About KarinQ

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law located in Kirkland, Washington empowers couples to divorce or dissolve partnerships in a respectful cooperative manner. As a seasoned divorce attorney, Karin has seen the emotional trauma, expense and bitterness created by traditional divorce litigation. She believes that through a cooperative divorce process couples can feel empowered to resolve their differences in a respectful manner, while protecting their children from the trauma of court and custody battles, and better preparing themselves to begin a new life.

The Longest Day of the Year: or, Why I never made it to the Seattle World’s Fair

The space needle is painted orange these days – homage to the days of its beginning when it was the symbol for the 1962 World’s Fair.  It was a symbol for the future, looking forward to the next century.  For me the Space Needle will always have a different meaning.  It is a reminder of why I never made it to the Seattle World’s Fair. Continue reading “The Longest Day of the Year: or, Why I never made it to the Seattle World’s Fair” »

How Mrs. Palsgraf And the Long Island Railroad Started Me On My Path To Study Law

“Fictional characters like Professor Kingsfield of The Paper Chasehave contributed to an image of the quintessential law school professor who puts a student in the “hot seat” and delves into what seems like an intimidating and almost torturous line of inquiry.  This pedagogical technique is commonly known as the Socratic method: one of the defining characteristics of the American legal education system, almost universally used during the first year of law school.” ****

Have you heard of the Socratic method?  Did you ever watch the movie or TV show “Paper Chase”?  Why would anyone subject themselves to this kind of harassment, humiliation and embarrassment?

Ms Quirk, What did you think of the ruling in this case?  Really?  Is that what you think?  Class?  Do you agree with her?  

Terror, sheer  terror.  Fear of humiliation – why am I here?  What makes me think I can do this.  I am going to flunk out.  I don’t belong here.  My classmates are all smarter.  One element of the Socratic Method is to prove your ignorance.  Leaving you open for learning — I guess.

This is the study of law.  I love it.  Notice I said the study of law.  Not the practice of law.  The two have no relationship whatsoever.

When did I become so enamored of this study based upon such arcane principles started by some old dead guy of long ago who got poisoned for his actions?  Socrates!  Many a law student has used his name as a curse.

It started for me many years ago with the case of Helen Palsgraf v Long Island Railroad.  I will give you the details of the case later but first let me tell you how I came to know Mrs. Palsgraf.

In the late 60’s I was a young bride married to a military officer who decided to go to law school  I went from wearing hats and white gloves to meetings of the Officers Wives Club to a little more casual attire of the Law Wives Club.  The law wives club, of course, was a supportive group (there were no “law husbands”) of women mainly to help us be supportive of our poor husbands suffering the grinds of law school.

At one of the meetings we welcomed the torts professor, Professor Peck.   Torts we learned deals with a civil wrong resulting in a lawsuit.  Along with Contracts and Constitutional Law it is a core subject.  Professor Peck wanted to give us a sample of an actual law school tort class – along with a demonstration of the Socratic Method.  So he told us the story of Mrs. Palsgraf and her ride on the Long Island Railroad.  He took us through the torture of the questioning method.  How should the court rule?  Do you agree with Judge Cardozo or Judge Andrews?  Really, Mrs. Quirk?  Is that what you really think?  Ladies, do you agree with Mrs. Quirk?  Etc. etc.   He took us through the torture and humiliation of the Socratic Method.

I loved it!  I was hooked and knew someday I would study law.

And I did – some 25 years later I found myself in first year law school torts class.

“When do we get to Mrs. Palsgraf?”  

“Soon Ms. Quirk, soon.”

Ahh, the day came.  Even after 25 years I remembered the facts and that clock on the platform that injured poor Mrs. Palsgraf.  But now came the terror.

“Do you agree with the majority opinion of Justice Cardozo or the dissent of Justice Andrews?” 

Uh, um.  Let me think.

This is a lot more complicated than I thought.  I found that Palsgraf is a seminal case on how far we draw the line in negligence and proximate cause.

See, I was learning real lawyer words now.

As grades came out, I tied for first place in that first year torts class.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  I continue to learn the STUDY of law.  Perhaps you will become motivated also by hearing about Mrs. Palsgraf and you too will want to STUDY law.

So here we go.

