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It's Never Too Late or Too Early to

Start All Over

By: Karen J. Allen
Co-Publisher, On the Gay Horizon 
 

Nothing lasts.

I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button over the weekend and that was one of the dominant themes. Wonderful movie, by the way, and I'm sure it won't be the last time you hear me refer to it.

"I was thinking how nothing lasts, and what a shame that is." Benjamin said to Queeny, the woman who adopted him.

It does seem a shame unless you really think about it. Sometimes it's good that things don't last. For instance, how many of us would have wanted Bush's presidency to last any longer? How about a never-ending visit to the dentist? Or the flu? Leftover turkey?

But it's scary for us to think the things that mean the most to us won't last either. That we might lose our health or our means of earning a living. That someday we might lose the right to make our own decisions, forfeit our independence. Perhaps the most frightening of all is the knowledge that we will lose the ones we love --- or they will lose us.

Because of his special circumstances, the realization that nothing could last for him was painfully obvious to Benjamin Button. For us, it's a truth that we often try to deny or, at the very least, avoid. I think that makes it even scarier and far more powerful when we do have to confront it.

As baby boomers, we are fast approaching the age where we will be forced to deal with a whole lot of change. We can deny that we are aging until we hit the inevitable brick wall and have no choice but to try to pick up the pieces. Or, we can anticipate this next stage of the journey and pack accordingly. And as gay baby boomers, it's even more crucial that we start looking ahead. Right now, today, we have the luxury of making choices. That won't always be the case.

So, where do we start?

My favorite place to start, no matter what I'm planning, is The Weather Channel. My partner, the therapist, would have told you that there's something wrong with people like me who can leave The Weather Channel on all day. When I would happily greet Marshall, Heather, Nicole, Jim, Stephanie, Alexandra, she would remind me in that kind, but strained tone, "Those really aren't your friends, you know...." 

But, my idiosyncrasies aside, the weather affects everything.  Use it to plan and it will play a huge role in deciding where to spend the next twenty or thirty years.  Did you see that band of fluorescent pink making its way across the midwest and up toward the northeast? Who wants to live where ice storms knock out your power when it's like zero degrees? Not me!

So, maybe it's time you start a list. Write down, "What kind of climate do I want to live in?"

Here are some choices to for you to consider:

Warm, sunny, and dry year-round
Typically warm and humid, almost tropical
Four seasons, some snow, humid summers
Temperate, with cool summers and some fog
Generally cool and rainy
Extreme winters and cool summers (high altitudes)
Dry, hot summers, extreme winters (flat terrain)
Short fall and spring, extreme winters and summers
Warm, humid, little snow
Desert

I actually "borrowed" this list from AARP. They have this fun tool that walks you through a set of questions on how important certain features are to you. Climate is the very first consideration.  Others are economy, culture, recreation, health and education. It then matches your answers with locations that fit your criteria. Give it a try --- Location Scout .

Relocating has been on my mind for quite some time but there was something Benjamin said at the end of the movie that really caught my attention.....

"What I think is, it's never too late...or, in my case, too early, to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, start anytime you want...change or stay the same, there aren't any rules. We can make the best or worst of it...I hope you make the best. I hope you see things that startle you, feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you challenge yourself. I hope you stumble and pick yourself up. I hope you live the life you wanted to...and if you haven't, I hope you have the courage to start all over again."

It's been a long time since I started all over. I used to have that kind of courage. Do I still? We're just about to find out. Stay tuned!

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In the Works 

The countless hours I've spent trying to decide where to relocate made us realize just how big a step this is for gay baby boomers. There are so many factors to take into account. And, let's face it, we're doing some trail-blazing here. We're the first "out" generation to be thinking about retirement years with absolutely no intention of going back into any closets. We've worked too hard and fought too many battles not to expect to reap the benefits during the next leg of our journey.  

We may have time for a couple more "do-overs" but why not make the effort to get it right? We are in the final stages of completing "Making the Next Move", a workbook to help gays and lesbians plan for what comes next --- whether it be to relocate or choose to stay where they are. The emphasis being on consciously making choices and not waking up one day to find it's too late and we're stuck somewhere we don't want to be. 

We're not doing any pre-ordering for "Making the Next Move" but we wanted to do something for those of you that have helped OTGH get started. If it sounds like something you might find useful, just email us at  admin@onthegayhorizon.com  and we will put you on the list. This in no way obligates you, but when we roll the workbook out, if you're still interested, you will receive a 20% "thank you" discount. We'll be keeping you updated as we get closer to publication.

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Take Stock of Your Eating Habits

Fit in a Year - Week 5

By: Ann-Marie Giglio
Co-Publisher, On the Gay Horizon

The next step --- keep track of what you eat. Write it down. Every bite.

These things that you eat are your diet. Not Marie Osmond's or Atkins'. Your diet is simply the food you consume. The stuff you use for fuel. Think of it all as gas for your engine. Your body operates on a diet of energy. What you use to produce that energy is key.

Keep this food diary for the next week. Once you have it, you can begin to analyze it.

Are you getting 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables every day? Are you drinking 1/2 your weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, do you drink about 70 ounces of water each day? Coffee, tea, soft drinks, juices don't count! It's good clean water that our cells need.

What about fat? Are you eating too much? Not enough? Are you confused about carbs?

Keep that food diary for the next week and then we'll talk about how to painlessly make the changes to move you toward your fitness goals.

 

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