Embracing my Bellulite

180s

I heard about it, I discounted it. I read about it, thought it was simply a scare tactic to sell a product. I thought about it, but naively figured I was immune. But now, I’ve got it. The sudden pooch around your middle highlighted with dimples that not only housed  my children for 9 months, but at one time rocked a bikini. Okay, not a bikini, a two piece. Let’s be honest, a tankini. Either way, it’s happened and as I stare in the mirror, the woman staring back looks strikingly like me,  except for the belly. It’s not just any belly, it’s a belly with cellulite, “bellulite.”

Hey God, it’s me Meno, I’d like my belly back.

Let’s be perfectly honest, we all know that no matter what we do, or how well we do it,  aging is as certain as ear hair and fading vision.  However, I can’t ever recall my mother, grandmother or her friends discussing their changing bodies. I think the only thing I ever heard discussed was about my school teacher with the arm bags. You know, when she writes on the chalkboard the skin beneath her arm wiggles like jello? Kids used to laugh. Mary Henderson, the smartest girl in our class once asked Mrs. Stinford (not real name) if she was like a Kangaroo and stored babies in there. Mrs. Stinford held that against Mary for the rest of the year. Perhaps Mary wasn’t so smart after all. The point is that I never heard anyone talk about changing bodies.

Shy of going under the knife, (of which I suffer a severe knife phobia), I can’t think of anything else that might get rid of my new found bellulite. I currently walk regularly, I eat pretty well, no fried stuff or processed stuff, and I dabble with strength training a couple of times a week to prevent osteoporosis. So what else am I WILLING to do?  Well, not much more than I’m doing now. Sure, I could go to some gym somewhere and sweat my arm bags off with 100 other people. Not desperate enough. Or I could hire a personal trainer to push me to the point of pain for perfection. I don’t need a new friend, I have plenty.  Or I could order those pills on TV that promises to rid me of belly fat. However, with my allergies, I’d be the one that would suffer some strange allergic reaction. I’d be puffier than when I started.

To be honest, the bellulite doesn’t thrill me, but neither does snow. The reality is that snow falls and makes things look pretty and tummies turn to cushions for kitties and small babies.  The silver lining.

Given that I’m not willing to do more than what I’m doing now, I choose to embrace my new found belly. Rub it from time to time, maybe thank it for doing such a great job for me during my pregnancies and crop top days.  But then, the most important thing to do is show my daughter and say, “Sister, love what you’ve got now, because one day you too will have a belly just like me! Check it out!”  A magical teaching moment. She will never be able to say I never told her.

So what about you? Bellulite? Do you love it? Do you ignore it? Or do you even care?

love-my-belly-78803832

Here’s to great tummies everywhere!

 

Meno

 

 

 

 

 

Innocent Stare or Passionate Peeping?

people-staring-2

My husband and I recently went on vacation and one of the places we visited was filled with a number of very attractive people. I found myself staring at an unbelievable number of handsome men, while my husband had no trouble staring at a number of beautiful ladies. So I got to thinking, when men see a beautiful women, what do they think?  When women see a handsome man what do they think?

To be perfectly honest, there is no sexual thought that passes this woman’s mind when I see a handsome man, simply the idea of him making me look really good when we’re out to dinner. A glass of wine, a giggle or two and then after all the people that have seen us and wonder how I ever got so lucky, I ask him to drop me off at home. As I walk away I look back over my shoulder and say, “Don’t ever change,” and then a wink and I close the door never to see that gorgeous face again. Of course, he’s heartbroken.  man_woman_buttons_web

As for men, different scenario. I know because I asked. When they stare, they imagine what she looks like under the clothes and perhaps a tryst on a king size bed somewhere. No surprise there.

So ladies, I’m curious. When you see a handsome man, do you jump to thoughts of what he’d look like naked? Or simply just admiring an attractive man?  I’m sure there’s a variety of different thoughts. When I asked my husband what he thought of when he stared at ladies he said, “What difference does it make?  I’m married to you, I got a good deal.”  After 30 plus years of marriage, he still manages to squeeze out a compliment.  I give him a wink and say, “Don’t ever change,”  close the door to the bathroom and he falls asleep dreaming of me. (I made that part up).

