Women Of A Certain Age

I guess I fall right into that category of women of a certain age.  It still amazes me that I’m here at this point in my life in 2020.  Frankly, I don’t know where else I’d be anyway, but it certainly doesn’t feel right that I’m here.  And yet it does.

Because at this age, I have more clarity and wisdom.  I have had all kinds of varied experiences and weathered some remarkable storms.  Most of us who are in this middle age group have had similar experiences or have walked through those experiences with friends and family.  I haven’t met anyone who’s gotten to this certain age who’s not been affected by life changes.  Do you?

Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, I am different from my younger self.  Divorced I am different as well as I know more about love and relationships than I did in my 20’s.  While I don’t like certain changes, I know they are inevitable and I am Embracing Life’s Changes with as much grace and dignity as I can muster because that’s who I am.

I’m tired of fighting the aging process, but I am not willing to go down without some sort of sustaining energy to keep myself young at heart and mind.  I can’t change the c-section scars or any of the other ones I have earned through life experiences.  To me, they add character and are a testament to what I’ve lived through in this lifetime.  While not everyone might find them attractive, I have accepted them and find they add a sense of I lived through this confidence within me which some may find appealing.

What I cannot change, I will embrace.  But what I can change or heal or help myself with, I will do step by step with love.  For myself.  Because I’m worth it.

That’s how I’m feeling in 2020 and it feels good.  It’s exciting.  It’s evolving.  It’s healing.  It’s helping me to be even more:  Authentically 50 – Embracing Life’s Changes!

 

 

 

 

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50, women 50 | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Falling Into Bed With A Stranger

Here, let me get your blood pumping today and ask you,

Have you ever fallen into bed with a stranger?

or

Would you ever think about falling into bed with a stranger?

Because I’ll be upfront and tell you I never have, but I wonder what it would be like.  Being married for most of my life (and now divorced), I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to meet someone who zinged me and I think that would be a requirement for sure.

Zinged – you know, made me even think of sleeping with him because of the connection I felt to him.

Zinged – the almost immediate gravitational pull to want to know how soft or hard his kisses would be or how it would feel to be held by him.

Zinged – the wondering of what’s underneath his clothing…you get it right?

I’ve been reading some other bloggers who talk about their dating experiences and while mine have been G-rated, theirs have bordered on PG – M (for Mature audiences) and have amused me because sometimes they do fall into bed with a stranger (or near stranger).  Now I’m not judging at all.  I’m just wondering how that works because I’ve never felt that way before so it’s never been an option.

And maybe I should add that I’m a Hallmark girl.  I believe in the fairy tale, stars aligned, courting, flirtation and romance of it all, but I’m finding that when I take off my rose-colored glasses, things are looking quite different at this age.  It’s not the same anymore as it was back when I was single decades ago.

My most proper upbringing would have never strayed into this unknown territory, but then again, who knew I’d be here now?  I’m sure you may think that I’m old fashioned in dating etiquette, but I am who I am.  Authentically Janie and an over 50 year old divorcée!  And I’m owning this new chapter in 2020!

So, again, I ask you…have you thought about it?

Would you do it?

Did you or someone you know do it?

And yes, I’m asking…how did it go?

Ok, I’m borrowing my blogging friend LA’s line….

Now Discuss!

 

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50, love | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Online Dating Statuses

There’s an influx of incredible proportions of ‘currently separated’ or ‘never married’ that have been reaching out to me.  It’s really weird because I’m not interested in anyone who isn’t fully divorced so that’s a no for me dog. (LOL)  As for the never married, I don’t have any problems with that, but I am wary.  I think there’s a comfort in dating someone who’s a widower or divorced because you’d think they know what marriage or a LTR (long term relationship) is about more than someone else who’s not had that experience. Then again, maybe I’m naive, but I will give anyone a chance except someone who is ‘currently separated’ even though I like the honesty.  But ‘currently separated’ to me feels like you’re looking for a little action before you finish the marriage because you don’t want to be alone.

