Well, I’ve Been Gone Awhile…
After leaving this website in the hands of its owners and realizing they were a bit more involved in their lives than they had anticipated, I’m back to managing the rhetoric and resource. Though hearts and hopes committed to pursuits of grandeur, life and love possessed the most promised of pledges. It is with great compassion and ownership that I will be flagging videos, creating posts, taking pictures, writing blogs, and blowing our horn in every way possible, once again. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms!!!
Though we haven’t had any obvious energy online, those of us behind the scenes have kept the emotion of My Second 50 alive – in coffee shops, on gondolas, and with family surrounding our souls. Conversations have continued within the pages of books and on sidewalks of schools. Tears have been shed embraced in hospice and concerns have been voiced on the steps of capitals. Our thoughts are singular, but our focus is combined. We are aging women who have dreams of our own and lives to begin living – now.
We are often a strong league in numbers, but sometimes feeble in the confines of our own minds. When the hormones are raging or disappoints rank too high. And why do these things usually hit home at the dead of night?
In the past year, I have traveled, grown, lost, and loved. I’ve realized my ‘sisters’ are the strongest part of me. I’ve seen many of them vulnerable and frail one moment, and turn around and knock down steel barriers the next. Some carry pain I will never know, others mask hardship without a clue to their frailty. Many of us exist with a lump in our throat and a brief hesitation to begin the day.
And with all this emotion, disguised or free-flowing, we carry on.
In witnessing these amazing feats, I fall silent. Too often I battle with times of insecurity in my responsibilities and expect more of myself than ever before.
I am not unusual.
I have moments of elation and hours of thought. I try to stay upbeat, but it is winter in the Rockies, and sometimes the days close in with grey and gloom. I blame the weather, but are the storms inside my skin?
Once again, I am not alone in these feelings.
That is when I reach for My Second 50, and it’s ladies to redirect me.
You all are light and hope. I’m so honored to be, once again, in your midst with words and welcome. Pour that cup of coffee and let’s tally onward …
Take The Initiative
- First and foremost, listen to your body
- Secondly, don’t put off what you should do today
- Thirdly, keep trying, don’t give up, we all have setbacks- it doesn’t mean defeat
- Fourth, have fun, put a smile on and get outside
POSITIVE ATTITUDE and YOUR BODY
Happy Mind, Healthy Body: Can One Affect the Other?
As each of us moves through our day, there are occurrences when stress, anxiety, or nervousness affect our ability to function at our peak performance level. Granted, asking our body and mind to kick out 100% velocity 24/7 is a bit much, but all in all, it is generally what we ask of ourselves. Getting reports completed, keeping meetings and schedules current, and satisfying those around us who ask the utmost of our abilities takes a toll. Both mentally and physically. Not to mention the daily demands of our personal lives of paying bills, raising children, and keeping our homes operating efficiently.
Picture this scenario and replace yourself with a car. The engine is asked to travel at 80 MPH, throughout the entire day. It has hills and valleys to travel through, periodically needing service. Gas, oil, and levels of coolant can keep it running on a current level, but it will also need additional maintenance; repairing the transmission, replacing a leaking oil pan, or fixing a ripped seat should be maintained also. These things take time, money, finding the right mechanic, and hardest of all, the realization of it needing to be done.
While our bodies are not as clearly understood as a red flashing oil light or a flat tire, we usually have a pretty good idea of when we need ‘maintenance’. Eating, for example, is a pretty easy need to realize. But even this common and necessary practice can be misunderstood. If we fill up on empty calories or toxin-filled foods, they wear down our ‘engine’ and extra tasks need to be performed. Exercise, diet re-evaluation, and even surgery contribute to the doctors’ game plan of what will keep us moving through life happy, well-balanced, and capable of handling life’s’ ups and downs easily.
When the red oil light does come on, however, and generally we can all figure it will happen at some time, the anxiety levels rise and our body goes into survival mode. How do we cope with this mentally? Do some cars fall apart at the bottom of the valley and park at the side of the road to rust away? Are others taped and glued together to make it to the next garage to be fixed and made better, later? Physical mishaps can be dealt with, but even a car needs a driver to determine that something is wrong. As is our psyche, and we are dependent on it to get us into the ‘shop’ to fix any problems which may arise.
If our minds are at the breaking point, however, what happens then? If we have been operating at a full capacity for months and years and our bodies say ‘whoa, I need oil’ do we listen, or do we keep on pushing ourselves until the engine seizes up? Having a negative or overwhelmed mental state can harm the body much more than just needing to enlist in an exercise program. It can defeat our environment, causing us to reduce work efforts, forget important family needs, and basically, shut down the communication between mind and body.
