life after 50/ my friend

Hello again ….its been a busy  few months for sure . I have been in a step challenge and a in training to climb/hike  small mountain in Banff . When I go I will take in my heart  my friend of 50 years .

First a little background , my friend and I have known each other for 50 years , longer than some marriages last . During that time we have had our moments and issues …but never have been able to remember a time in my life when she was not there for me . She was the product of a divorced family , back then it was a bad thing , and also had some lack of pigmentation to her skin . All these things led to her being punted from most kids. This made her a very compassionate person and fiercely loyal to her friends .  We shared an interesting childhood together and remained friends after high school . I recall one beautiful memory of an outdoor midway in the summer a whole bunch of us going on a really giant Ferris Wheel  it was late at night  and right at the top as we were stopped the fireworks went off .. it was magical. Soon enough though we moved a way from the small town we were from and ventured into the Big City had no idea who we were and what to expect . My friend was in trade school and another friend was in college I was working so we logically became roommates. There were good times and bad … a few more memorable included the night she made yorkshire pudding and left the oil heating …..we were engrossed in a Disney cartoon , heard a knock on the door and were astounded to see smoke everywhere….our landlords had seen smoke coming through the vents upstairs and panicked !!! Another time on  I guess on a hot day we got rather testy and someone threw a glass of water  ….well glasses turned to bowls and bowls turned to buckets  with the outcome being me blow drying my sheets at 11:00 pm while they laughed in my doorway… eventually I moved away and got married .My friend also got married and followed her hubby to Europe  . She had a child there and  they moved back to Canada to east coast I got to see her on visits home and saw her on a brief trip to the east coast

Eventually she moved back to our province and there they had another child . I recall her visiting me with him I think we may have had our daughter by then too.

When my first marriage fell apart, she was there . When I started to date again ,she was there. When I got married she was a huge part of my day. I was not a me-first bride this time but shared my day by making her into a beautiful version of my dear friend , this makes me happy, even to this day , her hubby says its his favorite picture of her …me too. she told me later she was very touched to be included in my wedding and found the experience a lot of fun , so glad she did she was a really big help!

Back in 2003  a phone call ..her heart was not good and they were putting her on a transplant list . She declined and said I am going to fight, she did , and gained back some use of her heart …during this time she travelled a lot to places she needed to see, she seemed to know she was on borrowed time .

The first inkling of trouble came before my wedding  she had to have some  bit of her toe removed  …very upset because she could not wear the shoes she had bought especially for the day…I was just happy she was there. She had been on IV antibiotics for a bone infection. She was happy not to be dragging an IV pole down the aisle .

Her health seemed to plummet right after our wedding for infection more thing cut off until finally she had her leg amputated. She spent months in the hospital and had it moulded to fit a prosthetic ,only to have even more of it amputated  later . So …we should be good now right? …wrong! this spring she lost the other leg…did I mention she is also on dialysis ??? Now her port for it got infected badly …currently she is waiting to lose a digit  which has necrotised…

I am slowly coming to terms with the knowledge that my friend who was always there for  me may not be very soon . There are some pockets of my brain that are not liking this thought , but through my sadness and tears I realize she is getting tired of this crap life has handed her.

An update: she continues to  fight, we continue to hope , and since weather prevented from my chosen climb this fall …I am once again planning a climb . During a phone convo with her she said ” be my feet,  climb it for me ” . This is the one thing I can do for her how I can be there for her ..through my tears I vow to do just so for my dear friend .


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life after 50/ best holiday ever !!!!



Wow Have I ever neglected this …..high time I talked about  a lovely vacation in Palm Desert …names will be withheld to protect the not so innocent …

About three years ago my lovely husband introduced me to this magical warm and lovely world that is southern California’s best kept secret…. it was so magical and warm , our trip was a much belated honeymoon …and it was so short , we vowed to go back . Fast forward three years and me losing weight becoming way more active and voila  we are again planning a trip with extra people …two tennis buddies are along for the experience as well.