It’s like Starbucks guy who’s hell bent on telling the world that he’s divorced even though it’s not official because he hasn’t gone in front of the judge to have it signed.  I’m sorry.  I’m a stickler on that because you’re still married.  And you haven’t even begun to heal after your divorce. You’re just onto the next woman in your life without mending your broken heart (because in our date/therapy session, he talked about how broken-hearted he was).  And I may sound mean, but you know that’s not my nature because I sat for two hours with him because I understand.  I’ve been broken-hearted too.  But I didn’t go running out to try to hook up with someone else before I got myself at least a little bit back together.

Am I wrong in the way I’m thinking?  I don’t mind helping as a friend, but I am steering clear of fixing broken-hearted men only to be the transition woman who sets them back to rights for the next girl.

If you’re online dating, have you noticed this as well?  What are your personal red flags in an online profile?

 

 

 

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50, love | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Authentic Dating Profiles?

Well LA, since you mentioned me, here I am!

Dating profiles online can be a huge giggle sometimes, but also very off-putting when what you’ve read on the site and who arrives at the site where you’re meeting for the first time don’t look like the same person.

Has anyone else thought they were meeting someone similar looking to George Clooney only to have Pee Wee Herman present himself?  And yes, it’s happened.

So when you look incredulously at Pee Wee who online disguised himself as Clooney-esque, with grainy faraway photos etc..it is Pee Wee who says you aren’t giving him a chance and he’s upset.  Let me get this straight.  You duped me and while I’m shocked by it, you’re mad that I’m not more forgiving…when all I can think of is what else you’ll be lying about to me.  And what if I’m not giving you a chance but there’s a chance we’d be a good match?  And I get it.  I always give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to online photos because people can look a little different in real-life.  And I’m not a girl who necessarily judges a book by his cover, but let’s not go overboard here.  Some semblance of similarity is required between your photo and you.

I think there’s wiggle room in profiles, but not to that extent.  LA, I love how you changed your dating profile 3 ways. Perhaps I should give you mine in order to gussy it up a little bit because I think you’ve found a new side career – online dating profile writer!

But yes, I think it matters that you are authentic on a profile.

1. First and foremost, you need to currently look like your profile photo. It never ceases to amaze me how many men include old photos (one was even of the prom and we’re now 50!)  Seriously?  Why am I looking at your glory days in a dating profile?

2. Don’t lie about your body type because when we meet you can’t hide it.  Own it if you’re short or tall, fat or thin.  And stop with the bathroom shots of you disrobed from the waist up.  Can’t a girl meet you and wonder what you’ve got going under your clothing and fantasize a bit about your strong pecs and broad shoulders and how they’d feel when I run my palms over them?

They just ruin all the fun and at times, their messy bathroom background makes me uneasy because I notice things…uh oh, do I put that on my profile?  I will notice the little things and wonder about them because I have a BS meter that goes off in my head?  Yikes….do I need to be that authentic?  Nah….not yet…

3.When you’re trying to impress, I guess you can finagle a bit. Maybe you’d like to read more books and go to more museums so you exaggerate…ok. I get it.

**But those stretching of the so called ‘truths’ don’t include your education level, your financial situation, your marital situation (because you’re not divorced until you are legally divorced) or how many children/wives you’ve had, etc.

My profile has recent photos and nobody but me in them because I don’t want people to get confused.  I can’t tell you how many male dating profiles have photos with multiple guys in the shot and sometimes I honestly don’t know which one is him.

Or then there are those that have other women in the photo on their profile and you wonder who she is…unless it’s one of those ‘we’ profiles of a couple who are looking for a woman to share (and yes, I’ve been liked by those).  Uh…no thanks, that’s not for me.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop for now.  I’m curious to hear what you’ve got to say LA and your followers…those in the trenches of online dating, those that have been there and done that but aren’t anymore and those who haven’t been online dating ever.

Bring it on!  Tell me how authentic you have to be online?

 

 

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50, love | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Holla If You Feel Like You’ve Been Down The Same Road

I don’t know whether it’s from the full moon last night or some astrological planetary alignment, but I’m being transformed, whether I like it or not.  And it’s unsettling at times and yet, there’s a spark of excitement.  A small ray of hope emerges as I’m feeling more grounded.

