Author Archives: Jacquie Harkema

About Jacquie Harkema

I reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan with my husband, Jim. We've been together for about seven years and married for the past three. We have four wonderful grown children between us, three of whom are married and among them have seven outstanding grandchildren. The fourth, my son, is in a relationship with a wonderful young woman.

Use The Good Towels

When I was young, I knew a woman in her 60’s who had a stack of brand new, beautiful colorful towels in her bathroom display shelves.  They were never used, that I know of.  The ones she used were a bit shabby and tattered.

Have you ever known anyone who was like that?  Someone who had nice things and didn’t use them.  Perhaps this is to keep them nice so someday they could be used for guests and they’d be in good condition.

At this point in our lives, should we not be using all the good stuff?  All the stuff we thought we should save for company.  What is the point?  Why not use what we have?  Everything!

We never know how long we get to live this life.  We have all heard the expression about living each day as if it is our last.  Well, who has done that?

Personally I have not.  Although as I think of that statement and recently it seems, hearing often about someone’s illness or death, I’m starting to rethink this concept.

So, perhaps using the good towels is a great way to start.  As we are using the good towels, perhaps this will trigger the thought to live each day with purpose; whatever that means to each of us.


Loss of a Friend

At this point in our lives, we’ve all lost someone we called a friend.  Some have lost what might seem like more than their share.  Personally, I have not lost many friends.

Carolyn was our friend, business associate, and confidant.  We have known her for about eight or nine years.

After many years of numerous symptoms, many types of medications, and the past six months in the hospital and rehab, Carolyn had had enough.  She passed away Friday afternoon.

Sad for her loved ones to have had to experience this long downward spiral.  And those of us who looked from the ‘second tier’.  Difficult to have watched this demise and feel helpless to know how to fix it.

Yes we all will have our day–our last day.  But we don’t want to travel this path to it.

A time like this tends to make us reflective.  Reflective about the relationship we had with our friend.  Reflective about the life she lived as far as we knew.

A time like this tends to bring foremost in our mind, ‘What we are doing with our life’?  ‘How are we living our life?’ ‘Is it truly the way we want to live life?’

We have all heard it said that life is fragile; this is not a dress rehearsal, and all of the other phrases people use about this.  It’s at a time like this that we take this concept a little more seriously.

Jim Rohn, the admired business philosopher and personal development mentor, (who passed away a few years ago), would always muse, do everything, go everywhere, experience it all.   Those are actually my words and I was paraphrasing from the numerous recordings and videos I had heard him present.  Jim Rohn had a much more eloquent way of expressing a thought.  I could never come close, but I think you get the gist.

We will consciously live life more fully–do, go and experience more.  How about you?


How Do You View Life?

How do you view life?  You know, the concept that we are given this one opportunity to create our earthly experience.

Are you optimistic about your life?  Do you feel that you have control, for the most part, over your life’s path?

A number of years ago, I sat through a 4 session course given by a PhD psychologist, about the power of our words for our life.  She explained that our self-talk and/or our outward verbalization/interpretation of things we experience, impacts our lives greatly.  Do we verbalize negativity about a situation we are experiencing?  Not a good thing!

We need to view life the way we want to experience it.  If our life is not perfect, how could we view it in more positive ways?  What can we do to create the life we want?

Have you ever thought in terms of creating your life the way you want it?  If you have not, consider this now.  We are in control of our life.  We can do whatever we decide to do.  And we can do it now!

This is the time.  This is not a dress rehearsal.  This is the gift we have been given.  How do you view your life?  If you are not happy, now is the time to change that.  Now!  Do it now!


It’s Been a While…

It’s been quite a while since I posted anything here at Sixty Something Now, and I just felt like writing.  So, here it is.

Today I experienced something while driving back from an appointment.  On a two lane road a few miles from where we live, in a semi-rural area, there is what looks like a stable for horses and a large area around it for the horses to wander, fenced in along the road.  (Can you tell I’m a city person… I am at a loss for words to describe this.

What caught my eye, while approaching this was the sight of a woman, older I think, dressed in worn jeans, plaid shirt and probably farm boots of some kind.  She seemed to be tying a line to the fence.

