Mental Pause

Mental Pause aka Menopause

Mental Pause aka Menopause

January 3, 2011

There are times in our lives, certain moments, when life as we know it is changed forever.  We may realize such moments with vivid clarity, or they may pass us by unaware—no matter, they happen just the same—a precise pause in the rhythm of time, as if life stops and then moves in a different direction.  For me, it was a string of moments, coming much too soon and lingering much too long.  It was quite a rift, turning my life upside down and branding me with an early menopause at the age of forty-two.

If you were to look up the meaning of menopause, you’d see something like, “…time when menstruation ends…” or “…the permanent cessation of menstruation…” But, it is so much more than that.  For me (and so many other women), ‘menopause’ was a nightmarish ride through hormone hell that I thought would never end.  The dictionary doesn’t talk about what you have to experience to get there!  It was a total mind-body-spirit grand slam, leaving my thoughts foggy, morose & agitated, zapping my energy, muscle mass & bone density, and temporarily robbing me of passion, purpose & connection (not to mention sleep!).

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A Shoulder Salute

I pledge a shoulder salute to our veterans.

I pledge a shoulder salute to our veterans.

Veteran’s Day 2010

As I pause to thank and bless our veterans and military for choosing a path wrought with sacrifice, hardship and loss, I’m so grateful it’s not me.  Grateful I can be home with my family for the holidays.  Grateful I don’t have to surrender to carrying out decisions that may not be my own.  Grateful I have all my limbs.

On this day I pledge to undergo the grueling training necessary to perform a proper ‘shoulder salute’—a one-arm push-up.  Yes! I’m going to join the ranks of G.I. Jane and Jack ‘Curly’ Palance, not only in honor of our military men & women, but in celebration of my 45th birthday.  I reckon it’s a worthy goal because I am committed to not wilting as I enter mid-life.  I will bravely march on, aging stronger, from the inside-out!  And, what better way to prove this than mastering one-arm push-ups?

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In Honor of My Left Hand

In-honor-of-my-left-hand-001-300x300May 15, 2010

I have recently come to know my left hand better.  It kind of happened by accident—a bike accident to be specific.  A bike accident that happened because someone wasn’t paying attention and opened his pick-up door as I was passing by, to be more specific.  So, I broke my right hand, which is how it goes since I’m right-handed, but this misfortune has forced me to pay attention to parts of me that I take for granted.  That’s why I am dedicating this post to my left hand.

It was there for me, loyal and steadfast in my time of need.  I now realize that it’s been there for me all along, waiting to serve lovingly, willing to be leaned on.  All I needed to do was ask.  Isn’t that true for so much in Life?

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Growing Up Like Grandma

April 14, 2010

Grandma and me

Grandma and me

My sisters have hinted more than once that I must have “come from the milkman.”  Not because of my creamy complexion (I wish!), or my knack for guzzling plain, nonfat yogurt, but because I look nothing like them.  I’m the only one with brown eyes, straight curves and small teats.  And, though I’m pretty sure the milkman wasn’t involved, I hope it’s more because I take after my grandma.

My grandma is a 95-year-old ‘ever-ready bunny.’  She truly is built to last (and it has nothing to do with the batteries she uses!).  This is partly due to her stout German genes, but mostly because of the way she lives.  Grandma is a stickler for routine and her everyday habits have served her well.  Even though she has nine and a half decades under her belt, she can still drive, cook, volunteer and tie her own shoes.

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More and Less

Seeking the right balance.

Seeking the right balance.

March 23, 2010

Fourscore and four years ago, I took my first breath.  If another fourscore and four years would pass before I took my last breath, one could say I lived a long life.  This would put me right smack in the middle of it now, so it’s about time I stop and reflect on how I want to live the second half of my years.  What do I want more and less of, so that one could say I lived a long, healthy and happy life?

After yin-yanging back and forth, I came up with forty-four more’s and less’s for aging stronger and living better during the second half of my journey…

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Second Half

Journey Has BegunSpring 2010

Ah, glorious Spring! My most favorite season… the birdsong, the blossoms, the brisk, blue air… a time of rebirth, renewal, aliveness. It instills hope for second chances and personal growth. It inspires blossoming, bursting, bubbling forth… which makes it the perfect time to consider my new journey.

It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about where I’m headed, but thinking and doing are two different things. So, now I am considering taking that first step. A step that will change my whole life, the rest of my life. Now is the perfect time, now is the perfect season, so here goes… I am stepping into the second half of my life!

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Vitamin O

Everyone needs some "Vitamin O"

Everyone needs some “Vitamin O”

March 22, 2011

I recently moved to the Monterey Bay Peninsula, which brought me back to one of my true loves—the ocean.  I was fortunate enough to grow up by the Caribbean Sea, in the tiny country of Belize.  My playground was the second largest barrier reef in the world.  It gave me the chance to frolic with a wonderfully diverse marine life.  Some of my most memorable encounters were coming nose-to-nose with a whale shark, being followed by barracudas, and getting stung by a stingray.

Now after three decades, I am living once again by the coast, once again receiving my daily dose of Vitamin O.  I’ve been thinking about the ageless quality of the ocean.  How it endures with tireless power, instinctive purpose, and timeless rhythm. One wavy breath after another.  Gazing at the horizon reminds me of the life still before me—most days it will be smooth sailing, some days it may be rough, but always the sunset is spectacularly golden.  My skin may end up a bit more weathered, but it’s worth it for the adventure, the awe, the joy, and the connection.

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