Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sweet Dreams

Here I sit...October 31st...the last day of the last October as a fortysomething soon to be fifysomething...and I'm all husband is still in the hospital recovering from his son is at a concert somewhere daughter is away at college...and I am alone...alone with my three bags of candy...and not one trick or treater knocking at my door.

Soooooooo...I guess I will have to eat some of that candy that is sitting in a basket in the is just too, too, too tempting...I bought all my favorite chocolate candies this year...Peanut M&Ms...Regular M&Ms...York Peppermint Patties...yummy,yummy,yummy...not like the Charleston Chews that my husband always buys...yucky, yucky, yucky.

Let's see...I'm's now 8:00 pm...I have yummy, yummy, yummy chocolate candies in my kitchen...and I cannot resist...nope...I cannot resist...dare I start on the chocolate binging I may never stop...but I cannot hold back any longer.

I just consumed two York Peppermint Patties...2 bags of Peanut M&Ms (they're little bags so it doesn't count that much)...haven't touched the Regular M&Ms yet...I'm actually proud of how I am pacing myself during this peri-pausal chocolate moment. However, I also ate 3 mini-chocolate chip cookies (while I was making my son's lunch)...and two Milano Chocolate Raspberry cookies (had to try the new raspberry variety of Milano cookies that some colleagues brought to me...raspberries are my favorite berries...I had to force myself to try them...well...not exactly force didn't take too much forcing...I just opened the bag and put my hand inside and pulled out a cookie...then I ate it...then I put my hand in the bag again and pulled out another cookie...and ate that one too...then I slapped my hand twice when it tried to go inside the bag for a third time.)

So now what...will I be up all night from the caffeine or sugar rush (probably)...will I throw the rest of the basket of goodies in the garbage like a good girl (maybe)...or will I leave them there for the next two months for all the peri-pausal chocolate moments I'm likely to experience (likely least for now).

I think I've had my fill of peri-pausal Halloween treats for this evening...I like my chocolate high...I feel satiated...I feel happy...I'm going to have sweet dreams tonight...think I'll turn on my favorite Annie Lennox song "Sweet Dreams"...cannot believe that "Sweet Dreams" was first recorded in the 1980s...what was I doing when I heard that song for the first was when I was twentysomething...seems like just yesterday that I turned on the radio and heard the Eurythmics playing that sweet tune...

Sweet Dreams
Lyrics by the Eurythmics

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

I wanna use you and abuse you
I wanna know what's inside you
(Whispering) Hold your head up, movin' on
Keep your head up, movin' on
Hold your head up, movin' on
Keep your head up, movin' on
Hold your head up, movin' on
Keep your head up, movin' on
Movin' on!

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

I'm gonna use you and abuse you
I'm gonna know what's inside
Gonna use you and abuse you
I'm gonna know what's inside you


Sunday, October 28, 2007


I had had a tough week...and when I arrived at my colorist on Friday night he said it was time for "restructuring"..."Restructuring?" I what did he have in mind...I thought I was going to just perk up my hair color and fix up my highlights...little did I know that I was going to be "restructured"...but, it was just what I needed after a long week and it sounded much more interesting than a touch up...I left feeling refreshed...renewed...and I even cancelled my haircut for the next day.

The fall of my 49th year is a good time to think about restructuring...what else should I restructure...ah closet needs restructuring...think I'll throw out some of those old clothes and some of those old shoes that I take out of storage every fall...why do I keep those old clothes that I never wear year after year...those clothes that I save "just in case" they come back in style...maybe I would have more room in my closet if I threw out those "just in case" clothes...especially the ones with the big shoulder pads (speaking of shoulder pads...I was watching one of my favorite movies the other night...Pretty Woman...with the fabulous shopping scene with Julia Roberts on Rodeo Drive...I loved that movie about 20 years ago...but when I watched it the other night...all the outfits looked so could my favorite Richard Gere favorite Pretty so dated...was it that long ago...yes, even Pretty Woman would have to restructure her closet if she were to open it today...and get rid of those huge pads weighing down her shoulders) more shoulder pads for me...I'm almost 50...I don't need to keep anymore outfits in my closet that have football shoulder pads...unless it's for a Halloween costume and I'm trying to look like an '80s gal.

