Never Talk About Aging to GLBT Baby
Co-Publisher, On the
It's true. When
we started this project, we were told the one way to guarantee
it a certain death would be to mention aging or retirement.
After all, the gay community in general has always had an
obsession with youth, and boomers, gay or straight, have no
intention of ever retiring.
So, what did we do?
We launched On the
Gay Horizon --- an online community dedicated
entirely to aging and retirement
issues for gay baby boomers!
Image of Retirement?
Perhaps we do focus on youth.
I'm not so sure we focus any harder than our straight
When boomers speak of not
wanting to retire, I believe they are reacting to that mental
image we all have. You know the one...
A formal parlor full
of elderly women, all with blue-tinted hair, clutching
identical purses in their laps, watching two or three old
men, trousers pulled up to their arm pits, pace the floor
while they all wait for the Sunshine Van to take them on
this week's outing to the mall. And, there's always one
motorized menace, racing back and forth asking everyone if
they've seen George the cat. Of course, there isn't a cat.
There never was a cat.
What's not to look forward
A Whole New
World of Possibilities
None of us wants to end up
riding the Sunshine Van. Even if they would let us --- which
they probably wouldn't. And, I'm pretty sure none of us wants
to dress like that!
That was our parents' idea of
retirement. Not ours. We face a world bursting with
possibilities. Like the new gay communities. When we were doing
the research for the Top Gay Retirement (or Not)
Communities, the hardest part was trying to
figure out which one I wanted to end up in! That's incredible!
I never dreamed I would have such a choice! But, it's not the
I compare getting ready for
the next part of the journey to going on vacation. Unless you
are extremely wealthy, it's best to do a little planning ahead
of time. Otherwise, you pretty much have to take whatever you
get. For this journey, I don't want to settle. I want to aim
for what I want. And that will take some planning.
I find myself excited about
this part of my life! Perhaps because I know we're trailblazing
here. We're the first GLBT generation to be in the position to
choose. Our dreams have brought us this far, so what do
you say we have some fun and start imagining the possibilities
Let's start with the most
basic question of all --- location.
Where do you want to be? Consider
• Stay exactly where you
• Remain in your current area but change your living
arrangements --- for example, buy a smaller house or
• Move somewhere totally different
• Move into a GLBT community
• Go on the road --- sell the house and buy an
These are some basic options.
Which you choose will initiate a whole new set of choices and
decisions. Start here. Think about how you want to spend the
next part of your journey. We'll be providing more information,
checklists, guides to help you choose where might be best for
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It's official - I'm a
Co-Publisher, On the Gay
And that's got me thinking about things.
Mostly, I'm thinking about how to live the remainder of my
life. What are my core
matters? I've thought about it so much that
I've named my company CoreMatters.
At the heart --- the core-of everything we do --- is
alignment. Aligning our actions with our
goals. Our words with our
deeds. Our politics with our
choices. Our path with our
And alignment needs balance. So, it seems
to me that one of the most important things we can do for
ourselves is to create balance:
- physical balance as we
move through space and time,
- intellectual balance as we
wade though the reams of information we face each day,
- spiritual balance as we
answer questions about our own existence.
Finding balance and living our lives is a journey, like that
of a stream adapting to always changing amounts of
rainfall. So in this newsletter space, let's
explore these elements in ways meaningful to you. Ask me
questions, leave me comments, and let's see not where we end
up, but simply where we go.
Today, we'll work on creating physical balance by using our
What is "our
It's the lower half of our
trunk or torso. If you stand up, feet together, and put your
hands flat around your waist and tummy, you'll feel
it. Press there and you'll feel the layers
of muscles, your lower ribs, your hip bones. Imagine your spine
as an axis running up the center. This is the area which moves
us through the world. You cannot sit or stand up, walk, run,
crawl, lift, row, bike, board, blade, ski, swim or even lean
forward to kiss someone without engaging your core. All
movement of your body fires from here. If
you practice T'ai Chi, you know this is the area of
dantien, where your chi resides.
What makes our
core so important?
First, it houses some pretty
special organs --- digestive and reproductive. Second, it
contains the body's largest muscles --- the glutes (butt
muscles), the psoas which wrap around from the lower spine
(T12/L1) on your back side to the front of your
thigh. It also contains your abs, including
rectus abdominus, transverse abdominals, obliques, and the
necessary tendons and ligaments to make it all work. And most
importantly, it contains our pelvis, the platform which
supports this load including your eight pound head.
Start paying attention to this core. From now on, before you
bend over to pull clothes from the dryer, before you shake out
a rug, before you pick up your groceries, a pet, or a child,
before you lift a leg to bend over and get sideways into a car
seat, think about your core. Squeeze your ab muscles (navel to
spine) before you make any of those moves-and hold that squeeze
through the entire motion. The trick will be to use only your
abs, not your glutes or anything else.
What's in it
You will be using large muscles to move and
support you (instead of your tiny lower back or arm or shoulder
muscles); and therefore you will be protecting your precious
Do you need to specially train these lower ab muscles in a
gym at great expense? NO!! You need only to use them in the
movements you make every day. This is functional training at
its simplest and best.
Of course, if you do train these muscles with a professional
instructor, your strength will increase more rapidly. But don't
think you need to.
Simply think about and use your core all day long. Before
you get out of a chair, squeeze those abs. Before you sit down
in a chair, squeeze your abs. When you're sitting at a traffic
stop in your car, squeeze your abs.
Oh, and don't forget to breathe.
Try it for a few days. And let me know how it feels.
[Editor's Note: Ann-Marie
Giglio, besides being a professional writer and the
co-publisher of On the Gay
Horizon, is the owner of a
fitness studio focused on improving quality of life through
the mind/body connection. She is a certified
ChiRunning and ChiWalking instructor, AFAA
certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness
instructor and SCW certified Pilates reformer