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Channeling Halle Berry

1 Mar

We just returned from attending my niece’s wedding in Florida.

It was an incredible trip and a welcome warm humid weekend. We were there just long enough for the wrinkles to plump out in the humidity. I love that part of humidity – it works better than botox. But my hair? In Colorado my hair is fairly straight. In humidity, my hair takes on a life of its own and begins to resemble Mufasa in The Lion King.

It isn’t about using product. I use lots of product. Within minutes of walking outside my hair begins to curl and frizz and I no longer need volumizing shampoo or product.

Still I had really shopped and considered exactly what to wear.For once, I didn’t have 3 kids to shop and pack for! Another upside to the empty nest!

At the rehearsal dinner I had this beautiful Sue Wong dress. It was a fitted black lace and beaded dress over a shimmering gold inner dress. It had a plunging neckline – and took me out of my comfort zone. I normally wouldn’t have even tried it on – but my neighbor who was shopping with me convinced me to try it on and then said – “You should buy it and wear it now – in a few years the girls will be too saggy to wear something like that” Seriously……she said it and I took it to heart. I had spent a lot of time trying to help my mother find something to wear to the wedding. At 87 she refuses to wear clothes she calls “old lady clothes” and I love that about her – still I thought my neighbor had a point.

I wore the dress and had a rare – “I look pretty dang good” moments. But as the dinner began to wind down, my mother leaned into me and asked “Are you wearing anything under that dress?” I said – “What do you mean? You do realize there is a gold dress lining the dress……right?” She said “I thought maybe you were channeling Halle Berry and that was you I was seeing through the dress.”

One the one hand I was speechless. On the other, I was kinda impressed that at 87 she knew who Halle Berry was.

Wisdom of Pooh

7 Feb

For the Superbowl, we gathered with a few neighbors for the ritual of football and too much food. As the game began we noticed the men had congregated on one side of the room and the women were on the other side. When one woman commented about our “middle school party” situation one of the husbands who clearly had one ear on our conversation said “That is because we are at a Superbowl party…..to watch the Superbowl.”

Yea, yea we caught the high-points – men yell during football – so we knew when to look. And we paused to watch the commercials and half time show.

My daughter had just texted me that her sort of boyfriend (she says they broke up but he seems around a lot) and his friends didn’t show for the Superbowl party he had requested and now had way to much pizza and was annoyed. I am ready for this guy to hit the road – he is very nice – but he is his own obstacle. I commented to my neighbor “I think my daughter is trying to fix him.” My neighbor commented she tried to fix several boyfriends before she met her husband. Then she asked which Winnie The Pooh character I liked as a kid. Both she and I had an Eeyore. We both had hoped to love Eeyore enough to get him to smile. We wanted to ‘fix’ poor Eeyore.

My neighbor said “Now I wouldn’t have patience for Eeyore. Get over yourself Eeyore!” I commented “Hey you would be in a bad mood too if you walked around with a tack in your ass. Let go of the tail Eeyore – move on with your life and forget about the tail!” He was seriously obsessed with the perfect tail, constantly losing his tail, looking for his tail and enduring a painful reattachment of the tail! Another neighbor looked at both of us and said “It was Winnie The Pooh all the way.”

Not sure we actually hit on some deep wisdom or too much wine.

You know you are getting old when……..

1 Feb

Recently in a discussion with a group of moms we were talking about the “dial” phones we grew up with. You know the ones where you put your finger in the hole associated with the number, and slowly turned it counter clockwise, then released the dial.

It was horrible if you were in a hurry and the number had zeros or nines in the phone number. And, you could not sneak a phone call as the sound was loud and unmistakable. Plus it was connected by a cord to a base to a wall. No walking around the house yet alone hopping in a car and driving away never missing a beat.

So when I saw an ad to make your cellphone retro and insert it into an “retro” hand set I knew I had crossed over the hill. My first reaction was…”who would want this?” but then I fondly remember how it was easier to cradle the old phone receiver than my current phone. Flat and small may be cool looking but wow does it do a number on my neck. hmmmmmmm…….

Just remembered…..isn’t that why I have that blue tooth ear piece? So I don’t have to hold or cradle my cell phone? By the time I remember where that is….I’ll see it in an ad for a “retro” blue tooth.

Pondering

31 Jan

I have been scanning old photos of my mother’s. I am scanning them to preserve them and to share them with siblings, cousins, aunts and all. It is a process that takes time. But the time it takes to examine a photo forces me to pause and identify the moment and faces.

I have a batch of photos from when my mother was in college. I love seeing her in her youth, before she was a wife and a mother. Now she is 87 and still doing well but I really love trying to imagine her as a young woman. I love the group of photos from when she was in California in 1946. She would have been 22 years old. She remembers the trip well. She went with her Aunt and felt like country bumpkins dropped into that world. That isn’t what I see.

