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Monthly Archives: March 2013

treat me no diff than the queen

Don’t get me wrong.  I am terrified by the thought of turning 50 this week.  I consider all the things that I am not and have not done. Looking back, I thought that I would be settled and know who I was, and what I would be doing, at this age.  Well, there is another twenty years to pay on the mortgage and I have no idea what I will eat for lunch.

I think that I am so noble by telling the truth about my age, but the responses are always full of surprise and wonder.  Usually, it is a “Gee;” translation: Wow, 50 ~ you are still alive!  The other reaction, once I mention that I have four children and have been married for almost 26 years is, “Wow! You look reeeeaaaaally good!” It is all relative to where you are standing.  If I am standing next to my relatives, the view is not quite so much in my favor anymore.

My sister is a year younger and has been married almost 28 years, has four grandchildren, and is half my size.  She got the “smart” and the “pretty” labels as we grew older in the sibling rivalry. She also got the incredible hair gene on the chromosome that I did not.  She works very hard and deserves to be smart, pretty and have great hair.  But, when she says that she has to cut it because it is too long, and too thick, and she does not know what to do with it? Well, then some of my gracious attitude wavers.

Nora Ephron felt bad about her neck; for me it is between my neck and my ankles.  But, as Grandma used to say, at least I am moving on my own steam.

When I see the magazine photos that detail what 30, 40, and 50 look like, I know that I will never be on those pages.  It would be wonderful to have the trainer, the dietician and live-in chef, the masseuse and the funds to pay for all of that. But again, gratitude will have to be my guide since it is free.

While I was purchasing a new lip gloss, I had to ask the young blue-haired punk what the name of the color was.  He turned it over and said “Yeah, they really ought to make the print bigger so women your age can read it.”  Yes, Your Honor, and that is when I shot him.  I am pretty sure that kind of homicide would stand up in court, especially in front of Judge Judy. Sisters have to do it for themselves.  

Here I am at 50, so it is time to fill up on the gratitude, instead of the Reese’s peanut butter cups.  I became a grandmother in the last year. Naturally, I am in love with my beautiful grandson and want to spoil him rotten.  As my boss said, the reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is because they have a common enemy. He could be right.

I am part of the illustrious sandwich generation.  My family is so big, and so complex, right now between parents and children. Frankly, we are one double stuff Oreo waiting to happen.

Again, I have to have gratitude.  I am alive. My college boyfriend is not, nor other dear friends and acquaintances along the way who have left this world far too soon.  I can walk and get out of bed on my own.  Of course, some days I don’t want to leave my bed or stop playing Angry Birds on my Kindle, but that is just a part of growing up.

I still have two parents and for that I have to have gratitude.  I am scared going forward, unsure of the length of time I have left with my mother, but so grateful to have both of my parents here to wish me Happy 50th Birthday!

My dearest friends number less than a handful. Working for so many years, and no longer involved in the play date scene, it is hard to make new friends.  Everyone is busy, but at least I know that they are there, out in the universe, and I am grateful to call them my friends.  Finding people who still love you after all these years can get challenging.  I also have a wonderful friend who is a therapist; this allows me to get a friendly and professional viewpoint when I need it. It is good to have someone looking over my shoulder just in case I cry too long, or, am sad too often.

It has not all been rosy these past fifty years. I have not had a good hair day since I was born. But I was born healthy, so I have to have gratitude.  It has been a challenge to raise four kids who, will either love me some day, or discuss me in therapy.  Either way, it is good to know that I am still on their minds.

A life is filled with depression, joy, sadness, happiness, anxiety, unemployment, loss of community and loss of self.  Sometimes, I feel most of those things all on the same day.

But, fifty is the age of accessories.  Watches, shoes, hats and jewelry are never a sizing issue.  While I have gotten heavier, and my fingers have swelled, there is still one part of my body that is a size 6.  For that, I have to be grateful.

