Thursday, May 31, 2007

Time to De-Stress

I can take a great deal of stress...just hit me with it...hit me again...hit me harder...and even at 49 my mind, body, and soul bounce back...but this week...this week...the powers that be were really testing me...yes, every so often those stressbusters try to break me down.

Those stressbusters were in full force this week...things escalated when my husband went into the hospital yesterday...I was managing okay until they told him that his heart rate was racing almost twice of what it should be and his asthma was not behaving either (after sitting in the emergency room for four hours I realized why I never wanted to be a doctor or nurse...and I don't think I'm going to change my mind anytime fact, as they gave my husband his medicine to lower his heart rate...I thought mine was going up...I really did...I thought they were going to have to admit me alongside him)...luckily they got things under control...I was so exhausted I went home and took a nap

Those stressbusters didn't stop there...I had to calm myself down again when I found out that my 17 year old son drove my car to Barnes and Noble...after I told him he could take the car to school and back...funny...I don't remember anyone building a Barnes and Noble between my house and the high school...was it built overnight...was it built that afternoon...I DON'T THINK SO!

Then my daughter called after her first day at her new summer internship in was supposed to be so exciting...but after getting up at 5:00 am that morning so I could drive her to the bus so she would be on time for her first day at work in NYC...I was even too tired to listen...but I did...and like any loving mother should tell her 21 year old daughter, I said "Don't will get'll make it through the 10 weeks...and afterwards you'll realize how much you learned...even if you didn't like it along the way." (did I really say that...why did I say that...I shouldn't have said 49, I am really starting to sound just like my mother.)

I needed time to de-stress...put the focus back on ME...time to open up my new bottle of Johnson's "Melt Away Stress Dreamy Night" Lotion...the lotion that says on the bottle that it is clinically shown to help you sleep better and melt away daily muscle tension ( it sounded great to me in the store and sounded even better now)...according to the advertisement, 4 out of 5 women felt more relaxed after using it...and if I was so inclined I could go further and discover the feeling at and take the Melt Away Stress Challenge..."Challenge, who wants a challenge" I thought to myself, "I just want to massage this lotion all over my body and melt away my stress...or better yet, just guarantee me that dreamy night and I'll buy a few more bottles."

The lotion won challenges for me...I had enough challenges for one day...I was ready to give my mood a I massaged the lotion all over my body...on my neck and on my back on my feet and on my legs on my arms and on my hands on my stomach and under my nose...yes, even under my nose...hoping this fast absorbing lotion enriched with chamomile and an exclusive AROMASOOTHE fragrance with a hint of the back of the bottle said...would relax my senses and help melt away my daily muscle tension.

Fully bathed in the lotion, I breathed deeply and prepared for a dreamy night's sleep...hoping for a better days ahead.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mama Bear Buys A New Phone

My cell phone broke down about a week ago...I knew I was in for trouble...I had bought cell insurance for my kids' phones, but didn't think I would ever need it for my own phone. Off to Cingular I went with my broken phone in tow..."Can you fix it?" I asked the salesman, "The speaker phone will not work anymore and it doesn't seem to ring anymore either." (I wondered if maybe no one wanted to call me anymore...maybe my friends didn't like me anymore...maybe the ringer really wasn't broken.)

The salesman agreed that my LG cell needed to be put to rest...after two years and no more was time to trade it in for a new one. "But," he said, "you are in luck...your contract has expired and you can get a new phone at the discounted rate as long as you renew your 2-year contract.... in fact," he said, "your entire family is eligible to upgrade."

"!...ugh!...ugh!"...I thought. I knew my kids would be ecstatic, but what about me...and what about my husband who barely uses his Motorola would we baby boomers adjust to this change? I'm not good with change (either is he)...especially after two took me two years to learn how to use the speaker phone on my old LG...and I really liked was my companion on my ride home from would I adjust to a new more high tech cellphone?

My son and daughter were jumping for joy...they were up bright and early last Saturday oversleeping last weekend...not in my to Cingular we all went (I told my husband he could stay at home...we just needed his wasn't necessary for him to join us). We got to the store early before the rush...signed in and waited our turn.

Then our time came...time to pick out our new phones...I really wanted the CRAZR, the teeny-tiny new Motorola cellphone...but it was too expensive for Mama Bear...Baby Bears picked out the new Motorola was on special...and quite a deal with the 2-year contract...a definite best buy. "Should I get it too?" I wondered, "Would it fit in the little pocket in my handbag that had been home to my LG for the past two years?" I tried the CRAZR - too small. I tried the Motorola - too big. I tried the fit just fine...a little bit larger than my original LG but it fit like a glove. So, Mama Bear bought herself a RAZR too...and Mama Bear also bought a Bluetooth...which the Big Bad Wolf salesman talked her into buying...not sure what Mama Bear was going to do with this Bluetooth...but she bought it anyway.

