Growing Old Gracefully (or NOT)

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829c920d67f936678d31af1e4b4ff8fbAh, aging.  If you have hit 40, possibly even your late 30’s, then you are familiar with the feeling of dismay that comes when a new sign of aging appears.  These signs come in a variety of ways, both physical and mental.  Gravity kicks in.  You lose your tolerance for Rap music.  Hangovers last a minimum of 2 days.  Your kids start having theme parties based on the decade you graduated from High School.  The list is endless really.

Then there are the “old lady eyes”.  You know, the day you realize you can’t read the name on the bottom of a bottle of nail polish.  Or you send a text to someone and you haven’t successfully typed one actual word.  This is the aspect of aging hitting me the hardest, (well maybe tied with the 2 day hangover).  I have become that person who needs to keep drug store reading glasses EVERYWHERE.  I have a pair in every room of my house, 2 in my purse, 1 pair in the car and 1 at work.  I even have a special pair for applying eye makeup, with a lens that flips from left to right.  Even worse, I had to change the font size on my iPhone to ginormous, prompting a “Mom, why is your font so BIG” from my son.

I will take the “old lady eyes”, because I have thankfully avoided my biggest aging fear…wrinkly, bad skin.  I have always been determined to keep this from happening.  I don’t know why, possibly because my maternal Grandmother and Mother never had a wrinkle and I blessedly inherited my skin from them.  Or maybe it was those Oil of Olay commercials I remember from way back, “I don’t intend to grow old gracefully.  I intend to fight it every step of the way.”  I think I started using my mother’s Oil of Olay when I was in fifth grade.  Skincare and beauty products have always been a bit of an obsession.  (I’m passing this on to my china doll-like daughter.  One of her first words was “moy”, she was saying “moisturize”.)  And luckily, by the time I was 17, I stopped “laying out” on the roof of my house, covered in baby oil, with a tinfoil lined “Grease” album cover reflecting the sun onto my face (c’mon, if you are over 40 you know you did this too!).  As an adult I have always spared no expense on skincare, finding the best products and getting regular facials.  When the EX would complain I would always say “You will be happy when we are 80 and your wife looks 40.”  Well my genes and diligence have paid off and now it’s more like, “I’m happy that the EX looks 10+ years older than he is and I look 10+ years younger than I am!”

I don’t normally say nice things about myself.  But the one thing I will say is, the name Snow White sort of suits me because I really do have great, VERY fair skin, and I do not look my age.  Aside from my kids, this is one area where I will happily “humble brag”.  I can go without makeup no problem, I actually haven’t worn it to work in 2 weeks.  My skin is also the “key to my vault” so to speak.  If you want me to follow you anywhere, compliment my skin or tell me I don’t look my age or old enough to have a 19 year old.

I’m serious, I think it must be some sort of syndrome.  If they ask for my id when I order a drink, I will fall in love with them, even if I am somewhere that they are required to ask everyone.  I took my son to Red Robin a few weeks ago and the 30-something waiter carded me, said I looked under 30 AND proceeded to flirt with me the entire time we were there.  Thank Goddess my son was with me, because there’s a good chance I would have gone anywhere that waiter wanted to take me.  (My son even said last night, “Mom we should go back to that Red Robin and visit the waiter who likes you.”)   I have gone out for drinks after work with my new co-workers twice.  Both times, guys approached me and were shocked that I am old enough to have a 19 year old.  Both times, we wound up following them all over the city.  The first time we wound up travelling in a white taxi van to one of the guy’s apartments.  Thankfully one of my best friends, who has requested to be called Hope Rising here, maintained enough composure to get us out of there once the guy started telling stories about his brother in Oklahoma accusing him of murdering one of their friends!  And the other time, well, let’s just say Hope wasn’t there to keep me out of trouble.  I didn’t wind up at the apartment of a potential serial killer, but I did behave very out of character.  Even this past weekend, when I attempted socializing for the first time in 2 weeks, a guy I met was shocked I am old enough to have a 19 year old, and he was totally up for going to my favorite dive bar to visit the bartender I have a girl crush on.  Thankfully I was in no mood to even be out, or who knows what would have happened.  Maybe this isn’t actually a syndrome and it is just some form of mid-life crisis; or at the very least regression, not aging.

