Funny Girl

Funny Girl

(Yes, these are words to a song)

Did you hear that
Yeah, the guy said honey,
You’re a funny girl
That’s me; I just keep them
In stitches doubled in half
And though I may be all wrong for the guy
I’m good for a laugh
I guess it’s not funny
Life is far from sunny
When the laugh is over
And the jokes on you
A girl ought to have a sense of humor
That’s one thing you really need for sure
When you’re a funny girl
A fellow said a funny girl
Funny, how it ain’t so funny
Funny girl…

This song started resonating with me lately, and I had to look up the words. It seemed so relevant. The last line was, “even a funny girl can cry.” Well, maybe another version, or I made it up.

It was playing in my mind because I wanted/needed to write a blog post. I try to keep them light and funny—encouraging—it’s never too late. But what if I am not feeling funny or reassured, and it seems too late? It happens.
It happens to everyone.

One of the first things one must notice is: are you making stuff up? That friend that hasn’t called, the money didn’t show up, someone frowned at you, and myriad unfunny things.
But do you know the whole story, or did your imagination fill it in?

Then there is the real stuff-a health crisis, divorce, job loss. What to do, then? Indeed, these things are not funny. You have every right to put your head under the pillow and stay there—for a while. Then you must “pick yourself up and start all over again,” as another song says.

How do you do that?
Here are some ideas for you to take action on:

  • Talk to a therapist. (Well, duh,)
  • Journal —write it out
  • Communicate with a friend
  • Give yourself time to cry it out. Really cry it out
  • Take a walk—in nature, in the rain, on the beach, walk
  • Make an action plan with a giant whiteboard—cross off as you complete
  • Color (I have not tried that yet)
  • Music that lifts you up (playlist, anyone?)

I want to punch the person who says, “this too shall pass,” in the face. Or “look for the good” and all that blah blah. That is not what you want.

I am reminded of a therapist’s advice long ago: “only be depressed in this room. When you walk out, pretend you are not depressed. Just pretend.” You may still be depressed, but you might be surprised at how you fool yourself.

Go ahead—be a funny girl.

Ageism or Sageism? (From the archives of “Not Your Grandmother’s 70,” 2013)

Ageism or Sageism? (From the archives of “Not Your Grandmother’s 70,” 2013)

The question for today: How to impart wisdom to those following behind without sounding like a know-it grumpy old person.

I started this blog when I celebrated my 70th birthday. My challenge for the BIG birthday was a two-week trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. My birthday cake is the cover photo. Today I have another birthday. A little more quiet this year. My challenge for this year is actually to keep this blog going. So today, we begin.

The subtitle is “Alternative to being a senior citizen.” I mean that I want to encourage people to think differently about being a “senior citizen.” My preferred term is “Sage.” Being a sage means passing on your wisdom to the next generation. My challenge is understanding the difference between being a sage and just a batty-babbling old lady. What is essential to pass on? What wisdom do I impart?

Each generation wants to find its own way, but does that mean they are unwilling to learn from the past? I hope not. I have been watching Mad Men with a neighbor. We started with season one, which was set in 1960. The furniture, clothing, and more are very accurate. As we progressed through the series (we are now in season 5, set in 1965), I realized that the show represents my adult years. I was 19 the year the show began, and now we have reached my early married years. My friends ask, “Was it really like that?” Yes, yes, it was.

Yes, when I came to Little Rock Air Force Base in 1962, the local department store did have a “white ladies rest room.” Yes, women had to ask their husband’s permission to do anything, and you could not have your own bank account. Career? OK, as long as you are a teacher, a nurse, or a secretary. (I was a teacher.)

I lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, both Kennedy assassinations, the march on Washington, and the civil rights bill. I saw the effects of Title 9 on women’s athletics. I sold bracelets for the Equal Rights Amendment fundraising and met in women’s “consciousness-raising” groups.

I want to be an active voice of the past, helping people — men and women — find their way in the world and helping us build a brighter future.

Will you join me on this voyage of discovery? I hope future generations continue to build on what we have accomplished. I hope they don’t just want to discover it all themselves.

Archives – 2015 from Not Your Grandmother’s 70… I Took A Walk On The Beach To Find My Purpose And Guess What Happened?

Archives – 2015 from Not Your Grandmother’s 70… I Took A Walk On The Beach To Find My Purpose And Guess What Happened?

I have been reminiscing over past posts, and this one still rings true. It is amazing how life repeats itself.

Here we go:

Today I took a walk on the beach, hoping to find a solution to a problem I had been wrestling with. I found an answer, but it was not what I expected. And the result is a lesson that might just apply to other situations.

I am working on a project and struggled with the structure and answering questions, like any good project manager: What is my purpose? Who is my client/audience? And finally, outline the scope of the work and set timelines.

So I walked on the beach. I enjoyed the sun, the breeze, the fresh air, and the sound of the waves. And suddenly, it hit me — I had no purpose, I had no objective, and I certainly was not thinking about who I was doing it for. I was simply enjoying a walk on the beach.

As I was totally lost in the experience, I realized I had lost my landmark. The shoreline looks different in the opposite direction. I was lost. I had lost my objective. I had no plan. I was hopelessly lost and would never find my way back to the cottage. Nonsense. Of course, I would get back, eventually. You can’t get lost when you have no destination. I was merely taking a beach walk and enjoying the scenery, the sensations, and the air. Walk a little further and just enjoy. Of course, my landmark gazebo popped up out of nowhere, and I was back on the path to the cottage. My home for today.

So what was my objective with the beach walk? To enjoy the moment. To revel in the senses. To breathe and ultimately relax.

And so I solved my problem. My project is to enjoy the creative moments without worrying about the objective, the audience, and the outcome. Just do it for the love of doing it – like walking on the beach. Eventually, you will find home.


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Karin Quirk