Some how...some way...we left the store and Mama Bear owed $450 (and she hadn't even bought Papa Bear a new phone...nope...she decided that Papa Bear better go to Cingular and pick out his own cell phone...a big cellphone not a sleek one like Mama and Baby Bears...not sure he would be equipped to use such a RAZR)..."Not to worry," said the Big Bad Wolf salesman,"you will get all the rebates...just fill out the 3 rebate forms, mail them in separate envelopes, attach all these receipts, and you'll get back $150." (Okay, so I REALLY spent $300 for the phones...and it will take me about an hour to fill out all these rebates...I was getting stressed just thinking about it.)

Thankfully the Big Bad Wolf salesman was able to transfer my SIM card with all my telephone numbers...except each number repeated three times by I had to delete quite a few phone numbers in my address book...then I couldn't find my address book at all...I thought I deleted the entire list of phone numbers by accident...then I found it again...not sure what button I pushed...but luckily I found it...I uttered a few four letter words in between...but I found my numbers.

I'm not one to read instructions with my electronic gadgets...who has time to read an 86 page user guide...especially when I have a Baby Bear in the house (I mean a Cool Dude Bear in the house)...why do I need an 86 page user guide.

Who needs a guide anyway...I'm 49 years difficult can it be to use my new RAZR and Bluetooth...ha...ha, ha, ha...ha...I put the Bluetooth to my ear...then I pushed the buttons on the RAZR just like the salesman told me...then it asked for my PIN number...what PIN number...what's my PIN number...PIN number...who said I needed a PIN number..."Don't you remember Mom," my daughter said, "it's 0000"..."No one told me that," I said..."Mom," my daughter said, "that is the only set of numbers the salesman told you to remember...and you even wrote them down on a piece of paper" "He was the Big Bad Wolf," I told her, "Mama Bear doesn't listen to the Big Bad Wolf."

I have at least two more years to figure it all out...or about seven months if I decide to make mastering the RAZR one of my goals for my 50th birthday. Maybe I should do this...figure it out...learn how to answer my RAZR...and how to listen to music on my RAZR...and how to send a message on my RAZR...and how to change the RAZR ringer...and how to make the RAZR volume louder (so I can hear the calls when I am able to finally answer them)...and how to watch my favorite shows on the tiny screen on my RAZR (I think I can watch episodes of Desperate might be worth learning how to use this feature).

I better hurry up and figure out how to use this RAZR...I'll need to pick up all my happy birthday messages when I turn 50 next January...won't want to miss any important birthday messages...ring a ding ding...wherever I am on 1-8-08 I want to hear all the calls.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ticket to Ride

Yesterday was such a beautiful day...I couldn't wait to get home and take a ride on my bicycle...I had to put air in the tires to get things going...then my kickstand wasn't I just unscrewed it and took it off ...that kickstand wasn't going to stop me from riding my bike...I was determined to have a great ride.

I noticed that once again, my car...and my husband's car were not in the daughter had one car and my son...the new driver in the family...had the other, like it or was the bicycle for me. Now that my son can drive...I wondered...does that mean he will never want to use his bicycle again.

I remember when I got my license...I was 17 once (let's see how many years ago was that, oh, I don't even want to count)...and I couldn't wait to drive my parent's car (they only had one car because we lived in the city)...I was always a little hesitant about driving long distances...not like my son...give him the keys and he is off and driving.

For me...driving is not my favorite past-time anymore...the gas is too expensive...there's too many cars on the road...and driving is not as enjoyable. No, now that I'm almost 50...I'm taking an "about face"'s not that I don't need a car...but cars don't thrill's my bicycle that gets me excited.

I can't wait for those long weekends...those extra sunny days and longer daylight hours...when I can get on my bicycle and ride around the is so relaxing...riding fast...riding slow...just riding...nowhere special to go...but my usual see who has pretty flowers planted around his/her house and who has the latest in landscaping...who is selling his/her home...and who added an addition to his/her house this past season. It's so much fun to ride around the worries when I'm on my clock ticking away...I'm a free spirit when I'm on my bike.

I do a lot of thinking when I'm riding around the neighborhood..."This is the last Memorial Day weekend before I turn 50," I thought the other day. "Will I still want to ride when I'm 50," I wondered..."Will I still be able to ride my bicycle when I'm 50 or 50+?"

