Tag Archives: fifty set go

50 Doesn’t Look Like 50 Did Thirty Years Ago

I was watching The Golden Girls recently. You know, that 80’s show about the adventures of ladies entering their golden years. At the beginning of the show, at least two characters were in their 50’s. 

When I first watched this in the 80’s, I thought “They are so old!” Rose dressed in old lady clothes. Blanche dressed in grampa old lady clothes. Dorothy dressed like Maude, who I always thought was old also. There was grey hair, aging topics, and the attitude that they were almost elderly and living younger lives. They made growing old look like fun. 

The last few months, this show has bothered me. I am 51. Many of my friends are in their late 40’s and older (a few into their 70’s.) as I watched the show one afternoon it hit me:

I am not 51 like my grandparents or parents were 51. 

My Nana died at 54 after a three year battle with pancreatic cancer. She died in the mid-70’s, when treatments were not as successful as they are today. 

My Nana was always old. I remember her as always having grey hair, wearing dirty blonde wigs and housecoats, and acting like she was elderly. She was a grandmother afterall!

My other grandma? Same thing, except there were a LOT of mumus. She wore them around the house. I don’t remember her wearing a top or pants unless she left the house. (I will have to check with my brother on that point!) 

My grandpas were the same. Always old. They both worked until they were 65, but even before they retired, they were old. 

The parents were old at 40. I kid you not. They began acting old at 40. By 50? They may as well have been in rocking chairs. They traveled by motor home and they took cruises until their health declined to the point they couldn’t. But they were never young during those years. 

Maybe it’s because I was a kid, or maybe it was the lifestyle of the times. Either way, I realized that afternoon watching The Golden Girls: 

I am younger at 51 than my parents or grandparents ever were. 

I color my hair. I take care of my skin. I work on my health. I try to maintain a youthful appearance. I work full time and have one freelance job and one business that I work on my off hours. I don’t see myself slowing down. The thought of retiring is a crazy fantasy (what would I DO?) I socialize, I DO things. I don’t sit in a chair aging. I don’t want to age. I want to live as much as possible. (Falling off a ladder cemented my need to do that!)

My friends? Same thing. We are all more vibrant, active, and young than our parents and grandparents ever were. We live very different lifestyles. We are always learning and expanding our minds. We are not waiting for grandchildren and death. 

I don’t own one mumu, housecoat, or wig. I don’t sit by the window knitting and watching the world pass by (not that I don’t enjoy knitting!) I don’t even take advantage of the “you’re 50 or older” discounts that are out there (though I probably should!) AARP? I won’t join in principle. Ok, that’s silly, but I’m not mentally “ready” to do that. 

I am a young 51. Many people don’t believe me when I tell them my age. I like that. I like that I’m mistaken for ten years younger. I like that the cashiers look shocked when they automatically card me and then see my age. 

I like being young. 

That’s not to say I’m not aging. I have less patience. I live more simply. Obtaining material things means less to me. I like wearing flats and flip flops. Heck, flip-flops are my all-occassion shoe (black Crocs to be exact.) I wear mostly black and grey because it’s simply easier. I don’t have to agonize over outfits, I just grab and go. It all matches. I enjoy my alone time. I can’t drink like I used to (probably not a bad thing.) I certainly don’t handle a hangover as well as I did ten years ago. 

I’m aging gracefully and slowly. 

My 51 is where my parents and grandparents were in their 30’s. 

I’m cool with that. 

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A Time to Celebrate

It’s 4:08am. I’ve been awake for almost two hours. It seems to be my new routine. As I lay here with a million things running through my mind, I suddenly remembered something I’ve been quietly excited about for months:

Yesterday marked one year since my last “monthly visit”, “that time”, or as I came to refer to it as “my monthly hell”.  

It was never an easy road. I started when I was 12. I remember waking up one morning, seeing the evidence, and being angry. This was not something I ever wanted to deal with. I certainly had never looked forward to it. I had awful cramps all day, and I had to go to school and suck it up. I remember being so nauseous and in so much pain I could barely concentrate. I was miserable. 

