Tag Archives | women

Writing Menopause – You Must Read This Book!

I love love love fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. I love exceptional writing. I especially love anything that cuts to the heart of what women feel and think. So when Kimberley at Inanna publications sent me the book Writing Menopause, An Anthology of Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction, I was anxious to read and review it.

It’s breathtaking. Literally. And hot-flashing, mind melding, heart touching, beautiful. I actually think ALL women would love this book, not just those of us who are approaching, well in, or past menopause.

Each piece was so tender and truthful that I had to stop after reading it to muse on my own feelings, my own journey. This book will join the ‘desert island’ books on my shelf. (Desert island books are those 10 or 20 you would take to a desert island if you were stranded indefinitely and these were the only tomes you could have.)

If I’ve not yet succeeded in convincing you that you NEED to read these vignettes, then let me say that it is the best book on the Big M I’ve read. Including mine.

If you are looking for remedies or learning more of the physiology of the Pause, this book does not offer that. If you are looking for empathy, understanding, and your confused feelings illuminated in words on paper (yes, that’s it, what she said!), then you can’t afford to miss this book. Seriously! I mean it!

I won’t quote from the book, because it wouldn’t do any of the works justice. In lieu of that, I’ll tantalize you with a few titles.

Drenched
Icing on the Cake
The Things We Carry
Disassembly
Go. Rock.
The Hot Women
Adjusting the Ashes

Please order it asap – and then tell us how you experienced it. Because it is indeed an experience when these gifted writers share the personal and universal in Menopause. It’s available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. While I love my e-reader, I suggest you get the paperback version, so you can touch as well as read it, a totem for the journey of becoming that all women must travel.

Writing Menopause: An Anthology of Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction.  Jane Cawthorne and E.D. Morin, Editors

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Retire Meant – Menopause Goddesses Share Their Visions

Sunrise or Sunset? © lynette sheppard

Several of you responded; others are still thinking about and crafting their replies. Here are some of the visions shared by our readers. Enjoy! I surely did!

MB shared:  “I am not retired yet. ( I am soon to be 56 years old. ) BUT, I’m in college now, dual enrolled for two professions, pursuing a dream to work on my own terms and from home using all the experience I’ve gained working for the healthcare industry for the last 30 years in customer service.  I am 2 semesters away from my first college degree!  And 3 months away from a new credential!

So retirement to me looks like a home office, my dog next to me, my husband running our video game store at the local mall, and being on call for my second job as a Clinical Medical Assistant to get my “people” fix when I need it!

I am glad I’m at this place in my life- hot flashes, weight gain, no- filter -mouth and all.  It’s trying at times, but it’s my life and I’m making the best of it!”

BT responded with these thoughts:  “I enjoy your blog posts very much and just had to chime in about my thoughts regarding retirement.

Recently I had to really give this thought as I realized I had many emotions around it. I’ll be 54 in July. Recently, my 57 year old neighbor retired from a job she worked at her entire career and off to a warmer climate she and her husband went for a few months. While yes, I’d like a little more time in the sun, perhaps doing less at times, I couldn’t help but think what it must feel like to have devoted your whole life, often working more than forty hours a week, to now not working.

It brought up those transitional periods in our lives when we can feel lost, as I’ve felt a few times in my life. I wonder how it is affecting her as she was very devoted to her work. I’ve also been with women going through transition from a job they were very dedicated to until what is deemed “retirement age” and now not sure who they are anymore – as if they lost their identity and sense of purpose.

As I sat with the many feelings, I realized how it’s important to me to keep making an impact with my tribe that I continue to build. And how making a difference is so important to me and leaving a legacy, not necessarily as what I do, but in hopes that I help people (especially women) feel good about their lives and find meaning in them. I don’t see as that ever ends, but something that is so important to me and my own vitality because it feels good to my soul to make a difference where I can.

So thanks for the question and asking for  feedback. I’ll be curious to read what others have to say!”