"Of course I will," I said to myself, "In fact, forget the new car...maybe I'll just get a new bicycle instead...maybe I'll take a bicycle trip through Vermont next summer...or maybe I'll be more adventurous and take a bike trip through Tuscany or Provence." My sister used to do riding trips when she was younger...and some of my friends do riding trips now...there is no age limit for a bicycle...only strong legs required...and strong rears...especially strong rears (mine needs a lot of padding...may have to get those biker shorts that have extra padding and also get a double padded seat if I'm going to do more riding).

I've always wanted to try riding a motorcycle that I'm close to 50...maybe I should go for it...not that I could imagine myself a biker chick...the clothes are too form-fitting and I'm not into leather jackets either...and the helmets would flatten my hair (I need extra body shampoo for my hair these days not a helmet that will flatten it out even more) fact, the more I think about it...the more I think I'll stay with my regular bicycle...and skip the motorcycle...yes, maybe it's not wise to try all adventures...especially the motorcycle...may have to skip that one.

Meantime, can't wait for tomorrow morning...Sunday...nothing on my schedule...the weather report says hot and sunny... think I'll get up early (not too early...about 9:30 am)...9:30 am... it's my ticket to ride...and I'm gearing up.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In The Prime of My Life

I don't regularly participate in webinars...if I did I would be on-line all the time and never get my work done...I must get invites to about 10 webinars a day in my job...but the other day a very interesting webinar invite arrived in my was called The Power of PrimeTime Women ...all about marketing to women 50 to 70 years old. The webinar was presented by Marti Barletta, Founder & CEO of The TrendSight Group.

As soon as I read 50 to 70, I was sold...that was how I was going to spend my Tuesday lunch hour...and it was definitely worth it...what an uplifting lunch hour...just me and my computer and the telephone and my cup of soup and bag of whole grain pretzels and Diet Snapple Peach iced tea...but the words and slides just pumped me up. Here's what Marti (who I really liked)had to say about this group of women...the group I am about to enter:

- She said that "The Big 5-0 is perceived as a big milestone and is an actual major transition in a woman's life."...I agree Marti...I agree.

- She said that "if a woman turns 50 and is cancer-free and without heart disease she can live to 92 years old."...ooh Marti...if I live to be 92 I definitely better think about my next career or multiple careers

- She said that "boomer women are the first generation of primetime women."...I loved the term...the prime of my life...the P-R-I-M-E of MY life is PRIME...I was starting to get jazzed after the first few minutes...tell me more Marti...tell me more

- She said that "all the growth...yes, all the growth in the next decade was going to come from the 50+ market"...what a market I am entering..."we're at the peak of our income"...tell me more...tell me more..."we're at the peak of our net worth"...sounds even better..."and we have peak discretionary spending"...mind you she prefaced it by saying that's "when the kids are launched" I have a few more years to go...okay Marti...I'm cool with that as long as the peak discretionary spending comes with it

- She said that "50+ women spend more on:

*Cars - You're right Marti...I am going to buy myself a new car soon...especially since my 17 year old son just got his license on Monday...funny but the past few evenings I didn't even realize I had a car anymore...since my son keeps taking it out for a drive...hopefully I will have my Honda Civic a few more months before I get my new car

*Meals - You're right Marti...I do like to go out to eat more...I'm too tired to cook and too busy blogging to cook...and if I'm going to be entering the PRIME of my life I deserve to take myself out to dinner more often...and my husband too...he can come along too

*Airfare - Right again Marti...I plan to travel more...take more trips in my 50+ years...including the trip I will be taking for my 50th birthday...where ever that may be...haven't made my decision yet

*Sports Equipment - Okay Marti you are so on target...I do already have a stationary bicycle...and I would love to get myself a new mountain bicycle to ride outside more during the spring, summer and fall...saw some great bikes at the REI store...and I have been using my free weights while my gym is closed for renovations...better open soon or I will have to buy a lot more sports equipment...maybe have to build a second floor and turn it into a gym...don't want to be lumpy and bumpy or turn frumpy like Marti said 50+ women used to be called...not me...I'm not going to be any of those "umpy" characters

*Wine at Home - I do like wine...and I should drink more wine...everytime I go out to dinner and have wine I tend to sleep better and I always say I should drink more wine at are right it is...I'm stocking up as soon as I turn 50...maybe I will build a second floor for a wine cellar...although I think wine cellars usually go in the basement

* Women's Apparel - No arguing here Marti...I'm there...I'm you have just given me more freedom to shop...if the PRIME of my life requires more shopping I'll just have to do more shopping...but do I have to shop at Chicos and Coldwater Creek...I know I'm part of their target audience but their clothes just don't fit me I allowed to shop at Ann Taylor when I'm 50...maybe I'll write them a note and ask them

After the first half hour things got even better...Marti really got rolling and it was quite exhilarating...she talked about 50+ women with words like "activate," "create," and "authenticate," ...about how 50+ women have "attitude...they are on the go, so get out of their way"...yes, yes, yes...I was ready to jump up and down...I wished I could give Marti a big hug.

