Sunday, December 31, 2017

"50" and Shades of Expectation

As a woman, you hear and engage in a lot of chatter about being 50.  All the hooplah working your way up to that age, all the festivities reaching that age and all the glory being that age.  Fifty is pretty cool, fifty is NOT over the hill.  Personally I did not have any issues with that particular number.  For that matter, I don't recall having an issue with any number. 50 is sophisticated and smart, its sassy and sexy and it's chuck full of confidence.  50 is polite when necessary and a total bitch if its called for--without apology.  50 is wise.  50 is secure in who she is and in what she wants.

50 and the workforce.  This is not her first rodeo.  A woman in her 50's doesn't sit quietly in a meeting unless it suits her.  If she has something to say she can and WILL say it.  Listen up, there's a  ton of experience behind what she's saying, you just might learn something.  At 50, a woman has no grandiose ideas that equal pay for the same job has ever existed in the workforce or will ever exist in the workforce in her lifetime.  Yes, yes.... she knows all about the bra-burning-bonfire, blah blah blah.  Do some women make more than some men?  Yes.  Does inequity still exist?  Yes.  How does she know?  It's happened to her.  She knew it, saw the proof of it and could do nothing about it.  She will not divulge her sources.  Having said that, at 50 a woman now knows that killing herself in any given position is not always worth it.  She knows when it is worth it and will work accordingly, something the younger sisters should pay attention to.  



50 and dating.  If you are 50 and single many young studs, and those who think they are, come at you like you are first prize at the county fair.  Its a laughable. 

"Do you date younger? "  Look son, you are 25 years old if you are telling the truth, what on earth would I want with you?  You don't know anything and think you know everything, you have no polish, you don't have a decent job or own your own home, I question whether you even shave yet and you've not yet learned the art of delayed gratification.  So WHAT, pray tell, would I do with the likes of you?  It's past your bedtime boy, lights out.


A single woman in her 50's may or may not want a relationship.  She's had her children, probably tried marriage once already and is either well established in a career or resuming a career she had before children.  There are no clocks ticking gentleman.  If she wants a relationship its to enhance an already full life so you must bring your A-game.  She will have 50 shades of expectations so be ready.  Have a job, a home and be established in life because she's going to be.  She's wise and will call you out on your game before you play it.  Be honest, sincere and a decent human being or you don't stand a chance.

50 and domestic responsibilities.  A woman in her 50's knows how to clean the house, cook a great meal and can probably mow the lawn.  She also knows that there are better uses for her time.  If you live under that roof you'd better pitch in or pay up because she's NOT doing it all anymore.  It's about partnership.  You both matter.




50 and family.  A woman in her 50's has come up for air after some tough and busy years raising children.  Her work isn't done but she's beginning to see the buds come to full bloom on her family tree.  She's proud and full of love as she watches her children achieve goals in education and in personal achievement.  Some may be blessed to watch their family grow with sons inlaw, daughters inlaw and grandchildren.  Her hard work is paying off.  If she is married she will, once again, be able to enjoy quality time spent with her husband without the constant responsibility and interruptions of having a young family.  The family dynamic changes but is more fulfilling than ever before.  As fulfilling as it can be it may become equally as challenging and/or heartbreaking for her as she see's her own parents age and, in some cases, experience failing health. 



50 and friendships.  A woman in her 50's has established friendships.  She has gone thru a life long process of weeding thru those who use, abuse or just don't care.  She's carefully selected an inner circle of quality men and women who are tried and true and have stood the test of time.  This core group supports her, encourages her and is there for her thru thick and thin and they always will be.  She values them as she does her own family.  She is blessed.


With wisdom and confidence and the blessings of a half century's worth of work behind her, female 50-somethings are in a good place.  Bring on the next 50!!

XO
-Michelle





Sunday, December 3, 2017

Aftermath of a Narcissist, And she cried........

A light mist filled the air as she pulled out into traffic.  Wipers were necessary, or were they?  It was that annoying level of mist that didn't quite fill the windshield enough to make the wipers completely necessary but it was too much mist to see as clearly as she'd like without them.  Decisions were so much harder for her now.  Nothing was easy.