CH offered these gems: Retirement (“the action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work”) . . . well, to me
who had a wake up call in my late 40’s that there was more to life than my narrow
perspective of my job, I think perhaps there is a more enlighten way to view this
transition. Leaving behind the work schedule allows us to connect with life in a whole
new way . . . discovering the opportunity to connect with passion.

I am amazed at the narrowness many view retirement . . . travel. I am reminded of my
soul sister in the NW (Anne Fangman who published her memoir: Mustard Every Monday:
From Secluded Convent to International Travel) responds to those wondering at her
retirement party if she was going to travel? “Been there, done that! I’m going to
stay home and enjoy life.”)

Opportunities abound once we don’t clock in and clock out. Watching friends nearby has
been a wonder to watch as they grapple with the time on their hands and how they
discover ways of connecting with themselves, others and “nature.”

I am looking forward to your posts on retirement!!!

CR shared her experience:  “Time is both your friend and your enemy … you do not have to get everything done today because yes, there will be tomorrow,
you do have time if you choose to have coffee with friends which was not possible very often when you are working..
but you also have funerals on a much more frequent basis …
I find I make it a priority to go to the Y several times a week
both for fitness but because sometimes those are the only people I see all day or all week.
I have started cleaning out my house I have lived here a very long time.. so when something happens My son will not have to do much…
I now have time to learn things i have always been interested in
and not be bothered with stuff I just don’t care about… there are things you do for others because you care about them , but I am much more selective about them.  Time is the most valuable commodity in the world .. and when you retire you realize it is more valuable than you ever realized . I make time to be with people that make me laugh; that has not always been an option .. now it is.
I look at retirement as a gift … and I am lucky to be here.”

BeFabRevolution is retiring on her own terms: “Hi Ladies, I am soon going to leave my nearly 25 year career as a corporate consultant. I have loved it. It has been interesting and often challenging, but I’m just over it. I’ll be 58 later this year and have had an overwhelming need to reinvent myself.

I am “retiring” from a strict schedule, but am too sharp and energetic to not have a new, more interesting challenge.

I have been laying the groundwork for nearly the past 2 years to launch a new business, catering to women age 50+. I launch the business next week. Woohoo!

Lynette, I need you as an expert speaker for 2017!!! I am so excited! I guess my “retirement” comes in being my own boss and being of service in a very different way.”

And a very treasured response comes from my own mother:  “As an 82 year old, find that life is what you make it. For me life is great as i have a great daughter and son-in law. Love is so important !”
Betty    AKa mom

Vibrancy comes to mind when I read these visions. Any other thoughts, insights, ideas? Put them in the comments or send them to me at lynette@9points.com  I look forward to more wisdom, questioning, input. Thank you so much to those who shared so generously! Virtual hugs to you all!

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Cultivating A New Relationship with Ourselves

Ferntasia © lynette sheppard

Ferntasia © lynette sheppard

One hard lesson we learned – possibly the most valuable of this transition – was that the pivotal relationship we needed to cultivate was with ourselves. When it seems that virtually every molecule in our body has changed, it shouldn’t surprise us that we need to get to know our new selves. That truly is the first step in creating new relationships with our intimates. Oh sure, we all thought we knew ourselves but further examination made us completely rethink that premise. Here’s how we started the process.

Me – meet Me

The mantra of midlife women “I just don’t feel like ME anymore” serves as an call to awakening.  Who WAS I?  More important,  who AM I now?  Perhaps our increased need for time alone has a purpose.  We need to become acquainted with the changeling emerging from the upheaval of our bodies, psyches, and beleaguered spirits.  We must question ways in which we have known ourselves prior to now.

We identify ourselves by the roles we’ve played in family and society.  We also have ideas of what describes us – quiet, outgoing, sensitive, impulsive, etc.  Identities and descriptions make up much of what we think of as ‘myself’.  These roles and ways of being are familiar and comfortable, if not exactly the dreams we thought we would live.  In getting to know a new SELF, we must first relinquish these familiar identities.  We need to let go of them however much they may resemble a life preserver tossed upon the stormy seas of so much change.

We addressed this in one of our Menopause Goddess gatherings with the following exercise.

