“It was a stark choice: shoes or food; beauty or sustenance; the sensible or the self-indulgent. “I’ll take the shoes,” she said firmly.” ― Alexander McCall Smith, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built I love shoes. They can make or break an outfit… or a leg. Does anyone else remember those uber-high cork wedges from the 70’s? Mine were white peep toes… Read More
What Is The Measure Of Abundance?
“Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” ~ Epicurus Growing up in a rural Minnesota community meant the world was relatively small in geography, culture, and ideas. It was, however, vast in shared beliefs, a dawn-to-dusk work ethic, and life lessons. Witnessing the values of my elders helped shape my young malleable views on… Read More
Would you do me a favor?
“Progress occurs where truths are questioned.” ― Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel Aging. A word, a state of being, scrutinized more closely than George Clooney in a speedo. Almost. What does it mean to be a woman aging in a culture that is not fond of growing older? What scares us most? What body changes are the worst of the worst? What… Read More
Photographs and Memories: The Irony of Me, Photographer, Hating To Have My Picture Taken
“You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself. ” ― Geneen Roth, Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything 2011. I was in Tibet,… Read More
Late Bloomers…Putting The Petal To The Metal?
“You don’t have to remind a flower when it’s time to bloom is near; it has been preparing for it all of its life.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo Commuting sucks. During this past week, I’ve spent hours getting back and forth to work in Minnesota’s legendary winter weather. One of the few saving graces is listening to audio… Read More
A Friendship Reconnected After Almost 30 Years
Her vehicle pulled into the restaurantâ€™s parking lot and I could barely make out her hand wildly waving at me. Nearly thirty years had passed since weâ€™d last talked, and it was thirty years too long. Who was she now? Who was I? Itâ€™s hard to say why we lost track of each other. Tammy was a year behind me… Read More
The Good, The Good, and The Boring
Clint Eastwoodâ€™s iconic spaghetti western, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly has been around forever (if forever is circa 1966). That said, I never watched the film until this past weekend, and it got me thinking about what other snippets of life come into those categories. How about carrot cake (good), lima beans (BAD), and calf brains (ugly)? Just… Read More
When Will I Find My Wings?
â€œWhen a caterpillar bursts from its cocoon and discovers it has wings, it does not sit idly, hoping to one day turn back. It flies.â€ â€• Kelseyleigh Reber Kitty litter buckets make iffy watering pails. Sure, theyâ€™re big enough and sturdy enough, but the handles are floppy and nine times out of ten I end up spilling waterâ€”cold from the… Read More
Midlife Hormonal Changes, cont.
Midlife equates to hormonal changes. And hormonal changesÂ now come from sources that didn’t exist generations ago. Â For instance, we are living more and more in a world swimming in estrogen, and estrogen mimickers. Â Xenoextrogens are in BPA, PCBs, flame retardants, pesticides, and herbicides. TheyÂ areÂ in rigid plastic cups, water bottles, and food storage containers. They are in toys, flooring, and shower… Read More
Midlife Weight Gain…Yay?
I have to admit, when I see women who seem to have by-passed the normal menopausal weight gain I wonder how they got so lucky. What is it in their genetic make-up that skips the estrogen storage in fat cells, and why didnâ€™t my ancestors mate with that lineage? Ah well. One of the reasons women tend to gain weight,… Read More
The Bio-Identical Hormone Decision
Over the past year Iâ€™ve had increasing hot flashes despite working with my practitioner and my compounding pharmacist. When I first started taking the bio-identical hormones six years ago my blood tests said I was in estrogen dominanceÂ while havingÂ very low progesterone and testosterone levels. Â This is very common. After a discussion with my midwife practitioner I began taking progesterone and… Read More
Midlife Body Changes
As I just mentioned last week, the ebbs and flows of hormones embody menopause. Almost daily there is aÂ new mystery, emotion, or awareness about this midlife phase. Â And just as my journey into puberty was most likely different than yours, the menopausal experience is also as individual as the women undergoing the changes. The debate between using hormone replacements– or… Read More
Midlife Transitions and Identity Changes, Cont.
Letting go of expectations, permission, and cultural detritus can leave menopausal women struggling for an identity. Do they continue as beforeâ€”shrouded in a persona that tends to no longer fitâ€”or do they allow themselves to revisit and explore aspects of themselves considered too self-serving during the childbearing years? As Dr. Northrup (2003) explains, â€œCaring for others and pursuing unexplored personal… Read More
Menopause: A Portal not a Punishment, Cont.
Last week my story entry ended with my confusion about entering a new love relationship in midlife. Even though I adored my soon-to-be husband, letting go of my hard won independence was daunting. During my single-motherhood years I tested my strength and voice as a woman, and now I would once again be sharing decisions. Would it feel like I… Read More
Do you remember the first time some high school kid at the grocery store asked if you wanted paper or plastic, Maâ€™am? I do, and I was a little shocked. Menopause is a bit like that too. It sneaks up on you. Suddenly the world views you differently. Unfortunately, that means it can also affect how we see ourselves.After many… Read More
From Puberty to The Second Puberty… Menopause…
Let’s see, where was I? Â Oh yeah. Â The reason Iâ€™m mentioning my history is because I had questions not only in my youth, but as I took a running jump towards menopause. The same wall of silence I ran into as a teenager was hitting me in early midlife. I always had irregular periods, but when I turned thirty-eight they… Read More
The Way To Talk To A Wife On Her Birthday
The night before my birthday I asked my husband if he minded waking up with an older woman. He said he was looking forward to it because it meant I would be even more interesting, more laced with experience, and more complex. Â Then he said heâ€™d better stop talking before he said something I would misconstrue. He knows me so… Read More
Alluring Wine, Bold Headache
The scene: An introvert (me) walks into a room full of people celebrating. Some of the attendees are acquaintances, some are friends, but many are strangers. My husband, aka, Mr. Social Butterfly, is happy in this setting and makes the rounds with confidence and endless witty banter. I, on the other hand, look for one friendly face, or at least… Read More