What else should I restructure this fall...what else should I change or alter in my life before I turn 50...let's see...I would like to restructure my kitchen...but that's a major effort...and it would never happen in the next two months (two months, oh my, is that all that is left of my 49th year?)

I would like to restructure my backyard...that's a major effort too...I can't even get my landscaper to show up and rake my leaves let alone restructure the back or front yard of my house.

I need little my hair and highlights...maybe I'll restructure my mountain of magazines and newspapers that are piling up on my kitchen counter...that's a good, simple idea...I know...I'll go visit the new The Container Store that is opening up near the mall next week...yes...I'll restructure my magazines and newspapers in lots of containers...they have containers in all shapes and sizes for all my little restructuring needs.

I think I'll also buy a new bookcase...a retirement put all the books I've been collecting that I'm going to read in my retirement...I just found another book I want to read...Cathleen Black's new book called "Basic Black" to add to the list... just as Donna Karan said, "As every woman needs basic black in her wardrobe, she also needs Basic Black on her bookshelf."...wish I had time to read this book before I retire...maybe if I restructure my free time (what free time???)...I would have time to read this book before my first career is over(notice I said first career...of course I am going to have a second career someday when I am 50+).

I think I will also restructure my handbag for the is time to take out that new Suzy Chen handbag this week...the weather forecast is sunny and rain on the horizon...yes, I'm ready for a new week...ready to welcome November...only two months to go to my 50th birthday.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Treadmill of Life

I was on the treadmill the other the gym that is...although sometimes I feel like I'm on a literal treadmill every day...busy...busy...busy...will life ever slow down?

But, while I was on the treadmill at the gym I decided to speed up...I punched up my usual speed of 3.5 ...then I noticed a chart on the side of the gave a range of heart rates depending on your age...ah ha...I thought...let's see if I can keep up the pace of a 50 year old...let's see...let's see.

There were different suggested heart rates for a Fat Burning - low intensity workout or a Cardio -high intensity workout. The different suggested target rates decreased with age:

Age 20 Fat Burning 130 Cardio 160
Age 30 Fat Burning 123 Cardio 152
Age 40 Fat Burning 117 Cardio 144
Age 50 Fat Burning 110 Cardio 136
Age 60 Fat Burning 104 Cardio 128

I put my hands on the hot spots of the treadmill and waited to see where I netted out...was I keeping up with my age group...or was I younger...I held on tight...oh what would the treadmill say...what will my treadmill age tell me...I couldn't wait for the numbers to pop up...I walked faster and harder...but nothing appeared...faster...faster...faster...I pushed my body...nothing it broken I wondered...or is my body going at such a slow pace that the heart rate won't even register?

And then the magic number appeared...130...130...130...yes, yes, yes...not only was I burning fat for a 50 year old.....I was walking like a fortysomething who was burning fat...and a thirtysomething...and even a twentysomething!

As I kept going my heart rate fluctuated...130...128...125...but I was maintaining my pace...on the treadmill of life, I was at my peak performance for a fat burning almost 50 year old...and after 30 minutes I was truly proud of my arms...and every part of me that kept this almost 50 year old body moving...even my arthritic knees...and I listened to the music on my iPod..."More that a Feeling...Never Feel This Way Again!"

Yes, the treadmill of life can speed up...but this soon to be 50 year old body is on the move...50...50...50...ready or I come...nothin's gonna slow me down.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mid-life Cleansing

I started to read an excerpt from Dr. Christiane Northrup's book entitled The Wisdom of Menopause and I could not stop...thank you Oprah for featuring Dr. Northrup on your show...actually on your website...or in your email newsletter that I subscribe glad I decided to subscribe to this newsletter since I don't have a TIVO to TIVO the Oprah Show (may have to get a TIVO for my 50th birthday...then I don't have to read about the Oprah Show...I can watch it...not that I have a lot of extra time to watch old episodes of Oprah)...anyway...back to Dr. Northrup's book...her excellent book that I most definitely have to purchase at the bookstore or on tomorrow.