In the 1920’s Helen Palsgraf (little is actually known about her) was on her way to Rockaway, perhaps to take her daughter to the beach.  She was quietly sitting on a bench on the platform waiting for her train.  At the same time, a conductor was hurrying some passengers unto a departing train.  He gave one of them a push to speed things up and the passenger dropped a package he was carrying.  It happens that the package contained fireworks.  (Little is known about the passenger and why he was carrying fireworks.  Anarchist?  Probably some Italians on their way to a celebration)   the fireworks exploded causing a large scale to become dislodged off the wall, injuring Mrs. Palsgraf.

Question:  Is the Long Island Railroad liable to Mrs. Palsgraf and should they pay for her injuries?

Now here is where we separate the engineers and the scientists from the legal scholars.  If you are thinking about how the scales were bolted on the wall or what made the fireworks go off or even who the fireworks carrier was, you are missing the point.  The point is:

Did the Long Island Railroad owe a duty of care to Mrs. P? And did they breach that duty?  I.e.  were they negligent by way of their employee the conductor?

A tort requires three factors:  Duty, negligence, injury.  There is no question that Mrs. P was injured and few would argue that the RR has a duty of care to its passengers.  But should they be responsible for paying for Mrs. P’s injuries?

Here is where we would have the famous Socratic discussion that would last a couple of hours.

Are you bored yet?  Exited?  Curious?

The court split in its decision and the debate continues today.  Speaking for the majority, Justice Cardozo went into a long discussion about foreseeability.  Was it foreseeable that a passenger would be carrying dynamite?  Is it foreseeable that an explosion could cause the scale to land on someone?

After pages and pages of discussion, Justice Cardozo went for a pragmatic answer that was basically “We have to draw a line somewhere”.    In his dissent, Justice Andrews railed against drawing a line and said if there was negligence, then all results of the negligence should be included.  Thus giving way to the argument of proximate cause:  never mind the butterfly effect – which would mean a line was never drawn.

Interested?  Excited?  You too might want to engage in the study of law.

Now you know how Mrs. Palsgraf and the Long Island Railroad started me on the lifetime path of studying law.

But I don’t get into too many Socratic discussions anymore.

 

To Read the case yourself:  http://www.courts.state.ny.us/history/cases/palsgraf_lirr.htm

 

***http://aglr.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/the-reality-of-the-socratic-method-in-law-school-classrooms-a-call-to-preserve-our-longstanding-tradition/

A New Age For A New Age

“When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius ,

Age of Aquarius”

If you identified with these lyrics this message is for you. If you don’t recognize them, ask your mom or dad. This song, from the musical Hair made popular by the 5th Dimension in the late 60’s was the anthem of our generation.

We were the new age. The boomers. The new generation that was going to change the world. With us, there would be peace love and understanding.

What happened?

Life happened. Some remained on communes and followed an alternative lifestyle but most of us went into the workforce, had families, careers, established our own businesses. Now here we are at that point that previous generations stopped. Stopped striving, stopped trying, and some would say, stopped living.

But not us, we are the new age. We are the boomers who changed the world by our mere numbers. Every decade we changed things from the Sputnik era of education to the economic force of the current economy and our impact on social security and Medicare. just by our sheer numbers we affected all areas of society.

Now what?

We have reached a new frontier. A new age. We are at the age for which we have no roadmap. Oh sure there are challenges –creaky knees – memory lapses, and all those issues that come upon us because we don’t do what we need to do to stay our healthiest and most vibrant. Challenges we can meet. I challenge you to continue the mission. The mission you started with while you were still starry eyed.

Truth be told, I am not really a boomer as it is defined. I was born in that trough during World War II that made the bubble stand out all the more as those babies were born following the war. That huge bubble on the population scale that makes this generation the largest demographic.

I consider myself a leading edge boomer – a pathfinder if you will.

So where are we going in this new age? Assuming the world does not end in December as some say is predicted by the Mayan calendar?

Elders as I define here are not “senior citizens” who get gold watches at retirement to move to warmer climes, and play cards and bingo, and eat early bird specials. While a previous generation might have moved to places like Sun City and Leisure World, today’s elders are seeking more active, involved lives. These new elders are the wisdom-keepers who have an ongoing responsibility for maintaining society’s well-being and following a course they are passionate about. These passions may be spiritual, political, or ecological. They want to heal the planet, bring world peace and, by the way, feed the children.

