Aging Shmaging — Go the Whip

By 0 No tags Permalink 0

I recently returned from a wonderful five-day trip visiting family and friends in San Diego. It was a mini-vacation to a city I really do love. I spent time trying to push my dad to get out of bed and hang out with me and my son. But he’s not well, and his body isn’t what it once was.

I stayed with him in the house he’s recently sold. In three weeks he’ll move to a retirement community. We had lunch there so he could show me his new two bedroom apartment.

The community is lovely. There’s a pool and lots of beautiful courtyards. His apartment is spacious and the food in the dining room was tasty. The only issue he has with it, is accepting that everyone who lives there is old.

My dad still works at 80-something (he’d kill me if I wrote his actual age). He’s a smart dresser and drives himself around in a spotless luxury Lexus.

He can’t stop looking at women, and thinks all of them are hot as long as they’re not overweight or “old.”

He’s struggling with aging. His body is not cooperating. He’s tired and sleeps a lot. I suggested maybe he’s depressed.

How do we come to terms with aging? How hard should we fight it? When do we accept and put aside our pride to admit we need help?

I know that I have had the mid-life invisibility moments. When I walk into a store or sit at a bar, and compared to how I’d be greeted in my twenties, now I’m looked over, around and through. I try to look as pretty as I can. “Pulled together,” as my sister says, but I’m terrified to go under-the-knife for a facelift and I certainly won’t stop coloring my hair.

But, my dad is facing something deeper than vanity, he’s facing the final chapter of his life. He knows that the move to this retirement community may be his last, and from a man who moved literally every year, from the time I was eight until… a couple of years ago, that’s a huge pill to swallow.

I know he feels alone and wishes I were there with him. To look out for him and take care of him, and I know that he could use the help, but work being what it is these days, right now it’s difficult.

I love my dad. I wish he could get out more and socialize. Do more, see more, drink it all in, but his body isn’t obliging, and his psyche isn’t very upbeat.

My sister and her daughter and my son and I will all be with my dad for Thanksgiving this year — a first. We’re really looking forward to it. I hope my dad will be feeling better by then. Adjusted to his new living arrangements. Maybe even involved with one of the many ladies in the building — a new and more hopeful future. I hope he’ll be aging gracefully, but not going down without a fight.

She’s Got Clitzpah

By 0 No tags Permalink 0

I’ve been very lucky and gotten incredible support on my career journey in the last four years — and for that I’m thankful.

All the love and (a little bit of grind on my part) has taken me three thousand miles from the place that was my home for almost 20 years to the big city and a big-girl job.

So, I’ve been thinking about all that has passed, and where the guts came from to do it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that although I’m scared a lot of the time, deep down I’ve got what I’ve begun to call clitzpah. I know, I know, clits aren’t something we necessarily think of as a source of strength equivalent to balls, but what else is there? They’ve got balls and we’ve got clitzpah.

We give birth to babies. We take care of ourselves, our men and our babies. We make a living, redevelop ourselves, grow up, grow old, and make lives for ourselves after our lovers are gone.

Women are powerful and I’ve seen it in my friends and my sister. They’re survivors. Taking up causes, and standing up for themselves in times when it must be tempting to give up. Feeling beaten up, but soldiering on in the face of pain.

My friends whose husbands treated them horribly in marriage and worse during divorce. Friends who survived breast cancer. Friends who witnessed the father of their children mistreating their babies. And those in my world who struggle with addiction, and make it out thanks to their sheer will. And then there are the women I know who lost the loves of their lives to death or other women. Women who’ve suffered unthinkable loss and tragedy, but like Maya says, still they rise.

I’m not that badass. But NYC is a big adjustment for me. Great job. Good career move. Tough on the psyche.

Just got to stay strong and tap into the power of the all-mighty clitzpah!

YOLO SOLO

By 0 No tags Permalink 0

I’ve never enjoyed being alone. And by alone I mean without a  boyfriend or husband. I’ve had one of those since I was 14-years-old.

I have a big birthday this week. BIG! And I will celebrate it with a couple of my oldest friends and one of my newest. But I will NOT be celebrating with someone who will come home with me after my special dinner, to curl up in my bed, and have intimate pillow talk about my day. And I’m discovering that, that’s ok.

Living and being solo isn’t nearly as bad as I’d always feared it would be. It’s quiet. It can be peaceful. It can even be fulfilling.

Last year, I traveled solo to Japan. It was the first time I’d ever travelled alone. It felt like an adventure. I hung out with friends who live there, but essentially I was alone. And it wasn’t a big deal AT ALL.

There are times I want to share my life with my friends and family. It’s not like I don’t want to experience everything with the people I love. I do. But, if I can’t enjoy and be OK with being alone, then life’s gonna’ feel pretty empty.

My dog keeps me company, and I spoil her with all my pent-up affection, but I’m not so deluded to think she’ll be enough forever.

Eventually, I’ll share my life with someone, and when it happens I know he’ll be a wonderful guy. Until then, I’m living my solo life yolo, because it’s still just this life. Solo or not, it’s the only one I’ve got — unless there’s reincarnation — but I’ll never know.

One monkey can’t stop this show. I can’t wait to jump into it with the right person. We all deserve to be happy. But, happiness doesn’t always come in pairs.

Dating New York — Is it Right or Right Now?

I started seeing NYC two weeks ago. We’re still in the early phases of dating. Assessing how much we like each other. Wondering whether this is a fling, a friendship, or the real deal.

The city is beautiful no doubt. The architecture stops you in your tracks. It catches you unaware and before you know it, you’re staring into it’s eyes and forgetting where you are.

The weather is like that extra weight you hope goes away, but if it doesn’t, you suspect you’ll get used to it.

New York is a very smart city. Always thinking. You can easily find yourself having fantastic conversations with very bright people who do really interesting jobs, and then just as you meet them, you meet their friends, who aren’t smart or very nice and then you’re back to missing the city of your past with it’s “no worries,” and “it’s all good” attitude, longing to be back where you came from.

When dating, it’s good to be firm in who you are, but open to new ideas and ways of doing things. It’s not easy after many years of steady sun and moderate weather. Driving versus walking. Flip-flops versus snow boots. But, change can be good. It’s fun flirting with the sexy bad boy, cold and rainy, then hot and steamy, but maybe it’s best to stay with the one who’s been so reliable.

I brought less baggage to this city than ever and even after arriving I dumped more. My mover asked me, while unloading my boxes and furniture, “Ever seen the move ‘Fight Club’?” I said, “yes.” He said, “Oh, then you’ll remember the line, ‘You don’t own your stuff, your stuff owns you.'” My immediate next thought was, “He’s right. I need to get rid of more shit. So, I’ll have less shit to move when I run like hell from this godforsaken city, back to the West Coast.”

But, there’s so much of this city I have yet to explore. We haven’t gotten intimate yet. It’s too soon for that. Our interactions are limited. Work to home, home to work. A few walks around the block. A couple of restaurants near my apartment. We haven’t even gotten to first base yet — public transit — much less a Knicks game, Broadway show or bike ride through Central Park. I have a lot to offer the city, but its offerings are probably even more than I can imagine. I hope I don’t disappoint it.

It’s too soon at this point  to know if this will turn into a long-term thing, or be a fond dalliance, but I’m excited to get to know NY. I like a lot of things about it so far. But I’m a realist, I know it won’t be easy. A happy relationship takes work. As a couple I wrote about this past week, who celebrated 82 years of marriage said, the secret is: respect, affection and not sweating the small stuff. Sounds like sage advice.

Time will tell.