I'M FEELING 50 - ARE YOU?




I'm feeling 50 - I mean I am feeling it everywhere.

I'm tired.

I'm squinting.

I say "oye" all the time.

"Oye!"

I'm trying to remember what foreplay is but all I can think of it as eating a bag of Miss Vickie's Salt Vinegar chips before watching Shark Tank (which I watch and shout out "I had that idea - I had that idea - damn!")

I've lost my taste for food that has any taste because gas is a stark reality of feeling 50 so best to avoid it (the gas). I eat mostly bread and toast (which is bread toasted) and I usually find the time to fit in some danish or other bakery type product (which is delicious).

I use to work out every day - I mean intense works outs. Now I get on the elliptical and my knee says "Oh don't do it - don't do it."

And what on earth is happening to my neck? There are lines and creases and the skin is like butter - you hear me? Like butter!"

I would cover it all up with a bandanna but then I would start looking like Willy Nelson and that would be unfair to Willy.

Sneezing or laughing has become the prequel to an unwanted sequel. So I have been doing my kegel exercises which aren't that bad because you don't have to go to gym to work out that muscle. You can do your kegels while talking to someone, while reading and while...never mind.


I need to get away from it all. I want that job on Survivor - you  know when there is a challenge and Jeff is explaining to the hot, sweaty, starving, exhausted players how to do the challenge - hold this ball in your hand, jump over that boulder, grab a bean sack, throw it at ... (the players are like "Are you kidding? Feed me - get me a shower and toilet paper and a toilet.")

 I don't even understand the instructions and I'm sitting on my Lazyboy (you bet - all the way back) eating nachos.

Yeah so I want to apply to be one of the people that is filmed showing how to complete the challenge. I'm perfect for the job (not at all - I can't crawl, climb, jump or solve a puzzle) and I get to stay at the hotel and have a drink with an umbrella in it).

          
                             Save a Dog and a Dog will save You

I also have no patience for absolutely anyone or anything. I am fed up and I'm tired and I'm not interested in what anyone thinks - don't leave your carriage in the middle of the grocery store aisle - don't cut me off on the road so you can race to the next red light where I will give you a very dirty look - don't fart in the gym (cause at first we are not sure if it is a fart so we give it another whiff and that leads to great dismay and possibly the end of the workout). 


I liked my 30s the best. So much happens in your 30s. If you are fortunate you find a life partner or an awesome lover. You may purchase your first house and have children of your own or become a step parent (which by the way is just as meaningful and there is no "step" if you do it right).

You hope for your parents to remain healthy and happy and to be there for all the special moments. Your career is making strides. You feel like you have time - time to enjoy, to love, to think and to be with those who mean the most to you in this life.

By the time we reach our 50s everything has been laid out on the table - the good - the bad. Chances are you have experienced great losses in family members, in life partners who did not turn out to be for life, dogs and cats who stole your heart and left you way too soon and you may have transitioned into a second career you never saw coming.

It's a time to gather the remnants of our lives thus far and to focus on the happy moments while dusting ourselves off from the painful ones.

You start to accept wherever you have landed. You miss those who have parted. You want the best for your children. You realize how important health is and how quickly that can change. 

You open the door to those who love and respect you and are there for you through thick and thin and you close the door to the ones who left you behind.

That's feeling 50.



A FRIEND FOR LIFE



There’s that special friend and that sacred place -
 a park, a cottage, a lake, a summer camp – where you grew up, experimented, built your foundation.

You spoke of the life that you would make for yourself – the partner – the co-pilot – the kids – the career – the house – the travels – the stuff that makes you feel alive.

When things weren’t going well behind closed doors – the family – the parents – the sibling – the knocking around – you met in this place and that friend took you home until things were better.

And as the years went on and you met the partner, built the career, had the kids, the step kids, the dog, the cat, the house, the debt, the change in the partner that wasn’t really change at all – the one kid out of the 2 or 3 that struggled, that searched without finding, the hugs, the sighs, the “everything will be okay” even when you didn’t think everything would be okay.

The mid-life crisis – the change in career – the affair or thought of the affair – the question “how did I get here?” – the answer – "it’s all laid out – except for the morsel, the crumb you get to place on the table."

Through it all, your friend - understands, commiserates, lives and breathes in what has become your reality. They delve into the pocket of your pain providing comfort and support when most needed.





                                 PHOTO: FRANCESO UNGARO

Life moves on – quickly – slowly – eventually – and one day your friend gets the news none of us want to get and you hold onto one another like an anchor to a huge, mighty boat – but you can’t beat the beast that is cancer or heart disease or some other terrible, undignified atrocity.

Your goodbye is sweet, sorrowful and your friend is at peace.Your heart takes a deep dive into utter darkness.

But you try to remember what your friend said before they left this world.

“I hope I get to watch over my family. I want to see my kids get married and my grandchildren. I want to see my partner meet someone new who makes them happy and whole.

I want to see you thrive even if your life has a slight dent, even if you doubt it will get better. I want to be there for you as you have always been there for me.”

Time passes - Time heals. On a sleepy Sunday you find yourself in that place – that park – that bench in the field beneath the trees.

