8 ways midlife is like being a teen again

midlife is like being a teen again

The other day, I ran to the local pharmacy to grab contact solution. What should have been a quick trip took a wee bit longer than I planned.

Since embracing my natural color, I have worked with my stylist to make sure my hair is up-to-date and that has led to a whole lot of time spent in the hair care aisle of my favorite stores. Yes, stores. Plural. Because no matter where I find myself shopping, I have to check to see what is available for my lovely locks. And then you just might find me wandering over to check out the lipsticks, gloss and mascara on another aisle. Whether I am at the hair salon, drug store, health food store or the mall, I find that the beauty product aisles beckon me, like a siren calling sailors.

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Posted in humor, Mid-Life, My Take on the Subject | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

On friendship and letting go

clouds

For the past few days, I have purposely limited the time I have spent on social media. My boycott started out innocently enough – it was a beautiful day to be outside, planting flowers and pulling weeds. Good for the body, mind and soul.

A day to appreciate all of God’s creation – well, except for the spiders I encountered while weeding.

When I heard about the tragedy in Orlando, I jumped back online to see what had happened; what the latest updates were. Saddened and horrified, I felt sick to my stomach, just as I did on September 11, 2001.

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Posted in Friendship, Mid-Life, My Take on the Subject | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Between the Lines: Blogging over 50

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A few months ago, I responded to a request from Katherine at KatherinesCorner.com,  as she was looking for women bloggers over 50 to share their experiences, such as what inspired them to start a blog, what keeps them motivated and so forth. With her expertise and hard work, she is giving more than 80 bloggers the opportunity to expand their horizons and reach more people.

So, I threw my hat in the ring, was accepted to be part of this series, and now you will hear a little more about me. My blogging journey started out as an outlet during my dad’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, and then took a more “random” turn after he passed away.  A few years before he died, the newspaper industry was slowly beginning to fade. As a displaced writer, I was learning to wade into the digital world from the print media realm. One of my favorite writing gigs was a weekly column in our local paper. As I became more comfortable with blogging, my blog began to develop into its own character, and began to look similar to my old columns: a bit of family fodder, some opinion, an occasional recipe and my favorite – conversations with my readers. When I started writing sponsored posts and product/book reviews, I became more interested in the “how-tos” and migrated my work over to a self-hosted blog. I learned a lot and trust me, there is more to learn – like the value in posting on a regular basis, which is something I really need to do!

One of the most rewarding benefits to midlife blogging is meeting wonderful “Boomer Bloggers.” A few I have met, and there are many more I look forward to meeting “IRL.” What impresses me with the north of 50 crowd is the willingness to share our collective knowledge and expertise among each other and the new bloggers arriving into cyberspace.

Some professionals in the blogging world suggest carving a niche, and being an expert in a field. I agree, but I still defer back to my old columnist days and prefer to write about whatever topic moves me. So if you are hopping through my posts, you are going to see a little bit of everything that interests me. It may not be what I should be doing, but it is what I like to do, so maybe my little niche is, “Midlife Lifestyle Blogger.” Because I am an almost empty-nester, my husband and I have been able to travel a bit more, so you’ll read about our trips. We’re attempting to be healthier and greener, so you’ll find recipes from homemade bread to toothpaste. Plus, I have been dabbling in some humor writing to balance some of the more serious opinions and life-changes of moving forward after raising four little ones. One of my menopause posts was chosen to be part of the anthology, Feisty after 45 – The Best Blogs from Midlife Women.

In addition to cruising through my site, I do hope you click on the link below and check out some of the other writers and their work. And if you have ever wanted to give blogging a try, I encourage you to do so! It is a great way to record family history, share opinions or hobbies and meet others.

If you have any questions, there is a “North of 50 Blogger” right here (me!) who is happy to help! A list of how to contact me is on my “Contact” page.

Happy reading – and, hopefully, writing!

Posted in Mid-Life, Writing | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

I would have told her

I would have told her

I would have told her

It has been almost a year since our youngest child graduated from high school. One year of college down – where did that time go?

Prom pictures and senior photos are starting to pop up on social media, and it’s hard to believe that a year ago at this time, we were busy shopping for dresses. It seems like yesterday we were preparing for the last graduation party we would throw for one of our children.

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Posted in Family, Mid-Life, mother's advice, parenting | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Battling with grays and strays

gray and stray

Battling with grays and strays

Grays and strays – just another dandy way that menopause shares its, dare I say, hair-raising, life-altering change.

About three years ago, I colored my hair for the last time. The gray was in for the win, and my scalp became irritated from the dye. My last, paid-for hair hurrah were highlights and low-lights, which camouflaged the incoming gray. Midlife was sucking the life right out of my melanin production, creating a source of natural color streaks. Albeit gray in color, the strands contrasted with my brunette beginnings, thus giving me, um, a new type of highlights.

