Category Archives: Perennial Ponderings

Perennial Ponderings on aging, menopause, life, love and women using humor to wade through life.

Moving Forward

Recently, in our lives there have been many things to grieve, divorce, death, relationships, world problems and the current state of America.

We aren’t going to offer an opinion on the world’s problems or America; politics or otherwise. We’ll leave it to the media and the internet to misinform you.

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It seems as we age that sorrow comes into our lives more often. We shed more tears, reminisce more often, sit alone in silence. It may seem odd to find joy in grief, but it is usually there nonetheless.

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Both Sherry and I have lost both parents; we both took care of our aging parents at one point. If at first this seemed somewhat of a burden, in the end in it was a blessing. It allowed them to stay in their homes surrounded by the things and people they loved, letting them be at peace.

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For us, the gift was the ability to move forward in our relationships with them, seeing them not so much as a parent but as a friend. I’ve always felt that it helped me to repay the years that they devoted to me even though they did not expect any payment.

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In divorce, after grieving your loss, there is a sense of freedom, a re-bonding with yourself and friends that may have been neglected along the way.  Your bond with your children changes as they see you in a different light.

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There is pain in loss and we are all entitled to experience it. Feel, bemoan, embrace your grief and when you are ready actively seek out the joy that your loved one, your ex-spouse, or ex-friend left in you. Rejoice in your memories and get out there and make more!

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Here’s to a happy life! 🍾

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MaryBeth & Sherry

 

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How to Survive the Big M

Yep! We’re talking menopause.

While researching menopause causes, symptoms and the treatment/prevention of the aforementioned, we’ve come to certain inevitable conclusions:

There is no known prevention for menopause. We know, we know, for the most part we don’t mind the end result of menopause, but, by golly, isn’t there a way to avoid the discomfort? Nope, just like exercise, we got to go through it to get to the end result.

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After thorough Internet research, here’s what we’ve learned.

 

Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause hot flashes.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause insomnia.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause joint pain.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause night sweats.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause mood swings.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause weight gain.

Okay, now that every man has groaned and uttered “Ewwww” and left this blog, let’s talk turkey.

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Sorry to say menopause appears to be a fact of life for most women. And if you think about it, for their partners. They enjoy it vicariously through us. You’re welcome. Did you all honestly think we were going to go through this without you?

(Insert evil laugh here)

Okay, we are done laughing and back to this blog.

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As you can see by our bullet points above, the best thing you can do is avoid eating or drinking anything and everything. Difficult, we agree, but think of your waistline!

Based on the fact that we enjoy eating and drinking, we’ve decided to put together our own list of do’s and don’ts.

How to avoid or lessen the symptoms of menopause.

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Do go through menopause with a buddy or two. This is the safest way. Keep your buddy on speed dial for emergency texts and calls.
Don’t decide for your buddy what they can and can not eat. This prevents injury to yourself and others.
Do go out with your girlfriends and laugh. This eases any and all symptoms
Do go out with your girlfriends and their significant others. The sympathetic nods amongst the significants makes them feel like part of the team. (Did we just call menopause a team sport?)

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Do live near a nice cold swimming pool, lake or ocean. Do feel free to take a plunge at anytime. Do not feel free to do so naked. Alternate solution: Keep your bathtub full of cold water at all times – Do feel free to take this plunge naked.
Do take anyone who says “oh c’mon, it’s not that bad!”, to a local sauna, sit with them until they get up to leave, pull them back down and say “nope,not done yet” and “oh c’mon, it’s not that bad!”

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We sincerely hope this helps .

Read this book for more humor on Menopause .

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And this one for safe and natural ways to balance your hormones.

Dr

 

Here’s to a Happy Life!

MaryBeth & Sherry

Visit our sister site : Calming Interiors

 

How To Be Interesting?

I recently came across a book titled “How To Be Interesting” or something to that effect. I only vaguely remember the cover and title, I have no idea who the actual author is.

I thumbed through the book quickly to get an idea of its contents and/or ideas. Some of the suggestions were eavesdrop, maintain eye contact, smile or laugh easily and often.

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Smile More wallpaper by Roman Atwood and Brittney Smith

There are whole blogs to be written on just those 3 suggestions, so just a quick note. While eavesdropping is considered to be rude, often in tightly packed places, it is unavoidable. The author’s point was that you can learn a lot about someone this way and then engage them in conversation based on what you overheard. I’d proceed cautiously with this one.

Maintaining eye contact is consider rude in some cultures and is known to make some people very uncomfortable. However, in a one on one conversation with someone you know this would definitely indicate that you are actively engaged.

As to smile or laugh easily and often, it may well make you interesting as people will wonder what you are up to! They may even be inclined to come over to you and ask. That would be interesting.

In my opinion one of the best way to be interesting is quite simple – Be a Listener. When someone talks to you, LISTEN. If you truly listen to what someone is saying to you, then you can respond appropriately and start a good give and take. Now you are both involved and interested!

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It seems obvious to me that most of us want someone to listen to us. Obvious because isn’t the dominance social media the perfect indicator of this need?

We strive through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Whisper among others to voice our opinions, our emotions, our concerns. Likes, comments, re-tweets, etc are indicators of our success in being heard. Social Media is here to stay, but it’s impersonal for the most part.

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Social media means I can’t watch your facial expressions or catch you at an unguarded moment. I can’t feel your energy nor hear your laughter. Do you need a hug? I’d rather do that in person not by liking and sharing. Wouldn’t my being there in person to interact with you make both of us much more interesting?