 

Here’s to your style of stare,

Meno

The Big “V”

shooting vibrator jpeg

It took me three days just to get the courage to write this piece. I’m writing it because I said from the beginning this blog was to discuss things for women over 50 that seem taboo or simply not documented. I have to thank you all for providing such great feedback from my original piece on libido. It was incredibly insightful. As I was reading through the comments,  I noticed one came from a company…. an interesting company. O.K. I’ll just say it, a company that carries vibrators. My rearing causes blushing as I write this.  Little did I know this libido conversation was far from over. Oh the complexity of it all!

So here I am at 50 something and truth be told, I’ve never been introduced to Mr. V. Now I’m not so naive that I’ve never heard of a, ahem, a vibrator,  I just never felt there was a need. Not to mention me and battery operated things don’t get a long well. I’ll spare you the details.

So ladies, let’s discuss. What are your thoughts on this topic which I consider pretty taboo? I have friends that have used them. Some say every girl should have one while others say, it’s personal preference.  It was my understanding that God gave women and men two hands, one for pleasure and the other for wiping the sweat off the forehead, no?

I have done a bit of research.  I felt better knowing Hamilton Beach actually introduced the first electric vibrator in 1902. Something sounds so all American about that.  I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like before the electric models. Imagine battling a wire when you’re trying to have a moment. Further, we know what happens when water/moisture mixes with electricity. Many thanks to Hamilton Beach for sparing the awkward answer to the question, “How’d you burn your yourself?”

It’s been interesting to see the vast selection of Big “V”. Fascinating. I did find out they’re illegal in India and there are also bans in some southern states including Alabama. Interesting quote from a bioethicist and medical historian, Jacob Appel. “Sex toys are actually a ‘social good’ and the devices, ‘marital substitutes’, play “an important role in the emotional lives of millions of Americans.” Hmm. Well, he’s a bioethicist, surely that means that you won’t go blind if you use one. Not to mention I’m all about the social good.

 

funny-pictures-auto-757199

I’m intrigued by the potential discussion, but not intrigued enough to be formally introduced to Big “V” but I am more than willing to listen to what you all have to say. I am but a student, an awkward student, but an enthusiastic learner.

 

Your student,

 

Meno

Libido Part Deux

coco-chanel-quote

 

Wow! Who would’a thought that the response to my previous post, “Libido. Gone but Not Forgotten” would have generated such interest.  Personally, topics on life and libido past 50 are really hard to find and that particular topic even harder. (No pun intended).  You all had such great things to say, and some were surprising while others were basically saying my life is doomed and I need help. We could all use a little help, but the doomed part I have to disagree with. So let’s break the comments down, shall we?

It was great to learn that I am not alone in my libido limbo. In fact, the majority of women were dining on the same dish as moi.  Many felt that the post was long overdue and again a topic that seems to be passe for many.  I don’t know about your rearing, but my mother told me nothing other than babies come from God (A rather general statement and quite frightening when you’re 10). She was long gone before there was any talk on menopause so my information came from friends, which is always dicey and magazines which is dicier.  Suffice it to say, my menopause insight was as deep as my birds and bees insight.  I’m self taught and well, sometimes one needs affirmation.  Your responses affirmed that libido breakups happen and it’s not a bad thing, in fact it’s more of a natural process than not.

Some felt that my poor husband was like a 7-year old looking through the glass candy counter knowing that he’d never get a single bite. Not true. We just don’t have sex as often and my love for him is shown in different ways. He’s far from celibate, we have great communication, make each other laugh a lot and the sex does happen from time to time. Men are innately more randy than women because they’ve been programmed to procreate whenever and however they can.  Ladies, a little more discriminating. I’m sure some will disagree and say that both are sexual and I think in the teens through 30’s that’s pretty true.  But I’m not discussing that time, I’m discussing where I am now and well, I asked my husband if he felt neglected and he said, “No, should I?” and smiled at me.  Libido is not love and love is not libido.  Therefore, I have to say for those that feel pity for my husband, he’s rotten spoiled and I adore him. Nuf said.

For those that are worried about me (God bless gal pals!) I am perfectly fine. You see I’m not sad that my libido has left the building, I just wish women would talk about it more and not fear that it means life as we know it is over. Quite the contrary.  Because sex isn’t on my radar 24/7, I have time for so many other wonderful things. As I referenced in my last post, I have such a great appreciation for things I never had time for previously.  I am significantly more proud of who I am as a woman, I laugh more than I ever have (often times at myself because it’s healthy) and I believe that the things that really, really matter have risen to the top, much like cream, whip cream. Wait, let’s find another metaphor, my glasses are steaming. (Remember, I said libido may be gone, not forgotten.)

olderwiserhappiercrazier

Finally, there were some that felt if I needed a little libido lifting, reading a great romance, watching some soft porn might do the trick. Nothing like women to help out a gal. Much appreciated.

