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From Projects to SOAR

Posted by on Dec 9, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on From Projects to SOAR

How many unfinished projects did you find when you pulled out the Christmas holiday decorations this year?   Here’s my list QCT t-shirts for making a quilt Beer can coozies for making a quilt (seriously, I have so many advertising coozies I could make a king sized quilt) Hotel room key cards for doing a mosaic of… whatever (there are some really cool colors and designs on them) Pictures of my adult kids with Santa for a collage Neckties to make into pillows or weave around a lampshade Old photo slides to create a lampshade QCT playbills for a display Ah, Pinterest, you mock me with your great ideas and beautiful pictures!   When I googled “unfinished projects”, I got this litany of words that follow it (in order): ADHD, website, for sale, meme, and crossword. And that’s before scrolling up. Arrggghhh!    Did you know that there’s even an unfinished projects syndrome? According to trig.com, “Fear of turning personal projects, which are supposed to provide rejuvenation, into “another work project” seems to slow our creative roll. The project becomes another deadline, but one that you can blow off without “consequences” because you’d only be letting down yourself, after all, if you don’t finish.”   https://www.trig.com/tangents/why-do-we-leave-projects-unfinished   Project enthusiasm is energizing, but it can also be troublesome if it leads to clutter. Additude mag.com suggests the following strategies to deal with unfinished projects and saving of “someday” clutter. Practice just-in-time knowledge and materials Make a date to start and stick to it Avoid FOMO (fear of missing out) on participating in the latest craft craze https://www.additudemag.com/too-many-unfinished-projects-adhd-clutter/   So, if you are also a project procrastinator, how do you SOAR? Well, to start with, Pinterest has 190 entries for craft room organizing ideas. Ha! You mock me again, Pinterest! But the best advice is to get some shelves, totes, boxes, cubbies, or other visual storage system that reminds you what you have and the plans you had for creating with it. Print that picture from Pinterest and tape it to the outside of the container. This time of year is a good time to shop for those, and January is even better.   Now, mark your 2022 calendar with the deadlines for completing those projects! And if your 2022 calendar is too full already… then it’s time for Project Jettison.   Either way, if you don’t think you have it in you to complete the organizing or jettisoning on your own, we can do that for you. Got clutter? Get Clean! Estimates are free. Call 888-922-6368. https://www.goldenbridges4you.com/contact-us/   It’s your move, Golden Bridges can help! Susan Scholz, Partner Golden...

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Celebrate Everything!

Posted by on Nov 5, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Celebrate Everything!

Celebrate Everything! After the past year (or two) of small, tentative, outdoors if possible, or non-existent celebrations, we are ready to decorate, cook, sing, play games, party, and celebrate with abandon!Travel Pulse says that Americans “eager to reclaim some semblance of normalcy…  appear to be embracing the holiday spirit wholeheartedly and again engaging in activities that may have been put on hold last year. In fact, close to half (48 percent) of survey participants said they have already started their holiday shopping. And, 38 percent reported that they plan on spending more on the holidays this year.”And that includes traveling to be with family. According to a Nerd Wallet – Harris poll, “the average holiday traveler is expected to charge just under $1,500 in trip expenses on their credit cards, according to the survey data”. And why not? Putting travel expenses on your credit card adds points. And as long as you pay it off right away the interest charges are not an issue.With the flexibility of working remotely, more of the workforce can schedule their travel for less busy days, and save that convenience cost of booking on the high travel days.According to new Amex Trendex survey findings:—Of all consumers surveyed, nearly half (49 percent) plan to travel on or before the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving (November 23) compared to just 29 percent who plan to travel on Thanksgiving Day itself (November 25).—Forty-two percent of participants said they would skip celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S. in order to take an international vacation.—Seventy-seven percent would rather take a vacation with their significant other than exchange gifts, and 68 percent would forgo exchanging gifts with their family to instead go on a family vacation. — Many U.S. consumers would like to receive a domestic (65 percent) or international (49 percent) trip as a gift this season.—Fifty-two percent indicated that one of their New Year’s resolutions will be to take more vacation time in 2022 than they did in 2021.—Fifty-five percent of respondents said they plan on traveling between one and three times during 2022, while 39 percent plan to travel four or more times next year.https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/2021-holiday-trends-show-more-americans-set-to-travel-this-year.htmlBut, of course that doesn’t include everyone. Hopper, a data company that makes algorithm-based personalized travel recommendations, projected in its most recent forecast that the number of passengers going through U.S. airport checkpoints will be around 75% of 2019 levels for Thanksgiving and 80% for Christmas.That said, figures for both dates are expected to be roughly double those of the same time in 2020, when the worst of America’s infection waves gripped the country.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-07/americans-fearful-of-holiday-travel-are-sticking-closer-to-homeSo, how about you?My family will be together at Thanksgiving. Because they all live at least one state away from me, I am planning to combine all of the fall and winter holiday traditions into that one week. Trick or treating? Yes! I hope to introduce the grandkids to their great aunts and uncles with a costume road-trip. Thanksgiving? Grandma is taking care of the traditional meal at her house. Christmas? But, of course! Santa will be arriving at my house on Christmas morning, aka Black Friday.The week before will be filled with activity. I am envisioning hand drawn jack-o’-lanterns, ghosts and turkeys; gingerbread houses; decorating the Christmas tree and hanging the stockings. Sitting in front of the fireplace drinking hot cocoa and toasting marshmallows. I will ask one of the grandkids to flip the switch to turn on the outside holiday lights as we watch the glow reflected in their eyes.Hoping to instill some of the giving spirit of the holidays, they will accompany me as we fill some of the neighborhood food...

