I don’t really fit into the “divorce after 50″ club, since I am a widow. In addition, I don’t know that I plan to get married again and if I ever do get married again, hopefully, I won’t get divorced. However, I told the public relations person that I would be glad to review her book “Divorce After 50″ so that I could share all the information with any of my readers who might need such a guide.
It was about a week or so ago that I saw my gynecologist for my yearly checkup.
“Step up on the scale,” said the nice nurse. “Okay,” I said as I took my jacket and shoes off. I always take off whatever is easy to remove whenever I have to get weighed. (At home, I always weigh myself in the morning before I step in the shower and before I’ve eaten anything.)
“You weigh 115 pounds,” said the nice nurse. (Whew, didn’t gain any weight this year.)
“Now turn around so I can measure you,” said the nice nurse. I did not remember getting measured during previous years’ visits. Why was she measuring me now? Was this a new routine?
“You’re 5′ 2-1/2″ tall,” said the nice nurse as she pushed my hair down and lowered the metal bar on the top of my head.
“What do you mean?” I said to the nice nurse. “How could that be? I’ve been 5’3″ for the past 35 years.”
“Well, I guess you are starting to shrink,” said the nurse, who I didn’t think was so nice anymore.
“I don’t think the nurse measured me properly,” I said to my doctor when she walked into the room.
“When you hit menopause, you can start to shrink,” said Doctor S. “It is true.”
I knew my mother had shrunk in recent years. She was always 5’3″ or maybe 5’2″ when I was a kid and now she is barely 5′. But she is 88 and walks with a walker so she is permanently bent over.
Now, at 52, it is starting to happen to me…I am shrinking. No wonder the petite skirts at Nordstrom fit me so much better than the regular Misses size, it is because I am shorter than I was last Fall. I am shrinking.
How much more will I shrink next year and the year after, I thought to myself. This has major implications for the rest of my life.
What will I do when someone asks me how tall I am? I will have to say I am 5′ 2-1/2″. I am shrinking.
What will I do when I buy pantyhose? I can no longer look for my standard height and weight. I will have to look at a different set of proportions to see if I need a smaller size…or perhaps larger size. I am shrinking. Yes, I am.
What will I do when I measure my Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percentage? I am shrinking. It will never be the same again. I am shrinking.
On a positive note, I may find that I can now fit into the entire petite line of clothing when I shop. Normally, I buy separates because I need the petite jacket and the regular pants. Now I may only need the full petite size. I am shrinking, shrinking. Yes, I am.
“I want you to have a bone density test,” said Doctor S. “Let’s see if you need to add Calcium supplements or not.” (I was concerned about taking Calcium supplements after a recent research study linked Calcium supplements to a potential increased risk of heart attacks. However, my friend L, who is a very smart dietitian, said as long as I take Calcium supplements with Vitamin D, it is okay. So glad I asked my friend L. I do like the Viactiv Calcium plus D soft chews. They taste like chocolate caramels.)
Next week, I am scheduled for my bone density test. (As well as my yearly mammogram.) I have never had a bone density test, but at 50+ it is time to give in and see how I measure up.
According to “The Wisdom of Menopause,” author Dr. Christiane Northrup says that research has shown that “the average woman loses 2-4 percent of her bone mass per year in the first five years after menopause. After that, loss slows down markedly or disappears. In men, accelerated bone loss is more apt to begin in the late sixties.”
Am I at risk for osteoporosis? Oh, I hope not. I think I’ll wait and see what my bone density test says, before I get all excited. On second thought, maybe I should just start to rev up my bone building program a little more each day…just in case. It can’t hurt.
Where are those weights?
Oh, yes. There they are. Wait a minute. Can I lift them? They are very heavy.
Yes, I can. I can lift all 726 pages of the September Fall Fashion issue of Vogue magazine. (Ooh, ahh, la, de da. Lift with the right, lift right again. Turn those pages. Turn them fast. Lift again.)
And for the left arm, I have my ‘hot off the press’ InStyle magazine with 600 pages of Fall Fashion! (Ooh, ahh, la, de da. Lift with the left, lift left again. Turn those pages. Turn them fast. Lift again.)
What great exercise, for the body, the soul, and my fashion form. Sure hope they have lots of fashions for petites this fall. I may be shrinking, but I’m mighty big when it comes to Fall fashions.
P.S. – To all my readers and followers. I will be taking a blogging break for the next week or two to read all 1326 pages of my Fall fashion mags or shall I say, do my annual Fall fashion exercise program. I’m going to get back to the gym too and lift some real weights…as soon as I get this sore tendon all healed and am able to put my trendy new black Nike sneaker back on my right foot instead of the black boot and ace bandage I’ve been wearing the past two weeks. Have a great rest of your summer. Looking forward to catching up and sharing more news, views and results about my bone density test with you in September.
|What A Model I Am!|
Would you like to try one of our new raincoats and share your feedback with your readers?” said Denise Dickens, from Outside Designworks, a clothing company. Since Denise was a fellow baby boomer, I was glad to oblige. And, since I thought her rainwear was very cute, I was happy to sample the new patch pocket hoodie with an adorable hood.