At the end of all of this is still me, us, women who should not be ashamed of what the media tells us is abnormal or what others tell us unless of course it’s negatively impacting our life.  My life has never been greater. My kids are grown, my husband and I love each other for the things that matter this time in life, humor, intelligence and honesty. No disrespect for those who still chalk sex up and super important, go you! For too long our society has made aging a negative thing.  The focus in on youth. I was young and I have no desire to revisit that time. I’ve worked very hard to get to this point in my life and quite honestly, there is no wrong or right, simply great discussions!  I am ever so grateful you all joined in the discussion, there’s so much left to talk about.

 

Together let’s embrace the change!

Meno

Libido. Gone but not forgotten.

Nora-Ephron_reading_glasses

I can’t help but look back on the days when my husband and I were dating. Every chance we had we were in the throes of passionate love. O.K. I’ll call it what it is, oversexed 20-somethings. The great thing is that it was always mutual. If it wasn’t him instigating the tryst, it was me. I will confess, once when we were on vacation with the kids, we stole away to our car and well, you can guess what happened. And before you judge, my kids were old enough to be alone….with cartoons on…..with a bribe….it was brilliant.  I look back on that time and smile and then there’s a freeze frame and a voice over and it’s me, “My how quickly those years pass and libido shifts.”

So ladies, the truth of the matter is I’m in my 50’s and my libido is shot, kaput, absent, finished spent. No, don’t say it’s fading, it’s a complete blackout. Am  I the only one that feels that way? Don’t get me wrong, when my husband rubs my back or kisses me on the cheek I love that, but only that. It’s all I need. But if I even make one move to insinuate I want more, it’s all over. The sweet rub on the back manages to find it’s way around to my boobs. At which point I turn around and say, “Really?”  Then I feel bad, for a brief moment.

The question then becomes, where did the big L go?  It’s like my libido was traded in for a renewed zest for life. Friendships are deeper, hobbies are pursued more passionately and time in the shower is spent well , washing my hair, cleaning my body and that’s it, done. If there was an agreement made re; my libido way back when, I wasn’t privy to it.  Either way, I’m here, libido free unless I have a couple of hours to rev up the motor. Quite frankly, and we’re being perfectly frank right? I’d rather be reading a good book. You?

So this is the time in life that was never discussed. Whoever would have thought that a young woman with a very healthy sex drive would be writing an article 30 years later about, hasta la vista libido. Well, I never would have thunk it, that’s for sure.  And there’s certainly pressure on to keep that libido rocking. Check out all the  TV ads for guys to call all hands on deck to hoist the sail via a little blue pill.   Is it me or is the way those guys look at the women they’re with a little creepy? The ad says, “If symptoms last for more than 4 hours call your doctor.”  At that point they wouldn’t be calling the doctor for him, it would be for me. Honestly, my worst nightmare.

There’s also pressure (I consider it more of a nuisance) from Hollywood to maintain youth in all aspects, including that sexual appetite. What happens if we don’t? Men seek out younger women. Whatever.

I suppose we do need to consider our significant other.  Sure, I’ve talked about it and reassured him that my love for him is no less, just my sex motor has burned out and that model no longer exists, sorry, no fixing it.  He knows I love and adore him, and I certainly do my best to compromise from time to time.  I truly believe it is simply part of life’s transitions. We find other ways to show our love for each other. I am a believer in the theory that libido is for procreation.  Over it.

But the whole point of this blog is to discuss this topic which is rarely discussed, the fact that libido wanes, but we don’t. Dropped libido isn’t a death sentence, it’s simply an opportunity to re-prioritize.  Maybe discussing libido, or lack thereof is inappropriate. (I’m in my 50’s now, I don’t care) Maybe women still aren’t comfortable discussing it, maybe it’s just me and I’m a pathetic libido free woman, or maybe you agree that the media makes us believe that sex should be hot and heavy until you drop dead (assuming that’s in your 90’s).

fountainofyouth4

Just like the song, “To every season turn, turn turn,” I believe to every age there is a season and with that comes change. I choose to roll with the change and know that my partner in love takes me with the good and the bad as I do with him. Either way, there’s so much positive at this stage of life that if libido is the only thing I’m missing, I think I’ll be o.k. and so will my hubby. The circle of life in all its libido free splendor.

