All women in their 50’s (45ish-55ish) are at least a little bit crazy

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After the hot flashes and mood swings, then how will we feel? According to plenty of older women, great. I cling to one Gallup poll from 1998 that asked older women when they felt happiest and most fulfilled, and a slim majority chose the years between fifty and sixty-five. So hang in there, baby. Fifty’s coming. In the meantime, forewarned is forearmed. Just knowing you can get a little crazy and angry can help the whole process not get the better of you …” Julie Holland, MD

A nicer title might be “can I handle the season’s of my life?” as Stevie Nicks so eloquently put it …

“Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought it down
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older, too
I took my love, I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down
“Landslide”  by Fleetwood Mac 

I love this song, most people do, they must because they keep making remakes of it. But you don’t really understand this song until you get older, you can love it, but not understand it.  I thought I “got it” after I got married & then again after I had kids, but now that I’m living through “the change of life” (perimenopause) and losing my father — I think I “get it” even more and then I’ll probably “get it” even more again when I’m in my 70’s, if I’m lucky enough to live that long, all these changes,”changin’ tides” of life.

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“Women & cats will do as they please,  and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea” — Robert A. Heinlen (author)

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My hairdresser is really wise, just like my conversation with her about women in their 40’s drinking inspired “All women in their 40’s do … drink every night”.  She also inspired this post, because one day we were talking about my “issues” … horrible periods, night sweats, sleeplessness, irritability, weepiness , racing heart rate. I told her I was about at “the end of my rope” and she asked “well have you had the crazies yet?” And I said “oh my god YES — exactly!”.  Perimenopause is no fun. “The ups and downs of the your menstrual cycles, relationship drama, and family responsibility may seem like enough to manage, but just at the moment you might begin to think you have everything under control, there comes another curveball: perimenopause. And it comes earlier than you may have thought. Actual menopause lasts one day. It is the one-year anniversary since your periods have completely stopped. The average age for menopause is fifty-one, but anywhere from the forties to the mid-fifties is considered normal. Perimenopause, however, is the long, drawn-out transition from fertility to infertility, which begins seven to ten years prior to your period stopping. Things don’t usually get problematic until the late forties, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. As you near the finish line, things will likely get intense. You learn to expect the unexpected: worsening PMS that seems to come earlier every month, flying off the handle for no reason …”  from a book I’ll be quoting a lot “Moody Bitches” by Julie Holland MD (when quoting I’ll use MB ;)) I highly recommend it!

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My doctor told me some women “sail right through” perimenopause and some women come into her office practically suicidal.  And then there is a whole range in between … I have never felt like killing myself but I have felt like killing everyone around me (including by beloved dogs, on occasion 😯).  Also talking to our mother’s generation doesn’t offer much help because most of them were on some form of HRT (hormone replacement therapy — therefore most of them “sailed right through”).  They took it off the market (due to a link to breast cancer, however some experts say that’s debatable and today there are a lot of natural HRT options and supplements,  so don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about HRT or visit a naturopath). The heavy periods that have landed me in the hospital and left me anemic for months, are the least of my problems, the worst of it being the uncontrollable irritability and a racing heart rate that felt like I was going to have a heart attack, making it really hard to get a good nights sleep (what is a good nights sleep anyway? — between having kids & perimenopause — I can’t remember), I finally went to see my doctor and after a long road of blood tests & cardiology tests, & as she suspected months earlier, she said I was physically fine but suffering from perimenopausal symptoms, a combination of depression & anxiety manifesting itself in the form of panic attacks.  She recommended an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety and when the cardiologist said she agreed with my doctor, they convinced me to at least try it for a couple of weeks to see how I felt.  Both doctors are women approximately my age which I think is important to note. Within a week or two my husband said “wow it’s so nice to have the old Shannon back” and this is coming from someone who is adamantly against any drugs, he won’t even take an Advil for a headache! It’s been a couple of years and I’m weaning off the medication.  Even though it made me more “even keeled” and probably easier to live with — I did feel a little “flat”, no extreme highs or lows.  However, it definitely saved me from getting in my car and driving to California and never coming back, but now I kind of want the “old, old Shannon” back — the one that cries really hard at a touching or heartbreaking moment, the one that “calls bullshit” when she thinks it, one of my teachers recently said “yoga teaches you to feel that it’s okay to FEEL”.  My husband thinks he might like the “medicated Shannon” better, I was more fun, I think because I just didn’t “give a shit”, everything was a lot more tolerable and therefore more fun.  I also think I was a little bit wrong to think going on that medication wasn’t a big deal — going on it WASN’T a big deal, within 5 days I didn’t feel like divorcing my entire family.  But going off is another story — the irritability is back albeit not as bad, I was nauseous and dizzy & had pretty debilitating headaches for a week or two (the Ancient Greek word, pharmakon, which has held disparate meanings — sacrament, medicine and poison. It is a common saying in medicine that sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease. MB) Getting off the medication was not easy but I kept trying because it can’t be good to stay on it forever?! I’m almost completely off and “so far so good”!

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“Sometimes, if I see a patient with crippling depression or anxiety, then prescribing an SSRI is the right call, but even if it is the best initial treatment, it might not be the forever cure. Feeling deeply may, at times, be difficult to navigate, but it’s also a powerful tool … We are built to be highly attuned and reactive, and embracing that truth is the first step in gaining mastery of our inner lives and our health. If your serotonin levels are constantly, artificially high, you’re at risk of losing the emotional sensitivity that makes you you. You may be less likely to cry in the office or bite your nails to the quick, but you’re also going to have a harder time reacting emotionally and connecting fully with others, especially sexually.” MB  the old, OLD Shannon.

