Voice Over And Narration Services By Matuschka Lindo
by Matuschka Lindo

Don't worry it's happening to me too and unless you are one of the lucky few, and I mean FEW, it's going to get worse as we get older. No, I'm not talking menstrual cramps good Lord, you should almost be done with those by now. I am talking leg cramps and foot cramps. I'm talking you look at your foot and the cramp is so incredibly bad it doesn't even look like your foot when you are looking down. It's almost in a deformed state the cramp is quite frankly... excruciating! So much so that your toes are curling up. You can't even straighten your foot or your toes. Same as the leg cramp. We all use to get them especially if you were involved in any type of sport, when younger those things were called Charley Horses. Well you are dreaming for one of those now because a Charley Horse is nothing compared to the vicious pain that has knotted your 40 something plus muscles into a vice grip from hell. Leg cramps become more common the older you get. You will begin to notice the closer you get to your 50's, by the age of 60 many individuals can expect to get them once a week. By the age of 80 over half of us will have leg cramps as much as three times a week. Regardless of the age these cramps will spasm in your feet, to your calf, thigh and leg. Leg cramps need to be addressed as you get older. The range of pain as well as the length of time the cramp lasts can all vary.

I don't think there is a good location or time of day to get one, because I of course have had them at all the worst times. The scariest and where I get them the most is driving. Not sure if it's because I'm short and I no longer have my Denali where the foot pedals moved up with the touch of a button. Unfortunately now in my convertible VW without moving foot pedals. I have to stretch to reach the pedals dammit. But I can be on the highway and BAM my foot starts contorting and the pain is so unbearable I have to pull off the side of the road. I literally am driving and the car is jerking as I am trying to stop with my left foot because yes that cramp is for some reason always in my right foot. Oh Philly Fusz how I miss my Denali foot pedals! The night cramps aren't much better.  I need my sleep too and I absolutely hate when I am sleeping like a baby and I get that wrenching pain where my eyes fly open, I stare at the ceiling and then I jump out of bed trying to walk it off as my calf is balled up, as if I were wearing 5 inch heels. With 50 knocking at my door these cramps are already taking their toll. I can't seem to find any quick relief or figure out how to get rid of them. What in the hell are causing these cramps as we age? It's a fact as we age nerves control muscles and nerves wear out and the muscle deteriorates. It's just happening folks.

So, a couple of things... Leaping out of bed as we age is ahhh... not good. As I said with our feet and toes twisting into these unimaginable forms as the cramps get more extreme we can actually break something now like a toe or an ankle. We will have to be patient and figure out ways to relieve the cramps, as well as to try to prevent them from coming so frequently. Losing that good night's sleep with cramps coming more frequently can also be harmful to our health... there are a lot of things to consider here. Stretching and flexing our muscles is going to be key as we age probably even more than vigorous exercise. We do not want to eventually be stuck in bed without flexibility and mobility and lie there in excruciating pain. Dear God keep moving as you age, you must keep moving. But you also must get it checked if it gets too painful because there may be more too it. Call that neurologist and get it checked out. Remember as in ALL things as we age sooner is better than later. There are treatments, exercises, therapy, vitamins like calcium and iron but you won't know what you need unless you go get it examined. I'm almost at that place. If you see me pulled over on the side of the road cursing and pushing away from the steering wheel with both arms extended as I am slamming the floor board. Don't panic I just have another cramp in my foot!

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
Above picture by www.webnat.com

by Matuschka Lindo

For me to check out the latest foreign film at the Landmark Theatre in St. Louis and see what's playing on a night when all family members are booked is quite the treat. I have never had a hard time going out by myself. I find it very relaxing and it's a guaranteed wonderful time where I get to choose the movie that I want, or the restaurant that I want to dine in, as I said quite the treat. On the Today Show on NBC they just did a story called Table For One, The Rise of Solo Dining. Recent polls show that going out solo is on the rise and becoming more and more acceptable. According to Open table, reservations for dining alone are up 62 percent. Recently I have started traveling more and room service isn't really appealing to me. I like to go to a nice restaurant and get something healthy but fused with what is popular in that city. Let's not forget a nice glass of wine or a native brewed beer depending on where I am. Even when I was younger and traveled I never had a problem eating out when I was in a city where no one knew me. It was a little harder in the town I was living in... why I felt like that in my 20's and 30's I have no idea. But I can tell you right now I could park a table in the middle of the street in down town St. Louis and eat dinner by myself and not give a rats ass of what anybody thinks. I love dining alone and enjoying every single bite!