“Letting Go of the Old Me” Exercise
Cut up heavy unlined paper or cardstock into pieces big enough for one or two words to be written.  (approx. 1/2 inch by 3 inches each is a good size.)  Give each woman 30 pieces of paper and a pen.  In silence, each Venus writes down one role or description on each piece of paper,  eg.  homemaker, nurse, artist, spiritual person, wild woman, sister, daughter, mother, and so on.  When finished hold all your roles and identities in your hands.  One by one, put them down, feeling the sensations and emotions of letting go of each one.  Take as long as needed – noticing how it feels to shed each identity.  When all your papers have been relinquished and your hands are empty, just sit quietly and notice what is left.  How does it feel to be without your roles?  Without your descriptions of who you are?  Don’t forget to breathe.

After 5-10 minutes of sitting quietly in this fashion, slowly begin to pick up your roles and descriptions one at a time.  Notice this time how it feels to reclaim each identity.  Are there some that are easier to take back?  Some that are burdensome or seem irrelevant?  Are there surprises?

If you’ve done this exercise in a group, (definitely the preferred way), those Venuses who wish to may share their experiences.  This serves to deepen and validate the experience for all.

For some in our Venus group, this exercise was deeply emotional, with great pain experienced on ‘giving up’ some of our most cherished identities.  Others were equally surprised at the ease with which some roles dropped away, like burdens laid to rest.  We found ourselves re-thinking the roles we have adopted until now and contemplating releasing those that no longer serve us or others.

The most important epiphany of the exercise involved feeling what was left when we let go of all our supposed roles and identities.  “Something” essential still remained.  An authentic being with value apart from what she does or how she is perceived exists when we give up all our identities.  Each goddess might be well served to acquaint herself with this essential ‘she’. Our ‘aha’ discovery of Self without proscribed identities led us into a discussion centering on another relationship that we wished to cultivate in midlife: our spirituality. We’ll touch more upon this in our next blog post.

This post was partially adapted from “The Big M” by Lynette – ebook version is called “Becoming a Menopause Goddess.”

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A Menopause Goddess Poem

White Ginger Blossoms © lynette sheppard

White Ginger Blossoms © lynette sheppard


Menopause Goddess and talented metalsmith artist and poet Nancy Lee shares this humorous vignette with us. Enjoy!

Over 50 Fan Club
By Nancy Lee

The molecules
in my room
are being whipped about
by a tiny small fan
for the pleasure
of my skin.
The insistent frequency
whispers its promises
and fools me
into a greater comfort
than this Lothario fan
can actually provide.
Yet, nightly, my sentinel
is faithfully summoned
to purr fake comfort
into my ear
and imperceptible coolness
onto my menopause skin.

Check out Nancy’s website – click here. Her tagline is Bringing Dreams to Life in Metal. Love that!

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Being a Post-Menopausal Goddess Doesn’t Save You from Heart Disease or Diabetes

coffee with heart

This week’s guest post is by Katie Brind’Amour, one of my favorite health writers. In it she offers information and helpful hints for preventing and/or dealing with heart disease and Type II diabetes. I know I get sloppy about my diet, especially when traveling, so I appreciate the reminders. Thanks, Katie!

Being a Post-Menopausal Goddess Doesn’t Save You from Heart Disease or Diabetes

Unfortunately, the hard-won pluses of being past Hollywood’s definition of “prime” do not equal a free pass for taking care of your health. Older women have a double whammy ready to work against them: a high risk of developing diabetes and an all-around increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular events, like heart attacks and strokes, are the number one killer in the elderly. Worse still, women with Type 2 diabetes have the same risk of dying of a cardiac event as do women without diabetes who have a history of cardiovascular disease. That means that diabetes makes you just as likely to die of cardiovascular problems as women who already have heart disease.

As if aging weren’t tough enough on its own, Mother Nature has to make it darn clear to older ladies that they are no exception to the general rule of increased risks for diabetics. The recent study on over 9,200 women found that the relationship between heart disease and diabetes mirrored the rest of the population’s: one disease is bad enough on its own, but diabetes is like having (at least) two in one.

