Vacation in Israel and Top Lung Cancer Treatment at the Same Time

Guest post by Maisie Blair. Maisie is a single mum who is in her early 20’s. Just like other young women out there, she enjoys pampering herself and going to spas every once in a while. She also loves to travel and discover new places because of the learning experience that they bring. On top of it all, she is also a passionate writer who loves to write about the joys of motherhood and her treasured mummy moments. 

Israel1

credits: synergyconsutants.net

It is very common for lung cancer patients to have difficulties finding a local hospital which offers high quality services at an affordable rate. This can cause their medical condition to deteriorate before they get the right medication or treatment. A great solution to this issue is going on a medical trip. This option may sound a bit expensive compared to just going to your nearest hospital. However, what people don’t know is that they can not only save their lives, but also a lot of time and money by traveling abroad. In a country such as Israel, lung cancer treatments are offered at a lower cost.

In addition, they can provide the best services that you can experience. As a leading country in medicine and technology, Israel has the best equipment and competent staff that can combat different types of cancer. In addition, they also have wonderful tourist destinations that you and your family should definitely explore during your stay. This short post will give you a glimpse of what it’s like to get medical treatment in Israel, along with some recommended tourist hotspots that you should visit.

Reduce your cost of living. Pay less for medical care. Find better weather. Create a healthier way of life.

Personalized Treatments are Available

With personalized medicines, lung cancer patients have better chances of survival, thanks to tailor-made treatments designed to their needs and conditions. In a personalized treatment, physicians give you a diagnosis and collect your histology. This will allow them to further evaluate your condition and come up with the treatment that is right for you. The information will also help them identify how fast the cancer might spread in your lungs, and prevent it from growing further. You can read more about this lung cancer procedure in HMC clinic.

You Can Choose Your Preferred Physician

Some medical facilities, especially private ones, allow foreign patients to choose their preferred physicians. When visiting another country, it is important that patients are knowledgeable about the doctors who will handle their case. Since you are entrusting your life with someone else, it is important that you get to know the educational background, work experiences, and the affiliations of the doctor who will be operating on you. Thanks to this service, you can get the procedure that is worth your money.

Groundbreaking Research

As mentioned earlier, this country is a world-renowned hub for medical and technological advancements. In an earlier report from CBN, Israeli researchers from the Hadassah University Hospital discovered new components that can prevent the growth of lung cancer tissues. When injected to the body, these wonder treatments can effectively reduce tumors by half. The research team is also studying some new types of antibodies that can damage any blood vessels that are contributing to the growth of tumors, while boosting a patient’s immune system at the same time.

No More Waiting Lines

In Israel, hospitals offer quick responses to your inquiries. Once you have made the reservations and travel plans, you can be sure there will be a team waiting to accommodate your medical needs upon your arrival. The physicians will do their best to work quickly and efficiently to make sure that you return safe and fast to your home. This will also prevent you from incurring unwanted expenses.

image credits: Wikipedia.org

image credits: Wikipedia.org

Hassle-free Experience

Israel is boosting its efforts on medical tourism. That is why a lot of hospitals offer concierge services as part of their medical package. They will be the ones to book a hotel, and they will also provide you transportation. Some even provide case management options wherein they will handle all the administration issues for you. This means that you can spend more time enjoying the trip and focusing on your recovery.

Top Tourist Destinations in the Country

If you’re going to visit the country, you may as well visit some of their tourist hotspots after recovering from your operation. Israel can offer various historical attractions and modern marvels. Check out this list below:

Tel Aviv – this is the country’s cultural and commercial center. This city is highly popular for its exciting night attractions, breathtaking beaches, delightful restaurants, and a whole lot more. Right next to Tel Aviv is Jaffa – an ancient and spiritual city that you should definitely visit.

Old City of Jerusalem – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam consider this city as a sacred place. The old city of Jerusalem is surrounded by stone walls that were built during the Ottoman Empire. In this place, you can find the Western Wall, The Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Masada – it is an isolated plateau that is found in the southern part of Israel. It provides a breathtaking view of the Dead Sea.