“Our hormonal variations allow us to be empathetic and intuitive—to our environment, to our children’s needs, and to our partners’ intentions. Women’s emotionality is normal. It is a sign of health, not disease, and it is our single biggest asset.” MB  I feel like my medication served it’s purpose, getting me through maybe the worst part of my perimenapause and the dying/death of my father. As she states in her book “Yet one in four American women are choosing to medicate away their emotionalism … More women than ever before are taking psychiatric medications, creating a new normal that isn’t normal at all. It is at odds with our biology. Our brains are wired differently from men’s brains, and our hormones do make us more moody.” MB

I was hoping I could blame my weight gain on the medication, however I haven’t noticed any weight loss and read in “MB”  that during perimenopause “Your appetite for food goes up. For sex, it goes down. The urge to mother or nurture, reliant on estrogen all those years, starts to give way to thoughts of … Why do I have to do everything around here? When is it my turn?  But first, let’s talk about my belly. FYI, when you’re perimenopausal, your belly starts to store fat because your estrogen levels are waning. Beware the menopot.” MB — which I copied and emailed to my husband and my son to show them that the little belly I’ve developed in the last few years (that they make fun of) isn’t my fault — “just like I’ve been trying to tell you!!!”

I’ve been killing myself for the last 8 to 10 years to try to look like my 25 year old self, when people ask why, I say it’s because I know there is a 25 year old out there just waiting to take my place when my husband leaves me because I’ve gained weight and gotten wrinkly and fat, but lately I’ve been thinking that maybe the real reason men leave their wives or wives leave their husbands in their late 40’s to 50’s isn’t because they’ve gotten fat or gray or wrinkly (on either side) but because the women are crazy and the men are boring (which is their version of perimenopause aka MANOpause)!

When I was in my early teens I so clearly remember my parents talking about the “crazy” things their friends were doing,  getting divorced left & right, having affairs, buying expensive cars & boats, drinking too much and doing drugs, leaving their families to move to India for a year to live in an ashram (little did I know back then I might grow up to be one of them — especially now that I know what an ashram is ;)).  And then one of them would whisper “well you know it’s because they’re having a mid-life crisis”  and I remember thinking that’s a “bunch of bullshit” just because you’re over 40 doesn’t mean you get a “license” to lose your mind and start behaving badly or at best bizarrely!  But now that I’m 49 (50 in 5 minutes ;)) I’m here to tell you it IS a real thing.  Between realizing that your life is more than 1/2 way over and the hormone shifts and the getting fat & gray & boring or crazy or all of the above (and did I mention living with teenagers) — it’s not an easy time in life and it definitely makes you want to reflect on your life and life choices and where you see yourself in the future.  And if you’re in a relationship (i.e. married 20 years or so with children — teenagers in particular) you find yourself wondering “is this really all there is?”, “are we still going to like each other or even know each other after the kids leave?”, “can we weather the storm of my menopause?” “Can I handle the seasons of my life?”

MB offers some advice for just those questions “make sure you create and maintain a “space between” in your relationship. Do things separately, (i.e. yoga retreats for me, ski/bike/” motorcycle trips for my husband) have your own friends and interests, so you’ll have something to talk about when you do spend time together. And when you can, do novel, fun things together. Travel to new territory, try new activities, … have fun out there. It may lead to great sex, which can help solidify the bonds of great love. Remember that you’re on the same team.” MB I have friends taking pole dancing (yes like a stripper only with their clothes on ;)) & salsa dance lessons and they love it & so do their husbands because they say it makes their wives feel sexier and therefore … ;).

 “Also, only one of you gets to be a baby at a time. Two passive, irresponsible people cannot run a household or raise children. If you insist on being two children, neither of your needs will be met. You can decide between you, and it can be fluid, but one of you needs to be an adult in any given situation.” MB  Like when I HAVE to go “take a bath”, even though I just took a shower 😂 my husband now knows he needs to step in and take the reins.

Ever since I had babies I have said where’s my red tent!? If you haven’t read “The Red Tent” by Anita Diamant you should (or maybe you shouldn’t, especially if you’re young because when you have babies and as you age you’ll be asking “where’s my red tent?”)  😔 In MB she talks about “The Red Tent”… “I still advise keeping the sanctity of the cycle by having some delineated downtime on a monthly basis. I wish we had some sort of red tent, where women could gather to learn from one another and grow together, to hang out when they’re menstruating or nursing or delivering. I hate that there is so much shame and secrecy around menstruation and menopause. It’s not fair, and it’s not healthy.” MB  Where’s my Red Tent? Where was it when I was pregnant & having babies & where is it now?  I’m trying to find it in researching, reading, talking & sharing with others about this “mid-life crisis”, this “change of life”.

Perimenopausal women today are not just balancing work and family; they’re also trying to avoid putting their parents in a nursing home. It’s not only stress inducing or anxiety provoking, it’s depressing. We all have fears around aging and becoming “infirm.” Watching our daughters blossom in the springtime of their fertility as we fade out in the autumn of ours, plus seeing what lies ahead as our mothers wither and weaken, is poignant and painful and very nearly too much to handle. Hormonal surges and cycles are a major part of being a woman.” MB 

“Just as my teenage daughter, is entering into her cyclical moodiness, her mother is ungracefully exiting. Don’t you wish you were my husband, sandwiched between a cadet just joining the ranks of the menstruation nation and a retired general who’s bowing out? Both of us are having fits and starts of our ovaries, … Nearly a quarter of women with teenagers are in their fifties.” MB  We’re in the same shoes in my house right now, I tell my husband all the time I feel sorry for him, thank goodness we just have one daughter can you imagine being the husband in a family with multiple teenage girls???