What is a Lady to Do?

Although the latest health news is dim, there is a silver lining: both cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes are often preventable. This means that, with time and effort, you can drastically reduce your chances of succumbing to heart disease and diabetes (and all of their nasty, deadly side effects).

There are two key ways to prevent these conditions that everyone knows but no one likes to hear. A healthy diet and regular exercise are absolutely the best ways to avoid these diagnoses. Maintaining a healthy weight (particularly avoiding extra pounds around the waist) can significantly cut your risk of each illness.

 If you are already living with diabetes or heart disease, there are also a few steps you can take to reduce your future risk of a cardiac event, complications, or death. Take these simple, natural solutions to heart, and commit to a healthier lifestyle to truly make a difference in your future.

Natural Ways to Avoid Heart Disease

In addition to eating a healthy, balanced diet (aim for half veggies, one quarter lean protein, and one quarter whole grains at each meal), exercise is essential. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like brisk walking, swimming, water aerobics, tennis, cross-country skiing, ballroom dancing, or biking) at least five days each week. Gardening and walking the dog count, too, and if you love to dance while you wash dishes or vacuum, keep up the good work!

If you are diabetic or if you are currently inactive, talk with your healthcare provider before beginning a new exercise routine. Build up to a regular and more vigorous regimen gradually, even if you have to start with just a few minutes of walking each day.

Next, tackle the other parts of your life that can best reduce your risk of heart disease.

Drop the tobacco habit. Smoking does serious damage to blood vessels and the heart. Kicking the addiction can add years to your life—even if you aren’t already diabetic. Check out free online “quit smoking” chat rooms or ask about health benefits from your employer or health program to get a little help.

Eat heart-healthy foods. Even if you are already eating a healthy diet, try incorporating additional heart-healthy foods into your weekly menu. These include foods with healthy fats, like fish and nuts. You should cut down on red meats and processed foods, then up your intake of beans, vegetables, and whole grains. Yum.

Get your waist below 35 inches. Extra weight around the middle is a major risk factor for both diabetes and heart disease. Even losing about 5–10% of your body weight can help slash your risk of these diseases if you are currently overweight or obese. Hence the recommendation above for regular exercise (there’s no getting away from that one, ladies!).

Take advantage of health screenings. Getting your annual check-up and screenings as recommended can literally save your life. An early indication of cardiovascular disease—like high blood pressure or blood cholesterol levels—can be the early warning you need to seek more aggressive treatments. Keeping blood glucose levels in the recommended range will also ensure that your body functions as normally and as healthily as possible.

No matter your inherited risk and current trajectory, you can make a difference in your future risk. Diabetes and heart disease are life-changing (and sometimes life-ending). Make sure that you are doing all you can to live a healthier, happier, longer life. You can do it!

 

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Aging Or Transforming: Which Are We Doing?

Flower Spiral © lynette sheppard

Aging is weird sometimes. It takes a bit of getting used to. Like when you suddenly become invisible in shops or restaurants while waiters pant over younger patrons. Or as Whoopi Goldberg noticed, “when you are never again going to be the hottest thing in the room”. Except thermally speaking. And those days when you pass a mirror or window and wonder who is that middle aged woman looking back before recognizing yourself.

And yet. And yet, there is so much that is wondrous and illuminating about the aging journey. Twenty some odd years ago, when aging was just an abstraction in my world, I chanced to see aging in a new and lovely way. Dear friend Bronwyn Cooke took her husband Rik’s slides of old cars and with musician Ron Lloyd created this poignant look at the beauty of aging, at metamorphosis. Thanks to YouTube, I can now share it with all of you. Enjoy.

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2012: I Have My Dancing Orders

2012 is off to a great start and I have given myself my dancing (not marching) orders for the year vis a vis the thought-provoking questions from Robin Mascari posted in the last blog entry.

