challenges, change

Oh My Aches

Well 50 has been glorious thus far. So many aches creep up after the big 5-0. Today, I thought I would jot a few down.

The tennis ache: I have a love hate relationship with this kind of ache. I love tennis. I hate the ache in my forearm from overuse. A year ago the ache seemed insignificant. Could the big 5-0 really cause aches?

The CrossFit ache: this ache comes and goes depending on the programming of movements and/or the frequency of my attendance on a regular basis. The ache however is the same. It’s a graduating ache. You must move to keep the tightness from settling in any one place, especially the buttocks. Nobody likes a tight ass. Consistency helps with this ache but age does enlighten you when evaluating aches.

The knee ache: this one is ever so annoying. I can walk. I can bend. I can ride a bike. However, if I sit in a plane seat or a car seat for any length of time my knee is locked. The unlocking part leaves a lingering pain deep inside. Could this be old age? I have no idea what a bad knee feels like but now that I’m fifty I think about it.

Although there are physical aches, there are also emotional and social aches. The social aches come and go with time conflicts and scheduling for adults. Those who want to spend time together but then schedules and life gets in the way. The emotional aches can swing from one side to the other.

One side of the emotional ache could be with growth. Watching your child or young adult grow or not grow. The other side could be emotional aches resulting from the loss of loved ones near and far. Add that 5-0 menopausal self and you might get a an emotional wreck, front and center.

Environmental aches sneak up on you too. The annoying neighbor. The boss who is a pain. The co-worker who slacks causing you extra work.  The weather might even throw you off or makes your aches worse if it’s cold or rainy. One seems easily shaken or disturbed as into that crotchety self over fifty.

I never used to notice aches and pains as much as I have this year. Menopause. Aging. Life. It all hits at once. Or so it seems to me. My forty-five year old self was so much more indestructible. My forty-seven year old self was so adventurous. My fifty and challenged self is changing daily. Likes. Dislikes. Wants. Don’t wants. Needs. No’s. Do’s. Dont’s. I can’t even name them all because change is on the horizon, daily. I also think snoring magnifies over 50.

As I write today, I think of how much I enjoy the still of my day today. The fall air. The cool breeze. The comfy sweatpants. As day shifts to night, I will enjoy something different. The outdoors. The giggles. The challenges. The competition. I hit the field tonight with my new team. I will enjoy some fall memories with this group that will surely keep me on my toes and easily make me forget my aches of the ages.

For now I focus on moving as much as I can and as often as I can. I try to stretch my mind to try new things to counter balance my aging. I often remember to giggle. I also disregard those around me who attempt to suck the life out of me. This is a necessary step to keep the other aches at bay.

Nobody wants to add heartache or worse on top of the other aches I listed above. Well not me anyway. Time to throw my frisbees to my dogs and breathe fresh air.

mental health

Just a Giggle

I had a moment in bed at the end of the night that caused me to smile and giggle out loud. It was a great reminder about laughter. I might have been alone at the time but I had my own party of one giggle session. 

Even when life sucks, you can laugh about it. Laughter is a form of joy and it in itself can have a rippling effect. For me the evening I had a random giggle, I was mad. The anger somehow shifted away in the moment as the laughter overpowered the frown. A funny reality.

As I think about my life, the life of my close friends and others, I see challenges. My close friend is mourning the loss of her family pet of years. The loss is draining. A little laughter or smiles can help her over the hump of the initial loss. A distraction of sorts. Not a cure but a moment in time to readjust. 

A loved one is battling health concerns. Sudden weight loss. Long term effects from potentially life threatening diagnosis. So much burden weighing on one’s life. A smile. A giggle. A softer side here and there can improve one’s outlook. If even for a day. A half of day. An hour. A moment of pleasure vs the constant of pain or displeasure.

The shitty workplace. The boss who takes and takes. And takes again. Look in the mirror. It’s not you. It’s them. Laugh it off. If you are still tasked to enter data in a computer all day, giggle about their stupidity. If somebody insists you copy, collate or laminate, just sing you a song. I think I can. I think I can. And laugh it off. Over paid data entry clerk. Over paid girl Friday copy clerk. 

Celebrate the moment in time where you did minuscule tasks to get by. Laugh a little. The insult or pain of the tasks are just temporary. You know your worth. Don’t fret about the now. The future is bright. We are all capable of adjusting our environmental distractions or displeasures.

Laugh it off. Shake your head. Giggle. Grab a coffee with a friend or two and reminisce about old times. Laugh some more. I’m sure you will be rejuvenated to the point you can endure more pain. More copy clerk duties. More medical tests. More grief. And when life smacks you in the face again with an obstacle. Laugh some more.

I had a buddy in my life for many years. He laughed a lot. He laughed loud and hearty when he farted for example. The big belly laugh. The shitty grin. The laugh again. A fart created such laughter. Not a care in the world at that moment. We should all have buddy moments to spark the giggles needed to reset the shittyness (no pun intended) of what life has in front of us at that moment.