I place these responsibilities into three categories: Mediating, mentoring and motivating.

We Mediate by: Bringing our experience and wisdom to further alternative dispute resolution whether in neighborhood councils, workplace disputes, worldwide peacemaking, and yes, even to more peaceful marriage dissolution. – My specialty

Mentors are Elders who become sages capable of guiding their families and communities with hard-earned wisdom. Mentors help the next generation find their place in the world and to become successful, ultimately also becoming sages themselves.

Elders Motivate by: providing a cheering section for social change whether motivating their peers, their children or their younger co-workers. Elders motivate others to care about the planet and each other.

As we approach the October, November, and December of our lives, the time for harvesting arrives. This involves reflecting on our achievements, feeling pride in our contribution to family and society, and ultimately finding our place in the cosmos.

Eldering implies that we take active responsibility for our destiny in old age, living by conscious choice rather than social expectation.

To help motivate you here are some examples of elders who have become sages in later life: Some of these are from previous generations. All of them offer inspiration.

Did you know that at Age 70: Dr. Mayo founded a clinic that bears his name? And ladies, fashion icon Coco Channel debut the Chanel suit when she was 71? Of course, Grandma Moses began her career at 78 while at 89 Frank Lloyd Wright completed the Guggenheim Museum.

At 81 Cloris Leachman was dancing with the stars while John Glenn was returning to the stars in a Space Shuttle Discovery mission at 77 and Pablo Casals was conducting a youth orchestra as it performs a Mozart symphony at 96.

When he was 83, baby doctor Benjamin Spock was arrested for protesting the Viet Nam War and Linus Pauling published his book How to Live longer and Feel Better. He was 85. I think I need that book!

A golfer hit a hole in one at 99 and a 100 year old Japanese man climbed Mt. Fuji.

A California woman gets her first driver’s license at 91 and a 97 year old Wisconsin resident divorced his wife, I guess there are clients out there at all ages. Just to show there is hope for me yet, an Australian woman married a younger man. She was 102 and he was 83.

Research scientist, Ray Cristi retired at 104 after an 80 year career starting at Columbia University.

We do have examples of feats in the third act of life. Will you join me on this path to becoming an elder?

We are finding a new age. The Age of Aquarius? Maybe.

I’ll see you on the Journey.

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Dissolving a Marriage – At Mid-Life and Beyond

When I meet people and tell them that I am a divorce lawyer, I often get comments something like: “We have been married for over 20 years; I guess we will never need your services.” Or, “We’ve been married so long, there’d be no point breaking up. Divorce is something the younger folks do.” Your children’s special events will truly be special despite their parent’s divorce. You owe it to them. Many of my clients have been married 20 to 30 years and even more. A significant amount are over 50 and I have even had clients over 70. The mid life and beyond divorce is not as unusual as one may think.

Privacy and Respect are important values to mature couples.

Most couples seeking to end their marriage do want to with a minimum of rancor maintaining some dignity and respect for each other. But for the mature couple, who has witnessed friends and family turn their lives upside down both emotionally and financially through expensive litigated divorces, this is even more important. They have worked hard to build an estate and are not interested in wasting their assets on a financially draining process. A 2008 issue of Consumer Reports points out that one of the most expensive money mistakes a person can make is “Launching a Divorce War”. This ranks as number three in the publications list of 12 biggest money mistakes.
To avoid the divorce war, mature couples are looking for solutions preserving their privacy, dividing their assets according to their individual needs and minimization of the emotional trauma that comes from closing the door on a relationship and lifestyle that has weathered many years.

There are alternatives to litigating a divorce

The legal community has recognized the need for non-adversarial divorce, especially for couples who have been married for a longer period of time, and have accumulated a variety of assets including real estate and retirement plans. Today, a group of attorneys are now active in collaborative law, divorce mediation, cooperative divorce and some are even available to help a couple in a so-called “kitchen table” divorce where the couple does most of the negotiations themselves. An on-line search at A Respectful Divorce collaborative law sight provides many resources and several resources are also available on my web site.

