An Empty Nest? Or Not?

I haven’t written for a while as my professional (aka: PAID) writing has taken off…yeh…so I’ve been too busy to do personal blogs…But, after a particularly long week of writing about others’ lives, I thought I should sit down with a glass of wine and tap into my inner self a bit…it has been too long…

I just went and watched my older son graduate from college. Truly a proud moment.

…took a lot of photos, hugged and kissed him, and then flew back home with the family. The younger son joined us, flew back with us and is staying with us for the summer. He’ll then return to college. When he moves out at the end of this summer, my husband and I will once again be in empty nest mode.

Thank God.nest

Now don’t get me wrong. I love my sons. But after the initial gut-wrenching sadness of having them both gone…and it truly was gut-wrenching, I have the therapy bill and prescriptions to prove it…well, after all of that, something happened.

The empty nest became a lovely respite.

Continue reading

When the World Was Only as Large as My Golden Book Set

Remember When We Didn’t Have The World at our Finger Tips?

As I often do these days, I catch myself reflecting on “life when I was young” compared to that of my sons and young relatives. And as we sat at dinner one night, with my niece and nephew busily on their iPhones…researching basically any and every topic that was brought up during dinner (“Who was that British guy in that spy movie?”…”What was the name of that song in that commercial…?”), I couldn’t help think of my family’s prized Golden Book Encyclopedia set. Remember those?

Imagine, everything from A to B in a single encyclopedia.

Was the world that simple then? Or were we?

Continue reading

Rectangular Salmon

You know your life is busy when your dinner preparation consists of taking out a frost-covered package of frozen salmon wedged deep in your freezer…cracking it open, and placing the two perfectly rectangular frozen chunks (frozen together, of course) on a baking pan. I actually admit I did this last week, and let me tell you a little something about rectangular salmon…  Continue reading

The Vision-ary Reason Why I Carry a Big Purse

Eyeglasses When I was younger I had perfect vision.  Over the past few years, however, my eyes have declined…significantly…and I often wonder if in God’s infinite wisdom he planned on that…as your body becomes less than perfect as you age…as the wrinkles come and the grey hairs (and those other annoying hairs!) start to sprout…maybe poor vision is God’s way of being kind and cutting your self-esteem some slack…    Continue reading

Pot or Not?

                                                                             Legalize Pot or Not?

marijuana

At the risk of being classified by my kids as totally uncool and not with the times…yet again

I decided to come out of the closet and admit…that I did not vote to legalize pot in California in the last election. Surprised? Me TOO, actually! I’m pretty liberal and I also am a firm believer that people should take responsibility for their own actions and health. 

But with my kids still under 21, my little “momism warning antennae” went up, I guess…the idea of sending the message that “pot is ok” to young teens just seemed wrong…what do you think?

  Continue reading

Living a Re-use Life in a Disposable World

Why are today’s young adults so focused on, “new and improved”?  My youngest son just returned home from college for the summer, and I couldn’t believe how many things came home dirty and seemingly broken…a fan, a toaster oven, umbrella, flashlight and more. Even more disturbing was that his attitude seemed to be, just throw it out and start new in the Fall! Hey bud…I grew up with parents who lived through the Depression…and come on, don’t my kids know me by now? I don’t replace something that I can easily repair. I am a re-use kind of gal…but more and more I find I am living in a disposable world…

Continue reading

Men (o) Pause – the real story

Linguistics experts will provide one explanation relating to the origins of the word, “menopause”. Their root analysis will have to do with the “end of fertility in a woman” or something equally simplistic. Those linguistics experts must all be men. There is nothing simplistic about the menopausal experience, and I am 100% convinced that the term, “menopause”, really originated from the root term, “Men Pause”… because that is what they do when confronted with their wife (or significant other’s) symptoms…

What do you think?

menopause_mood_swings_large_mug

I’m sure there are a few men out there who actually do have the capacity to sympathize with the middle-aged women in their lives… perhaps running to turn on the air conditioner or providing a cold glass of water at just the right moment.

