Something occurred to me this week. I think it’s the thing I’ve been inching toward with this blog for a couple of years now, but I haven’t fully grasped it til now. Not for lack of trying. Every time I sit down to write, I strain for the courage to face the truth. I’ve inched up on it. I’ve sidled around it. Pressed up against reality and looked at it slant-eyed, hoping not to see what I’ve known all along was there. But I can’t avoid it any longer. And I don’t want to.Continue reading
As an exercise in I don’t know what (halting boredom in its tracks, maybe), I spent some time this morning looking back on my blogging career to see what I could see. And what I learned was: Continue reading
This is a weird time. It’s sad and scary. It’s colorful and creative. It’s overwhelming and enlightening and stimulating and freeing. And exhausting – mustn’t forget exhausting.
My daughter left for college last month. She is a couple thousand miles away, and let me tell you, it’s just weird. It’s a big deal, but not necessarily in the way I thought it was going to be.
Show of hands, please: When you have a long list of things to accomplish, who finds it impossible to decide which task to start with because they all seem equally important? Would you rather eat glass than make a phone call to, say, the accountant or pharmacy or doctor’s office or utility company?* Do you sometimes hop out of bed with obscene amounts of optimism and a plan to accomplish a Superman-sized list in a single bound? And by dinner, do you feel like a miserable failure because you have 14 pages of things left to do and you’re as tired as a toddler after her first day of preschool (and just as weepy)? Continue reading
I’ve never been the kind of mom who has a plate of warm cookies waiting on the counter for my kids when they come home from school. Certainly I’ve made plenty (okay, a few) batches of cookies in the past 18 years, but mostly any sweets we have in the house come straight from Safeway’s cookie aisle. My own mom was the same: she made a pretty good chocolate chip cookie from time to time, but usually it was Oreos or Nilla Wafers after school, and I never felt neglected. Continue reading
I’ve been looking for a fun new exercise regime. Actually, I have been pretending to be looking, which means for about two years I thought about looking. Finally – yay, me! – I actually bothered to type “fun exercise class” and my city into Google and found an article about a couple of unusual local classes, like one that has a bunch of cowboy gates and all the exercises are somehow done on the gates, like maybe how cowboys climb over rodeo fences to hop onto those cows – wait, bulls? – that jump around and try to throw them off. (I mean, I guess that’s what it like. I don’t actually know. The article wasn’t too clear on that.)
Listen closely: don’t let your makeup tell you what to do, or be all intimidating and, like, “You better use me the way I’m meant to be used,” and mocking you because you may never be a movie star. If your makeup talks down to you, you need to show it who’s boss. Say you spend $30 for some facial packed powder with just a touch of shimmer, and the shiny box demands that you treat it regally, and the instructions tell you to dust it gently across your cheekbones — guess what? You can simply use that as a guideline. Go ahead: put it on your eyelids as a softly glowing eyeshadow. Or brush it across your chest for an evening out, to show off your cleavage. Wearing an off-the shoulder shirt? Try it on your shoulders. Hell, dust it on the tops of your feet to draw attention to the awesome color of your manicured toes if you want. There are no rules.
I’m going to complain about being a middleaged woman (MAW) for just a minute and then I’ll move on. Ready? I’ve been sick since early October. Apparently I have screwy sinuses that are causing asthma attacks. My middleaged head feels constantly swollen and my breathing is tight. I’m driving my family crazy. I’m usually the fun one! Now I have a fever again.
I have so much sympathy, now, for people who are chronically ill. It sucks! It is depressing! It depresses those around me! I try to have a good attitude, but how much fun is it to be around someone who pretends to feel good and then slinks off to bed for the night at 4:00 pm? I’m going for a CT scan on Wednesday to find out what’s going on and hopefully will find some long-term solutions, so don’t worry about me. (Mom!)
So, you know how I’ve been playing around with makeup lately? And I got this great new Kevyn Aucoin makeup book and palette for Christmas? Well, my father-in-law gave me the nicest compliment recently: “Wow,” he said. “You look absolutely radiant today.” I instantly felt beautiful. And loved. And it felt really, really good.
Sweet, right? But my next thought was, “It’s just the makeup.” Then, I remembered that a couple of weeks ago, my father-in-law told me he had made one of the nurses at his retirement community happy because he called her “radiant.” And further, he had told me that he annoyed one of his friends by taking the man’s wife’s hand, kissing it, and saying that SHE looked radiant.
I began to feel disappointed… but the glow inside was still there. Dammit, I thought, I AM radiant. And I allowed myself to feel radiantly happy… not because someone thought I looked pretty (or stylish or well put together or young or skinny). The truth is, being called radiant made me feel like I mattered to him, that I had a positive effect on him, and, just maybe, that I brightened his life a little bit.
It didn’t hurt that Paul took my hand and agreed that I looked radiant, and kissed me. I love him.
It would have been quite easy to dismiss the compliment, especially after remembering he likes to use that word “with the ladies” (his phrase). But you know what? I’ll take it. Women have a hard enough time feeling that we are okay just the way we are. Yep, sometimes I feel crappy about how I look. Sometimes I just feel crappy in general. We all do. But on the other hand, I often feel happy and loved and full of life and, yes, radiant, no matter what I look like.
My friends, you are all radiant. Celebrate yourself! Go out there and shine tomorrow.
Hey! I actually sat down to write tonight feeling a little out of sorts. And now… woo-hoo, I feel radiant! I can’t wait to shine tomorrow, with you all. Let me know how it goes.
**I never made it to Broadway, but I can always flash those jazz hands…
Ummm. Hi. What’s new? How’s life? Anybody have anything interesting to say? Because I really don’t. In fact, I haven’t really had anything interesting to say for a couple of months. I’m… stuck. Hello, MAW, meet Midlife Crisis! Welcome to my world!