For some reason in the past there was a stigma to eating alone. I know I use to feel like people were looking at me and thinking oh poor thing she couldn't find anyone to eat with her. I know it wasn't just in my mind the thought is reflected in movie clips and sitcoms. Society's mind set on dining alone is changing but so is my midlife mind set. When I am out alone or I see a midlife woman out alone I am thinking, lucky lady she is enjoying an evening to herself. Or i think, oh thank God I escaped and found some alone time. Funny how your mind set changes everything. EEnmaal is the first one person restaurant where tables are set for singles only. BBC news has a great article that made me laugh out loud reflecting on the stigma to eating alone goes all the way back to our childhood and the school cafeteria. Stating that basically that was social suicide. Of course they are right! I am sure even today my children would not be caught dead eating alone in their school cafeteria. At midlife I relish the silence, the entire dining experience, I appreciate what I am eating it's not just to fill my hunger. I am sure in big bustling cities like New York City it's very common to eat alone especially during a non meal occasion when you are just grabbing something on the go. Even breakfast and lunch are easier to do alone. But dinner can still be a challenge to do alone, especially when we are talking about fine dining. Honestly, when I go out alone it is most definitely to treat myself, so it is usually fine dining. A recent study shows Dallas, Miami, and Denver are the top three cities with the greatest growth in dinner reservations for one.

Other social events that cause people to raise their brows is going to a wedding, concert, or a movie alone. Again 20 years ago Ahhh NO. Now, no problem just a delight for me and many of my friends at mid-life. My absolute favorite day to go to a movie is a rainy or snowy day when you really don't even want to get out of bed. I usually try to find a theatre that sell's wine if I'm going to be truthful. If you haven't tried a nice cabernet with movie theatre buttered popcorn you are missing out. I get on line and try to find an afternoon special and quickly by the ticket. Sometimes I sneak out of the house at 2:00pm other times I wait until 8:00pm after dinner and settle for a cab and milk duds if I'm too full for popcorn. The full body of the cab with the sweet milk dud... another must try! Either way I get to pick the movie, my seat, and I get to slouch down and hide in solitude. Seriously does that not sound AWESOME? Here are 13 Reasons You Should See Movies by Yourself More Often! Really the fear of going out alone, I think has more to do with worrying about what people will think of you and at midlife... We Don't Care! We just don't. I think that is why it's easier to just do what you want to do. I think it's healthy to enjoy yourself as you get older and explore new interests  that may be developing. Start small, I'm not saying to go solo to a movie on a Friday date night, or to go to the most popular restaurant on a Saturday night. Just don't deny yourself when you find yourself alone and you are really in the mood to do something. Go Do It!

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
Above Picture by www.naplesnews.com

by Matuschka Lindo

This happens once a year, maybe twice. There was absolutely nothing on my calendar on a beautiful fall Saturday. And with our crazy schedules it just so happened that my entire family was also out of town. This, my dear readers is an act of God at the Briggs House. All of you midlife women/men with full time jobs, (in or out of the house… this includes homemakers) an active family, philanthropic obligations and just the craziness of life know that a free Saturday is a gift. Friday night I went solo to a party, then came home early to plan out my free day. I was in bed with my jammies by 10:00pm. I had my glass of wine (yes it was the third for the evening, it’s Friday) and started creating my To Do wish list for Saturday.

 Matuschka’s To Do List:

1.     Take a long shower with new scrub purchased 3 months ago and haven’t used.

2.     Walk the dog on a new path where the leaves are already turning.

3.     Go to a new coffee shop with my laptop and enjoy a big mug of coffee.

4.     Call my beautiful Niece Sophia for her Birthday!

5.     Change out my pots to fall mums and clip back hostas.

6.     Schedule a massage for late afternoon after gardening.

7.     Run by Nordstrom’s for triple points and look for winter coat.

8.     Go to an artsy movie with subtitles. (My family would never do this with me.)

9.     Finish off the night with carry out Chinese and a glass of wine in bed.

It’s like a dream list isn’t it. I mean this is going to be the best damn day ever. No one to change my plans, no one else to answer too, I mean I am home free! So excited! I can’t even type this blog out fast enough. I want this day to be so perfect because who knows when this will happen again. Okay let me share my Fabulous Fall day with you…

Matuschka’s Lazy Fall Saturday October 3, 2015.