When I get home, the mother had called EVERYONE she knew to tell them “the exciting news” – I was woman!

Actually, I was humiliate.  She became irate. She told me I was being stupid, that I should be proud of “becoming a woman”.

H U M I L I A T E D. 

I told her that it was nobodies business and she had no right to announce it to the world. It was my personal. It was embarrassing and I was miserable. She told me to grow up. She told me I was a child and had no rights. I told her I was supposedly a woman. She told me to shut up before she slapped that look off my face. Oh the warm memories…

The next 39 years were mostly hell where this was concerned. Severe PMS hat dragged on for two weeks. Extreme cramps that often left me sick for two days every month. Heavy flow that left me exhausted and wondering how people ever survive such blood loss. 

In high school, the cramps were so bad my doctor prescribed Vicodin. Yes, I said Vicodin! WTH??  Who does that??? 

I was never allowed to stay home with a migraine or cramps. I was told at an early age that I had to learn how to live in the world with these things, and that I was never to use them as an excuse. I won’t say as an adult that I followed that advise. Rarely did I call in sick, and if the mother got wind of it, she gave me hell. 

I had an abnormal pap about 19 years ago. Precancerous cells were caught early and dealt with. I asked for a hysterectomy, and was told no. I was serious, but the doc didn’t take me seriously. 

At this point I will mention that I am the only female on the mother’s side of the family to have a uterus after the age of 30. There was no family history to compare me to. There was a lot of cervical cancer, cysts, hardening of the uterus, and generally not healthy female parts. 

In my late 30’s/early 40’s I asked again for a hysterectomy. I was told that would be “elective surgery” and insurance doesn’t cover that. Instead she put me on the Depo Provera shot and for four glorious years I had no “time of the month”. 

H E A V E N. 

The PMS was gone. The severe nausea and other symptoms that arrived on day one were gone. It was amazing. Then my job situation changed and my insurance changed and they were no longer covered. Heavy sigh. 

Then they got sporadic for several years. Every two weeks…every six weeks…every few months…every two weeks…you get the picture. 

Finally, I skipped several months. I started keeping count. On month six? Surprise. Mother Nature did that to me three times. 

This time, I wrote the start date down and forgot about it. A couple months ago I checked to see what it had been. June 19, 2016. It had been heavy, ugly, made me sick as a dog, and lasted a full seven days. Then nothing. 

It is now 4:45am on June 29, 2017. One year has officially gone by. One year, which marks the official start to menopause. 

Perimenopause has been here for several years, as have hot flashes, night sweats, and the like. I can live with that. 

I will make a doctor appointment to get checked out and make sure all is well. Then I may call my friends and suggest a celebratory drink. 

This bears celebrating. The horror that began 39 years ago is no more. 

Welcome menopause!! I’ve been anxiously awaiting your arrival!! 

Hello June!

Half a year has whizzed by in the blink of an eye! Where did January go? February? March? Winter?? 

June. Officially summer. Hot days, warm nights. In Florida, it’s not even the hottest time (we’ll revisit that in August/September!)  when we were kids it meant pool time, motor home vacations, reading a LOT of books and vegetating until the school year began. 

I woke this morning feeling like time has swept past me and I’ve not moved. Ever feel like that? 

I have a problem you see, a very big problem. I live as I was trained to live. I wake up, I go to work, I work hard, I come home, I eat dinner, I go to bed. 

Trained since birth!

Now, that’s not to say I don’t socialize. I go out to dinner, meet up with friends, all the fun things. I don’t do that as often as I probably should. You know, the balance thing and all. Balance? Yes, it’s a thing. I’m told it’s an important thing. 

I find myself in a rut this first day of June. I just don’t make enough time for me. There, I said it. It’s out in the universe. 

I need more me time. 

Sounds simple, yes? No. It’s my age old struggle. 

What to DO? 

