Puffing Your Way to a Better Brain

by The Sibyls

‘If it’s good for the heart, it’s good for the brain.’ Health advisers are constantly telling us that exercise  is  good  for  the brain. Now researchers in Germany claim to have discovered the reason why. It has everything to do with a vitamin-like chemical called choline.

In  an article titled Get on your bike and ride out dementia risk (Fin Review, July 2017), Jill  Margo  explained  that  there  have  not  been  many  randomised,  control  trails  of  brain metabolism before. Prof Johannes Pantel, Goethe University, Frankfurt, said the small study showed that regular aerobic exercise protects and maintains brain function by keeping the choline levels constant.

Choline maintains brain cell membrane health. Dementia is commonly marked by a sharp rise then crash in choline levels.

So get smart and ‘Puff Puff Puff’ your way to better brain health.

(Note: ‘Banging’ (see above) may also be beneficial to brain health.)

Fall Down 7 times. Get Up 8. Do the Hokey Pokey …

by The Sibyls

Midlife  can  involve many  stresses  including  career  demands,  difficult  teenage children, divorce,  lack of time,  lack of fitness,  parents’   failing  health  and  money  worries  with no simple solutions in sight. But one of the BIGGEST issues of midlife is accepting that you are not always in control. Unexpected things can happen to you despite the best plans.

An article by Tara Parker-Pope in The New York Times this week (How to Build Resilience in Midlife) gives some pointers that could equally apply at any age.

Life, or so it seems, was simple once. Now it is so complex.
Here are some of the ways to build resilience:

  • Practise Optimism
  • Rewrite Your Story
  • Don’t Personalise It
  • Remember Your Comebacks
  • Support Others
  • Take Stress Breaks
  • Go Out of Your Comfort Zone

We, the Sibyls, would add:

  • Seek joy

Joy will not just arrive on your doorstep. You have to seek it. Find out what makes you happy and what makes you laugh. Then do this everyday or, at least, when you can.

This 66-year-old Fashionista is just Stunning!

The Sibyls

While riding her bike around the streets of  New York  and  dressed-to-amaze,  66-year-old Tziporah Salamon once had a friend call out when she was stopped at a light, ‘I want to be you when I grow up!’

According to the SMH Salamon has ‘modelled in a 2012  advertising  campaign  for Lanvin, starred in the 2014 documentary Advanced Style, and has recorded her unique approach to getting ready in a new book, The Art of Dressing: Ageless, Timeless, Original Style’. Her book includes interviews with 10 other women over 50 whom  she  finds  inspiring.  Enough said, here is some of Salamon’s zany style.

Weight Loss vs Age: The Winner is …….

by The Sibyls

Is It Harder to Lose Weight When You’re Older?

This was the title to an article in the New York Times last week. The answer, according to the medical experts interviewed, is ‘Yes’ for three reasons:

1. We start losing muscle mass at 30 years of age, often replacing it with fat. Muscles use more energy that fat.

2. As we age our declining hormone levels compound this muscle loss.

3. Early weight loss can train our bodies to be more efficient with calorie use. In other words, your metabolism is more efficient.

How Do You Slow Down Aging? Move Fast

The Sibyls

An  encouraging  article  for mature-age  readers  was pubished  in  the New York Times this week.  The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles  (Gretchen Reynolds,  23 March,  2017) reported  on   research   showed   that   ‘decline   in  the   cellular   health   of   muscles   associated  with  aging  was  “corrected”  with  exercise,  especially  if  it  was  intense’  according  to  Dr. Sreekumaran Nair, a professor of medicine and an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic.

This research highlights one simple message for those in the mature years. GET MOVING.

Erica Jong: Fear of Landing

 

by Renata Singer

Quote Erica Jong

Erica Jong has made it a trifecta.

There was Fear of Flying in 1973. Remember the zipless fuck, a phrase that liberated many young women from the idea that sex had to be tied to a meaningful RELATIONSHIP. Everyone I knew read Fear of Flying.   It was well written, laugh out loud funny and HOT. What’s not to like?

Sibylesque Strong Wind

Fear of Fifty, a memoir, came out in 1994. I didn’t read it because of the lukewarm reviews and not being that interested in Erica Jong’s life. I remember interviews where Jong talked about turning 50 and no longer “feeling a babe” and how men’s eyes didn’t swivel her way any more when she entered the room. The mean-spirited Renata thought, “well darls, join the club.”

Hot off the press is Jong’s Fear of Dying – a novel about an aging actress – she’s 60 – Vanessa Wonderman, with dying parents, a husband who can’t get an erection and a daughter about to have her first baby. Vanessa goes to the website zipless.com looking for sexual partners.

In an interview with Linda Wertheimer on NPR, Jong says she wanted to write about sex and old age. “I thought it was essential to do it, because sex follows us throughout our lives. The need for touch, the need for connection, that never goes away. But the forms of it change. As people age, touch is more important, erections are less important. And I think somebody needs to write about that.”

Jong has not lost her sense of mission and that’s a good thing. But what’s the next title going to be: Fear of Purgatory?