My poet-friend Kat posted not only the questions for year end and beginning, but her answers. (Check out her blog: Poetikat’s Invisible Keepsakes.)  It was so enlightening to read them, like one of those emails that ask you to relay 4 things you like to eat, 4 places you’ve lived, etc. to friends, but way more juicy. I feel like I learned some new aspects of Kat – and so decided to share my own answers. Send some of your thoughts along if you get the chance, so our virtual community can get the chance to know you better.

COMPLETING AND REMEMBERING 2011
What was your biggest triumph in 2011?  iPhone photos in Aurora stock agency.
What was the smartest decision you made in 2011?
Release the big M as an ebook.
What one word best sums up and describes your 2011 experience? Re-Vision
What was the greatest lesson you learned in 2011?  Being skinny is not the same as being healthy.
What was the most loving service you performed in 2011? Being there for my friend and just listening thru many tearful phone calls.
What is your biggest piece of unfinished business in 2011?
Organizing my photos
What are you most happy about completing in 2011?
hmmmmm everything seems like a work in progress – oh painting inside of house white.
Who were the three people that had the greatest impact on your life in 2011?
Lauri Gwilt, dewitt,  the whole iphoneography group.
What was the biggest risk you took in 2011?
the HCG diet
What was the biggest surprise in 2011?
2 surprises: Lauri and the Palouse in Washington state
What important relationship improved the most in 2011?
not sure – my close relationships are nourishing and loving, not sure they “improve”
What compliment would you liked to have received in 2011?
my, you look so young (ha ha)
What compliment would you liked to have given in 2011?
I hope I gave them and held nothing back (see last year’s intentions)
What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2011?
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. ok, I’m pau (done).

CREATING 2012
What would you like to be your greatest triumph in 2012?
i honestly don’t know……. maybe remodel the kitchen.
What advice would you like to give yourself in 2012?
be present in the moment.
What is the major effort you are planning to improve your financial results in 2012?
Learning  Quicken. at last. And maybe online banking.
What would you be most happy about completing in 2012?
writing projects
What major indulgence are you willing to experience in 2012?
going to Venice
What would you like to change about yourself in 2012?
becoming vibrantly healthy (and thinner only if that goes with it – otherwise fit and fat.)
What are you looking forward to learning in 2012?
French – just enough to get by this summer.
What do you think will be your greatest risk in 2012?
opening my heart more
What about your work are you most committed to changing and improving in 2012?
organizing my photos, celebratory and nature writing
What is one as yet undeveloped talent you are willing to explore in 2012?
music
What brings you the most joy and how are you going to do or have more of that in 2012?
photography with Dewitt, hanging out with spouse and girlfriends, reading. Just gonna do it!
Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving and serving in 2012?
Dewitt
What one word would you like to have as your theme in 2012?
JOY!

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Remembering 2011 and Creating 2012: A Menopause Goddess Guide

A New Dawn © lynette sheppard

It’s that time again – time to peek back at the year coming to a close and to look ahead to creating a brand new year.

I used to forget to look back at how much I had accomplished, enjoyed, and lived each year. I was much too focused on what lay ahead and how I might want to improve myself. You know: more exercise, better health habits, being more organized, blah blah blah.

About ten years ago, I started making “Done Lists” at the end of each year, in order to not only celebrate what I’d lived, but to freaking REMEMBER it! With the advent of menopause, remembering became a lost art, that needed a little nudge (I used my calendar to make notes all year and that helped me re-view what happened.)

After celebrating the passing year, it’s natural to then look ahead to the coming one. Every New Year’s eve, I have this delicious feeling of a clean slate with all possibilities open. Most of us goddesses don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore. We know that particular activity to be a slippery, guilt-iced slope that will only irritate us in the long run. But we do create “intentions” or “wishes”. Sometimes, especially with menopause brain, it’s hard to get started or to focus on what we want to manifest next.

Friend and sister goddess, Robin Blanc Mascari shared with us two sets of simple yet profound questions. One set is designed to help guide us through re-viewing 2011 and the other is geared to helping us envision our own 2012. Enjoy them – I really did. Answer them all or just pick a couple that feel relevant. Perhaps you’ll think of other questions that we might ask ourselves – let us know your thoughts in the comments.