I declare today the first day that I purposefully  spend a little more time on me. This month I will do more things that benefit me, my life, my future. Wow, that sounds incredibly selfish! How DARE I think such a thing? Another part of the training. Oh, that damn training to be content with nothing, to not over reach, to not dream of a better future, to not be selfish. I may need a detox of some kind…

I want to better serve the people around me. Friends. Strangers. I want to make a difference. I want to be someone who can make someone smile, even if they don’t realize it. I want to bring forth joy. 

I don’t need pomp and circumstance. I just want to give back to this world of ours, and be a brighter spot, a positive spot, a good person. 

I will work on me, body and soul. A healthier me is better for everyone. 

I think it’s doable. I just need to start. 

My Skin Care Regimen – Part 2

A better title may be My LACK of Skin Care Regimen! In the Part 1 we talked a bit about my history. Now I’ll share the nitty gritty.

Here is my current routine:

Morning

  • Wake up
  • Shower
  • Wash face and body with whatever is handy (sometimes bar soap, sometimes shampoo)
  • Dry
  • Slather face, hangs, elbows with Ponds for Dry Skin
  • Put stuff in my hair that helps the curl
  • Dress
  • Leave house

Evening

  • Splash a little cold water
  • Sometimes take a cool shower
  • Go to bed
  • Sleep on my back at an incline to avoid bothering Herman (with the added bonus of avoiding sleep wrinkles)

That’s it. The word you are looking for? PATHETIC. I don’t fix my hair, I don’t fix my face. I don’t even eat breakfast!

Now, I do a few things right.

  1. I take cool showers. Very little hot water. It began when my hot water heater died.  Now it’s a habit. My skin and hair loves it and is less dry.
  2. I do moisturize my face, neck,  and chest, right on up and over my shoulders (and elbows and hands.)  I use the same stuff I used in my 20’s.
  3. I rarely go a day without moisturizer on my face.

Now the things I do wrong

  1. Lack of quality, appropriate products.
  2. I don’t take the time to follow any kind of routine.
  3. I don’t use sunscreen. GASP!

I have a lot of sun damage, freckles, and a few of those lovely hormone spots that some of us get when our lady parts start their journey home. I have fine lines, a few less fine wrinkles, and marionette lines that remind me of my mother.

I don’t wear makeup. That’s a catch 22. My skin is decent because I don’t wear makeup. I look younger because I don’t wear makeup. I would look much better if I just wore makeup! Why don’t I do it? Because I hate the feel of makeup.

Enter Willing Beauty. Better-for-you products backed by science. Simple regimen. Happiness garauntee. Excellent results in pre-launch. I’m in!

My product will ship on April 10. Once it arrives, I’m going to do a 30-Day challenge. I will follow the five piece  HY+5 regimen, three steps in the morning and three at night. I will take photos and video as I go, and give us a proper before and after when I finish. I am excited to see how this turns out. I’m 51, I really need to start worrying about my skin!

With our 100% Happiness Guarantee, I’m out NOTHING to try it! Even if I’ve finished the product, I can return the empty tube for a full refund (and we pay the shipping!) how many other companies stand behind their product like that?

Would you like to shake things up and try the 30-day challenge with me? Let me know and I’ll tell you how you can take part! Your skin will love you for it.

My Skin Care Regimen – Part 1

Wise words from a dear friend. Once upon a time my friend and I went to a New Year’s Eve party. We had some tasty beverages, toasted the new year with our friends, and then went back to her place, as it was close and we had a sober ride. I decided to spend the rest of the night on her sofa rather than drive home in a slightly intoxicated condition (always a good decision!)

That was the night I learned the joys of the DVR and was introduced to a great new show called Sex in the City. I’ve had a DVR ever since, and lived vicariously through Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte for many seasons. Those gals had great skin.

My friend and I sat up for a bit chatting, laughing, catching me up on SITC, enjoying another tasty beverage, having some water. We solved the worlds problems and then called it a night.