Hats off to my hubby who booked and re-booked and rebooked  and rebooked to get us a deal…I remember joking to him that we had better not have six cars waiting for us at the airport!!! Every night he bird dogged the websites looking and hoping for good airfares ….he was  successful, and along with private accommodation from someone we know , made the trip doable .

We had planning meetings, and being my husband, he was über organized , giving everyone agendas and reminders . One thing you can’t plan is how well people are going to get along …I was not worried ,but  was not sure about it .

The day comes….tennis buddy #1 (we will call him) shows up ON TIME with coffee for us …damn I had money riding on him being late!!!…we drive to the airport ….new shiny terminal niiiiiccce….check in then, lovely breakie at the restaurant ..(Wolfgang Puck’s does a nice breakie )..  we board …so far so good  ….we notice the weather appears to be going to pot outside (snow) so we had a delay ….but before long we were in the air and on our way…

In a few short hours we arrive at PSP …and it appeared so did EVERYONE  else …was it the delay or a tennis tournament , in any event  queues were insane to get at the car rental but only after one and a half  hours ( sarcasm intended)  we were on our way …..(side note to certain car rental  companies a SIGN   indicating  where fast track people could queue  would have been  a good idea !!!)

We arrive at our accommodation  and the owner lets us in …we look around  and wisely wait till after he leaves to squeal with delight !!!! IT WAS GORGEOUS!!!

We had two patios ,and three bedrooms, full kitchen and two full baths..all very well furnished including two dining areas …wow !!!

We make a trek to a big box store to procure supplies  for the first week ….four people going in different directions ..just when we found tennis buddy #1 , tennis buddy #2 would take off for a forgotten item …if you have ever tried to herd cats , you will get this ..finally home to the condo and drinks on the patio at last !!!!! AHHHHH

We settle into  a routine ;in the morning we all have coffee ,rustle up our own versions of a breakfast, and the gentlemen head to the courts for three hours of tennis while I don sneakers and head for the walkways ..we regroup with a light lunch and plan the rest of the day …23755853_1636271349729565_1348010829_n

Every day we would be visited by delightful friend #1 who is fond of the drink and likes to smoke ( he pretends his wife doesn’t know, his wife pretends not to know). This would be preceded by us asking the question ” wonder when —– will show up ??” …and on cue , he there he was !!! it was hilarious !!! He provided us with many good things , an excuse to drink, no matter what time of day it was…and really fun expletive laced conversation…we love him!!! Even after we got home , a part of me was wishing he would show up on our deck…

Now delightful friend #1 has a lovely cultured petite lady for a wife she is well-educated and very lovely..which  makes us wonder what the hell she is doing with delightful friend #1… Now  said delightful friends wife also was a major player in a significant event . I mentioned that I wanted to do the “cross hike ” a really popular spot with the locals and visitors alike . This was no beginners hike unless you are über fit  ( I am not)  our delightful friends wife and daughter were doing this hike  and agreed to take me along .

I have found out since then that this hike was one some of the people we know  failed to summit on …indeed there is a cautionary sign  at the trailhead letting you know you will be liable  for costs  of an evacuation . I also found out after this hike that delightful friend #1  had bet his daughter $10 I would not make it to the cross . This trail can get very hot in the desert sun and there are places with scree and footholds are not always obvious.

So on a sunday morning I set out . Full of apprehension…..would I succeed , or  would I fail or worse injure myself and ruin everyone’s holiday . All of these thoughts swirled in my head as I approached the base of the trail . Perhaps this was why all my ID was In the car …brought  along in case of an ‘incident’ .


