Category: Healthy Living

Is This Middle Age?

Is This Middle Age?

I’m approaching my mid-40’s, which puts me squarely in this middle age bracket. And as much as I would like to believe I’ll live forever, I’m having moments of WTF is that pain?!? Is it the big one?!? My bestie and I frequently joke when having said random pains, “Is this how we die?” It is mostly a way to ease the tension, but there is an element of truth that lies beneath.

To be fair, I wouldn’t call myself a hypochondriac, but I did lose my dad and other family members to cancer when they were middle-aged. My dad was 50 when he died, so as I creep closer to that age I am worried the same fate lies ahead for me. Which is worrisome, because I want to be around a long, long time for my kiddo. I lost my father in my early 20’s, which was devastating enough to deal with. I could not imagine losing a parent as a child.

In the past month, here is some of what I had to contend with when it comes to middle age problems. First and foremost freaker-outer moment was me having to rule out a DVT or blood clot in my leg. I had a recent COVID infection, I have a sibling that has a history of blood clots (multiple pulmonary embolisms) and I started having calf pain that would not go away. I ignored it for over a week, but then started to get worried when it wasn’t really getting better. After a telehealth visit confirmed my worries, off to the ER I went. My sister had cautioned me to be on the lookout for it, but I ignored her mostly because it freaked me out a little (ok, ok, ok, it freaked me out a LOT). One downside of post-divorce solitude is that I could die and no one may know about it right away. That is fun to think about.

The good news? It wasn’t a blood clot! The bad news. It is probably something structural in my body, which I now suspect is my Achilles tendon. Yesterday, while attempting to skip in the rain with my daughter, I was one skip in and felt a terrible pain in that same calf that had me limping the rest of the day.

As if that wasn’t enough, then my period decided it needed a vacation. Same, period, same. I was going on 42 days before it decided to show up again. In force. The only upside is I did not have a “hoe phase” in January, so I wasn’t overly concerned I was pregnant, but did take a pregnancy test to rule that out. Cool, cool, let me add perimenopause to the list of middle-age wonders I now get to contend with. I have been asking close friends how much they know about this topic and most don’t know a lot (including me). Our mothers didn’t talk to us about going through this change, so it is another area of life where I am flying blind and figuring it out as I go. Hooray.

I read an article about menopause and it talked about how this was just preparing you for this next phase in life. I sat there thinking, “What next phase?!? Death?!?” Yes, let us prepare for that. It is totally depressing. This whole post has been a random mix of depressing updates. I tell you this so you know if you have any middle-aged women friends you work with or in your life, we are coping with a lot these days. And we are not well and our bodies are starting to fall apart. And if you didn’t already get the takeaway: middle age fucking blows (my current mood). Although I wouldn’t trade my body falling apart for the life experience I have gained, so I guess there’s my silver lining. Excuse me while I go pop my supplements and limp off into the sunset.



The moon, a silver crescent in the sky, beckons me onto the deck. I cannot ignore her call. As I open the door, I step into the silky darkness and the cold air is sharp in my nostrils. My feet are freezing against the frosty slats of wood but I grip my cup of coffee tighter to keep some warmth in my hands.

I can see the moon through the skeletal branches of the trees. I look up, taking in the sight of her exquisite silvery shape. This early in the morning, the neighborhood is silent. The birds have not yet begun to chirp their morning tunes. There is not a single sound of movement in the woods behind the house. I smile, incredibly grateful to savor this moment of such stillness. It is so rare for it to be this quiet where I am. I take a deep breath of chilly air, letting it fill my lungs, as the peacefulness envelops me.

I open my arms and absorb the moon’s shimmery beauty, allowing it to wash over me, as I stop to think about the generations of women before me. We are connected across space and time and I feel it in this moment. Under a beautiful moon. I think of the strong women in my life and send them love, knowing intuitively they will feel my offering.

I retreat back into the house when my feet start to feel like blocks of ice, and daylight is beginning to creep in. I utter a silent prayer of thanks for this sacred time and for all the blessings in my life.

