Changes to Single Boomer Life

Changes to Single Boomer Life

Dear Reader,

I’m changing my blog domain to just WordPress.  It’ll still come up as but may look a little different.  If you’ve signed up to have it delivered to your email inbox, that will no longer happen but you can just put in the address bar or get to it through my Facebook Page, Single Boomer Life.  I’ll still post on subjects of interest to single Baby Boomer, all singles and Baby Boomer, but not as often.  I have other projects in the works. Hopefully, one will be a book.  Travel is my passion and I want to concentrate on that and will blog on those adventures.  I’ll also continue to post links to websites and blogs written by others that I feel you might find interesting on my Facebook Page.  Please bear with my during the change.  When I imported my data, the photos didn’t come along.  I’m working on that and other issues.

I hope you’ll stay with me during the change and even write some blogs for me to publish or suggest other sites that I can post on my Facebook Page, Single Boomer Life.  I would enjoy hearing about your experiences as a single and a Baby Boomer.

Continue your adventure while I continue mine.

Linda Lea

Single Baby Boomers Celebrate Life

Single Baby Boomers Celebrate Life

Not all single Baby Boomers have families who can celebrate the important events in life with them.  Many don’t even acknowledge their birthdays, saying it’s just another day.  They may say they don’t care if anyone calls, sends a card or recognizes their special day in an email, tweet or on Facebook.   As someone who always had family who remembers them, I know how much it means.  Women seem to be the best at keeping track of friend’s special days, but I have a feeling men appreciate the gesture in spite of what they may say.  As we age, our friends often become our family and are the ones who understand us best.  Here are some ideas for ways we can help our friends celebrate.


Mother’s Day/Father’s Day – I mention this first since I’m writing this the week before Mother’s Day.  It’s not just a Hallmark Holiday.  It was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.  Father’s Day was started to complement Mother’s Day.  Both holidays had versions hundreds of years earlier in several parts of the world.  Since single Baby Boomers often married and started families when they were younger, they have grown children and appreciate being remembered on these special days in some way.  Friends can also help by getting together for lunch with other mothers or fathers who don’t have children or grandchildren living near them.  A friend of mine invited me to share her Mother’s Day celebration.  It made my day.


Birthdays – It’s wonderful to have someone recognize your birthday even if you don’t want to think about the fact that you’re another year older.  I now have a large group of friends who throw each other parties, often themed based, for each new year.  It makes us all feel as special as we did when we were kids and gives us an excuse to get together.


Housewarmings – When you move to a new home, you want to share your happiness with your friends and family.  I had a small picture hanging pizza and wine party.  It takes forever to get things up on the wall when you have to do it alone.  Having someone else help you get your pictures up straight and well arranged can make all the difference.  Knowing my friends cared enough about me to come over and help decorate made all of the things that bother me about placement and spacing seem unimportant.  Their help made my new house into a home.  A larger housewarming may follow but for now, more friends are invited to my condo for a friend’s birthday party.


New Pets – When we’re older, pets become an important part of our lives.  Why not have friends over to meet yours.  It doesn’t have to be a party.  If a friend gets a new pet, welcome them with a visit and even a gift.  You can also offer to pet sit when they go out of town.


Career or Job Change – Many single Baby Boomers are still in the job market and make career changes or moves within their company.  This deserves recognition by family and friends because both are stressful and life changing.  They’ve most likely changed jobs before but each time it’s like they’re the new kid at school.  Even if they’ve just received a promotion at the same company, they have new responsibilities and may need someone to listen to their concerns or celebrate the change.  Take your friend out to dinner and show them you understand their apprehension or joy with this new chapter in their life.


Retirement – You’ve dreamed about it for years and now it’s finally here.  Work friends may help you celebrate but after the first few weeks they’re usually busy with their work lives and don’t have the time you do to go out for lunch or travel.  Now’s the time to find other friends who can help you celebrate or just adjust to this new time in your life.  I don’t mean you should forget about your other friends just expand your circle to include those with the same interests so you can learn to celebrate this new phase of life with adult “play dates”.


End of Life Events – Isn’t it better to celebrate your life or the lives of others with a happy event rather than the traditional wake and funeral?  Wouldn’t you rather celebrate your life while you’re still alive or remember your loved one with a party?  It’s been said that the people left behind need closure, but why can’t a celebration do the same thing?  It’s more uplifting for those left behind.  It can also make the person facing the end of their life more comfortable if they have one last bash to say goodbye and celebrate the great times they had together.

I’m sure you can think of more ways to celebrate life with your friends and family.  Please share them with us here or on my Facebook Page, Single Boomer Life.

