by Matuschka Lindo
We all say we are going to make time for our girlfriends but something always comes up. Life-
filled with everyone else's needs. I remember watching a movie once when I was a teenager and I will never forget it, "All That Heaven Allows" with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman
. Jane's character gives up everything for her children. All her time, all her plans, things she wants to do, and an incredible romance. Her children through out the years are always passively aggressive about getting her to help them with something or doing something they think is best for her. In the end they leave Jane and go on with their wonderful lives. Jane almost loses the love of her life and is left with the latest and greatest television as her companion and a big empty house. That was one of the scariest movies I ever saw. This movie always plays in the back of my mind, forcing me to try very hard to stop and be spontaneous with my girlfriends and my husband. Because if we do our jobs right our kids will leave us. And if we only
live through our kids and for our kids we could lose our husbands and/or our girlfriends. This also holds true for other situations that you could put in place of the word "kids"... elderly parents, jobs, etc.
It's an uncharted time in life when our kids are a few months/years from heading out the door. The 'now what am I going to do with myself' rears its head time and time again. We must make time for ourselves and our girlfriends way before the empty nest. It's a work in progress like every other relationship. But it's also a healthy part of life. It can be a trip to an exotic place or something as easy as a lake house a few hours away. Last week I went with some girls to the lake for a couple of days in the dead of winter. We spa'd all day, rented a movie one night and talked about a book we all read the other night. Both nights we dined in with a plethora of appetizers. It was just about taking time for ourselves and sharing a variety of friendships so that we could escape from our daily 'to do list'. Write yourself a permission slip
for a girls getaway and find time to take care of yourself!
During this journey through midlife I have seen friends go through divorces, spousal deaths, financial problems, job disasters, failing health and other nightmares, including my own. I don't think we can escape the trials that we are currently going through or the ones that may lay ahead. But I do think we can look for stability through great friendships. I have fallen several times in the last few years and these women continue to pick me up and drag me along. I say drag because some days are harder than others. And you know what? It's okay to not always feel like getting up and facing the day. But eventually you have to get up, reach for your girlfriends hand and let her pull you up. I am also lucky to have a great spiritual foundation thanks to my mom. (I'll share that journey at some time.) The point for today is that with these prongs I find my path to stability. One day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, one girls trip at a time. Thank you for being a friend!
xoxoxoKeep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
by Matuschka Lindo
What is it with boyfriends, husbands and men in general. This really has nothing to do with age but more to do with gender. The fact that there are several names for it is shocking to me. Do you know what I am referring to? That time of year when everyone in your house gets sick. Your kids/teenagers get sick. You toss them some Advil, get some carry out, let them watch tv all day, and then you are pretty much home free. Or, you
get sick, you immediately get an antibiotic if you can. If not you mix every over the counter drug you can plus vitamins and you still manage to work, do carpool, clean the house, make a meeting, and you actually have to force yourself to stay home and not go to the gym and work out. Then there's HIM… That guy in your house that gets sick. What the hell happens to the common cold when a man gets sick? Not only that, why does the equation turn into man + sick = woman + nursemaid. What is "Mansick" "Manflu" "Mancold"?
Whatever it is I'm not biting anymore.
Then low and behold I see this report that there is some scientific proof
that men actually suffer more than women and that the "Manflu" is a real symptom. I read the article three times and I still think bullshit. If this is the case why stop with the common cold. My husband woke up two nights ago (which means he woke me up, you understood that of course I am just confirming). He was moaning that something was wrong with his wrist. I gathered some pillows and said elevate it. Two hours later he wakes me up again and says he can't sleep the pain is unbearable. I turn the light on look at it. I see nothing, it's not swollen… nothing abnormal, basically it looks fine. I try to touch it and he flinches and jerks his wrist away and screams "Don't touch it!" I roll my eyes and am now calculating all I have to do this day with minimal amounts of sleep. I go downstairs to get Advil. While I am down there my cellphone rings. Hmmmmmm 3:17 am wonder who that is.. not really. I answer, "Can you bring an ice pack it's really bad!" Sure I'll bring you an ice pack. Why don't I scramble some eggs while I'm down here. See this is where your mind goes midlife when you have to deal with Mansick! I want to yell suck it up! Fast forward 7hrs. Now I have made a doctors appointment because this is an emergency by-golly! So the diagnosis from the male doctor (a friend of my husbands)… says a ligament must have slipped out because the x-rays show nothing. To me this is code for "I don't see anything wrong but I will give you a brace so you have proof that it was worth keeping your wife up all night." My husband comes home and says, "I know you've broken your wrist before but this is a slipped ligament you can't imagine the pain it's different. I'm in a brace and I have to get a prescription filled because the pain is so bad." I just look at him now with a blank stare. I just don't want to play the I'm sicker than you can ever imagine game. I fold… he wins due to my sleep deprivation.
