GMS: Stress Can Be Good for Us

By Susan "Honey" Good

The older I become, the busier I am. You would think this would create a great amount of stress, but it is quite the opposite… if it is healthy stress.

As we age, I think we become more in touch with our physical feelings and emotional thoughts. Dear readers, your body talks to you. When you are faced with negative stress, don’t you feel a red light telling you to stop? And when you are faced with positive stress, don’t you feel a green light telling you to go? I do.

I find my positive stress light to be revealing because it signals me to go, even when I am creating insurmountable stress. It leaves me with a feeling of excitement and contentment because I am doing what gives me stressful pleasure. By my age, I know what makes me feel content and satisfied. Those positive feelings propel me into a meaningful personal lifestyle. Stop and think about your lifestyle. Are you good to go or are you feeling too much negative stress and need to stop?

Negative red light stress can raise your blood pressure, give you headaches, cause digestive problems and put you at risk for heart disease. It is up to you, and only you, to disengage from unfulfilling activities and delete people that are not filling up your cup. Add projects and people to your life that stimulate your mind and make you smile.

The topic of stress came to my mind yesterday when I had a conversation with a man who had open heart surgery. He brought up the relation between stress and his heart attack.

So last night I dreamed about some of my most stressful situations. They were a mix of red stress and green stress. My moves to Honolulu, Hawaii and Chicago were green stress. The rest were red. I was able to turn all of them to green because of my mindset. I had the emotional tools to eventually make sweet lemonade out of lemons.

You have all suffered from red stress. At this time, some of you are in serious or uncomfortable situations. You don’t know what to do or where to turn, but you can certainly turn some situations green. However, others hover over like a black cloud. It is up to you to create something in your lifestyle to distract you from these situations. You are in control of your stress.

I suffered long term and incurable red stress when I learned I had cancer. I was so sad and terrified. For years I would say every night to my ultimate concierge, “I am terrified.” I would begin worrying weeks in advance what my upcoming cat scan would show, asking myself a hundred times, “Will it be back?” It was RED STRESS personified.

Looking back to those difficult times ten years ago, I tried very hard to control my red stress. Sometimes, we have to feel our fear, sadness and disbelief, while we search for ways to distinguish our negative stress. I found that taking care of my health, following my doctor’s orders and living a relevant and engaging lifestyle kept my head above water.

Here is how I tried to turn my red stress to green stress:

  1. I saw a psychologist, who is now a close girlfriend, and she taught me to see all of life’s situations as grey. This has helped me in making decisions when situations are not up to par.
  2. I exercised and ate healthy. This gave me lifestyle positivity. Three times a day I fed myself positive thoughts through nutrition.
  3. I was fortunate (and still am) to have a very tight relationship with my ultimate concierge. No secrets in our marriage, so I was able to unburden my red stress.
  4. I started writing in a journal and HoneyGood.com was born, a 100% very green stress. I had new relevancy and was no longer constantly thinking about the word, cancer.
  5. I reached out to my children, grands, my mom and close girlfriends for help.
  6. My illness changed my outlook on life. I began to do things my way, creating very green stress. When you have suffered a frightening illness your priorities change.
  7. I began wearing my red kabbalah string on my left wrist, closest to my heart to ward off all evil. I still feel like my red string protects me.

My final thought: We will all have to ‘accept’ some serious realities in our lives, whatever the circumstances. Ask yourself, what did you learn or gain?

This will help to turn negative red stress into positive green stress.

GMS: Sharing is Caring

By Susan "Honey" Good

Have you ever thought about how very important it is to share part of yourself with others? 

I believe I live a happy life because I love to share all things, except my husband.  

When I was in the first grade in Kankakee by the Sea I noticed a girl, Marla Lane, sitting in the lunch room without a lunch. When I asked her why, she explained that she did not have the money to buy lunch tickets. I told my mom the story after school and asked if I could share my lunch tickets with her. The next morning, my mother sent me to school with lunch money for Marla. I was one happy six year old.

I always felt joy when I shared.

That is why I feel I have the best life in my ‘two worlds.’

On one hand, I am a gregarious woman, a people person who loves the roar of the crowd. Truthfully, I have always had a love affair with life and a desire to share with others.

On the other hand, I love the silence of the day so I can reflect, through my musings, on a variety of subjects that I love to share with you.

And so today, I have a message to share with you, dear readers. 

Honeygood.com is almost fully recovered from a facelift and I cannot wait to unveil her new look.

Over the past several months I have worked with two fabulous women, one is a digital artist and the other is a web designer.

A digital artist helps the client choose a new artist rendering of a logo, advises them on a color scheme and helps them choose a font. It is a major project. I shared my favorite colors – She implemented them. She designed several logos – We shared our feelings and chose one. We did the same for the font and through this mutual sharing of opinions and respect, our relationship turned into a friendship.

