Forward Thinking… Don’t Label Us!

I am writing something short and sweet about a passionate subject of mine. After all, it’s #BlackFriday, and shopping is on most people’s minds.

If you put a group of children into one classroom and teach them all the same subject, what do you get? As a parent and teacher all well know each child (and adults for that matter) learns differently and unfortunately those that don’t keep up they just slap a label on these children.

If you read this list of 37 Common Traits of Dyslexia, written by Ronald D. David in 1992, (https://www.dyslexia.com/about-dyslexia/signs-of-dyslexia/test-for-dyslexia-37-signs/) many of us adults would be on that list. I was never labeled anything, but I struggled with hearing, math and time management, and was a class clown to help me through my awkwardness as a child. If it had not been for a few great teachers, and a grandfather who worked with me and helped me to grasp things (and to be appreciative of my artistic abilities), who knows what my adult life would have been. I am an avid reader, love to write, comprehend well, and although Math is still not my strong suit, I am a productive and engaging adult. I have never had any signs of dyslexia, but multi-tasking was so important in my career choice.

In this day and age, we really should be “forward thinking” and stop looking for traits to label children, but rather assist them with inconsistency. A label doesn’t help the child as much as the people putting them into a group of the same stereotypes and teaching them all the same thing. I know us as a society can’t have individual learning experiences in a classroom, so it’s up to the parent to find alternatives to increase their knowledge, and find out what works best for their child. And, do these parents even know that their child may be more than average in their abilities, but have no knowledge of how to help them excel.

Here are but a few good resources for parents and educators.
– JAM: https://jam.com/
– E-LEARNING FOR KIDS: http://www.e-learningforkids.org/
– MIND/SHIFT (How we will learn) guides to help with BIG IDEAS: https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/tag/growth-mindset/

Visit me on Twitter @DanielleFWatson

Happy Friday!

 

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Independent or Assisted Living?

I will be turning 62 this year, and never gave it a second thought about “not” living in my own home. Of course, there are many people out there who are also my age and feel the same way. We “don’t” think about the next phase of our life. Yes, we are seniors, baby-boomers, and aging, but many of us don’t feel that old yet, and although we’re still thinking about retirement and what we’ll do, many of us don’t think about planning for assisted living and beyond.

I have discussed retirement and what I’ll do if I’m lucky enough, but honestly, I’m not so sure I’ll be able to retire when the time comes. The thought of retiring just doesn’t seem that important yet, and planning is a whole other story. I am the typical middle-class Mom, work, keep a home, and all that goes with the financial responsibilities has been more important and saving for retirement is a whole other story too.

This past summer is when it really hit me. A friend’s mother 84, decided to relocate here to Las Vegas. She stayed with me for a month while I helped my friend find her an assisted living community. My friend thought that his Mother needed some help with cooking, bathing, and housekeeping, so assisted living was the first choice. My friend had previously looked at several of them before deciding on “the one” or so he thought!

While doing the tour, I was amazed though at the landscaping, open setting, large living room, event room, parlor with a fish tank, and an area to dance. Wow! It is more like a hotel rather than an assisted living community. What impressed me the most was the comradery among the residents and staff. Of course, you can’t always judge a book by its cover, and it was just a tour, so they stopped by several times unannounced after that to check it out.

It’s been a few months now since she moved in, and although a bit getting used to with scheduled meal times and activities throughout the day, everything seems to be going ok, but she says she is too independent and doesn’t plan on staying there after the Winter. From what I do know is that “if you don’t ask, you can’t expect it” and I can understand that. There are lots of rules though. Assisted living and independent living are two totally different ways of living, and both to take into consideration as we age if we need any help at all.

I think the hardest thing about moving into an assisted living community is the age thing. Although the age range is from 45 to 98 at this particular place, I see many folks who are mainly in their eighties. I think of how I may need to have assistance at that age, and I still find it hard to comprehend. Am I just denying the fact that in less than twenty years I may need to live in a similar community? I know it’s a difficult subject to comprehend when you’re just 62.

