in 1965 by a group of international visitors who came together at a dinner party in Hawaii, my home for 10 years and a deeply spiritual place.  

I am not surprised; after all, these visitors were surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty and kindness of spirit that is plentiful in the Aloha State. No wonder they felt that it was important to have a day to formally express gratitude and appreciation for the many wonders we experience in daily life—both large and small. But more importantly, this day has great significance for me, and you, more than a half-century later. 

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5 Women After 50 Who Inspire Me

5 Women After 50 Who Inspire Me

By Susan "Honey" Good

Hello my friends! Today I want to share with you five women who inspire me daily because it's Monday and we could all use a little inspiration!  

1. Barbara Walters

I know it may be no surprise to you that this woman is on my list of inspiring women because I have written about her before. I even had a conversation with her when I met her by chance at one of my favorite New York restaurants. 

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How to Care for a Dog with Degenerative Myelopathy

How to Care for a Dog with Degenerative Myelopathy

By Orchid Good

My dog, Orchid, makes my heart sing. She spends many of her waking hours with me. She is always at my side as I write each day for HoneyGood.com -- so I consider her my little partner. I thought it would be fun for you to read a blog from Orchid on this Sunday morning.

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In Case You Missed It...

In Case You Missed It...

By Susan "Honey" Good

"Never miss a good chance to shut up."

I love the above quote! Although, it certainly takes some time to grasp the wisdom of this little gem, I can truly say at this point in my life, I get it. Ah, the power of listening. 

Advice on being a better listener may not be exactly what you'd expect to find in a story about the components of a GOOD conversation, but It's in there! 

Conversation is so important because it allows us to listen and understand other people's perspectives and share our own.I love to chat and connect but I've also had tough conversations and I've learned how to deal with those as well. If I'm feeling overwhelmed by a conversation, I tend to walk away and give myself some space and time to think before re-engaging.  

GOOD conversation requires good listening skills. Listen before you speak. First and foremost, show your warmth by your interest. Do not be a conversational narcissist. It is funny but true; the real art of good conversation is not in talking, but in listening. Why? Because people like to talk about themselves and you get a glimpse of their personality.

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How I Survived The Loss Of My Husband

How I Survived The Loss Of My Husband

By Susan "Honey" Good

My first experience with death and mourning occurred with the untimely death of my late husband, Michael. Losing a soul mate was debilitating. I can best describe myself as shattered and shocked. One day I was young, in my forties with two precious daughters living near the Sea, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Life in the Islands with Michael, also in his forties, was a romantic adventure. The word survive was not part of my vocabulary. The 11th year, the tides turned. I found myself immersed in a private and personal journey of unanticipated grief. As a young woman and mother, I was in uncharted waters. I was faced with learning how to handle constant sadness, fear, lack of concentration, loneliness and grieving. Looking back,  I survived by my instincts, always mindful of signals coming from my heart prompting me how to survive the loss of my husband, knowing I had no choice but to ‘ride the wave.’

My Story

The phone rang as I was about to leave for the market to shop for a special dinner. We were going to celebrate Michael’s homecoming and a successful business trip to Salt Lake City, Utah. I was as happy as a lark as I picked up the phone. I immediately recognized the voice on the other end of the line and I smiled. It was Michael’s brother, Roger, a Periodontist living in Colorado with his wife Karen and two children.

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5 Tips For Wearing Denim After 50

5 Tips For Wearing Denim After 50

By Susan "Honey" Good

A good pair of jeans is one of those things that never really goes out of style. Sure, our look changes as we age, but a constant that tends to make its way into our wardrobe year after year- DENIM! I know I've talked about it before, but finding jeans at my age can be just plain hard. The challenge for us women over 50, is finding a pair of stylish, yet age appropriate jeans, and it wouldn't hurt for them to fit well and be comfortable! Am I asking too much? No way! 

Here are some new tips to consider when refreshing the denim in your wardrobe: 

 

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Style Is In The Bag and You Can Win It!

Style Is In The Bag and You Can Win It!

By Susan "Honey" Good

I often talk about having fun with your style, because life's really just too short to not infuse your daily appearance with some creativity and joy! I've also shared frequently that  Instagram is one of my favorite platforms to connect with other stylish women of every age. That's why I'm excited to introduce Julia Kays to you... and share a fashionable giveaway. 

JuliaKays.com is an online store for chic and reasonably priced clothing and accessories, like the pink messenger bag that I'm holding above, and I am giving this bag away to one lucky reader.

One of my favorite elements of JuliaKays.com is a section that shares how their Instagram followers style Julia Kays products. I love this function because sometimes it's hard to really get a feel for a product when shopping online. Additionally, all their products come at reasonable price points and sales are plentiful. They really do make shopping so much easier! 

