Saturday, June 29, 2013

You really are as you act.

The older I get, the more I pay attention to the physicality of life. Maybe it's because, with age, I'm finding I have to be more active in order to stay more active. That circuitous statement makes perfect sense, right? What I mean is, I want to continue to be active, but I just can't get up and "do" like I used to. I have to work on it. I have to work to keep my body able and willing. I didn't have to do this in my 20's and 30's.

Now that I'm in my 40's, things come harder. Hard work makes me hurt, and it takes a lot longer to recover. All I have to do is look at certain food and I gain weight. So, I'm making changes. I make a point to exercise more; eat better; be "in" the moment and ask if this is doing me good or bad.

It's not easy. My daily schedule is a mess and I can't always carve out time for major workouts. I'm responsible for more than just me and after taking care of them, working all day, taking care of the house, I'm exhausted. My husband laughs at me because, more often than not, I'm upstairs in bed by 9:30. I didn't used to listen to my body when I get tired. Now, I have no choice.

But the whole point of this is a thought I had months ago. That is, you are how you act. If you act with purpose  - moving, exercising, taking care of yourself - your body reacts positively and allows you to keep doing the things you love. If you don't keep moving and taking care of yourself, your body mounts a mutiny and slowly betrays you, not allowing you to do things.

Case in point, two women, both of whom I know very well. One is 63, the other, 70. Yes, there's a bit of an age difference, but I don't think it's too much to prevent comparison. Both were very active in their younger years, but time has really changed that.

The younger of the two is my own mother. She's a real go-getter. She's always been very conscious of her health and lifestyle. In part, due to having two sisters who are both overweight and one of them has some serious health issues. She eats very well, even though she doesn't deprive herself of treats. She eats with balance. She makes a point to keep moving, even though she has arthritis and osteoporosis. And she does it every single day. Living like this, she's able to continue doing the things she loves. Like taking an annual summer vacation with the grandchildren that would wear me out. She truly loves life.

The other lady is not in the same boat. Even when I met her years ago, when she was close to the age I am now, she was not what I'd call an active woman (though I learned she was very active in her 20's and 30's). Yes, she was on her feet and moved a lot, and her job did require physicality. But outside of work, she wasn't really active at all. And over the course of time, that never changed. Now, she's gained weight, doesn't have a lot of stamina, and declares that "she's too old" to do this or that.

Really? Why does age have to have anything to do with it? Why do people believe a simple number precludes them from "doing?" I'd like to see someone tell my mom she's too old for multi-state road trips, going to the beach, the Grand Canyon, or Disneyland. She'd tell you what to do with that kind of attitude. But she'd do it nicely, without swearing, because she's nice like that.

That's NOT the life I want in 20 years. I want to be doing the things I do right now. I don't want to be a grey haired lady content to sit in front of the tv or out on the porch. I want to have a long and vital life, until the day death takes me kicking and screaming.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Revolving Bedroom Door and Presents Left Behind for Mama.

No, not my bedroom. Pretty sure the man would take issue. This one belongs to the oldest son. The quest for independence. Coming back home when friends decide they don't make good roommates. Leaving again when the idea hatches with another friend. I'm thinking there was an actual lease signed this time. Maybe it will last longer than 3 months.

After the great discovery of incompatibility, the boy moved back home about three weeks ago. Not sure why but the dirt bike came home first. Somehow, it was more important than the bed, clothes, or anything else. It was also then that I discovered there was no helmet to pair with the dirt bike. But that was another ride on Mama's Crazy Train all together.

When the boy left, there was a lightening fast round of musical bedrooms amongst the other kids. And that's how my former office/adopted girl's bedroom became my walk-in closet. When the boy told me he was coming back home-with only about 72 hours notice-there was really no option other than the basement.

The great cavern under the house. The dumping ground for all things we can't bear to part with. The home of the ever-expanding-take-over-the-world piles of laundry. And the home of the multiple litter boxes. There just really isn't a lot of space down there. At least, not that's very organized.

But being 20, that didn't bother him. He shoved things aside, dumped his bed in the space created and dumped all his clothes on an old love seat next to the weight bench. And that's where everything stayed until he decided to move out again last weekend.

Except when he left, all his laundry stayed behind. Being the wonderful mother I am-or believe myself to be-I graciously started the wash/dry/fold process that his clothes likely hadn't seen since his initial departure in March. It was impossible to determine what was clean and what was dirty, he said. After sorting the piles, I believed him. And wanted to go sanitize in a tub of bleach. It's no wonder the basement had taken on a new odor.

He had an entire load of work clothes that looked and smelled like they'd marinated in cow shit for a week in the hot Idaho sun. Yes, cow shit. Of course, it was all mixed in with all his other clothes. I've never used so much detergent and hot water washing clothes in my life.

Oh the things we do for our children. And my washer still hasn't forgiven me. I swear it tried to lock its own door when it heard me coming the other night. Honestly, I can't blame it.

Footnote: I was going to include a nice photo procured from Google to help illustrate this post. In looking for just the right one, I've managed to ruin my desire for breakfast. You're welcome.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Just why...

Once again, I've been mired in the great time-suck known as the internet. And all I can wonder is why? 

I guess just sitting on the lid is too difficult.

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A hair necklace? Seriously? I wear one everyday, and it's not near that stylish. I'm forever picking hair off myself, so why would I accessorize with hair on purpose?

