Tag Archives: womenover50writers

Pro’s and Con’s of Approaching the Dreaded 60 (in a little over 2 years)

JANE

1) I feel old.  My hair is gray, and there are wrinkles around my eyes and mouth.

2) I will never be a child prodigy on the guitar.

3) The white hairs on my chin might scare young children.

4) I will never win an Olympic gold medal in Volleyball, unless it’s a special competition or old farts.

5) My husband is looking a little older, too.

6) I need more sleep than I used to.

7) I can’t remember anything, especially not anything that happened recently.

8) People in the South say “Yes, Ma’am to me” and sometimes give me that “what a cute  little lady” look.

9) My parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents—all the people who inhabited my childhood world, and even ruled over it—are gone.  I will never see them again, and my children don’t even remember most of them.

10) My hands are starting to look like my mother’s hands.

 


PRO’S:

1) I am a much better judge of character than I was in my twenties and thirties.

2) My husband still looks younger than most people his age.  In fact, strangers think he’s my younger brother.

3) So what if I can’t remember anything?!  Unlike members of the younger generations, my life is preserved in diaries, postcards, letters, love letters, even telegrams—not an e-mail or text message in the bunch—and photo albums with actual pictures on paper (although there is a definite shortage of these starting with the year we purchased our first digital camera).

4) My children are no longer teenagers, at least 3 out of 4.  They are also full-grown (or close enough) and capable of surviving without their parents.

5) I know what I like/don’t like, who I am/am not, who I don’t ever want to be.  I’m past agonizing over my identity or beliefs.  My needs are simple: good people, good food, good laughs–and good sleep.

6) I have the courage to speak my mind out loud (that one took longer than some of the others), and I have great friends  (and 3 great sisters) who seem to value that.

7) I do not ever have to Tweet on Twitter, if I don’t want to—and I don’t want to.

8) I’m past being embarrassed about much.  (Old Fart volleyball tryouts, here I come!)

9) I know that life is too short to waste on any of the following:  t.v. ads, committee meetings, red lights after 12 midnight, liver, and cleaning my house more than absolutely necessary to prevent the spread of disease.

10) I always wanted to have hands like my mother’s, where you can see the veins.  To me, they looked like the picture of love and nurturing and hard work.

12)  I actually like my gray hair and laugh lines—it took hard work to earn them both.

13) I never wanted to be a child prodigy anyway.  It was too much fun playing “Kick the Can” or “Sardines” all summer.

Turns out the Pro’s outnumber the Con’s!  Who knew?!!!

SadhviSez:: The Freedom from Not Keeping Up

SADHVI

It’s almost Fall – again.  I find myself going through the pantry, going through my closets, taking stock of things.

I am also making decisions on what I am willing to put up with for the sake of “keeping up” with the seemingly never-ending, new (and expensive) ways to be in touch and connected.

Yes, menopause is the reason, and yes, it is the only thing I can think about right in this moment that I like about it.  Having weird hormones in funny places makes it easy to weed things out that don’t make sense in my life.

If Facebook, and texting, and tweeting, and Linkedin, and Google+, and Pinterest, and of course, emailing and phones weren’t enough wonderful ways to “keep in touch” these days, I personally don’t think any more will help.

It’s kind of interesting, the range and extremes of what people are doing these days with all these ways of connecting.

For instance, I meet people who can’t imagine living without their computer.  Really.  And from the sound of their voice, I believe them.  I had several conversations with friends who ask me, how can I not text?  To which I answer, how can you possibly?  I don’t have kids, so that seems to be the major deciding factor.  I asked one Mom recently why she texted?  And she told me that it’s the only way to communicate with them.  Hmm.

LATE SUMMER MORNING DRIVE VIEW

On the other hand, I hear friends say things like, “I can’t do Facebook any more – it just sucks too much of my time”.  Or, “I can’t do Linkedin, it’s too much.”  I even have a few friends who have taken a big step and just deleted all their “InBox” and “Sent” messages in their main email account (the other ones they don’t even check!)!  Wow.  I often imagine doing that, but I just can’t.  I asked how it felt when they did that, and they said it felt really, really good.  Hmm.  Some of my younger friends don’t even have a cell phone.  They tell me they can’t afford one.  Double hmm.

There seems to be all levels and extremes in this new world regime where technology rules all of us in some way or another.

I am not into “keeping up” with it all any more.  I returned my “awesome” iPhone a few weeks ago and feel less irritated in general because I can actually HEAR what others are saying on my simple LG phone.  It’s not a smart phone, and believe me, it doesn’t have to be!  I feel like I was smart in giving it back though.  I already have to go through almost 200 emails every day so why would I want to have them downloaded on my phone?

When I asked my Mac friend if he really, really, likes his iPhone, as a PHONE, and he said, “Well, no, it’s so much more than a phone.”  I repeated the question, and he said, “Well, no, there are lots of better phones out there.”  Geez!

I am not against technology.  I use it.  I need a computer for work.  I enjoy flittering in and out of FaceBook.  I like YouTube.  I just don’t want to add anything more!

I wonder how many of us are getting tired of all this technology that seems to be more troublesome and time-consuming than it’s worth?

SUSUN WEED

I create space and balance by being in the garden, and taking walks with my dog.  Or baking.  Or writing letters.  So as long as I can keep the balance, all is well.

Here’s a clip below that I saw recently from Susun Weed, on how to make an easy vinegar to help us with Fall allergies, using Goldenrod.  I didn’t know that Goldenrod was such a powerful herb.  I just thought it was beautiful to look at. My Goldenrod is just starting to open, and I will make some.

Well that’s it from me this week.

Happy Fall!

 

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I Wanted to Write about my Dad on Father’s Day and Now it’s Too Late.

Annice

I wanted to write about my dad on Father’s Day and now it’s too late.  You’re probably thinking who cares about Father’s Day now?  But I do.  You see, my dad, Sanford Brown, died April 28th, barely two months ago, and I’m still grieving.

Me and my Dad only 2 years ago

It feels like I always will grieve, and maybe that’s why I haven’t been able write about him.  If it were any other topic, I’d just call it procrastination, but here, now, it’s more poignant.

I want to write about how close I was to my dad–tell you how I miss our telephone conversations about politics, books, current events, my work, and family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  At times, I find myself reaching for the phone to call, and then I realize that I will never hear his voice again.  Yes, it’s very sad.

My dad was 85, and one week before he died, I traveled to Cleveland to celebrate his 85th birthday and Passover with our family.  He was especially proud to witness his nine-year-old great grandson, Jacob, conduct the entire Seder not only in English but Hebrew, too.  It was truly a spectacular day.

His great-grandson Jacob wanted to see the company my dad founded

Days after I got home, my sister called to say Dad was in the hospital, and it didn’t look good.  Back I went, hoping it would all work out.  Like many of you with aging parents, I always knew that dreaded call would come one day, but somehow, I still wasn’t prepared.  Despite the fact that my dad was 85 and had lived a good long life, it still seems too short.  And, despite the fact that he was not really sick and lived in the same house for the last 56 years surrounded by family and friends, it’s still too short.

Dad and grandsons Alexander & Mason in DC

If anyone were to ask me what I learned from my dad, I would tell them: how to love unconditionally, the importance of family, loyalty, forgiveness, charity, to travel and see the world; maintain a strong work ethic, and make sure there is laughter in your life.

While I haven’t perfected all of these qualities, I am forever grateful to have my dad’s teachings to guide me through my life’s journey.

Dad's 83rd birthday with a rare glass of cognac