1.     Wake up clock says 7:30am. Oh I have all day, I’m going to sleep some more.

2.     Feel dog staring at me. Wake up. Hmmm it’s 9:35am, bet she has to go potty real bad. Throw on robe and slippers and just walk dog up and down sidewalk about three houses and back. I’ll do the fun walk later to look at leaves.

3.     Get back in bed. Turn on TV and see that Footloose is on with Kevin Bacon. Grab a protein shake and decide to watch,  just until my favorite part… his big dance seen in the barn.

4.     Damn it’s 12:00pm already. I need to take a shower. Haven’t really followed my list. No stress, I have all day and night. Kinda hungry, driving to new coffee shop sounds like a lot of work. Half bitten oatmeal cookie that someone left on the cookie tray looks good and hot tea sounds nice. Yummy, back in bed I go.

5.     Just going to rest my eyes for a sec.

6.     Wowza it’s 2:00pm. Let me call for a massage. Damn they are all booked. Go figure? Didn’t’ want one anyway. Let me get my phone and reach out to the family who are all with friends in Denver. Got my phone… Get back in bed and face time. No answer! Hmmm wonder what they are doing… not really but it sounds good to write that down. LOL

7.     Shoot let me call my niece Sophia for her Birthday, trying to stick to my to do list. At least somewhat right? Sophia is so cute she tells me she got a lot of thingy ma bobs for her nails. 

8.    Wait... what time is it? Damn it’s 4:00pm, I should really get out of my jammies and take a shower. But I’m so tired. Besides I tell my self I don’t have to stick to my schedule it’s MY day. Back in Bed… But I need a coat. Jump out of bed to grab lap top. Got it! Back in bed to surf around on Nordstrom’s website. Hate doing this now I’ll see every coat I looked at on every damn social website feed. Buy a coat! Another list accomplishment done.

9.     Wow it’s almost 6:00pm and I haven’t done much… Too cold and getting dark to do gardening. Maybe I should jump in the shower then order Chinese? Let me try my family again first.

10.    They can’t talk they are eating a late lunch with our friends the Palettas. I’ll call back in a sec. Let me just lie down and look at the Chinese menu on my iPad. Oh there’s a pop up message from late yesterday saying I have all my lives on Candy Crush. I’ll do a level or two real quick in bed.

11.    Holy Crap it’s 9:00pm. I dozed off after Candy Crush. Shoot! Look at my phone no one called not even my family. Whatever… I’m hungry! Order Chinese… go get glass of wine and turn lights on in the house. It got so dark so quickly. I really should take a shower while I am waiting for the Chinese.

12.     Dog is staring at me. Oh ya, you need to go out again, and you need food and darn you have no water. Sorry… been a little busy!

13.     Finished wine, only ate half of Chinese. Too tired to shower besides it’s 10:53pm. What happened to the day? I look at my To Do List. Total fail!

In conclusion, I must say the fact that I stayed in my jammies all day and did whatever the hell I wanted to do made it a great day. Yet another list that didn’t get completed, but does that matter? As I look back on my Lazy Fall Saturday and re-evaluate the gift of a free day. There really should not even be a list. It should be a day that unfolds unplanned. In the end I say to all of you midlife over committed compadres….  Don’t plan your free days. Just let them be! Lord I don’t even think I brushed my teeth or combed my hair. Nasty… But Ohhhh so marvelous!

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
Above image from 8tracks.com

by Matuschka Lindo

Good Genes, Eating Well, Exercise, yes yes that's all part of it, but a big part that many of us forget is our psyche! Yep, making sure you are Happy is a big part of living longer. Not saying it will guarantee you becoming a centenarian, but being Happy is a big part of the equation along with some luck if you are striving to live a longer quality life. Scientific Studies have shown that people who have a positive outlook on life, are satisfied with their lives and that laugh a lot, are more likely to live longer. Being Happy can add a minimum of 10 years to your lifespan. According to science Saturday Night Live can do more for you than broccoli and weights! I must tell you this is music to my ears!  (Don't try to omit the broccoli and weights you need all of the above.) If you walk around like Gloomy Eeyore odds are you may want to start working on your eulogy. Not to mention those of us who want to live life to it's fullest are trying to get the hell away from you! Sorry, everyone can fall into a rut but if you are always pessimistic and depressed please get help for your health and because it sucks the life out of EVERYONE around you.