This post is dedicated to Shadow. The best doggo who crossed the rainbow bridge this week. Although it’s not my sad story, the sadness my friend is feeling has caused me to reflect a little this morning. The outcome was this post about the softer side of life while giving a nod to my buddy who has been gone some time now. May he be reading this post with a hearty laugh of his own.

I feel fortunate to be here today writing. May may giggles today spill over to others in my life that are struggling to find the giggles due to their grief or stress at the moment.

author moments, challenges

Just Because…

Just because I can, doesn’t mean I will.

Just because I want, doesn’t mean I need.

Just because I do, doesn’t mean I should.

Just because.

Every day. Every week. Every month. Every year. We are all faced with should I? Could I? Would I? The decisions of life. Yes. No. Maybe so. I live in the world of yes most days. I don’t like no’s. And maybe so’s should always be yes if I’m asking but mostly no if somebody is asking me.

Just because.

If you want something, do you go for it?

If you need something, do you find a way to get it?

Did you ever get something, just because?

If I wanted a job, I’d find a way to get it. However today I see many who want jobs but have no will to get it.

If I want new shoes, I’ll buy them. Most times I don’t need, I just want. Definitely not practical but sometimes it’s just because. This is funny because the same folks who don’t have the will to get the job are also the same folks who will wait until their shoes are falling apart before getting new ones. I find the irony in this is I plan to have a backup in life. Whether it’s my shoes, my car or my job. Others fly by the seat of their pants. They have no plan, just because.

My just because is more about because I can, I will, I do. Others just because is more about because I can’t, I won’t or I missed out. Goals. Dreams. Desires. These are words in my wheelhouse. Limitless opportunities is what I always see.

Others see speed bumps, road blocks, and find excuses. Reasons not to drive forward. Reasons to sit in the parking lot today with no plan for tomorrow. No umbrella for the rainy day. No extra money for that special day. The longer you sit in this stage the longer you dread the future. All you will see is things you can’t have. You can’t do. You can’t achieve.

Just because.

Just because you need mental strength to battle the game of life. My opportunist self won’t let my mind loan out my precious head space to the I can’t of life. Will you let others invade your head space? Will you let your asshole boss dictate your long term worth? Will you wallow in self pity when life deals you a bad hand? Will you sit in status quo mode while those around you grow and prosper?

Just because you are at some unfavorable stage in life today, doesn’t mean you are stuck there. You just need will power, a little hope and a strong desire to change your circumstances. This all starts with your mind.

The I can do it mentality.

Just because you can.

Just because you will.

Just because you want to. 

anonymous letters

Shhh

Shush.

Be quiet.

Mind your business.

Don’t ask any questions.

Shhh.

Why is it that people want to put you in the corner? They want to leave you alone. They want to see you but don’t want to hear you. Who wants to be shushed as an adult. Not this girl.

Freedom of speech, didn’t anyone ever teach you that as a kid? If I want to sigh in a business meeting when when somebody says something ridiculous, it shouldn’t be a big deal. When I play tennis and make a sound as I connect my racquet to the ball to emphasize the power of my stroke naturally, I should be able to. When I want to make a new friend and ask their name, it should be no big deal. If my bestie wants to sing her favorite song as she walks in the Walmart parking lot, it shouldn’t cause a commotion.

If there was a car wreck in my path, I would want to stop to see if everyone is okay. I’d stop and ask a question. I’d use my voice. If I had a coworker, I would inquire about their family. Not to be nosy, rather to be genuine. To genuinely get to know the person next to you. I’d be overall curiously engaged. Somehow today this message seems lost to many. So many folks want to mind their business and want you to mind yours. No conversation. No nothing that makes one stand out or command attention. I’m sure I can make my presence known without my words, but that’s not the point of this rant.

Maybe it’s spiraled out of control post-corona: don’t sit close to somebody at work. Don’t make friends at church, watch from home away from others. Don’t talk to strangers? I get that for kids but to me nobody is a stranger as an adult. Don’t even smile with your eyes. Don’t pry into somebody’s personal business. Don’t even make a peep on the tennis court, it’s distracting. Don’t sigh its not polite. Certainly don’t sing like you have your own concert in the parking lot. Nobody invited you to sing. How about screw you!

I will talk to who I want. When I want. I’ll make friends with who I want. I will certainly ignore who I don’t want to go talk to. I will always check in on others. Whether it be for mental health, support, cheerleading , among other valid reasons like checking my daily group chat to see who is the smarty of the day for completing Wordle. I’m a people person. Singing is an outlet for many as is music. Should we not allow music to nourish one’s soul. I don’t deal well with anyone who wants to shush another. It’s barbaric. 