Keeping our psyche healthy and happy is, and should be, a major concern of a nurtured and balanced lifestyle. Each one supports the other, making our bodies capable of handling the anxieties and burdens we put on it daily. In other words, we need to stop and smell the roses on a scheduled and realistic level.
So what now? If you are feeling unhappy, nervous, or ill, see your doctor. Discuss your concerns and devise a path for you to get back on the road of positive feelings. If you feel good currently, great. Keep up the good work, but don’t rely on youth or caffeine to get you through the day. Make sure the fuel you are putting into your body gives you the happiness and positive attitude you need to face your job, your community, and yourself with a bright approach to your day and your life.
If you aren’t sure how you feel, ask a close friend their opinion of your attitude. Do they think you are optimistic or pessimistic? Do they view you as wanting to try new things in life or hovering in the background, afraid of what change may bring? Remember, these stresses will eventually take a toll on your body, whether in small doses of having a headache or irritable stomach, or large doses such as heart disease or cancer.
Bottom line, listen to your body. Deep down, you know what you can do to make yourself a healthy and happy person. Do the analysis and step up to the plate. Your mechanic and fuel can only do so much. It is up to the driver to pull the car into the gas station or call the mechanic. And no one wants to drive a broken down and unpredictable machine.
Keep On Truckn’!
Independent & Astute Fine Artist
Handsome & Sensitive Biochemist
Yea! It’s taken me way too long to get a Pinterest account up, but I hadn’t the time to grab some photos for a proper and welcoming attraction for you all. Lo and Behold, I have finished off some great boards, stuffed them full of beautiful content, and have it ready for your browsing.
I particularly like the Places to Travel board, as I believe the four walls are closing in on me. There is also a board on Projects To Try, Garden Ideas, DIY Gift Giving and Kids Corner for projects to do with your grandkids. If you haven’t been bitten by the Pinterest bug, don’t feel left out. Actually, it may be a godsend, as when you do begin, it is easy to get lost in its oblivion. All of the pictures, projects, file folders, and recipe cards can be ditched, as they can be ‘stored’ on Pinterest. Well, maybe not the recipes, but there are plenty of new ones to collect, especially on healthy eating, something our doctors keep mentioning at routine visits!
There are also plenty of lists which have been gathered for those of us with good intentions, but little time to do anything more than writing a Post It note to ourselves. Several are in the Travel folder for itinerary suggestions and packing hacks, as well as Events and Celebration organization ideas.
Check them out and please let me know how you like them. If you have any additional boards you would like to see created, contact us below and we’ll get more content posted. Pictures will be added daily (as I’m kind of a nut for Pinterest) and future board ideas include Wedding & Events, Retirement Abroad, and Entrepreneurs.
Thanks as always, our readers are the best!!!
Early Spring Flowers
The weather is easing up and the days are getting longer … yes, my faith in nature has been restored! The dogs are staying outside longer also, bringing in mud instead of snowballs. It’s ok, I’ll do the trade-off. Winter does not show my best side, not because of the snow so much as the short days.
This year I did keep thistle seed outside my window for the Gold Finches. They have made a world of difference in my attitude and outlook. Bright little streaks of yellow on the grey days can make a huge difference. Their song in the winter seems a bit more bright, instead of the melancholy two-note trill. Perhaps they brighten each other up!
As I was leaving my home yesterday, a neighbor was walking his sweet lab. She is older and moves slow. We were able to get in quite a few topics of discussion before she was ready to move on. Among solving all the worldly problems, he noticed a speck of color in my dull and rotted leaf yard – the tiniest of daffodils were up and were lifting their little heads to the sun! Yea! As I looked further, I found the bulbs were all poking up, not blooming, but defiantly making a stand in the rotten fall muck. Imperial Crown, Grand Emperor Tulips, Angeliques, and Bright Spirit Daffodils, all about 2 to three inches high and looking as sturdy as can be. I do love bulbs!
My eyes scanned quickly around, checking to see if my standbys were blooming, and sure enough, there they were – little violets on my cobblestone path – Early Spring Flowers! I have three kinds now, the basic dark purple, some lighter pink, and a new one with purple speckles on white.
My neighbor was a bit surprised and said he was immediately going to go check his yard for any signs of life. We’ve swapped plants and cuttings through the years and have found our tastes are very similar. In a neighborhood with its fair share of Yard Snobs, it’s nice to know someone else appreciates my common but faithful violets!
Happy Spring everyone!
March 12, 2018
I Miss Them Being Young…
As I move into my later years of my career and approaching retirement, I, like many of you, have a bit of time on my hands. It gives me time to reflect, appreciate, and look forward to more time with the people I love. At the top of that list are my children.
Consider the word … children … I smile and cock my head just a bit, as they aren’t ‘children’ at all. My son is 29 and my daughter turned 26 today (perhaps the reason you are being subjected to this reflective writing!). What used to be squeals and giggles from the back seat have turned into thoughtful errands and longer hugs. Age does have its great advantages, and this is one of the top two!