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Keys to Having a Young Mind, Spirit and Soul

Guest post by Melissa Stevens. Melissa is a healthy and Eco-friendly lifestyle enthusiast and blogger, vegetarian, mother of one cute boy, and in her spare time she is engaged in crafting, housekeeping, organizing family life. For some time now she writes articles with healthy-living, travel, DIY and parenting topics.

Melissa Stevens‘You are only as old as you feel’, a popular saying goes and as you have probably seen for yourself, it is very true. Being old is often a state of mind; you know those people who are old at 19, and the other ones who are young at 70. It’s all in your head; it depends on the way you look at things in life and deal with things that happen to you as to how ‘old’ you are going to be. Finding love and happiness is the key to staying young for a very long time, and that wonderful feeling you have when you are satisfied with everything around you is the fuel which makes you go on. When life gives you the opportunity to change something, you should not hesitate and take it. We have made a list of things which you can do to be happier and keep a keen mind.

Volunteer at your local community

An early retirement will leave you with a lot of free time which you can put to good use easily. Ask around in your local community whether they need volunteers. Maybe you won’t be given something glamorous to do, but, for example, you can take a list of people who are old and have problems with their health. Take half an hour of your time every day to visit at least one such person, do their shopping, help them clean their place up a bit, have tea or coffee with them… You will make an elderly person so happy, and you will do a good deed that will influence your satisfaction as well.

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Read more

You must have heard about the ‘100 books every person should read’ lists. Now is your chance to finally go through one of those lists and find out why these books were selected as masterpieces. Some of these you may have already read, some you won’t resonate with while others will change your life. Masterpiece is a title which is not given easily, and there must be something hidden in each of those books that made them ‘immortal’ and valuable. If you haven’t done it already, join your local library and start reading. Books are portable magic, and you will travel the world while staying in your room at the same time.

Change your diet

The time has come for you to finally focus on yourself and allow your body to relax. Through time, maybe you put on a few extra pounds, and never had the time to lose them. Well, now is your chance. Do something about the situation you are not satisfied about and become a vegetarian or vegan for a few months just to see how it goes. Maybe you will like it, and your body will love some time-off from all that meat you eat often. Eating more vegetables will result in better looks; your skin will glow and you will sleep better as well.

Duplicate your best years

There’s no better way to become young again than doing things which made your life better and more fun when you were just a teenager. Can you remember fighting with your friends over most popular pinball machines? Or maybe you were a ‘macho’ kind of person who spent time in the pub playing billiards and listening to music. Why not duplicate those memories again?

Another great idea is to rise up your level of adrenaline. You can try parachuting, paragliding, skiing, dancing or bringing back to life your hot rod vehicle. Listen to good music, eat the food you ate then or you can even buy yourself those expensive things you always wanted to have then but it was not the right moment. It’s only the matter of your energy level and your personal wishes and desires.

Start working out

We are not talking about hitting the gym and spending hours trying to make your body look like you’re twenty again. You could do that, of course, it’s up to you to decide what you want to do after all, but we had in mind something else. Try with some easy exercises like yoga or biking, which will help you feel better after you wake up or which will make you fall asleep easier in the evening. Deciding that you want to work out is one thing, finding enough motivation to keep going after a month (or two, or three) is the difficult part. If you feel like you cannot keep up with the same enthusiasm, try taking long walks or ride your bike instead. Your body will be thankful, you will look good and feel even better.

As you can see, so many things depend on your way of looking at them. You can easily find happiness if you know where to look and recognize it even if it’s well hidden. Nice thoughts and a healthy body are all that it takes for you to feel like a different and better person.

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What to Look for When Searching for a Translation Service

If you are a legal, financial or medical company that needs documents translated, then looking for quality translation and quick, professional translation service can be a challenge. This is true especially if you want the confidence that your clients will be satisfied with the results.

There are several things to consider for this task like whether or not the company you pick is totally compliant with quality management and standards for translation. How embarrassing if something is translated incorrectly! You also want to be sure that your translation is proofread and that the company gives you a competitive price for their services.

Another feature worth your attention when searching for a company to help you with your translation needs, is whether or not they offer interpreting services. You might want a Business meeting or conference interpreted simultaneously because of the variety of clients you have attending them. Does your translation company offer you diversity in the languages you can choose from? And what about sign language interpretation? These days it is becoming more critical to have this option.