The best part was when she talked about our "biological jujitsu" ears really perked up...jujitsu...will I be taking karate when I'm 50+. "Jujitsu," said Marti, "is when our estrogen levels start to go down and we have higher levels of testerone...that's why we become more assertive...more self-confident at 50."

Who knew I'd have to wait until I turned 50 to be more assertive...I wish I had known that tip in advance...I wouldn't have bothered to take that assertiveness training class when I was in my 30s.

Men...our husbands or significant others aren't as lucky...according to Marti..."men become more accommodating since their testosterone levels drop at 50+"...hum...hum, hum...should I tell my husband about this...should I let him in on the changes that are coming in a few months...when I become more assertive and he becomes more accommodating (he is already 55 soon to be 56...maybe that's why he is more accommodating lately...who knew...who knew?)

The hour came to a close...Marti's voice stopped...but I was forever changed...ready for the PRIME of my life like never before...P-R-I-M-E.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

You Don't Look A Day Over Forty-something

I told a professional colleague I was blogging my way to 50. "I'm capturing my feelings, my thoughts, my ups, my downs," I said to her. "Really," she sounded surprised. "I didn't know you were turning 50, you don't look like you are almost 50, you don't look a day over forty-something." I always liked this colleague, and after reading her email message...I liked her even more...and now...maybe I'll make her one of my good friends.

Do I look like I'm turning 50...I does one look when she is turning 50? How do you define one's age in terms of appearance...what is it about a woman that makes her look 49 or 50...what are those visible signs of aging?

- Is it our hands? (No hand modeling for me, not with those wrinkles and veins showing aging hands are a sure sign I'm approaching 50. No wonder I need to constantly cream them with my Bath & Body Works hand cream.)

- Is it our face? (Can't hide those laugh lines anymore or the ones on my forehead...must count and see if there are 50 of them on my face...maybe there are only 40 lines...maybe that's why my colleague - soon to be good friend - doesn't think I'm turning 50. Sometimes I stand in front of the mirror and pull the skin on my forehead to see how I would look if I had a facelift...not that I'm having a facelift...but I pull it anyway.)

- Is it our eyes or those dark circles under our eyes? (Too many dark circles under my eyes lately...just not getting enough sleep...I am forever buying all those under-eye creams to make my eyes more sparkly...not sure if they are working...but maybe they are working...especially if my colleague - absolutely going to be good friend -thinks I look more like 40 than 50 - I use the Olay Regenerist Total Effects Eye Transforming says "it gives a radiant glow and fights 7 signs of aging all-around the eye area"...not believing this is really true I also add some Neutrogena concealer just to make wonder I look more like 40 than 50.)

- Is it our teeth...the stained teeth that say we're almost 50? (I don't like my yellow stained teeth...even if I am into my colors...I'd rather have white teeth...and I don't like my receding gum lines either...I cannot smile the way I used to.....but maybe..maybe they are not as dark as a 50 year old's sister had her teeth whitened at 50...maybe that's why she looks younger than me...I have to look into whitening my teeth so I can keep my 40 year old appearance...and must finally fix the cap on my front tooth...yes, it is an imperative if I want to properly whiten my teeth...don't want my colleague - soon to be absolutely, positively inner circle friend - to eventually say, "Judi, I can tell by your teeth that you are now officially looking like the big 5-0."

- Is it our Nora Ephron writes in her recent book "I Feel Bad About My Neck?" (My neck is out there for all to see all the visible as my face... does it look like a chicken or rooster neck yet...should I wear turtlenecks as Nora says...I do prefer cowl necks...not a fan of turtlenecks...never was and never will be...but with cowls a bit of neck always shows through...will have to find out what exercises I can do to maintain my 40 year old looking neck.)

- Is it our feet that give away our age? (There are calluses on the bottom of my feet and a little one on my pinky toe...I did just get a pedicure... I like the way my feet look...even if they don't fit into heels anymore...I think I can keep my feet looking forty-something...I'll try some more foot creams and I'll treat myself to more pedicures more often...I promise dear colleague and soon to be inner circle friend...I'm writing my next appointment on the calendar right now...well...maybe tomorrow...or next week...okay, I promise I'm going to have pedicures more than twice a year.)

