Friends

I had a couple of “younger” friends tell me they were excited about turning 50 since they’ve watched me have so much fun. That made me happy to hear.

This week I went to all my doctors in one swell foop, just to get all those tests over with.  I’m not a procrastinator so I made all the appointments on the same day.  By 10am I got an A+ on my teeth (still fooling the hygienist on how much I (don’t) floss), by 1pm my eyes passed muster, and by 4pm my physical exam was complete with flying colors.  Except one thing.  Now I just have the colonoscopy left.  We’ll see how excited those “younger” friends are after I share that experience.  I’m more worried about the milkshake I have to drink the night before, than I am the exam itself.

Today is my 50.11 birthday!

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Time

I think I made a promise to do this blog daily when I started. Well, that’s the beauty of being Over 50, I can do what I want and not feel guilty about it.  I could say I was busy, and I was, but that’s not really why I haven’t been here.  It’s just that my super ego has shrunk and my guilt has subsided.

UnknownThis morning I heard that freshmen entering college right now were just starting kindergarten when the 9/11 attacks happened.  When I first thought about it, I thought “Man, I’m old.” But then I realized, I’m not old, it’s Time that moves too fast.  I certainly don’t feel old. And many things in the past don’t seem that far away, while others feel like eons. It’s perspective, I suppose.  Take black lacquer furniture from the 80s.  That’s what was going on when I started college.  And yet, it doesn’t seem that long ago.  I suspect someone somewhere still has Patrick Nagel print hanging on their wall.  Probably some therapist’s office.

Four Letter Word: Diet

My mom put me on a diet when I was in the 3rd grade.  I wasn’t fat, she said, I was just plump.  My gym instructor put me on a diet last week.  After a week of counting carbs and fat, I realized I’m not any better off than I was in 3rd grade.   I struggle with the same things: I still cringe at the word, “plump”, and I still fight cravings and resent deprivation.  By deprivation, I don’t mean starvation.  I can pretty much state with complete honesty that I’ve never missed a meal.  By deprivation, I mean I want something and I tell myself I can’t have it.  On the one hand, this is probably a good thing.  On the other, I get pretty pissy about it.  It’s not like the 42 years that I’ve been dieting have turned me into the svelte bikini-clad girl I thought it would. And yet, I keep saying, “If I just try harder.” It suddenly dawned on me that this is the body I showed up with and it’s apparently the body I’m going out with.  Now I need to work on being nicer to myself without going hog wild on the M&Ms I’ve kept from myself for the past 42 years.  

My Body, Myself

All last week, besides trying to remember the password to this damn blog, I also kept coming up with blog entries about my body. Probably because I was going through that up and down, or should I say in and out (tummy) phase. Body image. Pooey. I heard someone say once that they wished they’d appreciated their body when they were younger. But my body was just as up, down and all around then too. It comes down to not my body, but my mind.  I’m fifty, it’s time to quit looking in the mirror and wishing for a flat stomach, time to quit grabbing my stomach roll and berating myself for the bread pudding I had last night. If I don’t like my body now, how am I ever going to like myself later when all those other gravity issues are really showing off their talent?  That’s not to say I’m going to start liking my body as of this moment.  And I doubt my behavior is going to change overnight, if ever, either.  But I think I might keep thinking about this blog entry instead of what I had for dinner.  Or dessert.  

Anybody else obsess about this stuff?

Mental Vitality

On Facebook there’s a game going around right now where you pick up the book closest to you and turn to page 45 and the first sentence describes your sex life.  Oh hell, after seeing it go around the newsfeed about 3,000 times, I thought, I’ll try it.  So, I turned to see what was the closest book on my desk.  Turned out it was  a book given to me on my 50th birthday by a good and funny friend.  The book is titled Growing Lovely, Growing Old, by Douglass Scarborough McDaniel, published in 1941.  It’s pages are yellowed, the pink paper sleeve surrounding the hardbound cover is delicate and the edges lacy with wear.  The cover has a photo of Whistler’s Mother across the front.  Not sure how that crabby old lady got to represent “lovely”, but maybe in 1941 she didn’t seem so grouchy. Anyway, I turn to page 45 and this is what I get:

“…the more mental vitality a person has, the more varied are his interests.”

Maybe it’s the chia seeds I had in my green vitamin drink this morning, but I’m feeling rather lovely, both mentally and physically.  Happy 50.055th!