If you’d like to be a guest blogger on my site and contribute your ideas and adventures, please let me know.  I would welcome your input and the opportunity to get your point of view on any subject of interest to single Baby Boomer, singles or Baby Boomers.

Continue the adventure!


Linda Lea


10 Reasons Why a Pet Can be Better Than a Spouse.

10 Reasons Why a Pet Can be Better Than a Spouse.

I was researching a blog on Elder Care when my cat jumped on the couch to drink from her cup.  She has to have her own or she’ll drink out of mine.  I knew writing about Elder Care wasn’t what I wanted to do on a beautiful day on the bay.  After my cat had her drink she left without any questions or requests so I could get on with my writing.  Would I have liked her to sit by me just for company? Sure, if she didn’t want to sit on my warm laptop while I was trying to write.  Is having her in my life the same as having a spouse?  No, but she gives me affection and attention without asking for much in return.  That may sound selfish but as we age we sometimes find we want to simplify our lives and spending time with a pet can be very rewarding for a number of reasons.   You may not agree with them all, but maybe a few will give you laugh.

  1. Pets can help you feel more connected.  A recent study at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University found that young people who had “strong attachment to pets reported feeling more connected to their communities and relationships.” According to survey results, it also made them more empathetic and confident.  It follows that this would apply to all ages and enhances all of your relationships whereas being married often isolates people who spend more time with their spouse than with others out in their healthy
  2. Pets can keep you healthy.   We all know the benefits of walking a dog but research has shown that owning a pet can also boost physical and mental health. A 2011 study in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, showed that “pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences than non-owners on several dimensions,”  According to researcher, Miami University’s Allen R. McConnell, Ph.D.,  “Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extraverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners.”  Research often claims married people live longer healthier life, but in truth never marrieds have a longer life expectancy according to Bella DePaulo, PhD. an expert on singles.



  1. Just looking at your pet can make you feel happier.  A 2009 study by Miho Nagasawa of Azabu University in Japan found that one’s level of oxytocin (the neurohormone that elicits feelings of happiness) spiked after interacting with their dog even if they only stared into their dog’s eyes.  I know petting my cat makes me feel relaxed and just seeing my friend’s dog, Joy, makes me understand why she named her that.  Your spouse can raise your oxytocin levels too but rarely does a pet cause you the pain a person can trigger with just a disgusted look.



  1. Pets can help you recover from a psychological crisis.  Support animals have been used to help soldiers with PTSD recover from the horrors and pain they endured on the battlefield.  Many other animals have been found to help their owners in similar ways with just their presence.  Animals trained to be Support Animals don’t lose their temper in a crowd or demand your attention when you might need to time for yourself to sort out your life.  They may not have a shoulder to lean on like a spouse but they can give you unconditional love and support whenever you need it just by always being there.



  1. Jealousy isn’t a problem.  She may sniff me when I get home, but my cat doesn’t care that I’ve been petting other cats or even a dog.  Other animals aren’t considered a threat to your relationship with your pet like other men or women with whom you might get romantically involved or just want as friends can be to your marriage.  Pets often let other animals share their home but few spouses would agree to that even if you wanted another one.


Photo credit: russelljsmith via / CC BY

  1. They don’t care if you leave them home when you travel.  A pet may care until the pet sitter comes to feed and pet them but it’s not like leaving a spouse on their own.  There’s no silent treatment because they have to stay home.  Pets like to be home and aren’t worried if you’re having fun with someone else.  I do feel guilty at times but my pet is always happy to see me and doesn’t make me feel like I deserted her to enjoy myself while I go off alone or with my friends.  Some animals show their displeasure by making a mess while you’re gone but it’s a rare male spouse who cleans up after himself and few women don’t ask what you did when you were traveling without her.  You never have to explain anything to a pet.

I only want the ears.

Kevin and peeps

  1. Pets don’t care about what’s for dinner.  As long as she has food in her dish and a few treats on the side, my cat is happy.  She doesn’t care that it’s the same flavor every day or if it’s served at the perfect temperature and matched with the appropriate wine.  There’s no need to mix it up with a new recipe or take her out to eat.  She’s perfectly happy with whatever I choose to feed her and seldom begs for anything I eat so I don’t mind sharing every now and then.  If you’re the cook, can you say your spouse will accept this arrangement?



  1. You’re usually the one in control.  Now it’s been said cats don’t have owners they have staff but any well-trained pet is controllable.  People on the other hand fight to be the one in charge and resent you if you try.  You can always take a dog to obedience school but the only thing close for people is couples therapy and you can’t physically drag a spouse there.  Pets also don’t want control the TV remote.