It's not easy trying to maintain my forty-something appearance when I'm almost 50...but who the famous saying is in the eye of the beholder...think I'll call my professional colleague...soon to be good friend...and see what she thinks.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Colors of My World

I've always been into my colors...about 20 years ago I had my colors done by Color Me Beautiful...I don't even know if they exist anymore...but thanks to Color Me Beautiful I've always known what colors to wear...that is after they labeled me an Autumn. Autumns look good in brown and beige, gold tones and off-white, greens too(but they must be khaki greens, not bright greens), maroon (not real bright red) and coral are also my colors.

Over the years it's also helped me to know my colors when shopping for clothes...I would shy away from any white or black or blue suits (except for my Ralph Lauren pinstriped navy blue you know from my previous post - Spring Rite of Passage - I couldn't pass up on that pinstriped navy blue suit)...and I don't wear purple very much either since it is not in my Autumn repetoire (but purple is one of my favorite colors).

The past few years...I think it was about when I turned 45...I started to ease up on my Autumn colors...I became more adventurous and ventured into Winter territory...selecting black suits (which I was told NEVER to wear)...then white entered my wardrobe ("NEVER wear WHITE blouses," I remember my Color Me Beautiful consultant saying, "Or you will look washed out)...and most recently a black and white hounds tooth jacket found its way into my attire (and I might add...with lots of compliments every time I wear it).

So I began to wonder, am I no longer an Autumn...are the colors of my world changing as I I turning into a my brown and beige world becoming more black and that what happens when you approach 50...things literally turn more black and white?

Then just the other week...while I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations on my way to work...WPST to be exact (think they are from Trenton, but it is 94.5 on my's only on my dial because my kids programmed it in there...not because I put it there)...the wonderful WPST had a segment all about "what the color you wear says about you" was so interesting that I went and found the synopsis of the program on its website:

- Brown -- Positives: Honest and down-to-earth, you prefer a structured lifestyle...(throughout my younger years I did prefer a structured lifestyle...maybe that is why I was not enough of a risk taker...I was wearing too much brown...I even extended my colors into my home decor too...I loved it so much 20 years ago that I bought the Color Me Beautiful Home edition and decorated my house with Autumn colors...Negatives: You may avoid problems (yep, that's me...avoiding those problem areas, even in my house).

- Orange (another Autumn color...but mostly used for accents) -- Positives: You are nurturing, outgoing, creative, practical, and competent...(that's me too, all me, and still me at 49...but should I start to be less practical...lose my practical baggage and be more adventurous now that I'm almost 50)...Negatives: Competitive, restless (me, me, me...and more me, me, me every day...especially the restless part...lack of sleep and restless in other ways too).

And what about those Winter colors I'm now starting to wear...I was curious about what black and white says about me:

- Black -- Positives: You are strong-willed, disciplined, and independent...(I like these shows I'm changing...becoming stronger)...Negatives: You may lack confidence...(what???...I thought I was becoming stronger with my black suits...may have to stop wearing these black suits after all...glad I kept mostly brown and only added a few black suits to my wardrobe).

- White -- Positives: "You are positive, well-balanced, and eternally optimistic...(no wonder I didn't wear white as much when I was in my 20s, 30s, and early 40s...I'm ready for more white at 45+...I'm becoming more optimistic...more well-balanced...more positive as I approach the 5-0 mark)...Negative: You may isolate yourself...(It's true I am becoming more isolated...I'm so busy writing my blog...and doing work that I haven't gone out as much with my friends...miss all the movies and dinners with my friends...will have to ease off on some of the white blouses when I want to see my friends...maybe every few weeks)

And what about my favorite color...what did it say about my favorite color purple...

- Purple -- Positives: You are sensitive and intuitive and have high aspirations. Negative: Arrogant, rude, impatient...

Good old does have some negatives...but it has some really good positives...think I'll be adding more purple to my 50+ wardrobe...even if it isn't one of my Autumn or Winter colors...I have HIGH ASPIRATIONS for my 50+ years... maybe in addition to my wardrobe I'll also paint a room purple...maybe I'll paint my daughter's bedroom purple so it will be filled with HIGH ASPIRATIONS...the bedroom I have plans for when I become an emptynester...I'll paint it purple...or lilac...that's a form of purple...right??? with some white in it too...