Divorce is a normal life transition

Although divorce is sad at any juncture in life, it is especially important for long term couples ending their marriage to put it in perspective. As Tim Jenkins, a family therapist in Redmond, Washington points out “The success or failure of a marriage should not be judged upon whether it ends or continues “until death do us part.” It might be better judged on how much growth it has afforded us as conscious human beings striving to connect intimately. There is nothing abnormal or blameworthy about divorce. It is to be expected. If we can help people to use this normal life transition to launch into new and richer living then we will be doing a far better service than trying to maintain relationships that don’t serve or brutally severing relationships that must end through litigation.”

When you need an experienced divorce attorney in Kirkland, Bellevue, and the Greater Eastside contact Karin Quirk

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law
5400 Carillon Point
Kirkland, WA 98033
email: Karin@KarinQuirk.com
website: divorceforgrownups.net
Facebook: facebook.com/CooperativeDivorce
Linkedin: linkedin.com/karinquirk
Twitter: twitter.com/karinquirk
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Sdsvg28ZOM

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law represents clients throughout the greater Eastside (King County, Washington State), including Kirkland, Bellevue, Bothell, Redmond, Woodinville, and Sammamish.

 

How Divorce Closed Down A Business

“The business was forced to close because of the owner’s divorce”

I was disappointed as I approached a favorite business only to find it had closed it’s doors for good.  An employee of a neighboring business told me it closed because the owner had gotten a divorce.  As a divorce lawyer, this made no sense to me.  Why would a divorce cause a business to close?  Who would possibly gain by this?  Not the owner, certainly not the customers and even the ex spouse would be disadvantaged by the business being closed.  Yet it does happen and it can be avoided.  Here are some examples from my own experience where a business has been put in jeopardy during a divorce.  Of course, the facts are  altered and I have used illustrative composites to preserve the privacy of these real people.

Interference with lending activities

Ron had a very successful wholesale business.  When his wife filed for divorce, she got what are considered to be standard financial restraints.  These restraints prevented husband from borrowing or pledging property “except in the normal course of business”.  I”m not sure what normal course of business means and apparently neither does the bank because they put a hold on his line of credit and stopped all lending.  Ron’s business required funds to purchase inventory to fulfill orders.  His customers generally paid in 30 to 90 days.  The line of credit was vital to his business.  As he was less able to fulfill orders, his sales dropped dramatically.

Ron was eventually able to recover after the divorce but the value of the business, and thus the wife’s share of community property was greatly reduced.  Ron’s wife’s attorney, by not considering the impact of her actions on the business, actually reduced the amount of wife’s ultimate settlement.

Refusing to accept  payments over time

Beth had built a unique service business that had grown over time and according to the business appraiser, had great future prospects.  Beth offered her husband time payments for his community share of the business but husband refused.  He wanted to be paid in a lump sum.  Beth had to sell assets and equipment in order to be able to buy her husband out of the business.  Soon after her business failed because she just didn’t have the resources to continue.  Her husband got a nice lump payment as settlement but now, since Beth’s income is significantly reduced, he has to pay higher child support.  He made a short term decision that cost much more in the long term.

Interfering with business operations

Mike was a great entrepreneur and had many business operations.  He often leveraged one property to fund purchase of another.  His business also was successful because he fostered good personal relationships.  His business suffered from the divorce in more than one way.  One, because he was distraught and distracted by the divorce and the attendant subpoenae, depositions and interrogatories, he  wasn’t as attentive and he let management decisions be made by his less experienced employees.  He also had trouble with financing because his wife would not agree to the financial arrangements he was trying to make.  His wife and her attorney also called upon his business associates and queried them extensively.  Soon they became reluctant to enter into new ventures with Mike.

I began working with Mike after the divorce had been going on for over a year.  His instructions to me were to “just make this go away”.  We did settle the case within a short time.  As I reviewed the file I compared the original offer made one year earlier and found that the value of the business had dropped almost in half.  Wife spent $150,000 and a year to get less than husband had offered a year earlier.