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Cheers then, Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Cheers then, Downton Abbey

Cheers then, Downton Abbey

I remember when I didn’t much like Sundays, well Sunday evenings anyway. As a kid, it meant slamming into completion the school work that was put off to the very last minute. As an adult – translation: mom – Sunday night evolved into making sure my own kids were slamming into the completion the homework that had been put off to the last minute. It meant packing lunches and checking backpacks. It meant questioning why weekends were so short.

For the past three years though, Sunday evenings couldn’t come fast enough. The fact that homework and backpacks were no longer an issue added to my enjoyment. But the truth of the matter is I couldn’t wait until I could grab my crisps and escape into the world of Downton Abbey.

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Posted in IMHO, Mid-Life, My Take on the Subject, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

In defense of a snow day

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Snow day!

Snow day! 

In my little corner of the world, the area schools have (wisely) declared a snow day. Thousands of students and most of their parents are thrilled – however, just as many people are not.

I often wonder why there is such a fuss over snow days. Most school years, students may get one or two weather-related cancellations. Over the past few years, we’ve had some of the harshest winters on record, and the students have racked-up many snow days. But I am sure if these days were averaged over the course of their years of education, the sum total of days off would be the tiniest percentage point.

School officials don’t make these decisions lightly. They know that education is important, and they understand that a snow day can create child-care issues for many of their district’s parents. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes, especially since their decisions are scrutinized in the media.

If you want to see how passionate people are on this subject, just read the comment section of any article posted about school closings. The complaints and nasty responses would blow your mind, as they use foul language and remark that “the system” is making wimps out of the next generation. A good number of grumpy responders don’t even have school-age children, so why do they care? As I read some responses, a few thoughts came to mind:

  • Maybe these people are envious that they can’t stay home.
  • Perhaps they aren’t accurately remembering “back in the day.”
  • Possibly there is nothing more serious happening in the world than local schools cancelling.

When folks state over and over again that as children, they had to walk in the cold and snow to get to school, I can appreciate that. I did the same. A few blocks to elementary school felt like trekking across the frozen tundra. By junior high (see, dating myself here), it was a little over a mile of walking on un-shoveled walkways while cars zipped by, soaking us with a misty, salty, road-debris spray. Waiting in the elements for the bus to high school wasn’t much fun, either.

But life was different then. Many households had one car. Most elementary schools were within walking distance by a few blocks. Today, the dynamics of our neighborhoods have changed. School consolidations have made walking to school non-existent in many communities, plus many districts have eliminated bus service.

Logistically, closing schools for bad weather makes sense. Why take unnecessary risks? Plus, with less people commuting, road crews can do their jobs more efficiently and expediently.

So again, why the angst?

My guess – it is our society. We’ve been convinced that we can stop for nothing. Always on the go – no down-time. How many people do you know cash in their vacation time instead of taking the time off? How many families do you know of that pick up their kids up from school and shuttle around town all evening, from practices to music lessons or whatever? How many people go to work sick, spreading their germs, because they boast of never taking a day off? Achoo, sniffle, sniffle – thanks and congratulations?! Is there an unwritten rule they we must always be on the go and/or productive?

As a society, we just can’t “be.” We’re either looking at our phones, watching TV, listening to something via ear buds, and so on. We are distracted constantly.

So maybe it isn’t the snow day that it the problem, but it is the anxiety that is created when we just don’t know how to sit back, relax and wait for the storm to end.

As a child, I lived for snow days. Hot chocolate, making extra money shoveling neighbors’ walkways, sledding, playing in the snow, sleeping in – yeah, that’s the life! And the best part was everything was unplanned. Just go with the flow, embracing a little down-time.

As a parent of school-aged children, I prayed for snow days. I loved having a “free day” with my children; no rushing out the door, no schedule – just time to play, drink cocoa and just “be.” I have cherished memories of impromptu cookie-baking sessions. Making pancakes or fresh-baked muffins mid-week was wonderful – a nice break from the routine, like a mini-vacation.

As an almost empty-nester, I still love a snow day. Granted, 90% of my work is done at home. However, this morning was one of the days I normally need to be in the office. I am very grateful for the snow day that allowed me to stay put. My typical routine was tossed aside, and I am enjoying my “free day,” lending me a few spare moments to sit and write. I have truly embraced a few moments of down-time in an otherwise very hectic schedule. Had it not snowed, life would have been business as usual.So, for all the negativity surrounding them, I am writing in defense of snow days. I am seeking the positive and enjoying a little down-time. Sure, the clean-up is a pain, but I am relishing the opportunity to take things a little slower.

Even if it is only for one day.

© Lynne Cobb – 2016

Do you embrace or dread snow days? Share your opinion in the comment section!

 

Posted in Mid-Life, Motherhood, My Take on the Subject, parenting | Tagged , | 11 Comments