Monthly Archives: December 2017

Can I handle the seasons of my life? I’m 50!

Today is my 50th birthday.  Just writing those words overwhelms me with emotion.   When I turned twenty, thirty, and forty, it didn’t illicit such a strong reaction but turning fifty seems to be quite the milestone.  On one hand I’m eternally grateful for being on this earth fifty years and for all of the lessons that life has taught me.  On the other hand, I no longer recognize myself.  The truth is that this new “Lorraine” started to morph when I hit my mid forties. Mid forties is the twilight zone.  You are not sure what the hell is happening!

Around the age of 44 I thought there was something seriously wrong with me.  It had to be an under-active thyroid that was contributing to the impossible weight gain that was taking place.  I tried all of my old tricks.  I worked out five days a week, went to spin class, started to swim, and participated in yoga.  Nada.  Nothing.  Zilch.  Mother Nature said “tough shit.”  My body has always needed lots of sleep but now it demanded it.   In my late forties I broke one elbow and had one ankle surgery.  I felt like I was freaking rebuilding myself! The joys of midlife hit me hard.

You’re 50.  TOUGH  TABOOGANUTS!

Here’s what 50 is all about.  It’s about acceptance.  I don’t care how much money you have, how much botox you inject, how pretty your nails are or how skinny you are, when you turn 50 the fact of the matter is that you are aging and now it shows.  Yes, you can age gracefully but you are aging nonetheless.   You can’t stop it.  Turning 50 is about wondering why you didn’t have your children at an earlier age because you are already looking for a home in a warmer climate.  Turning 50 is realizing that you are so damn lucky to have made it this far.  Turning 50 is appreciating the gentle breeze, the warm sun on your face and the laughter of friends because you realize that those are the true joys of life.

Turning 50 means you no longer suffer fools.  Turning 50 means achieving your goals and living your dream because someday is no longer a word you can throw around lightly.    It’s about grace and wisdom and peace in knowing that you have made it this far and that’s quite an accomplishment.  I also feel a bit of sadness and I wouldn’t be writing an honest post without stating why that sadness exists and it has absolutely nothing to do with the number 50.

This phase of my life, the one I’ve been enjoying for the past fifteen years consists of so many wonderful friends.  We live near each other, we have dinner with each other, we talk about the kids over a cup of coffee, and we all share a special sisterhood.  I love each and every one of my friends with all of their strengths, flaws and differences.    The sadness I feel is not from turning fifty but it is from understanding that this phase of my life will shift within the next ten years.  I saw it happen with my own parents.  People retire, they move away and enjoy their lives in a warmer climate.  They travel, they take care of grandchildren and they make new friends while holding onto the old solid friendships through Facebook and through effort.  Life changes and even though this has not happened for me quite yet, if I had to be completely honest, I know that this is down the line.

There’s an opportunity here as well.  We have the opportunity through modern technology to maintain many of our friendships.  We are the generation that reconnected with high school friends, college friends and friends across the globe.  Virtual cup of coffees through video conferencing are a thing.  If I want my friends to visit I will tell them to get in a self-driving car!  Get used to it mid-lifers, technology has the ability to transform our lives.

I think Fleetwood Mac said it perfectly with these lyrics:  “Can I sail through the changing’ ocean tides?  Can I handle the seasons of my life?” (Landslide, Fleetwood Mac)

These lyrics mean so much to me.  “Can I handle the seasons of my life.”  I’m trying.  Each season requires different strengths and perspectives.

Bring it on.

The lessons my grandmother taught me.

The one year anniversary of my grandmother’s death is on December 29th.  I’ve written about her before.  She was a difficult, eccentric and interesting human being. In honor of her memory here are some of the lessons she taught all of us. Read with a sense of humor!