I’m a people person tried and true. You can’t shhh me. You can’t put me in a corner. You can’t tell me don’t. The word don’t insinuates to do in my dictionary. Do it again. Do it many times for flair and reinforcement. I might even be relentless if I know what you told me not to do is talk to others or use my voice. Body language can speak just as loud as words but as long as freedoms exist for speech, don’t try to surpass or shush somebody.

Today’s rant is dedicated to the nice old lady who attempted to shhh me. She should go fly off on her broomstick and shhh herself. Her shhh attempt silenced me for a short time as I was caught off guard. Why would she be so blunt and rude? Oh because she is just that. Blunt and rude.

I do believe words are powerful. I do think writing is therapeutic. I think putting my emotions out into the web shows vulnerability and humility. I also think the variety of topics we cover can lead others to uncover who they are or where they are  going through our virtual voice. Right here on this blog.

Life is full of experiences. Some good. Some not so good. Many I know are up against odds as we speak, but they push through their obstacles. At the same time others stare at obstacles as if they were cement road blocks. A wall that can’t be climbed. A surface that is impenetrable. An invisible wall preventing oneself from being amazing. This is fear. 

Fear of the unknown. Fear of losing. Fear of gaining: fear of experience. Fear of trying. Fear of being good. Fear of losing a job. Fear of hurting somebody’s feelings. Just fear in all aspects.

Todays rant is simple. I was pissed off. I decided to write about it. This is what diarrhea of the mouth or should I say pen or maybe keyboard since this is what our writing looks like. Unfiltered. Just like the murky water of your toilet when you have legit diarrhea. On that visual I will sign off for the evening as I have now began chuckling in my bed as I just wrapped up this post. Laughing now ensures I will sleep well without a wandering mind. No chasing the shhh monster in my sleep tonight. 

Oh how my editor is going to cringe when I say post this bitch uncensored and unedited! I’m sure she will get past the initial shock of it but this pic below probably describes her face as she reaches this point in the post. Do I laugh? Do I cry? Do I say OMG? Do I almost want to barf? Probably all of the above and this pic depicts the oh shit face of tomorrow when this bad boy is read by my team. It will definitely be an oh shit moment or two that I can’t wait for.

Good night to all. Let the your mind rest as you sleep away the woes of today to be fiercely dedicated to making tomorrow awesome. Remember to use your voice. Talk to others. And sing that anthem you love in the public bathroom because you can. Listen with curiosity. And don’t shh or shush anyone. If you shh me, I am not your fan girl at all.

adventure

Yes Day

The first I heard of “yes day” was from my students. Many of them have a yes day on their birthdays or another special occasion. Heck, there was even a kids movie about it.

But in case you live under a rock or just don’t have kids in that age group, you may still be wondering what a “yes day” is. In my little world, it’s a day when kids get to ask for whatever that want, and the parents say yes. Pizza for breakfast? You got it. Last minute tickets to a professional baseball game? Sure. Movie matinee just because, with popcorn, candy, soda…the works? Sure. All the video game screen time you can stand? Have at it. Staying up past your usual bedtime? Squeeze every minute of yes day for all it’s worth.

I suppose there are rules and things that are off-limits, but in a world or a family filled with routines, have-tos and compromises, a day full of following your bliss sounds wonderful. Which led me to think, why should kids have all the fun?

With that in mind, I scheduled a “yes day” for myself. I invited friends to tag along if they had time and desire. I decided to look through my “want to do” list for the large city I live near (but rarely seem to go to.)

Planning may be even more fun than the actual doing. Scrolling through bookmarks, etc. What’s hard for me is actually not thinking of anyone else in the planning. I usually try hard to think of activities, places to eat, and ways to spend time that others will enjoy. It’s so rarely just about me (and when it is, I am usually by myself!)

My yes-day companions and I met up at a popular local place for brunch. Started with the tiktok-famous cinnamon roll. I enjoyed the tostada, loaded with veggies. Soaked in the ambiance. According to the house rules, we had to be in and out in an hour. No wonder, when we left there were dozens of people outside waiting to grab a table.

Then it was off on a hike. It turned out to be longer and harder than I thought it would be, but also much more beautiful. Lots of lovely water views. The leaves were beginning to change. And after lots of nearly-getting-lost moments, we made our way to the hidden treasure, the bamboo forest. Another tiktok famous spot, according to my daughter. A group was doing a futuristic photo shoot as well.

My friends headed back home, and I went on to treat myself to more insta-worthy treats: this time local ice cream. Soft serve salted honey with dark chocolate shell and cornflake streusel. It was way out of my way, but worth every extra mile.

Maybe that’s what a yes day is really all about in the end. Acknowledging that your whims and desires are worth pursuing…no matter how small or how fickle. I don’t have parents to spoil me with a yes day, so I’ll have to keep giving them to myself. Having friends along for the ride made it all the more memorable. Aren’t adventures even sweeter when shared?