I’m still falling victim to the other signs of aging.  Gravity is not being very kind, and I am seriously considering a boob lift so that I can wear cute strappy tops without needing a medieval undergarment.  And my hair is doing very strange things.  All in all though, I am certainly living up to that Oil of Olay commercial from long ago, I am definitely NOT “Growing Old Gracefully”!

Pay it Forward

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“Pay it Forward”…when you do something good for someone, in response to someone doing something good for you; however you don’t repay that person, you do something nice for someone else.

Recently, this phenomenon became prevalent at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, etc., someone pays for the person behind them which compels that person to do the same.  I love everything about Paying it Forward.  In fact last fall, at least once a week, I would pay for my coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru with a Ten or a Twenty and ask them to use the change to pay for as many people behind me as possible.  I love the idea of pleasantly surprising someone tired, grumpy and in need of caffeine; and the chain reaction it may cause.  Maybe it compels them to pay for someone else as well.  But what I love most is the idea that maybe that person was about to have a really bad day, possibly take it out on other people at work or school or wherever they are off to, and that maybe this turned their mood around just enough that they don’t take it out on other people.  Hopefully stopping a chain reaction of negativity.

This morning I woke up feeling better than I have in well over 2 weeks.  So I wasn’t displaying my recent take no prisoners driving style on my way to work.  I was taking a right into Dunkin’ Donuts, one of those where the line for the drive-thru often starts on the street, and there was a woman already stopped in the other lane with her left blinker on waiting to turn in as well.  Since the line technically starts on the street, and she was there before I was, I waved for her to pull in before me.  Of course the driver behind me honked their horn in frustration because I slowed them down!  (Which quite honestly I would have done yesterday, and I never would have let anyone pull in ahead of me.)  When I pulled up to the first window to pay, I was told that the woman who I let pull in before me had paid for my coffee.  So I handed the girl a Ten and said to pay for as many people behind me as possible.

8d0ac4ca0432ad8edd8c6513a6d8807cI wasn’t intending to start a chain reaction, I was just displaying drive-thru etiquette, but that was enough to compel this woman to pay for my coffee.  She inspired me to keep the chain going.  Who knows what kind of mood the people behind me in line were in.  Who knows how many chain reactions of negativity were broken just because she appreciated me letting her pull in before me.  What I do know is that the whole situation helped to make me feel even better.

So the next time you have a chance, consider Paying it Forward.  And never, ever underestimate the power of a random act of kindness.

Climbing Back UP into the Rabbit Hole?

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Warning: I’m going to go all astrological here, so if that’s not your thing, look away.tumblr_mg8l49TKzm1qc0k4ao1_500

Whether you realize it or not, the Astrology of 2014 has been pretty intense so far, and we are in the midst of the two most dramatic weeks of the year.  Things are about to shift, as one of my favorite astrologers “The Leo King” likes to say, we are about to “come out of the portal”.  We better, because if we don’t I may not make it out alive.

The Universe officially thrust us into this “portal” on March 1st, but the pre-portal began in January.  We started the year with Venus retrograde, and just about every other planet at one point or another has retrograded since.  Then came April with 2 nasty eclipses, and that mother f******g Grand Cardinal Cross.  And April’s nasty energy lingered until last week, as the Grand Cardinal Cross and the eclipse points were repeatedly triggered here and there by transiting planets.  This planetary activity has effected the general energy for all of us, and impacted at a personal level depending on your individual chart.

If you think I am crazy and putting too much weight on the astrology; my chart, professional astrologers and the events of my life say otherwise.  If you read “When Planets Go Retrograde, So Goes Prince Charming”, then you already know the trouble I have with retrogrades, (and that doesn’t even get into the true havoc I believe this last Mercury retrograde reigned upon me).  And March 1st, that was one of the more memorable yet surreal weekends of my life.  That is when I found out the EX was having a baby with his 20-something girlfriend from Africa (see “Disturbing Behavior”).  March 1st was also one of the greatest nights of my life, for reasons I won’t get into here because though it was magical, it was just one of many things that have happened since January that I can’t really make sense of.  Oh, and the Grand Cardinal Cross?  That triggered a drama that did not culminate until it was pinged for the final time last Tuesday, (hence  “Goodnight Sweet Prince”).  Then there is just the overall feeling that I’ve been walking through quicksand.  The divorce is stalled, there is no routine, etc….