Confidentiality is important also. Knowing that the topics of your court hearing or conference is kept private will definitely give you peace of mind. It cannot be any other way when you have international clients or are discussing sensitive matters.

When you are looking for a translation company you want one that offers you both flexibility and quality in the features it offers.

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3 Guatemalan Villages Need Your Help

000RoSaThree villages around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala have had their financial assistance dropped by their NGO (Non-Government Organization) leaving mothers scrambling for lunches.

In order to continue Luisa’s center in San Antonio Palpolo until a new NGO is confirmed, we would like to assist her in opening an internet café for the children there. So far, there are two donated laptops from techchange of Boston and we would like to buy one or two more net surfers at $250 USD applying the remaining donation amount towards administration and overhead of the internet café.

More importantly, in creating this Internet presence in the San Antonio pueblo, we open the door to on-line learning for the children. Programs like KAHN ACADEMY are now in Spanish and is in the process of being certified for MINEDUC (Ministry of Education) use.

3girlsSTA CatNOTE: Teacher shortages are so critical that Unions do not oppose this step into Massive On line Courses (MOOCs).

Internet to the Home costs about 200-350Quetzals or about $40USD a month (must have a contract for a year minimum or buyer pays for equipment and various fines). Luisa’s Center can charge 5Q ($0.62USD) an hour per each computer usage. These are not fancy gaming computers but surfers running on UBUNTU.

Rosa’s village, Patanatic, has been connected via informal internet for over two years and so, now we want to expand more formally to San Antonio.

Please, Go Fund this. Your donation is much needed and we are most grateful. Please give $1, $5, anything you can afford. Thank you.

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Dehydration and the Need for Water

Guest post by Andrew Atkinson. Mobility Smart is a UK web and high-street based retailer of Mobility goods and Aids to Daily Living, you can find out more about Mobility Smart here.  

Water is the cheapest drink and the most readily available. We’re lucky to live in an environment where fresh drinking water is always on hand and where one of the staples of life flows straight from a faucet. Yet, there are thousands of people that still don’t drink as much as they should.

How do you know if you’re drinking the right amount? Can you identify dehydration? How can you remember to drink more?

How Much You Should Be Drinking

Aim to drink about 8 cups of water each day. The amount might vary a little from one day to the next, but you should always have the same goal in mind. On a colder day you might not need a whole 8 cups of water and on a warmer day you might need more, but on average it’s a good amount to work towards.

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The Signs of Dehydration

Thirst is the first sign of dehydration, before things get serious. Unfortunately, many of us ignore our thirst and in some cases people can even mistake it for hunger! Being distracted can stop us from realizing that we’re thirsty, and those early signs might even come with a rumble in the stomach that will have you reaching for a cookie rather than a cup of water.

Leave things too long and you might find that your skin is less flexible – pinch your arm and it might not move back to its old shape as quickly as it should! Dark yellow urine is another sign that you’re not drinking enough, and you might also get a headache.

Drink Little and Often

Rushing down a whole cup of water in one go might make you feel ill, so instead take small sips throughout the day. Try and set a trigger, for example drinking every time the commercials start on TV. Over time, you’ll develop a habit of drinking regularly to avoid dehydration.

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Benefits of Apartment Living vs Living in a House

Sometimes the decision to live in a house or an apartment is made for you. However, the dream of living in your very own home might not quite be as great in reality as it might seem. You might be surprised to learn that a lot of individuals choose to live in an apartment instead of home by choice. There are a variety of benefits that can be gained from apartment living. For many people it is the preferred option.

Here are a few of the biggest reasons why some people choose to live in apartments instead of houses:

You Save Money!

The cost of living in an apartment is cheaper than living in a traditional home in almost every region. As with most of the apartments for rent that you come across, you might have less space to live in, but that is a small price to pay (pun intended) for an array of affordable apartments. If you are single, living in an apartment is best because you do not need access to so much space. An apartment can meet your needs perfectly and is priced affordably to meet your budget. This means that the cost of your living expenses is so much more manageable. Sometimes the cost of utilities is even included in your rent payment. This only helps to increase the savings that can be gained from living in an apartment.

