Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In Hindsight

In hindsight, I should have known my family was planning a birthday party for me last Friday. I'm not quite sure why I didn't put it all together, but I didn't.

When my husband said our friends Ed and Sharon forgot to invite us to their Christmas party, I should have known. When my hair guy called and said I should get my hair done before my birthday, I should have been suspicious. When friends of ours who should not have known when my birthday was were all wishing me a happy birthday, well, you get the idea.

So my husband and I went to the Christmas party just a little bit later than what he said we should be there. As we walked up to the door, I was feeling bad for the hosts because no one was there. I even said something like, "Where is everyone?" But as soon as I walked in the door and saw the "50" signs, it all started clicking.

So wearing a princess crown and a pink "Fabulous" sash and drinking a super jumbo Margarita, I greeted my guests.

The party is basically a giant blur of laughing and drinking and doing a pretty good job of being the center of attention. (I'm not normally good at that!) The photos all over the walls were great and yes, my hair really did look that bad for a lot of years! The mix CD of tunes for me was hysterical! I feel as if I did not spend enough time with anyone. And by the time I opened gifts, some of the jokes had to be explained to me. (No, the gift is not IN a Corona beer box. The gift is a case of Corona!)

So, in hindsight, I should have known what they had in mind. It was a lot of fun, and like all good parties, it ended WAY too fast!

Thanks for a great evening! I'm hoping photos of me and my kayak will surface soon!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


All year I had planned to post something deep and insightful for my birthday -- I have nothing!

I had hoped that as the day got closer, it would just come to me. I would write something really great, really important, life changing. Suddenly, everything would make sense.

I still have a few hours to come up with something. Maybe in the morning.

Why I'm Not Old

Earlier I posted a list of reasons why I am old. Today is my list of why I'm NOT old.

1) I wear smaller jeans now than I did 10 years ago. AND they are not Mom jeans! (Anymore)

2) I finished six half marathons this year.

3) I have the same winter coat as one of my teenaged son's friends.

4) Without my contacts in, I can read the small print.

5) I did a zip line this summer. The tallest zip line in the United States!

6) I like Corona. (Have you EVER seen an old person drinking Corona? Me neither.)

7) I know how to blog, Tweet and I have a Facebook page. (OK, this might not be a sign of youngness.)

8) I was carded for buying beer earlier this year. (OK, they carded everyone, but still, they carded me!)

9) I have all of my teeth. (Well, except for the one crown which wasn't my fault. A filling fell out and I didn't realize until it needed a root canal.)

10) I text my kids instead of calling them.

11) I was given a kayak for my birthday. No one would give an old lady a kayak!

Need more proof?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

You Wouldn't Give an Old Woman a Kayak

Hence, I am not old. Photo to come.

Thursday, December 9, 2010



By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens

and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Copyright Jenny Joseph



Today I am wearing purple -- and I have a red hat, though I am NOT wearing the hat today. (I am just practicing!)

The first time I read this poem it made me smile. Shoot, it made me smile today, too. I hope Jenny Joseph forgives me for reprinting it here without her permission.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Annual Winter Sadness -- Amplified

WARNING -- I'm feeling sad and this blog posting is all about that.

The year I met my husband, my grandmother died the night before Thanksgiving. Needless to say, it affected Thanksgiving holidays for the rest of my Dad's life. One of the funnier/sadder/truer things he said was something like, "If you are going to die, don't dork up the holidays."

With that in mind, my Dad died 14 years ago this month. His funeral was on December 21. Way to take your own advice Dad!

My Mom wasn't much better. She died in January 4 years ago after a prolonged illness and we spent those holidays before her death worrying about her every single day.

So, in addition to my usual weather-induced depression, I have the memory of both of my parents dying or being sick over the holidays. Add in that my job entails editing very boring material while sitting in a little gray office with no windows. When the skies are gray and it is very cold outside like it is this week, the downward spiral is nearly unstoppable.

This year let's add that I'm turning 50 at the beginning of next week and my feelings of sadness are even worse. I'm turning 50, the skies are gray and I miss my Mom and Dad.

How am I not suicidal?

Before you start panicking and taking away sharp objects and my shoelaces, I understand this is a temporary depression. There are things I can do to make this better -- I just need to start taking action.

  1. First I need to acknowledge my depression and have a good cry. It doesn't help to hold everything in. Plus, crying releases endorphins which are in desperate need right now. Kinda started that, but an early phone call interrupted me. I'll try to cry more later.
  2. I need to do something different to jumpstart better feelings. I made a first move here by taking the day off. I woke up dreading going to work, so I called in to play hookey. Even told my boss I'm not sick -- I just need a day off.
  3. There are a couple of things I have been avoiding and I need to just suck it up and do them. During this day off I'll get some of that stuff done. Lifting even a little weight off my shoulders will help.
  4. I need to get outside and walk. Being outside is a great way to lift my mood. Because exercise releases endorphins, it is one of the depression solutions that usually works for me. It is part of the reason I walk outside year-round. Once you get acclimated to cold weather it isn't so bad. And if you are outside every day, eventually you get a couple of sunny winter days that are just amazingly beautiful. Well, the sun isn't shining, but I will try to get outside today.
  5. Christmas shopping. This is a little obvious, but if I do something that makes me think about other people, then I can't be obsessing about me. It is so easy to wallow in self pity if I don't change my focus.
  6. Eat dark chocolate and drink Margaritas. Just writing this sentence makes me smile!

OK, I'm feeling a little better already -- even without the additional crying. I will head out to run some of those vital errands and move on with my day. Maybe the sun will come out later when I'm outside.

Friday, December 3, 2010

In Good Company!

Hard to believe, but there are a lot of stars -- some pretty hot -- who also turned 50 this year!

Gotta say, Daryl Hannah is looking a little rough. My new claim to fame. I'm aging better than Daryl Hannah!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

Growing up, my hair was way too thick. When handheld blow dryers first were available, I couldn't use them. First, it took forever for my hair to dry and second, I burned out the motors pretty fast. I can remember wishing my hair was thinner or straighter or less frizzy.

In addition, my whole life I have been a shedder. My sister and I were constantly clogging the shower drain when we lived at home. And several years ago, my husband and daughter wrote a song for me called Mommy Hair -- about how my hair ends up everywhere.

So, I was not alarmed when I noticed that there has been a lot of hair in the bathroom sink, in the shower drain and all over the bathroom floor. Wait, I thought the other day, I don't normally lose hair just standing in front of the bathroom sink. And it isn't just a couple of hairs, it's a lot of them. And then I realized that in the shower it takes almost nothing to get my hair wet when I used to have to stand under the shower for a few minutes to get it wet all the way through. It also takes almost no time at all to dry my hair.

The other day I was walking with some friends who are all older than I am and I mentioned my hair is getting thinner. They laughed. Yeah, that happens, they said, oh, and it doesn't come back!

I know that some women lose their hair -- I know a couple of women who are nearly bald. But no one told me that everyone's hair gets thinner. Just another one of those wonderful aging things that no one tells you until it is too late!

Not only did I happen to start going silver (we don't go gray in my family) at age 16, now I'm going to go bald? This is so unfair!

I want my hair back!