Why is it, that I am now getting up for the day – when I used to be just going to bed for the night? Remember staying up half the night, out with friends or being  up watching movies or simply talking with friends? Now, I’m happy if I can make it through a whole episode of CSI. Either I am nodding off or I’m gently being lulled to sleep by the sound of my husband nodding off. What happened to us? Karma – that’s what. Never mind middle age. I say it’s Karma. One weekend (while still in our adorable twenties) my husband and went home to visit his parents – after dinner and the (early) evening news, there they sat on the couch – the two of them with their heads back and mouths half-open – out cold, asleep.

We giggled – heck, we snorted and laughed out loud and then did something terrible…something absolutely shameful. We took their picture. Ha ha ha -Lol, all that stuff. How funny that it was only 8pm and they couldn’t stay awake – I can almost feel my sides still aching from it…only now, my sides are aching because I fell asleep in an awkward position – on the couch! The worst part of that memory is  the realization that at that time – at that very moment – they were a few years younger than we are now. Oh, Mom and Dad…forgive us!

So, at my last medical appointment (of which there seem to be increasingly more), I complained to my doctor about this early waking thing and do you know what this lovely, bright young gal said to me? “As we age – we need less sleep.” Really? Great. Lots of comfort. The thing is, I would feel a lot better about that if we weren’t so darn tired,  so darned early. I mean, if we were becoming night owls, that would be great because there is so much more that you can do into the wee hours of the night, without disturbing your household (with young adults in it – who are also up). But at 5am,  I find myself tip-toeing around like a freaking ballerina; grinding the beans for my coffee in the basement so as not to wake anyone up and frantically hitting the mute button on my computer – because you know how that techno “boing” sound can wake a zombie (ok – have I just dated myself saying techno? and do zombies even sleep?). It’s already bad enough that my joints snap and crack so loud  that it almost sounds as if they are applauding the fact that I managed to make it down the stairs.

Well, I guess for now I can at least take comfort in the fact that I feel inspired enough to write, this early in the morning…and as I wait for (at least half of) my family to wake up, I will entertain the thought of making another cup of coffee – with four dish towels thrown over top of the machine to keep it quiet.

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Just before school ended, I took my youngest for her first pedicure to celebrate both summer, and her graduation. We had a great “girls” morning – sitting side by side, working the massage chairs and giggling together. She chose a fabulous teal blue color for her polish and it looked great on her lovely young toes. Then she sat ever so patiently for the next 20 minutes while they had to scrub, buff and take my foot down one size before applying polish, which by the way, was a watermelon shade (oh yeah – I was going wild!). When we got home, I had my husband come out and take a picture of our feet together – toe to toe – while the polish still looked so summery good and shiny. Cute, artsy and a nice memory…..or so I thought.

I decided to make that picture my desktop background – bright and cheerful. As it came up on my computer this morning, I brushed away a tiny piece of debris off the screen…what is that? It wouldn’t come off. I put on my reading glasses (whole other blog!) and brushed it away again …seems a hair was stuck to my screen… the static – I supposed.

W – H -A – T?  That’s no issue of static – old girl – that is a hair on my toe! A hair on my toe? Are you kidding me? When did that thing start growing and why haven’t I noticed it before? And that other rounded edge of my foot – is that a bunion developing? What the-?

Clearly – I need to pay closer attention to my slowly migrating physical youth,  and I think I need to swap out my reading glasses for something a lot more permanent….who knows what else I’ve been missing! Good Lord – I don’t want to end up one of those older ladies who apply lipstick, not only on their lips, but all around it too! Have I been doing it already, I wonder?

ring….ring…Hello Dr. Mark? I’m overdue for that eye exam…..

Eight Inches

July 26, 2012

Eight inches. Get out your ruler and measure it – that’s what I did.

Let me tell you, eight inches is not always easy to maneuver. Oh, you can get down on it alright – it’s getting back up without putting your back out that is the challenge. I’ve actually become fairly pro at it all and in fact, feel almost proud that I no longer look for a bar to grasp to pull myself back up to standing. My balance has greatly improved and my glutes have certainly toned up somewhat – although yesterday I almost pulled a muscle as I  had to lean back into a 45 degree angle, while in a semi-squat, to zip up my zipper.

When you work in childcare, sometimes using the bathroom  is an adventure (and I am speaking strictly about myself – never mind what else goes on in there) due to the child-sized toilets that are often installed in the workplace.  Now – it’s not a problem when your entire height is about 4 ft – Let’s face it, you don’t have that far down to go. But for those of us over the age of five, it can be a struggle. Of course, there is one adult-sized facility – but with a dozen co-workers and all that coffee, who has time to line up? I remember the first time I used one of the teeny toilets, I had to ask a co-worker to stand by in the hall…in case I couldn’t get back  up and needed her to call the fire department to bring in the Jaws of Life. Then, once I gained both the competence and confidence – I simply had to measure it to satisfy my curiosity. Eight inches – that’s how high it is off the floor. I dare you to squat down that low and get back up – no hands!

Every once in a while, I’m in there and can feel how ridiculous I must look and I start to giggle.  Of course,that  only makes the whole zipper-pulling-getting-up-without-help thing, an Olympic sport.

Hmm – I just may forgo that second cup of coffee this morning….