  1. They can protect you.  Your spouse can deter a mugger or burglar by their presence but well-trained pets are less expensive and don’t have the same sense of self-preservation.  Their first choice is usually to fight when their owner is threatened.  If you walk your dog in the park, it’s less likely you’ll be attacked.  A pet has excellent hearing and can hear sounds you might not, especially if you’re asleep.  They also have teeth and claws and aren’t afraid to use them to protect their families.  Their sensitive noses have been known to sense smoke and gas fumes before their humans and save lives.  They’ve even towed drowning people to shore.




  1. Pets don’t take your covers in bed.  Now it can be argued that even a small pet who sprawls out in your bed can take up more space than its share, but they rarely take the covers and their snoring is usually not that loud.  It’s a lot easier to toss them out of your bedroom than to do the same with a spouse.  Pets may not like it but they’ll forget about it in the morning when you feed or pet them.  Spouses aren’t so forgiving.



I know I’ll probably be accused of being cynical when it comes to relationships but I’m not a lonely single Baby Boomer living with a cat who will be found dead and gnawed on by my cat.  There are times when a pet can’t give a person the love they crave.  However, a pet will always love you no matter how you look or feel.  That’s not always easy to find in a spouse.  If you’ve found that special partner, you may have won the relationship lottery.  For the rest of us who have either chosen to live alone or live that way through no choice of our own, there are our sweet, lovable pets.




If you have a picture of your special pets, please post it here or on my Facebook page, Single Boomer Life, so we can all enjoy it.


Continue the adventure!


Linda Lea

I Checked the Grand Canyon off my Bucket List.

I Checked the Grand Canyon off my Bucket List.

I’ve seen it from a plane, but nothing compares to seeing the spectacle that is the Grand Canyon up close.  It reminds us that nature is a powerful force and one we need to respect and conserve.  It seems contradictory that the ravages of wind, water, and fire can create such beauty.  We can harness their forces, but never truly control them.



I was going to drive to the Grand Canyon but I was offered a discounted tour at my resort, so I opted for this option.  I was able to enjoy a narrated trip with our tour guide, Lynn, and sit back and look at the scenery instead of the traffic.  If you’re traveling alone, I’ve found tours allow me to appreciate the view and learn about the history and facts of the area while enjoying the company of others.  I was the only single on the tour, but I didn’t feel out of place.  I was able to wander off, taking the time to view scenery and shops at my own pace, as long as I returned to the van before it left.  Lunch and the entry fee to the park were covered and Lynn was a valuable source of information about the Park, Native Americans, and history of the Canyon.




We started our journey in Flagstaff and motored across the beautiful, but often barren landscape toward some of the most stunning rock formations in the world.  Along the way, we passed The Painted Desert National Park, a U.S. desert of badlands in the Four Corners area, located on land owned by the Navajo Nation but part of the National Park System.  It’s known for its brilliant and varied colors, including red rock and even shades of lavender.  It was named by part of an expedition under Francisco Vázquez de Coronado on his 1540 quest to find the Seven Cities of Cibola, the Seven Cities of Gold.  After finding the cities weren’t golden, Coronado sent an expedition to find the Colorado River to resupply his men. On their way, they came upon the wonderland of colors.  They named the area “El Desierto Pintado”, The Painted Desert.




Farther down the road we passed the gas station featured in the movie, “Easy Rider”, and some Spanish Mustangs which are descendants of the horses that came with Coronado’s and other expeditions.  We drove by the area near the Little Colorado River Gorge where Nik Wallenda crossed on a tightrope.  Our first stop was at the Cameron Trading Post Gift Shop where I viewed Navajo art at their gallery.  There is also a motel and food is available.




During the trip, Lynn told us about the Navajo Nation’s traditions and current way of life.  It is a matriarchal society where property in inherited by the women with the grandmothers being the most respected members of their families and their own government.  If a woman divorces a man, he’s left with nothing and must go to a Relocation Area since he no longer has a home.  Since these areas have more up-to-date conveniences, some of the Navajo prefer to live there.  That hasn’t always been the case though since both the Hopi and Navajo have been relocated in the past so their land could be used for other purposes by the government and settlers.  The Native Americans have always fought for their rights in wars and the courts, but in recent times have found that educating their children in business and other areas has helped them create jobs and make money for their tribes.