As my friend headed to bed she mentioned that she needed to wash her face. What? I could barely get off the sofa, and she was determined to wash her face? I asked about this and she said she washed her face every night, no matter what. It was the main part of her skin care regimen. Well, she did have fabulous skin (and still does!)

Looking back, I should have paid attention. 

I’ve never had a skin care regimen. I’ve tried many, many products over the years, but never consistently. I’ve spent thousands on this system or that, only to try it for a week or two and give up. I was young, impatient, I had plenty of time…

I began worshipping the sun as a pre-teen, using cooking oil as my tanning blend. I am fair skinned with blue eyes. I wasn’t allowed suntan oil, so Wesson worked in a pinch. If I’d known then what I know now.

By my 20’s, I was covered in freckles. Nor the cute kind. The sun-damage kind. I continued to work on my tan. In my 30’s, the lines began forming around my eyes, but my tan was awesome. In my 40’s, I began avoiding the sun and drinking water. Water? Turns out that one is as important as washing your face every night!

Drinking water instead of soda has done wonders. My lips are less chapped. My dry skin requires less lotion. Overall, I feel better when I drink my weight (in ounces) in water each day…or darn close.

My current regemin is embarrassing.

It truly is. Now that I’m in my 50’s (barely) I am concerned about my previous choices. I want to get it right. I want to make improvements to my skin.

Look for the details of the embarrassing regimen and what I’m doing to remedy it in Part 2…

Hello April! 

New month. New business. New Opportunities. Spring is in full swing, unless you’re in Florida. If you’re in Florida, summer has begun! Mid-high 80’s this week. I am not mentally prepared for summer, but it’s here.

April is usually the time I change the color on my toes to something springier. When I take up walking…again. When I enjoy the long days and cool evenings. The cool evenings will be gone soon enough. New beginnings.

April it always a transition month for me. As a child, April often meant an Easter week trip to camp on a beach near Mendocino. Last April my mother passed away. One April, a thousand years ago, I walked out on an abusive relationship. See? Transition.

This April brings new adventures. 

I WILL begin walking again. It’s time. I have a brace for my ankle, and I may even have a couple pair of good socks.

I WILL give yoga another try.

I WILL begin my Willing Beauty adventure.

I WILL take better care of myself, and my skin.

That’s a whole lot of adventure kinda stuff I’ve thrown out into the universe!

– Penny

A Numbers Obsession


The Willing Beauty pre-launch ended at 11:59pm CT last night. That means that anyone who signed up had the option to change their mind up until that point.

When I signed up, I was #2282. Over the last few days, I’ve watched that number drop a bit as people ahead of me said, “Ya, this sounded good at the time, but…”

Yesterday the numbers changed every few minutes! I started watching about 9am. I couldn’t help myself. I was fascinated.

By the deadline, I had dropped to #2086. That means since Sunday morning, 196 people ahead of me changed their mind – 95 of which was today. WOWZA!

I never had a second thought about joining. I never had the oh-crap-what-have-I-got-myself-into moment. I’m all in, and I’m excited.

In a few weeks I will have my product. I truly can’t wait to dig in and try it. Why? The affordability of the products plus the proprietary HG+5 Complex plus the fact that I have a BIG secret.

I have no skincare regimen!

What? More on that later. For now, yay me! Counting down the days…

Osprey and Heartache


I drive past 12 osprey nests on the way to and from work. Most are within a one mile stretch of road. Every day o see the nests, and often times I see the birds, beautiful, magnificent creatures that amaze me. 

I wish them good morning each day. I count how many I see. They make me smile. I know it will be a good day when I see them. How can it not be?

Friday night I happened upon an Osprey Cam for one of the nests. According to the blog, there were two babies and a third egg waiting to hatch. My bank has adopted these osprey and had ensured them a safe home. The story of this family is heartwarming. 

Saturday I tuned in periodically throughout the day. I saw the mama and the babies, the papa bird bringing them a fish, the feeding. It was magical. 