The sun begins to set and you feel a presence upon you. A silhouette draws closer - it's your friend. Their eyes sparkle and their smile glistens.

                                               Photo by Arto Marttinen
                                            
There’s a whisper – a hint of a floating thought that your friend shares with you:

“I discovered something. There is no beginning. There is no end. There’s just the in-between. It’s where we are supposed to be and it’s spectacular.”

Then they vanish into the fog, into the sky, into some place you’ve never been.

You walk away from that sacred place and begin your search for the in-between without realizing you are already there.

R.I.P. to those we loved and lost.


TOP 9 THINGS GOING DOWN WHEN I BECOME THE BACHERLORETTE



Okay I get that the Bachelorette is all about young women who are in search of a husband - a wedding dress, starting a family and lots of french kissing but what about us middle aged single ladies?

Here are the top 9 ways (and they are fascinating) that this middle aged, fed up, tired, bloated, tell it like it is Bachelorette would do stuff:

9 - the moment the cameras start to roll and those bright lights hit me - I am going to do one thing and one thing only - have a hot flash (and say "Oye I'm having a hot flash").

8 - opening scene - forget the arrival by limo and i don't need 50 men - 9 for the picking will do - arrive walking your dog and when you first lay your eyes upon my mystical beauty ask "Who are you wearing?" and I will reply "Levis by Levi Strauss".

7 - settle into the mansion - and if this whole greeting process goes past 930PM then I am going to bed because I'm fed up, tired and bloated and they better have Netflix ( I'm talking to you Chris Harrison).

6 - let's just agree that we are all going to have diarrhea at the same time - the producers are going to force us to feed each other street food in the warmest, stickiest climates and then make out with garlic and onions and some kind of cumin and we are basically all licking each other since I am also being asked to suck face with each of you - bring on the immodium.

5 - all of the men will also be 50 + which means that we are all going to have gas after we eat and pee a lot and everyone is going to have to skip the hot tub because UTIs are a stark reality of middle age.

                       
                    

                       Must love dogs


4 - hometown visits - i have to meet your family because the producers insist upon it but you best not have a nasty sister who has blow dried her hair with a front flip and wants to close talk me one on one in her bedroom (that was her bedroom when she was twelve and it's still her bedroom - move out will ya?) and also happens to have halitosis. If this should occur I am exited stage right (or left  - I have no idea how to use this expression).

3 - Montreal is my hometown so you are assured of great food, great night life and my mother will be very hospitable - she will feed you - ask all about your life in a non invasive manner and then when you leave she will say one of two things:

"He is never going to amount to anything."

or

"He's a keeper."

And although I will deny it - she will be right on the mark.

2 - forget the rose ceremony - if you are chosen to stay you get a shot of vodka and if you are chosen to leave - you get a shot of vodka and so do I because rejection sucks whether you are on the giving or receiving end.

1 - and the #1 thing (are you still reading this?) that is going to go down when I am the Bachelorette - I am going to meet someone who I have known all my life but have never actually met up until that moment - a thoughtful, funny, warm individual who will look me in the eye (s) and say "I've been waiting for you - what took so long?"
                     
            Sorry Mom - it's Levis Red Tab for me - all out of dresses.


Now will someone get me a mint?

LOVE WALKS OUT THE DOOR




I’ve watched love walk out the door
And watched it march right back in again

I’ve mourned the loss of love
Wondering where things went wrong
Knowing when things stopped being right

Sometimes I imagine there is someone on their way to me
They missed their flight or they are sitting on a bench in the pouring rain waiting for a bus.

They are somewhere in the stillness, in the in-between, the this and that, the here and there.

Sometimes you are with someone
They share your home
They share your bed
They play an integral role in your life
But you feel completely alone
You wonder how much longer you can stay
And what would happen if you left
Alone in love or no love at all


                                             Photo by Luis Alfonso Orellana


If you’ve been in love
You know that sweet spot
When everything is off the charts
Intertwined with a lover
Kissing in the dark
Your soul in the light
Feasting on one another
Leaving nothing on the plate
Still hungry for more

There’s all kinds of love
We all love – love
Whether we have it or it slips through our fingers
We await its return
The sound of keys in the door
And a voice you would know anywhere

Everything comes around again
Even love
Sometimes it takes a detour
Or misses the exit
But its on its way

Keep the door open
Keep the kettle warm

Because even if love walks out the door
It eventually marches right back in again

THIS LOVE IS OUR LOVE




Come here

Let me hold you

Let me tell you

How much

I love you

How easy it is

To be with you

Let’s HIDE

BENEATH THE COVERS

Let’s take Mondays

Off the calendar






Let’s kiss and hug

Let’s laugh

LET’S TALK IT OUT

AND MAKE A PACT

NEVER TO GIVE UP

NEVER TO LEAVE

LET’S RESPECT

ONE ANOTHER

BE PRESENT

BE LOVERS

BE FRIENDS

LOVE COMES

IN MANY FORMS

OURS HAS A SHAPE

OF ITS OWN

Like A snowflake

Dancing WITH the wind

Like a winding path

Full of detours

And fallen trees

THAT WE NAVIGATE

Hand in hand

Me beside you

You beside me

In love

In silence

In time


For all of those who have found love and to the brave souls who are willing to try and find it again.