I know I want to live longer... we all do. Just not sure I want to be a centenarian, do you? That's someone who lives to or beyond the age of 100 years. Have you heard of a supercentenarian... EEEgads! I just don't know? This is a person who has lived to the age of 110 or more. I think I am afraid to live that long. I am afraid to see so many that I love die. I am afraid to be left alone in this big world. Is that crazy or selfish of me? Sometimes I am even afraid to see what this world will be like if I make it to 100. To think of more hate, poverty and discrimination breaks my heart. Not sure I could bare much more. But when I read the words of wisdom of 100 pieces of advice from 100-year-olds it made me believe that you want to stick around for as long as you can. Again much of the advice revolved around good friends, positive attitude and if you can't be Happy all the time at least be satisfied. There was a little about exercise, and eating well but again those were just some key ingredients not the substance that gets you to the finish line. It was more about NOT having too many rules, NOT giving up on love and if I read it 100 times it was to be positive, positive, positive!

According to Prevention magazine there are some other elements that come into play when striving to live longer. Not sure how factual they are but it's at least amusing and made me think overall on maybe adjusting some of the things I do daily. Consider some of these mentions in the prevention article that claim to help you live longer. You have a flat belly after menopause, you're a tea lover, you eat purple food, and you don't snore just to name a few. For the record that purple food includes red wine... ya baby! If I can drink good wine and laugh the years away with my girlfriends and my husband, I think I may make a run for it and try to be a centenarian. Who knows? I think I won't be sure of how I really feel until I'm 98 or 99. Only then will celebrating 100 years look pretty damn good! Stay Happy and stay positive. There's no shame in getting help to do it either! Doesn't matter if it's an internist, nutritionist, or psychiatrist. Make wellness for your entire body a mission as you age. 

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
Above image by stacyjross.wordpress.com

by Matuschka Lindo

Damn Christmas Decorations that's what! If you are curious it's 38 days to Halloween, 64 days to Thanksgiving, 93 days to Christmas and what the hell let's throw it in there, 100 days to New Year! If you want to keep up with the Christmas Countdown there is a twitter feed @ChristmasCount. So, there are a couple of things that frustrate me here. The pushing of shopping for Christmas sales before Halloween and decorating the store for the holidays by October 1. Both are a total turn off for me. I'm not saying that if I see something in August that would be a great gift, I don't buy it. But I don't want to see Christmas stuff or hear Christmas music until it's the Holiday Season for the love of... Hmmm I guess if you add the music that makes three issues that drive me crazy when it comes to the Christmas Creep. In case you didn't know the Christmas season begins with Advent between November 27 and December 3 and lasts through Christmastide, which officially starts December 25 and lasts 12 days. 

Those close to me, that give me crap (Kelly) know pushing Christmas on me is one sure way to get me to boycott your store. This year Selfridges in London was the first store in the world to start the 2015 Christmas Holiday shopping season on August 3. Shame on you! How did this nightmare get started? Well thank the big box stores. Apparently they did it to support resellers to help them prepare their stores. By 2002 the flood gates opened and it continued to get worse as other department stores hopped on board. A Holiday Retail Readiness survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA (some cloud performance company) and in the last 2 years their research shows Americans are sick of retailers shoving Christmas down their throats!  The reports state that 81% of American adults think stores should not play Christmas music before Thanksgiving – up from 78% of American adults. 77% of American adults think stores shouldn’t put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving – up from 76%. Complaints are up that Black Friday was Black November, even Cyber Monday was ruined, last year it turned into cyber MONTH! Thank you Nordstrom for continuing to refrain from decorating or pushing Christmas sales until the holiday season. They are pretty much one of the few department stores that get my credit card for the holidays. They continue to hold out and not open for Thanksgiving Day and not put Christmas decorations up until after Thanksgiving. Support them by Shopping at www.shopnordstrom.com.