NOTHING that has happened since January makes ANY sense to me, it’s like I fell into a portal within the Rabbit Hole. And it’s no fun in there, it’s dark and confusing.  I miss the Rabbit Hole, where things are just plain nuts.  So I am really hoping that what the experts say is true.  That we are going to really feel the major things happening in the sky between now and the end of July, especially over the course of the next 7 days.  That things should start moving, and shifting and happening.  I have no idea what that means or what it will look like and I’m not sure if I even care.  I just know I can’t wait to climb up out of  the “What Is Even Happening” Portal, back into the “You Can’t Make This Shit Up” Rabbit Hole.  It is WAY more fun in there!

Il Mio Forte Famiglia Pazzo Italiano

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I can’t lie, I basically wallowed for most of last week, and really had no interest in stopping.  But I think I managed to complete the wallowing stage over the weekend, in large part because my son and I spent it with my crazy family.  That may not sound like the best thing to help with all of the emotional processing I am doing, but my crazy family is more effective than any therapy, and spending time with them is certainly a better choice than staring at the wall mainlining Ativan.  I don’t see them often, and when I do it always breathes new life into me.

Like many Disney Princesses, I am technically an orphan.  Though thankfully I did not have orphan status thrust upon me until 2011.  I was blessed to have my amazing mother for 41 1/2 years.  But I did lose my father when I was 9 years old.  I’ve been told my entire life, “you are just like your father”, and that is something I’ve always been proud of.  Even though it was frequently said to me in frustration over something less than desirable I had done.  I am my father’s daughter to the core, and nothing makes me happier than spending time with his crazy, loud, funny, Italian family.  I have always felt so at ease and comfortable with them, in a way I can’t really explain.

Prior to my father passing away, we would make frequent visits to New York to see them.  Thanksgiving, Easter and at least one week every summer were spent with them; along with countless visits for family parties at the local Fire House.  With a big Italian family there would be a christening, birthday, anniversary, funeral, graduation, etc. at least a few times a year.  We would stay at my Grandmother’s house, and some of my best and most vivid childhood memories are of Thanksgivings and Sunday dinners with all of my cousins, Aunts and Uncles.  After my father passed away, these visits became less frequent.  My mother did the best she could to keep us connected to them, but as everyone grew older it became more difficult and those visits became few and far between.

6d41c07cbae782e4d088544929467c08We try to get together at least once a year now, and we always have fun no matter the occasion.  There are always the same old jokes that we beat to death, but still make us laugh until we cry nonetheless, and we typically come up with a few new ones every time.  No one else would find them funny, but as my Aunt would say, we “piss ourselves laughing” every time.  And what I love most is seeing how much my son enjoys being a part of all this, how just like me he feels at ease and comfortable and can’t stop laughing.

In addition to all of the fun and laughter, I always get a little reflective during and after these visits.  My Uncle’s funeral in February of 2013 was a huge turning point, right up there with the red shoes and Eunice’s removal.  It was where I realized just how much of myself I had been stifling, and how life was too short to be unhappy.  This past weekend was similar.  Probably not a turning point, but I came to a realization or two.

As I sat there drinking my 3rd beer before noon, laughing for the first time in over a week, I suddenly realized “this is how I feel when I am with PC”.  He is the only person on earth who makes me feel as comfortable and at ease, as I do with my crazy family.  And he is the only person who makes me laugh the way they do, quite often at the same stupid, inside jokes that we’ve been laughing at for months (or years).  And, full disclosure, very few people besides PC can day drink like some of my cousins.  It was an interesting thing to realize, and it made me miss him, (as if I didn’t already), and wish he was there.  Which is funny, because the EX almost never came to any family events with me.  And I never really cared, or missed him, because I knew he didn’t enjoy it.  I had more fun without him there.  I guess that speaks for itself.