Sometimes, I feel so alone and scared, but I can journal and post it to a blog. Some people may read, and even like, what I have to say. For that, and the myriad of things yet to come, I have gratitude.

Thank you for stopping by! It means more than you know. Feel free to share this with a friend who needs a good laugh or a shoulder to cry on.
Disclaimer: Not everything I write is about one person. I really do have a combination of experiences from life, adventures, and work history. Please don’t think it is all about you, good or bad.


One of the surest ways to insanity is to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results. The same can be said of human character and the desires of an idealistic empathetic person.

Our calibration and sensitivity is so fine, that our sense impressions and initial judgments of people are rarely wrong. Even when we try to make room for another alternative and the passage of time, ironically, the results are the same as what we initially surmised. 

There is a false sense of security we develop in our temporary and created communities, whether at work, school, neighborhood or other places that we share, literally and figuratively, common ground.  The length and passage of time of casual awareness makes one think that there is truth, loyalty and support. Yet, the one who will step forward in times of trouble is the same individual you got along with from the first time that you met. Our spirit, inner strength and genuine selves recognize a like-minded person before our conscious mind lets us cross the doubts of previous disappointments and distrust.  The peace seeker in me wants to give people a chance to show glorious and perfect attributes; the people pleaser in me thinks that I can change someone else’s mind.  Sadly, someone vocal in their dislike, is probably still set in their mind trap.  If someone wants to find fault with you, they will never be disappointed.

I want to believe that people will rise to the occasion, bring out their best natures and show their mettle in times of stress. It is so intrinsic to my idealism and belief in humanity that people are inherently good; I know other people feel that if the obtuse were informed, they would behave differently, better, given the chance.   Despite wanting people to be as special, supportive, courageous, defenders of the underdog, and seekers of truth and justice, some of them are just never going to reach that level.  Some are unable and some simply don’t want to work that hard.  The opportunity and sincere desire to help another seems so elemental to me. Perhaps seeing things another way, or changing the tone of how I speak and communicate, will let me find the way to approach and bring out another’s best.  Despite knowing how the story goes, and the characters relate, I try to choose a new ending. However, faced with the transitioning loss of my mother and grandmother, both of whom I love dearly, it is becoming the hard-learned reality of life and environment. You try to carry on, but the extended illness makes it so hard to think clearly sometimes. It seems so final, like I have given up and don’t believe in the power of change or goodness. That is a very hard lesson and concept for an Empathy Queen to accept.  

My first instinct is to think and empathize with the other person and allow them to express their pain, loss, or fear. I have come to realize that the individuals who will turn a cold shoulder, in the best of times, will do no more in the worst of times.

The desire to trust, believe in the expansion of spirit, and the knowledge that there are some supremely special and loving souls in the world is what keeps me going in these dark times. There is an engaging and open-eyed wonder in finding these vital individuals and basking in their unique grace and boundless wisdom. When you meet such an angel on a human journey, you don’t have to wait long to realize the depth of her feeling and thought. Time is not an issue; the friendly, loving, and open demeanor rise to the surface when you meet and shows itself almost immediately when seen with empathic eyes. 

There are healers among us, soothing us with their words or merely putting a hand on our shoulders as we cry.  The most wonderful message came to me yesterday from one such rare individual.  He reminded me of the paths I have had to take to start over, move my family, begin and end jobs in ways to support us. Remember the effort to put forth the energy for one more day, over and over, despite the pain and hardships.  The achievements that you have made, as a loving and responsible person, make you a powerful warrior.  When the time comes to cross to the side of those who mourn, ground yourself and remember the strength in the heart of a warrior.  It is there ~ and you will be able to call it up with ease when you face the final test and challenges.

What a wonderful blessing and wish for help in times of trouble, love and loss! I felt honored and grateful to hear the divine and lasting beauty in those heartfelt words. While love and loss illuminate and reveal the true character of ourselves, and those we interact with, a reminder that inner strength really can lie waiting dormant beneath the tears, anxiety and fear is the greatest kindness and empathy we can share. 


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