Humor, Life, midlife, Parenting, women, womens lit

Downtown Abbey’s Baby

I was deep into Downtown Abby a few months ago. Binging British accents with dinner gongs, Maggie Smith and a labrador in the opening scene? I’m in. Nearly had my husband calling me mi’lady. Personal goal: come up with the retorts worthy of Aunt Violet.

Anyway, there was a scene where a woman had to come clean to a suitor about her having a child out of wedlock. She was wringing her hands and upset – and of course the suitor called off their relationship. This scene spoke to me, having been a teenage single mom.

EdithAndDaughter
Because baby.

What did the scene say?

Liability. Your child is a weakness, a mark against you, a cross to bear, and makes you less. No one wants you + baby. Burden.

What did I say back to the scene, and to people out there who see single-momness as a liability?

I thought: This is crazy! All the shame I carried around for years has been going on since the freaking Edwardian age! 

The concept of women as property seems absurd (at least to me), but it wasn’t that long ago that we were, dowry and all. “Thank you for taking over this burden of my female child, have a cow and some money and here are some blankets.” And way beyond that, the idea of a young single mom and her baby were just mind-blowing and hidden – orphanages and going on vacation and all of a sudden a young woman’s mom has a new baby.  Even now – the harshest part of single momness is the societal view: single moms are a liability, to be looked down upon and judged.

OH THE JUDGING!

louise belcher dead weight

When I got pregnant, I was at an age when it was common for teens to be having sex, a lot of them already in “long-term” relationships. I just got caught, so to speak.

It was tough, and maybe I’ll write about that later, but also awesome. The hardest part was money and isolation, but isn’t that usually the case at any age when you have a baby?

I definitely wasn’t the perfect mom, but we had great times – we grew up together and have been on some fun adventures that I don’t think would have happened if I had her when I was in my late 20’s or 30’s. Trapeze classes, elephant rides, flying around the country, swimming with sharks, road trips, half-marathons, apartment hunting…just stupid silly stuff. I look at my middle-aged friends now, who have kids not even in their low teens yet (some of the kids not even in grade school yet), and I don’t know how they do it. Mine already graduated from college and is keeping an eye on her grandpa.

She’s old enough now so that we are 75% friends, 25% mom/daughter. Most of the time. Well, that’s how I like to portray it because my momness is going 100% all the time, but that’s just my momming style. She calls me a Tiger Mom, which I am NOT, but I feel like I have that potential. The most important part: we get to be together for a long time. I got an extra 10-20 years over everyone.

Perspective needs to be adjusted. Baby Burden Attitude was going on the same time suffragettes were being force-fed. Women voting is so accepted no one even thinks about it. I would love that single-moms, whether by chance or choice, become so accepted that they are not judged.

Diet, Humor, Life, Running

Yes.Fit Yaaaaaas!

Damn right that’s a Sherlock Holmes running medal. Where?, you cry, was that race? I need that medal!

If you’re like me and you run for the swag, have I found the site for you: Yes.Fit. Yeah baby!

Yes.Fit is a virtual race website that maps out your race in an apropos area on google. For Sherlock I “ran” in London, and could log on to the website and see the path I would have taken if I actually did the race there. I’ve always wanted to go to London, haven’t been, but now I’ve run a race there! Sorta, but it’s good enough for me!

This is just what I needed to motivate me after months of dragging ass. There is a huuuuge selection of virtual races of varying lengths that you complete on your own schedule. Once you’ve run the miles for the race, *poof*! They send you your medal, or tee, or both. It’s like a Christmas miracle.

Sherlock Holmes was actually a cheat race, by accident. I’m linked up to the race via my Apple Watch, and it also logged miles I walked in the house, with the dogs, while shopping….I had to change my entry’s to manual instead of automatic.

Entry
I’m not gonna cheat this time. Swear.

For my next race – THE LITTLE MERMAID!! The medal is amaaaaazing, and I’m currently running in Copenhagen, so beat that!

Copenhagen

BTW, I’m not getting paid by them. The medal is legit too – all heavy and a good size with a nice ribbon. I wore it in the house. My husband thinks I’m insane (it’s part of my charm).

Humor, Life, midlife, women, womens lit

Tully – A Review

I have a bias toward Charlize – I think she’s pretty amazing, ever since her movie “Young Adult”. “Tully” is similar – everyday life through someone else’s eyes. It’s kind of dark, kind of fun, and it’s got some cringe.

My life has lots of cringe. Doesn’t everyone’s? Don’t sometimes you just want to witness the cringe?

I liked the movie, mostly because it’s good to see someone else going through day-to-day struggles. Everything now is so “highlight reel” on social media, that yes, I would like to see someone mess up, be tired and slouchy, and not give af about their hair. Whilst I do love me some Nolan movies with grand soundscapes and visual onslaught, the quietness of this movie was a nice reprieve. The sound of a door slamming, or plopping a big purse on a chair, fumbling for the alarm clock – these are sounds of our life that we overlook but seem to play a role in the story, reminding me that I am in someone’s everyday life, not a sweeping, conceptual, digitized entertainment masterpiece. There was no alarm-clock-fumbling in Avengers – Civil War.

I didn’t walk away with a huge emotional payoff, but it put me in a more contemplative mood. I suspect that I will be thinking about it over the next several days, which to me is a sign of a good story. It’s worth watching, especially by moms. It’s nice to see milk-engorged boobs having their day on the screen.