COMPLETING AND REMEMBERING 2011

What was your biggest triumph in 2011?

What was the smartest decision you made in 2011?

What one word best sums up and describes your 2011 experience?

What was the greatest lesson you learned in 2011?

What was the most loving service you performed in 2011?

What is your biggest piece of unfinished business in 2011?

What are you most happy about completing in 2011?

Who were the three people that had the greatest impact on your life in 2011?

What was the biggest risk you took in 2011?

What was the biggest surprise in 2011?

What important relationship improved the most in 2011?

What compliment would you liked to have received in 2011?

What compliment would you liked to have given in 2011?

What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2011?

CREATING 2012

What would you like to be your greatest triumph in 2012?

What advice would you like to give yourself in 2012?

What is the major effort you are planning to improve your financial results in 2012?

What would you be most happy about completing in 2012?

What major indulgence are you willing to experience in 2012?

What would you like to change about yourself in 2012?

What are you looking forward to learning in 2012?

What do you think will be your greatest risk in 2012?

What about your work are you most committed to changing and improving in 2012?

What is one as yet undeveloped talent you are willing to explore in 2012?

What brings you the most joy and how are you going to do or have more of that in 2012?

Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving and serving in 2012?

What one word would you like to have as your theme in 2012?

Happy New Year to all menopausal and midlife goddesses! Here’s hoping that 2012 brings you peace, joy, and cooling breezes!

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Women Changing The World – One Dinner at a Time

That is the tagline for one of the most inspiring women to women endeavors I’ve ever seen. And we will tell you all about it.

Flash back to September and our annual Menopause Goddess gathering this year. We talked once again about legacy and contribution. MIdlife has made us all too aware that our time on this planet is limited. We wondered how we share might some of the blessings in our lives, whether it be through mentoring, volunteering, public service, or donations.

Then Cyn Venus told us about a project that she has been involved in for the past year called “Dining For Women”. This nonprofit organization was begun in 2003 by Marsha Wallace. The premise is simple: a group of women meet for a potluck dinner and donate the money they would have spent going out to eat to a cause benefiting women.

On their site, diningforwomen.org, they further describe their mission and vision:

“Dining for Women from the beginning has focused on improving the lives of women and girls worldwide, who often live on less than $1 a day. By focusing on women and girls, DFW empowers women to find solutions to the problems they face through education, healthcare, and economic development.”

“Our Mission
Dining for Women’s mission is to empower women and girls living in extreme poverty by funding programs that foster good health, education, and economic self‐sufficiency and to cultivate educational giving circles that inspire individuals to make a positive difference through the power of collective giving.

Our Vision
Our vision is to create a new paradigm for giving – collective giving on an immense scale while maintaining the intimacy of small groups with a focus on education and engaged giving.”

Dining For Women involves us in two of our favorite things: girlfriends and giving back. Okay, three if you count eating. And I do. I was sold on the idea from the minute Cyn described the concept. And then she shared the following video of the cause of the month for September, 2011: the Fistula Foundation in Ethiopia.  Warning: grab your Kleenex before you watch.

Want to know more about fistula incidence and options for women in Ethiopia? Read the novel “Cutting For Stone” by Abraham Verghese, a stunning story written by a physician that will break your heart wide open.

So: Dining For Women. $10 here. $15 there. Resulting in 1.2 million dollars raised over the eight years it has been in existence. Where else can we get so much return for our money? As for me, I’d much rather have a potluck with gal pals than go out to a restaurant where I have to dress up and be on my best behavior.

The website shows all the ways we can help whether we organize a potluck group that meets once per month or just shop in their Marketplace to support Dining For Women. Let’s see how many chapters we can create in the new year (not wanting to stress anybody out over the holidays. Although it may be a stress reducer to meet with girlfriends and commiserate/celebrate/what have you.)  And hey, what a great New Year’s resolution.