Intrusive discovery

Sally was a managing  partner in a boutique financial services firm.  She very much tried to keep her personal life separate from her business life but the two really merged when she was dissolving her marriage.  Her husband’s lawyer demanded access to confidential and highly sensitive information such as board of directors minutes and all the partnership agreements.  Understandably, some of this information was necessary to evaluate the case but a less adversarial discovery plan could have saved everyone time, preserved privacy, reduced emotional trauma and saved Sally’s career.

The  outside board of directors were not pleased with the additional work and were worried about release of sensitive information into public record.  Sally was replaced as managing partner and her career took a hit.

Again, who gained by this overly aggressive discovery?

Airing dirty laundry in the workplace

I probably don’t have to tell too many stories to make this point. Everyone has numerous stories of bad behavior in the workplace: the wife who stomps into the business making hysterical accusations, or the husband who made a scene at the company party.  Now with the omnipresent social media, folks have an even better opportunity to embarrass each other and themselves.

From a financial perspective this behavior damages everyone.  People have lost jobs, not received promotions and business is interrupted.  Besides the emotional cost, both parties suffer financial costs.

And it didn’t have to happen.

Respectful, cooperative divorce makes economic sense

Most people expect that behaving in a cooperative manner (like grownups) saves money, time and emotional trauma in a divorce but these examples show that being respectful respectful and cooperative often means there will be a better financial settlement.

This doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be discovery and that all the financial information shouldn’t be shared.  It doesn’t mean that you don’t have a fair business appraisal.  This is necessary in order to have an equitable division of property.  However, being respectful and cooperative means that the parties develop a financial discovery plan together.  Perhaps even agreeing to use neutral experts instead of having a battle of the experts.   Furthermore, by cooperating, the parties keep their private information out of the public record and can keep the negotiations and ultimate settlement confidential.

There is no reason a business should have to be closed because the owner got a divorce.

When you need an experienced divorce attorney in Kirkland, Bellevue, and the Greater Eastside contact Karin Quirk

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law
5400 Carillon Point
Kirkland, WA 98033
email: Karin@KarinQuirk.com
website: divorceforgrownups.net
Facebook: facebook.com/CooperativeDivorce
Linkedin: linkedin.com/karinquirk
Twitter: twitter.com/karinquirk
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Sdsvg28ZOM

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law represents clients throughout the greater Eastside (King County, Washington State), including Kirkland, Bellevue, Bothell, Redmond, Woodinville, and Sammamish.

 

Have You Checked Your Social Settings?

In case you didn’t know it, we in the Seattle area have been snowed in for a week. I was going to write about how Facebook kept me connected. I was keeping up with friends, enjoying videos from friends who were “stranded” in L.A. and had to drive up the coast to Malibu, commenting on the snow pictures and generally satisfying my social needs. I wasn’t really noticing that I wasn’t receiving any comments on my posts until I asked for help with a fish recipe. Nothing. No responses. Everyone else was getting comments. I was getting responses from my comments on other peoples postings. See how self-centered everyone is? Only care about their own postings. Not mine.

No one likes me.

They all ignore me.

A friend called me. She had no internet connection at her home. Another called later and she also was without internet. So that explained why these two close friends had not responded. I growled to one of my friends that I had been given recognition and no one commented.  She said she had not seen the post.

I’m not sure how I discovered the problem after my days of isolation. Seems I had posted something only for family and I had not changed the setting. You can decide on Facebook who you want to see your posts but that setting remains until you change it. I had a setting for family, which in my case, is only about five people—three of whom are rarely on Facebook and never comment. I don’t even know how long I had this setting. No wonder no one responds. I had inadvertently isolated myself!

As I was relating this story I realized the real life lessons.

1. IS IT REAL? OR IS THERE INFORMATION YOU DON’T KNOW?

There are several personal growth gurus who lecture on this. Are you making decisions based upon inadequate information? I was thinking no one cared about what I had to say because they hadn’t responded. I didn’t know that no one was seeing my posts. Or that some of my friends were without internet.

A friend of mine shared with me that she was hurt that she had not been included in a group. I pointed out that I had posted on Facebook, sent e mails and made an announcement at a meeting about the formation of the group. She did not remember any of these invitations and built a case in her mind how she had intentionally been excluded. Didn’t have all the facts.

2. HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR “SETTINGS”?

I am chagrined that I somehow unintentionally changed my settings so no one was receiving my posts. Are there times we change our settings metaphorically? Do we become pre-occupied so that we don’t notice people trying to communicate with us? Do we translate someone’s body language or facial expression as not being interested in us when that person may also be pre-occupied, in pain or even, shy. I have poor vision and often squint. I found that some teachers or lecturers interpreted this as disagreeing with them or, worse yet, too stupid to understand. They didn’t bother to check and I didn’t know about my inadvertent “settings”. Hopefully we can improve our ability to send and receive messages.

Stop making assumptions and ask for clarification and above all:

CHECK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS.

CHECK YOUR SETTINGS.

How Many Jobs Have You Done For Pay?

As I converse with people in different fields I often hear myself say “I’ve done that”.  It does seem like I have had a lot of jobs.   Today I decided to list the jobs I have had for pay.  These are pretty much in chronological order although I sometimes revisited previous jobs.

These are not necessarily career jobs but there is a building of one upon the other and something learned from each.  Maybe the thing I learned from working in a hospital kitchen and being a retail clerk taught me that I better get an education and find better ways of earning a living.

What jobs have you held?  What have you learned from them?

So here they are in order, beginning with my early teens:

Paid jobs I have held

  • Baby sitting
  • Hospital kitchen
  • Retail store clerk (men’s underwear, candy, women’s clothing, men’s wear)
  • Cashier in hotel coffee shop
  • Library assistant
  • Substitute teacher
  • Sears phone center
  • Teacher
  • YWCA program director
  • Job Finding Workshop Presenter
  • Career Search Consultant
  • Marketing executive
  • Investment Adviser
  • Telephone system sales
  • Mortgage Loan Consultant
  • Real Estate Appraiser
  • Accounts Payable Clerk
  • Law Clerk
  • Lawyer

Some of these jobs required a license, permit or certificate.  I seemed to collect these knowing the one I really wanted was the last one and the one I currently hold– Licensed attorney.

Licences and certificates:

  • Food handler permit
  • Washington State Teaching Certificate
  • Certified Account Executive- Financial Services
  • Series 7 stock broker
  • Washington and California Insurance License:  Life Health and Disability
  • California certified real estate appraiser
  • California and Washington State Bar License

As I review these lists, it doesn’t look as disjointed as I first thought.  There is a pattern and each of them help me do a better job at what I do today.

I also see there are some stories here.  What would you like to hear more about?

Now What?

I said I was going to blog.  I actually published some posts and some got reposted.  Good grief I even have some followers.

Now what?

I participated in a thirty day challenge to blog every day.  I lasted four days.

Now what?

I made a commitment that I would continue this blog and develop a series of speeches.  I even gave a speech at Toastmasters on How Not to Look OLD.

Now what.

On this second day of a new year do you find yourself asking that question?  You wiped out the old year on New Year’s Eve, maybe even participating in a burning bowl ceremony of some sort and you wrote your declarations for the new year.  Has your intention lasted beyond this second day of the year or are you already asking:  Now what?

I will ask myself this question every day.  I want to be a source of inspiration for others or at least entertaining.  My plan is to develop inspirational speeches.  I have set some wheels in motion and have a long to do list.  There will be more in the coming  days and months.

You stated your intentions for the coming year.  I have stated mine.  Let’s support each other in reaching our goals as we once again face another year of optimism and another fresh new start.
Now what?

Stay tuned.

How Facebook Can Help You Live Longer

My purpose in these musings is to help folks from being  OLD.  (OLD is the opposite of the wise sage we intend to be as we explore the new territory of life facing those of us who have crossed into the territory of the new 70 and beyond)  Today’s lesson:  Think Facebook.

“Oooh, I would never do Facebook – it’s dangerous!”   Walking across the street is dangerous,  life itself is dangerous.  OLD is about not trying new things.

“Facebook is too complicated”  Learning new things can be complicated, but learning new things keeps you from being OLD.

“I’m worried about privacy”.  There are privacy settings you will learn how to use.  You may want to consider being a little more open, though.

So why am I touting the benefits of Facebook?

SOCIAL CONNECTIONS

Every study I have seen concludes that social interaction is essential to living a longer life.  Facebook keeps you in touch with your world and opens you up to getting to know people better.  No, you do not just sit on your couch with your laptop and make friends.  You go out into the world and meet people and then stay connected with them on Facebook.

