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Tag Archives: middle age

What Love Looks Like

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2-place-settings-lenox-brookdale-china-10-pcs-excellent-f802427e2b02030ac6b7f4134b33c284I really don’t spend a lot of time thinking about love and what it looks like.  This summer I had the occasion to do so.

My sister-in-law, Allene died unexpectedly this summer.  She was the wife of my youngest brother and she was like a friend to me. My brother was mostly devasted and lost.  They had been planning to move to another state.  My sister in law, in her usual neat and organized manner had been packing for weeks and had packed most of their home.

As I stated before my brother was almost immobilized with grief.  I went to his home in Miami to help him finish packing the house so that he could concentrate on his next steps.  As soon as I got there, I thought that I needed to cook him a meal. He hadn’t had a decent one since his wife died. Food is a great comforter and when I don’t know what to say or do, I cook.

I went to the kitchen in the small comfy home.  Everything in the kitchen was spotless.  Of course, Allene had packed everything already. The cabinets were completely empty.

Then, I saw on the corner of the countertop, some neatly stacked dishes.  Two plates, two coffee cups, two glasses and two sets of silverware.  It took several seconds before I could stop staring at them. Tears ran down my cheeks.  It hit me at that moment that my sisterfriend was gone.  More importantly though, was that this simple portrayal spoke so much about the love that she and my brother had.  Those dishes seemed sad but a very beautiful symbol of caring.

While I was there, I could not eat out of those dishes. I knew that they were not meant for me.  I also know that I when I think of love, I will always think of two plates, two coffee cups, two glasses and two sets of silverware.


Yoga in the Middle

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I went to a yoga class today. Haven’t done yoga in at least 15 years. Just as I thought, everyone was a lot thinner… but not necessarily a lot younger. I struggled but I hung in there. At the end of the class, I asked the instructor if this was actually a beginners class. She sort of smiled and said yes it was. She also said that I did a great job!

That made me feel good. I think I’ll go back again.

Pray, Play, Slay and Be Relentless

Spring Purge

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Spring is the time of year when I usually purge. I get rid of old handbags and seldom worn shoes. Purging my closets, cabinets and drawers… making room for new things.

This year, I piled torn blouses, worn out pants and surplus coffee mugs into bags and boxes to be given away, thrown away or sold. It hit me that it’s time to purge other things too. It’s time to purge and get rid of the things that are holding me back in this second half of my life. It’s time to get rid of those old fears and feelings of discontent. It’s time to get rid of those old doubts and insecurities.  It’s time for me to begin to blow my own horn and get rid of that bushel basket under which my light has been hiding.

Sadly, It’s time to purge some people and places from my life too.

Don’t get me wrong! This is not a sob story. No, not at all! I am pretty proud of my life accomplishments.  I have great hope for the future. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, dreams are not just for the young!

This purging though, feels… healthy! Feels right. Feels like I can travel light. It’s like I’m building a minimalist life. Less to maintain, less to care for but still adequate, appropriate and even creative.

Think I’ll run on and see what the end will be.




No, I don’t watch…!

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          I was in the dentist chair a few days ago.  As usual, I was clutching the arms of what I always imagine to be the death chair while trying to maintain my cool points.  The hygienist, a young blonde woman, was not fooled at all so she began to chatter in an effort to ‘relax” me.

            “Do you watch any of that trash TV?” she asked while scraping tartar from my back molars. 

            “Ganhh?” I asked.

            “You know,” she continued scraping, “those trashy reality TV shows.”

            “Uh unh,” I slobbered almost choking.

            “Oh, how can you not!  There’s some really good one’s on now.”  She shoved a tiny vacuum in my mouth to suck out the spit and kept talking.  “They’ve got the whole housewives series.  And there one about the hip hop rappers and the ball players wives.  I think I watch about all of them!”

            I tried to say ‘Obviously, you need a hobby’ but it came out like “Ank sluss gah cra cree.”

            “You’re doing just fine, honey.  Almost done here,” she cooed at me.  She shoved the tiny vacuum back into my mouth and pulled it out despite my attempts to hold on to it for a couple of seconds more.

            “But my favorite is Sugar BonBon. Do you know that one?” she asked while examining an especially lethal looking sharp steel tool.

            I didn’t answer because I was busy trying to figure out what she was getting ready to slay with that bayonet-looking needle in her hand. She went in to my mouth with that needle.