Very quickly things got vertical and before long we were at the shade structure and the only water source for the whole hike . So far so good …I thought and my hiking companions assured me that I only had two more steep sections (yeah right ) try at least four more ….it was unnerving because as you gained altitude on the narrow width trail you had people passing you and don’t even get me started about the fools on their mountain bikes !!!! Yes I said  mountain bikes….. really!!! I would stop frequently and swig water or take some photos ….but on and on I trudged another switch back , and another… and when I thought they were over yet another …but then the top was in view  and I got small  dose  of summit fever ….. one more steep section and then I was There .Holy Crap I did it !!!!!!! I did it !!!!  643 ft!! It was not till I arrived back at the condo  ..I felt something so unusual pride ,no, satisfaction , yes, but with a side of elation and joy. I know it was only 643 ft but hey I am not young and had not hiked  since the mid 80s . It was at this point , while I was basking in gratitude for being in one piece , a hummingbird flew around  hovering around me …I was awestruck in that  moment . I wonder to this day what it could mean and I know this sounds too hippy  for most , but the thought did cross my mind it could have been the spirit of  my late father , letting me know he was proud of me .. I like to think this so please just let me …


Well this was just the beginning of  so many wonderful experiences ….we got to experience wonderful meals  (Jamaican jerk chicken , succulent barbecqued steaks  and my special ribs …) all on the patio …on one occasion tennis buddy #1 opened some bubbly … and , a short time later  ‘drunk’ Laurie showed up …( bubbles do hit you its true) .lots of laughter and fun ..( and the job of grilling the steaks that night was wisely taken from me )..that night could not have been better .

One morning at breakfast  tennis buddy #2 said “we are only two hours away from the ocean ”  and after a 3 to 1 vote we were on our way to Newport Beach. God bless you tennis buddy  #2. I was so excited I could squeal…. a few days later and my toes found their way into the pacific… While journeying there we saw a corvette or similar  car with plates that said Lucas 1. Hmmm… we tried so hard to see who was driving but alas he took the LA exit before we could see …we like to think it may have been George …no matter.

While at Newport Beach we saw surfers of all sorts, fully garbed in wet suits. It was made patently obvious that we were Canadian by the fact the tennis buddy #1 and #2  were in the waves bare-chested , they had so much fun !!!! I for my part snapped photos and walked in the water along the beach …just loving the moment of crossing this off my bucket list. I must say having tennis buddy #1 and #2 along was so sweet it was like I had  two older brothers along , they were delightful !!!




Mostly I loved being on vacation  every morning swimming ..every day walking , the flowers, the smell, how the sky got so pink at night .  It was really sad to leave on that last day , but we made the most of it . Tennis buddy #2 managed to give  Delightful friends wife and I a private tai chi lesson , palm trees and mountains in the background gorgeous  Even now thinking about it makes me smile …and sigh .I miss Cali but home is home . In the middle of this cold winter  I remember it and smile and look forward to the next time.








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Life after 50/Kitty

We all have a favourite pet one that is friendly loveable and cuddly ….then we have other pets  we really wonder why we keep  around  . Our Kitty was just such a pet, a long-haired  rag doll cat , she carried herself with an air the would have done royalty proud . She hissed more than she purred and avoided most human contact .

Even before I had made her acquaintance , Kitty was a  diva could not be with other cats , because they attacked her , no wonder she was standoffish!!!

I first made the acquaintance with Her Majesty in October 2009 , when I met all of the pets in my  new mans life….she was ambivalent  to say the least . Only very rarely and occasionally did she  make a move …one time even siting on my lap and purring for a few minutes ( thought I was a cat whisperer!!!) well mostly she squirmed, meowed and struggled , leaving me with empty and rather scratched arms

In February of 2011 we were engaged and my fiance informed HM I was to be her new ‘mother’ if  we are going by her looks , she would have said “the hell you will ” and showed classic sibling rivalry  symptoms . She was after all the key woman in his life , and did not want to be replaced. Week after week I would pick her up …week after week she meow and leap from my arms , leaving a visible memento of each occasion (ouch).

One day not long after we moved in together,  I remember hearing loud hissing coming form the basement one day. Was it the hot water??? the furnace ??? Ah no it was Kitty standing in front of a mirror hissing at herself !!! I could have died laughing !!!!She would also protect us from all menaces, such as the neighbors cat (very loud howling to alert us ) and in one memorable occasion as I was saying goodbye to guests,  she ACTUALLY HISSED  at them!!!!!!