These are just some of the bits of knowledge shared by our guide.  She also told us that when it comes to the buying of products at the stands that dot the roadside, it’s preferred you don’t try to bargain unless it’s initiated by the owner.  Another thing she mentioned was that Navajo children are not always named by their parents at birth since their family needs time to get to know them.  They may have several names during their lifetime and if delivered at a hospital a traditional Anglican name may be given by the nurse who helped with the delivery.  There was a time when Navajo children were forced to go attend boarding schools and not speak their language so couldn’t use their traditional name.  That was another dark time among many others in the Navajo history.



Navajo Art in the Desert View Watchtower


We stopped at several viewing points to see the spectacular panoramic views of the beautiful sequence of rock layers that have been formed over time by the forces of nature.  There’s rock that’s over 2 billion years old at the bottom of the canyon.  It has been exposed over time by land masses colliding and drifting apart, mountains forming and eroding away, sea levels rising and falling, and the moving water of flash floods running off the surrounding mountains into the Colorado River.  Since it’s located in the desert, little vegetation conceals the geology of the area, so the view from the rim shows all of its splendor.  If you’re interested in the details of how the Grand Canyon was formed go to .


GC timeline

Our guide told us the typical person who most often falls off the rim or is bitten by snakes is a 25-year-old tattooed drunken man.  Dying from heat or dehydration is a more common cause of death in the Canyon but it’s also the site of suicides and plane crashes. See


On June 30, 1956, The Grand Canyon was the site of a mid-air collision when a United Airlines Douglas DC-7 struck a Trans World Airlines Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation.  All 128 on board both flights perished. According to the book “Blind Trust” by John J. Nance,  the two aircraft approached the Grand Canyon at the same altitude and similar airspeeds.  The pilots were likely maneuvering around towering cumulus clouds, even though Visual Flying Rules (VFR) required the planes to stay in clear air. As they maneuvered near the canyon, it’s believed the planes passed a cloud on opposite sides leading to the collision.  It was thought both pilots may have been trying to give the passengers a better view of the canyon.  This tragedy led to sweeping changes in the control of flights in the U.S. The location of the crash has been designated a National Historic Landmark.



Many stories have come out of the building of the railroad and the rise of tourism in the Grand Canyon.  The Grand Canyon was the Santa Fe Railroad’s main tourist destination.  Fred Harvey’s Harvey Houses were instrumental in bringing ample food portions at reasonable prices in clean, elegant restaurants to the travelers throughout the Southwest.  Harvey hired architect and designer, Mary Colter, a lifelong single, to build many of the Canyon’s landmark Harvey Houses.  Colter blended Pueblo Revival, Mission Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Rustic architectural styles along with Mexican carved-wood and hand-painted furnishings, and Native American artistic motifs to help create a style widely popular in the Southwest.  It influenced a generation of Western U.S. architecture through the National Park Service and Civilian Conservation Corps for many years.  She once had builders tear down several stories of the Desert View Watchtower because they didn’t place a rock according to her design.  Colter’s buildings on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon included lodges, souvenirs shops, and special lookout points that are on the National Register of Historic Places. See—indian-watchtower.htm


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In 1883, Harvey placed ads in newspapers throughout the East Coast and Midwest for “white, young women, 18-30 years of age, of good character, attractive and intelligent”. The girls were paid $17.50 a month (approximately $450 in 2017 dollars), generous by the standards of the time to start, plus room, board, and gratuity.  The women had a strict 10 p.m. curfew, administered by a senior Harvey Girl who assumed the role and responsibilities of house mother. The skirt of their official starched black and white uniform hung no more than eight inches off the floor.  The hair was restrained in a net and tied with a regulation white ribbon. Makeup was absolutely prohibited as was chewing gum while on duty. Harvey Girls were required to enter into a one-year employment contract, and forfeited half their base pay should they fail to complete the terms of service. This didn’t stop them from marrying though since there were few women in the Old West so marriage was the most common reason for a girl to terminate her employment.  One of the older servers at the restaurant where I ate a Navajo Taco was a former Harvey Girl.



A preserved “Harvey Girl” uniform


See my Facebook Page, Single Boomer Life, for more stories about the Grand Canyon.  If you delve into the creation and of this natural wonder and the history that surrounds it, you’ll find it’s more than just a giant hole in the ground like so many people think.  The Grand Canyon and its lore make it a destination for all Single Baby Boomers.


Continue the Adventure!


Linda Lea

Falgstaff, AZ – A Single Baby Boomer Gets Her Kicks on Route 66

Falgstaff, AZ – A Single Baby Boomer Gets Her Kicks on Route 66

Even though I live by the water, I find the desert intriguing. The stunning vistas and the history and current lifestyle of the indigenous Native Americas draw me back for inspiration for my writing.  The landscape in Northern Arizona is scenic and reminds me of an uncluttered room.  The wide open spaces are like the water view I have but dotted with rock mesas and buttes in a variety of colors that were left behind by the glaciers and the elements over the years.


