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Category Archives: Midlife

In Life

Friendships with women “of a certain age” seem more precious and fragile to me. They arise like soap bubbles, frothy and shiny, but have to be caught before they slip away. I have to work to catch the opportunity before it is gone.

I do not live in the city where I raised my children; there are no mommy coffee dates and well-planned birthday parties at indoor amusement parks. The memories of Saturday afternoon dinners shared among good friends, and their children, are of a time many years ago.

At this age, I go to work and home. Very rarely, do I have the energy to plan activities in the evenings. However, there is an opportunity to meet people once a year, or every six months, in a long-denied rendezvous of talk and reality. Our spirits merge like magnets, pulled together and hanging on each word, laughing together and grateful for the encapsulated histories we have created. We don’t see each other often, but when we do, we go back to our routine of honesty, laughter, tears, and empathy.

It is a wonderful thing to bypass the posturing and the posing, the nonsense, and the false compliments and go straight to the good stuff: the truth!

We talk about our adult children, the changes in our bodies, the experiences with our families, our concerns for future employment, and what miracle will become our retirement plan. We don’t pretend to be a size 6 or 10 or 14, we know things have softened. But, it is not just our bodies, it is our hearts too. We are more sensitive, aware, and acknowledge the good and bad that occurs in the world and our prayers for the safety of children everywhere. We understand the language of grief and sadness and share it in our conversation. We float from one topic to another, untethered from any destination or motive, and simply speak eye to eye.

We are well-educated but know that intelligence and experiences aren’t always recognized for the accomplishments that they are in a life of ups and downs. We leave the narcissism to others and talk from the soul.

It is such a gift to find, at this stage in my life, that I can be drawn to some personalities who make me feel welcome and treasured. Underneath all the stress and artifice, there are deep wells of emotion and the freedom to share it all with another smart, empathetic, compassionate woman.

Is it better to have a therapist or a friend? At this age, perhaps they are one and the same.

We allow ourselves, without fear, to shed the masks and the tears, and question where and who we are. The delight in unraveling conversation is joyful, but limited in time. That is what makes it all the more precious and recognized for the gift that it is.

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Thanks for stopping by! It means more than you know.
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planets spinning in space

All those beautiful images that proliferate on the internet: the sun rising or setting, birds fluttering above a wire, babies learning to crawl, trees changing colors, tulips and crocuses popping through the snow crusted ground. They make you believe that you can do anything, achieve anything, try anything.

I am trying to go back to school. It is my belief that I am a lifelong learner and capable of more than others know. It is also my belief that I am certainly capable of more than I have been told by some. Encouragement does not always come from the sources that you think it should and I keep trying to persevere.

But what I am finding is that among those images, there is not one of an over middle-age woman screaming at her computer to stop the monotone voice describing financial formula calculations in Excel. None of them show someone reaching for the aspirin to drown the stress headache from studying internal rates of review, present value, and future value of money. None of them show the terror, fear and panic inside the brain of trying to compress knowledge into a place where it never existed.

As I heard the professor say, ever so calmly, that we are going to incorporate algebraic formulas to express the conceptual values of numbers, the blood vessels in my head began to twitch. As he continued to identify some formulas with Roman numerals in place of integers, one blood vessel actually began shrieking for its Mommy.

When I chose to improve myself, and put my tuition on my credit card, I had no idea that I would have to figure out the internal rate of return on an annuity of X number of years at Y percentage rate to calculate the Future Value of Money and compounding? No wonder anyone who wins the lottery takes the lump sum! The pressure of that kind of math and accounting makes my teeth grind.

I am dizzy just writing this. Did your eyes glaze? Did you skip over the words I wrote? C’mon, it is OK. I cannot be the only one who feels the bile and hysteria rise in my throat as I approach this subject.

There are pain relievers for migraines, body aches, inflammation and bloating.
Please tell me on what shelf the real meds are located for the other vagaries of life? If you want to sell pain reliever and create a pharmaceutical monopoly, then don’t just change the font or color of your labels. Create a true panacea for what really ails me!