“Being authentic in your actions and in line with your emotions, doing what you feel instead of what you think you should, can lead to improved health.” MB How many times in the last few years have I said “I’m so tired of people telling me what I should do?” Or feeling like I should be doing something other than what I feel like … like I should be doing cross-fit when what I feel like doing is yoga & guess what it turns out after a certain age yoga and pilates are way more beneficial to your overall health than lifting ridiculously heavy weights, and box jumping and sprinting and on and on and my yoga teachers don’t yell at me like the cross fit trainer … instead they talk about being kind and gentle to yourself and others and taking care of yourself so you can take care of those around you …

“Women feel more, and for good reasons. By evolutionary design, women’s brains have developed to encourage empathy, intuition, emotionality, and sensitivity. We are the caretakers and the life givers; …” MB

“The answer for each of us will be unique. But all of us need to stop and listen when we get bitchy. Embracing our moods will, in the end, make us happier. We need to begin anew, to realign with our bodies and learn how to treat them right. It’s time to embody the wisdom inherent in nature, and in our natural animal selves. Moody Bitches will show you the way, ...” MB So when I say I need to take a nap, or need to go (escape) to my room to “read my book” or “take a bath” and sometimes I don’t even come out until morning 😮, I mean it, I NEED it, and we will all be better off because I took “a time out” (that’s what my friend Melissa calls it 😘) from now on I’m not going to feel guilty about it! I am almost 50 after all!

“Dogs are wise.  They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more” — Agatha Christie
IMG_3608We have a football tailgate group and we are all between the ages of 45 -55ish and I said to one of the husbands at the last game I wasn’t sure we would renew our tickets next year because “I couldn’t keep up! I couldn’t handle the tailgate party plus the game plus getting home late, because I’m so tired the next day I have to take a nap.”

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And his reply was “so what if you have to take a nap, or how about only come to the tailgate party, you’re just going to die soon so let’s have fun! Cheers!” He is NOT one of the boring ones!

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Advice I would tell my 20-25 year old self & young girls

If I could go back in time here’s what I would tell myself and I AM telling you girls (maybe boys too ;)) if you’ll “listen” …

Travel!!! If you want — as much as possible while it’s easy (no kids, no pets, etc.)Image 6-11-17 at 3.46 PM

“Trust your gut” your intuition — women have a very powerful sense of intuition, we’re “wired” that way, be in-tune with your inner being, it’s part of being female (certain times of the month are more powerful than others ;)) listen & look closely “take notes” even … trust me it’s there you just have to find it and when you do TRUST it!

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“Wear shorts & skirts” — while you can (but not the kind girls wear today with their butt cheeks hanging out, that leave absolutely NOTHING to the imagination!

“Dance” — as often as possible (while your feet can handle it :))

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“Have Quiet Time” — give yourself 30-60 minutes a day of no artificial noise —  Run, walk, yoga, meditate — I always had a dog so even before I started practicing yoga I would run or walk everyday no music, no phone — there weren’t even cell phones back then (because you know I’ll be 50 in 5 minutes)!
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“Read” — an actual book!  My parents taught be to always read before you go to sleep — ever since I was about 10 years old — I’ve gotten in bed with a book and sometimes I read 30 pages and sometimes only 3 but I never skip the bed time “ritual” and because of it I’ve read thousands of good books and I’m sure I have hundreds (if not thousands) more to go  — also remove your makeup and wash your face ;)!
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“Nap” — it’s good for you and doesn’t mean your lazy, there’s a reason so may cultures have “siesta” it’s a chance to recharge your batteries and get on with the day and hopefully be a more productive, enjoyable person afterwards :)).  If you have PMS or it’s that “time of the month” and you feel like going to bed at 8p — DO IT!!! Everyone will be better off because of it :)).

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“Breath”, “Count to Ten”, “Sleep On It” — I can be very “reactive” and sometimes it gets me into trouble so I try to remind myself to “take a deep breath, “count to ten”.  When it comes to big decisions my dad would always say “sleep on it” or if I’d ask him for something big he’d say “let ME sleep on it” and then I knew not to push it, it was his way of not “reacting” or “over-reacting” if he was mad or annoyed or whatever — which happens often as a parent, kids are constantly asking/demanding things and sometimes if I don’t “react” and instead say “let me think about it” or “sleep on it” then they actually forget that they asked me to let them get another ear piercing, or another pair of shoes (in addition to the 20 they already have) etc.  I also will type out a text or an email when I’m mad or annoyed but instead of sending it, I’ll save it and decide the next day if I want to hit “send”, usually I decide against it or at least to “tone it down” and everybody is better off for it — it’s good advice to tell your kids that when it comes to this world we live in where it’s so easy to respond to a text or snap chat or Instagram … immediately (especially when someone “pushes your buttons”) it’s not always a good thing, it may not actually be the message you were wanting to send and you might end up regretting it — so really think about it before you hit send, breath and count to ten! 😉

“Pay your bills — on time!” — my dad always told me from a young age to make sure you pay your bills on time & protect your credit score because it is so important because it SUCKS to have bad credit!  I’ve always followed his advice and I’ve never had any trouble getting a credit card, car loan, mortgage loan etc. and now I think most employers check your credit — your credit says a lot about who you are, if you can’t pay your bills on time or live within your means, you probably aren’t going to be a reliable employee.  I would NEVER hire someone with bad credit, unless they had a damn good excuse and even then …🙄🙄🙄

“Get dressed up”  — often because the older you get those opportunities will be far and few between (especially if you live somewhere like Boulder) again …

Seriously?

“If you have kids”  — have them before age 30 so that they are out of the house & don’t have to live with you while you’re going through menopause ;))

“Nice Guys” — don’t discount the nice guys — trust me there will come a day when you’ll want to be treated like a princess, and you won’t be annoyed by the guys who are “too nice”.  Honey you were one of the nice ones but not TOO nice ;)!

“Don’t stay out past midnight” — “nothing good happens after midnight”, for the most part – there are a few exceptions 😉 but again few and far between and past 30 or 40 years old you might want to round down to 10p (it’s midnight somewhere ;))!