Middle Age should be the Renaissance of our lives – a time of re-birth and adventure…well, I suppose everyday is an adventure – especially when you refuse to succumb to wearing those reading glasses you are supposed to wear (and not just as a hair band – like me). Yesterday, while prepping for Easter, I was gleefully wearing my  hair band (strength #2) to keep my bangs out of my eyes while I poured the noodles into the sieve…or rather, ON TOP of the sieve and consequently, into the sink. I had been holding it the wrong way around because I wasn’t wearing my glasses on my eyes – where they belong!

A couple of weeks ago, I met two girlfriends for a drink and forgot my glasses. Actually, to be honest, I had just done my hair and didn’t want to stick my glasses on top. So there I was, standing on the street, completely unable to read the parking meter. I tried squinting  and then zooming in and out on the meter, thinking I might find a sweet spot.Wrong.  I had to go inside the bar and drag one of my friends out to not only read the meter but to help me put in the right change (hey – silver coins are silver coins – right?). Then, because I couldn’t read the menu and couldn’t see the specials, I ended up with a nine dollar glass of wine….serves me right.

Now I have to add, in my defence, that even with my glasses on – I can’t seem to read most labels on medication or on the back of some food packages…why do they make the print so small today (I know, I know – because they can). Nothing quite as ridiculous as catching myself in the mirror – wearing my glasses and holding a magnifying glass to read the back of a soup package. Mind you, even my kids say the print is small…although with their super human  (read, young) eyesight, they can still read it.

Well, I’m happy to say that today, I will wear my glasses. They are a purple-blue color – so they’ll make a terrific Easter hair band.

The Holiday Train

March 28, 2012

My oldest daughter just turned 19 and her group of her friends are coming over this weekend to celebrate, a big group of teens, all in the same art program that she’s in at college and new to me when she started two years ago. Since then, they’ve graced our home many times – arriving for the day to play video games, watch animated films (they are art students, remember!) eat and laugh at incredible and infectious levels.They are polite and not afraid to make conversation with me – making me feel like a respected person and not an intrusive annoyance.

Last November, they were over for the usual games/films/dinner – I was preparing a mass of burgers in the kitchen when my husband burst in the front door from work, breathless and excited, calling out to everyone “The Holiday Train is here! The Holiday Train is here!”

The railroad tracks run behind our house and so does the Holiday Train, a long train that travels across the country, each boxcar decorated with Christmas lights and trees. It’s quite a sight, like a shining  jewel in the dark winter night. In the past, we’ve never seemed to know when it was scheduled to come by, and yet each year our family has been fortunate enough to accidentally see the last half of it puff past our kitchen window. On this particular evening, it was “parked” at the nearby junction and he had seen it getting off the bus on his way home from work and, like a kid – ran all the way home to let us know.

I excitedly explained to all the kids what was coming and all fifteen of us ran outside to stand in the cold to await the train. We had to wait for a while – but then….the whistle blew…the train was coming! What a crowd we were – standing on our back stoop! Shivering gave way to screaming and cheering as each illuminated boxcar passed by…. shouts of “there’s a snowman!” or “look at the Christmas trees on top!” sprinkled between the ooohs and ahhhhs.

Finally, the caboose passed by – signalling the end, and the whole group broke out into applause. A funny thought occurred to me…I realised that – although aged between 11 and 52,  we were all suddenly…. magically…..5 years old, together.

What is it with Kids?

June 8, 2011

What is it with kids? They reach young adulthood and suddenly that seems to coincide with parents becoming complete and utter imbeciles. You make a simple request and they look at you as though you’ve just stabbed them in the eye with a hot poker. I am all for respecting my older children and the fact that they are on the verge of adulthood; I mean, they go to school, they hold serious jobs…and yet – unloading the dishwasher seems to be a slap in the face to them. I don’t get it. We look after them, try to make their road easier than the ones we had to travel at that age … in fact,  we cater to them…is that the problem? Do we cater too much? “Oh it’s ok Honey – you don’t need to put your laundry in the hamper…that’s what I’m here for…” Oh my God – maybe that’s been my whole problem. While I have high expectations for their personal success – I must have somehow transmitted low expectations in their being a part of this team we call a family. Well – what the hell was I thinking? I was hoping that by example, they would see what being part of  a team was – being a fair player in a relationship – whatever its dynamics are.

Now that I’ve had a chance to vent (thank you – because you know how hard it is to be heard….sigh…) I will go and do those damned dishes…

Private Jokes

January 4, 2011

I rang in the New Year in a wonderful way…spent the weekend, up in the country with a group of good friends. There was fabulous food, plenty of wine, and lots and lots of laughter.  We played a game on New Year’s Eve – in a nutshell; you are dealt a hand of cards with topics/items on them – and from that hand you select the item that you think the recipient will like the best (and when you get 4 cards that read bunnies, otters, kangaroos or wrestling – it’s not easy!). Of course, this led to peals of laughter and many jokes that continued to re-surface the entire weekend.

When we got home, my husband and I immediately uploaded (oh yeah – I’ve got the techie talk going now!) our photos and sat down with a glass of wine to re-live the weekend. We managed to laugh just as hard looking at the pictures – so you know it was a good time! Then later that evening, as we sat down to dinner – I asked him if he wanted a “bendy straw” (one of the cards in our New Year’s Eve game) with his dinner – he chuckled….and I realized that we a private joke – actually, after that weekend – we have a few private jokes. It made me feel like a kid – you know how kids are; giggling at little words and phrases that are private jokes. And I was reminded that at 50 years of age –  we are all still the same 10 year olds inside….and I also realized that, quite unexpectedly – I had been given a gift….no matter how many years you accumulate in life – those magical early ones are still tucked deep inside. How rejuvenating to live it out loud again!