Her heart beat slowly but with pounding determination as though it would escape her chest at any moment. It was audible.  It quickly picked up speed as though it too were governed by the accelerator that urged her car forward in time with the traffic.  Her eyes welled.  Her chest heaved, anxiety set in.  She spoke out loud "Deep breath, deep breath."  but the words came out sounding like the high pitched whimper of a wounded animal.   Her effort to maintain rhythmic breathing, to find anything resembling a calmness failed.  With quickening breath she frantically searched her soul for confidence that just wasn't there.  Focus... focus.  Breathe deep, remember what he always said- take route 1, it's easier that way.  Just follow the signs.  The rain, the wipers, and the heart were beating in concert but not in harmony.  Nothing was right.  Everything was difficult.  Rain and traffic and the idiotic wipers that first were necessary and then were unnecessary.  Anxiety intensified and filled the air like thick smoke as oxygen seemed to disappear.  She could not breathe.  She could not find the rhythm of breath and it choked her.  Memories began to flood her mind and the tears just streamed and streamed and streamed.   Blinded by anxiety and heartache she pulled over.  

Image result for crying woman in car


Her head dropped to her hands and rested on the steering wheel and she cried.  She cried and cried, her chest heaving, her gut twisting.  The emotional pain turned physical and her chest tightened, everything hurt.  She could not catch her breath. The rain pounded the windshield, the tears flooded her eyes.  She could not see and the wipers could not move fast enough to make a difference.  Nothing was easy, everything was too hard.  Nothing worked right.  She couldn't see, couldn't breathe and the fucking wipers were fucking useless.  Why? Why? Nothing makes sense!


He would have been with her on this journey.  He was her best friend, her love.  He was her security.  He protected her and made her feel safe and now he was gone. Was he gone?  She was confused, she was afraid and she just didn't understand. She felt naked and exposed.  How could he be gone?  She was hurt and incapable of the simplest tasks. Driving was hard.  Vision was blurred thru tears that wouldn't stop streaming. The wipers kept going.  They beat against the windshield keeping time with something, something that didn't make sense. Nothing made sense but the damn wipers kept going.  Her heart kept beating harder and harder and harder.

And she cried........

xo
Michelle

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Beetlebung

Photo of Beetlebung - Oak Bluffs, MA, United States. See outsideDuring my annual vacation on the Vineyard I happened upon this interesting restaurant in Oak Bluffs, Beetlebung.  It had an appealing store front and an even cooler vibe once you entered the front door.  While my companion and I were there for breakfast, my immediate thought was "this place must be hopping at night."  Blue and white lights all in the right places against a back drop of gray metallic paint.  It actually reminded me a bit of the niche bars in downtown Providence, Rhode Island where the hip mixologists flock to show off their skills.  

Photo of Beetlebung - Oak Bluffs, MA, United States. Beetlebung, 53 Circuit Ave, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard

The place was busy but we still had our choice of seats at a table or at the bar.  I couldn't resist the bar with all those pretty lights so seats at the bar it was.  I opted for a Mimosa and my companion, John, chose a Bloody Mary.  They were delicious and a perfect way to start our adventure for today.  We sipped and studied what proved to be a pretty brief menu......


Photo of Beetlebung - Oak Bluffs, MA, United States. Menu

My love chose eggs benedict of some description and I chose standard fair of eggs and sausage with potatoes.  As our food arrived, disappointment set in.  I like breakfast and if there is one thing I despise is when the chef alters my sausage.  This was not your typical sausage, this was a homemade sausage patty and it was not what I was looking for or what I was expecting.  I've made sausage in my kitchen and the flavor profile is quite savory and can overpower the delicate flavor of an egg.  My pick would be to serve this type of sausage as a lunch entree with a side salad, not for breakfast.  C'est la vie, live and learn.  Perhaps it's more of a night spot to enjoy as I had NO complaints about the spirit starter!  Yum!

This consumer gives Beetlebung:
A+ for decor and vibe
A+ for perfectly poured cocktails
B- for the funky sausage

Food is a personal experience.  This was mine, take what you need and leave the rest and by all means go and have your own experience!!


XO
Michelle

Monday, September 25, 2017

Its Me Dad, Your Daughter

"My Baked Stuffed Life" has gotten bigger and more baked stuffed.  I take the good with the bad and I maintain my resolve to see the glass half full but it's not always easy.  I don't think life is meant to be easy.  I think its meant to be full.  Full of good things and bad things and challenging things.  Full of laughter and crying and giggling when you're not supposed to be giggling.  Its meant to be full of learning lessons and personal growth.  Well, I laugh and cry and giggle when I shouldn't so I guess I'm doing fine.  Still, it's not easy, except for the giggling part.  That part is easy and that's my favorite part so I'll grab hold of that nonsense and never let go.  Survival.


Image result for alarm clock imagesMy day begins like yours--I hit the snooze button no less than three times before dragging myself out of bed, all the while cursing myself for staying up too late the night before. Waking is essential to starting my ridiculously busy day so choice is taken right out of the mix.  I get up.  Shower, clothes, wake three comatose teenagers, coffee and out the door.