—- Adolescent teenagers
—- Difficult colleagues
—- Paying bills
—- Graduate School as a mature learner

How about low dose pain relievers for:

—- what to make for dinner?
—- whose birthday did I forget?
—- arguing over the mess in the bathroom?

We have more medications and more questions with fewer answers and massive amounts of fatigue. When you calculate how to resolve that equation, please get back to me.

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Thanks for stopping by! It means more than you know.
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so many candles so little cake

It is January 26th – The day after January 25th. So far you are obviously impressed with my superior manipulation of the obvious.

However, my days truly are numbered and the day after the 25th suddenly becomes more weighted with emotion and consternation. Yesterday, my youngest child turned 18; a big achievement and a milestone for us all. However, while I was happy to hear that it was his best birthday ever, it brought reality crashing into the 26th.

This best birthday had nothing to do with me. He is away at school and happy with his teachers, dorm mates and looking forward to bench pressing at the gym.

I brought him into the world and he is more than ready to fly. In fact, he would fly just about anywhere rather than home. No, I am not being maudlin or feeling sorry for myself, it is simply the truth.  His days of adventure and the freedom to travel, without permission slips as a minor, are stacking up like his collection of boxed basketball shoes.

My kids are more powerful and independent and I am more tired. This may be the cycle of things, but it is still scary to see the unknown third act.  Arthritis is setting into my joints as my son bench presses 900 pounds with his legs.  He cannot get his clothes tight enough and I cannot get mine loose.

He tells me that the ability to push off so much weight is all in the mind.  How did the 18 year old figure this out when I cannot? So, it is January 26th, the first day of the rest of my life with “adult children”. Truly, a Mother’s oxymoron if I ever heard one.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/daily-prompt-numbers/

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Thanks for stopping by! It means more than you know.

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Working on August’s Monthly Challenge, I am completing my Series “All the World is a Stage ~ and I am Aging Upon It”
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/going-serial-2/
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damn straight I keep score

I am not bitter or hysterical that it took me three hours to figure out how to transfer the photo stream from my phone to my computer. Oh no, this is such a thrill to see how many hoops my brain can jump through. Why yes, I did figure it out, and then the next day, realized how to do it in 5 minutes. But imagine all the incredibly new and springy brain cells I am creating? Hopefully, the cortisol I pumped during the three l o n g hours that I tried to figure it out on my own, did not destroy more memory and trigger other unhealthy brain chemicals. Just handing the phone over to my 17 year old is too easy as well as too demeaning. I am a grown up. I have fifty years of life experience, I should be able to figure out how to move my freaking photos!

For the last three days, I have been unable to pair my headset to my cell phone. I kept trying to press buttons and pair the device and search for the Bluetooth connection, etc. My 17 year old looked at and turned it off and restarted it. Now it works! Sometimes, we have had to adapt to so much technology and other life changes, that we lose sight of the simple and expect the complex. Isn’t that so true in many areas?

Maybe fifty is the age of the deep learning curve?

As I have gotten older, my skin has changed. It is more thin, more spotted, more sensitive, and hyper reactive. No thanks Mr. Grey, I am already fifty shades of black and blue. Besides, I do not need any more inflicted pain.

We are strong and forthright. When one of our own is down, we rally around her to help carry the load. My knees may buckle, pop, and click — But I have got your back when it is needed. We are a force to be reckoned with.

We are not willing to be false to ourselves or anyone else. We carry ourselves with dignity.

It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. At fifty, I don’t mourn the boyfriends and relationships along the way (although we all Google them for Heaven’s Sake). I mourn the ones that I have truly loved and lost, like my mother and grandparents. I have even lost a couple of college friends. It is heartbreaking to think how young their middle age really was.

I cry because it is my family legacy. I cry because hormones are rampant in women my age (see, isn’t that a great rationalization?!) I cry because I am highly sensitive.

Maybe fifty is the age of tolerance and expression?

In your 20’s, the indefatigable and adventurous will live forever and claim “You Only Live Once” as an excuse for doing crazy dangerous things. At 50, the oft repeated refrain is that “Life is Short.” It is not as catchy as YOLO but it is no less true. We have lived long enough to realize the fragility, beauty and mortality around us.

That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

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Thanks for stopping by! It means more than you know..

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