The Social Benefits are Undeniable

If you like to be social and interact with your neighbors, apartment living can create the perfect social environment for you. You are situated very close to your neighbors and can form relationships at a much quicker rate then you can with neighbors that live in nearby homes. Apartment living offers a social benefit that living in a home simply does not offer. If you are looking to interact with those around you, living in an apartment may be what is best suited for you.

Let’s Not Forget the Lifestyle Benefits

Some people are simply looking to keep their living expenses as low as possible for the time being. Many people living in apartments are going to school, just starting out in their career or simply prefer apartment living. Apartment living is often a lifestyle preference and some people simply enjoy the type of atmosphere that this type of residence provides. Living in an apartment instead of a home may not be for everyone, but some people do choose to live in an apartment even if they can afford to live in their own home.

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Every Great Dream Begins with a Great Dreamer

Guest post by Danny Flood, founder, OpenWorldMagazine.

Danny“Every great dream begins with a great dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.” -Harriet Tubman

My name is Danny and I have been traveling the world for the last 5 years, heading wherever the wind takes me. I spend about a month or two in each country. During that time I meet people from all over the world, form close friendships and relationships, and together we get in to all kinds of adventures.

Two years ago I bought a motorcycle and traveled the length of Vietnam with a French travel-mate, Stefan. I also explored much of Laos and Cambodia, with a girl I met in Thailand. I was 27 then, and the motorcycle cost me around $280 USD.

After this adventure, I went to Bangkok and trained six times a week as a Muay Thai fighter under Thohsaphol Sitiwatjana, a world-famous trainer. Unlike normal boxers, Thai boxers use their elbows, knees, and feet to inflict severe punishment. My trainers also taught me a secret set of Muay Thai spells claimed to make one unstoppable.

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The list goes on. I’ve studied the art of tango in Buenos Aires, lived as a cowboy in Patagonia, traversed the Amazon River, parasailed in Penang, and lived beside orangutans in the jungles of Borneo. These are just a handful of the crazy dreams I’ve been blessed to experience, in real life, over the last 3 years.

As with any dream, it all began with a dreamer.

A Dream that Becomes an Idea Becomes a Plan that Becomes Reality

In 2009, I felt stuck. Like many young men, I was broke, lonely, confused, and damn-well pissed about it.

I dreamt of being an entrepreneur and struck out to be my own boss. But all that happened was me getting stuck in a never-ending grind, attempting to reach monthly revenue goals which forever eluded me. I was chasing unqualified leads day after day, people who consulted with me about their “idea” but then never followed up afterwards.

My cousin was kind enough to lend me his couch to sleep for a few months, which was a good thing, because I barely had two pennies to my name. I’d constantly attend events and meetings, networking and exchanging business cards, thinking in my head: “What else could I do?” My future as a self-employed online advertising consultant was uncertain.

I read a book called the “4 Hour Workweek” and it turned my world on its head. I’d sit and read it in the park, and daydream of adventures in far-flung lands. I re-read certain sections, as if to verify that what I was reading was real. I kept it by my bedside, a companion, a reminder, a torch of promise silently beckoning me onwards in the direction of my dreams.

At that point, there were two things that held me back: fear of the unknown and my own physical, cultural, and mental baggage.

Finally, I decided enough was enough. I ran an experiment: I would pack up my car and live in Mexico for two months. As I was from San Diego, Mexico was the obvious frontier. Most people I talked to were afraid to visit Mexico during those days. Crossing and living on the other side of that border was a metaphor, a bitch slap to the face of the fear that held me back.

It was also a test to see if my business would still run with me physically absent, and I reasoned, that even if the worst happened I could drive a few hours back home.

It was a calculated risk to take me out of my comfort zone, out of my monotone day-to-day routine, and off of the treadmill, hopefully for good.

Was I scared? Hell yes. What I really fantasized about was traveling to South America but all these idiotic fears surfaced: What if I contracted malaria? What if I ran out of money? Oh, and I’m a picky eater – what if I couldn’t eat the food?

Would I starve?

Ultimately, I decided uncertainty was better than a life of perpetual unhappiness, fantasizing about what I wanted but not taking action.

So I took that first step.

Re-Defining the Rules

“As long as you’re worried about losing what you’ve got, you’ll never be able to see that what’s out there waiting for you is a hundred times better!”
– Don Ward

By far, the biggest excuse people give as to why they can’t travel (or pursue any of their biggest, lifelong dreams) is lack of time and money. “I’d love to do that, but I can’t afford it.” Many people reading this article now are thinking exactly this!

