IPSO FACTO

IPSO FACTO

There’s a theory in Economics called Ipso Facto.
It basically means that “all things being equal” we can support one theory or another.

Here’s my theory:
“I had way more fun when I used to drink more alcohol”.

Thus, during my 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s, my drinking nights out usually involved excitement and even thrills.  There were people to interrogate, entertain, and ignite. There were lavish parties, flirtations, and yes, there were hangovers. Life was as bubbly as the champagne in my flute, or as cool as my vodka on ice.

Now inching into the decade of my 60s my benders consist of a glass of wine once in a while, to accompany a dinner out or a dinner party. The fact is I can’t drink like I used to. The results hit fast, as one drink is all I need to feel drunk and there’s no benefit to continuing. The hangover will kill my next day no matter how little I drink and my mood will “swing low sweet Chariot”.

I’ve traded the highs and the hangovers for peace and mental health. You see, it’s an easy choice.

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The American Dream after our Kids Leave the Nest

We are conditioned to desire more, better, bigger, throughout our lives.

Then our children leave the nest, never to return in the same way, and we are confused.

What is bigger or better than my lovely home I’ve adapted over 25 years to suit us just right: the new kitchen/family room surrounded by large windows, the deck off the kitchen where we barbecue and dine al fresco, the library we built full of cherry built ins and desks.

We try looking in Boston, in case that’s the step up, only to find we have to give up nearly everything to have a city vibe. No double cars, storage, light, flow, decks, as we’ve grown accustomed to. Just lattes and boutiques out your front door vs. having to drive to them. My husband coined the phrase, “Look what we are giving up” as an attribute. That’s the game, he says, show off what you can give up.

We try moving around a lot: Winters in Florida, Spring in Colorado, Summers at our Lake Home, vacations abroad.

But when we come back to our suburban splendor we feel the need to move from this place that housed our children, it exists more in our past than our future. I don’t want to know these neighbors any more, nor see their kids grow up, though like it or not I’m seeing these kids shoot up in height every time I look out my kitchen window.

Where can I aspire to live next? Before the senior living home or retirement community.

I invent the idea that a room with a view is what we need, though we already did that in our NH ski home years ago. But this time it will be a view of water, like we have in Lake George in the Summer. And unlike our summer home with Lake view, this will be our permanent home. Maybe in Natick or Wayland, though my husband thinks this is a dumb idea. We’ll only feel isolated out there further from the city.

What to do? Stay put? That sounds like a horrible idea. Kids gone, must make a move somewhere. Suburbia again somewhere else? My husband balks. Move to the city to give stuff up? I think that’s the only play, like it or not. Spend more to get less.

If only I could be content with what I have, as I have so much here in this amazing home we doubled the size of. It’s not too big, it’s just right and yet it does not have a view of water.

Search continues.

my son lives in australia

My son lives in Australia.
Or he might as well.
The time zone is different, the landscape is foreign and you can’t get there without a long flight.
Others tell me when I moan about missing him that I should be so proud. He established his life, full of close friends, various interests and a great job. He is independent and thriving.
Besides he picked a location that you will love to visit.
But pride and visitation rights don’t fill the void in my heart.
Like all young children, but this one in particular, he started out clinging to my hip, preferred being carried to walking. I used to think he would crawl back into my womb if given that option. His playground grew larger as he slowly learned to gain confidence and independence, and then took all that to a new level, opening himself up to the world like a flower to the sun. His desire to be his best self and find out brings him the most joy took him far away to a place of beauty, passion and awesome landscapes. A place where people sing and dance in the streets and play music everywhere. Australia it seems has lots to offer his ever expanding and creative mind. My husband and I live in New England, an often cold, and consistently mountain-less landscape devoid of the inspiring awe with nature he seeks, unless you consider the Atlantic Ocean the full monty.
Australians are the lucky ones. They live full time with the most loving, curious, creative, humorous, open, sensitive, joyful person I know. While I’m only able to get him part time. Fortunately, he calls and texts often.

Lady MacBeth has nothing on me

Lady Beth

Always purging, going through drawers, organizing, discarding, getting rid of… in preparation for moving some day. I dread having to do it all at once.

I think I’m ready to go.

Just need lots of boxes and a professional mover.