There’s a song I remember my kids singing, some rapper back when my husband left.  I’m not a fan of rap music really, but this song is looping in my head.  I guess I’m getting messages through music and that’s ok with me.

It seems that it’s a song for me as I turn a corner in my life.  I like to sit outside on my porch at night and watch the moon come up, the stars twinkle and listen to the quiet sounds of nature.  It’ soothing to me and lately I’ve been out there more often, just letting my mind wander in hopes that whatever messages from my soulful essence will come to me.

Last night, what came to me was that I have spent my whole life doing what’s expected, doing what’s right and putting me last.  A typical ‘good girl’ with strict parents who gave me conditional love morphed into a co-dependent empath who married a narcissist who was much like my own father.  Somewhere along the line, after my then husband left, I found my inner strength to file for divorce.  And I did it.  Much to the shock of my soon-to-be-ex who had been calling the shots.  But that one spark of courage didn’t stay.  I backed down in favor of keeping the peace and making the life transition easier for everyone but myself.

Until now…

I have often joked that I no longer will abide by the good girl rules.  But I’ve never done more than a little blip here and there.  I am a rule follower.  I have taken on (or been given) responsibilities for family, friends, etc., that weren’t mine to take on, but since nobody else would step up, I did.  That was my childhood training kicking in and the voice inside my head is my Dad who berates me louder than thunder when I don’t do it all perfectly as expected in every way.  It’s a huge burden to shoulder and a belief that I haven’t been able to shake or lessen its power in my life.  But I’m working on it.

It’s about time I think to let go.  While I’d never be comfortable in being a total bad a** like I enjoy imagining, it’s time for me to please myself more than I have in the past.  It’s time to extinguish the feeling of being solely responsible for everyone and everything.  It’s like the Universe is laying out this red carpet, but without any instructions to follow.  And I’m a planner.  I like instructions and there are none.  This is uncharted territory.

What came to me last night, in the moonlight, was that now is the time for me to break out and incorporate some sparkles into my life.  I’d only occasionally taken a baby sip, yet there’s a whole Universe out there, a fountain of infinite possibility that I was too wary to drink from!  And here I am, 50+, divorced, single mom with kids who will most likely be leaving the nest in the next few years and what will I have?  Where will I be?

Because my whole life was about the roles I had:  daughter, student, sister, graduate, employed professional, wife, daughter-in-law, mother, caregiver, divorced woman, 50 year old, single parent…you get my drift, right?  But now who am I?  It’s time for some changes, some improvements, some hope and some shaking it up a bit.

I’m not the type to flip the switch and become someone completely different.  It’s not like I’m going to be a rapper when I love 70’s and 80’s music.  But when a song touches me a little, it’s time to open up and feel the music.  It’s time.  And honestly, probably way overdue.

I’ve let society, narcissists and my pigeon-holed steadfast belief that my role as a good girl, as someone who’s responsible etc. overtake my innate sense of self.  That fun girl who emerged one year when I lived abroad – I want her back!

I want her back in my life – that free-spirited, happy good girl who had a spark and a twinkle in her eye.  That girl who said YES to life!

It will take time for me to transform, like the caterpillar becomes the butterfly.  I know that sounds so cheesy and cliche to me too, but it gives me the images that I want.  I’m tired of living in the cocoon of my own making.

Let’s do this together!  If you’re inclined to join me, come take my hand!  The song’s by Eminem called Not Afraid and here’s the chorus that I keep hearing in my head.

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand come (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that, you’re not alone
Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road.

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50, inspiration, music | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Kids and Anxiety

I don’t have anxiety.  But I worry and I can find myself perseverating on issues, but it’s not all the time.  Or at least I don’t think I do.  But my older kid and I just had a conversation about anxiety and how I don’t understand what it’s like.

“It’s like a train that criss-crosses the country and never stops.  I wake up with it.  I can’t sleep because of it.  I think I have ADHD.  There’s only one thing I’ve found that helps it and you don’t approve because it’s not legal yet here.”