I think the only color I'll never wear again is blue...didn't like it in my 20s, 30s or 40s...and definitely don't want to wear blue at more feeling blue...purple is my color now...I'm filled with HIGH ASPIRATIONS for the future.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Glorious Mother's Day

Today, on my last Mother's Day before I turn 50, I woke I've been doing for more than 15 years...I checked the weather outside...luckily the rain had stopped...I put on my exercise gear...and then I woke up my 16...soon to be 17 year old son.

We headed off to Philadelphia to walk in the Susan B. Komen Race for the's been our Mother's Day tradition for the past several years...I used to walk with a group of friends...then one year my son said he wanted to walk with's a great bonding ritual...especially on Mother's Day...just the two of us.

Things were just a little bit different this morning...he was in the driver's seat...that was different...we did the 5K course in under an hour...I was proud of myself for running half the race...especially with my wobbly knees...I just cannot run the way I used to...the sun was shining brightly...he continuely asked me if I was okay..."are you okay mom?" he would say every few minutes..."yes, I'm okay," I said, "how are you doing?" I said as I kept in step..."not bad for a 49 year old, eh" I continued. I was so glad to be his mom even if I had to look up to say more looking down...that was different...he was taller then me this year by a good few inches.

Soon he will be leaving for college (15 months to be exact) I thought...wonder if he will come back from college on Mother's Day to walk with me...or will he want to do other things..."I'm not going to think about that right now," I said to myself, "instead I'll just cherish this time together."

Of all of my accomplishments, as I look back on my adult years, being a mom has been my most rewarding experience...nothing could beat it. I've learned so much from being a mom...

- I've learned to be more patient (kids don't always do what you want them to do when you want them to do it)

- I've learned about new places(got to go to Italy to visit my daughter)

- I've learned new things (would never have known anything about soccer and lacrosse if it wasn't for my son)

- I've learned to make mistakes and still be okay (made a lot of mistakes when I first became a mom...little mistakes like not keeping my daughter's baby blanket wrapped tightly enough around her newborn body so she still felt like she was in the womb...and big the time I forgot that my son's baby bottle nipples were on the stove being boiled and I started a fire...luckily no one got hurt)

- I've learned how to pick my battles, how to win some and how to be a good loser(and to never bet money on it...especially when it comes to sports or television or technology or music or etc, kids will always out smart me)

Think I'll save my Mother's Day card this year...since it is my 49th year...I like the words inside - "Mom, you leave a little bit of wonderful everywhere you go...I am who I am today...because of you!

It is a glorious Mother's glad to be a mom.


Movie Tip: Speaking of daughter and I saw a wonderful mother daughter movie last evening...highly recommend "The Waitress" with Kerri Russell...remember Kerri Russell from the television series a few years ago called "Felicity"...I used to watch "Felicity" when my daughter was in high Felicity is all grown up and having a baby of her own in "The Waitress"...think I really liked it because she bakes pies in this movie and I love to bake pies...maybe I'll start to bake more pies again...but then I'll have to eat more pies...strawberry rhubarb is my absolute favorite...yum!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Your "Cool," Your "Hip"

There is no greater compliment than telling a 49 year old that she is “cool” and “hip.” Last week, it happened to me two times…twice in one week…from two different people…one told me I was a “cool mom” and the other highlighted that despite my age (this came from a twenty-something colleague) I was “hip.”

“Cool” and “hip”…I like those words. Yes…one of my many goals as I age is to remain “cool” and “hip”…I wonder if I will be “cool” when I’m in my 80s…my 85 year old mom is “cool”…she stays up on what's "cool" and "hip" by watching “The View” every weekday morning…then she updates me each week on all the happenings…what Barbara said…what Rosie said…what celebrities were talking about on the show.

I think there are good ways to remain “cool” and “hip” and there are not so good ways to remain “cool” and “hip." For example:

- I don’t like when my peers try to squeeze into those Juicy velour outfits or True Religion jeans…I feel “hip” that I know about and can converse about these labels, but I don’t agree that a 49er should wear them

- Then there are those pretty colored Express blouses…I bought three of them awhile ago because they were on sale and the more you bought the cheaper each blouse got. I loved the colors – dark red, bright green, white – I loved the style…that is until I noticed that they were gaping at my bustline and even though the stretch fabric had a good amount of stretch it still wasn’t enough stretch to stretch around my 49 year old hips…and where did that top button go…or the next button…was the manufacturer cutting down on buttons...or is the style meant to show cleavage (not that there is anything wrong with that...there's never been any cleavage for me to show anyway...not even when I was twentysomething). I finally gave in and presented these "worn only once" shirts to my 21 year old daughter…no more Express for me...I'm slowing down.