I learned eventually to limit her time in my arms and read her better, after not even a year of our marriage, and a  move, our daughter moved in and we had a new kitten on the scene…..proved to be  a worthy adversary . She was not amused and would have none of it . Standoffs and hisses …pouncing …all harmless yet I wondered how hard it must have been for her . Looking back it probably kept her going ….it was always a mystery as to who started what ( if you have two toddlers  you will understand ) and we coped the best we could .

Sometime after new kitten showed up Kitty had medical issues and  was diagnosed with FLUTID a disorder of the urinary tract which can happen to older cats . She was given a monthly cartrophen shot . It seemed to work ….we blithely went along  not really noticing we were on borrowed time with her , we had no idea how much we had already borrowed…

She would come home from the vets and turn her heels on me and I swear  ‘yell’ at me !!! Until she was appeased with an offering of wet food …then all was well until the next shot.She would beg for food and it must be said got rather aggressive in her attempts to procure  even a morsel of our coveted food . She was quite “verbal” about it …really a nag with the meowing I still feel bad, looking back, about not giving in had I know how close she was to the end, what did it matter ??  We had noticed she was becoming much more cuddly tolerating extended periods of stroking while in our arms ….it was lovely and I still miss it.

She also went through an episode  of vomiting …and of course the target was a set of much-loved cushions  that  were beautiful and embroidered….and thankfully, as it turns out, washable !!!! Poor Kitty I must confess not being impressed …but I did feel sorry for her, poor kitty !!!!

After one vet visit  and a new medication  Kitty seemed “off” . She started to not eat as much and was  not her normal happy self ….she was staggering and vomiting …by that friday a call was made to the vet and it was obvious she was in kidney failure ….through tears we scheduled her euthanasia for the following Monday….we had the weekend with her .We  took pictures and held her ..loved her and cherished those moments.

We hoped she would be ok till Monday …but Sunday she was having trouble walking and barely eating …it was clear she needed help , a call was made and it was done . Never easy, we miss her still, talk about her personality , how she would play with her favourite red mouse, and the minute we looked at her , she would stop….

She was so little and yet left such a hole in our life ….house was so quiet now no meowing , no purring …

Even now the scratches on my arms are gone ….I  still have to stop myself from asking how her day was ..or looking to the sofa for her to still be there , or turning down music that might be too loud for her  There is no one by our side when eating, to beg for food. She was a very real part of our courtship and marriage, she witnessed the Christmases , the Halloween parties the triumphs and sorrows. She was there when my daughter moved out  …it almost feels like an era has ended with her passing. She was a silent observer of our life story, passing no judgement, except for the odd meow.   We loved her and we will always miss her little soft purring life .Sleep sweet Kitty rest in pace.



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life after 50/ no one told me

11088398_910070529016321_2561299079906728829_nHello gentle readers, well it has finally happened. The nest is now officially empty .

I know this is normal, expected , dare I say, in some cases, hoped for.  I really wish someone could explain that to my heart .My daughter moved in with us a few short years ago to, as we said , reset her compass…was only supposed to be for a year, and it turned into three.

My relationship with my child, my daughter , runs deep as I was a single mom for eight years, you could say our bond was deep , in the same sense as the ocean is somewhat deep.

We did so much together , and we laughed so much . We shopped, walked,  had coffee, did yoga, planned major events and holidays.

We shared sad times and happy times and quiet times . We laughed mocked and scorned together , laughed at the cat together.

We worked together to plant a garden and flowers , a memory so treasured now .

We cooked together and ate together with my dear husband , we were a family together.we celebrated holidays together and decorated ( mostly her ) for them with gusto.

Then there was talk of a move not an hour or two away , but across the country…I held my breath and my tongue , not sure if this time it would actually happen , (it had been discussed and shelved before). Talk turned to real plans this time …and I knew it would be alright, that she had to do this and was ready for it .