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Got Clutter, Get Clean

Posted by on Oct 15, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Got Clutter, Get Clean

Got Clutter, Get Clean Is clutter holding you back from reaching your goals? WebMD asks (and answers) that question in this article. https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/clutter-controlIn it, Peter Walsh, an organizational expert and former host of The Learning Channel’s Clean Sweep show, divides clutter into two general types. “Memory” clutter is stuff that reminds us of important events, like old school programs or newspaper clippings. Photographs also fall into this category.“Someday” clutter refers to items you won’t toss because you feel you might need them someday. Like the ends of wrapping paper rolls and Christmas bows saved from packages.The article goes on to suggest that cluttered spaces lead to mental clutter that keeps us from making decisions or starting new projects. Some suggestions to fight clutter include:          Pay bills online          One in, one out          Make clutter clearing appointments          Discard stained or torn clothes while doing                            laundry          Start small Paying bills online will cut down on the amount of paper you receive in the mail. This can make getting the mail and sorting it at the same time faster, reduce stressful decisions andleave you more time.One in, one out follows Newton’s Third Law of Physics which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.When you buy something (clothing, baking pans, new bedsheets) you should discard one item that is worn out.Mark your calendar. If you put it on your calendar or in your phone appointment book you are more likely to actually complete the task. Saying you will take care of that “later” makes it easier to skip it or forget it until you need to get into that cluttered drawer again.On laundry day, when you are pre-spotting make a note of the items that are stained. If the stain doesn’t come out, then throw the garment out. If clothes are torn or missing buttons, either mend them right away or discard them. (Items that can be repaired might also be donated to a thrift store or homeless shelter.)Starting small might be the hall closet full of mismatched gloves and boots. Taking stock of your families’ winter gear now will also avoid the chaos and rush to find essential items on that first snowy day!Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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Grab Bars and Shower Stools and Ramps… Oh My!

Posted by on Sep 8, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Grab Bars and Shower Stools and Ramps… Oh My!

Grab Bars and Shower Stools and Ramps.... Oh My! It’s understandable that none of us wants to admit that we’re getting older. And nobody wants to face the fact that we might need “assistance” for activities of daily living. But the truth is that the assists available today could make life easier and safer for any of us. For someone returning home after experiencing a stroke or a hip or knee replacement, these assistive devices can assure a successful recovery and the ability to remain in their own home independently for years to come. A recent article in the New York Times (and shared through our NASMM WordPress) follows the story of one patient, John, whose life was changed by making the bathroom accessible with grab bars, a shower stool and a heightened toilet. These low cost improvements allowed him to be more confident and comfortable living in his own home. They extended the time he could remain independent and not rely on family or caregivers.            For full article CLICK HERE Yes, some other home modifications can be expensive. Installing a chair lift can cost as much as $4,000, but moving to an independent or assisted living facility can cost that much per month. According to the Assisted Living website, the most common home modifications for those who want to remain in the home include: Widen DoorwaysInstall RampsKitchen ModificationsShower and Bathtub ModificationsFlooring Modifications For the full article CLICK HERELighting, trip hazards, and storing items in places that are easier to reach are modifications that can easily improve home safety, often at low cost to the homeowner. At a higher level, technology can allow patients with chronic conditions to manage their health through electronic monitoring of vital signs and capturing  dangerous situations such as blood sugar changes or falls. With the NASMM @home certification, Golden Bridges can come to your home to provide an assessment and connect you with the products and services needed to keep you safe at home. Do you, or someone you know, need to explore your options? Check our website www.goldenbridges4you.com for more information about NASMM@home, or call us at 1-888-922-6368 to schedule your free consultation.  It’s your move. Golden Bridges can help!Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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The Conversation

Posted by on Aug 9, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Conversation

