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My Favorite Things, 2010 by Lynn Schweikart
6 years, 2 months, 3 weeks, 1 day, 19 hours, 32 minutes

Time for new traditions.
6 years, 2 months, 3 weeks, 4 days, 18 hours, 45 minutes

For Boomers, Love is a Match Made Online. One More Reason Why Marketers Still Need to Target Boomers
6 years, 3 months, 2 weeks, 2 days, 1 hour, 5 minutes

My Favorite Things, 2010 by Lynn Schweikart

I just finished reading George Colony’s blog entry, Top Ten for 2010, where the Forrester Research CEO offers his second annual “favorite things of the year” list. Almost immediately, I was inspired to sit down and take note of the things that made this year memorable for me. Here are my thoughts in no particular order. Hope you feel similarly inspired. I’d love to hear your list, too.

1. The National Storytelling Festival, Jonesborough, TN
This has been on my “bucket list” for a few years now. 19 world-renowned storytellers. Performances, almost non-stop from 10 a.m. to midnight, in five different tents, over the course of nearly three days. It was magical, exhilarating, exhausting. I’m still processing everything I learned about the power of stories to disseminate information and bring people together.

2. The Gen-Sights website launch
Helping businesses create their websites is one of the things I do for a living. So why was it such a challenge to get our Gen-Sights site up and running? I think the main reason is that it’s much easier to tell someone else’s story than your own. Anyway, I glad Tom, Laura, and I finally have a web presence that helps businesses understand what a valuable target audience Boomers can be, and how to reach out to—and connect with—this market. Take a look and let us know what you think.

3. Resonate by Nancy Duarte
I devoured this book from cover to cover over the course of two days. Now, I’m going back to absorb it more carefully. Basically, the premise is that the best presentations act as a transformative journey for the audience. Duarte provides a kind of roadmap of ways to use visual storytelling to create presentations that resonate with an audience and entice them to make the journey with you.

4. Peaceful Places: Boston
I was thrilled when Menasha Ridge Press selected me to write the Boston edition of their popular Peaceful Places series, to be published in the fall of 2011. Over the past few months, I’ve come to feel like a kind of explorer seeking out unique gardens, enchanting vistas, neighborhood strolls, and surprising sanctuaries. In the process, I’m feeling a deepening appreciation of and love for the city and region where I’ve lived for more than 35 years.

5. Time-Life Pop Memories of the ’60s
I have to confess, I’ve never bought anything from one of those television infomercials before. But when I saw the ad for this 10-CD collection of hits from the 60s, I was hooked. It’s like Top 40 radio, featuring160 of that decade’s biggest songs. I defy you to listen to this without smiling, dancing, and singing along. Pure happiness! Am I a Boomer or what?

6. The iPod Touch 4g
I’m one of those people who’s put off getting a new cell phone because I wanted to wait for the iPhone to finally be available with Verizon wireless. Then, my sister and brother-in-law gave me the new iPod Touch for my birthday. Now, with access to all the apps I’d ever want, I’m thinking, “Who needs the iPhone? Bring on the Droid!” Sorry, Apple, that’s what you get for being such a tease.

7. The Reinvention Summit
If there’s one thing this vicious, long, drawn-out recession has taught me, it’s that one has to be constantly reinventing oneself. Michael Margolis billed his Reinvention Summit as a virtual summit on the reinvention of storytelling. But it became so much more. We’re now a virtual tribe of storytellers, change makers, marketers, and creatives who are working together to explore the role that narrative can play in reinvention—both personal and professional. Take a look. You might want to join in the adventure. http://www.reinventionsummit.com/

8. Telluride By The Sea
A week or so after the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, six of the top movies shown there are transported to Portsmouth, NH’s historic Music Hall for a three-day extravaganza that’s a movie lover’s delight. No matter where you go in town, you find groups of people animatedly discussing the film they’ve just seen or speculating about the ones to come. It’s exciting to see how events like this can create a community.