What do you think makes others interesting? Let us know in the comments, we’d truly like to know.

 

Here’s to a happy life!

MaryBeth & Sherry

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The Closet Politician

I think I must be a closet politician. Why you ask? Last night I had a dream where I left my home and went to a crowded public place similar to an open air mall, and started giving a loud speech as to why everyone listening should vote a certain way. Of the little I recall, it seems to me that I was telling them why they should vote for me, what my platform was along with the reasons my views were a step up from the rest of the campaigning crowd! Talk about a nightmare!

Sherry and I both believe strongly that the United States of America has a solid foundation for voting rights. Sure it has a few kinks that could and should be worked out, but as citizens we are allowed to vote for whomever we wish, even though every vote you make is not without pressure. There is no campaigning, known as electioneering, within 100 feet of any polling place here in Colorado. Nonetheless you are inundated with signs and supporters along your route if you choose to vote in person. One of the reasons we choose the mail-in ballot.

Social Media is loaded with ads and personal opinions, along with the occasional friend who threatens to unfriend you if you support certain platforms or politicians. As our friend, please feel free to disagree in a polite, well-thought out, fact driven comment. You just might be able to change our opinion. Or better yet, hide the offending post and move on to our funnier stuff. The agree to disagree philosophy is an important part of our culture.

The deluge continues if you turn on the television or radio. We’d guess that there is a 50/50 chance that everything in these ads is actual fact and not just someone’s manipulation of the facts. That’s okay, we’ve been known to embellish a good story too. Just give the American public credit for knowing the difference.

The point is what used to be a few months of campaigning and all the accompanying rhetoric became an election year and now a minimum of one and half to two years of lead-ins, speculation and generalizations. Every candidate promises at the beginning of their run to avoid attacking other candidates and then the caucuses arrive….

Forget debates, we all know politicians like to argue, if there was that much arguing in our families, there’d be a whole lot of time-outs going on. Media misinformation, in a family situation would be called lying, at home this would have brought on a punishment reminiscent of the scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie ended up with a very clean mouth. Baiting by commentators and reporters is bullying. And bullying is unacceptable in any other arena.

All of the above  is why even if I am a closet politician, you would never see me campaigning.

You will find us sitting at a cafe somewhere sipping wine, water, coffee, whatever the discussion calls for (and sometimes that’s whiskey!) debating the relative (and I use the term lightly) merits of each candidate. We freely admit that usually ends in laughter and a diversion to a completely different subject. We prefer to focus on the positive and bring joy into the world.

Here’s to a happy life!

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MaryBeth & Sherry  🌟

Featured image – courtesy fo clipartbest.com

 

For Love of Family

We’ve reached that phase where life starts to come full circle. Whereas you used to take your children to your parents for baby-sitting now they bring their children to you. And just like you did, they give you instructions on how to care for your grandbabies. It doesn’t matter than you managed to raise them pretty darn good, their way is the formula you must follow now, or at least until your children are out of earshot!

The first time we watched our granddaughter, my step-son gave us very clear instructions. We were to hold her on our shoulder and walk continuously as this is what she preferred. If on the off-chance she fell asleep, we could sit, but under no circumstances were we to allow her to see or hear the TV. (Boy, did she have them trained!)

Now we have 2!

Now there are 2!

We willingly obliged, right up until their car pulled out of the driveway. Then we sat, talked and cooed to this wondrous little doll until she fell asleep in Papa’s lap. At that point we turned on the TV, relaxed and watched. Naturally, as soon as we heard the doorbell ring, signaling her parents return, we shut off the TV, arranged that precious bundle on a shoulder, walking to the front door as if we’d been walking for hours.

Precious little fairies

Precious little fairies

Another sign of life’s circles is to us the tougher one. The caring for aging parents. I helped care for my Dad for 7 years before he passed. This journey is at time frustrating and unwelcome, other times it’s laughter and joy. At all times, for us, it is an act of love. Caring for aging parents can seem like a labyrinth for which there is no exit and a new surprise at every turn.

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Often, there is anger from your parent because the tables are turned, they start to feel like the child and you the parent. It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to understand why this is so difficult for them. If there is a defined illness or pain, they become irritated with new regimes and medications. Your parents feel the lack control and they have to idea how to get it back. There might be a loss of activities with their contemporaries, making them feel isolated and confined. If their journey includes dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory or cognitive loss of any kind, they may not understand what’s truly going on.

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Coming from that perspective helped me to better understand my Dad’s disposition and make an effort to focus on laughter and helping him take part in those things he could still enjoy. Being surrounded by his family made him the happiest.

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All in all, being on this side of the circle (yes, the older side, haha!) is one of the most rewarding parts of your family life, helping you to see your parents in a joyful new light, having your children as friends and allowing you to spoil your grandchildren. Actually, there’s no reason you can’t also spoil your parent at this time, I know mine certainly deserved it.

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How do you or your family deal with this new aspect of life? Let us know in the comments, you may help someone else gain new perspective.

Here’s to a Happy Life! 🍻

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The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 11 1/2

Now’s the time to celebrate!

Day 11 1/2 – Gather your friends and family around you, eat drink and be merry!  Relax and enjoy this time together. It may be hectic, children running, dogs barking, cats hiding from these ridiculous humans…

Just soak it all in and laugh.

And now we say good-bye to you all and wish you the best this holiday, we are off to enjoy our families.