Wish I’d Known Then

That everyone feels weird in junior high.

That high school years go by ridiculously fast, even though it doesn’t seem that way at the time.

That youth is the time to try everything (well, almost).

That the one in the corner may have been the most interesting of the bunch if only I’d gotten to know her.

That college is such a unique time — sharing every aspect of life with people from all sorts of backgrounds.

That complaining and bitterness are gigantic wastes of time and energy.

That what you do is less important than how you do it and who you do it with.

That it’s ok to give yourself a break. Your expectations for yourself often exceed everyone else’s.

That recognizing your weaknesses is a strength.

That your baby’s babyhood is but a blink.

That everyone has a story.  Everyone.  And it could explain a lot.

That when someone gives a compliment, time should stop for a second to let it soak in.

That giving a compliment can make all the difference in someone’s day.


Glad I know these things now.  Wonder what I’m going to wish I knew now later …


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Top 10 Things about Being a Middle-Aged Woman

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I am approaching my late 40’s.  I remember a time when anyone over 30 was old, so I guess it’s time for me to accept myself for what I am:  a white, married, semi-pro mom right smack in the middle of life.  I’m glad to be here, thank you, and hope to continue on this journey for quite some time to come.  So here, in no particular order, are the top 10 things about inhabiting this spot on the spectrum (well, maybe they aren’t the “top” 10, but it sounds like I’m on late night TV):

1.  I can stay up as late as I want.  Sometimes even past 10:00 . . . .

2.  Hormones are even more erratic now than they were when I was 14.  Thanks to these little buggers, I am often wide awake in the middle of the night, giving my thoughts the freedom to run willy-nilly.

3.  With age comes acceptance.  My big, thick curly hair now may be its true self.  That straightener rarely comes out of the drawer these days.

4.  My opinions are just that — mine.  Take them or leave them.

5.  My opinions may change at any time.  Deal with it.

6.  I can choose not to waste time with idiots and mean people.   As my once-toddler learned in Montessori, sometimes it’s best to “walk away.”  I know, I know, sometimes these folks are unavoidable, but I have no guilt walking away at the first opportunity.

7.  My reading list is not determined based on what someone tells me I should read.  Brain candy is a good thing.  However, if I choose to read something heavy or meaningful, it is my prerogative to tell you that you should read it.

8.  I’ve lived long enough to stop and appreciate when someone is really good at what they do.  Craftsman or artist, musician or athlete, orator or writer.  Hip hop or Spanish guitar.  Soak it in.

9. I’ve been kicked in the teeth by life enough times that I can hug a friend who has just lost a few proverbial molars and tell her with sincerity that I feel her pain.

10.  I’ve learned that life’s little things are the leaves on the big trees of marriage and babies and jobs.  They blur together at a distance, but are intricately beautiful up close.  Just let me find my reading glasses so I can see them better . . . .

Why Is Good for Me So Bad?

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A few weeks ago, while my son was skiing his way through Austria and my husband was working so very hard at his new job, I explored some documentaries on Netflix.  It should be noted that I am not usually a documentary junkie, but I had recently watched one about tiny houses because I am intrigued by people who choose to live in a box like that.  As a result of my tiny house-watching, up popped a recommendation to watch “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” by Joe Cross.  I guess I can see Netflix’s logical connection there . . .  if you get smaller you, too, can live in a tiny house . . .  Well, I was mesmerized as Joe juiced his way across America toward better health.  Wow, he really changed his life by getting all those nutrients in, getting rid of the bad foods and exercising.

Then I watched “Forks over Knives,” in which Drs. Esselstyn and Campbell shared their life-long learning about the benefits of a plant-based, whole foods diet.  Amazing.  The results of their studies and the stories of individuals whose lives were changed or, in some cases, saved were truly inspiring.

Then I watched some vegan woman pluck up a few New Yorkers for a six week trip to vegan-dom in “Vegucated.”  That one was a little over the top for me, but they all seemed to embrace the concept and get rightfully indignant about the way animals are treated, etc., etc.  I guess I could see their point.  And they all got healthier over those six weeks.

So, I was ready.  I announced to my dear one that it was time to take control of our health and follow this whole foods eating thing.  We drank veggie juice and found some things we could eat and it went pretty well for the first couple of weeks.  I really want this to be a lifestyle thing, not a diet.  Right?  I mean, we should all eat more plants.  And processed foods are not great for us.  And animal protein clogs up all those arteries.  I had already reduced dairy a couple of years ago because it didn’t agree with my intestines.  This should be a proverbial piece of cake, right?  Wrong.  This is SO hard.

We are so programmed to design meals around meat that I’m having a heck of a time figuring out how to plan dinner.  While I really like food, I’m not one to enjoy the process of preparing it, unlike my husband who really likes food and loves to prepare it.  He studies Food and Wine magazine, while I peruse Coastal Living, just to put things in perspective.  So, I’m struggling to get the patience to find a recipe and shop for the ingredients and put them together so we can eat them.  It’s also hard because my 16-year-old believes that I have gone ’round the bend, as they say, and will not cooperate with my new menus and so he eats his things and we eat ours.  And then there is my husband, who agrees we should be better about all of this but feels like eating this way is taking away some of life’s joy.

But what really makes this hard is missing my old comfort foods.  I wish I had never experienced the bliss of chocolate cake, perfectly cooked ribs or french fries.  It would make it so much easier to be good!

UPDATE:  I just heard that today is National Dessert Day.  So I will honor it with fond thoughts of chocolate cake.

Photo credit:  Wikipedia, “Chocolate Cake”

Seasonalities

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Flip flops and corduroy.  Shivering with the top down.  Yellow leaves on the grass.  Dried up flower beds.  Time to face reality.  October in the mountains means winter is very near.  It’s not that I don’t like winter.  Rather, I really like summer.  Sunshine, boating, hiking, biking, evenings on the deck.  It’s just all so good.

Time to switch gears and focus on the good things about winter:  big, giant snowflakes falling at night; sitting by a warm fire; sunshine glitter on new snow; floating on powder through trees; watching my kid ski race; snowshoeing with my hubby; Christmas.

  • Pep talk for winter: Check.
  • Ugg boots and Patagonia jacket: Check.
  • Snow tires mounted:  Not yet.
  • Convertible’s top staying down until the snow flies:  Check, check.