My husband wasn’t one of them.

His approach in life is more, “What you don’t acknowledge doesn’t really exist, right?” So I could flash away and he wouldn’t flinch. Ever.

Some of my menopausal friends, though, have husbands who really seem to WANT to help or understand, maybe even engage with them when they are “experiencing symptoms”. But something usually stops them from being successful in their intent, because they PAUSE in their tracks. Is it that they fundamentally don’t know WHAT to do? Or is it something more? Is there something just taboo about a man trying to relate to a female issue involving blood, hormones and sexual reproductive organs?

Or is it as simple as fear. My vote is fear.

Continue reading

Funerals – The New Social Gathering Spot for Boomers?

Lately I have been going to a lot of funerals, most are friends’ parents…guess that is to be expected, our parents are definitely at that age…but what is weird to me is that funerals have become the only opportunity some of my friends – especially the out-of-towners – and I seem to have for a “social gathering” these days.  Are we really that busy? Or is it just that we are currently stuck in that phase of our “social cycle”? 

College Partying  → Dining Out With Friends → Careers → The Weddings Begin → Baby Showers → The Second Weddings Begin  → The Great Void (Due to Parenthood? Or Becoming the Caregiver of a Parent?) → Parents’ Funerals Children’s Weddings → Children’s Babies (Grand-kids!) → Friends’ Funerals → Your Own Funeral

Continue reading

Female Forever Friends

How many of you out there love “Sex and the City”? Well, it’s my favorite show of all time. The other day I saw the episode (again) where Carrie helps get a stuck diaphragm literally “out of” Samantha. Carrie takes a stiff drink and “goes in” to help…

I am proud to say that I have friends who would do that for me. 

I am even prouder to say I have never required them to do so.

Forever friends are never obsolete

Forever friends are never obsolete

Lifetime friends. I have many…not a singular core group like in Sex and the City, but unbelievably good friends who I have discovered at different times and in a variety of interest areas of my life.

Some are from my childhood, others are from my wilder college and young single’s days, still others I met early on in my soccer mom transformation; becoming friends while hauling strangers’ kids to yet another field trip and meeting up at fundraising events.

They are actually an incredibly varied group from all walks of life. I trust them. I love them. I laugh with them (and sometimes, at them, as only a great friend can). And there is a huge comfort in knowing they are out there, at the other end of a text message, always willing to be supportive or make just the right joke for a particular crisis or situation.

Continue reading

Life Before the Internet and Starbucks…Really

Technology has evolved dramatically since I was in school. My sons have both gone off to college in the past few years…such a mind-trip for me to realize how different their college experience is from a technology and societal perspective. The Internet didn’t exist back then, nor were there Starbucks. No smart phones, either. Back then, the “smarts” were seemingly in the people, not the phones. I actually remember having to memorize all of my friends’ telephone numbers or having to write them down in a telephone directory. Really. And no, the dinosaurs weren’t still roaming…it just may seem like it to today’s kids. 

Obsoleted Soccer Moms lived back in tough times, where the “Smarts” were built into people, not devices!
(acknowledgement to wronghands1.worpress.com for graphic)

I was reflecting on what a different experience kids have nowadays in college. Keep in mind I was in college in the late 70’s, graduating in 1980.

We didn’t have personal computers back then. I know, hard to believe. If you were nerdy enough to have anything to do with a computer, you were creating punch-cards for the mainframe on campus. And a laptop was simply that…the top of someone’s lap.

We didn’t have cell phones back then. Nor did anyone ever offer anything called wireless access. So if you had told me you had a “hot spot”, I would have kept my distance and suggested you go to the doctor…We didn’t have anything wireless.  And besides, there weren’t any Starbucks back then, so there really wasn’t a place to hang out to use the wireless access (that we didn’t have) for the laptops (that didn’t exist) anyway.

Continue reading