I’ve been going through some hard times this past two weeks with my dogs, one in particular, which have tested my strength. I’ve always been able to get through the emergencies and necessities with clear thinking and resolve, yet Monday, I could hardly move without feeling my stomach roll and my reflexes jolt. Each time my ‘pup’ moved, my blood pressure would jump and my heart would stop. I was paranoid, scared, and isolated. Well, at least that’s how I felt Monday.
The next day, unexpectedly, my daughter came in my back door and took me from Panicsville to the Calm Isle of Nigh. And it wasn’t even that she solved my problems, or that we took much time in talking about my fears. She settled me by just being here.
By listening, answering with care, and showing her love for me, gave me the strength of millions, just as I used to have consistently. I wasn’t even aware this was happening.
I was raised with this strength. My momma had it, and so did her mom. My aunt had it too. They were a solid and self-sufficient group of Dutch women who were rarely defeated, moving forward with logic and intelligence with each challenge.
When I lost my momma in 2015, it was devastating; still is. Now, though, I have accepted I won’t see her next week. What I haven’t accepted is that my best cheerleader is gone. I look for her support constantly. My dad is still with me and I see him often, but he isn’t the unconditional support momma was.
Now, is it fair that I am asking that of my daughter? Because, I sure put her in that position on Monday. She knew just what to say and how to say it, and I found myself falling into the part of the ‘cared for’ instead of the ‘caretaker’.
It’s not hard to hide, I was raised with my parent’s protection. The mom picks up the child from the bike crash, soothes the heart from a dashed love, and discredits an over-bearing boss. Today I am that person and will continue to wear the hat for many years. I’m back on my horse, coming to the rescue when needed, make no mistake. But after Monday, I realized, as I did when my ten-year-old son fixed my computer and humbled my intelligence, that perhaps I have lost some integrity with their admiration. Check that, I have lost some integrity with my own persona and vision of who I am. They would say I am still the strong and dependable ‘mom’ they have always known. I hope.
On a foundational parental level, we instinctively know we have the right answer; we know our answer is the right one. And we know we’ll always have time, patience, money, and most of all, experience to fall back on for all our children’s needs.
My son and I made a deal two years ago, before I went in for wrist surgery, his birthday present (s) to me would be the gift of me being able to call him, any time I need, for help around the house. You know, hanging the panels for the barn doors, moving the bed set from the attic to the basement, and answering my questions about charging the battery and storing the convertible.
Where I used to be the captain of a well-run ship, I am now part of a supportive and smart team. The summer after we lost my momma, I took the kids to Italy. It was our first trek to Europe and I hadn’t traveled in over three years. Needless to say, I was nervous and paranoid. But, those kids took charge when we got there, and we had the time of our lives. My son downloaded maps in the morning, and my daughter listed the sites. We all had bucket list things to see and do and we accomplished them with smiles and laughter. I even stepped up to the plate once or twice, saving an intensely searched out mask from loss and mastering the train schedule with ease. Our transitional experience of mother to child, and I didn’t even realize it. I just thought I was emotional and distracted and they were learning how to navigate in a foreign country. The surety of it continuing is inevitable.
How naïve can one mom be? But also, how lucky?!!!
Do You Have a Routine?
More and more women are devising ways to get more organized, manage their homes more efficiently, and become better time managers. Women seem to have a knack at improving what is already being done. We realize the benefits and strive for more time in just about everything. And what do we plan on doing with this extra time? Dominant preferences would be to spend more time with family, catch up on our chores, and maybe even get a bit of shopping done.
Have you realized in and out of each day though, being ‘Wonder Woman’ has taken a toll on your well-being and your sanity? If we analyze our accomplishments, we can fall short, judging and over-thinking ourselves. Several tools have risen to the surface and become popular for our salvation, one of them being meditation.
Meditation – In earlier life-stages, meditating before taking the kids to school was laughable. You would have considered yourself lucky to get everyone’s homework in backpacks before heading out the door. As our schedules change, however, disruption can throw us off, even so far as making us feel out of control.
Take 5 minutes out of your day to stop, center on your own feelings and emotions, and get in tune with the good things in your life. In time, meditation will become easier, allowing you to focus on the meaningful things in your life, and not judge yourself on the ones out of your reach.
Simple 5 Minute Meditation for Beginners
- Sit or lie comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or cushion.
- Close your eyes. …
- Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
- Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.
- Relax, think only of the moment,; its solitude, its peace, and the calm surrounding you.
- Gently bring yourself back to this place if your mind wanders. Be kind to yourself.
- Keep it short, 5 minutes will do. If you want, you can increase your time as you master your thoughts.
If you would like to read more about meditation, please click the link below.