Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Tag: writing (page 1 of 7)

Ne’er-do-well

I’m sick.

Not like flu sick, more of just a chest/head cold. It’s not too bad, and I’m able to function well enough to take care of myself. But chores like laundry and dishes or cooking are a strain.

I’m even struggling to write, which is why I missed my post yesterday. Instead, I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook. I put up a photo of me on my bike and asked a question: Do you workout if you’re feeling sick?

I feel like I'm lazy if I'm not doing something

I got a lot of great comments and it was fun just laying in bed reading and answering them. It was also interesting to see a pattern, not only from readers, but also from me.

Almost everyone said to just take the day off and lay low. Don’t exercise when you’re sick. Which was probably what I wanted to hear anyway.

I’m pretty sure the reason I was looking for that affirmation is because I feel guilty if I’m not working out and instead just lying around. Wait, let me change that statement…

I feel guilty if I’m laying around doing nothing.

I didn’t feel guilty last week when I was on the road with John having fun and getting very little exercise in. So why do I feel guilty not working out if I’m sick?

Good question.

When I got to thinking about it, one word came to mind: lazy. When I was growing up, lazy was just about the worst thing to be labeled. Especially if it came out of my Mother’s mouth.

It didn’t bother her so much that we were poor. She didn’t care if someone called us “Cherry pickers”, or commented that we were getting Army Surplus food. Nope, there were two things that stand out in my mind of the utmost importance to her.

We were clean and hard-working.

We always went to school with clean clothes on, and our faces scrubbed. And the minute we got home, there were chores to do. Even once the chores and homework were done, we didn’t get to sit around.

“Get outside and play before I find something for you to do” would be the next words we would hear. There would be no lazing around. And this was ingrained into our souls.

So to this day, I hear that voice telling me to get up and get stuff done. It is better to be playing than to be lazy. At 58, I am still controlled by my mother who has been dead for over 47 years.

Which is why I needed a bunch of other voices telling me it was okay to lay low. I’d like to say, next time I’ll do better and won’t listen to my Mom, but that’s probably not going to happen.

I’m still not feeling well today, but I better get going and get the laundry done. I’ve got three piles sitting here in front of me, and like Mom used to say, “They are not going to wash themselves, you know.”

Are you good at laying low if you're sick?

No being lazy!

The road less traveled

My husband’s job is in outside sales. Because of that, he is on the road a lot. Most weeks he’s gone three or four days, traveling around southern California, into Nevada and Arizona. It’s a good job for him, because he’s a bit of a wanderer anyway.

It’s good for me too, because I get time to myself to do my own thing. That, and the toilet seat’s down the entire week. But there are times I like to tag along with him. And that’s what we did this week.

It was fun riding shotgun and taking in the views along the drive. Continue reading

I will…

The other day I was desperately looking for a specific photo I wanted for one of my blog posts. If you’ve been following along, you know I use my own photos for my posts.

It was written and ready to publish, but I was determined to find that one photo, so I kept digging. I was pretty sure it was on an old hard drive of mine, so I plugged it into my laptop and poked around.

I didn’t find it there, but I did find something else.

It is something I wrote years ago, when I was trying to sort out some emotions I was going through. Wait, let me stop right here and find my courage.

Deep breath in.

Continue reading

The perfect arrangement

Looking out my window I could see the top of a crocus poking up through the snow. I took a deep breath and let out a sigh of relief. Spring was finally here.

Still in my jammies and slippers, I grabbed my cup of coffee and headed to my computer to check my email. My little dog, Bella, reluctantly followed me knowing I would turn on the small space heater in front of her bed by my desk.

This had become our routine together. I was 46, single and my best buddy and roommate was a four-pound Chihuahua. She curled up with me each night, ate next to me each day, and loved me unconditionally.

It was a perfect arrangement. Continue reading

What if you found out, and judged me? That was my fear.

I stood on my front porch steps looking down on him. He had come over to talk to me. To talk some sense into me. When I saw his car pull into the driveway, I met him outside.

I didn’t want to invite him in.

This was my home, the one I purchased, by myself. It had become my sanctuary as well as my hideout. And I didn’t want to invite him in.

It’s odd, I can’t recall the words I said to him, but I know they were hurtful. Never in my life had I said such painful truths to someone so easily. But the words just came out without any hesitation.