After my trip to Sedona, (see my blog, I knew I wanted to return to the area to do research for a book, to see more of Flagstaff and check The Grand Canyon off my bucket list. An added bonus was a visit to Phoenix with my son and daughter-in-law for Spring Training and its delectable cuisine.  The first installment of this blog focuses on Flagstaff.  There is so much history in the city it deserves its own section.

After picking up a rental car in Phoenix, I drove the scenic road to Flagstaff amazed by the towering Saguaro Cactus and the snow-capped mountains.  In a day I’d gone from sea level and beach weather to 7000 feet and melting snow.  Since I’m a Minnesota native, I knew how to pack and enjoyed the cooler weather after our almost non-existent winter in Florida.  Later in my trip, I visited the red rocks of Sedona, new friends I’d met through an ancestry search and Montezuma’s Castle in the Verde Valley, an ancient home of the Southern Sinagua.  Montezuma’s Castle National Monument is a five-story, 20-room dwelling that was inhabited between 1200 and 1300 A.D.  It was recreated to its former state after years of looting. The exterior and nearby sites, Montezuma’s Well and Tuzigoot, the remnants of another Southern Sinagua village, are open to the public.  If you like to gamble, there’s casino and lodging near the freeway exit.

Although Flagstaff doesn’t have the wow factor of the Grand Canyon, it’s got a lot going for it.  The fact it still has a stretch of the infamous Route 66 running through it, may bring back some fond memories of road trips as a child.  U.S. Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. Established in 1926, it originally ran from Chicago, IL through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, CA, covering a total of 2,448 miles. It was recognized in popular culture during our childhood by both the hit song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s.  You can get more information on this and all of the attractions in the area at the Flagstaff Visitor Center in the center of town right on Route 66.


While you’re downtown, stroll around and see the murals depicting the history of the area, sculptures and stop for a beer and local cuisine in one of the microbreweries and eateries frequented by residents and students of Northern Arizona University.


The Atlantic and Pacific Railroads were responsible for giving Flagstaff its start when the workers set up a tent village in 1881 during its construction.  During that time, shootings and lynching were common occurrences, so business owners kept guns handy to deal with troublemakers.


The Babbitt and Riordan families left their mark during Flagstaff’s early history and still do today.  The Babbitt’s made their name in ranching, trading posts, and politics, activities that continue to this day.  They also run The Babbitt Brothers Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides opportunities to participate in the health, education, science, arts and historic preservation of the Northern Arizona communities where Babbitt Ranches do business.

The three Riordan brothers came to Flagstaff seeking professional opportunities. They started out in the lumber business in the 1880s providing materials for the building of the railroad. Their civic-minded enterprises helped establish a company hospital that served the lumber mill and the town, brought electricity to Flagstaff, the construction of three Catholic churches, and aided in the establishment of some of the most important scientific and educational institutions in the community, including Northern Arizona University, Lowell Observatory, and Fort Valley Experimental Forest Station.  They also developed a community hotel, the Monte Vista, which is still open today and has hosted Hollywood stars and has resident ghosts.  See and  As fate would have it, the families intermarried and a dynasty was founded.

In the U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 017-01, “The San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona,” Susan S. Priest, Wendell A. Duffield, Karen Malis-Clark, James W. Hendley II, and Peter H. Stauffer at offer the following information. “Northern Arizona’s San Francisco Volcanic Field, much of which lies within Coconino and Kaibab National Forests, is an area of young volcanoes along the southern margin of the Colorado Plateau. During its 6-million-year history, this field has produced more than 600 volcanoes. Their activity has created a topographically varied landscape with forests that extend from the Piñon-Juniper up to the Bristlecone Pine life zones. The most prominent landmark is San Francisco Mountain, a stratovolcano that rises to 12,633 feet and serves as a scenic backdrop to the city of Flagstaff.”  The area offers diverse recreational opportunities, including camping, hiking, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, and winter sports.

Photo credit: Martin_PHX via Visual hunt / CC BY

The peaks of San Francisco Mountain, which includes Arizona’s highest point, Humphreys Peak, tower over the ruins of an ancient Native American pueblo in Wupatki National Monument. Its inhabitants must have witnessed the eruption of nearby Sunset Crater, the state’s youngest volcano, in about A.D. 1064 A.D.