When I got news that a wonderful person I know received a devastating cancer diagnosis, I pulled up the osprey. When the work day ended and I was tired and overwhelmed, I pulled up the osprey. It was then I noticed one baby was motionless. I cried. The other baby was active and I clung to the idea that it was the bright spot of the day. New life, so cute, so sweet. Hope in a nest. 

Over dinner I learned that a second wonderful person’s husband received a devastating cancer diagnosis. No way! Back to the osprey. As the sun began to set, mama and baby were settled in, and again, the adorable life in that nest was a bright shiny spot as I thought of my friends. 

Sunday morning I tuned in. I couldn’t see the baby. My heart dropped and I became concerned. An hour later I saw the Facebook post: both babies had passed. 

Mother Nature let me down. 

I cried for an hour. I assumed the fetal position, snuggles with my cat and cried the loud, ugly cry. I cried off and on the rest of the day. I have tears now, even as I type this. What happened? Why? How do the parents feel? How will we go on?

Mother Nature had other plans for those sweet babies. Mother Nature can bite me…letting me fall in love then ripping my heart out. Heavy sigh. 

Some days you need more baby osprey and less real life. 

I checked the Osprey Cam yesterday evening and the mama was eating a fish. The nest looked so…quiet. Sadness washed over me again. 

Today I will see the 12 nests I’ve become an expert at spotting. If I time my commute right I will see 4-8 osprey hanging out watching commuters go by. Eleven is the record. 

I’m not sure my heart can take more bad news right now. May today be free of death and disease. 

If you’d like to see my friends the osprey, you can tune into the live feed anytime. They are fascinating creatures that will continue to enchant me. 

Radio Silent

I’ve been “radio silent” for a bit (according to a few friends.) It’s been rather nice! What happened? I achieved an amazing sense of overwhelm that allowed me to step back, breath, and regroup. I’ve never in my life disengaged and taken time to take care of me like I have the last several weeks. 

I gave myself permission to stop and simply BE. 

My day job required everything I had in me from November through   a good part of March. Things ramped up like I never thought possible at the beginning of February. It became grueling, day in and day out. Not the job itself, but the people. I rarely speak of the day job, but I will here to help paint the picture. 

We made a change in January that upset many who frequented one location. I can only describe the daily interactions with angry people as often bordering on abuse. Every. Single. Day. Soul sucking. 

I was filled with dread when I woke up and had to go there, and beaten down when the day was over. Then I tried to do everything else in the evenings and on my days off. I wasn’t doing anything well, and I couldn’t get ahead of anything. Worst of all, I was changing. I didn’t like the “me” that all this was creating. I stopped recognizing myself. 

At that point, I realized that I had nothing left to give. Once I made peace with that, I stopped trying to do it all. Some interesting changes have taken place as a result. 

Sleep. I’ve begun sleeping better. To know me is to know I’m sleep in snippets, and am tired a lot of the time.  Now? I’m in bed between 9pm and 10pm most nights, and falling asleep. I wake less, and am sleeping more. Most days I feel refreshed when I wake. That’s new!

Friends. I am socializing a bit less, but it’s more fun. My head is in the experience, rather than in 100 different places. It’s quality time, and I’m enjoying “being fully present” for the first time in ages. 

Work. Things at the day job are calm again, and I’m happy again. I’m managing my time better, and am more productive. I’m not tired all the time, and I can focus. 

Direct Sales. I’m getting back into the swing of things, and I’m reminding myself that I need to maintain balance. I’m also evaluating and trying to decide exactly what I want from a direct sales business and how to get it. With a clear head, I can do that. 

Entertainment. My DVR is empty for the first time in years. I’m listening to podcasts I enjoy, and reading. There is TIME to unplug and just BE. 

Kitties. My cats have loved the extra time they have with me. We have more quality time than we did. Happy kitties are a good thing! 

I’m reminding myself to…

Hello February!

Where did January go? Suddenly it’s February and we are one month into the new year. 

February is my birthday month. How to celebrate? Hmmm…stay tuned!