Monday, August 6, 2018

What 60 looks like....and a question for YOU

What 60 looks like...
on the Selinda Spillway in the Okavango Delta

I have been thinking a lot about what a woman’s 60th year looks like. I can tell you it feels a whole lot better than my 59th year. About this time last year my air miles were off the charts and I was feeling well...tired..a weary tired. 

One year later.. a GOOD TIRED. 

This morning I twisted myself into some version of a Vinyasa yoga pose that looked nothing like my instructors. I looked over into the mirror and thought ...Jeanne, you idiot, why did you look? YOU look ridiculous...and proceeded to flow (collapse is more like it) into a Child Pose. My default pose when I can not keep it together...which happens often. 

This is just one of the classes pushing me into a "good tired". I am also working with a fitness trainer, Carol, two mornings a week. We work hard and it leaves me near crawling from her studio up a flight of stairs to the car park but it is a good tired and worth the energy.

 It doesn’t stop there, I am also taking a Fit Camp class two times a week with a group of ladies who groan along with me as we feel the burn. I can not remember the last group exercise class I took only because I tend to avoid them. I can't even remember the reason why but after the first class I knew I had been missing out on a great source of exercise and camaraderie. 

I love a good tired way. 

This has only been going on for two weeks and I swear my family is taking bets on when I will give up and call it quits. I have been here before..with Danny in Vietnam. They think it is hysterical...and that keeps me going.

The GOOD TIRED is now turning into RENEWED ENERGY and that’s when 60 starts to look interesting. 

With my youngest off to college in two weeks and my focus shifting...I often ask my 60 year old self... what next? 

This question came up last month as I was bumping along in a jeep through the beautiful and remote 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana. Each time I perched my camera to photograph one of life’s majestic wonders..I had that nagging question at the back of my mind...what next...MR. ELEPHANT? 

And then it happened... 

One afternoon, back at the lodge, I kicked off my boots, set my feet up and checked for an Internet connection when an email popped up. 

A long time follower of my blog wanted to throw out an idea to me. Would I be interested in hosting a Women’s Book Club Retreat at Tahilla Farm? Other words floated by...meditation, yoga, garden tour, cooking class and lots of hours of coffee/tea/wine talking about books. In my mind...The Brown Paper Book Club Retreat? At that point I ordered a beer. 

I knew this concept would need some thinking through. I mentioned it to Mr. H...he looked a bit frightened...the same look he gives me when I suggest we invite people to dinner. He says I turn into a maniac of, a Virgo? Really?

I decided I had to go to my tribe... (men included)

In the woods...Tahilla Farm

This is where you come in...what do you think? 

Would you be interested in hanging out for a few days with fellow blog readers...thinking creatively in the woods of New Hampshire? 

If you had to pick five words from the list below, which would you pick? 


Midlife health 

I selected the subjects that I have been writing about all these years...seems to make the most sense to stick with what you love. It's a start.

What I especially like about all this idea is that it takes me back to that first visit to Tahilla Farm. When I went house hunting down a dirt road and spied a studio in a barn. In that space an idea took hold...something very similar to this one. I knew one day it would come my way again...that "train of thought that can take you places that no other trains reach at all". 

It's as if he's simply taking his mind and imagination for a walk, 
and as they forage, as any dogs might do, 
he never quite knows where they will take him... 
looking for the road less travelled and the humble pleasures overlooked.'s in  the digression, the getting lost, 
the unexpected diversion that the joy of travel comes. 
Trains of thought can take you places that no other trains reach at all.
Pico Iyer

I would love to hear from you! 
Feel free to leave your thoughts 
wherever we happen to connect. 
On the blog

I am always open for discussion, 
if you would like to talk by phone or meet, 
let me know, always happy to connect! 

Jeanne xx

PS..apologies if you have trouble leaving a comment on my blog,
I have trouble leaving one too! Next on my list is an overhaul of my blog.
On that note: CHILD POSE!!


  1. I am intrigued. I'm also all the way on the other side of the country, so it's a trek to get there, but I'm at the very least intrigued. For me the words would be: Hiking, Yoga, Writing, Mindfulness - but could I add Eating to that? Ha. I know you didn't list it. But I'd love to cook with the group for a meal or two.

    Hope you don't mind my open-ended thinking.