This past weekend, as I always do, I watched my cousins interact with their spouses/significant others and it was an awesome thing to see.  Sure they argue and have typical imperfect relationships.  But they make each other laugh and you can feel how much love is there.  My cousins were smart enough to partner with someone who at the end of the day they can say is their best friend, (same goes for my Aunts and Uncles).  I’ve always wished I had been smart enough to do the same.  Watching them this time though, and knowing that PC and I interact with the ease and laughter they do, did nothing to lessen my anger and frustration about our situation.  But much more than that, it made me think of my Mom.  Being there and actually missing someone made me realize how difficult it must have been for her to attend these events, and maybe that was one reason we didn’t visit as much after my Dad died.

None of those realizations are particularly uplifting.  In fact I could make the argument that they just contributed to the sadness and frustration I already feel.  But I have to assume that I’m supposed to be learning something from this misery that the Universe is dumping on me, so I figure any realization is all part of that.  I guess I need to process all of this stuff in order to move through it.

I thought about possibly not making this trip, I just didn’t think I was up for it.  I am so glad that my inner wisdom prevailed.  I’ve only cried twice, and briefly, in the past 24 hours.  That’s a miraculous improvement.

I love my loud, crazy, Italian family.  They were just what I needed to get from wallowing to functioning, and to make me realize I am going to be just fine.

The Bachelor

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bachelor-350x270Oh Tinder, you are the gift that keeps on giving.  As I covered in “It’s Goin’ Down, I’m Yellin’ Tinder”, there are quite a few gems out there.  The 43-52 age range is fairly mellow, so I only wound up with a few in the gem category.  But Daisy is hitting the jackpot in the 30 something age range.  So much so that a few weeks ago she began sending me a Bachelor of the Day or “BOD” every morning.  Let’s review and see who is worth of a rose, shall we?

 

(Click a pic to open and scroll the gallery)

And you wonder why I have no interest in dating??  I’ve deleted my Tinder account and will rely on Daisy for screenshots to entertain me.  I’ve decided if the Universe forcing me to explore my options, then it’s gonna have to work a lot harder than this to get my attention!  I just hope I’m not passing up a GREATguy!

 

 

 

Another Award!

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logo_mostinfluentialbloggerWe interrupt my wallowing and sadness to announce that I was nominated for another award!  I can’t even believe it.  Thank you Embracing a Wounded Soul for the nomination.  It really means so much for a writer I admire to recognize my work.  This blog is slowly becoming so much more than a “why not” for me.  It is my therapy, and is shining some much needed light on the path to my future.

I gratefully accept the award, and by doing so I must post a link here to my favorite song.  This is a BAD day to ask me to do that.  I will avoid the gut wrenching  “It Doesn’t Hurt” by Katie Thompson, and try to shift a little higher up the vibrational scale.  This just hits home today.  I may have walked away, but he let me go.  And he could have stopped me.

I am also supposed to nominate 10 deserving Bloggers for the award.  Here are a few, like I said on my Liebster Award post, I’m still new and haven’t had time to read as many as I would like…

Inspired Awareness – I just found this today.  It has a great section on Twin Flames.  I don’t address that aspect of my relationship with PC in the blog, because it’s a bit much for people who are not really into spirituality.  But if you are familiar with that concept, or struggling with it, this blog is very helpful.

Pieces – SO emotional, I have really been enjoying it, so much of it is resonating right now.

Women Overboard – If you are going through a divorce, this blog will hit home.  Very real and well written. I’m going to stop at three, far from ten, but I don’t want to just throw nominations out there.  It is a real honor to receive recognition from fellow bloggers and I don’t want to diminish the meaning.  I will keep reading as much as I can and will do some more nominating down the road!

Here are the rules: T

o accept this award, the awardees must:

1. Display the Award on your Blog.

2. Announce your win with a blog post and thank the Blogger who awarded you. Do not lump this award with any other award in a “basket”, “bouquet” or “collection” etc., I would rather you didn’t accept the award.

3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award.

4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment (or a pingback).

5. Include an embedded video of your current favorite song (YouTube has almost everything, just copy and paste the link into your WordPress editor). If a video is not possible you can embed a SoundCloud track