We both prepared for her departure in different ways , she readied her cat and saved money for the move and contingency fund ….I embarked on  what could be described as a fourth grader mom’s attempt at documenting her  life with us . I did a photo book,  a collage,  and fingerprint pictures ( do not judge me looks nice ). We went to all her favorite restaurants and haunts. I was kept busy helping her with all this  and her prep for moving , her cellphone was full of lists. It was good, meant fewer teary days in front of her  On some level she knew my heart was breaking but, I also knew she HAD  to do this , had to start her life, her own life on her own terms , not dictated by her  mom and stepdad.

Now I know we are  family still and she has not died  , right ? (I get it) …but my heart is empty now too , it misses this incredible young lady  and all she brought to my life.

If it was up to me those bubbly and cheery books for raising a child would contain a chapter on what happens when they leave…..basically warn you that your heart is about to be broken in a way you could not have ever imagined.

They should tell you that every time you think of them you will cry a bit , and then carry on, that people will be somewhat sympathetic , for a while at least, and others won’t see what the BIG DEAL is ( those people are childless)… and , how similar to a miscarriage , (yes I know she is still alive , but bear with me ) you are expected to just shut up about it and deal, no biggie.. right ??? Except it is a big deal to me , I want to scream,  I miss her like a flower misses water . How do I convince my heart ??? What do I say ???  …. And what do I fill my life with ??? I am a Mom ….it’s all I know to be ….I miss that

I miss coming up the drive and knowing she will be there , with her cat ,…. the house is quiet emptier now . I miss doing yoga with her, every time I unfurl my mat ….and I miss gardening with her .with every flower I plant…I miss her way of keeping me politically correct when I venture into the realm of being an asshole. I admire that she has opened my heart to new things and has made me a better person for it. I miss the friends she brought to our house and the joy of large breakfasts with all of us there. I just miss her.

I realize this is a new opportunity to redefine who I am , to seize and opportunity and live for myself a bit more , but for now I need to mourn it and come to terms with it , make peace with it somehow..who knows …..maybe I could suggest an edit for all the baby books???






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Fashionista over 50


Hello again gentle readers, sorry for the long  pause ….been quite busy .

One of the things I have been busy with is a few local fashion shows here , no haven’t lost much weight , no have not gone back in time …let me explain, first some background

In my “salad days” ( I can say that now ) I worked in the fashion industry selling upscale clothing from  a retailer in a major city centre, I wore hats and designer clothes had the world by the tail …always looked my best ( or tried to) …as years of marriage and years of no longer working …”in the biz” wore on so did my wardrobe which was augmented by hand me downs and consignment shops ..still I managed a few triumphs here and there.

Add one daughter and voila who cared how I looked I had no time or cash for fashion and oh how it showed !!! Ah well all eyes were on  my sweet girl !!!! This explains  a horrible red dress ( did I have  an aneurysm???) and an unforgivable culotte outfit (oh the humanity!!!)

Fast forward a few years and presto I am single again and I started working for a plus-size retailer again ( ya gotta love an employee discount) so slowly but surely dress pants and some really lovely pieces began to make their way into my wardrobe….I had a hay day and found a great alterationist  and kept him busy ….it was great !!!

So in  a couple of  more years ….now  much slimmer began to be “too small ” for the clothes in the store I worked at ….and also wanted to date ..bought a bunch of stuff for that purpose really nice stuff ..then lost more weight  .


I realized my  part-time job seemed to be disappearing quicker than my weight so I changed  jobs and my situation improved a bit but without a solid  influence of fashion .I had to dress in black , a dark time indeed.

It was in concert with this I met my my beloved husband I had a reason to dress up!!!

He not only welcomed my purchasing fashion…he was my biggest cheerleader !!!!! He enjoyed showing me off!!! I so love him !!!

Then a move to a smaller community ( oh dear god what COULD you buy here ???) a lot , it turns out  there was a lovely boutique that had cutting edge fashion very savvy , but very pricey…I learned to shop sales …about this time too my daughter moved back  in with us : I gained another cheerleader. By this time, in fact, by the time I married again , I had gained back the weight I had lost.