Recreating Myself

When I was 13 I had a New Year’s Resolution that I was going to change my personality that year.  It didn’t really work out, but I suppose I try this every so often.  Familiar?  That lovely thing called Insecurity that makes me want to be Someone Else.  But I do think that being a tad older has made for a freedom where I can switch it up when I want to.  With a lot less Insecurity, I perhaps don’t change my personality, but might decide I want to start wearing more scarves, or more red, or put a purple streak in my hair (I found a powder that washes out immediately).  The other day I told myself that I wanted to start dressing a little nicer for regular days, so I wore my cashmere jacket just to go to the movies, not a special occasion.  And I put on those red boots that I have been “saving” for I don’t know what–red boot events?  It felt good being that dressed up person.  But, a few days later, when I wanted to wear my sweatpants and baggy tee shirt, I let myself be that person too. I even dug out my baseball cap because I didn’t feel like washing my hair before going out. I can be whoever I feel like any day of the week now that I’m over 50. Who knows who I’ll be tomorrow! Maybe I’ll wear a dress.  I never wear dresses.  They just aren’t me.  

Or are they?

It’s Not All Roses

Just so it doesn’t seem like I’m all positive and woohoo! about every aspect of getting older, I thought I’d share a bit of the icky part:

A younger friend of mine (thirty-something) told me a few days before my 50th birthday that she hoped I didn’t become one of those angry middle-aged women.  Now, my friend and I share a love for sarcasm, so it brought  the image of Shirley Maclaine in Steel Magnolias where Shirley says, “I am not a BITCH, I’ve just been in a really bad mood for the last 40 years.”  I loved that movie. And who doesn’t want to be a Steel Magnolia?

But the comment did make me think about how there does seem to be a lot of resentment hanging on when we get into our middle years.  I thought of all the reasons why this is, and I came up with lots of things about relationships, and hard bumps in life, and the ugly things we see over 50+ years, and then today I got a migraine.  And it was all very clear to me.

Migraines.  This whole damn Change of F***ing Life.  I’m all for Change, and I’m all for getting rid of my period, but really, how many years do I have to have these migraines?!  I’m not a BITCH, I just want to cut my head off.  Or someone else’s.

Have a great weekend!

My Cake And I Am Eating It Too

Well, the celebrations had to end at some point.  One last party by Eber and my friends this past weekend.  I had a blast.  And was quite the queen, I am not embarrassed to say.  I am not so sure the celebrating is really over, maybe just the cake.  It’s trash day after all.  But now I’m planning my dream trip to Paris in May. Stay tuned for the details and icing on that celebration!  Why not celebrate until we keel over?! That’s my philosophy.

photoOh,and the rest of the cake said, “& Fabulous, The Unauthorized Biography”  Who wouldn’t want Kitty Kelly to write their biography.  My, what she could write!

MidLife Crisis

Michelle Obama and I both had birthday parties to celebrate our 50ths this past Saturday.  I read an article where she said her mid-life crisis was when she got bangs.

la-pn-michelle-obama-past-photos-20140114-047Funny, I would have to say that was my mid-life crisis too.  Which is something of a relief because I thought I may have failed in the mid-life crises department.  But when I turned 45, I gotbangs for the first time since I was about 7 years old.  I had them for about 2 years.  Then I decided they weren’t for me.  But now, I’m thinking of going back to them.  I considered other ideas, like cars and crazy trips, but nothing really sounded like anything I remotely was interested in. Bangs were as crazy as I got.  I’d love to know what other have done, are doing, or plan on doing for their mid-life crises.  Even if it’s wilder than bangs!  

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When and HOW do you decide to quit reading a book?

In school we had to read a book to the end whether we liked it or not.  We were taught that every book had a lesson or a theme that applied to life.  Now that I’m no longer under a teacher’s thumb and I pick what I want to read, it took me many years to realize I don’t have to finish every book.  Even if everyone else loved it. It’s one of the beautiful freedoms we gain as we become older and start making our time more precious, and start focusing on who we are.

But how do we decide to give up and close the book covers?  And how far do we read to make this decision?  I’d love to know what others do.

As I am now 50.022 years old, I give up on books much earlier.  Maybe too early? If I find myself not thinking about the story when I walk away from it, then I may give it one more chance before I return.  It’s not about intrigue, it’s more about the characters and whether or not I want to hang out with them.  But I wonder if I’m missing out on something because I gave up too early. Do you?

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