I felt myself shaking my head as I read the excerpts from Dr. Northrup's book and from her appearance on the Oprah Show...everything she said was so true...I felt like she was a sister...a fellow peri-menopausal sister...someone that I bet if I met in a room...I could just walk up to and talk to...and have so much to share.

"At midlife, more psychic energy becomes available to us than at any time since adolescence," says Dr. Northrup. (Yes, Dr. Northrup, I do have a great deal of wonder I have problems sleeping...and I think I do have more energy than my adolescent son...he stays up late and can sleep in on weekends...whereas, I stay up late and get up early...must be that psychic energy moving through my body.)

To transform, says Dr. Northrup, "We must be willing to take full responsibility for our share of the problems in our lives. It takes great courage to admit our own contributions to the things that have gone wrong for us and to stop seeing ourselves simply as victims of someone or something outside of ourselves." (Okay, you're right...absolutely 100% correct...I need to take more responsibility for the issues I have in my life...stop worry about everyone else and doing more for myself...when was the last time I went to the gym...that's more victim for out I come...I'm going to get in tiptop shape in my mid-life...use that psychic energy that is running through my body for a good cause...wonder if my psychic energy can work to heal my husband's wounds...and work to help my son with his college applications...stop it...stop I go again...taking care of everyone else and not working on myself...where is my ID card for the gym?)

Dr. Northrup doesn't make it easy for me...nope...she wants me to really transform...she says "We must be willing to feel the pain of loss and grieve for those parts of our lives that we are leaving behind. And that includes our fantasies of how our lives could have been different if only." (If only...if only...where do I start...I'll have to work on my 'if only' list...not sure I'm ready for this yet...wonder if I can work on my 'if only' list when I'm may take some time for me to compile my 'if only' list.)

According to Dr. Northrup, "When you hit about 35 to 40, you have an ego structure strong enough to really express who you are. So it's like all the stuff you knew when you were 12 or 13 or 11 comes back, but now you have the wherewithal and the skill set inform to manifest that in your life...You're reinventing yourself. You're figuring out who you are and you can't stand it another moment to live the way you've been living." (That is exactly what is happening to ego structure is finally getting stronger...thank goodness...Dr. Northrup is so right...right...right...know wonder I was cleaning out my closet the other day...I was really throwing out a lot of stuff...a lot of old clothes and shoes...and I thought it was just my fall fall closet cleansing after my annual trip to the dry cleaner to get my winter clothes from storage...I wasn't really cleansing...I must have been at the early stages of mid-life Dr. Northrup describes...this is exciting...this is getting very exciting.)

I also liked Dr. Northrup's advice to one baby boomer woman who was stressed out...just like me...she said the woman should "get her hormones balanced and get more circulation. The circulation of blood equals the circulation of joy," she says. "So you need to actually deliberately put in your calendar joyful times...make a list of five things you want to do—and then do them!" (This is easy...I like this tip...of course I have to actually do these things I put on my list...let's see what are my five joyful times...1- I have joy when I see my friends like the other day...2-I have joy when I go for next appointment is scheduled for November and I made a promise to myself not to cancel...3- I have joy when I go shopping for clothes...most of the time...especially in the those fall clothes when they are freshly arrived in the stores...4-I have joy when I relax and read my Vogue and InStyle magazines...even when I see designer clothes I cannot afford...I still have joyful moments looking at the pictures...5-I have joy when I watch a really great chick-flick...especially if Richard Gere or George Clooney are in the movie...that's it...that's my five joyful moments...I'm done...this was an easy part of my mid-life transformation...I like this step.)