There are hundreds of websites for seniors, financial planners, and of course, a variety of retirement communities all over the U.S. One, in particular, caught my eye recently, “Holiday” with independent senior living communities all across the U.S., (these basically handle cooking, cleaning and activities) and from what I understand, you can move around within their communities all over the U.S. Something to think about if you’re needing a little assistance!

http://www.holidaytouch.com

Happy Friday!

Invisible Disability, Be Nice!

On Wednesday, I read about a girl who parked her car in a handicapped spot at her college only to come out and find her car had sticky notes all over it! The notes went on to say that she was selfish and a terrible person for using this spot when she clearly doesn’t look disabled. It turns out the poor girl had a brain stem tumor removed, was recovering, but left her dizzy and fatigued when walking too far.

“Invisible Disability.” As we age, our bodies just can’t do what they once did. Just a short walk through the supermarket parking lot can be painful. Heck, most of us have joint issues, maybe someone just out of the hospital, and who knows–just getting old!

So, if the word “handicapped” has to be defined, there are more of us out there than not. Look at the average person. People work construction and physical labor jobs, some are out in the sun all day and walking everywhere, even someone sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day is the new smoking and will kill you! We’re all hurting in some way or another, and sometimes it becomes an invisible disability. Sure, we’re not exactly labeled handicapped , but as we age, we do go a bit slower, and people’s patience may be tried.

So, although this was an unfortunate action towards this young lady, just because someone thinks people aren’t hurting, doesn’t mean they’re not. I’ll bet everyone has at least one or more family member with an invisible disability and I sure hope we can have more compassion towards them. Not everyone wants a Handicapped sticker or a special license plate either, and those people still struggle to make it across the parking lot. Is everyone these days just looking for something to complain about?

So, the next time you see someone coming out of a car and they don’t look disabled, but they have a sticker, you can probably bet there is something you just can’t see. Let’s all be aware. Be Nice!

Happy Friday!

Article: Student undergoing radiation publicly shamed for using handicapped spot https://www.cbsnews.com/news/student-undergoing-radiation-treatments-publicly-shamed/

Invisible, not if you Meet-up!

You know that time when you were in between 18-21? You were an adult by some standards, yet you were not by many laws.

As we age, we’re in between aging and old(er). When you finally turned twenty-one, you could partake in going out to the nightclubs, go dancing, and of course drinking, but that wasn’t the primary reason for wanting to turn twenty-one. It was the social aspect of it. As we age, we still need socializing and meeting new people.

When you’re in your early twenties through the time that you either settle down or you’re setting up your career in motion with a college, job, relationship, etc. you’re busy! Sure, you have time to go out and play, but it really all depends on what you’re doing. But, you still fit in! You fit in with socializing, tech, current trends, clothes, entertainment, etc.. Of course, not everyone, but the majority.

For the older person (single or not) sometimes you feel as though you’ve lost your fitting-in! As we’ve heard it before, and it still pertains to today, as we age we start to be a little invisible. Our cool and pretty identity is now just part of the aging process, and only the “Headliners” survive in the front row with visibility. I know that’s a strange word, “Headliner” but for the average person, we’re the background scenery.

I have found that people who don’t learn or stay current with technology, reading, or socializing have a bit more difficult time staying young (or even care about how they look) than those who are connected. And, I don’t mean a dating site either! I’m talking about the things that older people regularly do to include some social media, email, looking for entertainment venues, movies, travel, and dining. Being connected, and staying connected as we age has helped numerous people “stay young.”

One of the best ways to “get social” is MEETUP.COM. This social group website has so many options for people of all ages. Sign up and get connected with some fantastic groups, and, making new friends. If you like to read, there are reading groups, if you need to learn how to use a computer, there is a group for that too–there are literally hundreds of groups that fit your age, interests, and entertainment. And, you can always start one up yourself too!

Meet-up–get connected, stay connected and get out more. Don’t be invisible!

Happy Friday!

Doilies. Furniture took on a whole new look!