Women helping women. To quote my handsome spouse, Dewitt, “I can’t wait until women run the world.” Yep, me neither. But we’re getting there by doing what we do best. And after all, we are more than half the citizens on this little blue marble. Just sayin’… Dinner anyone?

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5 Things I Freaking Love About Aging

Cloud Dreamin' © Dewitt Jones

Last week,  I talked about 5 things I hate about aging.  As promised, here’s the other side of that currency.

#1.  I don’t fret about how I look.
Let’s face it – at some point, all the fixin’ up in the world still yields decreased dividends. Like my own personal Wall Street.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not letting myself go. I don’t wish my personal stock market to do a Lehman Brothers faceplant. I believe in some minimal maintenance.  (okay not thirty something-type minimal. Minimal when you are in your fifties would be maximal at an earlier time of life.)

Still, it’s a great relief to realize that this is as good as it gets, appearance wise. So after that necessary minimal maintenance I’m not letting myself go; just allowing myself to be. And breathing, lots of breathing.

#2.  I don’t try to please everyone.
Or sometimes anyone. I do try to please me. I used to be last on my list. These days, I usually am in the top three. Sometimes, I’m even at numero uno. Yep, definitely making progress.

And here’s a major benefit to all who have to deal with me: when I please my self, I’m actually more pleasing to be around. Well, duh!!! Hey all you daughters and goddesses-in-training out there, take note. Do not wait until you are my age to learn this. It’s so freaking obvious, at least from my present vantage point.

#3.  I’m comfortable in my baggy dry skin.
Oh yeah, I have to admit that it’s a little alarming when I inadvertently photograph my neck wattle while fooling with my iPhone camera. But hey, that’s why the little trash can icon was created. And I make quick use of it in those unfortunate circumstances. (I guarantee you that you’ll NEVER see one of those photos on iPhone Diva…or anywhere else.  Just sayin’…)

Besides, there’s moisturizers, lotions, emollients, sunscreens, and wrinkle creams galore spread out before me like a giant oil-rich smorgasbord at just about every retail facility I frequent.  So no problem. I may not look great, but I won’t desiccate completely.

The point is that I love being a middle aged Menopause Goddess. I never felt so comfortable being, well..me.. at any other age. (When in my twenties, thirties, and even early forties by the way, I was perfect on the outside and just didn’t know it. Daughters and goddesses-in-training, take another note. You are perfect, you are gorgeous, don’t waste this time worrying about how you look!)

And now that I’m less concerned about how I look or appear externally, I place much more attention on who I am becoming internally. And I gotta say that I’m beginning to like her, the fifty-something version of Lynette. Still a work in progress but we’re definitely onto something here.

#4.  I waste time without feeling guilty
Actually, I don’t consider unstructured time “wasted” time anymore. Time spent contemplating, daydreaming, reading (I do lots of reading which I can justify as being absolutely necessary for any writer, but I love it too much to consider it prep or work of any kind.), wandering through the woods or up the road, staring out the windows at clouds, birds, sky, nothing; – all of these are beginning to seem like the absolute best use of time imaginable. And the loss of the guilt? I’m not accomplishing or getting things done or fill-in-the-blank here. So what? This is how this menopausal woman is working toward Goddess. I DO enough – time to BE as well.

#5.  I try new things without fear of failure.
Here’s the great and glorious truth that I have learned. The failure police won’t come after me if I mess up. So what’s holding me back? Nothing. I don’t mind looking foolish (see #1 again.)

So I’m happy to jump in to new pursuits with both feet (carefully if it is truly physical – I don’t want to break.) Otherwise the sky is the limit – new photo technology, new art forms, dance, learning a language, and more.

So I suck. So what? I’ll get better eventually. The important things are that I’m branching out and experimenting, doing things I never thought I’d try, exercising my mind and stimulating my creative juices. And I am having a buttload of fun.

So yes, I love these five things about aging. I’m sure there will be more to love in the coming years. How about you all, goddesses? What do you like about growing older? Let us know right here in the comments. For now, I’m off to do finish reading Steven Tyler’s autobiography “Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?”.  Purely for research purposes…not!

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