Others will simply say: “Someday.” But someday means never. You can take that first step, now. You must take that first step.

Still others will say “That sounds fun, but I have to work.” The truth is, we don’t have to do anything! The only time we feel we *have* to do something is when we play by someone else’s rules. Why not re-define the rules, and play a game that we can actually win?

When I began to travel, I had a location-independent “muse” business supporting my adventures. I had a handful of long-term clients, perhaps 6 or 7, who hired me on a retainer basis. Each month, my Authorize.net account would invoice my clients, and automatically deposit the funds into my account.

But it took a lot of hard work, sweat, and hundreds hours of networking, meeting and managing clients, and so on to get to the point where I could support myself and travel.

Long story short, building a “lifestyle business” as my path to freedom took a lot of time and effort. I was definitely not working four hours a week. Setting everything up takes a lot of work. Once it’s up and running, it gets much easier.

It all paid off in the end. I had created systems that made the business run profitably, and allowed me to work just 10 hours a week. Whether I was at the beach in San Diego or on the beach in Malaysia, it made no difference.

There were two big breakthroughs which made everything possible:

Breakthrough #1 – Career Minimalism

“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” – Bruce Lee

I Realized that I only needed a handful of clients to sustain a full-time income. This falls into the realm of what I call business minimalism. Before this “AHA” moment, I had arbitrary sales and income targets – such as earn $10,000 a month. Why $10,000? It was randomly chosen, but I’d convinced that once I’d reached that target, I’d be “successful.”

Everything else – my free time, friends, family, social and dating life, and hobbies were relegated to the back burner.

I had no idea what “success” actually meant. But it was what everyone else was striving for, so it seemed that I should too. Specifics be damned.

To make things worse, I had no plan for reaching these revenue goals, I simply put them up on a piece of paper and taped it to a wall, and spent my days blindly chasing these targets.

The point is, this is a HORRIBLE path to follow for a self-employed person. While I was so passionate about my line of work – advertising – my passion had me thinking and acting irrationally. I was flailing and kicking like hell but blindfolded, ignoring the obvious writing on the wall.

I think many of us realize that self-employed people work hard (especially in the US), but their overwork fails to really get them anywhere. Should they be fortunate enough to experience some financial success from their efforts, they immediately seek outlets to cope with the stress of work: expensive dinners, flashy cars, the latest iPhone, and a thousand other things which provide instant gratification, but no real happiness or fulfillment.

The real problem here is psychological – and it’s a trap that all of us can easily fall into from time to time: we become addicted to the struggle. In other words, in this scenario, we take the fact that we work so hard and wear it as a badge of honor. We all like to believe that hard work pays off, and while it most certainly can, in many cases it doesn’t. And the inescapable result is that we become martyrs.

In my case, I was wasting a lot of time pursuing unqualified leads. I probably came across as desperate. So I stepped back, and realized that I could decrease my working hours dramatically AND increase profits simultaneously. I did this when I stopped pursuing new clientele and simply increased the LifeTime Value (LTV) of my existing clients.

Here is a simple graphic to illustrate this concept (courtesy of ForEntrepreneurs.com):

Danny2

When I started out, my CAC was too high in terms of time and opportunity cost. By reducing CAC and multiplying LTV, I created freedom for myself in my business. Everything worked. The business ran more profitability, and I created better relationships with happier clients. In my book I talk about how to do everything I did, step-by-step.

Breakthrough #2 – Streamlining and Systemizing

I created systems to streamline the business. The entire process of working with clients – from initial interactions to closing sales to deliverables, outsourcing, and operations was linear and recurring. Meaning: the process could be systematized and made to run, again and again – indefinitely.

Sure, things needed to be updated from time to time, but the overall procedures were sound and the principles timeless.

Even if you use no systems in your work now, you still have one big advantage: the more you engage in a business activity, the more efficient you become at it. The more knowledgeable you become about how to best complete certain key processes, the easier it will be to systematize them.

Malcolm Gladwell says it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to attain mastery in any area. Once you attain mastery, you can apply “thin-slicing” to quickly find patterns and easily make the right decisions.