You are not going to believe what I am going to tell you next... are you sitting down. Compared to other parts of the world the Christmas Creep and Commercialization of the holiday is mild in the United States. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. There are 13 countries ahead of us... THIRTEEN! As you saw above London started in August. Apparently it's worse in Australia and Britain. The culprit... without a holiday like Thanksgiving to set the start date these countries have no reigns to haul them in! Ghastly! Does anyone even remember what the holiday is even about? I'm running out of space here with my mental thoughts. My big question is does extending the holiday season even help these desperate retailers? The answer... NO! Not really according to most of the articles I have read. There are only so many dollars no matter how far you spread the holiday out. DUH According to an article by Money Magazine... the Christmas Creep boils down to these Grinch Stats: It has all led to more confusion, frustration, and indecision among shoppers, who have good reason to feel like stores are constantly manipulating them. The average Black Friday discount was only 5%. Aren't you glad you didn't stand in line for hours. Can we PLEASE just celebrate one holiday at a time. I fear Christmas in July is not far away.

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
*Above photo by wpromote.com

by Matuschka Lindo 

Dear God, why do you take the good ones so soon? I know I've asked before and I have heard your whispers. I trust you... but it still hurts. Those are my conversations with the big guy whenever he snatches someone so dear that is part of my life. Dear Cindy we will miss you terribly you were one of the really really good ones always doing for others. Our friend Cindy died on Saturday suddenly of a brain aneurysm. I feel it's important to understand what a Brain Aneurysm is because about 3 to 5 million people in the United States have cerebral aneurysms, even though most are not producing any symptoms.

There are several factors that cause brain aneurysms to develop over time. I wanted to bring it front and center because the key ages are between 30 and 60 and those are midlife years. Statistics also show it's more prevalent in women. That's most of us reading this blog and we should try to be proactive if the risk factors pertain to us. If there is family history and you are approaching 40 talk to your doctor. If you have common symptoms talk to your doctor. Let me stress that although they may run in families, people are rarely born with a predisposition for aneurysms. There are certain risk factors that increase with age. Below are some of them from the Mayo Clinic website:

These include:

Older age
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis)
Drug abuse, particularly the use of cocaine
Head injury
Heavy alcohol consumption
Certain blood infections
Lower estrogen levels after menopause

Just looking at the risk factors show why an alarm should go off for women. The good news is you can get it checked if your doctor recommends you do so, there are a variety of tests. There is also treatment available. For some there is always a fear of the unknown. Many may not have a valid reason to get checked. A healthy lifestyle will help keep a cerebral aneurysm from producing symptoms. Don't smoke, diet and exercise are both key. Limit caffeine, caffeine is a stimulant that can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure. Also avoid straining... like heavy weights, it can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure.

In closing with a heavy heart, prayers to Cindy's family and to all who knew her. She was strong, she was passionate about her faith and her family, she was so very kind and loving. I am a better person for knowing her. She will be deeply missed... God Bless.

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
Above image by Smedley Ledbetter 

by Matuschka Lindo

I'm one of those that has never been to a high school reunion. I really don't have a good reason except I don't like reunions in general... that includes family reunions. That all changed over Labor Day weekend this year. Going back in time was a bundle of emotions. Emotions that I embraced and I encourage you to do the same. Let me tell you why I think the 30th is the best if you aren't fond of reunions. And let's be clear, I loved high school! They were some of the best years of my life. I had great friends, I was a cheerleader for an amazing 5A football team in a town obsessed with football in Enid Oklahoma. We had a great class of over 450 students and HELLO it was the 80's. Life was PERFECT! Maybe that's why I never wanted to go back. I wanted to remember everyone just the way they were when we graduated. Not sure of my reasoning but here are 5 good reasons to attend your high school reunion.

10year Reunion- A good friend from high school was having a wedding three months after so why bother. Not to mention if it were harpoon season I would have been speared as I was nearing the end of my pregnancy. In my mind I felt this gathering would entail asking about where I went to college, if I was dating, if I was married, and discussions about my career choice. Yes, I was happily married, pregnant with my first child, and a news reporter. Nothing bad, I just didn't want to spend two evenings talking about those topics. No to the 10th reunion.

20year Reunion- I felt this was a status of judgement time. Trying to figure out how successful you are in life. If you are still married and if so... do you have 2 kids with the family pet and do you live in the great house with the pool. How many vacations have you taken and did you make it to Bora Bora. Again, life was good. I was freelancing, had two great kids and we did travel quite a bit. But if you weren't getting my Christmas cards by now, I didn't want to share/listen to 20 years of adventures at a two night reunion. Still just not appealing to me, sorry sorta selfish.