Most of the 600+ volcanoes in the San Francisco Volcanic Field are basalt cinder cones. They’re usually less than 1,000 feet tall, formed within months to years and were built when gas-charged frothy blobs of basalt magma erupted as a lava fountain that fell back to the earth as volcanic rock with cavities created by the trapped gas bubbles. The smaller fragments of rock are called cinders and the larger, bombs, which as they accumulate built a cone-shaped hill. The cinders are used in Flagstaff during snow storms to coat the road and prevent accidents until the spring winds blow them back into nature.

Starting in 1963 the rocky landscape and Cinder Lake provided NASA with a stage to prepare for the Apollo Missions. The Astrogeology Research Program transformed the northern Arizona landscape into a re-creation of the Moon by blasting hundreds of different-sized craters in the earth creating an ideal training ground for astronauts.  For more information see



While we’re on the subject of space, Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory, established in 1894, is among the oldest astronomical observatories in the U.S.  It was there that the now dwarf planet Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh.  The Observatory’s original 24-inch Alvan Clark & Sons Telescope is still in use today for public education. Every year Lowell Observatory hosts 85,000 visitors who take guided daytime tours and view the wonders of the night sky through the Clark Telescope and other telescopes.

Arizona Snowbowl is located on the majestic San Francisco Peaks at 9,500 feet above sea level. It’s a year-round destination for skiing in the winter sun or escaping the summer desert heat. The ski area uses reclaimed water for snowmaking. The Navajos, Hopis and the other 11 tribes who see the Peaks as sacred say the water contaminates the entire mountain and devalues their religious practices.  They consider it a violation of their religious freedom. They’ve protested and filed a suit in court but have yet to stop the snowmaking.  Jones Benally, who’s in his 90s still works as a Navajo healer. He regularly collects medicinal plants from the San Francisco Peaks, just outside Flagstaff.  “In creation, it is said the mountains were placed here by the holy people,” Benally said. “I collect medicinal plants and vegetation from the San Francisco Peaks because it’s very powerful.”

Photo credit: ariztravel via Visual hunt / CC BY

There were many more things to see and do in the area, but I had the Grand Canyon to visit.  Next time I’ll tell you more about the Native Americans of the area and about my tour with our guide, Lynn.


Continue the adventure!


Linda Lea

Are Single or Married Baby Boomers More Likely to Suffer From Depression?

Are Single or Married Baby Boomers More Likely to Suffer From Depression?

Photo credit: GollyGforce – Living My Worst Nightmare via Visualhunt / CC BY


There’s been much discussion and many surveys done on how marriage affects the health of Baby Boomers. Depending on the source and the spin put on it, the results vary.  Earlier studies appear to suggest that marrieds are the healthiest, especially the men, but current research could be reversing that finding.  With more Baby Boomer widows and divorcees choosing to stay single, many women report being happier with their single state and the freedom that comes with it.  Whenever the subject of getting married comes up, my single female friends who are single Baby Boomers say they would never get married again.  The majority of the single men I talk to are open to another relationship, but there are always those who do well on their own and prefer it remains that way.  Widowers who have been in a fulfilling relationship are often the ones who want to remarry.  So does the freedom to make choices on their own about how they live their life, perhaps for the first time, make single Baby Boomers happy and less susceptible to depression or depressed because they live their life alone?


Depression affects your well-being just like any physiological ailment, but the studies on the health of marrieds vs. singles usually don’t address that aspect of health.   According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It’s a leading cause of disability. “What Is Depression?” at reports that depression is an illness that interferes with concentration, motivation and many other aspects of everyday functioning. “It is a complex disorder, involving many systems of the body, including the immune system, either as cause or effect. It disrupts sleep, and it interferes with appetite, in some cases causing weight loss, in others weight gain. Because of its complexity, a full understanding of depression has been elusive.”




There’s some evidence that depression is related to diet, both directly through the nutrients we consume, such as omega-3 fats and indirectly, through the composition of the bacteria in the gut.  It causes pain for those with the disorder and those who care about them.


Depression isn’t an occasional blue mood.  It’s a pervasive experience of repetitive negative rumination, bleak outlook, and lack of energy. It’s not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed away.  There’s some evidence it serves a positive purpose, bringing with it ways of thinking that force people to focus on problems and motivate them to seek help to solve them.


Even the most severe cases of depression are cyclical and early treatment may prevent or forestall recurrent episodes. Studies show that the most effective treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy.  It addresses problematic thought patterns.  It can be used with or without the use of antidepressant drugs. In addition, the evidence currently shows that regular mindfulness meditation, alone or combined with cognitive therapy, can stop depression at its onset by disengaging attention from the repetitive negative thoughts that often set in motion the downward spiral of mood.