- Long hair…at what age should those who have really long hair cut their hair…some say that as long as it is neat or you can put it up in a bun…you can keep it as long as you like…I beg to differ. What do you think?

- Platform shoes…don’t think they look especially good on more mature legs…especially those big platforms that are in style now...I love the espadrilles with the big platforms but just don't think they are flattering on my spider legs.

- I also try to listen to “cool” and “hip” radio stations…even if it is for a short time and then I switch back to my easy listening music.

-I read my InStyle and Entertainment Weekly and also like Lucky magazine...again, so I can converse on important trendy topics…and all the celeb gossip...not necessarily buy the clothes.

- I watch shows with my son on the CW network (dare I admit that I actually like some of these shows like One Tree Hill).

- I buy MAC makeup…should I buy MAC makeup…or should I move to the makeup for more mature women…like Elizabeth Arden…no…I’m going to stay “cool” and “hip”…I like my MAC colors…no Red Door treatments yet...I'll wait until I'm a little older to open the Red door. Of course, my Olay Regenerist or Estee Lauder cream goes under the MAC and Bobby Brown is in my cosmetic bag too...think she just turned 50.

What other ways can I stay “cool” and “hip”…if you have any other ideas please share them with me…

It's almost like the the Glamour magazine “do’s” and “don’ts” page I used to read when I was twentysomething…does Glamour have that feature anymore…I don’t read that magazine anymore…should I be reading it to stay “cool” and “hip”…does AARP have a "cool" and "hip" column...maybe I should start one!


Staying Stylish: Speaking of "cool"...I just read in InStyle that for those of us who cannot keep our mules on our feet...those shoes with no backs...that you should put hairspray on your heel and it will help to keep the shoes on your feet. What a great idea...especially for those who cannot wear me...will have to try this tip.

Monday, May 7, 2007

A Spring Rite of Passage

It's a ritual every year...around this time...May...when the the grass starts to turn green again,the tulips are in full bloom...and the beautiful cherry trees (front and back of my house) fill up with pink blossoms...then I know it's time to do my spring ritual.

This year it happened on May winter closet turned to spring. Only this year...was the last time I would turn over my winter closet as a forty-something female. I thought long and hard as I transferred my seasonal attire - what should I keep (or continue to keep even though I transfer it every year and don't wear it)...and what should I discard?

I lifted the heavy beige suitcase from my husband's closet where it is stored for the winter...he has more room in his closet than I do in mine...I don't think he even thinks about a seasonal's just all in there...all his clothes in his walk-in closet...nothing sorted by color or long sleeves or short sleeves...just all in there...frankly, I don't even think he realizes that I keep my seasonal attire in a big suitcase in his closet...and after almost 25 years I'm not going to tell him...or it might wind up back in my walk-in closet...and I like it this way...more room in my closet year-round.

Anyway...I took out my short sleeve shirts and my capri pants (no more shorts in that suitcase...shorts went by the wayside after I turned 40...capris are the best for my legs these summer days)...I took out my Speedo bathing suits and the cute chiffon scarf that wraps around my waist to cover my hips and "lily white" thighs (the teal chiffon wrap matches my bathing suit so it looks nice)...I've had these bathing suits for about four years but I rarely wear them so they last forever.

I took out my summer cotton sweaters - the brown one that goes with my striped linen pants (hope those pants still fit me...and hope the green lime color of the shirt is still in style). I took out the coral sweater that goes with my striped beige and coral pants (never liked those pants but like the sweater so I've managed to make the outfit last season after season). I color coded the tops and laid them in order of color on my closet shelf (love how neat everything looks the day of transition and how colorful my closet appears when I open the door).

Then it was time to put away my winter winter winter pants (just the corduroy ones...the winter woolens get sent to storage...a ritual from my NYC days when my closets only fit one season...although it is getting harder and harder to find a dry cleaner in the suburbs that still stores winter clothes) heavy cotton turtlenecks went in the suitcase too.

This time though, as I piled the "never wear" sweaters and readied them for the suitcase...I thought twice before packing them away...if I didn't wear them during my 40s why would I need them in my 50s (but what if those clothes that I was about to throw away came back in style five years from now...what if that top that I saved the past five years in the hopes that it might come back in style actually did?...what would I do? repent that I had thrown it out during my 49th year?)If that actually happens I'll just go buy a new one...I said to myself...I'll be 50 or 50+ when that happens and I'll just go buy a new one.

