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Yesterday I was reading an article on the WEBMD site called “50 Great Things About Women Over 50”. Quotes were taken from WebMD readers and a few clinical experts. Some things seemed rather superficial like:
“Women over 50 are a powerful market force in today’s economy. Women buy 80% of consumer goods and services, and among the 80 million baby boomers, that’s power.” — Nancy O’Reilly, PsyD
Well I sure am glad I’m such a powerful force in the economy or did they just call women over 50 shop-a-holics?
But there were a few statements that I fist-punched the air over:

Romance

“Women in their 50s make great lovers. Going through menopause can be extremely freeing. As she ages, her sexuality becomes more important, and she is better able to enjoy it.” — Nancy O’Reilly, PsyD
OK. This was a “Yeah! Absolutely!” fist punch. Followed by a sad realization that I’m not into casual sex. As my friend D would say, “Bummer”.
“You’ve learned to appreciate spontaneous humor, for it gives life a spicy flavor. You laugh a lot, and laugh out loud. You let the child within you play. You don’t have to be ‘perfect’ because no one’s perfect.” — Shirley W. Mitchell, author of “Fabulous After 50 and Sensational After 60”
I have completely let go of that youthful perfectionism, meant for those with lots of time to spend on one thing and probably on one thing that doesn’t matter all that much, like washing windows. I’ve signed-on fully to the practice of “good enough” for my appearance, my housecleaning, and even important things like my writing. I’ve got too many things that I enjoy and want to do to waste time striving for perfection.
“You really have learned who you are as a person, what your likes and dislikes are. It makes life ever so much more pleasant and joyful and simpler when you know. The downside is, it makes it hard to find people to date because you’re so much more selective.” — J. Ganahl
As I checked out the dating scene on Match.com, I realized I am faced with this dilemma.
“At 50, you realize that life is big, much bigger than you ever knew. You see that life has this ability to be very healing, that the full implications of events aren’t always evident. What you might think is awful can turn out to be a blessing.” — Christiane Northrup, MD, author of “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom”
Oh boy! The truth in this one! Although, I’m not sure it’s being 50 so much as having something like this divorce happen in my 50s. I don’t know if I would have “got it” if this had happened in my 40s. You’ll just have to trust me on this because I can’t explain it. For me, the next statement ties in closely to the above.
“You know the wisdom of surrender. You’re right that your ex-husband wronged you. You can spend the rest of your life beating that drum, but that’s the road to bitterness. There is wisdom in letting go of your grievances. You begin to know what’s important and what isn’t. You know what hill to die on.” — C. Northrup
Do I hear an Amen?
“You have more compassion, more acceptance, for yourself and other people. You are no longer shamed by your own humanity. You learn to see the humor in your own foibles.” — C. Northrup
I have the compassion and acceptance for other people down, but I’m still working on having more for myself. And shame is difficult to escape. I mean, come on! Third divorce?! I feel like I should have “3-D” tattooed on my forehead and let people wonder if I’m some sort of graphics fanatic. I looked up the definition of 3-D and it said “the illusion of depth as seen by the viewer.” Wait a minute, I think someone else needs this tattoo! Ha! Ha! There’s that humor in my foibles coming out.
“A woman over 50 knows the value of celebrating life. She’s sizzling, not fizzling. She’s savvy, not sad.” — S. Mitchell
It’s only been a little over three months since my world got turned upside down, so naturally, sadness is still very much present. But there are days when I feel the ~sizzle~. When I feel so curious and excited about what tomorrow might bring.

I love adventure, meeting new people, and seeing and experiencing new things. It’s frightening, feeling like things are upended and out of control, but it’s exciting too… if I can get past the worry and just let the story unfold.

Riding

My birth Mom turned 85 last Saturday. There was supposed to be a special birthday party with all her children that could make it there (four out of six of us) and her grandchildren. But Mom cancelled the party a couple days beforehand.

It’s really too bad because she hasn’t felt well and she’s been very lonely. There’s no real physical cause for the “not feeling well” except what comes naturally with being 85, what’s caused by her own constant anxiety, and the fact that she’s lonely. The party would have done her a world of good. But she’s done this sort of push-pull thing too many times. People are losing patience and went ahead and honored her request to not be there for her 85th birthday. Very sad.

She’s a much different lady than my 90-year-old Auntie that gladly received everyone on her birthday, not worrying about how she looked and realizing full well that as your life draws nearer to the end, you better see your loved ones as often as you can, and be someone people want to be around so they’ll come back soon. Good thing to keep in mind at any age.

I did write my Mom a birthday poem. It was difficult because we just can’t seem to connect emotionally. She’s so nervous that it’s hard to even get her to sit still long enough to carry on a conversation. She doesn’t listen, but kind of talks over you, too worried about the impression she’s making and what you think about her to focus on what you are trying to tell her. Another good thing to keep in mind — focus on others and listen.

You see, I do learn a lot of things from my Mom.

Mom

Birthday Poem for My Birth Mom
It’s been a long journey
To get to this place
Rocky and winding
Good and bad times to face
What was lost
Has now been found
To you and my family
I am lovingly bound
Happy Birthday Mom!