My daughter  gained employment with a retail fashion outlet in our town . The offerings were very plus size friendly and I loved shopping there . In time I became good friends with the manager and she asked me if I would be good enough to model for them. Now I did not take this seriously because it was presented to me on April 1 st (April fools…gotta be right ?) , and Hey it was ME!!!  I had been told my whole life being plus size and petite “you can’t wear that!!!” or you are not tall/thin/ pretty enough”. All these misgivings aside , serious they were and so began the process of being a model for them .

Now they say it  “takes a village ” to raise a child, it also takes one to ready me for a show . Pedicures, waxing , exfoliating , a hair stylist and a makeup artist , to name some of the village .This is to combat the “not pretty enough” voices in my head. I also have a pack of jewelry  and shoes  all coordinated with the precision of a moon mission  to match each outfit .

I have a close friend ( from my retail days ) who comes to do hair and make up for me , its always a crap shoot because I never know what she is going to do to me ..I always complain bitch and moan (” no don’t put my hair up!!!!” “my face is too round I will look fat “.and…. too much eyeliner !!!!”)  and it always looks great !!!! She is the wizard of the village!!!! I am very grateful putty in her hands.

So show day comes and we are off to do the show me fretting about what I may have forgotten ( did I pack the blue necklace ??) we get to the venue and  very shortly a crowd  is already forming  , making a discreet potty pit stop impossible , because our staging area had no biffy..(great: nine models all needing to take a nervous pee   ) I am joined by my fellow models who are  not size 2 or even in their 20’s. All anxiety aside, we turned what it means to be fashionable on its ear !!!! I make a dash with a few others to the facilities on the other side of the crowd…in my first outfit .Breaking with protocol, a lady from the chairs approaches me indicating she did not recognize me at first , and complimented me on my whole look , I needed that . My fellow models are really nice and one is quite tall , she cracks us up because she is so funny …I also now worship her ability to put on pantyhose in a few seconds (I bowed and said “I am not worthy”) but secretly wondered how she learned to do that so fast , and under what exact circumstances ?? ( wink , nudge)  One is really beautiful in everything , and the other has some really cool shoes!!!!! (its a small town gig we bring our own accessories) . They are a lovely group of women…and they ignore my freak outs ( these are not the right shoes/glasses/bracelets!!!!! help !!!!!!)

One thing about doing this over 50 is the remarkable ability of my body to be unable to put certain things on, so I plan my “look” based on ease of dressing .  Nonetheless this is fraught with problems …have you ever seen a woman of  some years putting on leggings or hosiery??? Its not pretty …its a hit and miss venture until someone finds me a chair…. How did I get this old ??? Maybe some yoga would help???? Oh dear God !!!

So back to staging area and someone has mercifully left some bubbly for us (bless you) time to line up for 1st outfits …(ever tried to herd cats ??? you get the idea)

Now my anxiety level is approaching 11 (on a scale of 1-10)  because I have never done this before: would my hair come down, would I have a stupid look on my face, would I fall, would something fall off me, would people laugh or think “why is she wearing that “??

So the Time IS AT HAND….I feel a bit like Sean Penn In Dead man walking….

so I am third in line …..first models goes … one goes …feeling light headed …my turn …go …gonna faint…. ok… walk… breathe …just breathe …..ok back now I survived it !!!! Also survived it six more outfits!!!!

So we did it!!!  We showed you don’t need to be young and thin, or even tall, to carry off being a fashionable lady..this is groundbreaking for such a small community!!!! No body shame here. Also may seem kind of shallow to obsess bout how I look so much , but I do this not so much to be an ornament to the world , or to men , but to feel good about myself and for myself.

At the end of one show I had a lady approach me and thanks me for wearing everything so well ( wow ) . I was told afterward  that many women were coming up to the manager and saying “I thought I couldn’t  wear that, but she looked so good in it”  Ok  that’s really good ….only one thing left to do ??? Were are we going for drinks ???? I could use one …..





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This post will be thanks to my daughter who has encouraged me to write about this. These events took place a few years back.

I am not really too sure  when my thoughts began drifting toward Independence. I was divorced for some eight years , was passively looking for a new relationship, not sure if it was marriage I was seeking . The men around my social setting at the time were  either hopelessly bereft of any deep intellect or way too old for  my young and vibrant mind. And they were in short supply.

