I thought I would be young forever

standard April 18, 2016 1 response

I’ve had a nice big patch of white hair over my right temple since our tumultuous 2011 experiences, but until recently, only a few others would appear here and there, easily ripped out and dismissed as mere annoyances. These days however, new white hairs appear with devastating frequency. And they’re no longer happy to let themselves be contained in an area that can somewhat easily be masked. Oh no. They’re popping up everywhere.

And then there’s this weird thing happening on my chest. As in, when I wake up I have these disgustingly deep wrinkles all down my cleavage. They fade as the day progresses, but man is that a hard thing to see first thing in the morning. It’s like I’m getting old or something.

Or rather, it’s like my body is trying to tell me something.

It’s like it’s trying to hint at the fact that I’m turning 40 in just three months.

4. 0. In. 3. Months.

And how is that even possible?

I thought I was going to be young forever.

Or, rather, I thought I was still young.

Because young is a mindset, right? I’m sure I saw a poster on Pinterest that said something to that effect. And if it’s on Pinterest, it must be true. Right? RIGHT?

And I really thought I was still hip, and cool, and with it. I mean, I have a stripe of bluish green mermaid hair for crying out loud, if that doesn’t scream hip, I don’t know what does.

And then we went to Las Vegas, and spotted a young woman dressed in a show-girl outfit, posing in the street with people delighted to spend a couple dollars to have their picture taken with her. All she was wearing in lieu of a bra were two pretty little flower shaped pasties.

When M pointed her out to me, I gasped.

“Oh, that poor girl’s mother…” I whimpered.

M gave me a look, which made me whimper even louder.

Because cool, young, hip people don’t look at scantily clad girls and wonder if their mom knows what they do for a living.  Ergo, I am clearly not cool, young, or hip.

The next day, while lounging by the pool in my no nonsense tummy control bathing suit from Lands End, I actually googled “how old is middle aged?”

Good news, apparently, it’s not an age, it’s a state of mind.

Bad news, I might be heading that way on a runaway train fueled by un-hip Mom thoughts and tummy control bathing suits.

Of course, ever since then, I’ve been dreaming up tattoos that would prove to the world once and for all that I was still very much hip and cool.

At least, I did that until this morning, when I was in the shower having the kinds of deep thoughts you can only have when not being interrupted by kids, dogs, social media messages, or anything else that constantly interrupt my thoughts during the day.

As I lathered up my hair and wondered if there was some magic shampoo that could make my white hair a little less brittle, I asked myself why I was so terrified at the thought of getting older.

I thought about all of the things I have accomplished in the last ahem – 40 – ahem years.

I have nothing to be ashamed of. I have filled those years well. I have tried and tested lots. I have learned even more. I have been daring and bold. I have lived life fully. And I’m not even close to done living life fully.

I may no longer have a chest that won’t quit, or the kinds of looks that help me get ahead in life. But I have smarts I’ve honed carefully for many years. Hard won experience I can put to good use. And it’s so much more satisfying to know I’m landing jobs because I’m good at what I do, rather than because I look cute in a suit.

Yes, I’m still freaking out about the big birthday. Yes, I’m still googling tattoos. But I think I’m starting to get a grip on the whole thing.  40 is a major benchmark, but it would be more worrisome if I had nothing to show for all those spent years.

I get to spend the next 40 putting into effect what I spent the first 40 learning and practicing. So, maybe it’s time to accept that wisdom and experience have youth beat in all the ways that matter. But, if I’m brutally honest, and why wouldn’t I be at this point, now that you know all about the weird cleavage wrinkles…, I might have to sit with that thought for a while. It might take a long while to start feeling like a truth rather than something I’m trying to trick myself into believing.

 

And then, of course, there’s this…. The brutal reminder that I’m damn lucky to be struggling with these feelings at all.

"Growing old is a privilege denied to many" tattoo

Making Pear Vanilla Jam in 25 Easy Steps

standard June 18, 2013 1 response

Today, instead of waxing poetic about living in the silver lining of life, I bring you instead “Making Pear Vanilla Jam in 25 Easy Steps, a tried and true story from the annals of my days. Learn from my mistakes my friends, learn from my mistakes.