I see a beautiful woman crossing a street in downtown Los Angeles wearing a smart suit and pumps. I see the adventure of boarding a steam ship to Catalina Island. I see a woman visiting the Pacific Ocean for the first time. I think how daring they were.

I was scanning a photo of my mom standing on the steps of her family’s home and noticed she had written a note to my father. It was dated 1950, when they were dating.

The photos lend a different perspective to my parents. With my own children out of the nest, and I try to find my own identity again, it is great fun to ponder my own parents lives before marriage and children.

My mother in LA 1946

My mom, Donna, in the late 40's

I Am A Slow Learner

11 Jan

ages 4, 7, 9

It is interesting as kids age from teens to young adults. I still think of them as my babies and want to mother them, and give them advice and try not to smother them. And I mean smother on many levels!

They are old enough to make their own decisions and mistakes and I find I can now look back on my parenting and see my mistakes as a parent. I was definitely guilty of doing too much for them and trying to never let them fail. I now see failure as a good thing in maturing to an adult. (Although I don’t see any good come out of my own failures!)

My latest examples…..My middle child was heading back to college this semester and I find he dropped a lot of classes (rather than take a failing grade) So I paid $10,000 for a couple of classes? So I’ve decided to let go – he has a bit of money, so I told him he was paying for the semester. It was his money to lose and if he does well – I will repay him, but I was no longer funding him to play video games and ignore life. Today is the first day of classes and he sent me a text “In class”. YAY! It is a start, but I will take it as a positive step. I hope this is his turning point. He will have to change his habits to succeed and I hope he does – but he will have to bear the failure this time. 

My oldest son…..he partied his first 3 semesters at a private east coast prestigious University. We (along with the University)finally said – “ENOUGH!” brought him home and told him to get a job. When he couldn’t be bothered, his Dad took him to his office to do filing. He quickly found a job. I hoped he would find he would rather go to school than work at a low paying job. Unfortunately the company quickly realized how capable and smart he was and suddenly he was making 6 figures. So much for my wicked plan..But he got a new boss who was quite unethical and a bit of an ass (YAY!) and my son decided to go back to school. He learned he wanted to “be the boss” and for that he would need that piece of paper. But this time, he realized how hard it is to earn the money to pay tuition and took out a loan and pays part of his own tuition. And, he is on the Dean’s list. 

I look back to lower school, middle school and high school and how my love for them prevented me from just letting them fail…..I didn’t make them get summer jobs or really require a lot of household responsibilities of them. They are wonderful, loving boys and I look back on a lot of fun in their childhood, but I think a little responsibility could have gone a long way. 

My daughter? She is clearly from another planet. She is 18 and a hard working responsible kid. I have no explanation. I won’t take credit but will just give thanks for the blessing.  

Catching my breath!

6 Jan

One of my friends and followers commented on the lack of blogs – I’ve been busy…..really busy.
One of the advantages of adult kids and no workplace job is I can do and go on the spur of the moment.

Two of my kids declined to come home for Thanksgiving. It is a long trip for a couple days and very expensive but dang – I make a mean turkey….isn’t that enough? And there was pie!

At Christmas I decided I wanted family time – so I booked a last minute trip to Universal Studios in Orlando. Did I mention I hate rides? But they love them and it actually turned out to be the trip I hoped it would be. No computers and everyone had a great time – (That is how you know your kids are growing up – they are no longer too cool to actually admit they are having a great time)

And this week? I was incredibly selfish. My daughter and I met my dear friend and her daughter in Glenwood Springs Colorado for a day at the spa and hot springs. When I arrived I had a horrible cold, when I left I felt like a new woman. The 24 hours was proof of the healing affect of steam and too much laughter. I highly recommend large doses of laughter and never underestimate the value of a great friendship.

The year has begun and two of my kids have left to pursue their dreams…..well one is pursuing a dream….jury is still out on what the other is doing.

While I am missing my kids, this time I feel grateful – for their health, their laughter and love.

Now time to figure out time management for the empty nester.

My resolution? Stop wasting time and seize the day. I put that in writing didn’t I?

Toasting Butterbeer

Toasting Butterbeer

Restoring Status Quo

17 Dec

There is dirty laundry piled into the laundry room, lights left on all over the house, an abandoned container of queso and a sweatshirt sitting on the kitchen counter.
All of this can only mean one thing……finals are finished and the kids are returning to the nest. I’m still counting down the hours until I pick up my daughter from the airport. (42 hours!) I’ll take the ensuing mess that will follow each arrival. I love a full nest.
It feels like Christmas. For me – having my kids home is incredible.
My daughter is in California, a son in Montana and one son is living at home for his senior year in college. He is looking at companies in NYC and London for internships. Being all together could be harder to make happen.
But rather than worry about that which I cannot control….I am enjoying this Christmas and my kids all being home. I’m sure I will annoy them and they will annoy me. The house will be a mess and I’ll be in the kitchen…when I’m not in the laundry room. Sounds like the best gift ever….

Christmas a few years back!