Dr. Northrup says "many women struggle with anger...The anger is always at yourself because you have allowed yourself to be's important to express—not repress—your get rid of anger...You use the anger and then get out of it as soon as you can...and get into joy immediately." (Okay...there we go again...back with the joyful moments...just like yesterday when I arrived home and was so angry from the entire day...angry at work...angry at the pain my husband was having...angry that my son had parked his car in the middle of the garage so I could not pull my car into my spot...angry...angry...angry me...angry...angry...angry day...wish I had read this article yesterday...wish I had known about Dr. Northrup's advice yesterday...then I would have had a joyful moment immediately...I'm going to put more joyful moments on my list and stick the list on my refrigerator...think I'll add ice cream to the list and M&Ms...dark chocolate M&Ms...I'm going to double up my joyful moments list...this is more fun than writing an 'if only' list.)

Dr. Northrup has lots more advice...about sleep...about stress...about sex...all the peri-menopausal "S's"...I stopped reading after she mentioned eating less carbohydrates...I didn't feel like giving up my many joyful pasta moments just yet...not ready to eat ground flaxseed as she suggested...but overall...overall...I do like Dr. Northrup's tips and I do think that she has some great when I get a spare moment...I'm definitely going to put her book on my 'to get' list and then on my 'to read' list...and maybe...maybe...even on my 'joyful moments' list...but for now...for now...I'm off to have an actual joyful moment...let's see...which moment should I choose...where are those M&Ms?


Sunday, October 14, 2007

High School Daze

I closed my eyes today and I thought I was back in high school...let's see that was 1971 to be high school days were on my mind today...this glorious and sunny fall day...I was celebrating my high school friend's 50th birthday...was it 36 years ago that we first is that possible...and another friend joined us as well...I hadn't seen this friend since high school...more than 32 years since we graduated...32 is that possible I thought to myself, as I drove home from the apple farm where we had gone to pick apples.

We were just like 17 year old school girls...only more mature...and with a few more wrinkles...a few more years of experience behind us...wonder if we ever realized that we would be meeting during our 50th year...that we would still be in touch after all these felt just like the old times...we talked about the guys and gals from our high school days...and I remembered them...yes...I remembered Peter and Nancy...and Stephie and Laura...and Ginny and May...and Marianne and Debbie...I remembered the cool kids...and the smart ones...the ones with the Afros...and the ones with the sideburns...and the parts down the middle...and those who wore aviator tinted glasses...and bell-bottom pants...the quiet ones and the loud ones...the ones who sat in the front of the class and the ones who sat in the back.

I remembered the teachers...the easy teachers and the hard teachers...the young teachers and the older teachers...the new teachers and the more tenured ones...and those special teachers...the teachers that were special because they were such good teachers...or because they were so my French teacher who wore a shirt with red hearts all over it...and a red tie on Valentine's Day.

I pulled out my high school yearbook when I arrived home...ooh...ooh...I really didn't look good in high school...didn't like my hairstyle very 70s...let's see...what did it say in my yearbook...oh yes...I was in the Drama Club...I was on the Yearbook staff (I don't remember being on the Yearbook staff)...I was a Rexo Room aide (ah, yes...there were no computers in those days...instead we had to make copies of worksheets using a manual rexo machine that had nasty blue ink that got all over my fingers)...and I was also in Arista...think that was the acronym for the honor society.

Before I put my yearbook back on the shelf...I flipped through more pages to read all the notes that different friends had written...there was one note that stood out from the rest...perhaps because it said exactly what I was feeling on this glorious sunny fall day 30+ years later as I picked apples with my high school friend who was turning 50 today and the other friend who had turned 50 in was from Spyro...wish I remembered Spyro......wonder what happened to Spyro...wonder if he became a writer...he sure had eloquent words to say when he was 18 years he never realized that his words would ring true three decades later on this glorious October day:

"Happiness is to be with certain friends like you. That is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. For it is worth more than anything else I value."


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Reinventing Myself

I was reading a book the other day...yes...actually I read an entire book...all 127 pages...even the credits...(and I thought I would not read a book again until I was retired...nonsense)and I read it in 30 minutes...I could not put it down...I wish all books were as easy to read as this was called "It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be"...the book was authored by Paul Arden, a creative genius who had worked at the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency for many years...this little book captured my 49 year old attention struck at my heart strings...being the creative person I am and have always wanted to be...I should have had a career in advertising...wonder where I would be now if I had pursued a career in advertising?