Photo credit: darkwood67 via / CC BY-NC-ND

So are single Baby Boomers more susceptible to depression?  If you just look at studies done on the benefits of marriage to your health without taking a close look at the statistics, you’ll believe the hype.  But as Bella DePaulo cites in her book, Singles Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, these studies don’t take into account the statistics that show never married people have a lower incident of health issues than their married friends.


Two articles on the website state “The World Health Organization says single and divorced people have an overall two to four times greater rate of depression, with men facing a higher risk than women.” Then another article cites the American Psychological Association report that says  “. . . married women are actually more stressed than single women.”  Who can we believe?  If you’re single or married and are predisposed to depression, then you can have a problem any time you have an event in your life that causes you distress.  The death of a loved one and divorce often top the list, but other things such as a move, the loss of a job or even changing jobs can cause a chemical imbalance in our bodies and push us into a depressive state.




You also need to take into account all of the causes of stress in your life.  If you decided to remain single and childless, you take a factor of stress and possible depression out of your life, children.  Yes, the little darlings can give you moments of unbounded joy and may take care of you in your old age, but there are no guarantees.  Even the sweetest child can be a source of stress for their parents.  All children can have health, emotional, substance abuse or learning problems, hang with the wrong crowd or dislike the way you choose to spend your life, your friends or partner because it affects their life.


Singles have been accused of having attachment issues which can be caused by unresolved childhood attachment issues that “leave an adult vulnerable to difficulties in forming secure adult relationships” according to Evergreen Consultants in Human Behavior.  They also posit that “There is a strong correlation between insecure adult attachment and marital dissatisfaction and negative marital interactions.” Although this is a legitimate psychological disorder, can the decision to remain single be considered a psychological problem?  Singles can form an attachment to family members and friends.  These secure relationships can be as rewarding and healthy as the attachments you form with a spouse.


It’s time to quit apologizing and worrying about what people think about you being single. I’m not advising you to keep away from all relationships that cause you stress, just suggesting that you look for the warning signs of stressful situations that could possibly overwhelm you and cause depression.  A dating site called Depression Dating matches members with other people who are suffering from depression and takes advantage of the depressed and lonely.  No one needs friends like those.


Continue the adventure!


Linda Lea

Don't Suffer From Jet Lag Single Baby Boomers

Don't Suffer From Jet Lag Single Baby Boomers

Photo credit: OneEighteen via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC

Many single Baby Boomers crave new experiences.  Travel can offer excitement and intellectual stimulation so they don’t lose their edge.  Why do we need to keep our edge, the qualities or skills that made us successful in the past, you may ask?  Well, we’re on our own most of the time so we have to rely on our wits both at home and when we’re out of our hood.  Part of not losing your edge is remaining alert at all times.  Navigating in a new place where they speak your language can even be difficult sometimes, but in a foreign country, it can be tricky. You don’t want to wander into the bad part of town and become a victim of a pickpocket or mugger.  I can read a map on the ground or in the air but when I’m at the controls of a car or plane it’s easier to have a navigator.  If you don’t have the human kind then a GPS is a lifesaver.  Suffice to say, it’s easier to make mistakes when you’re on your own or jet lagged.


When I was younger, I never traveled more than 2 time zones away from home.  As I was able to take more time off, the world became my oyster.  Not just the time zones crossed makes you tired, but age can make it harder to adjust to the time of day at your destination.  If you’re taking a trip overseas, you often depart at night and arrive in the morning.  If you have to make connections, you may need to start in the morning on the day of your departure.  The last time I went overseas I was up 40 hours because I couldn’t sleep on the plane.  I got up at 3 am and made 3 connections.  By the time I got home I was happy that my friends met me because I could’ve been a threat to myself and other drivers.


In the article “How to Cope With Jet Lag”, at, Camille Peri tells us “Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder, but not temporary enough for many travelers . . . If you’re an older adult, jet lag may hit you harder and recovery may take longer.”  If you’re flying from L.A. to Rome for a 10-day trip, it could take 6 to 9 days to fully recover. It can take up to a day for each time zone crossed for your body to adjust to the local time. On the return trip jet lag could last four to five days – around half the number of time zones crossed since jet lag is generally worse when you “lose time” traveling west to east.



Rapid travel throws off our circadian rhythm, the biological clock that helps control our wake and sleep cycles.  “Cues such as light exposure, mealtimes, social engagement, and activities regulate our circadian rhythm,” says Allison T. Siebern, Ph.D. a fellow in the Insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center. “When you cross time zones, it disrupts those, and your internal clock and the external time are desynchronized. Your body needs to get on the rhythm of the new time zone.”  There are other aspects of air travel that can aggravate the problem. A 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that air cabins pressurized to 8,000 feet lower oxygen in the blood, making you feel uncomfortable and dehydrated. Also, people don’t move or walk as much as on an airplane. “These can increase symptoms of jet lag and further disrupt your circadian rhythm from re-synchronizing,” says Siebern.