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A Three Minute Read That Will Teach You To Listen To Your Inner Self

A Three Minute Read That Will Teach You To Listen To Your Inner Self

By Susan "Honey" Good

Let’s face it, darlings, we don’t take the time to listen to the wisdom of our inner voice because it is natural for us to turn our attention outward. The humongous feedback of others is natural. We listen to others opinions and advice. During our youth and middle age, most of us aim to please and be accepted. As a woman, now over 50, it should be a pleasure to refuse to acknowledge someone or something as having authority over your inner self. Trust listening to your authentic self because it represents all that is true about you including your needs, your capabilities, your uniqueness. 

Trust The Physical Feeling Of Your Heart.  I often write, ‘the heart knows.’ It is your inner self giving you a sign; fear, excitement, sadness, relief, and joy. 

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The Benefits of Being Mindful With Your Spouse, Children and Grands

The Benefits of Being Mindful With Your Spouse, Children and Grands

By Susan "Honey" Good

I mentioned the other day how time flies. I know that so many of us feel this way. However, there is a way to slow things down. It is called mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness?

A very basic example of mindfulness is this: While taking a morning walk, rather than running through your to do list for the day or ruminating about a misunderstanding with your partner yesterday, you pay attention to the feelings in your body. You hear the rustling of the leaves; you feel the warmth of the sunshine. You marvel at the rainbow of flowers lining your path and the beautiful world, in general, that surrounds you. You are mindful.

Mindfulness means being actively attentive to the present moment. Mindfulness promises to allow you to enjoy each moment without letting life pass you by. You focus on the sensations of your current experience rather than dwelling on past problems or future worries.

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The Rules of GOOD Conversation

Honey Good July 2017-50.jpg

By Susan Honey Good

My ultimate concierge and I love to converse with one another. We live an active lifestyle and have had opportunity after opportunity to speak with people from all walks of life.

All of us, darlings, have had a myriad of conversations, playing on all of our emotions.

Conversation is what makes and breaks relationships. Though we are women over 50, we can continue to learn the rules of good conversation. 

I could write a book filled with stories of conversations that tap into every type of emotion.  Here are two stories that will put you in a happy mood. 

How following the rules of GOOD conversation helped me clean up my act!

I thought I was interviewing a prospective housekeeper. It turned out that she interviewed me. She entered our conversation with topic readiness. Here's what happened...

It was a beautiful sunny day in Honolulu. The trade winds were softly blowing through our home. I opened the door smiling and saw this middle-aged woman in a white uniform with white shoes smiling back at me. I liked her instantly. It was the twinkle in her eye.  

I invited her into my kitchen. We sat across from one another sipping an ice tea. Before I could open my mouth to interview Edie she jumped in and began to question me. She was older, and I gave her the floor.

She began, “There are certain things I need if I accept this position as your housekeeper.”

I stared at her, quite amused. She held me captive with her big smile and twinkling blue eyes and all I could say was, “OK.”

She went on, “I will only work for a woman under certain circumstances.” 

“What are they?” I questioned.

“Do you have an Electrolux?" she asked.

“Yes," I replied.

“Do you have Parson’s ammonia?” she asked.

“Yes," I replied.

“Do you have white distilled vinegar?” she asked. 

“Yes,” I said.

“Are you Jewish?" she asked.

I could not believe what I was hearing. I loved this woman. “Yes,” I answered, laughing” 

“You passed,” she said. 

“When can I start?” she asked.

She became part of our family and helped me, for years, until her knees finally gave out.

Edie’s words exposed her openness and sense of humor. Fabulous qualities, darlings.

The following conversation took place between my husband, our friend and me...

The three of us were on the driving range of a golf course. My husband and our friend were hitting golf balls. I was an observer, sitting on the grass within walking distance.

Our friend said to me, “Why aren’t you hitting golf balls?”

“I had surgery a few weeks ago and can’t play golf for a month.”

He said, “Did you go to Northwestern?”  

I looked at him, bewildered and replied, "No, I went to Wisconsin.”

He looked at me bewildered.

My husband said, “Suzi, he wants to know what hospital you were in, not what college you attended.

We all laughed so hard. 

This short conversation is indicative of how words get lost in translation. 

 My problem area...

Unfortunately, we cannot always turn on a switch and program our conversations. We are all vulnerable in some area. 

I do not like emotional confrontation.  I am not quick on my feet. I am not a one-upper type of woman. I prefer to walk away. In a sense that is a good solution. In another sense, if the person means a lot to me nothing is solved by walking away. 

This is how I solved my problem: 

~ I ask the person to tell me what is bothering her. I listen and validate her feelings. I am good at that.  If I cannot think of the right words to express my feelings, I end the conversation, telling the person, 

“I need time to think about this.” 

This gives me time to digest my thoughts quietly. 