“It was a mistake, and I want a divorce.” He responded with words like, ‘but’ and ‘what-about’ and ‘please’, to which I answered, “No I don’t want to give it more time.” Continue reading

What do you do, when you don’t know what to do?

Get busy. Just get busy.

Those were the words that kept me going when all I wanted to do was to curl up in a ball and hide. Hide from myself and from the world. I was so embarrassed to be where I was in life.

But there I was, 46 years old and wanting out of my three-month marriage. Not knowing what to do, I got busy. I’d just moved into a new project known as “my ‘70s house” and threw myself into remodeling it.

It was the day “we” were moving in that I realized I had made an enormous mistake and wanted out of my quickie marriage. He didn’t move in with me, but I was paralyzed with fear of what other people would think of me. What I really wanted to do was: Get a quickie divorce. Continue reading

From things to experiences. How to create the life you want.

I’ve had a few people ask how we do it. How do we manage to do so many fun things and take so many trips? I’ve even had a few assume we must have a lot of money, which made me laugh.

One of the great things about getting to 50 and beyond is we’ve had so many different experiences and life changes. For me, I’ve had it all, and lost it all, more than once.

I learned awhile back that possessing things isn’t important to me. Having lost all my “things” during the housing crisis taught me the most important lesson I’ve learned in life.

“You can take away my things, but you can’t take away my experiences.”

Continue reading

Happiness

Things are going pretty good in my life right now. You may have noticed, if you’ve been following me on one of my social media platforms. And, I’m grateful for this moment in time.

It’s not always like this, and I know it won’t last either. I’m not being negative or looking for trouble, I just know life is ever-changing. We go through good times, sometimes not even noticing how great those moments are, until we hit a low and wonder what the hell happened.

I’ve been through some very difficult, unhappy times in life. And man have I gone down the wrong path…more than once. I’m pretty sure I’ve known I was heading the wrong direction and saw warning signs, which I completely ignored.

Wonder why I do that?

Continue reading

Better After 50?

Why can’t we all just get along?

I wouldn’t call myself a peacemaker, really. I’d even go so far as to say I’m more of an antagonist. But I find myself wondering why we can’t seem to get along with each other these days.

I’ve been following an online magazine called Better After 50 for a while now, (since they published a couple of my posts). I like the title, believing that we are “better after 50”.

They post all kinds of articles ranging from fashion to fitness, family, home, travel and relationships. One of the writers for the magazine packed it all up and decided to sail the world with her partner. Pretty cool, huh? Continue reading

From kindness to criticism

Yesterday I did my usual Wednesday video for the blog. Each week I post a “Let’s do this together” video, picking a theme I want to share. This week’s theme was “kindness”.

If you’ve been following me at all, you also know that I am sharing my authentic self.

Some days I have makeup on and I’m dressed well. Other days I don’t wear any makeup and I have my hair in a scrunchy.

The idea is to stop this nonsense on social media that we have to look or be a certain way. This is so prevalent that many women and men feel either pressure or somehow “less than” when they don’t measure up to everyone else. Continue reading

The carrot or the stick?

What motivates you, the carrot or the stick?

Are you more encouraged by a reward or does the fear of punishment drive you forward towards a desire or goal?

I wrote a little funny about cheating a while back, and realized I’ve never really liked the idea of having a “cheat day” when it comes to dieting. I felt like I was doing something wrong, and therefore had guilt feelings about it.

So when I started this new diet I was happy to see that one day each week, I get a “reset” day. On that day, I get three reward meals. Yes! Continue reading

No matter what

Have you ever had a moment of complete and utter clarity? Or maybe a time in your life, when you could see exactly where you were and what you were doing, and felt shocked in the realization?

That moment came to me the day I was moving into my newly purchased ‘70’s house with the help of my best friend, Estelle and oldest son, Adam. Oh, and my husband of five months.

I stood in the kitchen feeling like a giant weight had been lifted off me, only to be replaced by an enormous sense of dread. As soon as my girlfriend saw me, she went into action.

Sitting me down on a nearby box, she asked me in a very calm, quiet voice, “What’s wrong.” All I could say through my hyperventilation was,

“I made a mistake, I made a mistake, I made a mistake.”