According to Denise, “We baby boomers are not going down easily. We need easy silhouettes, but they can’t be drab or dowdy.” (I agree. I don’t want to look drab or dowdy, not even when it is raining.) Denise created Outside Designworks with outwear cut to flatter a woman’s body with fabrics that are easy to care for and durable for travel.
The raincoats are available in a variety of “oversized floral prints and quirky animal prints. The fabric has a durable water repellent finish that allows water to bead up and roll off. This keeps the rain from being absorbed into the fabric.
You can find the rainwear and other clothing designed by Denise on the Outside Designworks website. There are also fun rain hats and umbrellas available too. The prices aren’t cheap, but they make nice gifts…for yourself or a favorite friend.
I hope you enjoyed my first recap of the fantastic BlogHer conference. Read on for my next installment.
Listening to “The International Activist Blogger Scholarship Recipients” share their moving stories of their lives in lands where women do not have as much freedom as we have here in the U.S., put my mind on an emotional high. As BlogHer says, for some of these women, “this work is not without risk, yet still they continue. Because raising their voices is not a luxury or a whim or an option. It is a necessity.” I encourage you to check out the blogs of two of the women who spoke:
- Freshta Basij-Rasikh, from the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, shared her beautiful poem, My Red Eyes, about life in Afghanistan. Read Freshta’s poem aloud and tell me how you feel afterwards.
- Dushiyanthini Pillai, a journalist from Sri Lanka, showed photos she took at a foot center in North Sri Lanka. “There is a foot center there because of all the landminds,” said Dushiyanthini. Take a look at the photos on her blog, “Humanity Ashore.” I think you will find the images impressive.
The closing keynote on Saturday, was equally engaging. Here, the focus was on “How to Use Your Voice, Your Platform and Your Power.” There were three very accomplished women on the panel, including two who were 70+ years old, Marie Wilson, Founder and President of The White House Project (and creator of Take Our Daughters to Work Day!) and author and activist Gloria Feldt from Heartfeldt Politics. Here’s some advice from these talented women on how they managed when times were really going lousy:
- Marie says “Clothes are a really important thing. Go out and buy clothes, look good, and act like you know what you are doing.” (I really like Marie and am going to take her advice seriously. Besides, I just received the 600 page September issue of InStyle magazine with all the Fall 2010 fashions and I’m sure I can find a few styles that will fit my fifty-plus frame.)
- Gloria told the following story about her car, “I put my foot on the brake and it wouldn’t stop the car. I tried to turn off the car, but I couldn’t find the key. I clenched my fist and then I realized that the key was in my hand. So I put the key in the ignition and stopped the car.” Her advice, “What you need is always there, if you can see it, but you have to have the courage to use it.” (Gloria’s right. Yes, she is. I do have what I need, but I haven’t always been able to see it and I haven’t had the courage to use it. Will I have the courage now that I’m older and wiser?Will I? Will I? I finally put my house on the market. The “For Sale” sign went on the lawn today. It took a whole bunch of courage to put that sign up there. I did it. I did it. Yeah!)
I was sad when I had to head home from the BlogHer conference. But, I was glad to have had the opportunity to meet and hear from so many, many wonderful women bloggers for two whole days. Maybe next year, I’ll be selected to be a speaker at the BlogHer conference. After all, I am now an award-winning boomer blogger… check out the citation on my blog. I was selected as one of the Top 50 Boomer Blogs of 2010. Wow oh wow! Think I need to go open a bottle of champagne. Congrats to me. Congrats to me. I love awards. Applause. Applause. Thank you. Thank you. Or as my dad would say, “woop dee doo and cocktails for two.”
What a weekend! What a weekend I had at the 2010 BlogHer conference in NYC. Two days in the BlogHersphere was like two days in heaven. I met old friends. I met new friends. But, most of all, I was inspired, invigorated, and energized by the 2500 women (and some men) in attendance at this year’s conference. It was the largest ever.
Early Celebrity Sightings
On Thursday morning, I packed my large plum-colored Diane von Furstenberg suitcase full of clothes (but left some room for all the ‘swag’ as my fellow bloggers call the goodies we receive) and headed off to the BIG CITY. It was a smooth train ride into town and then a quick taxi ride to the Hilton Hotel, which was to be my home away from home until Sunday.