  2. Jeanne,
    What a revelation to have had!! You should absolutely do this, and as for all the points of interest, I would tick all of the above minus hiking and yoga ( dodgy arthritic feet and knees! ) walking, yes, but LOVE the rest! I couldn’t think of anything I would love more than being in your “neck of the woods” enjoying all of the things!! While you plan it all, I will be imagining me being there already, relaxing in a comfy chair, discussing a particular book, sipping on tea, gazing out of your magnificent window onto your rolling green garden.....
    Just do it, as the phrase goes! Being 60 is everything and more, and you seem like you need a new direction that doesn’t involve packing your suitcase! You know you will have people begging to be there, you just need to decide on how many, when and how it happens, and the rest will flow from there!
    Well done on the fitness regime, you’re an inspiration!
    Good luck with the ponderings!! ❤️Sue

  3. I ABSOLUTELY would fly out from Australia to attend this. In fact I would consider this a bucket list item!! I love all the words you chose but the 5 that resonate most are:
    Wellbeing (which I am sneaking yoga and mindfulness into!)

    ...but as anything you put together would be amazing just SIGN ME UP NOW! :-)

  4. YES, YES, YES, YES! Sign me up today, put me on the list, and the reserve list. I love the idea. I am at a crossroads in my life as well, as we are moving on There has been talk on and off and last Tuesday my husband said "lets go look" , Thursday we were looking at houses and today we signed a contact to have our house up for sale in 2 weeks. My head is spinning but its all good. Change is good. But I would love to meet a bunch of like minded women in such a beautiful wetting.

    Put me on the list and then if there are so many people the waiting list! Perhaps Jeanne you might have to turn your original 1700 room into a bunch room.

  5. Would be interesting to me...books/reading, walking, gardening, antiquing, photography, cooking classes..talking and laughter

  6. I dont know if my first comment came through.. ?.. so I'll repeat.. now that I've read your blog post Jeanne, .. silly me.. not Sri Lanka.. your gorgeous property in New England. Oh, that would be amazing.. well done on this marvelous idea.. I could always gather a group of 'like minded Aussies' .. my word would be creating/walking/photography/writing/mindfulness and lots of good sharing. x brilliant idea Jeanne .. I wish you well with your plans.. xx

  7. Congratulations on your Exercising!
    Photography and painting outdoors with a group is spirit refreshing.
    Visiting a blogger? I'm not sure how my reality will adjust. Would I get there and have a black square surrounding my line of vision? Reach out to tap a keyboard when I want to speak? Will everyone stand still while I find a place to cook breakfast or get more coffee? I will enjoy reading about such an event. :)

  8. Wonderful idea and immediately appealing. Might take some organising my end as coming from Austalia! Sounds blissful....books/reading, yoga, walking, gardening, photography

  9. It sounds absolutely divine. It is bpnot within my possibility, but will certainly be there in spirit and will love hearing all about it. What fun! It would be books, reading and gardening for me!

  10. I also started a workout program when I turned 60, four years ago... including Barre, Mat Pilates, Curcuit, and Buti (a type of cardio yoga).I still workout...even more as I retired last year. Your idea sounds amazing (if it worked out)! My five would be Yoga (Yin...a type of restorative yoga) walking,hiking,antiquing, reading...meeting other women and site seeing your beautiful local area. =)

  11. Love this & welcome to 60! I've been in it three years and found that it has its ups and downs. Will share one secret though...join a yoga studio without mirrors! Saves one from reflection rejection!

  12. Hello Jeanne, I got a good giggle reading about your yoga and exercise. I think Mr H is very much like Micael Tilston when I suggest a dinner party, as the same fussing and dusting goes on. Another Virgo.

    I love the thought of "The Gathering". "Cuairt" in Gaelic means "heartfelt visit full of warmth" Put me on the list and I will do my utmost to make it whether it be from Florida or Ireland, depending on the time of year.

    I have a money jar started already with US $'s.

    I am interested in all the topics you listed.

    How very exciting


  13. What a wonderful idea. I would definitely drive up from New Jersey, so please put me on the list. Such fun to meet in person after so much virtual interaction. Reading, hiking, walking, antiquing, writing, wellbeing all speak to me, but mostly being with such an interesting group of people.