Did I update Dad's white board?  Crap, he'll think its Wednesday all day long.  It's Thursday.  

On a good day the commute can be 35-40 minutes. In my head I quickly calculate what the potential for being on time to work is... 

     Waking up on time - 3(snooze button) - fender bender (not mine) = I'm late. 

Image result for car wreck image I use this welcomed commuting time, now unexpectedly longer than originally anticipated, to sort thru my schedule for the week.  Dear God how on earth will I get it all done?  I probably won't get it all done and that's just fact.  I'll get over it.  A full time job, three teenagers who want/need/deserve my time and direction, a house to maintain, a budding business to run that will remain in it's infancy unless I kick it up a notch, and then there's the newest addition to the schedule, my Dad.

Dad.  If you told me twenty years ago that my father was going to have several small and undetected strokes that would slowly rob him of his physical strength, mental awareness and, worst of all, his charming wit and personality I would have told you that you were crazy.  If you would have told me that this once independent man with an active life filled with travel and golf and friends and outings, would become dependent on me, his youngest child, for everything, I would have been convinced that you were nuts. If you had told me that in twenty years my father would not know me, I would have asked you why you would say such an awful thing to me?

Its happening.  Its happening to him, to me, to my children, and to our family dynamic.  It's happening in many families, too many families,  and its hard.  It's worthy of discussion and of information sharing and that's exactly what I plan to do.  

Image result for old young hand holding images


This is the first in a series.  I have no idea how often I'll be able to write--my time is not my own anymore.  If you are living my situation you'll get it, if not, then maybe this series isn't for you.

Be well.

xo
Michelle


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bump In the Road

Image result for tree of life imagesI think about this blog often, this space that used to occupy so much of my time.  I can remember that it wouldn't take much to find something to write about.  It was as simple as walking down the street, seeing something that would set fire to my soul and my mind would start racing with ideas popping like corn kernels in my head of  words that would later form phrases, then sentences and finally the finished post.  I loved it and I miss not writing so today is the day.

I begin this post with a bit of trepidation.  I have an unwritten rule about writing.  I don't like negativity, nor do I want to use my space as a vehicle to spread it so the self imposed rule is no negative posts.  Having said that I need to keep things real and sometimes the world is not all sunshine and roses.  Sometimes life throws you a curve ball.  The upside of that bump in the road is that if all goes as planned a lesson is learned and you come out the other side a much stronger person.  I'm going with that and that's how we'll get past that self imposed negativity rule.  I'll allow it this one time and balance it all out by focusing on the lesson and the strength that will come in the end.

Image result for life is hard imagesLife is hard.  Life is and has been very hard but I'm a whole lot tougher than the stuff that has come my way so it's all good.  Life is difficult for everyone at times, you just have to keep on keepin' on as they say.  There's no cryin' in baseball folks so just take a deep breath and keep moving.  Not everyone thinks that way.  Some folks let the hard times consume them, weaken them. Don't do it, it's a choice isn't it?  It may not be a choice to fall on hard times but how you handle it is everything.   When I've got a tough situation and I feel devastation moving in on me I just breathe and break it down into bite sized pieces.  Whatever it takes to be able to focus on the issue at hand, deal with it and then move on to the next.  Eat that elephant one bite at a time. If you lose it then nothing gets resolved and you end up with a bigger mess.  Not everyone thinks that way but it works for me.



The world is chaos.  It seems that so many people around me are having difficulty in one way or another.  It's jaw dropping and scary to say the least.  There are painful divorces, life threatening illnesses, death, failing business woes--all within my circle of close friends and family.  In the community at large I see children being bullied, drug addictions, crime, homelessness and splintered family situations.  Our country's politics are a mess.  We have crazed people running around with guns shooting up clubs and schools and malls.  There's just so much violence and killing--some on purpose and some by accident.  The world has gone mad.  

Image result for railroad tracks imagesIf you've read any of my prior posts you'll see my views on happiness and remember that my mantra is that your own happiness is a daily choice and you are 100% responsible for it .  Some may wonder how I can "choose happiness" or be happy at all against this backdrop of unrest.  I have to.  Yes, that's right, I have to and so do you. To join the chaos or add to the negativity that surrounds me will only make matters worse.  I can't give in or give up.  This is life, this endless path of beautiful ugliness with it's soft hardness and smooth sharp edges that torments and delights is what the journey is all about.  Take it all or take none of it.  It's peaks and valleys, sunshine and rain, darkness and light--it's always been this way and it won't change so buckle up, suck it up, get strong and move forward.

xo
-Michelle

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