Mid-life Without the Crisis

It really isn't the destination, but the journey. May be cliche, but it's true.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beware of Scams

I guess I'm pretty old-school.  I don't have caller ID on my home phone, so when it rings, I answer it.  It could be my mom, or my daughter, or my best friend, or someone equally important.

When the phone rang last night during a favorite show, I was tempted to let it ring, but it could have been someone important, so I answered.  "This is Card Services."  The lovely recorded voice then went on to assure me that there is nothing wrong with my credit card, but they would like to offer me the chance to lower the rates on my cards.  I was asked to press "1" if I wanted to speak to a representative.  Of course, I pressed "1" - who wouldn't want to lower their interest rates?  Then I told the nice lady that I couldn't find my credit card and would she please hold while I located it.  

Then I watched the rest of my show and only hung up the phone when I heard the signal telling me that the other party had hung up.  It took her 15 minutes to give up.

This is a huge scam, people!  Don't fall for it.  First of all, I don't even have any credit cards and the balance on my husband's is under $600.  Secondly, I've dealt with these people before and I know what they're up to.

They call themselves Card Services (or sometimes a variation of that), but they won't give you a company name.  They also will not give you a phone number.  (Legitimate businesses will.)  If you actually do give them your credit card number, they will charge your card about $995 as a front-end fee that you will "save in the long run after we show you how to lower your rates."  What you will instead get is a charge on your card and information in the mail with commonly-known "tips" on how to lower your rates, like paying more than the minimum payment, transferring balances to lower-rate cards, etc.  (No, I didn't fall for it - but I've read up on them since they keep calling me.)

Since they robo-call, being on a Do Not Call List is not really any help and since they will not give you a legitimate company name and number, you can't exactly report them to your Attorney General's office (well, you can, but they won't be able to do anything about it).

I've even asked them to place me on their internal Do Not Call List, but since there are many of these operations, having one not call is no guarantee you won't be called by another.

So the best thing to do is either ignore them completely or mess with them.  I liked my searching-for-my-card idea as it kept her holding.  Her dime, not mine.  And during those 15 minutes, she wasn't bothering anyone else.  Whatever you do, just don't fall for their line.

For more stories about this scam, you can peruse the site linked hereTo add your number to the national Do Not Call Registry, click on this linkAnd if you want to add your number to Missouri's Do Not Call, go here

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Aging Well

A man's age is something impressive, it sums up his life:  maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves.  A man's age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

There's a song we used to sing in church when I was growing up.  "Count your blessings, name them one by one..."  I thought I'd count some of the ways that it's actually really neat to be middle-aged.

  1. My self-esteem is no longer based on what the other kids think of me.
  2. After many, many years together, I no longer am concerned that my husband will stop loving me.
  3. I actually like having an "empty nest" because the room formerly known as my daughter's bedroom is now my super cool office.
  4. I can try all sorts of new things, give them up, and move on to other things without being thought of as a flighty young woman, but instead as an adventurous older woman.
  5. I like me more now than I ever did when I was a young woman.
  6. I get to live vicariously through the adventures of my adult daughter, and also share my own adventures with my mother.
  7. I really get how much my parents did for us kids.
  8. I'm not afraid to reach out to other people and make friends.
  9. I'm not afraid to speak up for myself.
  10. Men seem to just keep getting better looking with age - my husband included.  ;)
  11. I can re-read a book or re-watch a movie and probably enjoy it as if I've never seen it before because I probably won't remember half of it.
  12. I realize that life is too short for bad literature, obnoxious people, stupid guidelines, or saying no to dessert.
  13. Okay, I cry at sad movies...and TV shows....and sometimes commercials.  So what?
  14. It's really fun to start working on checking off bucket list items.
  15. I like being the middle aged woman who just started running because it makes me feel like one of those inspirational women you'd read about in a magazine.
 I have to agree with David Coverdale of Whitesnake.  These truly are "the best years of my life."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No Complaints Here

Recently, I've been struggling with getting anywhere with my running.  I seem to have gotten over my lower leg issues, but I'm having to do an awful lot of walking mixed in with my running.  I was feeling a little sorry for myself about this while I ran/walked this morning.  Then I got home and found this video in my in-box from Runner's World.

