High Five

I saw this post on Facebook yesterday and it made me think. Just what are my cardinal rules for life? Do I even have one cardinal rule?

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So here’s what I think. See if you agree.

1) Love. Everyone. Period.

2) Be kind, even if it’s the last thing you feel like being.

3) Forgive. Yourself, others, the world.

4) Do what needs to be done. It might be hard. It might be distasteful, but do it anyway.

5) Experience life. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Okay. It’s your turn. What are your cardinal rules for life? You don’t have to have five, but that happens to be my favorite number.

Peace, People.

Goooaaallll!!!

Normally I am not a productive person, but when I started this blog I told myself that I needed to post something at least once a day for the first two weeks. Being the good listener that I am, I set myself a goal (thus the title) and have every intention of reaching it. So far, so good.

If you read my very first blog post you know that I started blogging, in part, to deal with all the crazy thoughts going on in my head at bedtime. Every single night of my life goes something like this: Around 9 p.m. I begin yawning and can barely keep my eyes open. I remove my makeup, take my night time medications, and climb into my very comfy bed, laying my head on the oasis that is my cool pillow. I say my prayers and softly I drift into sleep. Lovely, lovely sleep. Then BANG! The random thoughts attack:

“Should I look for a new job? ”
“Will I ever make friends in Tallahassee?”
“How are my kids and grand kids?”
“What was up with that pushy lady at the grocery store?”
“Will Lebron James lead the Cavaliers to a championship in the next three years?”
“Do I have a brain tumor, or is it merely a sinus headache?”
“Will I ever be able to watch “The Shining” all the way through?”

And on and on and on. Of course by now, Studly Doright is honing his snoring chops, so I’ve lost the opportunity for peace and quiet.

Since starting the blog thing I’ve now begun analyzing each one of my random thoughts for future use. Prospective titles run through my mind like children at play. I like writing titles, and a new thought pops into my head: “Could I possibly get a job just writing titles?”

I think, “Maybe Ellen Degeneres would hire me to write titles. After all, we have so much in common. We’re both women and both in our 50’s. She’s a spokesmodel for CoverGirl, and I used to wear CoverGirl. She has short hair, and I have short hair. She likes Justin Timberlake, and I like Justin Timberlake. We both have spouses with blonde hair. We’re both from Texas. We are almost the same person!”

About this time I roll over and look at my clock. Ugh. Midnight. I adjust my pillow, rearrange my t-shirt, sigh heavily and try to slough off any errant thoughts. I have a hot flash and throw off all of my covers. I begin repeating my mantra: it just doesn’t matter, it just doesn’t matter. Hmmm. Matter. There’s a topic. Maybe I should get up and google it. I resist that urge. I probably should go to the bathroom, though, so I do.

Upon my return, the sheets feel cool and welcoming. My pillow is again an oasis. My breathing deepens and sometimes I’m even able to fall asleep.

I know I’m not the only one dealing with this. How do you handle the crazy thoughts, the restless legs, the night sweats? Maybe you need to start a blog if you haven’t already. I’ve heard it almost helps.

Peace, People.

Pretending for Grownups, Round 1: I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Every now and then some random song, sight, sound, or even smell triggers my imagination and soon I’m off on a tangent. This morning as I was cleaning out my closet and dancing around to The Beatles number one hits album, one such tangent attacked and my mind was off on its own, rambling down a path best left undiscovered. But that’s not going to stop me from sharing it with you.

The rain began all at once, pelting angrily at the skylights. I hadn’t even noticed the room growing ever darker, so intent was I on my even darker thoughts.

Just two weeks prior, my husband of 38 years had calmly announced that he was leaving to pursue other avenues and I wasn’t welcome to come along. Adam wasn’t sure if he wanted a divorce; he just needed to find himself. I was devastated. He was my high school sweetheart, the love of my life. Why did he need to leave me in order to find himself?

A slash of lightning closely followed by a seismic clap of thunder woke me from my reverie. This storm had no patience with my maudlin thoughts.

I turned back to the overnight bag on my bed. A friend had offered me the use of her beach house for the week, assuring me that salt air and sunshine would help clear my head. Quickly I stuffed books, swimsuits, cover ups, underwear, towels, and toiletries into the bag. I could stop for groceries on the way.

I pulled my car out of the garage and into the storm. The weather report indicated clearer skies at St. George Island, where Aimee’s house was situated. Even ten miles south of Tallahassee the rain began tapering off. My mood lightened with each mile I placed between myself and the home I’d shared with Adam. Maybe Aimee was right. Maybe this trip would help me put things in perspective.

When I reached the town of Caravelle I stopped at a mom and pop grocery to buy yogurt, fruit, bread, meat, cheese, and a bottle of wine. I hadn’t felt much like eating since Adam dropped his bombshell, but I knew that at some point I’d need nourishment.

The clerk was a young man with sun drenched blonde hair. As I handed him my debit card he smiled and whispered, “Don’t look now, but I think that guy over there is checking you out.”

I laughed out loud. “No one checks me out–not even at the library.”

“No, really,” he said. “Ssshh! Here he comes.”

As I turned to see who the clerk was describing I felt a jolt of recognition. Could it possibly be…Sir Paul McCartney?

“Hullo,” he said. “My name is Paul. What’s yours?”

Unfortunately, my phone in the real world rang right then. I’m sure that Paul, who in my dreams is always single and forever young, was so overwhelmingly attracted to me that we spent an entire week on the beach talking and cuddling and ignoring the world. I can only imagine.

Peace, People!

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Photo by Michael

I Mustache You a Question

My name is Nana Noyz and I have a mustache. There, I’ve said it. Let the 12 Step Program commence. While I have come to terms with my crinkly wrinkles, my saggy breasts, my droopy eyelids, and my jiggly arms, I cannot embrace my facial hair, nor have I been able to admit that I am powerless to stop it.

I remember gazing in amazement at the sparkling white hairs on my Grandma’s chin and upper lip. They were fascinating to 5-year-old me, and I might have made the mistake of wishing for some of my own. If so, I rescind the wish! I do, I do, I do!

Fifty years ago I don’t think women of a certain age worried as much about random hair sprouting from their chins and cheeks. Those were the days, my friends. But in the 21st century we are almost obsessed with keeping a smooth visage until death removes all such vain concerns.

Heaven knows I try to keep ahead of the hair growth, but sensitive skin keeps me from going the depilatory cream and/or wax routes. Instead I look in a magnifying mirror every morning searching for offending follicles and then ruthlessly pluck the fruit, er, hair. There are two trouble spots.

The first is a place on my chin just left of dead center that can always be counted on to yield a pluck-able strand. It amazes me just how quickly a hair grows in this spot and I’m thinking of willing this particular follicle to science. Not only is there always a hair there, but it is consistently two shades darker and three times coarser than the hair growing on any other part of my body. Truly it is a worthy topic for Unsolved Mysteries or Ancient Aliens.

The second place is just above my upper lip. I’ve named it, The Fringe. The Fringe isn’t dark, and it isn’t coarse. In fact, it is so fine that I almost cannot see it even with the 20x magnifying mirror, but I can FEEL it. Sadly, plucking on a daily basis yields almost no results, so I end up waiting until individual hairs grow to an obscene length. You know, like when the small child sitting next to you on the park bench tries to get your attention by tugging on one.

My only consolation is that my husband, Studly Doright, cannot see anything up close without his reading glasses. This is the reason why women should always marry men near their own age. He thinks I look just like I did when we married 38 years ago. Poor guy. He got a raw deal in the “for better or worse” department; he just doesn’t know it.

I’m Nana Noyz, and I have a mustache that my husband can’t see. There. I’ve accepted it.

Peace, People.

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A Thigh Slapping Good Time

Whoever said that endorphins released during exercise can give you a high must’ve been smoking something. All I get from exercising is tired.

I’ve put on a number of pounds over the years. At least 10 for each of our many moves. Granted, I go through periods of weight loss, otherwise I’d have added 170 lbs. over the last 38 years of wedded bliss.

After our most recent move to Tallahassee, I weigh more than I ever have. It’s a loneliness thing. I know no one, therefore, I eat. Great excuse, eh? Unfortunately my clothes are not fitting anymore and no one wants to see me naked. Trust me. Even my cats have expressed their disgust. Where others might see hair balls, I see only revulsion.

It was time for a lifestyle change. So, in addition to trying to eat healthier foods–lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, salmon, etc., I decided to get more active. But that means exercise. Damn. My eldest sister-in-law, we’ll call her “The Pretty One” or TPO, for short, suggested a water aerobics class.

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I searched the websites in Tallahassee and found that several city parks offered water aerobics. On Wednesday I made my first visit. I knew I was in trouble when the instructor, Madame de Sade, told me, “First time? Don’t worry, it’s a work at your own pace kind of class.”

What she meant was, “I’m going to run, run, run in the water and you are going to wear a blister in your left big toe trying to keep up with me.” All we did was run. Forward, backward, sideways, we ran with her screaming, “Run, ladies! Run like your lives depend on it!”

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I didn’t want to go back, but I figured Wednesdays must be leg days, so I returned on Thursday. Same. Damn. Thing. Now the blister on my big toe is bigger than my big toe. It’s formed an alliance with my ankle and they both scream for relief every time I take a step.

I looked at the lady on my right. “I’m blowing this joint tomorrow.”

She nods. “I’m in,” she says.

So today, we went to a different park. There was music playing when we arrived. The instructor gave us a smile and a hug and welcomed us to the group. We only ran once before launching into a series of routines that left me panting and smiling and, well, high! My endorphins and I can’t wait to return to class on Monday.

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Peace, People!

Praying for Eyebrowz: Begin the Beguine

Here I am, feeling just like a kid on my first day of school. Fresh spiral notebook atop a desk etched with generations of meaningless graffiti, brand spanking new pen or sharply pointed pencil at the ready, and me, believing that my whole school year balanced on the first symbol I placed on that virgin surface. What I wouldn’t have given for the cleanliness of a delete button!

So, here I go again, thinking that the future of my blog depends on these first symbols. It would be lovely if the thoughts that swirl through my brain for hours every single menopausal night would magically appear on my screen. Those thoughts are, in part, what motivate me to start this endeavor. If I can get them down here, maybe they’ll leave my brain alone and let me sleep.

There are no lofty goals for my writing. Some days I’ll amuse, other days reflect, still others I’ll write to understand. I’m a big fan of pretending, so expect to see that, as well. And, I’ll almost always let my readers know if I’m leading them on.

I was once told by a well-meaning esthetician that my eyebrows were too sparse. “Well,” I asked. “What would you have me do about that?”

Without blinking an eye, she replied, “If you believe in a higher power, then you should pray for thicker eyebrows.”

So, I considered doing just that. After praying for world peace, an end to hunger, and the well-being of my family and friends I decided that praying for eyebrows was just a little bit on the vain side. But what a great name for a rock and roll band! Change the spelling a bit to make it edgy. Let me know if you want to lend your talents to Praying for Eyebrowz, but I get dibs on lead singer.

Peace, People.