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Why would someone design this? And furthermore, why would anyone buy it?

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I really need to go find something meaningful to do with my day...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Today's post sponsored by the letter P

As in perimenopause. The totally unwelcome and inevitable change overtaking so many of us. The condition that has made my last week a trip through hell. I do my best to ignore the symptoms most of the time; there's no sense concentrating on what you can't change, right? But this week has been a real bitch. With a capital B. So I figured I take a fresh look at the symptoms and see how I'm doing.

First, I needed a symptom list. I found a good one at this site. Just a quick top 10 type thing.

Let's see how I compare, and to be fair, this will be FULL of TMI:

10. Irregular periods. This is totally what touched all this off today. After rising entirely too early for a Sunday morning, I felt that all too familiar "gush". You ladies know exactly what I'm talking about. After a quick check of my period tracker, I was not surprised to see I'm a full week early. Looking back through my history, my cycle has gone anywhere from 23 days to 65 days.  At one point, I skipped a month entirely (hence the 65 days), sending me off to the store in a panic for a pregnancy test. Not a comforting thought when you're approaching your mid-40's.

9.  Problems sleeping. Did I mention I was awake early this morning? I can't fall asleep at night. I wake up on average of 598 times during the night. I'm either awake before the birds, or sleep through my alarm for 45 minutes. I nod off at my desk at work. I operate best on a full eight hours of quality sleep a night. Something that hasn't happened in approximately 1,825 nights. I'm not joking.

8.  Hot flashes. Sweet Jesus, what happened to my internal thermometer?? I'm just thankful they are usually at night. Needless to say, I no longer have to question if it's time to wash the bedding.

7.  Mood changes. Let me just say, The Enterprise entering Warp Speed has nothing on me. Olympic-class sprinters take lessons from my family.

6.  Low libido. Sex? Fuggetaboutit. More often than not,  my husband has a better chance of winning the lotto or being struck by lightning than enjoying the pleasures of my company.

5.  Vaginal dryness. I suppose it would be easier to verify this if I were actually having sex regularly. I'll have to get back to you on this one. Or maybe you'd rather I didn't.

4.  Weight gain. Particularly in the tummy area. I haven't had a pooch like this since immediately post-birth nearly 17 years ago. Thank the stars for spandex. Even last year, when I had my first - and hopefully last -  painful bout with diverticulitis and lost 10 pounds in nine days, I didn't lose the balloon on my tummy. And, sadly, the 10 pounds has found its way back home.

3.  Tender breasts. I'm convinced that somewhere in the chain of hormonal monsters, there is an ethereal being that holds a voodoo doll representing my boobs. Every.Damn.Thing.Makes.My.Boobs.Hurt. I finally got smart enough to decrease my caffeine intake, which did help. But they routinely remind me they are there and not at all happy to be in a bra/out of a bra/exposed to wind/exposed to the shower/within arms reach of my husband/or hanging out above the hot stove. Nothing makes them happy. Nothing.

2.  Urinary incontinence. This one just pisses me off. All of the symptoms do, but this one in particular. I don't dare sneeze, cough, or even blink my eyes most days. I know where every bathroom within a 100-mile radius is, because if my bladder isn't dripping like a broken faucet it is screaming at me that it has to pee, RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

1.  Migraines. In the last week, I've been under the influence of a headache for five days. Several of those days, I've been riding the very thin line between a ridiculously bad headache and a migraine. I've given serious thought to trying out the ancient procedure of tripanning. For those unfamiliar, here is a reference. Honestly, it sounds a lot more pleasant than the constant pain of a headache.

In closing, I'd like to address my ovaries directly, since they are charge of this delightful death march.

Fuck you, and the Fallopian tubes you rode in on.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I've been MIA

I haven't even thought about, much less looked at, my blog in over a week. I've been just a wee bit busy. And when the busy stopped, the headache began.

First, my mom and her two cats, Abby and Cuddles, arrived last Friday. This is her first visit since last October and she's long overdue. She usually makes her first trip of the year during our spring break, but couldn't due to work obligations.

Abby, listening to the meadowlarks.

The weekend was a whirlwind of activity and people. My brother lives just down the street from me. His girlfriend and three of her kids came down for the weekend. Since we're an easy walk down the street, the kids, all five of them, made numerous trips back and forth. Meals for the crowd are always at my house and are a production! Saturday night we did homemade pizza and salads, Sunday brunch was homemade waffles, bacon, and tons of fruit. And Sunday dinner was tater tot hotdish and salads. Sit down meals for 13 are so much fun, and so exhausting!

Monday, grandma and three of the kids left for their vacation trip. Disneyland!! She's a brave woman! LOL

And they're off!

I celebrated Monday by taking a much-needed three hour nap. 

By Wednesday, I had my feet back under me. My neighbor talked me into going to a Zumba class with her. I told her I'd be there with bells on, which was a lie because I don't have bells. But now I do. Not only did I survive the 60 minute work-out, I had so much fun, I'm planning on making it a regular thing. 

My Zumba bells!!

The rest of the week hasn't been so great. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday had me fighting headaches. Could be hormones, could be the wildly blooming Russian olive trees, could be the relentless wind that insists on blowing. I just know I'm tired of them. And I'm tired of popping pills to try to get the booming to stop. 

I'm planning on enjoying the weekend before the rush of people returns on Monday. It's time to garden and work on the closet projects. And do the laundry. Always the laundry.