“Do what you love” — Follow your passion — try hard to find work you love — and if you don’t then make sure you make time for the stuff you do love!  And if someone questions you “why would you want to do that?” it might be all the more reason to do it!!!

“Give thanks” — before you go to bed or during your “quiet time” think of at least 5 people & 5 things you are grateful for in your life.

“Laugh” — Surround yourself with people who make you laugh … a lot & often (and who like you enough to take you to or pick you up from the airport — at least every once in awhile).

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“Cry” — because sometimes it’s what you need to do, it’s ok to not even know why (we are female after all) so crawl into bed & watch your favorite sad movie & cry — you’ll feel better I promise (and if you don’t watch two ;))

“Love”  Love often & with abundance & love & be nice to your parents — they love you no matter what and I’m pretty sure for the most part they did their best!

“CELEBRATE OFTEN & HAVE FUN!!!”

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For the love of dogs 🐶❤️

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“To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace” — Milan Kundera

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“Dogs are not our whole life but they make our lives whole” — Roger Carass

“Dogs are wise.  They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more” — Agatha Christie (good advice for when I have PMS)

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs” — Charles de Gaulle

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs & infants” — Johnny Depp

“Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.” — Emily Dickenson

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” — Dwight D. Anderson

“Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?” — Jonathan Safran Foer (author) (I don’t know why but it is so true)

“When an 85 pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit in your lap it’s hard to feel sad.” — Kristan Higgins (author)

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.” — Dean Koontz (author)

“If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” — Will Rogers

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” — Andy Rooney (60 minutes)

“Some of my best leading men have been dogs & horses.” — Elizabeth Taylor :))

“Dogs express their feelings through their eyes, there barks & wagging their tails, sometimes their whole bodies … if only they could talk!” — unknown

Dogs talk.  We just haven’t evolved enough to understand them.

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“Happiness is a warm puppy” — Charles M. Schulz 

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Cats can be pretty great too … but not quite like a dog  😘

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You could get hit by a bus tomorrow ….

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… or have an ectopic pregnancy rupture at the top of a mountain (45 minutes from the closest hospital with no cell service) or your car could slide of your driveway in an ice storm, roll 4 times & land upside down with no seatbelt on & you “walk away” with only a broken leg & your friend a tweaked shoulder (thank goodness she had her seatbelt on). And you could die or you might not! 😊Both of those things happened to me, my friend said she was going to call me “kitty” because she said I’m like a cat with 9 lives, if that’s true I have 6 left. 😽

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me home from the hospital even the kitty missed me … if you live in Boulder note the BCH water jug ;))

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after rolling 4 times, no seatbelt, that car saved my life — unbeknownst to me the Chevy Traverse is one of the few SUV’s that have a steel roll bar — paramedics said almost no-one survives an accident like that without their seatbelt on, don’t leave your driveway or garage without your seatbelt!!!

There’s a reason for all those sayings and “clichés” because they’re true …

“live everyday like it’s your last”

“seize the day, seize the moment”

“say yes more often than no”

“tell the people you love how you feel because you might not get a second chance”

“live like you were dying”

“you can sleep when your dead” this one I have to disagree with because if I don’t get my 8 hours people around me probably wish I WAS 😵

“Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today”

“don’t save things for a special occasion”  I had jewelry from my mother & grandmother sitting in my safe deposit box for 20 years waiting for my 50th birthday (a special occasion) but then I thought what if I don’t make it to 50??? So I took it out and made a ring for no special reason, because “what was I waiting for?”  You save expensive perfume or wine for special occasions and then before you know it it’s gone bad! Don’t wait, every day is special (some more than others — but still)!

When I would read stories or hear people say that they were grateful for their near death experience or from surviving a terrible illness or accident or incident because it “changed their life” I used to sort of think “whatever” 🙄 , but it really does change your life, it did for me, for the better!

I never put off travel (sometimes much to the dismay of my husband’s wallet). I never would go out on “school nights” because well “it’s a school night” and that puritan work ethic that my dad instilled me was always in the back of my mind.  “Early to bed, early to rise … the early bird gets the worm” & all that! But after my experiences something in me shifted and I realized life really is too short! So now I say yes more often than no … again much to the dismay of my husband 😜 but in general he agrees & gets it! Thank goodness!

At first I was angry for all the things that led up to the ectopic pregnancy, medical device failure, doctors not listening to me (you know your own body & you have to be your own advocate & question their expertise — doctors are only human & they make mistakes, get second opinions, don’t be the guinea pig for new drugs or devices like I was). If you’ve given birth to two kids after 36 hours of labor with each one (total of 72 hours!!!) Lived through 5 months of morning sickness (or all day sickness) with both pregnancies all while working.  And you’re finished having children, but your husband won’t get a vasectomy … do what I should have done and tell him if he won’t get a vasectomy then you WON’T be having “you know what” with him until he does! It’s the least he can do after all you’ve been through!  Sorry honey, but it true!