If I cannot find a solution to the situation, you know my saying darlings, DELETE.

The Do's and Don'ts of GOOD Conversation

Conversation is supposed to be flowing. Where you know the right thing to say and make it sound effortless. For many women this is difficult. They feel anxious and even stressed and though they want to enjoy GOOD conversation, they can’t.

They can’t seem to take the conversation beyond small talk and for many different reasons they struggle.

I have learned over the years that conversation is a skill. We can all learn to converse at a luncheon with strangers or win us new friends and even end conflicts within our family if we use these DOs...

Do:

Listen before you speak. First and foremost, show your warmth by your interest. Do not be a conversational narcissist. It is funny but true; the real art of good conversation is not in talking, but in listening. Why? Because people like to talk about themselves and you get a glimpse of their personality.

Do:

Take turns. Conversation is a two-way street. Tidbits here and there. No monologues, please.

Do:

Adapt your conversation to your listener or listeners. For example, don’t talk about politics unless everyone is on the same page. 

Don’t:

Put your foot into your mouth. Don’t talk about how happy you are in your new relationship if the listener is divorced.

Don’t:

Interrupt... this makes the other person feel irrelevant. 

Don’t:

Leave people out of the conversation. In other words, don’t get into a discussion with one person and ice the others out. Spread your eye contact around the table.

Don’t:

Overshare your feelings. You want to leave people a bit intrigued. They will want to learn more and want to cultivate a relationship.

I enjoy opening my conversations with a compliment and a question.  For example, “I just bought this new shade of Channel lipstick, Plume. I love your nail polish. It matches my lipstick.  Might I ask the color?”

You shared, and hopefully, she will share and now... the conversation starts on a positive note. 

The rules of good communication are very important. I have just touched the surface.

I will end my musings with three things that draw me to a person.

1.    Warmth.
2.    Openness
3.    Camaraderie. “We” both feel a bond.

If you enjoyed this story, please subscribe to my email list. Once a day, when I post a new story, you will receive it in your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE.

If you have something to say about this story… let’s talk! I want so much to hear your opinions + feelings. I also want you to speak up so that women our age remain visible. I think we have a responsibility to share our wisdom, don’t you? Share yours either in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

A Week With Honey

A Week With Honey

By Susan "Honey" Good

"The bad news is time flies, the good news is... you are the pilot!"

This week certainly raced by! It's interesting how time flies by... and even speeds up! Am I right? 

I started the week off last Sunday by sharing my gratitude for you all and the sisterhood we have built together. Gratitude is truly the key to happiness. 

By the way, if you haven't joined our community for women over 50 on Facebook I implore you to do so now. While we certainly do some "talking" here on the blog, the majority of our conversations happen on Facebook where we speak to each other openly and honestly. Jump into the conversation! We want to hear from you.

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What A Broken Ankle Taught Me About Being A "Can Do" Person

What A Broken Ankle Taught Me About Being A "Can Do" Person

By Susan "Honey" Good

I'm a sponsored blog partner of Ensure but all opinions contained in this post are my own. 

As I mentioned last week, there's no doubt you've seen, and perhaps even consumed, Ensure nutrition shakes. I'm writing about Ensure again for two reasons. One: They are hosting a very generous giveaway with a prize of $1,000 a month for an entire year. The other reason is that while many of you may have heard of the brand, you may not have considered how drinking Ensure can help you regain strength and energy, especially after illness or injury. 

 

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Considering Going Solo In The Workforce? You Should!

Considering Going Solo In The Workforce? You Should!

Article sponsored by VSP Individual Vision Plans

If you’re like most Americans over 50, you plan to work after retirement in some capacity. You may even be considering changing the way you work and going into business for yourself. Where once that would have been considered a dream job and beyond the realm of reality, thanks to advances in technological innovation, it’s not so remote an idea to work “remotely”. Here are a few reasons why the solo workforce isn’t a fad:

Mobile and online applications use of cloud computing make it easier than ever to work from home or anywhere. Your “opening act” into the workforce probably involved being tied to a traditional work arrangement. You may have worked in an office or a school. But your “second act” need not tie you to any specific location, allowing you more flexibility and time for the important things in life like time with your grandkids.

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How To Find Mental Balance In Your Life After 50

How To Find Mental Balance In Your Life After 50

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," Leonardo Da Vinci                                                                   Mental balance is a skill controlled by our minds.
I think living a ‘balanced’ lifestyle is an art because, like art, it is a skill. Like art we create our palate. What is considered balance for one is not considered balance for all. But one thing is sure, our success as creators of a balanced lifestyle is based on mind over matter.  The person who can balance her lifestyle knows ‘peace of mind’ outweighs chaos. She has often adopted this new lifestyle out of personal frustration. 
 

So many of us ride a daily teeter totter. Up and down. Out of balance.

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