Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When I Cough ...

There are stages of life that no one prepares you for. If you're a teenager, there are books about driving, self-esteem, dating, not dating, blah blah blah. If you're a new mom, there are probably ten trillion (maybe a slight exaggeration) books dedicated to caring for a newborn -- how to get a baby to sleep, how to get a baby to eat, how to toilet train, how to parent multiple children, etc. Think of something in this area and I'm willing to bet there will be a book about it. There's books on marriage, books on finance, books on death and dying, books on educating yourself and your children. But why, oh why, are there not books on this huge, broad area of middle-age?

Let me answer my own question. The first and most obvious answer is because everyone who IS middle-aged is in denial and thinks they're not quite there yet. If someone admits to it, he is most definitely middle-aged and is really probably closer to senior citizen status. Another answer is because no one really cares about middle-age (except for the person who's stuck in it, confused and dazed!). It's really not a subject that people particularly want to read up on and discuss. But I think the REAL answer is because it's always been a conspiracy. The older generation had such a hard time dealing with it that they thought it would be funny for the following generation to be blindsided by everything, so middle-aged issues were kept hush-hush.

Seriously, what woman wants to read a book about chin hairs, hot flashes, broadening waists and hips, and blurry eyes. Society tells us to cover up age spots, shoot up wrinkles with Botox, dye our gray hair, and buy head-to-toe Spandex to wear under our clothes. Let's get down to the honest truth here. Which book would be more apt to be on a best-seller's list: My Hot Romantic Encounters or When I Cough, I Pee?

I've thought about writing a book for people who are entering middle-age. It would be required reading for everyone after the age of 35, because like it or not, middle-age is pounding on the door at that age. We would NOT discuss people like Michelle Pfeiffer, Demi Moore, or Sharon Stone. Why? Because they're either airbrushed in their magazines, have had multiple plastic surgeries that the rest of us middle-agers can only dream about, or they're just too naturally pretty to be counted anyway. We would certainly NOT discuss middle-aged rockers like Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler for the simple reason that they're in their 60's but still dress and act like their 20-year-old versions, and they're so far in denial of middle-age that they don't count either. No, we'd focus on the REAL middle-aged people. People like me. The ones who think they still have blond in their hair (until their hairdresser informs them that the blond is actually gray, or a "mature blond" as it is more correctly called) ... the ones who try to read the newspaper and wonder when they started using such a small font ... the ones who look down at their hands and think, "When did I get my grandma's hands?"

Of course, there aren't any answers for middle-age. It just happens while you're living your life. One day you're changing diapers and wiping noses ... and the next day you're checking out costs of colonoscopies and complaining because commercials are way too loud on TV. You go from dancing at clubs to falling asleep on the couch after Dancing With the Stars is over. The top thing to realize though is that you're no longer cool. In fact, you're so far from cool, you're hot ... but not hot in the good way that kids talk about. You're so hot that you're pretty much fizzled out.

And you need a book, dang it! I need a book! I say we pool our wisdom and resources, put down all of our collected observances about middle-age, and prepare the next generation of suckers youngsters who think this aging process will never happen to them (just like we thought it would never happen to us). We have knowledge that MUST be passed on to those who are coming after us, and it would sure be nice of us to let them know what they're in for. We've already got the title (When I Cough, I Pee) so we're part-way there...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Diets ... Uhm, Lifestyle Changes

I can't help it. All I can think about today is food. Sweet food. Crunchy food. Chocolate food. Anything but healthy food. That's what happens when you go on a diet change your lifestyle and eat "healthy". ::Sigh!:: I wanna stuff my face with all kinds of fattening, sweet, calorie-laden, guilty pleasure food items. But I can't. I'm working towards walking down the aisle at my son's wedding ... and I don't want the fat rolls jiggling as I dance. (For clarification purposes, I'll be dancing at the reception -- not as I'll be walking down the aisle.) So, in the meantime, I'll think and dream of those foods ... and have a few nibbles and obediently count them towards my limit for the day, because that's what we people on diets who have changed their life styles do ...