Pets, Travel

Driving with Triple C’s – Cross Country Cats

Well, almost. It was South Florida to South Dakota, and with it taking five damn hours just to get out of Florida, I think I am permitted to say “cross country”.

Ok – so as soon as we learned of the work transfer, we were like yay!, immediately followed by “oh shit, cats”. Four cats of various ages and temperaments.

Yes, four cats. We’re a blended family, kaaaaay?

I won’t bore you with our details, but here’s what worked for us:

  • Before the big move: Set the carriers out for the cats to get used to. I sprayed feliway on towels and tossed them in.
  • Do trial runs: We would put the cats in the carriers and put them in the garage or around the house for a few hours. From this we learned which cats to put in first. With multi-cats, yes, there is an order. They didn’t like it, but we learned to lure them in with kitty crack (aka canned tuna).
  • For the drive: Have towels or old tee-shirts that you are willing to just toss. They will poop. They will pee. No big deal. Toss the towel, put in a new one.
  • If you have overnight stays: We did. Bring wet food (for hydration) and kitty crack. Also pack disposable or cheap litter pans with flushable litter, and a dustpan + broom to sweep up all their litter mess. (We kept the litter pans in the hotel bathrooms.)

Really, the list above is all you can do. We were so stressed about the 4-day drive for them, but in reality, they did fine. They explored the hotel room, used the litter pans, and ate a little – which was fine since they were just in crates all day.

In fact, some of the little darlings didn’t want to come out of their crates in the hotel room, and would just hang out on them. Others hogged the bed.

Our two dogs were actually more work, when we thought it would be the inverse.

Oh, also, on the DL – most pet-friendly hotels only allow two cats, but there are always side doors. We told the hotels we had pets, and they would tell us how to bring them in without going through the lobby, so staff never counted our cats. I don’t think they really minded how many cats we were bringing in, honestly.

I hope you find this info useful and lowers your stress level. Even our super nervous cat (not pictured) did just fine. Best of luck!

Running

Runnin Over 40

This past year I’ve let myself go. Well, more like 8 months but I’m rounding up. I discovered, for the first time, what it is to be truly lazy and eat whatever I want.

I didn’t sign up for any runs in the past year except a 5k, and had the Disneyworld 10k in February. In the past, I had done the Disney Challenges, which was 10k one day and a 1/2 marathon the next, which was enough to keep the extra pounds at bay and get me three, THREE, medals.

With the 10k, I barely trained. Lazy. And, as always after the Disney runs, I stopped running. In the past it was to let my toenails heal and take some time off. This time? Well….

I didn’t want the discomfort anymore. I wanted to sleep in on the weekends. I didn’t want to worry about what I ate for dinner.

And so…I got into a bad, lazy habit and now I’m fat. For me.

I’m my defense, I did have to prep my house for selling, plus had a full-time job, a side gig job, and two large dogs to entertain and exercise.

I could have worked in some crunches though.

I have also loaded a trailer, quit my job of thirteen years, drove across the country with said dogs, unloaded same trailer and set up house.

There is still time to do some push-ups. Especially since I am unemployed.

It has been years since I’ve been able to run in shorts. Only leggings for me, which was terrible in South Florida but I think will be ok in South Dakota. Still, I would like the option.

I have enjoyed the luxury of being chunky: saying yes to all foods, over eating and laying about, sleeping in late, napping. I’ve dug myself quite a hole to get myself out of, effort-wise and attitude-wise.

And you know what else? So many women my age are overweight, it’s no big thing. Totally acceptable. Like, when I was 20 it wasn’t ok to be heavy. Now, mid-life? Totally fine.

Damn these 40s.

Diet, Habits, Humor, Life, midlife, Running, Weight Loss, women, womens lit

Shut Up, Pants!

Did I quit running? I’m not sure if I did. I ran and ran for four years, and now? Meh.

It started with a Super Spartan, then Disney Princess runs and Star Wars runs – half marathons, 10ks, a couple of 5ks in there to keep me honest. But now….

I know I need something to train for. I can’t just run to run. With my impending move to a much higher altitude, I’m also intimidated. I have low blood pressure and heartbeat already – I’m afraid I’ll pass out somewhere along the road in a new town.

I can see it now, me laying on the side of a country road, slightly concussed, calling my husband.

“Come get me. I’m concussed.”

“Where are you?” He would say, already in the car.

“I don’t know.”

And woe is me if I had our cattle dog with me, his baby.

Excuses, you say? I agree. There is nothing easier than being middle-aged and lazy.

I have started to stalk online a running club in my new town, thinking it will get me running and social (I am terribly introverted and so is my husband. Peas in a pod!).

However, I have noticed that my excess chub isn’t melting away like it used to. Before I could just use the power of thought, but now, post 40, it seems things have changed. At least that’s what my pants keep saying, and boy are they vocal!

“Lunges. Remember lunges?”

“When’s the last time you did a sit up?”

“A lap around the block wouldn’t hurt ‘ya. Take the cattle dog.”

Pants are nags. Not like tops.

The tight armholes in my blouses are more like “Well, this is interesting”, and my jersey tees just talk behind my back with my bra, something about doing push-ups and maybe dips. Jersey tees are kind of passive-aggressive come to think of it.

The bra? She’s just doing her best. Definitely not an instigator.

Maybe I will. Maybe I will start running again, just to shut them up. Stupid clothes. At least my leggings and tech tees are supportive. They’ve been clamoring to get out of the drawer anyway.

Aforementioned baby.