In typical Janie fashion, I want to sit and talk with him about it.  But he stomps off in a huff because I question that the only relief he’s stating that helps is 420 and he knows I’m against that being used.  I offer counseling.  I offer a trip to his doctor.  He emphatically refuses.  (And yes, he’s tried anxiety meds and stopped them a year ago because both he and his Dr agreed that they were making him too lethargic and he didn’t like them.)

I ask what he’s anxious about because my thought process is if we could talk about what’s making him anxious, then we could come up with some solutions that would help him.  But he won’t/can’t tell me what his thoughts are and tells me in no uncertain terms that I just don’t understand because I don’t have anxiety.  And he’s right.  I don’t.  But I do know my kid and when he’s scared or feeling low self-worth, he’s got a typical reaction and that’s what he’s doing.

I think he’s anxious about getting a job after university graduation and how that will affect his life.  I’ve had friends in his chosen career field offer to talk with him and to help him find a job, but he refuses to meet with them citing that they’re strangers and old so what could they do to help him?  My answer is that they have connections and were willingly to help him get his foot in the door in his chosen field.  They wanted to share their experiences and talk with him in order to guide him, help him, but he wants none of it.  I understand he’s scared.  He feels the pressure of getting a job and he’s running away citing anxiety as his trump card.

“I can’t do this because I have anxiety and you don’t understand.”

He doesn’t want to dig into what the anxiety is, but I think it’s the above situation that is making him act this way.  He’s unsure about his future and holds the guilt of not always doing his best in school so he’s acting out.  His chosen career path would require him to take more courses and exams to further his career and I think he doesn’t want to do it anymore.  Which is fine because I believe you should find a job that speaks to you and either way, once he has his degree, he can choose whatever career path he wants whether it’s using his major or not.

But he stomped away again.  And I didn’t pursue him because when he acts like this, he’s not listening.  I did question him that he thinks the only relief is using that to relax him.  Perhaps I don’t understand, but in my mind doing that only relaxes you for a bit, but the anxiety still is there and one needs to deal with the issue/thoughts that are causing the anxiety instead of using as a temporary bandage to an obvious problem that you’re having.   Again, I was told I don’t understand.  So I suggested that perhaps a move to another state where that was legal was an option so that he could do that if he chose.  I was met with the angry stare as he walked away and I stayed quiet.  And yes, I poked the bear knowing that he would be angry at me.  And I’m ok with it.

Maybe you think I was a lousy parent in the above scenario and maybe I am.  But I’ve found that reverse psychology of:  ok, you want to use that because you feel it helps you, then move somewhere where it’s legal – makes him mad because I just gave him the answer he wasn’t expecting.  I gave him the ok to do it if that’s what he’s claiming so adamantly that it helps him.  Ok.  Go ahead, but do it somewhere that’s legal.  And I know he hated it.  But giving him that push usually has him later on able to get over his anger with me in order to clear the air and talk about it in a different way.  Because the dynamic mom’s support outweighs it all and by saying that, I’ve just given you my support.  Even though he knows I am not a fan of that.

And the thing is, while I think he can feel anxious, I also think that he doesn’t really have anxiety at the level he’s claiming because normally there’s no talk of anxiety nor any signs of it.  What started this morning was a direct result of my repeating the request about meeting with my friends to get a job after graduation.  I am hearing about all of his friends who are already interviewing and getting jobs lined up for after graduation and I am sure he’s feeling the pressure so I was hoping to help him.  But it backfired.

I have chosen to back off.  I am a resource and not a helicopter mom after all.

 

Posted in finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Follow Up To Starbucks Guy

Let me know what you think of this date…

I checked to see today if he’d confirm our date, but there was no notice.  So I just showed up at 2pm at the appointed Starbucks.  I walked inside and he was there.  He wasn’t young nor dark-haired like his profile photo nor was he the longer grey haired and bearded ones.  Nope.  Short grey crewcut with goatee.  Ok.  Whatever.