Armed with this knowledge, the next step is to take all of this know-how and document it. Then deploy it. That’s it.

I’ll indulge you with an example. The most important system I ever created (and the one I’m most proud of) was my “6-step customer care system.”

I read a book by marketing author Dan Kennedy – where he says you need to build a herd and “keep your fence strong.” If you didn’t keep a strong fence around your customers, they would wander off or others would come and steal them away. Kennedy advocates “touching” each client with some form of communication more than 50 times a year – or at least once a week.

This became the basis of my customer care system.

In my digital advertising business, there was a sequence of events which would happen during the client management process. For example: when a new lead contacts you, when you have an initial consultation, when they sign a contract, when you complete the project, when you contact them again post-project a month later, etc…

For each milestone, I created a procedure which would take place, and make an “event” occur at that milestone. For instance, when a client signs a contract, they would receive a congratulatory letter which would outline expectations going forward, reassure their decision, and so on. They would also receive a complimentary Starbucks gift card.

To receive a great introduction to systems and learn how they can streamline both your life and your entrepreneurial efforts, check out the book “Work the System” by Sam Carpenter.

Your daily life can be systematized too – if something works, let it repeat itself. I achieved a tremendous personal breakthrough when I began eating the same foods every day for lunch and dinner. Before that, I wasted a good 30 minutes before lunch and dinner simply trying to decide what to eat. It was an hour of productive time wasted on something trivial every day.

I still like to mix things up once or twice each week, but for the most part I eat the same foods 90% of the time. My metabolism is much faster, my digestion is much better, and I’m healthier as a result.

Here’s how I changed my life (and how you can too):

Work hard for the things you want, take lots of chances, get out of your comfort zone, and most importantly – keep learning.

Embrace minimalism. Eliminate the things you don’t want. Remove them, reduce them, or ignore them entirely. This can apply to people as well as things, and can be quite difficult. When I left for my first trip to Mexico, I had to leave the business referral group I was in. I had made many friends in the group, but I didn’t want to spend the next 40 years of my life having to wake up at 5:30am to go to these meetings to chase new business each week, the way most of the older members were still doing. Be proactive and find a better way to reduce inefficiencies, and do without social circles that hold you back.

Streamline the routines that you do regularly by creating systems so that success becomes automatic. Rinse and repeat.

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Men and Women Throughout History

Guest post by Laverne H. Bardy whose humorous, often irreverent, slant on life in general, and aging in particular, draws a large readership. She has been syndicated with Senior Wire News Service since 2004 and you can find her columns on the Huffington Post. Her book, How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old? was released in January, 2012, and is a compilation of the best of her columns.

LaverneMichael G. Conner, Clinical and Medical Psychologist, writes that men are built for physical confrontation, and their skulls are usually thicker than a woman’s. This, of course, comes as no surprise to women. What I didn’t know was men’s skulls are thick because they are “attracted to reckless behavior,”which explains their interest in slaying dragons, battling alligators, and any excuse for a slugfest. Dr. Conner says that “women have four times as many brain cells as men. While men rely on their left brain to solve one problem, one step at a time, women can more easily access both sides of their brain and focus on more than one problem at a time,” which often drives men to distraction.

Throughout centuries men have protected and provided for their families. In caveman days they gathered firewood, invented tools, killed wild animals, and spent excessive time butting heads with dinosaurs; a sport well suited for thick skulls. The little women stayed home, created murals on cave walls, sported rabbit skin originals, prepared tasty bison recipes, gave birth on dirt floors, and did their best to stay one step ahead of diaper-free toddlers.

In the 1800’s men left their families for months and drove cattle across long dangerous trails through mountains and valleys in harsh weather. Women stayed behind with the children. Their only responsibilities were to scrounge for food, and fight off wolves and Indians, from the comfort of their homes.

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In the early 1900’s men did their best to cocoon women from the harsh realities of the world. They seemed to know, instinctively, that women were best suited for domestic work. But obstinate, unappreciative women bucked and defied men’s good intentions and insisted on battling for equality.

Men are often guarded when meeting other men. They intuitively know how much is safe to divulge. They discuss generic topics such as sports, politics, and the hot chick at the end of the bar. They mention the world-wide cruise they’re planning (even if they’re not), and the new Benz they’re thinking about buying (even though they’re not).