I especially liked Arden's words on creativity..."Creativity is imagination, and imagination is for everyone," he says...and he provided a wheel to help me understand my life's creative circle...I read through each age group in the circle...and thought about my life's creative circle...

Age 0 - 1 -- Nothing (nope, I was nothing from mid 1957 until that fateful day of January 8, 1958 when I was born...born into my creative circle.)

Age 1 - 3 -- Minimalism (I think I must have shown signs of creativity at an early age...will have to ask my mom about my pre-school days...although I don't think I ever went to pre-school...there were no pre-schools back in the late 50s and early 60s...I think my mom likely gave me a few Crayola crayons to draw with...I loved Crayola crayons...loved to get a new box of pointy crayons.)

Age 3 - 5 -- Fantasy (I always played dress up...dressed up in my mom's pointy shoes...dressed up in my mom's clothes...liked to dress up with her costume jewelry and pretend I was a fancy lady.)

Age 5 - 10 -- The Beginnings of Copying (I did copy pictures from magazines...and I liked to draw...even if I wasn't very good at it...I would make collages from all the magazines we had around the house.)

Age 10 - 15 -- Art Becomes Grown Up (I think this was the age when I started to sew and make real clothing...this may have been the age when I decided I was going to be a famous designer...which never came to fruition.)

Age 15 - 20 -- A Need to Change the World (Yep, that was me...I was going to change the wonder I went to work on the McGovern presidential campaign.)

Age 20 - 25 -- Beginnings of Political Awareness (No wonder why I stopped working on the McGovern presidential campaign...or any political campaigns.)

Age 25 - 30 -- Maturity (Yep, I was maturing...I got married at 25...I had my first kid at 28...that sent me into rapid maturity...nothing like becoming a parent to send a person into rapid maturity...being responsible for another human being...buying a house - I wasn't totally mature...I only bought a townhouse...I bought the entire house later in life.)

Age 30 - 40 -- Hell Bent On Success (Yep, that was me in my 30s...I was "hell bent on success"...I was heading up the corporate ladder...climbing my way to the top...I didn't get all the way to the top...but I was still determined to do it with two kids...and a husband...and a house...I was on was full speed ahead.)

Age 40 - 45 -- Repeating Success (I was on auto-pilot...hard working...persevering...full speed ahead...that was me...climbing my way to the top.)

Age 45 - 50 -- Trying to Keep Up With the 25-Year Olds (That's me...I went on the treadmill the other day and I just could not keep more running for me...but how do I walk fast and keep up with the 25-Year Olds who are running?)

Age 50 -- The Watershed (Yes, Arden is right...I'm going to hit the "watershed" soon..."the parting" or "divide" as it says in the dictionary...wonder what life will be like after I hit this divide...what new ventures will I have...what new people will I will my life will I change...what will I change???)

According to Arden's "Life's Creative Circle" aged 50 - 60 is titled "Reinventing Yourself"...I really...really...really, really...really like the sound of those words...that's what I want to do...RE-IN-VENT WHOLE SELF...wonder who I'll become...think I'll bring back some of that creativity that's been brewing inside me all these's time to crank up the gears...get those rusty parts moving that have been's time for a complete REINVENTION.


P.S. - Arden's "Life's Creative Circle" did not end at 60...the rest of the years were too far out...but here's what I have to look forward to:

60 - 75 A Gentle Decline Into Senility (See why I stopped focusing after the first half of the circle?)

75 - 85 Youth Regained (So I'll have about 15 years of senility and then I'll get my youth back.)