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But when I was in the hospital, on the 2nd to the last day, after major surgery to save my life & a blood transfusion that also saved my life. (🙏 to blood donors, if you can you should)! I had two things said to me that completely altered how I would view my experience, a nurse came in and said happy birthday! (I had turned 40 on my third day in the hospital) and I replied “I’ve had better birthdays” and she said “no you have not because you lived to see this one” I was speechless and then tears rolled down my face because she was right. I was LUCKY to have made it to my 40th birthday!  And then my sister-in-law said instead of being angry at all the mistakes that were made leading up to you ending up on the ER, think about everything that went right that day & the fact that “the stars were definitely aligned to get you to the hospital in time”. My husband is an excellent driver he got me from the ski mountain to the hospital in 20 min (it’s a 45 min mountain drive at best), there wasn’t a snow storm that day, or an accident in the canyon, the registrar at the hospital didn’t even take my name but sent me straight back to be attended to, the ultrasound technician started my ultrasound, excused herself to tell them there wasn’t enough time to finish the scan, they found a obgyn surgeon who happened to be across the street (shopping on her day off) and she came over to do the surgery, the ER doctor was honest enough to say “I can save your life but I’d prefer a obgyn do the surgery”.  I was about to have my stomach pumped to go into surgery but threw up from all the morphine before the stomach pump guy arrived 😜 saving precious time. Celia you were right the “stars were aligned” that day, it was not my time! They said 5 min longer and I probably would have died (I had lost so much blood), and two or three days later when my body wasn’t replacing its own blood quickly enough, I had no choice but to have a transfusion that also saved my life. A couple of months after I got out of the hospital I went out with a few girlfriends and my friend said, when I tell people what happened to you I don’t know what to call it, because it wasn’t an accident (like the rolling car), it wasn’t an illness, it wasn’t a miscarriage, should I refer to as “the incident?” And we all agreed at the table that’s how we’d refer to it as “the incident”  but in retrospect I think we should have named it a gift ☺️. I have a huge scar that reminds me every day that I’m one of the lucky ones and I refuse to take any day for granted!

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I smile so big when my kids ask …

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to go to yoga with me … really anytime they ask to do something with me, when I get a text from them (even if we’re in the house together ;)) that says “can we go to yoga tomorrow?” or “if you go to yoga later I might want to come with”, it makes me “double smile” because … “of course we can and of course I am!” everyday, sometimes twice a day.  It is one of my best hours with my children, we’re together & because you can’t really talk there’s no chance of getting in an argument or raised voices or negotiating “pick-up times” … and I get to see their healthy, happy bodies move, I can tell the music and the motions, not just of themselves but everyone in the room makes them take notice of how thankful we should be, to be there at that moment moving & living in healthy, capable bodies.  How we really are “all in it together” whether it’s a yoga class, as part of the human race, as a creature on this planet, in this universe and that we really are all interconnected.  I’ve been practicing yoga for 25 years (almost half my life since I’ll be 50 in 5 minutes ;)), I can’t believe I’m old enough to say I’ve been doing anything for that long! Lately in class I’ve been noticing when the teacher has set the flow and we go through it on our own and there’s very little instruction from the teacher … it really is like a dance and I love watching everyone move to the same shapes/poses and it’s the same “dance” but at the same time different. When they say let it be a “prayer” or a “dance”, it really is … a “moving meditation” (and since I can’t sit still except to write or fold laundry it’s the only way for me to meditate ;)) and I love it still after all these years.  And now that my kids are “getting it” (a little bit) about why I go everyday, I can’t explain the joy that it gives me because it gives me hope for a better world.  Just like I said, we should all try to act like dogs more often, we should all practice some sort or yoga or mediation or prayer or dance & the world would be a better place.

My friend who recently took her two girls to yoga texted me to say “I kept looking over at them, so happy that they were there with me and really being present in the best possible way. I was worried they were not going to love it and it was the complete opposite … they loved it!”

From a friend who is nutritionist and teaches yoga to kids …. “Kids today are faced with so many challenges and stresses – especially from being ‘plugged in’ 24-7. Yoga is a wonderful way for kids to unplug for an hour, it reduces physical and mental stress, builds confidence, mindfulness, strength, and flexibility (physical & mental). “Yoga benefits the body, mind & soul.”

Another friend asked her two boys what they like about yoga (she’s a yoga teacher among other fabulous things) and they both said “because it makes me calm” and “we REALLY like it when daddy goes to yoga because he comes back a lot calmer” 🙂

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There are so many poses named after dogs “downward facing dog”, “upward facing dog” may favorite pose “playfull puppy” …

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I think because dogs live their lives and move their bodies in a mostly constant state of joy (or they’re sleeping ;)).  Same with all the poses named after children, “child’s pose”, “infant pose”, “happy baby pose”, because kids for the most part (even teenagers) move their bodies in a joyful, playful manner and when they’re not moving they’re also asleep 😴 (or unfortunatley on their phones 😔, but not in yoga!).

The yoga studio I go to offers all different types of classes & my son has tried a few, one day he asked which class we were going to? When I told him, and it was a class he hadn’t been to before, he asked “is there shavasana?” and I said there’s ALWAYS shavasana, and he said “oh good, because that’s what I care about the most” I thought I had died and gone to heaven because HE GETS IT!  He asked that after only having been to a few classes — it truly is the “peak pose” and I love that he knows that without someone telling him almost every day for 25 years!!!

“It’s all right, Alexander. You were anxious because you haven’t spent time with children before. But I am certain that you are up to the challenge. If you are ever in doubt, just remember that unlike adults, children want to be happy.  So they still have the ability to take the greatest pleasure in the simplest things.” …”A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel” by Amor Towles.

Yoga is one of the few places you can behave like a child and get away with it, and take pleasure in the simple things, practicing headstands, handstands, crow pose, frog pose, child’s pose 😊.