            “Little pinch,” she said cheerfully. 

             It wasn’t little.

            “She is the cutest little girl!  A pretty dainty little thing but you know they try to make her and her Mama look like a backwoods red necks.  Sugar BonBon is a little beauty queen and her mother is her manager, I guess.  Anyway, it is a little trashy but still a good show.” 

            By then, I had to spit.  I held my mouth open obediently as she vacuumed along my gums.

            “I just love it when they show real people on TV.  You know? People like us.  Everybody isn’t rich and fancy. I don’t have anything against those people but that is not how most people live!”

            I decided to settle in and let her chat on.  And she did.  She described the entire HBB family, her most exciting moments and the recipe for an energy drink that the little girl guzzles before her pageants.

            “My little girl took pictures at church last Sunday and I fixed her hair just like Sugar BonBon wears hers.  She looked real pretty!”

            After a few moments, she squirted frigid water in my mouth then vacuumed it out.

            “You’re all done, Sweetie!  You did real well and I got your teeth looking real pretty. Come on up to the front and we’ll schedule your next appointment,” she gave me a sugary smile and set my death chair upright.

            At the front desk, I waited with numb lips while she set up my next visit.  She handed me an appointment card.

          “That’s when you come to see me again,” she leaned in and lowered her voice.  “On the back, I put the day and time that Sugar BonBon’s show comes on.  Watch it and we’ll talk about it next time. ‘K?”

          “Gah,” I nodded and turned to leave.

          “I know you’re gonna be hooked!”  She waved and smiled.

          Once in my car, I looked in the mirror.  My teeth did look real pretty but I still don’t plan on watching the show.

Mothering in the Middle

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If I have not said it fifty-eleven times, I became a mother rather late in life. I am really enjoying being a Mom to my son…but it is not everything I thought it would be. You see, I thought there was some kind of a unity, some unspoken bond, some kinship among mothers. I always look for that from other mothers. I mean, isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

Yesterday, I was driving home with my 10 year old in the backseat. It had been a long workday for me and I had navigated rush hour traffic in the rain to pick him up from aftercare and make it home. He was upset because we stopped at the grocery store but we didn’t stop at the game store. In the store parking lot, I calmly explained to him that we really needed to eat dinner but could certainly survive for a few more days without the latest electronic game. Well that was not the response he wanted so he became pouty and annoying. (Yes, I said it! My kid was being annoying. Does that make me a bad mom?)

So after a few minutes, I was more than a little frustrated. I mean, there was the traffic and I was really tired. My kid was whiny and I still had to get home, cook dinner, and help with homework. What a day! We had a dog at home that needed to be walked, a load of laundry waiting for me and, on top of that, this was my husband’s lodge meeting night.

Finally, I was at the corner waiting to turn out of the parking lot into the street. This corner is notorious in that it takes forever to turn during rush hour. So here I am sitting at corner trying to ease my way into nonstop traffic. I was at a standstill.

And then, there she was! Another mother stopped at the traffic light wearing a pinstripe suit in her blue–gray minivan. I could see car seats in the back and little heads bobbing around. Then, she turned around and mouthed some words. I don’t know what she said, but I could tell by the look on her face and the tension in her neck that those kids understood every word.

For a brief second as she turned back to the front, we exchanged a weary glance. I thought, Oh thank goodness! She is going to let me into the lane. She understands!

I waited a few moments for some sign of recognition from her… didn’t see it. I thought okay, maybe she is distracted. So I kind of eased my mini-SUV forward just a few inches, just to grab her attention. Again, she looked over my way with a glum expression and then turned her head away from me. I thought, Oh, okay is that some kind of mom code that I don’t recognize?

I waited for a couple of moments as traffic was still at a standstill but I knew that any time now the light was going to change. I waited a couple of moments and then inched forward another couple of inches. I tapped my horn very lightly to get her attention and kind of smiled like Can I get in?

After couple seconds, I realized she was ignoring me. What kind of stuff is that, I thought? Why would she not want to help out another mother struggling with the same issues that she is struggling with? I mean, obviously there we were, career women in our career women’s suits in a car with a whiny kid(s) with obviously other duties waiting for us at home.

I realized that she was not going to let me into the lane. As soon as traffic began to move forward, she drove right on past me as if she’d never seen me.