It’s so funny when I think about the past and what people were doing to keep their furniture lasting longer! It is a totally different mindset now with no one maintaining things for that long!

Seriously, women used to knit all the time, and don’t forget those crocheted doilies. I remember every single table, nightstand, TV console, hearth in my grandmother’s house was covered with one, and lest we not forget the plastic couch covers! OMG, I was always saying something to my grandparents about taking them off the furniture. Can you imagine sitting on those plastic covers in the middle of summer? And, women wore dresses! Ouch!!

Now keep in mind, I’m not a spring chicken, well, maybe there is still a lot of spring left in me, however, even growing up in my time which was right around the Vietnam War Veterans coming home, I never remembered my parents, and certainly not myself covering anything. The tables were bare, and if they got scratched so be it. Coasters were always used in my parents and my home, but no doilies. Maybe a tablecloth!

People used to keep their furniture for a very long time. It was made well, and it was affordable. The only thing affordable now is discount furniture stores, Walmart or Big Lots type items. Even the larger furniture stores make laminated junk and still charges thousands for a couch set. Mostly everything is laminated these days. I don’t know what happened to good solid wood furniture but I guess it’s too expensive to make. Maybe a doily would help give some character to it now that I think about it.

So, the next time you go to a church craft fair, see if the older folks are making doilies. If not, they have gone to the resting place in our minds called the past! #Happy Friday

Social Media, The Yellow Brick Road!

Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. What do I need, and how should I get started?  These are just some small observations and in no way cover the entire gamut of each of these social sites. This list is basically for someone who has not yet started on their social media journey! Tutorials are available for anything you want to learn. Type into Google, “Tutorials for Social Media” and the list goes on and on.

I follow a lot of topics, people, businesses, and I’m on several social media websites. Learning something every day is the key to staying young (so they tell us) and staying on top of current and relative information (if you need it), and social media is part of the equation. That alone can also be a challenge if you’re not using automation. The reason I say this is that not everyone uses it. Sure, it’s excellent for your exposure, posting relative information about your company and keeping your branding active since you can’t be there all the time. Of course, if someone has a question, or needs an immediate reply, it’s not so good unless you are receiving notifications. Do I want to see numerous notifications all day? Not really! Now, keep in mind that I’m talking about you, yourself, and not a company maintaining your social media for you. If you have a small craft business, semi-retired, retired or a working person, these are sites that need to be managed one way or another, with paid subscriptions, organic (free) and/or with using automation.

If you haven’t yet jumped on getting up to speed on the social media networks, it can be a little overwhelming. Most people, depending on their job and life/work balance only have an average of one to three sites at most. Facebook is easy to manage and easy to set up a personal page, but for business, it takes a little more work, and you should have a decent looking company page, and of course, spend a little money. If it’s strictly for selling, that’s a different route too and consider your e-commerce with additional resources like Shopify, or the like. But, what about all the other types of social media, and will they benefit you? Well, it really all depends on you.

Let’s start with a few of the most popular social media sites with no up-front costs, and just putting in your time to get started.

1. Facebook. As mentioned above, it has many benefits to both business and a personal. Aside from a business page, you can always start a group with people who follow the same topic/interest, so this site is a must! If you are not familiar with Facebook, here is a tutorial https://www.gcflearnfree.org/facebook101/

2. Linkedin. This site is one of the best B2B (Business to Business) websites to get “linked” with other business professionals or you may have a company page for recruiting and making new connections in the business world. If you’re just doing some crafts or retired, this may not be the website for you. Linkedin is not a Facebook platform, although some people like to use it like that with their personal posts, but, it should be just for business.

3. Pinterest, Instagram. Now, these two websites vary quite a bit, but they are both visual-sharing social sites where you can upload photos. With Pinterest, you’re “pinning” and liking your favorite photos, and some have retail links for purchasing or seeing someone else’s website. This website is a proven sales generator for specific interests. Instagram has a more personal experience, yet it is also excellent for your business too. If you make craft projects, these two sites are great for showing your wares!