The Conversation Recently, my sisters and I had lunch with our mother in our childhood home in our hometown. My sisters live in Virginia. They had come to see the family, and to pick up my mother for a visit in Virginia. Of course, my mother spoke of the trip in the words that must not be said as “possibly the last time”. Therefore, it was no surprise when after lunch she set us down at the table. She gave each of us a notebook and a pen. She retrieved a folder that she has obviously been keeping for this purpose. It contained her life insurance information, her retirement savings account information, and names and phone numbers for the locations of her lock box, her undertaker, and a list of hymns she would like to have sung during her funeral.Following the conversation about these final wishes, we spent some time looking inside her China hutch at some of her treasured items that had been passed down to her from family members. We discussed the likely recipients based on their lineage, and reminisced about their origins.Since I live in a town nearby, I was already aware of most of this information and knew that I was tasked with maintaining and remembering these final wishes and dispositions.My mother is a worrier, a skill that I too have honed against the whetstone of my own motherhood.She worries about the weather, she worries about any of us driving on the highway, she worries about the pandemic, she worries about the sharp division in our country, and she worries that when she is gone she won’t have enough money to leave to her children. Although we have often expressed exasperation at this last worry, she has frugally saved and sometimes done without in order to make this a reality.Mom lives in a very small town and lives a fairly simple life. She was an Avon Lady and worked at a bank. She still plays the organ at her church. She attended college while I was in high school. She makes the best red cake. She is my mentor and my friend. Our mother has traveled to all 50 states. This is a fact in which she takes great pride. Her photo albums are filled with those experiences. She is trying to go through them to remember those times, and the drive that she and her husband had for reaching this goal. She knows that when she’s gone these photos will not be preserved, and has told us many times to “just back up the dumpster”.Have you had The Conversation with your parents? Have you had The Conversation with your kids, or significant others? Preparing your family to honor the decisions you have made is important. But not as important as actually making those decisions so they don’t have to.Woman taking care of her senior motherAccording to AARP, these are some things that you can do to get started.          * Choose a photo you would like to use for your obituary (if you wish to have one)          * Choose your burial plan          * If you wish to have a funeral, choose the type of service          * Write your life story for your family to preserve          * Gather a list of the people who should be informed, including contact informationTo read more  CLICK HERE There are also several tools that will help you. Start with the funeral home you prefer and discuss your wishes. They have workbooks and questionnaires...

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Post-Pandemic Senior Strategies

Posted by on Jul 10, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post-Pandemic Senior Strategies

Post-Pandemic Senior Strategies It is estimated that at least 10,000 people turn 65 every day in America. During the COVID-19 shutdown (March, 2020 through April, 2021) that means over 4 million people became “seniors”. What should they expect of their senior years in a post-pandemic world? What strategies will work for them in planning for life after COVID-19?Get vaccinatedFirst and foremost, doctors and the CDC recommend that seniors be vaccinated. Once you are vaccinated, you can return to the activities you enjoyed before the pandemic. Not only are you safe, but your grandchildren are safer because you are vaccinated. The CDC provides the following list of indoor and outdoor activities that can be resumed when fully vaccinated.Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmissionDine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple householdsAttend a crowded, outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports eventVisit a barber or hair salonGo to an uncrowded, indoor shopping center or museumAttend a small, indoor gathering of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people from multiple householdsGo to an indoor movie theaterAttend a full-capacity worship serviceSing in an indoor chorusParticipate in an indoor, high intensity exercise class Unvaccinated people attending these events will be expected to wear a mask and remain socially distanced.Check on your retirement fundsAccording to information published by Generations: American Society on Aging, a January 2021 poll found that as of last November, nearly 60 percent of Americans withdrew or borrowed money from an IRA or 401(k) during the pandemic, and 63 percent used those retirement savings to cover basic living expenses. If this includes you, now is the time to review your retirement financial plans.While it might be tempting to start collecting on Social Security now, benefits can be reduced by as much as 30 percent when collecting even five years earlier than planned. Calling the local office of Social Security is your best move to get the information you need when considering this option. Just make sure you’re prepared to wait on hold for a while. There are many others who are exploring their options. But be patient, it is worth the wait to get assistance from an expert.And if waiting another year or two is the best option, then consider a part-time or seasonal job. Returning to the workforce might not have been in your plan, but there are some exciting options to consider.Starting a new businessAccording to AARP, success at starting a new business increases with age, even into one’s 60s and 70s. Your experience and skills can help you succeed as an entrepreneur. After all, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals at the age of 76.Considering that the Boomer generation now includes about 73 million people in the US, there’s a very large audience for products that help them (you) improve their everyday lives.Starting a business, or introducing a new product to this demographic takes fortitude but the rewards are well worth it.An article in Inventor’s Digest from 2018 states that Charles Greeley Abbot became secretary of the Smithsonian Institution at age 56. At 99, he invented a solar cooker that used the energy of direct sunlight to cook food and heat beverages. At that time, he became the oldest person to receive a patent and may still hold the record as the oldest inventor.Invest in improving your digital skillsMany older adults have increased comfort with and willingness to use new technology to survive in an increasingly digital world. Whether working from home, staying in touch with family and friends, ordering groceries, conducting telemedicine visits or attending church services...

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