Battle of the Flesh

Filed Under All Posts, Beauty, Melissa Howden | 14 Comments

As Melissa’s mind and body challenge her conceptions, her father faces the inevitable

There are wars waging. If it is not bad enough that the GOP war on women continues unabated, I am at war with my own body. My body has become a battleground. As a Feminist I am embarrassed to confess this fact. But then again maybe this is the absolute prerogative of a Feminist—to admit to personal war with his/her body. It is after all my own, and currently I am miserable in it.

I heard a talk show host say the other day that there are parts of her body she loathes. My thought at the time was, “Right now I kind of loathe the whole dang thing”. My physical self feels like a fickle lover, a phenomenon I am all too familiar with. She is one thing then another. She is here, then she is there—she is high, she is low. She loves me. Loves me not. Read more

As the Wheel Turns

Filed Under All Posts, Melissa Howden, Reinvention | 14 Comments

Melissa reflects on truly living life, moving from wishes to action with a brave and open heart

My yoga teacher Peggy has been known to say during class,
“Triangle pose is like a little black dress. You can take it anywhere.”

As my birthday month comes to a close I have been ruminating on all, like the triangle pose, that is wise, helpful and transportable. Even more so than New Years, my birthday has become a time of reflection and review. Like my closet, my life gets a spring cleaning at every year when the wheel turns toward my birthday. “This gets tossed, this stays, this needs cleaning and that needs altering.” Although this year has been rife with challenges, I am not immune to the good news and that is the wheel is still turning. And with each turn of the wheel I garner new pieces of wisdom to add to the mix and I become myself and push my brave tender heart toward the promise of a new day.

Recently I read a blog titled “Inspiration and Chai” by Bronnie Ware. For many years Bronnie worked in palliative care with the terminally ill. As such she was privy to the intimate revelations of the dying. Bronnie noticed that there were common themes as people voiced their thoughts about living and dying, and what they wished they had done differently.

The most common regret was,“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Read more

The Menoblahs

Filed Under All Posts, Connie Stetson, Reinvention | 17 Comments

Faded Rose, daily painting #168 by John Farnsworth

From ennui to elastic waistbands, Connie’s singing the menopause blues

As I was gazing this morning into my 15x mirror, plucking here and there, the increasingly annoying black whiskers on my upper lip, I reflected upon the changes in my life, my change of life, my menopause, what I am now calling the” menoblahs”; and as I pluck, pluck, plucked, I thought long and hard about how much really I hate this shit.

I was one of those women who actually looked forward to menopause. I could not wait for the freedom and the neatness, for clear skin, and a steady weight. I believed Dr. Christiane Northrup when she wrote about the “Wisdom of Menopause” and I looked forward to the promise of “The Pleasures of Menopause”. May I just say, in response to those two urban myths, and with my middle finger fully erect, “PTHHHP”!! I have not found any pleasure in menopause, and the only wisdom I’ve gleaned is to quit believing once and for always, anything a size 2, blonde, nip/tucked TV/author/doctor has to say. While I acknowledge that indeed I do have freedom from the tampon, I’m hostage to the hot flashes. I am tidily not hemorrhaging all over my white jeans, but some juice from somewhere would be nice. My skin, though I’m not breaking out once a month, is itchy and dry, and my weight? Well, it’s steady all right—steadily going up. When I gained the first ten pounds I said I’ve gone all fluffy, now I’m just plain heavy, man. Read more

Mindful Meanderings on Media

Filed Under All Posts, Beauty, Connie Stetson, Media, Pop Culture | 13 Comments

Connie stays the course while Madison Avenue tries to mess with her mojo

I watch a lot of TV, I love TV, in fact the TV guy is here right now, even as I type, installing my brand new flat screen HD TV upstairs in my bedroom. Oh, I can hear you now—“TV in your bedroom??? A terrible idea, it’ll ruin your sex life”. Well, “pish-tosh,” says I, basketball season is upon us and the ol’ ball and chain will be occupied till May, so I’m delighted to have the company up there.

Because I do watch TV, I’ve been noticing a very interesting marketing trend. Advertisers are really hitting our age group hard. Instead of just producing commercials for Metamucil, Viagra, Depends, and that yogurt-like stuff Jamie Lee Curtis is shilling so we can all poop better; we are seeing trotted out, resplendent in their magnificent menopausal middle age, the big guns of the baby boomer generation. Read more

Fifty is the New is Two!

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Group Posts, Miscellaneous | 13 Comments

Join Cathy Fischer and her Terpsichorean muses in a special anniversary dance

On April 22, 2008, in “Entering the Blogosphere”, the very first Fifty is the New blog post, I wrote, “Will I have something to say as I am catapulted into the world of commentary, citizen journalism and navel-gazing? I continued with this pretty clever strategy, “For backup, I have enlisted the help of some articulate, powerful, funny, sexy and smart voices. Other women, friends of a ‘certain age,’ whose reflections make me sit up and take notice, wonder aloud, laugh, get enraged and engaged in life—mid-life.” Yes, quite clever, enlisting those women, if I say so myself…

Since that first post two years ago, a lot has changed. There were few blogs written by middle aged women back then, and now there are many. Baby boomers on Facebook? Not in 2008, when it was still an online campus, a collection of pimple-faced college kids and a few early adopters. In these past two years, we’ve put a new president in office, brought ecology back, and now there are more women over 50 smiling from the cover of magazines. (Hey Ellen! Lookin’ good)!
Read more

It Could Happen To You

Filed Under All Posts, Health, Prudence Baird | 15 Comments

Falling by Tom Bagshaw

Like a sign post that screams Watch Out!, Prudence zooms in on one of midlife’s challenges.

Falling. It happens to the best of us. One minute you are putting one foot in front of the other, and the next you’re on your ass. Or your face—with absolutely no idea how you got there so fast.

When young, falling is funny; slapstick even. Occasionally falling is painful, but having friends sign your cast or getting out of P.E. makes it all worthwhile. In fact, there’s a notorious t-shirt that mocks falling:

“I don’t have a drinking problem. I drink. I get drunk. I fall down. No problem.”

Ha-ha. Try that at age 54.

This brings me to the other morning when I heard a crashing and thrashing sound coming from the bathroom. Read more

My Lovely Bones

Filed Under All Posts, Politics, Prudence Baird | 22 Comments


A doctor’s prognosis brings Prudence Baird face to face with her “inner old lady.”

I love my town. What’s not to love about a place where the local doctor goes by his first name (Dr. Walter) and hand-writes notes to his patients?

Recently, one of Dr. Walter’s letters arrived in the mail. I recognized the familiar scrawly handwriting that could only belong to a doctor.

“What’s in the letter from Dr. Walter?” asked my husband.

“I have no idea.”

“Shall I open it?” he asked, ripping open the envelope. “Oh,” he paused. “You have osteoporosis.”

Surely my husband wasn’t talking to me?

I quickly looked around for Sally Field.

Moi, osteoporosis? A flying nun’s disease? An old lady’s disease? How could this be? Read more

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