I chose my new colors based on what I love. Green will represent my love for nature and pink will represent my love for femininity. My logo is now an artistically written letter ‘H.’ My font is new, as well.

The web designer on the project is Valeria. She is Italian and she ‘gets me.’ Her job was to create Honey Good in a concrete form. This is a major job.

I wanted all of my dear readers to know that my new site is geared towards the inner beauty of a woman because I believe true style shines from within. I will continue sharing my musings of how I tackled widowhood, blended families, friendships, divorce, illness and suicide. And of course I will share the latest fashions because I do believe that 20 percent of a woman’s style is her outer look!

Stay tuned! As my ultimate concierge says: The best is yet to come.

I am off to lunch with a ‘girlfriend.’ It is her birthday and I want to share her day with her. I can hardly wait.

GMS: Why Women Our Age Are Saying "I Feel Invisible"... And What We Can Do About It

By Susan "Honey" Good

“I feel invisible because of my age,” is a leading thought in the minds of many women of a certain age.

I did not say a specific age, nor did I say all women are faced with this dilemma. After all, these feelings depend on the woman. But I will say this, more women than not, as they age, feel invisible.

It was when a close girlfriend of mine said, “I feel invisible” during an informal focus group I held for a small group of women over 60, that the word invisible became part of my vocabulary for the first time.

Until that day almost one year ago, my only recollected tie-in with the word invisible was Casper the Ghost. So, the word – and its meaning – was not a thought in this visible woman’s mind. I will tell you later why I feel visible and why the word invisible made such a strong impression on me.

Is Invisibility about Just Not Looking Young Any More?

Getting back to my focus group, the word invisible ignited a lively conversation among my girlfriends who were in their 60s and 70s. They were college grads, women who had interesting careers. They were women who were wives or had a significant other, and many women who had children and grands (the term I gave my 24 grandchildren).

Many of these women were well traveled and involved in several “extracurricular” activities. And yet, several of these lovely women stated, “I feel invisible!”

Why? All their answers were the same, “Because I no longer ‘look’ young.”

I remember the day so clearly. I remember every one of their stories. I remember how I felt listening to them describe their inner feelings. I was stunned that my girlfriends felt invisible. I saw them as very visible. The word invisible upset me.

During the past year, in certain situations, my mind confronted the word – invisible.

I would walk into a restaurant with my husband, Sheldon Good, and say to myself, as we were walking to our table, “Do I feel invisible?”

I would be with several members of our family, all younger, and ask myself, “Do I feel invisible?”

I would walk into Barney’s shoe department where there were younger girls waiting for a salesperson and ask myself, “Will the salesperson choose to wait on the younger women over me? Am I invisible because I am an older woman?”

And on and on this went… to the point I wished I had never held that focus group!

Fight Invisibility with Positivity and Activity!

The more I delved into my feelings, the more I realized that I felt not only visible but very visible because I am actively involved in life. In other words, visibility has everything to do with a woman’s positive and interesting lifestyle. I am of the opinion that 80 percent of a woman’s beauty is her inner beauty, not her outer looks, nor her age.

As a visible woman, I have maintained a relevant lifestyle, which means being connected to interesting people, places and being “involved in the now.”

Wearing many pleasurable hats, I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, girlfriend, world traveler, student, writer and owner of an online company. I work at being a relevant woman.

And so, this is my advice to any woman at any age who finds herself feeling invisible.

When you are going through “an invisible passage” of life, it is up to you to find your personal gateway to feeling visible.

Invisibility is Not Age Related

Here is the true story of a girlfriend who had lived her entire life in New York. She was a city girl. She was married, had four children and owned a small newspaper. One day as she was walking down 5th Avenue, out of the blue she said to herself, “I feel invisible.” She determined it was age related.

She went home, told her husband she felt invisible and together they made a plan to move to a community with an older population. She moved across America to Rancho Mirage, California. She and her husband began life anew. That was twenty years ago. She is now in her upper 80s and as visible today as she was in the thirties. She leads a wonderful life as a wife, girlfriend and jewelry designer.

When you are emotionally fulfilled, you become a visible woman. You feel your step has a bounce and your laughter is contagious. You stand erect with great posture, with your head held high. You know you are respected by your husband, your family and your peers who see your relevancy, not your looks.

How to Get Started on the Path to Visibility

Here are four ideas to get you started on your path to feeling visible.

First, choose to spend your time with women who lead relevant lives and see themselves as visible. Their attitudes will rub off on you.

Choose a new hobby or start a career. I began writing in my sixties.

If you are an avid reader, why not visit your local library, meet the librarian and ask what is going on? See if there is a place for you to help children in the children’s department or you can consider taking classes set up by the library staff. You will begin to feel your relevancy, your visibility.