30year Reunion- I RSVP yes. Not really sure why, except I missed all that I was blessed with in my past. Memories and people were starting to get fuzzy. Thanks to Face Book I was aware that we had lost several classmates. I had not been back to Enid since my parents moved in 2002. I just got out of a cast and had gained 13 pounds so I wasn't even looking great. But something was drawing me back. I think there was a fear that at almost 50 years of age my reunion opportunities of seeing so many that I missed and had so much fun with were dwindling. Mentally I broke it down to this... at my 40th things could be busy with my children and their marriages, births etc. 50th- well who is to say I will make it to that reunion and how many more people might we lose in our class by then? No, it was time for me to head back to see The Class of 1985. Recent articles state that reunions in your 50's are the best to go to... and they are correct!

Why? Because we are all humbled by then. All the superficial stuff of the previous reunions doesn't matter. It is a wonderful celebration of the past and the present all wrapped up into one. People just want to know how you are doing in general, how your parents are and that life in general is treating you ok. The first night is so exciting. People walk in and two things happen.  You recognize them or you don't! It is a rather fun game. I was called Melanie three times. The good news is I think they called my girlfriend Melanie by my name just as much! LOL. Overall my classmates looked amazing inside and out. There were lots of hugs, lots of reminiscing, and so very much laughter. On the last night I was laughing so hard with some of my close friends that I wet my pants. Something that I would have done in high school. It really is like you are totally transported back into time. There was a table with candles and names of the 20 we lost. They were missed... rest in peace dear friends. Some were divorced, some were in between jobs, some were already grandparents but no one cared. At your 30 year reunion people accept you for who you are and for the journey. Because son of a bitch no one tells you... but life is hard! 

Statistics show that the 50th Class Reunion is the most attended. Click here for some other reunion statistics. Truthfully that will probably be the next reunion I attend with the Grace of God. But at this 30th reunion we were all filling up our phones with contact information because I think times are changing. It's easier to stay connected and travel. As we become empty nesters we have more time, and what better way to go through the next phase of life. Connecting with old and new friends and traveling the world to share what life has to offer. Trust me when I say the 30year reunion is a good time to travel back. To all of those who worked so hard to make the EHS reunion a success... Thank You! Dancing the night away to Queen, Tears for Fears, U2, Duran Duran and The Police was so fun! Until I see you all again. Thanks for the memories old and new. I love you all just the way you are!

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya! (unless it's you're 30th reunion)

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...

by Matuschka Lindo

I used to think it was creepy the way I am being tracked. I look something up on the internet whether it's a piece of clothing or a restaurant and then what I looked up is stalking me all over social media. Those shoes are on Facebook for weeks or that restaurant starts showing up on my groupon's for dining. But it's no longer even creepy to me now it's just annoying. News flash to social media stalkers... once the item I thought I loved and absolutely had to have is in my face 24/7 guess what? The novelty then wears off and I no longer want it. I  am almost now bored with seeing the damn piece you keep force feeding down my throat. You are killing the leisure of surfing the net. Not to mention I fear Facebook and Google know more about me than my own family! My husband doesn't know my hair products by name or brand... Facebook does! My kids don't know what my favorite designer shoes are or what my  favorite department store is... but you better believe google knows. What's even worse is after doing a little research not only are these companies tracking and stalking my data... but they are making money doing it. Through these vehicles there are dozens of companies tracking us and targeting us... There is a way to get them off the hunt, but it's not easy. Here's a Wall Street Journal article to help you escape!

Yet another invasion comes from emails. Remember telemarketers and those awful phone calls you would get? Now they are harassing us in the form of email. At least with the phone I felt like they called you at a certain time of day (right around dinner). With emails it's a constant barrage of coupons, discounts, sales and whatever other shiny objects they can throw into ones face. The worst part of it is that once you get on one of these email lists... It's like giving birth to get the hell off of the subscription. To unsubscribe is one of the biggest pain in the asses there are out there for the consumer. I am not ashamed to mention some of the harder ones to get off your email are Restoration Hardware,  Replacements LTD.,  Xilisoft, and any type of political organization just to name a few. I have spent an entire afternoon hitting unsubscribe on all these emails that thank heavens mostly go into my promotions in box not my primary. I read the entire option that says it may take a week for it to end. I get the pop up that says we are sorry to see you go... please tell us why you are leaving. Blah blah blah blah blah. The very next week the damn email is still coming. It seems I have been unsubscribing the wrong way. Here's some information on how to REALLY UNSUBSCRIBE!