I was in a religion that did not value free thought or critical thinking unless it fell in line with current doctrinal thought. In my faith you mentioned to people you were looking for a husband and waited for someone to show up, of course , what you had to choose from was abysmal If they had to compete in and open forum they would be the leftovers but , in such and uneven playing field they were like a six-year-old in a candy store, (“of course I will take the young and pretty one”) little wonder then why an older wiser more intellectual woman would be passed over for a more malleable ‘girl’. They could not possibly handle the thoughts rattling through my adept mind. If a girl was to seek a mate many things were required she should be very talented at housework and all the domestic skills , as well as balancing spiritual obligations which were numerous and many .  In my case ,being a single mom with three jobs and very little time meant I was at the low-end of the totem pole here . God knows what I would have been paired up with.

I also did not know then if I still believed in Marriage , I knew I missed the social aspect of a mate and well of course the physical pleasures too. I knew there was nothing to look for ,because in part I wanted to choose who I would end up with ,not have him choose me . I was not comfortable marrying someone who was intellectually far inferior to me while at the same time, being given freedom  to dominate me as a wife, not cool. not cool at all.I realized it was not marriage I was against, it was marrying the men in my faith.

So I started to date a HUGE no-no in my faith and I did it on the sly, it made for some awkwardness as I was not sure I wanted to give up my belief system…so was looking for someone who may kinda be ok with it….

A friend in the faith said I should wait three years , give it time . Apparently eight years was not enough!!! Compare that with the lightning speed at which men could snag a mate . Some would court and marry within six months. Like I said , not an even playing field .

So my first steps into the dating world were quite hilarious, some were clearly after the mere physicality of a sexual relationship , they were thrown back rather quickly , I knew I needed that , but it had to be with someone I trusted and had a connection with. Now couple this with the knowledge that I had  not been on a date in oh say 30 years or so, and you see the problem. Very sheltered rather naive.

I met many men most just for coffee and some for a date, with one I was afraid I would wake up one day in Vegas , wearing a wedding dress, and thinking “how the HELL did THIS happen ?” One tried to sexually harass me and then stalked me . I learned from that. One was a good friend to me who actually wanted more and I am sorry I could not give it to him . I was very choosy, no man who had been with numerous partners was going to touch me , I had self-respect in truckloads, they had to deal with that.

So I had started dating by the  middle of summer and by late fall had a couple of very nice prospects. One was very close in age to me , and had he not gone away that weekend , well who knows ??? The other was  very sweet and aggressive in his use of the emoticon, he made me laugh, and he wanted to take me for dinner. Our relationship grew and grew and we also found, in time, we were physically compatible as well ( it is just like riding a bike after all !!!) we dated once a week  and it became clear during this time that my daughter loved him as well.  It was nice to provide her with a positive role model  of a healthy relationship. He was the man I would eventually marry.

One thing hung over my head , my new relationship was not sanctioned by my  faith and never would be. I did the honest thing and told them . They did what they had to do and removed me from my faith . By this time it was a relief. I had no real ties to it except my one real true and good friend , she will always be that to me , my memories are real and no one can steal them. So the next step was I lost all my friends associates and the support of the community of  my faith. I was not angry or bitter  I had expected it. My deepest feeling was that even if I had not met him my days in the faith were numbered, I needed to move on with my life I had been stalled and stuck. It was time.

Many people expect me to speak out against them ,but I won’t , my faith was there for me when I sorely needed it and helped me in times of distress. I think what happened is that I had simply outgrown it. I would find myself listening to conversations and realizing  I had heard it all before and would hear it again and again , no new thoughts here!!! I needed to think and learn and experience life to the full .

My life is not a dress rehearsal for a future event , it is happening now, it is real and valuable and precious, and waiting for some future promise has consequences , not all of them are good , it did not want to miss my own life. I am and have been free to live it and am very happy in doing so.

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life after 50/ in darkness


Well its been a while but the time is right to talk about this . My absence from this page for a while , this time anyway , was due to a particularly severe ‘depressive episode’ (mental health dude’s words). I am seeking to help rid the stigma surrounding mental health issues . I will try to get across how this affected my life and those around me , but as always will attempt to find humor in it too (it is MY blog after all)

It all started mid april. I had really taken on too much, over scheduled over worked and over subscribed , got the brilliant idea that I should change employment. My current position had been modified by adding and adding and adding responsibilities until I could no longer cope . An opportunity presented itself , seemed a godsend, but turned into a nightmare . My poor husband was perplexed as to what was happening  ,but said whatever I decided to do he would support . I left the new position and went back to my former employer to discuss terms of surrender. Was so not prepared for what happened next , I found myself absolutely losing it the ninth degree. I was a hot mess, and this continued for some time .My former supervisor gave me sage advice and three options for various positions , she wisely suggested a weeks leave .

I had also, by this point, realized something was not ok and had made an appointment with my doc. What followed were days of sadness and anxiety that made me feel as if I needed oxygen , just could not get enough air , I felt hopeless and wanted to hide from the world .I did not want to make people feel uncomfortable with my sobbing and sadness. I had no right to be this unhappy , I had a loving wonderful husband and a lovely daughter , we had all we needed materially and how dare I be so sad.
Why was I sad ??? I had no clue …one day I would be a bit better and think “ok its ending finally ” and the next day would wake up and realize the nightmare was not over yet . I felt hopeless, had nothing good to look forward to .

I avoided social contact , played games on social media as a way of escaping . I was concerned about seeing the Doctor , would she prescribe antidepressants I wondered? , would I take a handful if I had access to them , I wondered? These thoughts scared me and I felt so bad about how sad I was and how much my focus was on me , I did not like it one bit !!! It only made my sadness deepen.

Finally the day of my leave came , I was so grateful for it , I saw my Mom , and we stayed at a hotel instead of relatives who, while having the best intentions, could be a very real source of stress. Every day was a crap shoot , would I be ok or be really bad ??? Thankfully and mercifully while we were visiting ,my symptoms were not bad . I found when I arrived back home I was quite tired, and had a few bad days . I managed to get by, but a real help came when a friend suggested I come visit her ( she lives in a lovely community close to the mountains ) I did so and it was badly needed food for my soul (My dear, thank you,
you will never realize how much that helped!!!).

Then right before I returned to work and a modified position and schedule, I had an appointment with the Doc . By this time symptoms were abating and I felt a little better . It was hard to tell her how I felt I was deeply ashamed of feeling sad ( I was always the first one to laugh and make others laugh, sometimes unintentionally) it was hard to admit to all of it , even now it is hard to write this. Well after witnessing me sobbing in her office , she referred me for blood work , and to a “mental health” professional ( I refer to Him as ‘mental health dude”..see, sense of humor still there ) and was dreading the appointment . The day came to see him and actually it was not as bad as I thought ….he quickly got a history of when it all started and what I had experienced and also what I did to correct the issue . In talking to him I came to realize that I needed to give people boundaries and it was ok to say no if it would protect my sanity, I did not need to feel guilty. He felt I did not need any further intervention (yay!!) I had a follow-up with my doc who felt I did not need anti-depressants ( double yay !!!)

So I would like to say all is well and good ,but the reality is this has a chance to recur , I take it each day at a time and really savor my solitude, and have developed some new hobbies .I still can have sad days, but the symptoms are nowhere near as bad as they were. In my case this could have been triggered by hormones , as I am very close to menopause ( god owes me a huge apology and a FULL refund!!!) , now I know that the woman who used to juggle jobs like greek plates on sticks , cannot pull that crap anymore , it is a new reality for me . I also reflect on major life changes ( there have been many) and in my mind I hear a chorus of friends and family that are probably saying ” we knew she would snap one day ” and “you owe me five bucks “.

So , in closing ,it is important to recognize what is happening and get help , be honest about your feelings and to understand you may need to focus on yourself , no matter how much you hate the idea .

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