Birthdays. Even though my business is named Aging Schmaging, and even though I honestly know and believe aging is a gift, I still feel, well, doggedly resistant to the years adding up. And up. Annnnnd up. I see the changes to my body. My night vision is different. Knee joints are a little more vocal, and my back throws regular… Read More
Camp 80: A Love Letter To Life
“But age became him as it did the oaks and the cedars.” ― Thomas Burnett Swann That weird sound–almost one of flatulence–of fabric against inflated vinyl broke the silence. My husband, a man who felt his camping days were behind him, squirmed and stretched and ultimately snuggled into me on the air mattress. I felt the warmth of his body… Read More
The Cake Looks Like It Is On Fire: What does a longer life span mean in terms of menopause?
“When she smiles, the lines in her face become epic narratives that trace the stories of generations that no book can replace.” ― Curtis Tyrone Jones 99 and counting. Last week a friend’s mother celebrated 99 birthdays. When asked what kind of party she wanted she waved a hand dismissively and said she’s already thinking about the big bash for… Read More
Car-pe Diem …Today I Seized My Son’s Car
“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” ― Erol Ozan My son held out the car keys. “Here you go, Mom. But before you leave I want to go over a few things with you.” He then handed me a two-page, typed, list of things I probably shouldn’t do/use/try with his ancient Dodge Neon. Things like not using the… 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
Comparing Motherhood to Creativity: How My Mind Works
“Each moment of our life, we either invoke or destroy our dreams.” -Stuart Wilde It’s odd what takes hold in my mind. Worse, I sometimes tell my husband my thoughts, and he starts muttering something about me being just plain weird. Meh. If that is so, I welcome the label. At least weird means I’m not beige and… 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
So Whatâ€™s Fair And Not Fair?
Â “It hit me that being hip was a full-time job, and I was only a part-timer. I couldn’t hide forever that I liked county fairs, particularly the goat booth at the 4-H tent, or that I once spent a week with my grandmother at her house in the giant retirement community of Sun City, Arizona, and it was one of… Read More
The Silence Of Winter: Two Perspectives
Â â€œOnce upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.â€ â€• Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice It was… Read More
Dried Cherries: Women and Midlife Sex, Part 4
â€œSex at age ninety is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.â€ ~George Burns Margaret is another example of an older woman who spent much of her adult life without a partner. She found love and marriage for the first time when she was forty years old. Margaret told me that once she laid eyes on Mike at a… Read More
Midlife Restless: Career, Personal Life, and of Course, Legs
Huh? Legs? Yes, legs. Plump, sturdy, dimply legs. And while Iâ€™m the poster child of midlife restlessness in general, I want to share with you what Iâ€™m doing to combat restless legs. Somewhere among the other menopausal symptomsâ€¦brain fog, hot flashes, headaches, sleeplessness, and weight gainâ€¦I thought, â€œGee, surely there can be more for me to deal with at this… 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
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
De-vine Example for Midlife Women
My arms were almost elbow deep in dishwater suds. Â “Why do I have to do this when I have a dishwasher?” I wondered. Â Nonetheless, scrubbing the non-dishwater friendly object gave me a moment to appreciate all theÂ items that do go in the dishwater, and a chance to gaze outside the window on a busy day. Â It was Â sunny, windy, 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
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
Whatâ€™s Worth a Thousand Words?
Big Foot trying on Nike running shoes. Aliens eating ice cream and waving from the window of a UFO. A cat obeying its human. These would be amazing photographs, right? However, those of us who love photography know the odds of actually having a camera in hand and ready to go when once-in-a- lifetime photo opportunities occur are rare. Very,… 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
An iWatch Made for Middle-aged Eyes?
iSquint by Apple? As much as I enjoy the Apple products we ownâ€¦computers, cell phones, iPad, Apple TVâ€¦I will not jump into the iWatch arena at this point. The reason? I have a hard enough time reading stuff on my iPhone! I canâ€™t imagine trying to read font that fits into a space the size of a watch face. Yeah,… Read More
I stood in line at the checkout counter juggling a ten-pound box of Milk Bones and several other bags of dog treats. Yes, I should have grabbed a cart. No, I didnâ€™t intend to buy an armful, but there I was. The man in front of me was cranky. He wanted to know if the childâ€™s toy he was purchasing… 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
A â€œQuestion-ableâ€ Gift
A woman with sole A saucy young woman I know has a knack for asking questions that cause me to Â Â pause and think. The cheeky womanâ€™s name is Amanda. Amanda was my daughterâ€™s college roommate, and quickly became a part of our extended family. I will credit/blame her for teaching my daughter how to dance with furniture when there… Read More
Aging? I shoed them!
Sometimes, now that Iâ€™m in midlife, I feel as though it takes a lot more effort to get my playful mojo going. Itâ€™s as though words like â€œmatronlyâ€ and â€œsturdyâ€ have run amok with my self-esteem. Nothing looks good on me, my hair is misbehavingâ€”but not in a good wayâ€”and even my eyebrow sprouted a grey hair. Not both eyebrows…. 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