Closets are down to a bare minimum, as is each drawer. I’ve organized art work, photos, and all the china. My clothes are pared down, only things I love remain in my closets and drawers. My children’s memory boxes are tidy and neat.

Lady Macbeth may have made washing her hands an obsession, but Lady Beth has made preparing to move an obsession…

 

Jewish Holidays

Somehow the Christians hired a far better branding firm to promote their holidays than the Jews. The Christians got fun-filled holidays, the Jews got oppressive ones.

Two cases in points:
Easter vs. Passover and Christmas vs. Chanukah
Easter
Brand manager mission: Put a smile on every kid’s face.
Execution:Chocolate Easter bunnies, a parade with beautiful hats and bright pastel colored clothing, a hunt for chocolate covered eggs, foods like ham and mashed potatoes, songs about rebirth.
Passover
Brand manager mission:Stress out families
 Execution:boring Haggadah to be read responsively forcing kids to speak perfect English AND Hebrew at young ages, a hunt for matzoh, foods like chopped liver, gefilte fish and brisket, songs about slavery and freedom.
Christmas
Brand manager mission: Create a warm and happy feeling.
 Execution:gifts like a new pony, foods like lamb and mashed potatoes, gift wrapped presents flowing under a decorated tree, songs of the savior’s birth.
Chanukah
Brand manager mission(in modern age only): Make Jewish kids feel almost as happy as those who are lucky enough to celebrate Christmas.
Execution: gifts like books and clothing, foods like potato pancakes and brisket once again, games like spinning dreidels, songs about war and victory.

My Memory is Going — I forget names most of all. Names of peripheral people in my life, movie stars, sports figures. I forget what I came to find in a room or a kitchen cupboard. I’m leaving water running, stoves on. I forget if I just showered or not and who I just told myself I needed to e-mail. Minutes before. Short term memory is going. The notes I leave myself are essential to my day. Day after day I forget and then the next day I test myself to remember what I forgot the day before. It’s a game I play with myself: George Clooney, Alex Cora, Claire Danes, Daniel Day Lewis, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, Ron Paul, Chuck Todd, Jim Acosta… In order to trigger my memory, I make an association to another person or thing. Like to get to Alex Cora the Red Sox Coach think: core fills the ball. Can’t remember who I had the conversation with, though I remember the conversation word for word. Retracing my steps until I figure it out who I spoke to is another frequent game. Sometimes I use the wrong words, like asking my husband for a q-tip when I meant a tooth pick. I’m mixing up left and right (not a good thing for a yoga teacher). On the positive side I do love when I remember the things I’d previously forgotten. This achievement brings a smile to my face. BINGO. Welcome to 60. My sharpness is waning alongside the banks of anxiety that greet each encounter of forgetting something that I should be able to remember.

Mountains Are Like Walls

 

Mts are like walls
They make me feel claustrophobic
Mts are big, tall and fierce
They scare me
Mts are steep and rugged
They cause me fear
Lakes are flowy and open
They bring me peace
Oceans are wide and reflect the sun or moon
They bring me joy
Pools are blue and bright
They make me happy
Evergreens are  full of life
They make me feel protected

A woman’s guide to a girlfriend break up or something a man will never experience

A woman’s guide to a girlfriend break up or something a man will never experience

I loved my hamburger, we were best friends.
I ate one every day.
Then one day I introduced my hamburger to cheese.
They got along famously and became best friends.
I was pushed aside, no longer important.
It hurt for many years, my calls unanswered, my attempts futile.
But as the years marched on I became a vegetarian.
I learned to love new healthier foods, and felt better and better.
I let go of the need for beef and ultimately wanted only the best for the
hamburger and it’s sidekick: cheese.
Forgiveness is a bitch, but it’s the only thing that ever cured a hurt.
And since it works both ways, I hope those I’ve pushed aside forgive me too.

60, the age of letting go and holding on

At the age of 60 I let things go while holding on tight.

I let go:

old love letters from boyfriends decades ago

thousands of redundant photos of our kids and other people’s kids

friends who serve no purpose

dreams of accomplishments that no longer have meaning

self criticism

I held on:

our kids who live near and far away

my husband who makes life worthwhile

family and close friends

mental and physical health