  14. Books-Reading-Writing-Hiking-Walking-Yoga (Whoops! That’s 6.)

  15. Oh Jeanne, What a wonderful idea! So much to love on this list of yours! Reading, wellbeing, walking, yoga, all of it. And... I could visit Peterborough again! Please keep me in the loop on this.
    Lots to discuss from this post... but i’m off to class!

  16. It all sounds pretty appealing! I'd be rather interested in reading, walking, gardening, photography... and shall keep an eye on what comes next even though I have no idea if I can find any time to step away from my busy schedule in the upcoming months.

  17. It sounds like a wonderful idea and I think you will be the perfect host. 60 looks very good, by the way.

  18. Wow! Geat idea! I have also thought of Women's Retreat weekends at my second home in Indiana. Count me in too. I love all the words but if I have to pick 5 they would be Books, Antiquing, Photography, Creating and Walking. Glad it all worked out with the Momma bear and her cub!

  19. Whom ever suggested the idea was wise. I very much see you gathering great minds together and sharing, learning and laughing together. You yourself have lived such a good, full, life; just to meet you would be a thrill in itself. I've never tried yoga but I should. I'm always interested in photography, hikes, cooking, antiquing (big interest) ...well now that I think of it, basically everything on your list of ideas. I've never visited N.H. but your slice of the state is nothing less than magical. I would be over the moon to visit. To meet Helen Tilston, & Elizabeth (Pine Cones) would be another experience for the books as I spy they're both interested too! x

  20. I’d be happy to take a couple of sessions. ‘ Single & Sixty What Now: Dating Tips For The Clueless’ & ‘Writing Your RSVP Profile: The Best Piece Of Creative Writing You’ll Ever Do xx

  21. How fun to read the enthusiasm here. What a wonderful suggestion that sounds both warm-hearted and generous of you. Since I am a stone's throw away, I would love to be a part of this gathering. My words would be book (discussion), walking (photo walk), antiquing, mindfulness, cooking (I could perhaps help there).

  22. I think Mr H knew what an overwhelming response you would get when you posted this, no wonder he was frightened! lol I was roaring with laughter at that and also the yoga "peek". I "practice" yoga in my living room in front of the glass door fireplace....ummmm, nope shouldn't have peeked at yourself Roxane, close your eyes! My 60th year is 2019 in December. I've promised myself 60 days of travel throughout the year and am finally starting to plan. I started concentrating on my health more once our girls left the nest, but getting to the studio to exercise or spin class got old after a few years. My best health investment has been my own spin bike at home since late 2015, which has now led to exercising in my living room with a fitness app. So hard to pick only 5 from your list, but my choices would be mindfulness, well being, book, photography and walking. I keep hoping we'll cross paths during a garden tour, but your generous offer of a book retreat to meet you and some of your very talented blog readers at beautiful Tahilla Farm is something I don't want to miss!

    This is perfect for YOU!!!!!!!!!
    YES, I would come!
    ANTIQUING......PHOTOGRAPHY.......MIdlife Health..........and what ever YOGA!

  24. Elizabeth at PINE CONES and ACORNA has the same COMMENT problem as YOU.........I was able to comment (I THINK)Maybe you can HELP HER as I can NEVER comment There!XX

  25. Hee hee! I'll be there with bells on:)!!!

  26. Of course! Hiking, writing, walking, reading... and maybe a little knitting?

  27. Oh Jeanne -- please put me on your list! I would love to join you and see Tahilla.
    Any of those words resonate with me but I think my top choices would be Walking (to include hiking), Books (to include reading), Creating (to include photography and art), Gardening and Wellbeing (to include mindfulness and health)!! I've managed to put almost all your suggestions in there but would be very happy to include antiquing and cooking (to include eating) too.
    You throw out such exciting thoughts --and at the moment running a house crammed with grandchildren -- A Women's Book Club Retreat is my idea of heaven!
    Ceri x

  28. PS Please assure Mr H all your blogging friends are really nice and very well-behaved!

  29. Sounds so good...books, reading, hiking, creating, gardening and more! I turn 60 in two weeks and have been home taking care of my husband who fell off a ladder in July...on crutches for who knows how long :/
    As the commercial used to say...if you are old enough to remember it...Calgon...take me away!

  30. What a wonderful idea!!! Perfect spot for all those thing. My 5 -- books, reading, hiking, yoga, antiques. In that order.


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