He’s seated at a table already with a large tea.  We hug awkwardly and I sit down and then realize that I have nothing to drink.  So I excuse myself to get a coffee.  He’s seated so he can look out at the plaza and the people walking by.

I return and we begin to talk.  I’m there for 2 hours with him and he tells me all about himself, hardly ever asking me anything.  He proceeds to tell me that he’s truthful on his profile.  Uh, no you don’t look like your profile photos because they’re dated, but ok.

Then he asks how long I’ve been divorced (one of the few questions he asks me), and when I ask him, he tells me he’s not divorced yet.  It’s only lacking a signature from the judge, but he’s still married.  Strike 2 because on his profile he says he’s divorced but there’s no date for the divorce yet.  Strange.

For two hours I feel like a therapist until I’m tired and I’m done.  This guy is still holding onto his wife having left him six months ago and he has many unresolved issues that are coming out over and over.  I’m just glad he has a therapist.

So I tell him that I have to go.  He asks if we could meet again.  “Sure,” I reply because I want a quick getaway and when I’m off the site in a week he can’t contact me.  As I’m walking away, for an unknown reason that I can’t figure out, I turn to him and say, “Good luck tonight.”  I don’t even know why I say this to him, but his shocked look hits its mark.

“Did I tell you?”  He keeps looking at me like a deer caught in the headlights.

“Tell me what?” I ask, wondering what I’ve stumbled onto.

“That I have a date tonight after you.”  I smile laughing to myself.

“Well, you just did.”  I wave and walk out.

I sure hope the dinner date goes better than our date because he didn’t even offer to buy me a coffee.  Imagine what he’ll do at dinner? LOL!

 

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Just Chatting…

It seems like January started a sudden burst of online dating interest.  I guess being that it’s the new year, people are more interested in dating now that the holidays are over and maybe they’ve made new year resolutions to find someone special.  Either way, I’ve been chatting with a few guys online for the past few days.

One asked me to meet for coffee at a local Starbucks so I’m going tomorrow.  The only thing is this – his first photo is at least 5 years younger than the other ones so I’m not quite sure what he looks like.  It’s weird, don’t you think?  Why would you put your main photo as one that is obviously a younger you?  It looks like a standard work photo, but the other ones are more casual along with him being wayyyy more grey haired and bearded.  It’ll be interesting I’m sure.  At least a coffee has an end time and it won’t drag on if there’s no zing.

It’s so stilted when you type chat with a stranger.  And it’s annoying when they reach out, you answer and then they don’t write back for two days but you can see they’re online.  When they finally do write back, I wonder why they didn’t write back before now.  Or worse yet, they ghost after you answer.  I think I prefer the ghosting.  It’s all good.  I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and nobody I’m talking with right now feels like someone I want to get to know better anyway.  I’m just going through the motions and maybe they are too.  But at least I feel like I’m being more proactive.

My subscription to online dating is up in 2 weeks so I’ve been more active on the site than before because I feel like I have to get my money’s worth.  LOL  I’ll let you know how Starbucks guy is tomorrow.  I’ve got no expectations so I feel at peace.

As for the other ones, let’s see what happens with them.  Starbucks guy didn’t ask for my phone number (I like it better that way) and asked to meet face to face which I like as well because then I don’t feel like I’m giving out personal information.  Now I just have to decide what I’m wearing…ha ha….this is a kinda date you know!  Jeans, boots and a sweater sounds good to me.  Casual but nice.  Let’s hope he does the same.

 

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After Divorce, Did You Sell Your Wedding Rings?

I haven’t sold my wedding rings.  They’re put away for now because I wouldn’t ever wear them again.  I have thought about having them reset into something I would like, but there’s that specter of divorce and disillusionment and lies that they carry.  And I believe that gems carry energy and they would carry that love and lost love within them now which isn’t healthy energy.  Maybe I should try to clear that energy and use them for myself.

I don’t think I’d get a lot of money for them even though they are beautiful.  And certainly, I don’t want to pass them along to the kids because of the divorce.

So I’m looking to see what you’ve done with yours.  If you feel like giving me some tips or sharing your experiences, I’d appreciate it.

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments