"Oomph," grunts my husband lifting my suitcase, as we prepared to leave for a recent trip. "Why is your bag so heavy?" "Maintenance," I reply.
In the post-menopausal period of my life, I find that I require a great many products, supplements, and emollients just to maintain a level of adequacy. I’m not trying to look glamorous or sexy; I’m simply trying not to frighten small children. Or myself when I happen to encounter a mirror.
For those of you who’ve followed the "hair thinning" saga, you won’t be surprised that I need to pack my special Nioxin shampoo and conditioner, my wide tooth comb and gentle brush, my two products to maximize curl, gel to help style the improved curls, a purifying rinse to get all the built up crap out of my hair from these tenacious cremes and sprays, and a special every-few-days industrial strength conditioner. That’s several pounds devoted to hair alone.
I need SPF 20 makeup foundation and powder, blusher, eyebrow and lip pencils, and lipstick. An additional special sunscreen is also needed for "outdoor" pursuits. For years, I didn’t wear makeup; now my skin is so sensitive to UV that I wear it for protection. A nice side benefit is that it smoothes out my skin tone and livens me up a bit.
Dryness is always a factor, these days. Even in Hawaii where there is a fair amount of moisture in the air, if I should skip a day of lubricants, my skin vaguely resembles an alligator handbag. (Faux alligator, of course.)
So, I need special non-drying soap and body wash, face cleanser, body lotion, and hand creme. I must take facial moisturizer, eye cream, and my favorite anti-wrinkle cream. For dry eyes, I pack artificial tears and eyelid wash. How many pounds of stuff are we up to now?
Ah supplements. Can’t forget my women’s multiple vitamin, my lo-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack, my Vitamin E, thyroid supplement, acetyl-l carnitine for memory and brain function (this stuff really works when I remember to take it), my calcium/Vitamin D chew, and my SGS defense herbs. And I require a jar of natural progesterone cream as well as my topical glucosamine cream to keep my joints nicely lubricated.
Finally, I’m ready to pack a few items of clothing and a couple of books.
Still, while my luggage may weigh more when I travel these days, I realize that this time of life has allowed me to jettison a great deal of other baggage. I’ve quit carrying along resentment, perfectionism, martyrdom, victim states, feeling inadequate, unfocused longing, feeling responsible for the state of the world, and jealousy. In a sense, I’m now traveling a lot more lightly than I ever have. And I have Menopause to thank for it.
You think YOU have supplements! Wait 'til you see what you get to take along once you hit 60!! Take Lynette's list and multiply by 4. I've got so many supplements, you can't even use those cute, little pill organizers with compartments for each day of the week, 'cause they just won't all fit. So, I've tried pouring them into large zip-lock bags, one for morning on an empty stomach, another for morning with food, another for evening with food, and a fourth for bedtime. Each one has to be clearly labeled. It takes me longer to organize my supplements than to pack my clothes!
And then, of course, there's the cosmetic bag…
I've got a girlfriend who doesn't even bother to decant her supplements if she's taking a road trip. She just throws all the bottles into a large paper grocery bag. The same with cosmetics and shoes!
You gotta wonder… how did this madness creep into our lives?
Hi Honey –
I'm off to London soon and bringing, as your friend recounted, way too much crap!
Laughter is the best medicine for just about everything, and your posting cured me today! My approach to this changing, aging thing is a lot cheaper – I stopped looking in the mirror.
What I see when I do look is not what's really there anyway. Photos don't lie, but your mind plays tricks on you when you are gazing at your live physical being. It seems funny to me that when I look at photos of me from several years back that caused me to cringe, I now go, wow you were pretty dang good-looking. I think a time warp is very valuable.
Other than that, I try to focus on beauty from the inside out, let the love shine through, and smile. I like that saying "Birds can fly because they travel lightly". You are definitely right on about dumping the negative baggage. Great job!
Oh girl – what, pray tell, are you going to do when traveling down the river? Good thing you are not going to be torturing those poor mules.
Now, to that list, I add the computer, the blackberry, headsets so as to not destroy my all ready disfunctional spine, neck pillows (same reason as the headset) various level heeled shoes so as to keep my feet from beind destroyed in one day and a notepad to write down everything I can't afford to forget.
But you are so right – the load is so much lighter without all the excess drama garbage. Now, if I could just find that cute "dumb-waiter in a thong" to play sherpa.
I understand the Faux alligator skin. Thank God for Oil of Olay body lotion.
I, too, have lightened my load by removing excess "baggage."
Life's a trip, isn't it?
This hits very close to home. My husband heard me giggling when I was reading it and upon hearing ALL women take so much he said, "you look great so I don't know why you need so many products". Now, don't get me wrong, I love the compliment, but does he really not understand the reason we look good is BECAUSE of all the stuff?
Anyway, my additions to the baggage are: Benedryl, so I can sleep; Advil Sinus, for the headache after so much wine; and Gaviscon for the tummy so I can continue to enjoy local cuisine. Now all I need is a calorie negator and I will be all set!
OH girlfriends you are so right! Now, to add to all of the stuff you pack I pack SHOES..I won't give up the heels or the cute little sandels etc. In my last blog I stated that I had taken up selling skin care products. Big mistake… I but more than I sell. My only success was the success of the hand cream that fades the brown spots. Every woman at my first Spa party bought that product. Goes to show that even the face isn't the only body part that concerns us. Oh well, young looking hands – OLD body.
You are hilarious! I love it -forgot about the expense part of maintenance, but it sure is a factor!
Girlfriend thanks for the good laugh!!!!! Just so you guys out there know, I just saw Lynette at hula practice this morning and commented on how good she looked, all the stuff works, she has got it down to a science, she looks good. Just a comment on all the stuff, we now have to carry around. I am packing for trip with my love on his boat and it is amazing, all I have to say is thank god we are an older couple and have had to time to pay down all our debt so I can afford all this shi………..! Aloha Rae
I have recently found an all natural herbal supplement to help reduce my hot flashes and night sweats. It's called Tao Harmony by Tao formulations (www.taoformulations.com) . My gyn suggested I try it. So I ordered a bottle on line. I am trying to avoid hormone replacement drugs. I highly recommend it to anyone with these same symptons.