……………………………………………………………………………………. Renata SingerRenata Singer is a writer, community activist and educator who divides her time between Melbourne and New York. She co-founded Fitted for Work after working with Bottomless Closet in New York. Among Renata’s publications are The Front of the Family, True Stories from the Land of Divorce and Goodbye and Hello. Her most recent book “Older and Bolder” is reviewed on this blog here.

Photo Source: pinterest, MUP Website.

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Travel Tales: From Here to God-Help-Us

by Penny Cook

Travel Tales

I’m Barcelona bound and after 24 hour very long hours on planes, here are some observations. I wonder why they give you so much food so often? In that 24 hours I was served 4 main meals (3 course) and 2 snacks. I was very impressed with the gay boys next to me who managed to eat everything and keep their trays in tact with all the little containers lined up and with their matching lids. I could barely cope, as I had to explore each one before deciding where to start. They knew what to do … scan, open one, eat it all, close it, and proceed with precision. The flight attendant could barely remove my tray as it was in such disarray. Glad there was no turbulence at that point.

So…here I am in lovely Barcelona. Jet lagged and a little lost. It is a part of the human condition that when giving directions, we all use the universal non specific language of ‘over there’, ‘turn here’, ‘not far’ ,’can’t miss it’, ‘it’s on your left’, ‘it’s on my right’, ‘just a bit’…..fascinating and fairly unhelpful in a foreign city.

Nevertheless, I found a local tapas bar. No little packages. No cold, soggy sandwiches. No gluggy pasta in a non-descript sauce. Bliss. I’ve arrived.

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Penny CookPenny Cook has been an early childhood educator for over 30 years. She loves to travel  – anywhere. She is currently consulting as an Early Childhood specialist in New York. She has always wanted to live in  a tree house by the beach …..it’s never too late!!

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Image source: pinterest

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A Conversation with Wise Women

By Kerry Cue and Doris Brett

Sibylesque Pearly gates

Last Sunday, we had another gathering of The Sibyls. Our Sibyls come from a variety of backgrounds, but all have open and curious minds. The conversation was vibrant and full of wise words, as always. We kicked things off with the ‘open’ question(above), and the answers showed how diverse, thoughtful and mischievous the Sibyls can be. Here is a small selection of God’s imagined response to a Sibyl at the Gate:

*What took you so long?

*You are a good person,. You made a difference. You lived a good life.

*Welcome.

*That surprised you?

*The job’s yours!

*Don’t worry, you don’t have to catch up with all of your relatives!

Thanks to Sibyls Viv I, Donna, Celia, Eva, Margot, Carol, Di, Viv II and Jenny. Photo source: pinterest

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OMG! I forgot to stay young …

by Penny Cook

Sibylesque Clarissa pinkola Estes

Although we now know about the hormonal aspects of menopause … and let me tell you, that concept was explained to me as a ‘pause between men’ … have we really explored the behavioural aspects?

It might just be my age and being bashed up by life, but am I alone in my thoughts and reactions? I’m finding more and more, my response to ‘chick flick tear jerker movies’ is less tears and more jerk. I don’t want to see the male mid-life crisis being rewarded by the reconciliation with the long-suffering wife on screen, or in real life. I don’t want to see the middle-age men in Hollywood more easily getting roles – possibly as the love interest of someone 25 years his junior – when women have to fight for authentic stories, as they age. I don’t want to see women on screen, or in life, having to work to stay looking young so they are valued.

SIBYLESQUE comic

We are discriminated against on so many fronts on the screen and in real life. Then, we further disadvantage ourselves by wilfully aging. Meanwhile, we face inequality of pay at every age. That’s the real life script. We burnt the bra. There are no more undergarments left to burn.

So what will it take … for equality now?

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Penny CookPenny Cook has been an early childhood educator for over 30 years. She loves to travel  – anywhere. Penny is a mother and ‘Nan Pen’, who is continuously fascinated and amazed by her two young grandchildren.  She has always wanted to live in  a tree house by the beach …..it’s never too late!!…….

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Photo source: Vintage Gal

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The Sibyls’ Salon

Sibylesque Sibyls Salon mayThanks to Sibyls Eva, Celia, Viv G., Cinzia, Viv S., Ann, Donna, Elizabeth and Margot, who came along to our MAY SALON and Celia for the Sibyl Cake.

This time we learned:

  1. We can have fun rewriting literary classics. Perhaps, today, Lady Chatterley would skip the flowers and sport a pubic hair style to match her lover’s hipster beard. If the cats took over George’ Orwell’s Animal farm, the mice and the dogs would be deemed expendible from a comfy couch somewhere. And if 007 was Jane, Jane Bond, one gadget she might invent for personal use only is a James Bondroid with attachments. 
  2.  The powerful impact of stories from each of our lives.

Sibylesque Salon cake3. In times of grief, letter writing gives shape and form to thoughts and feelings that can help others understand.

We also raised some funds for Sue’s Global Community work in Nepal, which is in even more need of our help right now.

Sibyl Doris & Sibyl Kerry.