I decided it was time...time to rid myself of those old clothes...out with the old...get ready for my new 50+ wardrobe...I threw out the brown silk top that once looked good on me...I threw out the white shirt that had a stain on the sleeve even though I could continue to wear it under a suit jacket...and I threw out the black shoes with the 2-inch heels that I will never be able to wear again (flat or kitten -no high heels for me anymore). And as I went down the the rack...shelf by shelf...hanger by hanger...

I stopped when I got to my Ralph Lauren RL navy blue pinstriped Ralph Lauren suit...the doubled breasted suit...with the big shoulder pads...and wide flaired pants...with the invisible zipper that was almost worn away. I stopped because I could not bear to part with my Ralph Lauren suit...even though I knew I should. It held such memories...each stripe reminded me of a different career defining moment...when I wore that power first real power suit...I think I bought it in the '80s (now they have '80s playbacks on the radio each night...and my kids remind me to listen to the songs of the '80s...playbacks they are called).

I wasn't ready to part with my Ralph Lauren pinstripe...not in my early 40s and now...and now... not even at 49. Alhough, I wore it only once this still brings me good luck...and lots of compliments...and it still makes me feel powerful everytime I put it on. But, while my memories are telling me to keep mind is saying "Judi, those shoulder pads...those shoulder pads have to go...they are just too big for the 21st century...they are too big for you." My mind keeps saying, "Judi, throw it out." My shoulders have gotten smaller (thanks to all the exercising and weight lifting)...maybe there is less weighing on them too now that I'm older and wiser...they are lighter...they don't need those big, heavy shoulder pads to hold me up anymore...I can be powerful without them. "Throw it out, Judi, throw the RL suit out."

I still have to make the annual run to the cleaners...that will happen next Saturday if the weather stays warm...before the moths come out and try to sneak into my closet and peck at my woolen suits. Maybe next week, as my spring rite of passage on my 49th year comes to an end...I'll break down and throw the RL suit out. After all, I have to make room for the new Armani I'm going to buy for myself when I turn 50...the one with the much smaller shoulder pads...the stylish one...because I'm still going back to the '80s anymore...yep, I'm taking that radio station off my dial...that is if I know how to work the radio program in my car...may have to ask the kids to change it...or maybe I'll break down and learn how to do it...before I turn 50 that is!


Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Road Not Taken

I was reading my son's research paper for his English class on Robert Frost's poems (he usually asks me to review his papers...he is actually a good writer...although he would never admit it) and I was struck by The Road Not Taken. It has always been one of my favorite poems and still is. But, tonight...tonight it had special was odd how this poem appeared as I was having one of my what if I was thinking about what my life might be like at 49 if I had taken a different path...taken a different road...

- what if I had not sucked my thumb when I was a baby and my mother had made me use a pacifer...then I wouldn't have needed braces (that I didn't get anyway) and my two front teeth would be straighter (maybe I'll break down at 50 and get those invisaline braces and get those teeth straightened after all.)

- what if I had moved with my family to a nice 3 bedroom beach house on Long Island where we spent the summer months, instead of growing up in the Bronx and sharing a room with my sister all year long...wonder what it would have been like to have my own bedroom? (but then I wouldn't have had my older sister in the room to share things with...or someone to wake up in the middle of the night if I was scared.)

- what if I had selected a different college...gone to a smaller school instead of a big Ivy League school...what if I had gone to a school that was less competitive...would I have become a less competitive person...less stressed out...type B instead of type A (never!)

- what if I had taken that job at the PR agency in New York City instead of moving to New Jersey in the early 80s...wonder if I would have thrived in a more creative environment...wonder if I would have excelled at the agency lifestyle...gotten that VP title (along with the Armani suit...some Armani suits...a whole closet full of Armani suits)

- what if I had married that graphic first real love...the guy I met at my first real job at a real advertising agency...the guy who broke my real heart...the one that is an everyday reminder of why I married my real husband

- what if I had my kids closer in I had planned...three years apart instead of four...then I'd be one year closer to emptynesterness...then I'd have two kids in college next year...not sure I could have dealt with that sticker shock (good thing the plan didn't work out)

- what if I had bought that perfect house the first time around...the one I thought was too expensive at the time...little did I know that several years later I'd be spending more than twice as much for another house. (I do love my house...the second time around I learned from my mistakes...I took the other road and it was definitely worth it)

At 19...I cried about those diverging 29 I struggled 39 it got a little bit easier to make those decisions...and at 49 there's no more looking back. At 49 there's no more time for Robert Frost says in his poem:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear…

. . . Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The Road Not Taken