  •   Love God.  Be loud about it.  Put bumper stickers on your car.   Don’t apologize for what you believe in, unless it’s not what my grandmother believes in.  Then be quiet.  It’s going to be very hot where you’re going.
  • Be YOU.  People will feel uncomfortable when you are just being YOU.  Do it anyway.
  • Family is everything.
  • Without your health you’ve got nothing.
  • Take vitamins.  Vitamin C and Vitamin E.  Take lots of vitamins.
  • Sing.  Sing at home.  Sing loudly in church.  SING!  People will look at you.  They’re just jealous.
  • It’s OK to wear big gold jewelry and wear hot pink, sequins or be a little flashy.  Just shine.
  • Red wine can be consumed even in your nineties.
  • Be active!  Keep moving your body.  Plant flowers.
  • Work hard.  Work harder.
  • God has given you blessings and don’t feel guilty about those blessings.
  • God is good and he wants you to be kind but not at the expense of your dignity.
  • If you are blessed, share your blessings the way YOU want to share them.  She did this up close and personal with many people and many of those efforts we disagreed with (COUGH COUGH PTL).  Share your blessings even when those you love disagree.
  • Be outspoken.  Say what you mean.  Mean what you say.
  • If it walks like a bitch and talks like a bitch…it’s a bitch.
  • Laugh out loud.  REALLY LOUD!
  • Be strong.
  • Decorate your house with joy.  If you like fake flowers in bright colors then decorate your house with fake flowers.
  • Appreciate what you have.  When I first got married my “Nannie” gave me some pots and pans that she no longer wanted, some very old china and an old rocking chair.  I cherish these items.
  • Take care of your health.  Advocate for yourself with your doctors.  Loudly.
  • Send cards to your family.  Write to them.  Put stickers on the envelopes.  One day they will be treasured.
  • Teach the next generation up until the moment you pass.

True love and immortality consists of the lessons we leave behind.  Happy  New Year everyone!  If you get anything from this post, I hope that it is to love, laugh, sing and live LOUDLY with total abandon!

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Babies are NOT like puppies.

Hey there.  So you’re going to have a baby?  That sounds so wonderful!  Babies are cute and snuggly, and there’s nothing like the smell of a newborn and the feeling that comes with becoming a new mom.   Babies are not like puppies.  You see, puppies grow up just like babies do, but the time we have on this earth with our beloved pets is way too short while the time we have on this earth with our babies, if lucky, lasts our entire lifetime.  That’s a good thing.  That’s a commitment.   It also means that your baby will forever change you.

Hey there.  So you’re going to have a baby?  Did anyone tell you that in order to have a baby you need to lose a piece of your heart for, well forever?  If you have more than one baby you must give up even more pieces until you are no longer the owner of your heart.   Say goodbye to your heart.  You no longer own it.  Oh you love your husband?  Sorry…I didn’t mean to laugh or giggle or chuckle.  Let me know how much you love him when you feel mother love.

Hey there.  So you’re going to have a baby?  Get ready to feel really uncomfortable.  No, I’m not talking birth or weight gain or loss of privacy and time.  I’m referring to your transition into a lioness who is constantly questioning fairness, the quality of friendships, lessons that need to be learned, the school system, the daycare and everything else that is out there in the wild.  You are no longer human.  You are a lioness.

Hey there.  So you’re going to have a baby?  I hope you like looking in the mirror.  No…not at your makeup or your new hair style.  Your little human offspring will constantly hold up a mirror and show you your flaws, your fears and insecurities, and your imperfections on a daily basis.  You will learn more about yourself than your own child.  Hold onto your hat!  It’s a wild ride!  You will grow as a person and as a woman in ways that you could’ve never predicted.

Hey there. So you’re going to have a baby?  Get ready to experience loss.  You will love them fiercely and invest so much time into raising them and then they will leave you.  See ya!  Yes they will call you.  Sometimes.  You will have to get used to not having them in your life every single day.  It’s not fair but that’s how it works.  Your snuggly baby becomes a full-grown human and goes out on their own.  They may fall in love, may have a career, may move to another country and will always love you but you will miss them fiercely and maybe just maybe….

So you’re going to be a grandma?

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