4. Twitter. Well, what can I say! This social site is great for connections, branding, sales and so on. It can be a little tricky to get your page up and running, making lists, following people, etc., but keep in mind that interaction is important. However, you will have to work a lot to stay on top of making good connections. Replying is a must, and automation is perfect for this site!

6. YouTube. For business, making videos helps sales, period. Do you have a seminar? Are you a Realtor? Show people how to sew? Then YouTube is for you! Check it out; I’m sure you’ll learn something or at least listen to some great music!

Next time I’ll post about some of the best sites for automation if you decide to go that route! Remember, age doesn’t define you. Keep active, and that means your brain too!

Machine Learning, Automation, the Cloud & IoT…Are you prepared?

 

I am of the “old school” generation, yet started in the computer industry in the early 80s, I’m computer, graphics, and web savvy. However, I am also concerned about our human race in this time of uncertainty in the wave of the all-knowing IoT. We are making things more intelligent, creating better working machines, and, I’m interested in knowing what most people will be doing for work in the future?

Back in the early 80s, I could foresee the future. I started writing a book called Animation where we were growing artificial skin that looked and felt real and making 3D artificial limbs. Computers were programmed and built life-like people for our personal needs. With face-phones and all of the things that are happening now, it was the future. If I had finished that book, it probably would have been a best seller. Movies were made about this stuff too, and yet, it was just the movies and creative scripts.

So, here we are, and all those things are happening now, but my question is, “what is preparing us “ALL” for the future of being totally connected?” Most of the people around the globe do not have the education and resources to keep up with the Internet of Things. You would think that by this day-and-age everyone would be on the same playing field with technology…oh heck no!

What are your thoughts? Are you prepared?

Here’s some additional insight from Daniel Burrus, leading technology forecaster: https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/11/the-internet-of-things-bigger/

Life-Cycle…Next in Line!

Today, actor Robert Guillaume passed away. He was 89 and battled prostate cancer. My father is 88, and he too had prostate cancer but for seven years has been able to keep it in remission.

With people we looked up to, actors who made our evenings less boring while watching them on TV, and family in general, it puts things into perspective on aging and the next generation. I’m moving towards that next generation, unfortunately.

I think as we age, we think about dying, but we don’t want to talk about it. We don’t even want to talk about death, and we should.

I hear that most people are living longer than ever before, and while this may very well be true, what exactly will this mean for the average person.

Believe it or not, the oldest human being was 122 years old. There may be people who lived longer than that, but there are no records to confirm this. That is when the world was different. Not crowded, not polluted as much, and people ate real food. However, in the town you live in, the food you eat, the air you breathe, and, with the least amount of things you do that affects your health, not one thing can be confirmed that it won’t kill you. If you have money, live better than most, you may live longer, but no guarantee either, but again, it all depends on several factors, and not one person can tell you when you’re going to die. Life “expectancy” around the globe is only 66 1/4 years. Dang, I hadn’t thought of around-the-globe! The U.S. is a margin off from the U.K., but it seems like 80-85 is all they’re expecting most people to live. Then it got me to thinking, what if too many people live longer? That’s for another post!

I’m on a new Dash Diet (it’s not really a diet, just better for Cholesterol and your Heart), walking more, drinking less, no smoking, and although I just got my Will in order, I’m still not talking about funeral arrangements. It’s just too morbid, and yet it’s part of the life-cycle that needs to be discussed with your family, etc.

Here’s a chart about the life expectancy of the countries around the globe. https://www.disabled-world.com/calculators-charts/life-expectancy-statistics.php

Express Learning for Anyone!

I am a senior citizen and have been going to various seminars, conventions and one-day classes for a few years now, it’s called express learning (at least that’s what I call it) and it’s truly amazing what opportunities await you!

Last week, I went to this great convention in Las Vegas called WordCamp. A world of knowledge about Word, Podcasting, Social Media, and the list goes on. Express learning is a fantastic way to brush up on skills or learn new ones. I highly recommend you start with a website called “Meet-Up.” They have these classes and meet-ups available in most states and in most countries. Check it out!

via Daily Prompt: Express