Are we mean? No. Are men exaggerating? Of course? Should we still give them some TLC? Probably… and we will eventually but really? Coping with any type of Man sickness gets more and more challenging as we get older and our patience fades, not to mention we are just tired! I think we just can't give up our sleep anymore. Women need to be well rested to deal with Mansick Issues. Maybe just suck it up until you hear our alarm go off. Chances are if we had a good nights sleep we would try to cope
better with your near death illness. Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
Will it? It didn't keep the 70's husband-and-wife musical duo "Captain" Daryl Dragon and Cathryn Antoinette "Toni" Tennille together? They have been married for 39 years and Toni filed for divorce last month. Midlife and love can be tricky. Being married for umpteen years means you can fall into all kinds of ruts, and you are kidding yourself if you don't think someone is going to find a way out sooner or later. The Feast of Saint Valentine's Day is this Friday. (yes it is about a saint so pretend to be Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox or Anglican for a day, it's not just about a box of chocolates) It is the day associated with romantic love. It get's harder and harder to be creative and some years the desire isn't there. Couples aren't always living the fairytale marriage they dreamed of 24/7. Don't tell me you truly believe all those posts on Facebook. Even when someone does post "To my best friend that I have loved since high school" chances are she wanted to hit him over the head with a frying pan someday that week. Movies are also just movies, it is not Happily Ever After, it is never what you signed up for… It's called I promised this to God, and to our family so let me roll up my sleeves and work harder than I ever have to make this damn thing work. That's the reality of True Love! So you need to dig down deep and keep the romance alive with valentine's options.
The truth of the matter is that when you reach my age you no longer need the pomp and circumstance every year. Now they may be needed some years-Hint: 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 etc. The showy gifts aren't the same once you have traveled down an amazing journey of ups and downs with a growing family. As most women get older Valentine's Day is a much simpler affair in our minds. This could make things very complicated for the men out there, grabbing a box of chocolates is probably a whole lot easier. For example; I hate overpriced flowers for Valentine's Day, besides I don't like to get what everyone else is getting how is that special? I don't want to go out and eat, because they are turning the lovers tables as fast as they can at restaurants, and my favorite chocolate is butterfingers not truffles and there is nothing romantic about butterfingers. So my husband is at a complete disadvantage. Why? Because after 20-something years of marriage, now I just want to watch a movie together in bed and have chinese delivered. I want to find a post it on the toilet seat that says something nice, or go on an early morning walk together then grab coffee. I want it to be simple yet sentimental. At midlife it's a different level of valentine's that the media and the stores just can't market to. For us women I think their stomach is still the way to win them over, along with some tender loving care… It's as Easy As Pie!
Even though I am a hopeless romantic. I am also realistic. We all know by now that love does fade in and out. The strategy is to keep it from dying out. We are all human. I admit I have rolled over in bed and looked at my husband while he was sleeping and thought. Really? This is it, for the rest of my life…. Holy Shit what now! But then other times I roll over and think ohh he is still soooo cute even with that gray on his chin. It's the roller coaster of life. Just ride it together. But if a wheel comes off and life takes a different turn. Valentine's Day is for everyone so still celebrate! For all the single ladies, share your love with some girlfriends. There is no greater love than what you get from the ones who have heard your darkest secrets and have watched you cry your eyes out about that asshole. Girlfriends get us through it all! If you want a good laugh to accompany the day try this hilarious book
that celebrates on line dating at mid life. So in closing, maybe it's just me, but Valentine's Day at midlife does not need to be purchased. Remember love will not keep you together unless your actions speak louder than the words. You need someone because you love them(so show them). You don't love someone just because you need them.(You may need
a maid, or a cook, or a booty call) That's NOT LOVE!Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
My 70-something dad carrying my mom across a puddle so she won't get her shoes wet… True Love
In a little less than three years I will be an empty nester. As I laid in bed today I thought of what snow days have meant through the years. It always started with the night before and the constant running to the windows then asking, "Do you think we'll have a snow day?" "Will you take us sledding?" Can we have a play date?" When they were five they would jump in our beds and watch the news as if they were paying attention and I knew they were staring at the TV waiting for the "O's" to see if Our Lady of The Pillar showed up. The screams… ohhh how I loved the screams and the yelling when they saw their school. My eyes water as I type… I can remember the pajamas they were in and the wet hair from their baths as they jumped in our bed. Now it meant I had to turn off the news as they ran to get a VCR tape so we could watch movies because they could now stay up all night… So the snow day/nights started with popcorn and a small fight, Mighty Ducks for my son, or Cinderella for my daughter. There are so many snow day ideas now with social media and the internet, moms have much more help. Take a pick you will never run out of things to do for preschoolers
, grade schoolers
, and teenagers
. All I say is seize the day(s) they won't last forever.
I know it's harder for working parents, as I freelance and understand. But if you think of all the snow days your kids have in a lifetime it could add up to only a month or two. That's all you have to make snow days count forever! Even if you have to cheat to make it easier. My kids think I make the best hot chocolate in the world. I would tell them to go watch a movie then I would do some work on the computer and tell them I was making the secret recipe. *Oberweis chocolate milk heated up then add whip cream from a can!
It's all in the way you look at it. Now that my kids are older things are different. I still get the screams at night. They are usually in another room and they get the message by email or twitter. But they still burst into our room screaming. That never gets old and I treasure every minute because in 3 years i'll be waiting for a call, FaceTime or Skype to hear about the snow day… I hope, maybe.
I am also realizing that a snow day is not just for kids. It's for all of us no matter what age. I think in this frantic non stop world we live in, a snow day is a powdery magical gift. A gifted day of hooky that is, for anyone who wants to look at it with the glass half full. My kids may have their own plans now that don't always include me, but that's okay. Calling a friend from high school I haven't talked to in years and catching up is so fun. I have my local girlfriends that I call for that last minute matinee. Last snow day I talked my hubby into leaving work for a couples massage. My snow days are my new avenue for adventure. Even if it means pajamas all day with a sick one next to me. How often do you get to lay next to your teenager and stare at them as they breathe with Vicks all over them. Don't let the bitter sweet treasures of a snow day with all the hassles, cancelations, and rescheduling pass you by.Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...