 

Signed,

 

Meno

It suck to get old. Or does it?

 

6794946c51810c18e1fd6516707a07c0

Growing up my elders often shared, “It sucks to get old.”  Typically, the comment followed an injury or a bout with the flu or cold. They were always sure to add, “The body just doesn’t bounce back like it used to.”  The bounce back part when it comes to certain parts of my body, I’m a believer. But the getting old sucks piece, it’s tempting, but I’m not buying in.

A couple of weeks ago, I was out walking and mistook an ice patch for a puddle of water. (How my eyes deceive me. ) I felt like it was in super slow mo. My legs kept moving as they left the ground and gravity pulled me down with an oomph. “Dangit!” I thought to myself, “This is not going to be good.”  I looked back at the right butt cheek that took the impact of the fall to see my favorite walking pants torn. I wanted to pull down the pants to assess the damage but I noticed a man walking towards me and thought likely not a good time.

“You o.k. ma’m?”  Ugh, “Yes, thank you, I’m fine.”  I walked with a limp and I thought for sure I was out of commission for awhile. Then I noticed my knee was bleeding and I was immediately brought back to my youth.

Remember the summer of scabby knees?  I wore those scabs on my knees and elbows as a badge of courage. In fact the success of summer was dictated by the number of kids who showed up on the first day of school with the scabbiest of knees. That thought made me smile.  I then realized that here I am at 50 something, I can still wipe out and walk away, sans tears.  I began smiling at the fact that I can be outside and move my body fluidly, without limitation. Even though that fall did set me back a week or two, I have got the absolute best scabby butt cheek in the world.  And I feel like the kid I did in summer, with my badge of courage. Unfortunately, I can’t share it. Well, I guess I could but somehow I’m thinking the reaction would go from cool to creepy. scab

So when I hear folks drone on and on about how age slows the healing process (yes, it does) or how we just can’t do what we used to I have to move on. I can either buy in to it or walk away knowing that things may be different now, but I can still sport a scab with the best of them!  Who say’s getting old sucks?  Not me.

 

Here’s to scabby knees!

Meno Pause

Why Girlfriends Matter

funny-quotes-old-age-women

I don’t know about you, but as I’ve gotten older there is no more cherished time than the time I spend with girlfriends. Sure, sure, when I was younger and had little kids, girlfriend time was important, but once you get past 50 it seems to change. If you’re lucky enough to still be friends with childhood buddies, you’re lucky. I’m not one of those. We moved a lot  and I never developed those types of friendships. I envy those that do.

The friends that I have made over the last five years I treasure. Maybe it’s because those friends are the real deal. They are my friends because what matters to us now is vastly different than what mattered to me when I was 30 or 40 years old. Some of the friendships I had years ago were simply because they were school moms and automatically became part of the friend circle. But once you get to your 50’s you’re more selective with your friend choices. Gone are the “friends” with constant drama.  Today my friendships are richer and the expectations are non-existent. The conversations are deep and without judgement. You’re no longer trying to be something you’re not, rather we’ve accepted who we are and we like us. It’s refreshing and comfortable and very, very important.

I met with friends recently that I don’t see very often and I said in an email the next day. “My time with you both was simply good for my soul.”  And I meant it. There’s no idle chatter about what so-and-so is doing, there’s no competitiveness there is simply a reciprocal respect.  Of course there’s talk of grandchildren, for those that have them, but never in a “mine are better than yours” but a genuine sense of pride. I’m happy for my friends. Gone are the conversations that were set up to impress. Our conversations are now set up to share mutual joy. So cool and so much easier.

I watch as my daughter enters her 24th year. I think about what’s ahead for her. She is one of those lucky people that has stayed connected with a couple of her childhood friends. But she made new friends in college and they are now inseparable. I like her friends, they’re nice people and they seem to be good friends that generally care about one another. I love to see that.

I have found that my time with my friends is something I prioritize now. My husband is content to stay at home, friends don’t seem to hold the importance for him that mine do. Kind of interesting, but I certainly don’t try to figure it out, not at this stage of life. I also don’t dress up like I used to trying to impress whomever. People have said that women dress to impress other women. That may be true, but at this phase of life, I’m about function, not fashion. It’s not to say I don’t like to look nice, I do, but comfort comes first, cute comes second.