9. Daniel Smith watercolor sticks
I got a set of these for Christmas. They look like crayons, but they have the same quality paint as watercolor tubes. You can draw with them like a pencil, use wet with a brush, even shave off some flakes to use in your palette. Now, instead of carting a big box of paints around with me, I have a small pouch of sticks. No mess, either. Don’t you love innovation? Wouldn’t it have been fun to be part of that new product brainstorming session?

10. Warblers, warblers, and more warblers!
I’d been so busy with work that there hadn’t been time to do much birding during the May migration season. One afternoon, something told me I had to drop everything and get out. I drove to Plum Island outside Newburyport, Massachusetts, with the goal of walking the boardwalk at Hellcat Swamp. Just before the parking lot, I saw two birders pointing at something darting around in the sassafras trees lining the road. I stopped and backed up. It was a blackburian warbler – one of my favorites. Then another bird caught my eye: a bay-breasted warbler. Suddenly the trees were alive with warblers: magnolia, northern parula, yellow, American redstart, Nashville, and chestnut-sided. I’d stumbled upon a mini-fallout. About an hour later, when I finally made it to my original destination, there was nothing to be seen. The message? Follow those urges, yet don’t be too focused on your original goal to miss out on the unexpected delights the universe offers along the way.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year. And may the universe offer up many delights for you to savor in 2011.

-posted by Laura Willis

Labels: Favorite Things, Top Ten, Storytelling, resonate with audiences, Peaceful Places, Baby Boomer, iPhone, Droid, reinvention, birding, Telluride, Daniel Smith watercolor sticks

Time for new traditions.

presentsMaybe it's being a Baby Boomer in my early 50's, maybe it's menopause, or maybe it's just that time of year, but this holiday season seemed to be one of reflection, reminiscing, a bit of melancholy and a resolve to start new traditions. With most of the elders gone, especially my aunt who was the matriarch of the family, the extended family no longer gets together around the holidays and I missed that. The pile of Christmas presents under the tree filling the living room to capacity, the Polish food and traditional meals, the Santa sacs made with care and making sure that everyone in attendance got a gift no matter what, all fond memories. I missed seeing the new little ones that have joined the family or hearing about the ones on the way. I think it was strange for my 90-year-old Dad, too. Though in recent years he complained about us keeping him out too late on Christmas day, as I sat with him at an early dinner at his assisted living facility, I think he still had a small yearning to be together with all the family and didn't quite know what to do with himself for the rest of the day. Thankfully my sister and her family visited later.

But then, it was fun to see a new huge pile of presents at my sister-in-law's where my nieces now had their boyfriends joining in the family celebration. My husband and I had a little more quiet time together since we didn't have to travel as much during the course of the day. My side of the family will still get together later this week for another family dinner and exchanging gifts, making the holiday last another few days. And there's talk of an extended family reunion of sorts come spring time, as we all wrote similar passages in our Christmas cards about missing the old days. I think we all were feeling what's important around the holidays is the abundance of the love of family and friends that matters. newtree

And for me, I had always wanted to get a real tree that I can plant outdoors in the spring, so we did that this year. It will be a symbol of the Christmases past with its roots growing deep and the start of new growth and traditions to come.

-posted by Laura Willis

Labels: Baby Boomers, holiday traditions

For Boomers, Love is a Match Made Online. One More Reason Why Marketers Still Need to Target Boomers

heartAccording to Time Magazine, Baby Boomers have been diving into the online dating pool in bigger numbers than any other demographic. The 50-to-65 age group is Match.com’s fastest-growing demographic, up 89% in the last five years. At JDate.com, the website for Jewish singles, members in the 50-plus age group jumped 40% in just one year, from 2008 to 2009. This statistic provides a couple of fascinating insights into the Boomer psyche. First, it demonstrates the Boomers are anything but stuck in their ways, not only adapting to new technology, but also to the adventure of meeting new people and doing new things. Second, as over 70 percent of Match.com’s daters age 50-to-65 report being divorced, they’re obviously an optimistic bunch, as well.

-posted by Laura Willis

Labels: Baby Boomers, Baby Boomers and Online Dating