I met an old friend for lunch and then headed to the AOL party at Hudson Yards on Thursday evening. ”Indulge in sumptuous cuisine crafted by Marcus Samuelsson as you watch the renowned chef cook up a live demonstration of an exclusive KitchenDaily recipe.” I did enjoy meeting Marcus, as you can see by my smile. And I also enjoyed sampling Marcus’ menu of corn salad, fried chicken (hadn’t had fried chicken in a long, long time) and chocolate pancakes with fresh raspberries for dessert. I also enjoyed a custom manicure at the AOL StyleList nail salon.
There was more celebrity watching as I walked back to the hotel past Times Square where Justin Timberlake was filming a new movie. ”It’s Justin Timberlook,” said a Southern tourist who was standing nearby. ”I better call my daughter and get her down here right away.” ”It’s Justin Timberlake,” I said with a chuckle, along with the hundreds of other bystanders gawking to see the extras dance to a Frank Sinatra love song when the director yelled ‘action.’ (Can you find Justin in this picture? Aren’t I a good photographer? It is like looking for Where’s Waldo. I’ll give you a hint, he is wearing a black suit. Ha, ha. See if you can spot him. I tried to and you can too.)
I was so exhausted from the 90 degree heat and celebrity watching that I fell fast asleep as soon as I arrived back at my hotel room. (Thankfully there were no puffy beds at the Hilton. I don’t like puffy beds. However, there was a special little night light that went on when I stepped out of bed and went off when I got into bed. It is a wonderful invention. I always forget to bring a night light when I travel and usually trip trying to find my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Special thanks to the Hilton for installing these night lights in guests’ rooms.)
A Full First Day At BlogHer
Jory des Jardin, one of the founders of BlogHer, says that there are 55.6 million women who read blogs monthly or more. Jory says that bloggers are eight times more likely to read blogs daily and tweet daily. She says bloggers blog to express themselves, to have fun, and to connect with others like themselves. (That’s me. I agree. I agree. I like to express myself. I definitely like to have fun, especially now that I am 50+. And I like to connect and build friendships with other boomer women who are going through the same trials and tribulations of life after 50 that I am.)
So what did I learn from my blogger friends? And who did I meet? Here’s my first installment:
I learned how to stoke my creativity at the writing lab. I learned a lot about writing from three talented female writers and bloggers - Rita Arens, Carleen Brice and Jan Sokoloff Harness. Some of their comments applied to more than just writing…
- Jan says that when I am writing and “I hear a negative voice, I should visualize a STOP sign, and think of something else.” Jan also says that “physical activity is a great way to spark creativity.” She says that sometimes she takes a walk and looks for one thing while she is walking, such as anything that is yellow. It gives her brain a break. She also says that if I want to be more creative “I should try to change my perspective, such as I should ask myself “how would my child look at this problem?” or “how would my mom look at this problem?”
- Carleen says that “sometimes you have to encourage yourself to be creative.” She says I should keep things around my desk that inspire me. (I think I’ll have to buy some more fresh flowers to keep near my writing desk.)
- Rita says that “some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug.”(I know what she means, some days I feel totally in control and buzz around like a bee, while other days, especially days I don’t get much sleep, I am totally the windshield just sitting there feeling totally helpless and full of bird poop.
- Rita recommended that I watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s video on “Nurturing Creativity” from the TED conference. If you liked Eat, Pray, Love as much as I do, I highly recommend you watch this video. (Can’t wait to see Gilbert’s movie. Will it be as great as my other all-time favorite Julia Roberts’ movie, Pretty Woman? I think I’ve watch that movie at least 50 times since it first appeared on the big screen over 20 years ago. I still love the clothes Julia wore in Pretty Woman. And I still love, and always will love, Richard Gere.)
- Adela blogs about wisdom born with age at TheBlackTortoise.
- Nancy is a teacher, tutor and author and blogs at Nancy’s Garden Spot. (She is just about to turn 50 and told me all about the gardening bloggers group. I told her I was recently commended for my garden at my condo on the corner at the shore and I told her that when I eventually retire I may just want to join her gardening bloggers group. Yes, I may.)
- Mary Margaret had beautiful gray hair (we all marveled at her beautiful gray hair as we ate our lunch. I mentioned to Mary Margaret that gray hair is very trendy now that Lady Gaga dyed her hair gray for her Vanity Fair cover. I must get a copy of the magazine, being the Lady Gaga fan that I am…should I dye my hair gray…yes, no, no, absolutely not now). More than her beautiful gray hair, Mary Margaret is a fantastic artist, writer and photographer.
- Irene is an award–winning journalist, author and blogger and Professor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine. She blogs at The Friendship Doctor.
- Sheryl had beautiful long red hair (I always wanted red hair. Should I dye my hair red…yes, no, no I don’t think so) and is a health and lifestyle writer. You can find her blog at the Healthy Women website.
