Butts ‘n Boobs ‘n Bags, Oh My!

Like every morning, I showered and dressed. After pouring what’s left of my once healthy B’s into my underwire bra, I glanced in the mirror. “Hey, Mom!” I said- as my mother was staring back at me. “Whoa!” was my next thought.

What a way to start a morning. When did this age thing happen? When did I turn into someone my mother’s age? Yesterday, I was full and perky, and today saggy and droopy.

After dressing, I did the “face ritual.” Wash with exfoliating stuff, wipe with toner, then dot “anti-age” wrinkle cream around my eyes, and moisturize the rest of my face with salicylic acid for my pre-menopausal outbreaks. I don’t remember having dark circles and bags under my eyes as a teen (they were only red from lack of sleep, but that’s another story….)or acne either. But, hey, I’ve got them now! Great!

Then, my 13 year old daughter, Anna, came in to use my brush, wearing MY JEANS! And, you know what, her butt looked better in them than mine did. Have you seen my butt? I’ve lost it somewhere and would like it back… I thought women’s butts just got lower as we aged; mine seems to have gone directly from me to my daughter!

I have officially entered Oz, and I’ve become the Wicked Witch of the West (minus the green skin…unless I have one too many glasses of wine….). My body has gone somewhere over that rainbow, and my kids think I’m the meanest mom in the world (they don’t understand why they have to unload the dishwasher….). How did this happen?

Time. Although my body isn’t anything like what I think it once was, my brain and soul are firmly in Kansas, okay, NY, but you knew what I meant. I like who I’ve become, body and all, and I wouldn’t trade my life for a 20-something. What, go through bad marriages again? Learn how to take the hard knocks of life and turn them into “learning experiences” all over again? No, thanks.

As I head into the next forest singing “butts ‘n boobs ‘n bags, oh my!” I will be dancing and following that yellow brick road into the unknown, happy to be on the road with friends and love.

PS- I wrote this ten years ago when I was in my 40s. I’m now in my 50s, post-menopausal (thank the universe, that phase really, I mean, really sucked) and ya know what? I’m still dancing and following that yellow brick road that I laid myself brick by brick. Oh, and my butt came back, bigger than ever. Mama’s got back. Life is good.

Crabbiness is underrated

This morning, on the Today Show, Harry Smith interviewed a 99 year old happy artist named Carmen Herrara. Throughout the interview, she smiled and laughed and painted, and said lovely little quips like, “Anyone can have what I have” when she responded to the question, “How are you so happy?”.  When asked what she wanted to do on her 100th birthday, she said, “I want to dance.  Why not?”  How inspiring!  So, today, I decided I was going to be happy.  If some 99 year old can do it, why not me?

Why not? Well, because …life. I’m having one of those days. I tripped going up the stairs. I wanted to work on a piece of writing I had started a few years ago, well, “Cannot open file. Restore previous format” error stopped that from happening- four times, with four different files. Bag that idea. I was chilly, so I tried to turn on the fireplace. Batteries were dead in the remote. No extra batteries. I found the fireplace switch, and manually turned it on. And then a picture randomly fell off my living room wall. Time to change my perspective and come up with a new day plan.

So, go to plan B: go on a walk with the dog. I wanted to take my crazy German Shepherd for a walk. Found some earbuds, but they were broken. No music on my walk. Not the end of the world. I get Atlas (my dog), and put on her harness and grab the leash. She jumps at the door to go outside. We make it to the end of the driveway and turn the corner and, lo and behold, another dog is walking our way. Cue barking. I turn around to walk the other way, and …yap! yap! yap! the neighbor’s dog across the street is out. Great! My dog wanted to eat the other dogs, or at least bark them to death, and wouldn’t listen to any commands, so back inside we went.

I am human. I’m having a bad day, and there is no way in hell I’m as happy as that 99 year old artist. Sure, I have moments of happiness, but, overall, things bother me. Loud chewing drives me nuts. Someone being rude makes me angry. Not putting dirty dishes in a dirty dishwasher drives me to the edge. Superfluous, empty conversation annoys the crap outta me. And I wonder, am I the only one who feels this way, because it sure seems so.

So, I’m on plan C. Write- write in my blog about how overrated happiness is. In my bathroom, I have a sign “Choose happiness” all in pretty flowing font. Sitting on a throne having a good bm can certainly induce happiness for lots of folks. And, yes, I can choose happiness in moments, in minutes, but, overall, I think fluidity of emotion is more of a realistic approach.

Happiness is not a constant, as much as social media perpetuates the idea that happiness is the only way to go through life. It’s not. Crabbiness is underrated. We all get crabby sometimes, and as long as we don’t take it out on others, as long as no one else is affected, I say, acknowledge the crab, and let it out. Let it play for awhile.

I know how to be me and how to be human. When I am having a bad day, I go with it. I cry, I take a nap if my emotions get the best of me, I get annoyed or angry, and then I refocus my energy. I let the bad happen, so later I can move on and enjoy the good that life has in store- when the batteries work, when the dog sleeps, when pictures stay on the walls, and when technology works. As bad as I feel now, I know that it’s temporary. And that’s okay.