A woman will usually jump in and lead with her mouth. Within five minutes of meeting another women she’ll offer the name and number of her plastic surgeon and her shrink. She’ll reveal that her husband had an affair, her son has learning disabilities, and her teenage daughter is promiscuous. She’ll delight in discussing anything and everything about sex.

Up until the late 1970’s men’s and women’s roles were fairly well defined. Men grappled with difficult undertakings such as wars, unemployment, taxes, and finding affordable World Series tickets. Women dealt with daily menu selections, Big Bird and Ernie, diaper changes, and perfecting faux smiles that hid their true feelings.

Recent years show the line between male and female roles is becoming blurred. Men are taking a more active part in homemaking and child rearing, and women are thriving in the business world.

I was thinking about the television commercial Jets football star, Joe Namath, made back in 1973, where he struck a seductive pose while sporting a pair of Hanes’ pantyhose. He made that commercial in the middle of the sexual revolution. I don’t know how men felt about it but women loved that this handsome, brawny, quarterback had the courage to show his feminine, sensitive, side.

In my fantasy Namath, who had a huge following, could have gotten better mileage out of his celebrity by encouraging men to include pantyhose in their own wardrobes. Maybe, if he had done this, stereotypical male/female roles would have been obliterated by now. But, I suspect, that after enduring the constricted waistbands, and suffocating discomfort of pantyhose, Namath opted to shirk an opportunity to advance the sexual revolution and chose, instead, to return to smashing bodies and banging heads with other football titans. Personally, I think that Joe Namath dropped the ball.

Hey, it’s my fantasy and I’m stickin’ to it.

Other posts by this author

I Don’t See Well Anymore

Giddy Yup

Stop Telling Me I’m Old

Growing Up Dangerously

Watching Real Beauty

Hell, Not on the Map, but I Was There

Cellulite: A Rite of Passage

Camping: Not for Sissies

Don’t Count Me Out

Aging, Not All Fun and Games

Challenging My Legacy

Behind Closed Doors

Battle of the Bulge

How the Home Shopping Network Turned Me into a Zebra

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Many Good Outcomes for Early Retirees

Guest post by Jane Brown

Time is a terrible thing to waste. Spending the majority of yours at the service of someone else is a real drag on a life full of possibility. Thus, it’s apparent how beneficial an early retirement can be. It affords you the opportunity – so rare among people past and present – to turn your dreams into reality.

This should serve as a heavy dose of inspiration to get moving on your early retirement strategy. But just in case you aren’t feeling the effects, we outlined five good outcomes of early-retirement:

Finding New Horizons: Early retirement allows you to pursue an endless number of hobbies, sports, thrills, and skills. Not just the golf, sewing and so forth of standard-age retirees:

-It’s your chance to learn to play the electric guitar. Buy a second-hand Gibson and watch some beginner guide videos online.

-How to paint. Again, plenty of free online resources exist to help get you started, which helps off-set the cost of supplies. You could also sculpt, or even venture into graphic design for the thrill of creating something digital. Creating art in any form is a great way to stay mentally and physically active.

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-What about an acting bug? Take some acting lessons, then audition for local community theater. Performing on stage also helps keep your mind agile.

-Always dreamed of flying? Put down the DVD of Top Gun. Getting up in the air on your own is easier than you think. Resources like Pilotmall have flight simulators to acquaint you, operation manuals to prepare you, and personal gear to assist you in the art of aviation. Learning to fly is by far one of the most exciting and challenging ways to stay active in post-retirement, and is accessible to just about everyone. Ask Harrison Ford–he’s an avid pilot!

Being Your Own Boss: Starting a small business you can afford to lose if things go south is an increasingly popular option among early retirees. The “Bob Newhart” style bed and breakfast is a common post-retirement dream business, but don’t hesitate to get a little more creative. Antique flipping and online sales are a great way to make a little money and have fun without taking a huge risk or having to answer to a supervisor. All the while living the American dream.