I was thinking about the wise words that Martha Beck said back on Mother’s Day weekend when I attended the 10th Anniversary Live Your Best Life weekend for “O” Magazine. Martha is Oprah’s life coach and writes features for “O” Magazine.
Martha says “everyone’s road in life is different” and that “our entire life is a road.” We have “joy,” which are good roads and suffering, which are the wrong roads, however Martha says they can lead to great learning. And then, there are the “10 Roads to the Right Life” that Martha shared during her talk on Mother’s Day weekend:
1. “The path of stillness” - Martha says “magic begins with wordlessness.” She says “if I hear with my soul that I will find my way.” (I have to start meditating more. Stop talking so much and listen deep within my soul. What is my soul telling me about moving? Should I put my house up for sale now? Is it time to stop fixing up and instead put that darn “for sale” sign on the lawn and downsize? Hopefully the path of stillness will help lead me to my new home.)
2.”The path of truth” – According to Martha, I should live in the moment. I should ask myself “what is happening to me right now?” and accept the truth of what is happening within me. I should be “me.” (I am learning to be “me.” Finally, at fifty-something, I am trying to be more focused on “me.” Like the other day, I went back to Nordstrom to buy a pair of sneakers during the last day of the pre-season sale. In addition to my sneakers, I bought a Tahari leather jacket. I did exactly as Martha had recommended. I was with my friend L and she saw the asymetrical leather jacket that I had fallen in love with in the catalog and she convinced me to try it on. The rest of that moment is history. I don’t even need to tell you about the moments after that one moment. But, I do LOVE the jacket and it DOES LOOK FANTASTIC on my fiftysomething frame. If not now, when? And it WAS THE LAST DAY OF THE SALE.)
3. “The path of yearning or desire” – What do I yearn for? Martha says that “what you really should get in life is what you yearn for from the heart.” (Oh, Martha, I do yearn to write my book one day and share my story of how I evolved my life after losing my soulmate. I want to share my story with other boomer women. Will I write a book? Can I write a book? Will someone want to publish my book? Ooh, aah, I think I need some inspiration. Maybe I will read “Eat, Pray, Love” again. I can’t wait to see the movie. Ah yes, I yearn to be Elizabeth Gilbert and go to Italy to eat, India to pray and Bali to fall in love.)
4. “The path of creativity” – I must get a copy of “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.” Martha says this is a great book. (This is one path that I travel often. I am a creative person.)
5. “The path of risk” – Martha says I should “do something that scares me every day.” (Uh oh, I don’t like this path. Nope this one is not a path that I like to walk or run on too often. Do I have to do something scary every day? What if I start doing something scary once a month? Yes, I’m going to do it next weekend. I must continue to venture on my new “boogie board” and ride a larger wave.)
6. “The path of treats” – Martha says that “I deserve a reward.” She says “It should be physically beautiful and beautiful to my senses. She says that “this treat is special to me because I am wonderful.” (I like this path. I need to start buying flowers for myself again. And I think I need to go to the Magnolia Bakery in NYC this weekend and get a scrumptious Magnolia vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing.
7. “The path of play” – According to Martha, I should start “playing more than working.” (At fifty-something I so want to do more playing. I always loved to play jumprope and hopscotch when I was a kid. And I liked to play cards with my nana. Nana was good at Gin Rummy and Go Fish.)
8. The path of rest” – Martha says I should “intentionally give myself rest.” (But, Martha, I want to play more. There is no time for rest!) Wait, Martha says we should “play and rest, play and rest. (Oh, I like resting now.)
9.” The path of laughter and tears” - It’s the genius of the “and” to get “physically shaken and then bring myself back.
10. “The road of gratitude” – While on this final path, I am to list five things that I am grateful for every day. Here goes:
- I’m grateful for my health
- I’m grateful for my two wonderful kids A and D and my late husband M who helped me create such wonderful kids
- I’m grateful for my family and friends – my mom and sister, my extended family, my best friends L, R, M, and all my other girlfriends, and my boyfriend L
- I’m grateful for my house and my “condo on the corner at the shore” and my job that helped me make money so I could buy my houses
I know I am only supposed to list five things, but I have to tell you that I am also grateful to the Brigantine Garden Club. Do you know that last week the Garden Club gave me, Judi with an “i” a Certificate of Appreciation For A Noteworthy Property In the Year 2010. I am so grateful to the Garden Club of Brigantine. Although, I really have to give credit to my landscaper and to my boyfriend L who bought the flowers for my stone flowerpots near my front porch. I am so grateful to be considered noteworthy by any Garden Club. I think I really yearn to be a gardener during the second half of my life…yes I do, I do.