Stumbling through Midlife

Stumbling through Midlife
As I go through Midlife - I am always thinking to myself - so, this is what my Mother meant. It's not easy getting 'old' - I better say 'older'. When I read about these Midlife women celebrities who say they embrace it and wouldn't trade it for anything - they love their age. They wouldn't trade a wrinkle. Say what? Come on, now, be honest.

Is it me? What do they know that I don't? Oh, yes, now I remember - they don't need to worry about where they put their keys - or remember where they parked - or even if they drove to wherever they went; they have chauffeurs - they have masseuses, they have people to remember for them. They have 'personal' assistants. That's why they don't worry like us ordinary folks.

My Mother used to tell me how hard it was for her at work because when she was going through menopause - which can last from months to years - she was always hot - hot flashes - sweating. Most of the women she worked with were younger and could not relate, and therefore, were always complaining that the air conditioning was too cold. They lacked empathy. They complained while my Mother sweated profusely. Instead of them just being a little more compassionate and throwing on a sweater, they would complain until they were able to get the a/c adjusted to their comfort level. My thoughts were - you can always throw on a sweater and get warm - but if you are hot and sweaty, there isn't much you can do (at work) - except have a little personal fan aimed at you blowing hot air.

I had friends tell me their grandparents would complain about how people - their own family members - just did not have tolerance - or patience - for the geriatric family contingent - i.e., cooking the macaroni a little longer so it was much easier to chew seemed to be too much to ask. Hearing things like that just broke my heart.

Some of my friends who have had tremendous job upheavals complain to me that companies just do not want to consider hiring people at this age. I think to myself that if I was an employer - people in Midlife have experience and maturity (well, most of them have maturity) - and they would be an excellent bet to be good, solid workers. But, youth and a youthful and/or pretty face goes a long way in job interviews. It's a cold, hard fact.

Yes, I suppose there are pros and cons to every age category. I will say - I am wiser through my many experiences. As they say - I 'earned' every wrinkle. Regarding some things - I have learned what works best - and what does not work for me. Knowledge is power. But, for some strange reason, for the past five years or so, I have had more bad experiences in those five years than I did for the previous twenty or so years totalled. Was it just bad luck? I don't know. I'm talking major setbacks - flooding, illness in the family, bad decisions in general - you name it -it was happening - all too much, too quickly...

Call me paranoid but ever since going through this Midlife process things seemed to go somewhat askew for me. It's like reaching the top of a hill and then starting downwards at great speed. And, speaking of speed, I used to work at lightning speed - juggling many things at once - or, as they say, I was able to "multi-task" (if I hear that phrase or the phrase "going forward" one more time - I am going to scream!) but, I I was saying - I could focus at the task at hand and get it done before I had to think twice about it. Now I'm listening to 'focus' CD's in order to get back on track. One of the 'cons' of getting older...

I also do not suffer fools gladly. I never did actually. I'm short on tolerating people who want to be a thorn in my side. That brings me to 'neighbors'. I have always had a policy of keeping neighbors at arm's length. I want to keep a good rapport with my neighbors, wherever I may be. Keeping things light and airy is the best way to go. Coffee klatching was never my thing. I mind my business and expect others to to respect my right to my privacy as I do theirs. However, I guess you will find some neighbors who for whatever reason - a void in their lives, boredom, or just because they welcome drama, start to act weird - bad behavior - they proceed to form opinions - get judgmental - and, adopt attitudes.

Of course it shows me their true colors. This is the kind of petty nonsense I cannot swallow. They need to get a life. They need to learn to be courteous and show some respect for their fellow neighbors. Maybe they are having problems in their own household - whatever their particular 'issue' is, if they are being rude, they need to get over themselves. I've seen some weird behavior in a couple of neighbors - attitudal - which is annoying and counter-productive.

It makes for a negative environment. Just the thing I try to avoid. Maybe because I don't 'play the game' - it makes me a convenient target for other people's angst. I don't know - and I don't care. Just get over it. It's not mature behavior. And neither is gossipping. Funny but as I write this they are playing 'Send in the Clowns...don't bother, they're here' appropo...

I have always made it my business to treat others as I would want to be treated. If everyone went through life with that in mind there would be a lot less strife to say the least. I don't know too many people who care enough to adopt that type of attitude. I went to parochial school - need I say more? It was like going to the school of "hard knocks'. When I was caught chewing gum, the nuns made me take the gum out of my mouth and wear it on my nose all day! talk about teaching through humiliation. It worked. It was wrong - but it worked. Hey, there's a good idea though.

Well, summer is almost over...Autumn will be here in the blink of an eye - it's my favorite season. I just love it. I hope you all had a wonderful summer. A new roof and siding replaced my dream of going to Vegas (Baby) this year. But, that's par for the course when you own a home as I'm sure my many Viewers who are homeowners can attest to. Before being a homeowner, it was all about my child; once the children leave the nest, it's usually all about the house.

But, I'm excited over my new roof and new vinyl siding -- no more new clothes for a while or dining at fine restaurants and going on well-deserved vacations...but, that's okay -- it is truly satisfying to pull into my driveway and see my home looking shiny and new -revitalized (even though 18 yrs. old) - and not looking like just another ordinary house on the block -- although one of my neighbors called my new roof 'common'! (say What??) Maybe you can understand now what I'm dealing with...

Please drop me a line and let me know what interesting experiences you had this summer - places you went - maybe I can vicariously live through you! (tee hee) Let me know what you'd like me to write about. I'm always open to suggestions -input - feedback....

'See' you next week!

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