Finally, be a lifelong learner. I just finished a two-day seminar in the Art of Negotiation. I wanted to learn how to handle business and family interaction. I was one of the only women in the class and I could have been many of the participants’ grandmother!

Of course I noticed that I was older, but I felt relevant dear readers. I was learning and learning is power and power is a very uplifting feeling. I was living in the now and I felt invigorated with my new knowledge which in turn made me feel like a very visible woman.

I’ll leave you with this: If you want to change what is “visible,” start with the “invisible”. The key to feeling relevant, important, and valued lies within you. I see very clearly that there is so much you have to offer the world. Do you?

Do you feel invisible in your 60s? What have you done to make a shift to become a visible, relevant woman? What do you notice and admire about visible, relevant women? Please join the conversation.

GMS: How A Zebra Tablecloth Changed Our Thanksgiving Dinner

GMS: How A Zebra Tablecloth Changed Our Thanksgiving Dinner

By: Honey Good

My daughter, Jennifer, is an artist. She was on the Oprah Show. She is a loving mother and terrific wife. However, she is neither a cook nor a housekeeper and has told me, laughingly, that the next home they live in will not have a kitchen!

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GMS: Be Happy Now in 3 Simple Steps

GMS: Be Happy Now in 3 Simple Steps

By Susan "Honey" Good

I wake up happy. It comes naturally. I look forward to facing my day with positivity. My outlook is fueled by optimism. I see my cup as half full.

No, I am not a goody two-shoes. I do, however, consider myself to be one of the lucky ones who has the ability to triumph over my adversities, with a little help from a friend. Who might she be? The ‘happy gene.’ I am thankful to my mother and my father for this happy gene of mine.

I am grateful for the happy gene because it provided me with a running start on living a charmed life. I understand that those of you who don’t have the gene have to work harder to attain happiness. Just remember, dear readers of mine, happiness is within your reach.

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GMS: A Family Wedding In Garden Valley

GMS: A Family Wedding In Garden Valley

My husband Sheldon Good and I, both widowed fairly young, have a great big beautiful blended family. We have four children between us (one son passed away), and 24 “grands.” Eighteen are the offspring of our children, and six we welcomed into the family as spouses.  And we expect to reach 36 “grands” in the not too distant future…and more once great-grandchildren start arriving!

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GMS: I Don't Like The Word Retire

GMS: I Don't Like The Word Retire

Retire is a word that scares me because it means growing old. It forces me to face the fact that unpleasant things are going to happen—and I don’t want to go there, for 100 reasons that would take me hours to explain. I have confronted my conflict in the only way I know how: The word retire has no place in my life.

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GMS: Words of Wisdom From a Mother to a Daughter

GMS: Words of Wisdom From a Mother to a Daughter

By: Honey Good

As you know, I draw my Good Morning Stories from my past experiences. I begin searching my mind, days before I put my fingers on the keyboard, for an eventful experience that has had a profound, loving or funny impact on my life.

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Embracing Simplicity

Embracing Simplicity

"Tis a gift to be simple, Tis a gift to be free. ‘Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be. And when we find ourselves In the place that’s right, twill be in a valley of love and delight."  19th Century Shaker Hymn

Reading this little poem gives me immeasurable pleasure. I reread it often; each time, feeling my body de-stress and unwind. I am embracing simplicity.

 It would be dream- like to believe we can always ‘simple be.’ Nevertheless, this poem empowered me to reexamine my life style, a mix of utter razzle and dazzle that often puts me into a state of utter frazzle.

I wanted to keep the razzle-dazzle and minimized the frazzle in my life style.  And, being of a certain mindset I have succeeded somewhat in doing just that.

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About My Grands

About My Grands

By Susan "Honey" Good

I was busily writing my blog when my phone rang. I only pick up when it is a member of our family. The call was from my daughter. I want to share our conversation; then I will go back to writing my Good Morning Story. Why? Because I think it may interest you, darlings.

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Authentic Knowledge is Style at it's Best

Authentic Knowledge is Style at it's Best

By Susan "Honey" Good

My mother will celebrate her 95th birthday, April 14th. She will sit at the head of ‘her’ table at her favorite restaurant with her family; sip champagne and dine on her favorite dish, Peking Duck with Laughing Red Rice and hold court; this Grand Dame mother of mine! Her blue eyes will twinkle and sparkle; her red lips will part in smiles and her laughter will be contagious. We, her children, will be her court, sitting by her side and marvel at this powerful, delicious and fabulous mother of ours!!!

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How To Say No

How To Say No

By Susan "Honey" Good

My daughter, Jenny, and I were having a conversation about my Grand, Skylar. I am very careful not to interfere in my daughter’s life but every once in a while, when I am passionate about something, I very carefully -- almost stuttering inside myself -- say..."No, I disagree." 

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