Monday, March 14, 2011


I wound up being the only person in my office today. It was just me ... and my sauerkraut. Yes, I admit it -- I like sauerkraut. No one at my home can stand it. They hate the look of it. They hate the taste of it. They particularly hate the smell of it. So, I never fix it ... just because I'm a heck of a person. That and I don't want to listen to all of the griping and complaining. Since no one was going to be in the office today, I took a big ole' bowl of sauerkraut to eat for lunch, with a side of pickled beets, a cup of artichoke hearts, and some strawberries for dessert. Yes, my office now smells like it is filled with dirty diapers and a decomposing corpse. I'm here alone, so no one else is suffering. But, I enjoyed my lunch, thank you very much!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Random Musings and Wisdom

1. When you give a hard, plastic rattle to a baby, she'll love the sound that it makes and will delightfully shake it. If that same baby clonks herself in the head with the rattle, she won't like it so much anymore.

2. If you're going to go on a diet, it's best to go with something where you don't feel deprived (like Weight Watchers). If you find yourself feeling deprived, that's like being punished and you wind up over-compensating and eating everything in sight. If you can find a diet where you basically eat nothing but ice cream, chocolate, and cookies, that's even better.

3. I always seem to think that what I'm saying is very important and people need to listen to me.

4. Ranting and raving to the entire household that "I'm the only one who ever does anything around here" will pretty much guarantee that you will continue to be the only one who does anything around there. Politely asking goes a lot farther than nagging and whining.

5. I don't particularly like partly cloudy days, but I love partly sunny days. Aren't those the same things?

6. I don't think I have ever in my entire life gone to the grocery store where I haven't had to ask someone to reach something off of the top shelf for me. I keep waiting for the day when a really tall person will point to something on the bottom shelf and ask me to get it for him. I will feel really important.

7. If your hair is curly, you want it straight. If your hair is straight, you want it curly. If you're short, you want to be taller. If you're tall, you want to be shorter. If your eyes are blue, you want them to be brown. If your eyes are brown, you want them to be blue. We always seem to want what we don't have.

8. Trying to talk yourself in to going to a high place when you're deathly afraid of heights is a very brave and noble thing to do. Your body, however, might think otherwise and cause you to hyperventilate, sweat profusely, and generally make a total fool out of yourself. You might rethink the idea of being brave and noble. God made me short. He must have liked the idea of my being close to the ground.

9. When I was pregnant with my first, I craved ice cream and cookies. Justin, our first-born, is a junk foodaholic. When I was pregnant with my second, I craved coke Icees and payday candy bars. Jake, our middle son, loves salty foods and colas. When I was pregnant with my third, I craved fruit. Jordan, our youngest, will eat fruit until he pukes (not literally, thank you). When I was pregnant with my fourth, I craved food -- any type. Mikaela, our daughter, is a tiny little thing but loves all kinds of foods. Yes, I've discovered an amazing scientific fact. When you're pregnant, watch what you eat because the baby you're carrying will love what you crave! I'm still waiting for the millions of dollars to roll in concerning my incredible scientific discovery.

10. It's good to always try to come up with a lesson in whatever happens in life. If the dogs pee on your clean, folded laundry that is on the floor, God is trying to tell you that it's important to put your laundry up. If you can't pick up a 50-pound sack of dog food to get it in your car, God is trying to tell you that the dogs need to go on a diet. We always need to be learning.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Hear Voices ...

Yes, I do. I admit it. I hear voices ... all the time. They say things to me like ...
Check your shoes before you go out of the bathroom for toilet paper that might be attached.
Look both ways before crossing the street ... or before you pull out in traffic.
Always check your teeth after you eat broccoli. Ewwww.
Usually it's better to not win the fight and just keep your mouth shut.

I'm thankful for my voices. There was a period of many years where I chose to ignore those voices. You know the ones ...
What is the right thing to do here?
If you have to hide this from people, why are you doing it?
Does doing this truly make you happy? So, why are you feeling so empty?
Even though you don't want me, I'm still here ...

Yup, THOSE voices. Or in particular, THAT voice. The one that convicted me and challenged me to go along that straight and narrow road, that encouraged me to break away from the pack and to listen to the ancient words. The voice that seemed determined for me to look beyond myself to something bigger, something lasting, something more. Looking back now, however, I see that that voice was also the very one that was whispering the truth to me in the midst of many other voices screaming different philosophies and ideas. It's the same voice that comforts me when our family faces tragedy ... the same voice that continues to teach me ... the same voice that reassures me of a fantastic and forgiving love. It's the voice that I now recognize and welcome.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you,
saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
Isaiah 30:21