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Dancing, playful, joyful yoga! 💜💛💚

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Girlfriends ❤️ …

When I asked my friends for their favorite “romantic scene” from a movie or show for my “Love ❤️” post this was the most surprising but maybe my favorite answer …  Thelma & Louise — when they “take the leap” … for so many reasons “they lived” Robin your answer prompted this blog …🙏 thank you!
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“We’ll be friend ’til we’re old and senile. … Then we’ll be new friends!”… unknown
I LOVE my friends old & new — the old ones have a special place in my heart because we have so much history.  We have been through good times & bad & mediocre.  But unlike a spouse or significant other or even a parent or child my feelings toward them don’t have the highs & lows, they are steady & smooth (for the most part ;)) — they are just my FRIEND — in good times & in bad, in sickness & in health. I’m a pretty “low maintenance friend” (I think, I hope?! ;)) and I have “low maintenance friends” we could not talk or not see each other for years and I love them just the same, we pick up right where we left off & I love that and need that in my friendships. Basically this is what sums up how I feel about my friends …
“I need and want friends that when I cry they make me laugh and when I laugh they make me laugh so hard I cry (& almost pee in my pants now that I’m almost 50!!!) … SB 
quotes about friendship …

“good friends are like stars you don’t always see them but you know they are there.”
Christy Evans

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” — Albert Camus

“Dear George: Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”— It’s a Wonderful Life

“A friend who understands your tears is much more valuable than a lot of friends who only know your smile.”— Anonymous

“Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest, it’s about who walked into your life, said “I’m here for you,” and PROVED it.” — Unknown

 

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.” E.B. White Charlotte’s Web

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” Muhammad Ali

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”— C.S. Lewis


“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” — Oprah Winfrey

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I hope my daughter has as good of friends as I do —  I will be so happy for her — I think she will, she’s a really good friend & pretty low maintenance — so far ;)!

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Love ❤️ …

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“I loved her and it is the beginning of everything” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I feel like I’ve finally met someone I can stand still with.  Having a dog together means having a life together, all in, both of us.” — Masters of Sex
“We think about it, sing about it, dream about it, lose sleep worrying about it. When we don’t have it; we search for it; when we discover it; we don’t know what to do with it; when we have it; we fear losing it. It is the constant source of pleasure and pain. But we can’t predict which it will be from one moment to the next. It is a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define, impossible to live without.”
 by sayshaina August 10, 2005 Urban Dictionary
“It’s when they’re the last thing you think about before you go to sleep and when they’re the first thing you think of when you wake up” — by ryan=) January 17, 2006
“You are my sun and moon and all of my stars” — E.E. Cummings
In French you don’t say “I miss you” you say “tu me manqués” which means you are missing from me — I LOVE that
“Never love anybody who treats you like you are ordinary” — Oscar Wilde
“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back & reasons to stay” — Dali Lama
“When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew” — William Shakespeare
“And I’d choose you in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality I’d find you and I’d choose you” — The Chaos in our Stars
“If I could do my life over I’d find you sooner so I could love you longer” — unknown
“Never give up on anything you can’t go a day without thinking about” — Winston Churchhill
“I want to be your favorite hello and your hardest goodbye” — lovequotesplus.com
“Where there is love there is life” — Ghandi
“You are the poem I never knew how to write and this life is the story I’ve always wanted to tell” — Tyler Knott Gregson
“That’s not love, that’s not a connection.  I didn’t know her & she didn’t know me, REALLY KNOWING someone is something else entirely, it’s a completely different thing and when it happens you won’t be able to miss it, you will be aware, and it won’t hurt & you won’t be be afraid” — Adam from Girls
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my parents married 54 years … until death do us part

Most romantic scenes from a movie or show …

Out of Africa –MK
When Karen, Barceley & Denys are sitting in her study in front of the fire and Denys asks her to tell a story and she creates an elaborate tale right on the spot and you can see Denys falls in love right there and then.  And the scene with they are on safari and Denys is washing Karen’s hair.
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An Officer & A Gentleman — BB
When Richard Gere comes into the factory at the end of the movie in his navy whites and  literally sweeps Deborah Winger of her feet and all the female factory workers start  cheering because one of them finally got her Prince Charming.
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About Last Night — MP
The end when he sees her across the park — and ditches his friend during a softball game and then asks if they can maybe get a bite to eat sometime …
 Girls — SB
When Hannah face-times Adam to “say hi” and he asks how she’s doing and she says “great” — but he can tell she’s not, and he says “I’m coming over” and she says not to and he says “stay right there I’m coming to you” and he runs through the city while keeping her on the phone the entire time and when he gets to her apartment and she says “you’re here?” And he says “I was always here” … even though they’ve been broken up for months …
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Gone With The Wind — SB

When Scarlett sneaks downstairs to get a nightcap and Rhett is already in the study drinking and he’s drunk and tells her “don’t think for one minute I don’t know you drink on the sly” and then she leaves to walk away from him to go back to bed and he chases after her and grabs her and takes her up the stairs …

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“You are nothing like what I expected, and that I think is a marvelous thing.  Who wants what’s expected?” — Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff

“There will never be anyone after you. You will always be the one, before, now and after. YOU are what I always imagined” — unknown

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My Favorite Things … this post will be “fluid”, but for starters 😘 …

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My Family …

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Our “Chosen Family” 😘…

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My “babies” when they were small …

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The sunrise & sunset from my house …

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Anything pretty … even when it’s food

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Old Friends and New …

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How much my son looks like my dad … 

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Holidays … especially when they don’t keep me up past my bedtime 😉 … 

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Riding with my daughter …

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Flowers …

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Winter … most of the time or should I say some of the time ;)…

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Mexico … all of the time … especially when escaping winter ;)…

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Mala Beads … Sanskrit translation “Garland of Meaning”

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A real fire …

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Anything bright & cheerful that makes me 😊

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Getting dressed up … because in Boulder it happens so rarely …

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ART

DR. SEUSS  & not just his art 

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Millicent Kang Art

 

Millicent Kang Boulder ArtistMillicent Kang 2011 Artwork

SARAH KINN

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pacific sun, by sarah kinnqueen's flower, by sarah kinnchild of the sun, by sarah kinn

THE UPHOLSTERY SHOP 

For making my old furniture “new” and bright and cheerful …

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SHOWS

Girls
Six Feet Under
Game of Thrones
Vikings
The Tudors
The Sopranos
Nurse Jackie
Entourage

Recent Favorite BOOKS…

A Little Life — Hanya Yanagihara
City of Thieves — David Benioff
The Dinner — Herman Koch
The Divorce Party — Laura Dave
My Grandmother Told Me To Yell You She’s Sorry — Fredrik Backman
The Invention of Wings — Sue Monk Kidd
Love Warrior — Glennon Doyle Melton
Being Mortal — Atul Gawane
Bettyville — George Hodgman

YOGA

CorePower Yoga my yoga friends/community 

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Did I Mention Yoga ….

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SKIN & BEAUTY PRODUCTS

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My Eye Dr. … Dr. Liz Erley & everyone at Wink Optical in Boulder —  because my eyes are not easy & they’re are all so great to work with ….

Wink Optical

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OJ Simpson … not to give him more attention but I can’t help sharing this story …

shanI was reminded of one of my “best stories” because of OJ Simpson being all over the news yesterday, (I don’t want to stir up any controversy over his past) … but when that parole officer said “you look good for 90, oh I didn’t mean 90, I meant 70 (which he does look damn good for 70) I laughed and even though I’m not all that interested, I found myself tuned-in, I had no intention of watching, I just turned the TV on to make folding laundry more tolerable ;).  I will admit I was “glued” to the TV at times during the white bronco high-speed chase & during the trial & especially when the verdict was read.  I was working at a law firm at the time and I remember so clearly they brought in a TV so we could all watch in the conference room on live TV.  You probably remember where you were?!

Anyway, one time we were leaving on a trip with our friends (our “chosen family”) and we were on separate flights but within 20 minutes of each other, so we went to the airport together, my husband likes to get to the airport REALLY early (which is smart, but it was an early flight and I HATE getting up early), so I said we should leave at 5:30a and he said 5a so I said “I’ll ask Nancy what she thinks” (because she was a flight attendant & the expert on most things ;)) & she agreed with me so we left at 5:30a), anyway long story short we almost missed our flight — traffic, super long security lines etc.  Our friends dropped us off because our flight was earlier than theirs and they parked the car.  So Nancy and I were texting, as the Bennett family was navigating the airport …

Nancy:  Where are you?
Me:  Security — really long lines!
Nancy:  Now where are you?
Me:  On the train getting ready to run through the terminal — we are in full-on “OJ Simpson mode” (meaning from the 1978 Hertz commercial of OJ Simpson running through the airport) and Noel is about to kill me!
Nancy:  Why because you have to run or because he’s about to slit your throat?

shannonlaughingI literally almost peed in my pants and then running, while laughing, and trying not to laugh because your husband is so pissed at you (and that will REALLY piss him off) and you’ve given birth to two children less that two years apart (only women can relate to that part ;)!

We made our flight — barely!

Anyway, “all’s well that ends well” and “makes for a good story” — to me anyway!  Nancy — you’re the best!

You have to be my age or older to remember 😉 highlight & click below to watch …

 

 

All women in their 40’s do … drink every night!

Lately I’ve been contemplating the issue of why I’ve started drinking more & more frequently over the last 3-5 years, so I posed the question to a few of my best girlfriends. “Why do you think you’ve started drinking more or more often lately, say in the last 5 years or so? If not yourself, surely you know someone … other than just me 😉 why for them do you think? I know my answer mostly is … “Because I can!” Like me I think most enjoy a glass or two of wine most nights and maybe have started having more than a couple on a Friday or Saturday night out with friends.  I told my hairdresser I was “on the wagon” and she said “WHY?” and I said because I feel like I’ve gotten in a bad habit of having a drink or two every night and her response was  “It’s not bad, all women in their 40’s do” — it was so funny to me because she wasn’t joking it was like she was stating a fact!!!  

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My answer “Because I can” … is far more complicated and convoluted than it sounds. For me for the first time in 28 years I don’t have to be 100% “on” all the time!  I recently quit working and for the last 7 years have only been working 10-20 hours a week.  Also when my kids were babies and small children (up until the last 3-5 years) I had to get up early, get everyone out the door to daycare or school by 8a, go to work, pick up kids from daycare or school, do laundry, cook dinner, do dishes, yard work, snow removal etc. Oh, did I mention “working out” to maintain my sanity & weight?  I grew up in a family & town that it is practically a “sin” to be even a few pounds over-weight, oh and the 3 hour hair appointments every eight weeks to maintain my blond hair, because NO-ONE and I mean NO-ONE, likes my natural color including me!  My husband says the cost is a necessity not a luxury, if you knew him you wouldn’t believe it, but it’s true!  When I went to get my driver’s  license when I was 16, my dad (who was one of my biggest fans) said “what are you going to say for your hair color? dishwater blond or mousy brown?” I’ve been blond ever since!!!  Anyway, I couldn’t “afford” the luxury of sitting down for a few minutes around 5 and having a cocktail or a glass of wine and I certainly couldn’t afford being the slightest bit hungover.  The only time I drank since having kids (up until the last few years) was when we would get a sitter to go out and even then only 2-3 drinks because I still had to get up really early (we’re talking 5-6a) with a very high energy little boy and be “on” all day (my daughter thankfully likes to sleep as much as I do ;)).  I don’t have to be 100% on everyday, or any day really!  Some days I even have time to take a 20 minute nap — shhhh!  Don’t tell my husband!
Here are some of the responses to my question “why do you think you’ve started drinking more or more often” …
Ha! Hilarious question to which I have so many answers, depending on the day and the cycle of the moon!!!
I drink a few glasses of wine (summer water this time of year) because:
– I love wine, and nothing is better than cooking with a glass of wine nearby
– teenagers-happy, sad, or just plain moody –I’ll drink to that
– it’s social I love seeing my friends and catching up over beverages (or a hike but that seems harder to orchestrate with various schedules)
– I don’t get hangovers and “they” say a little booze is good for the heart so there is no deterrent
– I don’t watch much TV, I’d much rather sit on the porch over a glass of something and TALK
– An aging parent who I think has “fallen and can’t get up” each time I text or phone her and don’t receive an immediate response…
– high pressure job- at which I’ve been successful and thus am always expected to “have a great year”, plus my other full-time job as MOM
– it makes doing laundry more interesting
– I’ve quit for 30 days and didn’t lose measurable weight so why give it up?
– did I mention teenagers?
– because this is my life, and I love it, and while it may not be exactly what I envisioned, it’s worth celebrating frequently!!
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Hi Shanny! Let’s see… because the kids are out of the house so I don’t need to be alert and “on” and running carpools. And I think as we age, we tend to drink more frequently! See you next Thursday… for drinks, LOL! 😂

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o.k. this should be interesting…

1. it is a decompressor at the end of the day – some people watch tv or smoke pot – I like a small glass of wine (and at least I’m not doing it first thing in the morning 😉
2. and if I have to “blame” it on something – it helps me be more relaxed with my teenage kids and spouse after a long day
3. I like the taste of it vs. a beer or hard liquor (although the tequila has a strong argument)
4. and yeah “because I can” I gave birth to 2 children and watched my food and no liquor intake for 9+ months during pregnancy and post-delivery
5. I feel like it’s “o.k.” to do, I’m in agreement with the hairdresser

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“Because I can …
well done!”
 
“BOREDOM!!!” (that was the 2nd thing that came to my mind)
 
There was one answer that wasn’t funny but definitely thoughtful …
I don’t think I can be part of your survey…I think I drink less. I think more people I know are drinking because we have reached an age where we have more problems/stresses…kid problems, marriage stresses, aging parents. I guess we drink to forget… at least for a little while.
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This response prompted me to do some research on the subject, because I started thinking I can’t be the only one who’s noticed this “trend” and it’s not always funny, so I googled it and a plethora of articles and books came up.  I decided to pick the one that appealed to me the most and at least “skim through it”, I ended up reading it in two days and was literally “consumed” (no skimming, ask my husband I couldn’t stop talking about it).  It’s called “Her Best Kept Secret” by Gabrielle Glaser*
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Although I was suspecting the book would “horrify” me and make me want to stop drinking altogether  (although “secretly” hoping that wouldn’t be the case), what I discovered is that “we are not alone” and being a mother (particularly in the United States) whether you’re a stay at home mom, a full-time working mom, or a part-time working mom, we cannot “have it all” which I’ve been saying for years! I feel like our generation, in particular (although the intentions were good) were told that we COULD “have it all”, but I for one don’t think it’s true.  Something has to give and for a lot of women they suffer the consequences of trying to “have it all & do it all”, whether it’s their own sanity, health, marriage, career, or a combination of all, it’s not sustainable to do everything & do it all perfectly, for me it was impossible!  I remember when I was pregnant with my second child and I knew I’d have to give up my job/career because with two babies the cost of daycare just didn’t make sense and I was TIRED!  My husband asked if I was sure I didn’t want to keep working and I remember crying and saying “even if I wanted to, I can’t, because trying to do both — be a mom & have a job was making feel like I was doing everything “half-assed” and that’s not who I am or want to be, I’m not good at compromising (that being said, being married and having children has made be a little better at it ;)).

“And so one of the ways women have started “coping” in this age of “having it all” & “doing it all” is by drinking.” Gabrielle Glaser *(see she speaks my language).  That’s just one of the ways, trust me I’ve tried them all, meditation, yoga, working out until I’m about to drop dead of exhaustion, but no matter what, it’s really hard to escape those hours between 5-7 (just like I said in my “Alone” post). Gabrielle Glaser’s book for me was so “spot on” that I emailed her to thank her and to ask if I could quote her in this post & she actually responded :)) and said “yes absolutely!” So here we go … regarding trying to not drink or at least cut back …

“They try drinking only on weekends. They try drinking pomegranate juice with seltzer. They try putting ginger tea over ice. They try sucking Jolly Ranchers. They pick up the cigarettes they last smoked in college. They love, love, love the days they wake up clearheaded. They read at night, they watch TV at night, they are sometimes more, sometimes less, interested in sex. But then something happens: a snide comment at work; the check for camp that goes missing in the backpack vortex; a nasty driver in the supermarket parking lot. A trigger, one of the many that drip, drip, drip like water seeping from a leaky roof, and the cork comes off. The glass gets poured. Down the hatch. But let’s be clear: The trigger is usually quite simple. It is evening itself.”* YES!!!  I have the best intentions and then exactly what she said happens and/or EVENING ITSELF!
I was going to reference more of Ms. Glaser’s book and her “evidence” of my theory you cannot “have it all” and the “dark side” to drinking too much, along with the fascinating history of alcohol, wine in particular in the U.S. but there is far too much interesting information from her book to give it justice in this post … so another post another time maybe … titled “You Cannot Have it All” or something, better yet read her book!

In conclusion, I’m glad I “delved” into this subject & I have decided to “tweak” my drinking habits & I feel good about it … I’m trying to not drink more than 3 drinks at a time (preferably no more than 2 ;)) and no more than 3-4 times a week (preferably no more than 3 ;)).  Someone said to me when I told them I needed to stop drinking on “school nights” … “Why? At your age if you enjoy it and you’re not hurting anyone? You’re just going to die someday and nobody’s going to care!”  which I think she meant nobody’s going to care if you drank every night — but I laughed because it sounded like “nobody’s going to care when I die” 😂 either way she’s right, life will go on and as long as I’m living my life and enjoying it the way I want and no one gets hurt (except maybe my waistline) who cares?

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Take note of the red solo cups! 😂
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yes sipping margaritas while doing yoga