I think I'll shut up about not gaining much ground now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ready for Christmas Yet?

Yeah, I know it's way too early to think about Christmas...well, unless you like to shop early.  Or you want to make gifts for your friends and family.  Or you are already excited because your daughter will be home from Sweden for 2 weeks during Christmas.  But I digress.

Actually, October is the traditional month at my house to start making wish lists, so this post is a little early, but I wanted to share something really neat with you.  I was Stumbling yesterday and came across this video about Furoshiki, the Japanese wrapping cloth.  Watch the video first and then we'll talk.....

Was that not cool!?  I love this idea on so many levels.  Unlike wrapping paper, the cloth could be washed if needed.  It's eco-friendly since it's reusable.  You could make your own (read more).  And just think, if you could get all your friends and family to try it out, you'd have interesting new patterns to keep and re-use yourself.  

So maybe it's not too early to think about Christmas after all!

Friday, September 3, 2010

How to Thrive...at Any Age

The truth is, I do indulge myself a little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age of my life to do it - Samuel Pepys

My best friend is learning how to play guitar.  She never wanted to be a rock star, as far as I know, and best I can recall, her singing is not going to make her famous.  But she's always wanted to play an instrument and when she tried guitar, she fell in love with it.

I myself am learning to speak Swedish and am trying to get in shape for a triathlon.

Odd behaviors for women over 40?  Perhaps, but Ang and I don't care.  We love learning and we love our new-found hobbies.

Sometimes I think that's one problem people have - just doing something they enjoy.  We've always got this huge To Do list in our heads and we feel guilty if we put that aside for a while and do something for no other reason than we want to.  But guess what.  I can do those dishes now and I'll just have more to do tomorrow, or I can put them off and sit and play a game with my family now.  I can worry about the bills that need to be paid though my funds are low, or I can just forget about it while I watch Doctor Who with my hubby.

One thing is for sure.  "Life moves pretty fast.  You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

One way I'm going to indulge in pleasure this weekend is by going to a concert with my sister-in-law.  She won tickets and we are so excited to be seeing the classic rock group Heart.  Now there are 2 ladies who are really thriving after 40.  They still sound amazing and I can't wait to see them live.  If you aren't familiar with their music, just watch this little reminder and I bet you'll either say, "Oh, yeah.  I know them," or, "Holy cow!  I have to get some Heart!"  Or both.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Books, Books, Books!

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter.  ~Thomas Helm

I think Helm sums it up nicely.  One could say that the test of a poor novel is dreading to open it up again once started.

I'm afraid that's my opinion of my selection for August's book of the month.  I just couldn't enjoy picking it up and opening it.  My sister-in-law said she got to page 29.  I didn't even do that well.

If you're really interested in it, it's The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein.  If you'd prefer the movie version, one was made in 1994.  Of course, hubby says it wasn't that great, either.

So next up for me is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  It's the final part of a trilogy of post-apocalyptic/dystopian (P-A/D) young adult novels.  I have found that young adult novels very often are good at the P-A/D works.  They tend to be shorter and quicker paced than many others, and often just as enjoyable while being quick reads.

If you are interested in reading Mockingjay, be sure to start at the beginning with Hunger Games, then read Catching Fire.

To those who have a hold on the book at the local library, just hang on - I'm getting there. : )

If you like mysteries, I just found a writer I like.  Her name is Alex Kava.  Her newest book, Damaged, got a positive blurb from writer Lee Child so I had to try her out.  Really good stuff.

Speaking of Lee Child, he's a favorite author of mine.  His character, Jack Reacher, is a former MP turned drifter who frequently helps out underdogs he meets in his travels.  I'm not sure about the end of his latest book, 61 Hours, but I guess time will tell...

Happy reading in September, everyone!!