Continue reading

A dream come true, part two…waking up from the dream

I’m a bit snobby about myself. From the time I was little, I had this idea that I would be somebody, go places, or change the world. I pushed myself to do things other people wouldn’t and I kept going, no matter what.

We don't know what life lessons will come our way when we are so young.

We don’t know what life lessons will come our way when we are so young. Me in 4th grade, in my homemade dress.

Maybe we all feel that way?

Perhaps we are born with a sense of self-importance, and it isn’t until life lessons teach us that we are all basically the same, that we learn to accept our own insignificance? I wrote before that I never thought I’d be “one of those women”.

But there I was, dating a man who was verbally and emotionally abusive. You would have thought I’d learned enough from that experience to humble me, but apparently I needed another lesson…or two.

To this day, I am uncomfortable even saying his name.

Continue reading

A dream come true…

In 2004, my real estate career had sky rocketed, so for Thanksgiving break I took my sons on a vacation to Mexico. Just the three of us.

We had a blast.

It was the very first time I have ever taken a vacation when money wasn’t an issue. Growing up poor in Michigan, and struggling financially all through my marriage, money was always an issue, even on vacations.

This time, we did anything and everything we wanted to do. My oldest son had graduated and through his persistence and tenacity, landed his dream job on a top fuel drag racing team. He was making good money, and had nowhere to spend it.

I remember getting to the hotel in Mexico, and he and I putting thousands of dollars in the safe, both feeling like we had “made it”. That vacation will go down as an all time favorite for all of us. Continue reading

Take the long way home…

When heading to a destination, I’m generally the kind of person who wants to take the fastest route there. I even get a sense that I have to be in a hurry, because I want to get to where ever we are going, as fast as possible.

I realize I do that in my everyday life. Hurry.

Continue reading

Weekend – San Francisco

John and I headed up to San Francisco yesterday to celebrate his Mother’s birthday today. San Francisco is my favorite city, and I always enjoy coming here.

As a matter of fact, John and I got married at City Hall, and it always brings back wonderful memories of that time. Every time we visit, I get a sense of awe.

This morning we took a brisk walk to City Hall: 

Always fun to visit this iconic building

San Francisco City Hall

 

Always fun to visit City Hall in San Francisco, where we were married

Always fun to visit City Hall when we go to San Francisco

I hope your weekend is filled with wonder and awe.

A series of events, part two

There’s a term used to describe parents whose kids have left home: Empty Nester. It is such a big deal for so many, there are Facebook and support groups to help parents transition to an empty nest.

But in the early 2000’s Facebook wasn’t around. And I still had my youngest son home, so I thought everything was fine. I was busy with my real estate business and he was busy with school.

I don’t think I recognized the affect the process of having my sons leave home was slowly having on me. They say once your kids hit high school, it will feel like a moment has passed before they have graduated and are off on their own.

I have to agree with that.

It was 2004 when my son was in eleventh grade, preparing for entry into the Naval Academy when things started unraveling for me.

Continue reading

A series of events …

Looking back, trying to piece together how I got to where I was in life, isn’t easy. So many little things happened, but put together they created big things…or maybe a better way to put is, big consequences.

I left off with my story, telling you I had finally realized I needed to end an emotionally abusive relationship. And it would be easy to just leave it at that, but nothing is ‘easy’ about that kind of relationship.

Getting out takes some finesse. If you have experience with emotional abuse, you know what I’m talking about. I had to wait until the time was right. Continue reading

You should write

You should write.

I’m serious. You should consider writing. The last few weeks, I haven’t made time to write.

I almost wrote that I haven’t “had” time to write.

But the truth is, I haven’t made the time for myself. And a funny thing happened because of it. First, I missed it, which wasn’t a surprise. But then something else happened that was unexpected. I started “writing”, but only in my head. Continue reading

Finding courage

My oldest son graduated from high school in 2002. Which was the same year I got my real estate license, and the same year things started to change for me.

Recovering from divorce takes time, and money. I had spent the time healing from it, taking care not to drink or do anything destructive. That is except date a guy who was destructive.

How I missed the signs of emotional abuse from the beginning is beyond me.

He was an angry controlling man who lashed out at me and his daughter. What a complete mess I was in. I wrote before that it would take three events for me to finally break free of him. Continue reading

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