Below are some statistics regarding social media that I got off a website newsletter called 
t-nooz after they conducted a survey on social listening.

  • 32% of people have no idea companies are listening online.
  • 51% want to talk about companies on social media without companies listening.
  • 43% think social media listening is an intrusion on their privacy.
  • 48% say companies should just listen to improve products and services.
  • 58% only want companies to respond to complaints on social media.
  • 42% expect companies to respond to positive comments on social media.
  • 64% only want companies to respond to social comments only when spoken to.

It boils down to this... businesses are trying to keep up with what we want, but to do so is becoming annoying for us the consumer. Here is their side of the coin. Traditional marketing can be a drain on funds especially if it's a small business. Social media marketing, on the other hand, is pretty low-cost and gives businesses a direct line to current and prospective customers. It helps them to address our needs and our wants when we shop. Isn't that what we want in the end? Tough nut to crack.

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
above image from college confidential website

By Matuschka Lindo

There I was sitting in another hotel lobby waiting for my taxi to take me to the airport. Behold the vision in front of me, three flight attendants dressed impeccably in red and white. A-line pencil skirts with matching blazers. All three were drop dead gorgeous with hair in a bun or chignon. They were flight attendants from Virgin America… How I wish I were on that flight. Their claim to fame is that they are on a mission to make flying good again. I am here to tell you that there is no where to go but up… When I fly now, all I can think is where is the can of Lysol? There is no etiquette, there is no such thing as great service from ANY of the airlines, and travelers have forgotten that an airplane is just a travel vehicle not the basement of their home. I can go through a plethora of issues that I am appalled with, but lets’ just cover three. Paying for where you sit, bringing food onto a plane, and dress code.

Unless you are paying extra for First Class or Business Class it really just doesn’t make sense to me. Think about it? Let’s just take Southwest for this particular example. You pay extra for early boarding. Clarify where the advantage is? If I pay early… I get to get on that dirty plane first, so I can sit longer and breathe that polluted vent air. Then I get to wait and try to avoid eye contact with everyone coming on. I now have absolutely no choice in who I get to sit next too, as I have boarded and am now a sitting duck for any passenger who wants to sit next to me. Unless I desperately needed an aisle seat, (Which paying for early bird doesn't even guarantee) someone please tell me what the hell is the advantage to boarding early. I like to board in the middle somewhere in the B's. Walk through and see who looks relatively normal and hasn't brought a smorgasbord on board and decide if I want to sit next to them. Then I like to sit down and know that in 10 minutes they are preparing to take off. This seems more convenient to me and guess what… it does not cost extra! Click Here for an article that agrees with me... Earlybird check in is basically for those who just hate to sit in the middle. 

I don’t even know where to start with the food. Dear travelers unless you are traveling abroad… can you not fast for 1, 2 or 4 hours. There is a reason they serve light snacks. They really don’t want you gorging during the flight. Those snacks are light not a supersize meal. Nor do they have much odor or require heavy-duty wipes. If your food item is loud to eat, requires you to lick your fingers or requires more than a single napkin IT IS NOT AIRPLANE/TRAVEL APPROPRIATE! NO to Doritos, keep the Ranch, Nachos any flavor Doritos off the damn plane. Sucking on your fingers to get the residue off from the Doritos, then reaching up to twist the air vent with those Doritos saliva combo fingers is beyond NASTY! Now for those of you that take it further than the snack. There is never a reason, let me say again... never a reason to eat chicken wings on a plane. Definitely not next to me! That is just repulsive. I love wings but THINK! Be Considerate! That is not AIRPLANE FOOD! COME ON! Knowing you have a bag full of bones and greasy wing fingers can’t seem like a good idea in the end. Shame on you for being so selfish and beyond inconsiderate.  I agree with this writer, any food establishment in an airport terminal that serves seafood, deserves to go to hell.  If you bring ANY seafood on a plane even a tuna fish sandwich you deserve every dirty look you get. I don't even think you should be allowed to take seafood to work! If you are one of those that heats seafood up in the office microwave... you should be shot!