A New Approach

A New Approach

At 44, I am tired of hating my body. Or wishing it was smaller or didn’t have cellulite or stretch marks. Or I didn’t have my FUPA. I am so incredibly exhausted from the daily struggle. I have had a lifetime of being told by family, social media or strangers that there is something wrong with my body. That it is not the ideal. I am taking a revolutionary approach; trying to appreciate my body for all it has done for me so far. Saying I am going to love my body felt like a stretch after swallowing so much negativity. I can start with appreciation and build to love. After all, being a mother of a daughter, this is another cycle I want to break. I do not want my daughter to spend her life hating her body. My goal for her is the same one I aspire to: to love her body unconditionally. To think of it not in terms of a number on the scale, or a particular size, but in terms of what it can do for her and how strong it is.

This body has done so much for me. It has survived being run over by a three wheeler (only a fractured cheek bone!). Fallen off countless horses. Gone ass over tea kettle down a ditch in a wheel barrow (thanks sissie!). Been through multiple car crashes, including a rollover and hitting a deer, without so much as a scratch! This body grew a baby to full-term and then some, and then pushed that beautiful, perfect baby out. This body has breastfed for several years, creating an unbreakable bond with my child. This body has carried me to 40 states, 14 countries, with countless more to explore. This body has carried me over the finish line of multiple 5ks, and even one half marathon. This body has survived the loss of loved ones, including my dear father, and been able to pick up the pieces and somehow still manage to carry on, despite the hole left in my heart. This body is currently surviving a divorce, one where I have decided that above anything else (my marriage, my child, my security), I have chosen myself first. I choose me, above anything else. I could go on and on about what my body has done and continues to do for me.

In a radical step, since it is summer, I am starting with appreciating my body in swimsuit. An area so many women struggle with. I bought myself several new swimsuits, ones that a past version of myself would have NEVER! bought. And you know what? I am rocking them. I feel good in them. I feel sexy, which is an entirely new feeling I am slowly getting used to. But the best part? I am not hung up on any imperfection or what my body looks like, because I am too busy having fun cannon-balling and belly flopping into the pool with my kid. Women, I would encourage you to try this yourself. It’s been so incredibly liberating! I have dubbed this the summer of zero f*cks and am enjoying the hell out of it. I dare you to try this too.

A Day of Baking Bliss

A Day of Baking Bliss

We went from almost 80 degrees last Sunday to snow flurries this morning! The day was cold and windy, and I have the weekend all to myself, so I decided to get my Betty Crocker on today. Before having my daughter, I used to bake a lot, and today made me realize how much I really do enjoy baking. I don’t know if it’s the creation of something new (and usually something sweet!), the smells emanating from the kitchen, the warmth from the stove. Maybe it’s all those things. But I find myself very relaxed and contented when I’m baking. It brings me so much pure joy!

This morning, I craved something warm and nourishing with the cold weather, so I found a recipe to make Blueberry Breakfast Oat Bars. I don’t have a gluten allergy but they looked and sounded good. I threw in some protein powder with it, because I didn’t have flax, and then dolloped the mixture on top. I assumed the dollops would melt down and cover the rest of the fruit in the bars, but nope! My dollops just sat there like lazy ass lumps. Needless to say, these tasted way better than they looked. Because from a presentation perspective, they pretty much looked like shit. LOL But, they were damn delicious. I enjoyed these with some mixed berry yogurt for my breakfast.

Berry Breakfast Bars

The second recipe I tried today I saw on Tiktok. It was an Irish Soda bread, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this week and it just looked so tasty. Off I went to the store to get the ingredients I didn’t already have at home. I was on the fence about the raisins, even though I got some from the store. Raisins are ok, but not my favorite. Plus I worry about dropping them, the dog eating them, and dying (just a smidge dramatic I know). After seeing someone comment about using chocolate chips instead, that’s what I went with. And I was not disappointed one iota.

Irish Soda Bread (with chocolate chips)

First of all, let me say, make sure you have a big enough bowl for this mixture! It is a one-bowl mixture, but you do need a big bowl. Second, get ready for an arm workout because this dough is D-E-N-S-E. Between the weight of the dough itself and the cast iron pan, I got a mini-arm workout in.

It took an hour for this to bake, and it was well worth it! The outside texture is crunchy without being too tough, and the inside is soft and cake-like. I cut down the sugar from 1-1/4 cups to just a 3/4 cup and used only about 1-1/2 cups of chocolate chips. The bread has enough sweetness to be satisfying without being overindulgent. I absolutely loved the Irish Soda bread recipe and plan to make it again.

Ahhhh, baking my old friend. It’s nice to see you again. We have to get together more often.