These are the symptoms of jet lag.

  • disturbed sleep pattern
  • indigestion
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty concentrating
  • feeling disorientated
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • memory problems
  • clumsiness
  • lack of energy
  • lightheadedness
  • confusion
  • headaches
  • sweating
  • muscle soreness
  • irregular periods in women who travel frequently
  • generally feeling unwell


So what can the single Baby Boomer traveler do to combat the onslaught of jet lag and be able to enjoy their trip as soon as possible?

  • Simulate your new schedule before you leave – “When traveling east, start moving your bedtime earlier,” says Avelino Verceles, MD, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the school’s sleep medicine fellowship. “Shift it a half-hour earlier each night for several nights before you leave.” When traveling west, do the opposite.  Also, try moving your mealtimes closer to when you’ll be taking them at your destination.


  • Adapt to your new schedule while in flight – Change your watch to the time at your destination when you get on the plane. “This is mostly psychological,” says Siebern, “but it helps you get into the mind-set of what you’ll be doing in the place where you’re going.” Try to sleep on the plane if it’s night where you’re going or stay awake if it’s daytime.  “It can be difficult to force yourself to sleep and that can cause frustration, which can then prevent sleep,” says Siebern. “If that happens, just try to rest as much as possible.”


  • Eat sensibly – Don’t eat a high carb or fatty diet close to bedtime because that can be disruptive to sleep.



  • Stay hydrated – Drink water before, during and after your flight. Avoid alcohol or caffeine altogether or a few hours before you plan to sleep as they can disrupt sleep and cause dehydration.


  • Move around – Walk around when possible, do some static exercises, and stretch. After you land, avoid heavy exercise near bedtime as it can delay sleep.


  • Use sleep aids – See the ones I discussed in a previous blog at such as blue light blocking glasses, silicone earplugs, lavender, and melatonin. You might also try noise canceling headphones, an eye mask, slippers, loose fitting clothes, a travel pillow, and a coat or wrap to use as a blanket.  The ones the airlines give you aren’t always cleaned.  Book the seat that works best for you for sleeping and allows you to move around in flight.


  • Arrive early – If you need to be at top of your game for an event at your destination try to arrive a few days early, so your mind and body can adjust.



  • Try natural light therapy – Upon arrival at your destination remember that exposure to sunlight helps regulate your circadian rhythms. On westward flights, get bright morning light and avoid afternoon and evening light exposure.  On eastward flights, avoid early morning light and walk in the sunlight in the afternoon and early evening. Light helps shift your body’s circadian clock so that you feel rested and wake at appropriate times at your destination.


  • Exercise – Take a walk and enjoy the new scenery or hit the gym to get more energy for your day and to limber up those travel weary muscles. You can also bring along a stretchy band for resistance training.  Pack a tennis ball or other small self-massage tools for myofascial pain. See suggestions for these at  You can roll away your travel pains while lying on the floor watching TV or listening to music.  They work best on your back and hips, but your feet and hands can also benefit from a quick massage.


  • Take a hot bath before bedtime – It can ease sore muscles from travel and help you relax. The drop in your body temperature when you get out of a bath can also make you sleepy.


Jet lag is often a temporary problem, but if these strategies don’t work for you, your doctor may prescribe or suggest temporary medication to help you sleep or stay alert, if necessary.  If you fly often and jet lag is a problem, consider seeing a sleep specialist.  See and  for more information.


Single Baby Boomers, don’t let fear of jet lag keep you from taking the journeys you’ve been waiting to experience.  You’ve worked too long and too hard to have the time and money to be able to check your dream destinations off of your travel bucket list.  You’ll have to power through for a few days, but in the end, you’ll recover and regain your usual energy.  I snorkeled the Outer Great Barrier Reef with jet lag and it was one the most fantastic experiences of my life.  I was so mellow that when a fellow traveler told me that a shark swam right by me, I was thrilled and continued to swim until the horn sounded signaling that I had to get out to catch the boat back to Cairns.


You can sleep when you get home, so if you work plan to return at least a couple of days before you have to be back on the job.  Don’t get off a plane and go to work.  You may fall asleep at your desk like I did when I was much younger.  Those red eye champagne flights that Northwest Airlines had back in the 70s were too much of a good thing.


Continue the adventure!


Linda Lea