Helping to Make Changes: It’s true retirees make up the biggest swath of reliable voters in most democracies around the world, but it takes more than voter turnout to help fix the wrongs we see around us. Those bound to a nine-to-five job, ensnared by debts, mortgages, and bills, have a harder time “getting out” and being the agents of change. It’s a job left to the youngest and oldest age groups. Retiring early allows you the time to devote yourself to the causes which mean most to you, non-profit or otherwise.

Healthy and Happy Living: The old fogey misnomer plagues those of retirement age.. The truth is that stress has a tremendous impact on our personal well being. Stress from work is some of the biggest weight bearing down on us in life, and removing it is a guaranteed way to improve health. In addition, early retirement gives you the time to eat a regularly scheduled healthy diet and pursue athletic activity. Too often our professional on-the-go lives lead to a lifetime of poor health habits culminating in bad health by the time we retire in our 60s.

Spending Life with Your Loved Ones: Too often we let our professional responsibilities keep us from those who matter most. Early retirement gives us more time to be with our loved ones and create the memories we want instead of daydreaming of what we wish would happen. Life moves faster the older we get. It’s easy to let work stress distract us for decades and wind up one day realizing we’ve missed out on more than we stand to think about. Avoid this unwanted epiphany by finding a way to willingly leave the workforce earlier than expected.

Retire early to make the most of life. Whether that means learning to fly a plane, running a business, planning a protest, or simply spending more time with the family, it’s sure to beat a lifetime of toil when looking back.

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The Costs of Poor Credit

Guest post by Jane Brown

When you’re young, poor credit seems like the least of your worries. All around you, people give bad financial advice like deferring your student loans for as long as possible, or saving short term money paying minimum balances. Bad advice isn’t detrimental to you long term, if you learn from your mistakes, but don’t take the chance when it comes to credit. Credit is difficult and costly to rebuild. Here’s the “scared straight” version of poor credit.

Plain and simple, this stuff is bad for you.

Car Loans

Let’s say that you’ve been saving for two years to get a new car. If you’re a skilled negotiator, you’ve talked the dealer down well below sticker price. There is just one small problem. Your poor credit will drive the cost of that car to double the sticker price when you finance the vehicle. You could pay in cash, and get a better deal, but your poor credit would remain a problem for you without a loan to bolster your profile. According to Lexington Law, a credit score of less than 560 is generally considered to be a bad credit score and someone with this score could pay considerably more than someone with excellent credit. One way to get out of this situation is to eat the costs short term and refinance your loan to a lower rate when you’ve developed an excellent payment history.
Simply put, poor credit excludes you from the best possible deals in auto financing. You are limited to lenders who will work with poor credit buyers, and you may need another person to accept responsibility for your loan as a cosigner.

Home Loans

When you get married, you’re going to want a home. The good news for home owners is that property values have already bottomed out and are slowly increasing month over month. The bad news for you is that interest rates are getting higher, and values aren’t dropping lower. That makes purchasing a home a very risky investment for someone who has just transitioned from a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.

Some of the same concepts apply to home financing as in auto, such as cosigners and limited lenders to work with, but you may find yourself easily excluded from a home loan entirely. Especially if you are not a first time home buyer.

Interest Rates

Higher interest rates apply to loans, credit cards, and business loans too. Your poor credit will increase the amount you pay across the board. Forget department store credit cards promising substantial savings on your purchases, forget cash back rewards and 0% balance transfer cards. If you require any kind of financing for your business, expect to put something up for collateral in order to complete the transaction if you can’t find a cosigner.

Employment Troubles

Some banks and other positions that deal with customer financials will run a credit check on you. They are looking for specific items, like bankruptcies or evictions, but they will flag all delinquencies. Whatever your resume qualifications, your debt may set you behind a candidate with a better payment history. Some states do give you the right to consent to background checks, and you always have the option to decline and politely excuse yourself from the opportunity. Still, poor credit is an obstacle you don’t need in an already competitive job market.

Long Term Effects

Poor credit isn’t just hitting you in the short term. If you ignore poor credit, you’re paying for the rest of your life. Every loan you get will be well above market value. That’s if you can get a loan at all. It’s easy to dismiss the importance of credit when you’re not budgeting for it. Pay above your minimum balance, make your payments early and manage your money. It’s not easy to bounce back from poor credit. All the more reason to avoid it in the first place.

Other articles by this author:

Staying in Your Home as You Age

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