Although I say that my husband is my best friend, I must admit that my girlfriends hold a pretty special spot in my heart and for that, I’m grateful.

 

Here’s to great friends and great conversations!

 

Meno Pause

Do You See What I See?

Eyesight

I never had to wear glasses until the printing on everything started getting smaller. One day my eye doctor broke the news to me, “It’s not the print, it’s your eyes you need glasses.”  “What?  My eyes are fine, I see just fine!” He insisted I get fitted for lenses. I didn’t need regular glasses I needed the ones that help you see close up, far away and in between. I  pleaded for contact lenses, and he said I’d hate them. I got them anyway. I hated them.  So I decided to take the plunge, admit my weakness and get glasses. After two weeks they arrived, I put them on and the choir sang, the blues were bluer, reds were redder. Think I’m exaggerating? I’m not. I gotta tell you, vanity totally robbed me of being able to see through a clearer lens. The times I ordered things off the menu that I had no clue I was getting. The times at stores where I thought the price tag was 19.00 only to choke on my gum when I handed them my credit card and it was 190.00. And on and on the inconveniences go. Vanity outweighed 20/20 vision.  So I started thinking about all of my friends that are wearing cheaters, or getting glasses and I believe there’s a reason that eye sight goes and why same age couples should stick together.

Think about it. Young eyes see everything. Every hair on your chinny, chin, chin, large pores, all of it. I know it because that’s what I see with my glasses.  Think about it, if your spouse or significant other has the same crappy eye sight as you do, he/she can’t see those wild chin or mustache hairs or in some case mole hairs. Right?  We can see their ear hair and outgrown eyebrows. Imagine the older person that connects with the young person with sharp eyes. Do you think they look at those tiny little things we can’t see and think to themselves, “yuck.”  If I were a twenty something and saw the curly grey hairs from my spouses ears, something tells me I’d be shopping around for someone my own age.

I think bad eyes were the creators way of making sure that the scorecards are even and you can’t see my obvious signs of aging and I can’t see yours. Therefore, we both believe that we look as great as we did the day we met. Pretty brilliant thought, eh?

I now have glasses and my husband just wears cheaters which means when he puts them on he’s only looking at a menu or newspaper, not the neck hair I forgot to pluck. I’m grateful for the ability to see through younger eyes again, but the difference is that when I see the aging process on my spouse, it simply reminds me we’re growing old together and that doesn’t make me want to run away, it makes me smile.

Here’s to seeing what you want, and ignoring the rest!

Meno Pause

Introducing Meno Pause

518cc8a36ace36206c18536530bd7e0f

A few years ago I turned 50. Ten years ago I started having hot flashes. Between my first hot flash ( I recently heard a woman refer to them as, “Your inner child lighting a match”) and turning 50, I’ve tried everything to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. To no avail.  Crazy thing is, for the most part I do all the right things. I exercise when I feel like it, I drink wine because I love it and I get plenty of sleep because I love it more than wine. Actually, wine and sleep have a very nice relationship. I digress.

As I make my way through the tilt-o-whirl of life, I’ve found that magazines, radio and internet don’t have a whole lot on the true experiences of menopause and aging in today’s world of perfection. I rarely read the raw truth about getting older and how it changes your life.  Had I learned from my mother that chin hairs were normal, boobs fall and stomachs dimple, I would have been much better prepared for this aging thing.

Given the ongoing surprises of aging, I thought I’d become a real time source for calling aging as I see it. The goal is to let women know that they’re not alone. We may not be able to stop aging but we can embrace the process.

For the record, at 53 1/2  I’m relatively healthy. But I sure wish I could have more conversations about the things that change as we age, some under our control, some without. I want to have conversations that not only talk about the changes in our body, but the changes in our life, all of it.

The saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is true, but there have been times over the last 50+ years, I didn’t want to be stronger.

I hope you will join me on this wild ride we call life, living and yes, aging.

Join me as I share the surprises that pop up or pop out, as my body and mind age. Let’s share stories that allow us to take the aging process less seriously and simply accept the changes. If we’re all in it together, it certainly makes the process more palatable. It’s always nice to know you’re not alone at a time when you can feel terribly alone. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has ever found a hair growing out of their earlobe wondering how many people saw it before I did?)

I hope you’ll join me and share your stories and comments. Ladies, we’re all in this together and I look forward to being your buddy in the age of surprise!

Here’s to the age of surprise!

Meno Pause6943121b25470e75e63c7e04407fd84f