Every time I come home from a social event I find additional Facebook friend requests.  Once, at a party I recognized a name on a woman’s nametag.  I approached her with “According to Facebook, we should be friends”.  We connected and she is now a friend on Facebook but also someone I can connect with socially.

Yesterday accepted a friend request from someone I don’t know.  A definite No no?  Not really.  I saw we had about 20 friends in common and from the list I could tell which of my circles she inhabits.  I will be following her posts and when we are at the same meeting lnext week I will be able to approach her and we will have commonality.

DEEPEN YOUR CONNECTIONS

I have several friends I don’t see often.  We keep talking about getting together to catch up, but we don’t do it as much as we would like.  We keep up with each other on Facebook and when we do see each other we don’t have to spend a lot of time catching up.  She knows about my trip to the Grand Canyon and I read about her visit with relatives in Texas.  We were able to get right in to deeper conversation.  Our Facebook friendship really does strengthen the real friendship.

FILL YOUR CALENDAR

Each day I have a list of events from which I can pick and choose.  Most are of only casual interest and I file it away as nice to know even though I will not be participating.  On the other hand, I become aware of an interest shared by several of my friends and I choose to attend.  I have also posted events myself and I am tickled at the responses I get.  I have become so accustomed to sending out invitations by scheduling events that I have found it challenging to include my non-Facebook friends.  Mailed out invitations?  How quaint.  Your even invitations can be private and go only to those you select.

I also have started several groups that communicate via a “secret” group.  No one but those who have been invited to the group can see the posts.  We send each other reminders, updates and encouragement knowing that only the group members will see the message.  I also belong to a couple of on-line book clubs.  I’m not giving them a thumbs up yet but I may consider a smaller group of people I already know.

KEEP UP WITH FAMILY

My favorite part of Facebook is becoming a part of my family’s life.  I see my grandson eating spaghetti or playing at the water park.  I learn about what my daughter and her husband are interested in and learn of their activities.  I can ask about these activities and opinions when I see them without having to grill them about what’s been happening in their life.  I also have become friends with some of their friends.  Younger friends really help you not be OLD.

http://notyourgrandmothers70.com/2011/11/09/how-facebook-keeps-you-from-being-old-and-helps-you-live-longer/

Some Days Are Like That — Even in Australia

One of my favorite children’s books is Alexander and the Horrible Terrible Very Bad Day.  Maybe you have read it?  It begins with Alexander declaring “I woke up this morning with gum in my hair and I knew it was going to be a horrible terrible very bad day”  He then went through his litany of mishaps of the day, each time announcing:  ”I think I’ll move to Australia.  The book ends with the wisdom:  ”Some days are like that — even in Australia.”

Over the years “Some days are like that — even in Australia” has become shorthand in my family for acceptance that not all days are light filled and wonderful.  I much prefer that to the soggy “It is what it is” of the current vernacular.

What’s wrong with acknowledging that you have had a crappy day or even a string of crappy days?  No one wants to hang around a constant complainer or negative person.  On the other hand, don’t you get slightly annoyed at people who see only bright sunshine?  Admitting that things aren’t always wonderful makes you more real.  Authentic, as my favorite writing teacher would say.

So what brings me to today’s rant?  Well, I didn’t wake up with gum in my hair but I did wake up with a red scar on my head from a face plant I did two weeks ago and the physical residuals of suffering a trauma.  Business has been challenging and my bank account is not where I would like it to be.  But the major bummer is my planned weekend get away to one of my favorite place in the whole world — Laguna Beach, California.  What can be wrong with an all expense paid weekend in paradise?  For weeks the weather has been hovering at 79 sunny degrees.   The forecast for Friday?  Raining and 57 degrees!   Saturday and Sunday are clear and 65.  Oh the horrors.  A whole weekend in an ocean-front five star hotel room and it isn’t hot and sunny?

There.  I got it out of my system.  I ranted and admitted that not every day is a winner.  Feels better.  Feels authentic.

Don’t be afraid to share the down side of your life.  Some days are like that — even in Australia.

The ups and downs keep life interesting.  Here I am in the middle of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon