Thursday, May 14, 2009

What is age appropriate?

I just went out for a girls' night with my old college roommate. We had a blast. We usually see each other once a year, are Facebook friends, and keep up by phone a few times a year. We were quite the party girls in college and she hasn't stopped. I've never known anyone quite like her - she bar hops all the time, throws parties, goes to parties, travels with friends, and carries on like a 20-something. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I chalk it up to my friend just being who she is and don't rate myself in comparison. But I have to wonder if that lifestyle isn't why she has had many more relationships and dates than I have even thought of! She has a child who is in college, but her kid's age never slowed my friend down. This is not an empty nester going wild (ooh - cool video series idea!), but someone who has been fun-loving and energetic her entire life.

Though I don't live my life in the fast lane like her, we are very much alike. We both believe in doing what we want to do, and living life to the fullest - in whatever manner we want. She parties and socializes. I work on causes and politics. Her style enables her to engage with people constantly, and she is now in marketing - seems reasonable. My style enables me to be somewhat isolated but engaged in meaningful activites. This suits my career choice. However, it does not do much for my social life.

So as I rode the train home this morning (no propositions on this trip, thank gawd), I thought about how my life needs to change again. I am in a career that is considered solitary in style. It takes up all my time (and most days I don't work enough). So if I stay with this career, as I have been doing for the last 20 years, I can't expect to be engaged with a big social whirl. I am very good at what I do, but increasingly dissatisfied with it as a personal choice. It has it's frustrations, as most careers do, but these are really bothering me these days. I have so much ambition and drive, interest in the subject matter that I take on daily, but am constrained by the conservative environment of a large organizational structure in which I work.

I'm thinking of breaking out - but feel completely hemmed in by my benefits - retirement contribution, health benefits, steady income. In this economy I can't give that up because I chaffe at my frustrations, can I? Yes, I could, but what really hit me was that I would be putting myself in a vulnerable position without retirement and health insurance. At my age - doesn't that sound awful! - but it is true. At my age I need a safety net. I don't have any inheritance coming and no husband to catch me. I am frightened that I am so frightened! I want to be that carefree college girl who was ready to take on anything and had plenty of time. Now I don't feel like time is on my side. There is an air of practicality that fills my space and I don't like it. What's next? Will I take up with whoever I can find so I have a safety net? Will I become compliant and milquetoast to ensure I keep my job and not rock the boat? These behaviors would require a personality transplant on my part! I'll keep thinking on it. Tough choices - but that's what I like - a challenge!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Time to lighten up! Spring is here. Time to feel good.

What gets in the way of feeling good at our age?
For me, my body keeps changing - my sleep pattern changes, my energy level changes, my mood changes. This is for the birds. I don't see this happening to Hillary Clinton!

My body can't seem to handle alcohol anymore. I think this is why elderly people are alcoholics. I am not elderly - but as we age, the metabolism changes. And one drink leads to another, and another, and well, before you know it I have flown right past the point of sensability. In earlier posts I said I was drinking to escape, etc. I had a breakthrough in my awareness of this. But what I see now is that in addition to that is that my body cannot handle it. I can give up alcohol, but my experience has been a big surprise!

I am coming up on what would have been my 30th wedding anniversary. I thought about this because I was thinking about mom. This year I am the same age my mother was when I got married. That's a sobering thought! My life is nothing like hers and my outlook and approach to life is nothing like hers. Have things changed that much in 30 years? What's really scary is that I have a complete set of memories of my mom during my adult life. I saw and in her later years was an active participant in her life. She changed dramatically during that time and died 30 years later. Whoa. I hope my life continues to be a complete departure from hers. I don't like the previews.

My last random thought has to do with makeup. I wore it when I was in my teens and 20s. Gave it up after that. Couldn't stand it on my face which was always on the brink of breaking out. I lived in a very hot climate and makeup sweating off your face is not really attractive. But these days, I find my face color is blotchy and not as attractive as I would like. So I went back to the Isle of Olay and took the right turn at the Covergirl spot. I had seen an ad for a Covergirl/Olay product advertised by Ellen! She looked great in the ad and she has a beautiful wife, so I figured, maybe this product would make me attractive. I have used the foundation and I like it! It is just sheer enough so it is not visible, but it covers the blotches and red spots, giving a nice even tone. It's easy to put on and blend because you put it on with a little sponge. But last night I was perspiring and used my dinner napkin to blot my forehead and yep, there was the makeup on my napkin. Hmm. Guess I have to learn a little more about how to apply. However - this makeup does not cake in your wrinkles - the big ad feature and it lives up to the hype! It has Olay Regenerist syrum and Covergirl foundation. I can live with this.

Enjoy spring - get out and about! I feel good!