85 - 100 Inhibitions Lost, Don't Give A Damn, Me, Me, Me (Life's sure like a's back to being a teenager again at 85+.)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bringing Out My Beta

I'm such an Alpha...I rise on weekday mornings at 5:30 am and don't leave the house until 7:30 am...sometimes even later...yet my Beta Beta son...he rises at 7:00 am...actually his alarm goes off at 7:00 am and then he takes a shower...grabs a granola bar...and runs out the fact...sometimes it is 7:20 am and he is still in the shower...just how he does it...I don't know...I just don't know...and I sit and worry every morning that he is not going to make it to school on time...but every morning...every Beta son seems to make it out the door on time...not a minute early...not a minute late.

I'm an early riser...always have been...and always will be...except maybe on the weekends...I've never been one to sleep until noon...maybe until nine...but not until noon...then half the day is wasted...but my son can sleep late...even on weekday for me...I'm an Alpha girl...I try to pack in as much as possible into the few hours I have in the morning - shower, makeup, breakfast, read the newspaper (that is most of the time...when the newspaper man delivers the newspaper before my 6:30 am breakfast right to my walkway...not like yesterday...when it did not arrive...I have such a wonderful newspaper delivery man...he is just so wonderful...but yesterday and today too...I feared for the worst...I feared he had left me...left me in my worried Alpha state...left me...never to be able to read my favorite New York Times at the 6:30 am hour again...but then I saw the paper...down by the puddle of water...where the sprinkler had flooded the edge of my driveway...there sat the newspaper...and that little bit of Beta in me said "okay, it's not on my walkway...but at least I still have my newspaper.")

Yes...I must learn how to be a Beta I approach 50 I must learn how to bring out the Beta in this Alpha more like my Beta son:

- to throw my clothes around the house or around my room...or let them pile up on the seat of my stationery bicycle instead of putting all my clothes in the hamper...or maybe leave all my clothes in my car after the gym instead of bringing them inside the house...or just throw them on the floor...that's what I'll start to do...just throw my clothes on my bedroom floor;

- speaking of my car, I need to also let my trunk fill up with stuff...lots of stuff that I put in my car...any kind of stuff, but never take the stuff out of my car...and leave old travel mugs with coffee still in them in the cup holder...and wrappers from the food I'm going to start buying at Wawa...that's what a really good Beta guy does...that's what I'm going to do;

- and I think I'll also stop making my bed in the morning...just leave it with an un-made Beta look...with the comforter partially touching the rug and the sheets down around the edge of the bed...and I'll throw a few clothes under the covers...maybe under the bed too;

- and maybe I'll forget to wash my eyeglasses...see how long it will take until I cannot see out of the glass;

- and I'm going to stop paying my bills the moment I get the bill in the mail...I'm going to wait until the last possible day...maybe even make a late payment if necessary...I'm going to see how far I can take it until the Alpha in me starts to shiver...then I'll write that check;

- and I think I'll relax more...not work so more television...maybe even watch South Park, Family Guy, and The Simpsons...maybe learn to play video Halo...and play Halo for five hours straight...not take a break;

- and I'm not going to worry when I don't wipe the counter after I cook my dinner...or not wash the dishes after a meal...why wash dishes...I'll just pile them up in the sink...who needs to use a dishwasher...dishwashers were invented to wash dishes...who needs to wash dishes when I can just let dirty ones pile up.

I think I was given a Beta son so I could learn how to value diversity...truly value and celebrate those differences in each individual...I love my son dearly...and I must admit he has made me a better person...a more tolerant and patient person.

I'm still learning every day...yes, I'm a life-long learner...every day I try to worry that I am inching closer to 50...I think I'm going to try to worry even bring out that Beta in me...enjoy life more...that's what Beta guys do...and so should I...I've been an Alpha girl for too long...I'll be 50 in less than four's time to lighten up...and let out my Beta...I know it's hidden somewhere in my Alpha must be a recessive else would I have given birth to such a beautiful and fabulous Beta boy?


Guess who else is turning 50 in 2008?: OMG...just read that Madonna is turning 50 next year favorite Madonna...and she is possibly planning a concert to celebrate her birthday...I can't wait...this is definitely going to be on my list of things to do in my 50th year.