Lastly, this is not a lounge. It is a public form of transportation where random people you don’t know have to be in close proximity to you. SHOWER, comb your hair, put on decent clothes. Save the shorts and the tube top for when you get to the beach. And for the Love of God keep your shoes on. Especially if you don’t have socks. What if a bunch of strangers just got in your car and took their shoes off and started eating nasty shit and touching all your knobs on the inside of the car after they licked their fingers? Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it. Well wake up travelers! Your behavior is ridiculous and just down right RUDE. Here is what I would pay extra for... $12.50 to view background check of passenger with picture before boarding, be last on plane with guaranteed overhead space, in the front of plane. $10.00 to sit in middle of the plane with passengers in business casual clothing, closed toe shoes and no eating allowed. Hell, as dirty as the chairs look now with the odor I'm afraid I would even pay extra for leather seats $8.00. As travelers I think we have some work to do when it comes to manners, appearance and common sense.

Keep 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

Today's blog is late. I have just been sitting, staring at the screen not able to type. My baby girl started school today as a senior. She's the last one standing in the Briggs house as far as children in the nest. Last night all I dreamt about was her first day of preschool at Lucky Lane when she had two fingers in her mouth and Ms. Debbie had to pull her off my hip and pull her one hand with the death grip around my neck to separate us, so she could start preschool. She had the biggest red bow in her hair that consumed her head. She wore a Kelly's Kids outfit with her name on it, that matched her brothers shorts and shirt. Big tears slid down her face and I turned and got in the car and knew it was better not to look back. I just drove to the end of the street and took a deep breath. I was good. I didn't cry... I mean it was 9:00 a.m. and I was picking her back up at 1:00 p.m. for heaven's sake. But today I heard the footsteps upstairs and the scrambling of her getting ready at 6:00 a.m. this morning. She has been pumped. It's senior year and the excitement is just beaming from her. She ran downstairs in her PJ's her hair was a mess and she gave me a big hug and squealed. This is it! Senior year! (Just so you know I am sniffling and can't see the damn letters on the stupid key board as I type.) 

I watched her as she got ready and listened to her talk so fast about everything she needed to do, how she loved her classes, and how excited all her friends are... the Class of 2016! Then she surprised me and said, "Mom will you come to my first day of school?" Was it the look on my face? Was it just an after thought? Did she really want me there? Who cares I said YES! Absolutely! When she came down the steps a second time, I thought about my dream. Even at 17 she had a maroon bow in her hair with the front pulled back. Not as big as when she was three, and there were no tears just the biggest smile ever as she asked, "How do I look?" My throat was on FIRE straining to hold back tears. I mean, it hurt so bad that I quickly yelled, "Hold on," to get my phone to take some pictures so I could collect myself! This time she drove off and didn't look back, probably because it was better that way. I was the one with tears down my cheeks following her in my own car. 

I don't really have any websites to direct you to today. I just wanted to share what is a happy day but a hard one for many midlife parents. Knowing that the last one in the nest is on the tail end of her high school journey. I think the anticipation of being am empty nester is actually worse than when it happens. I also think the last one is a little harder because I fear the all consuming stillness and quiet that will soon be in our home. It's just change. There are many things about being an empty nester that I am looking forward too as well. I'm sure I'll blog about that soon. Right now I will just enjoy this bitter sweet time. And all the activities that will be coming to an end as she journeys through her senior year. This dancer who has been on stage since she was two. Who has a second momma, Ms. Caren at her dance school. If there is another person who is also feeling a tug it would have to be Ms. Caren. My daughter held on to Ms. Caren's leg for almost two years when she started dance. No other teacher would do. Yes one grubby chubby arm with a death grip around Ms. Caren's leg and the other with those two fingers in her mouth. My daughter the dancer has two homes that will miss her next year. This one and the dance studio. I fear she may miss the dance studio more... those wood floors and those dance bars are her escape, her release, her joy. Yes, it is time... I am preparing to watch it all, capture every second of her senior year. I am preparing myself to sit up high in the auditorium in a seat next to her other momma and enjoy my baby girls high school final bows. 

Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another. ~Author Unknown

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
Above picture by flathatnews.com