1 – Buy a huge Costco sized bag of pears in preparation for a Memorial Day camping trip with friends.

Yay! Camping!

2 – Bring home more than 2/3rds of the bag at the end of the trip.

3 – Spend three hours perusing pear recipes on Pinterest.

4 – Decide that you absolutely must make Pear Vanilla Jam. Yum.

5 – Go about your business for a week.

6 – Remember your Pear Vanilla Jam plan and look up recipe.

7 – Make mental note to grab some vanilla beans and pectin next time you’re at Whole Foods.

8 – Wait a few more days until you realize the pears are getting a bit over-ripe.

9 – Go to Whole foods and buy vanilla beans after gasping at the price. Grab some pectin while you’re there.

10 – Open pectin box and discover that there are two packets in there. Wonder why one is labeled activator. Close box and decide you’ll deal later.

10 – Go on Facebook to ask if you need new lids for your canning jars.

11 – On the recommendation of all of your followers and each of their cousins, head out to Cost Plus World Market for new canning lids.

12 – Find lids at the hardware store instead. While you’re there pick up another box of pectin. This one is “normal.”

13 – Go home and realize you bought the wrong sized lids.

14 – Check the recipe one last time and realize you need at least 8 pears. You only have 5 left and two look way past their prime.

15 – Go back out to the store to get more pears. While you’re there get the correct sized lids.

16 – Wait a few more days until you have a nice stretch of time to devote to your jam making.

17 – Start peeling pears.

18 – Throw half of the original pears – the modly ones – down the garbage disposal.

19 – Swat at a few fruit flies.

20 – Peel new pears and start cooking them with tons of sugar.

Mmm sugar.

21 – Check Youtube for videos on how to use vanilla beans.

22 – Let pear, sugar, vanilla mixture simmer while you clean jars and lid.

23 – Finish the canning process and pat yourself on the back.

Or post to Instagram, the modern day equivalent of the pat on the back.

24 – Research how to fight fruit fly infestation and spend two weeks battling the damn pesky things.

25 – Bake some Bread Machine Challah and treat yourself to the best snack you’ve ever tasted. You earned it!

Mmmm. Heaven.

Make sure to carefully store the jam you made. It’s going to be a while before you attempt this again.

Why the words are stuck

standard October 11, 2011 17 responses

Last week a tragedy occurred in our community and I so want to write about it, but the words that keep swirling in my head are “there but for the grace of God…” and that’s so not what I want to say. Even more importantly, it’s so not socially acceptable to say that I can’t even find a way to write the post I want to write.

Everything I would like to say would get lost on that one note. No one would read beyond that.

And that pretty much sums up my blogger’s block this year.

There’s so much to say. So many thoughts. So many emotions. So many things to be worked through.

But I’m stuck.

I think about M and his face as he reads what I write.

I think about my mom, my dad, my sisters, and how they worry about me.

I think about my friends and how I don’t want them to think of me as being callous, small minded, or unable to simply deal with what’s going on.

I have this image of who I am, an image that I others also see. I’m a decent person. I help when I can. I think good thoughts. I do my part to fix the world and I try to be someone people can depend on when they’re in need.

It’s just that sometimes I’m basely human.

I get scared.

I get tired and weary.

I get frustrated.

I get angry. So very very angry.

And yes, sometimes I get self centered. I do think “there but for the grace of god go we” when I hear of tragedy befalling others. I do think that our own lot sucks and is unfair. I do get lost in a mental daydream of “what if…”

And then I feel endlessly guilty and unworthy of this image that I try to embody. I feel shallow and petty and mean.

And I can’t write about it because it would make those emotions and thoughts more real, more concrete. It would give the words that sometimes take over my head more power than they deserve.

When the words have swirled away, I know they’re not a real reflection of who I am or what I really think. I’m human. It’s normal to think of me and how things affect me first. Let the first person who wouldn’t think those thoughts throw the first stone.

And yet, I want to leave no physical trace of them, and so I don’t write. And the words don’t get purged the way they would if I could put them out to the world. Instead they build up and block the way for the other words, the nicer words, to come through.

Is it really any wonder that I’m posting more sponsored posts than ever these days?