As I drove by and looked at her for (less than) a minute, it struck me that she has her own set of issues to deal with about her life and her job.  Perhaps she is the owner of this business.  Perhaps she only works there.  Does she ever use a computer?  How much of her time does she work there?

I cannot describe why I was curious about her and why I even thought about our differences.

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you were born to a different family?  Have you ever wondered how your life would look if you made different life choices about your life at a younger age?

Let us hear from you.  Tell us your story.

A Must Watch…

This video was posted on a friend’s Facebook profile and I felt the need to post it here.  This is worth the 5 minutes it will take to view.

This is titled with each of the candidates’ names, but personally, I don’t view this as political or I wouldn’t post it here.  What do you think?

After viewing it, I’d really like to hear your comments about it.  What is your reaction to this?  How do you feel about it?  Let us hear from you.

Thought Conrol

Thought control sounds like a bit of a scarey term.  Like mind-control.

O.K.  I’m not talking about some awful control program to take over our thoughts.  I’m referring to the fact that we have control over our thoughts.  We have total control.

Perhaps this is a new concept to you or perhaps not.  In any case, this is totally true.  And I would believe on some level we all know this to be true.

So, how do you control your thoughts?  And why would you want to?

My belief is that our thoughts are the steering wheel of our life.  We get to think about anything and everything.  Yes, we get to decide what thoughts we will think.  We control our thoughts.

And our thoughts are creating our life.  Our thoughts are being manifested in what we do on a daily basis.

What are you achieving?  What are you accomplishing?  Or are you not accomplishing anything?

We all get to decide.  And if you read yesterday’s post about button-pushers, know that we get to control who pushes our buttons.

Think about that!  We get to decide who can push our buttons.

Our thoughts are the steering wheel of our life.  Do we want to go around allowing our buttons to be pushed?  If not, then control your thoughts and be in charge.


Button Pushers

How do you deal with someone who pushes your buttons?  You know, can make you do a 180 on the great mood you may have been experiencing at any given time.  How do you react?  How do you respond?

Wouldn’t you agree that in our lives, we meet people of all types.  Some like/love us no matter what we do or say.  And some do not like us no matter what we do or say.  And some just know how to push our buttons and make us miserable!!!

So, I ask again…  How do you deal with that person, or those people?

Have you ever listened to someone describe in very emotional terms a blow-by-blow account of a situation that has made this person extremely emotional and somewhat distraught.  At a loss to know what to do to handle it, and therefore tells everyone they come into contact with.

Have you ever noticed that when you are listening to someone’s tale of woe that it may not have the same impact on you.  You may hear a recount of a long, involved story and as you are listening, you are dissecting it and realizing that you think it’s not quite as severe as the victim has indicated.

Is it not so bad because it’s not our challenge, personally.  Perhaps we should keep in mind that when we have something like this happen to us, we should take a step back and decide just how really awful it is…  Or maybe not awful at all!

Just a thought…  The more we talk about bad stuff, the longer the bad stuff lingers…  Hmmm!!!

So who can push your buttons?  And why do you let them?

The Way We Were

Memories, lyrics and music by Marvin Hamlisch and originally sung by Barbra Streisand, is one of my all time favorites.  It is the song I think of whenever I think of Marvin Hamlisch, the prolific composer.  The movie, The Way We Were with Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, to me is synonymous with with this song.

As you are probably aware, Marvin Hamlisch died suddenly on August 6th after a brief illness.  He was 68 years old.  Unbelievable!  Such a gifted person!

Here is an article that contains detailed information about the life and accomplishments of Marvin Hamlisch.

Three Oscars, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globe awards over four decades of his life.  Wow!  That’s real accomplishment!

Personally I was astonished at the number of familiar songs listed in the article, written by Marvin Hamlisch.  Perhaps you will be surprised too.

Marvin Hamlisch certainly belongs here at Success After Sixty, as he was continuing his career and had future engagements and projects scheduled.

What is your favorite song written by this gifted composer?

Olympic Gold–American Pride

Many are watching the Olympics.  What have your favorites been?

Here is the US Gymnastics Team.

Here is a short video of Kayla Harrison, after her gold medal for Judo.

Wouldn’t you agree that it is amazing the drive these young people must have to achieve at these levels!