In a light degree of shock, I waited a few moments and lo and behold, a young guy in a Jeep beckoned and allowed me to get in through the traffic. How kind, I thought. And he’s not even in the Mommy Club! Or maybe he’s got one of those wife/mommies waiting for him at home and understands how frustrating it is to be in traffic with the kids in the backseat and dinner to be cooked.

I made it home that day not the worse for wear but I realized that I could not count on a bond between Mommies, at least not in rush hour traffic. Maybe I just imagined that there was a Mommy Club. Maybe I made it up in my head during all those years when I daydreamed that being a Mom was all Mother’s Day cards and hugs. Is there really no such thing?


Letter to My Lost Lover

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Dear Sleep,

I dont know what is happening with us lately. I’ve noticed a change in our relationship. No, no, you’ve changed. I feel like you have been avoiding me. You don’t come around like you used to and I have to spend long nights wondering where you are and when I’ll see you again.

Sleep, you know I love you and I need you in my life! We used to be so close and we had such big dreams together. You even introduced me to your brothers, Nap and Snooze. I grew to love them almost as much as I love you. Then Snore showed up. Although Snore and I didn’t get along very well, I tolerated him since he was your love child. I made it work just for you.

Oh, how can you just leave me here with these bags! Yes, your bags that I carry under my own eyes for you. You are such a tease. You make me think you will come to me but I wait and wait long, dark hours just to have you stand me up. My friends have suggested that I cheat on you with Tylenol PM or even Ambien… but I don’t want to do that. I’ve been your girl for far too long.

Can you tell how much I miss you? Remember when I used to call you my best friend? We had our own sign, remember? I used to take a deep breath and hold my hand over my mouth. We called it “yawning” and everyone knew that meant I was missing you and that you would be along real soon.

Listen, I think we can work this out. I think we can still make it. When I close my eyes, I know you are near and I don’t believe that you want to leave me. So, let’s try it again. Ok? Tell you what. Let’s meet tonight… Let’s meet at our old spot. I will wear something special, maybe those flannel pajamas you used to like so much. I’ve got a new pillow that I know you will love. I’ll even make our favorite drink, hot chamomile with extra milk.

Come on, say you’ll come. I’ll be there in the dark, waiting for you.

Hoping to see you soon,

2012 in the Middle

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Well, yeah, I guess this year I’m ready to accept that I am in my middle years.  For some, I’m actually a senior citizen! Yeah that’s right, I can get senior citizens’ discounts and I’ve got my AARP card! So I guess that’s it. I’m literally in my middle.  I have decided that for me this is going to be nothing but positive so this blog is about how I’m going to start 2012.

I decided to take 2012 and do the 31 day reset challenge featured on the Happy Black Woman blog. I’m going to do 31 days of activities and exercises that should give me the ability to create new possibilities for my life. Give me the ability to think about my goals and actually find my way to higher place in my life and that’s exactly what I want in 2012.

To get started, I completed the first challenge.  I chose a mantra for myself: Think like a queen.  I chose this mantra from a quote from Oprah Winfrey and although I haven’t been a really big Oprah Winfrey fan, I do respect and admire her for her accomplishments, for her perseverance, and for all the struggles that we probably don’t even know about that she had to endure to get to where she is today.  Oprah’s quote says “Think like a Queen.  A Queen is never afraid to fail.  A Queen knows that failure is nothing but a stepping stone to greatness.”

My theme song for 2012 is the same theme song that I have had for years and that song is “I’m Every Woman”, the Chala Khan version.  With all due respect to Whitney Houston, Chaka’s version has brought me through many days and tight situations so I am partial to that one.

The third thing that I did to get started on my 31 day life reset was to choose a notebook to keep my exercises and notes.  An actual physical notebook although anybody that knows me knows that I’m such a techie.  I have an iPad and all of that and I’m actually recording this on a dictation app for my blog but I like the idea of a physical notebook. I like the idea of an ink pen sliding over paper.  So I chose a notebook that I have been using for a few months as a kind of spiritual notebook or a gratitude journal.  I really like this journal and I have plenty of room in it for my 31 day challenge.

I am excited about this life reset and ask that you pray for my motivation and perseverance. If you are interested in joining me and others on the 31 Day Life Reset Challenge, check out  Rosetta Thurman has to the whole thing laid out for us and I think it’s going to be great. I’d love to see all of us take 2012 and make it into the most wonderful, positive, powerful, productive year that we have ever had!

Y’all take care. Happy new year!


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