Archive for October, 2007
One of the special joys of being a bit older is that I seem to be laughing more than ever before. I don’t take myself or events in my life as seriously as I once did and I’m able to find the humor in most situations. After all, life as an old broad can be pretty darn funny!
On that note, I’d like to share a little meno-tale that’s been making the rounds of the Internet. I got it from two dear friends, laughed out loud at the wisdom behind the joke, and just had to pass it on…
Q: How many women with MENOPAUSE does it take to change a light bulb?
Woman’s Answer: One! ONLY ONE!!!! And do you know WHY? Because no one else in this house knows HOW to change a light bulb! They don’t even know that the bulb is BURNED OUT!! They would sit in the dark for THREE DAYS before they figured it out. And, once they figured it out, they wouldn’t be able to find the #&%! light bulbs despite the fact that they’ve been in the SAME CABINET for the past 17 YEARS!
But if they did, by some miracle of God, actually find them, 2 DAYS LATER, the chair they dragged to stand on to change the STUPID light bulb would STILL BE IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!! AND UNDERNEATH IT WOULD BE THE WRAPPER THE FREAKING LIGHT BULBS CAME IN!!! BECAUSE NO ONE EVER PICKS UP OR CARRIES OUT THE GARBAGE!!!! IT’S A WONDER WE HAVEN’T ALL SUFFOCATED FROM THE PILES OF GARBAGE THAT ARE A FOOT DEEP THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE HOUSE!! IT WOULD TAKE AN ARMY TO CLEAN THIS PLACE! AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON WHO CHANGES THE TOILET PAPER ROLL!!
I’m sorry. What was the question?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
Do you realize that, once you turn fifty, you’ve lived 18, 250 days on this earth? That’s an amazing number—even for a milestone birthday. And, as we ladies become older, it is even more essential to our health and wellbeing that we choose to spend our days wisely and well.
Mary Jo Kreitzer, director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota, shares her thoughts on aging in the article, A Good Age. “I think of growing whole, not just growing old. We’re all going to age. Growing whole is developing my full capacity as a human being.”
What a lovely shift to that stale and dispiriting paradigm society teaches us about older age. Rather than quietly shuffling off to the sidelines, Kreitzer encourages people over fifty to ask themselves the big picture questions, engage fully in life, and come into their “wholeness” with purpose and intention.
What do I care about?
What do I discern my purpose to be?
What are my dreams?
What would I do if I weren’t afraid?
As the great Betty Freidan once said: “Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
Who better than us boomers to celebrate the second season of our lives with strength, intention, and the search for wholeness?
And, oh yeah, shakin’ our mighty tail-feathers with a healthy dose of that good ole’ hippie chutzpah!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
Yes, we’re at it again… breaking through milestones and making the news. On Monday, October 15th, 2007, the very first baby boomer applied for Social Security. YIKES!
In fact, this woman has been known all her life for being on the forefront. Her name is Kathleen Casey-Kirschling and she was born one second after midnight on Jan. 1, 1946. She is considered, by those who track such things, to be the nation’s very first baby boomer and it seems only fitting that she be the first to take early retirement benefits.
Okay, the thought is a bit daunting to an age group who loudly and forcefully prided itself on being on the youthful side of the “Generation Gap.” But, hey, this is no reason to slide into a funk about growing older. Actually, it’s pretty exciting. We truly are going to change the world one more time and revolutionize how aging is perceived by the culture. No rocking chairs for us! We’re going to keep on rockin’ & rollin’ long into our naughty nineties!
Although we are the grooviest generation on the planet, let’s borrow a bit of attitude from our elders. Take a look at this!
For centuries, menopause has gotten a bad rap. This major change of life was considered by many to be the demarcation point of no return. Post-menopausal women were thought to quickly morph into feeble, old hags—no longer attractive, no longer useful, and ready for the rocking chair.
What a bunch of deprecating drivel that was! In truth, far from representing an ending, the biggest surprise of menopause is that, in many regards, this major biomarker signifies the beginning of a woman’s life. As older women, we are entering our most rewarding and productive years. Margaret Mead was right when she coined the term, “menopausal zest” and recent studies back her up. Women report many of their happiest, most dynamic, and personally fulfilling years to be those after fifty.
In reality, once we ladies hit menopause, our outlook alters, our needs change, our responsibilities transform, and we revitalize numerous aspects of our lives. As our estrogen stores drop, so does their inhibiting effect upon our body’s testosterone levels. We continue to manufacture testosterone after menopause and its influence becomes significantly greater than when we were ovulating.
So, forget the penis envy! In truth, we midlife gals typically become more male-like. A number of our attitudes and behaviors shift and we generally exhibit greater needs for independence, self-expression, and achievement. In other words, we sprout our chin whiskers, become more outspoken and self-centered, and start to go after what we want with full force and vitality.
Trouble is, for many of us, we aren’t quite sure what that is. We’ve spent so many years focused on caring for others that we may have forgotten our own dreams and desires. If you fall into that category, the following are a few questions to get you thinking:
What are the ways you see yourself growing and changing?
How are you honoring your own voice?
In which ways are you expressing yourself creatively?
What is your personal definition of success for yourself at this time in your life?
What are your markers for achieving that success?
As Louisa May Alcott once wrote: “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
There’s no better time than now to go after your own!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 7 so far )
Growth and change are typically good things, although often not easy. As women, we know hormonal changes only too well. Having spent nigh onto forty years living with our bodies’ monthly fluctuations, we get to top that off by going through the “granny of ‘em all”—peri-menopause. As some have said, it’s like having PMS for five straight years!
And, the dramatic hormonal shifts of early menopause not only affect our bodies, they affect our brains as well. This period can be likened to a second adolescence as women find their thoughts and emotions riding a virtual rollercoaster of ups and downs. Actually, the maturation process at midlife demands soul-searching transformation and lots of it. Whether we like it or not, we all get to play Madonna and “re-invent” ourselves.
This hormonally charged drive to revolutionize our lives affects many of our relationships as roles within families, friendships, and careers can all begin to change dramatically. In truth, many women experience a shift away from caretaking others to taking care of their own drives, aspirations, and dreams. We return to focusing on ourSELVES as mature and fully formed women, apart from nurturing and caring for those around us.
Nonetheless, multiple transitions can also bring forth feelings of upset and upheaval as such major changes will likely create new ways of thinking and acting that can surprise even us. And, sometimes we could use a little help.
For those of you who are experiencing some of these feelings and who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’d like to invite you to attend a workshop I’m giving at John F. Kennedy University on Saturday, October 27th. The description reads for women between the ages of 50 and 65. However, the event is open to any women going through this period of re-evaluation and wish to share with a group of supportive, like-minded individuals.
We boomers have always been a special generation of women and we’re putting a whole new face onto the aging process. Sometimes a sense of sisterhood, a little understanding, and a bit of laughter can lift the spirits and get us heading in the direction of our dreams.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
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