My Mid-life Smackdown

Scenes from My Full-Frontal Midlife Smack Down

About Grief and Milk

left by love

I’ve heard it said “we grieve to the extent we love”. There are  times when I wish I didn’t love so fiercely. Times when I wish I could forget about my love and grief as easily as I forget about why I walked into a room or what I was about to say.

~the mess

When we are left by love, even in the rush hour’s cold rain, the heart remembers without a list while the milk remains on the grocer’s shelf.



Music that Moves

Stop it!!

Do these pants make my butt look big?

I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but somewhere along my messy way I gave up body loathing. Don’t get me wrong, if you asked for a show of hands of who loved their body, both of my arms would remain firmly stuck to my sides. I don’t think that’s the right answer, but it’s a truthful answer.

stop hating your bodyTo say that I was obsessed with the size of ass and thighs, when I was younger, would be an understatement. I remember the day The Man resigned from the “does this make my butt look big” routine. He looked at me and said “I’m not getting involved in this today.”  He walked out the bedroom.  I was shocked. But I knew he was right. There was no way for him (or me) to win that game. I can’t remember if I wore those pants out that night or not. I do know his resignation stung. Sometimes the truth is like a wasp.

Today I was swimming with some of the grand mini-messes.  Pumpkin is 5 and adores me.  She has nothing but love and joy in her heart when it comes to hanging out with her Gigi (a.k.a. Double G).  She was paddling back and forth between me and the steps when it happened.  I was using my thigh as a backstop for her.  I’d lift up my leg and she would grab my thigh when she couldn’t reach the side of the pool.  She looked up at me with her gorgeous blue eyes and blond curls.  “Gigi (giant smile) your thigh is BIG.”

Yikes.  Internal sting immediately followed by the knowing that my thigh is indeed BIG/HUGE compared to her darling little 5-year-old thigh. She was merely stating a fact. And in that moment I knew it was true. I no longer hated my body.  My day wasn’t ruined. No tears were shed. Our game continued. My BIG thighs were even coming in handy!

Rather than making the quantum leap to LOVING those BIG thighs, I had only stopped hating them. I can even find gratitude for the multitude of things my thighs allow me to do (like serve as a bumper for newbie swimmer Pumpkin.)


If you ask me how one learns to love herself, I would tell you that I don’t really know.   But I would have a suggestion (or two). Quit being cruel to yourself.  Follow the “if I wouldn’t say it to my best friend, I can’t say it to myself” rule.  Each time a hateful thought runs through your mind, find something about that part of your body to be grateful for and move on. Practice this over and over and over and over and over and over again – and presto – one day you’ll get there.  And please don’t make your partner responsible for your body image.  It’s YOUR body image we are talking about – not theirs. You may never have the love affair with yourself that Oscar Wilde speaks of, but you can quit being a hater.  And for now that’s enough.

complete you

Who loves you baby?

Er. Um. Not me? From a letter Charles Chaplin wrote to his daughter Geraldine: “Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul. “ I know I wrote about this quote in my…

The Selfie Challenge

Trying to Find the Center of Myself (a.k.a. being self-centered) I only rarely publish an image of myself on the Facebook Page.  Oh I may sneak some body part in a photo and not tell you it’s my hand or…

Photographic Torture


look at her. isn’t she fat? look at those huge thighs. no beauty. all mess. said the 16 year old mini-mess. for her, i grieve.

for her i grieve

When someone we know loses a child or husband to death, It’s obvious to all of us why they are “grieving”. I can hardly stand to think about losing The Man. Grief in the face of death makes sense.

But is it obvious why the woman in the cubicle next me, or the checker at the grocery store, or my best friend who seems to have her shit together might be grieving? Or why I, for a matter of fact, AM grieving?

Years of self-abuse, letting those voices beat the holy shit out of me. Judging and comparing myself to others…. Looking back over pictures from years ago, seeing a young women who was beautiful staring back at me only to remember how she felt. Fat, unworthy, damaged, broken… When I think of all the lies I’ve told myself about my worth… well that’s something to grieve about.

How did I “waste” all those years? How did I let this happen? Where was I in my own life? Why did I “let myself go?”

So many of, hell most of us, know what it is to let ourselves go. It doesn’t mean we didn’t work out enough -or- we gained weight -or- ice cream became our best friend -or- our pedicure grew out -or- we didn’t get the grey adequately covered with the purple dye.

It means I let go of my own hand. When others doubted me -or- questioned me -or- betrayed me… I didn’t know how to hang onto me. I am longing to reconnect with a part or myself I thought was lost… or perhaps a part of me I never knew I had.

Or deserved.

But today, upon reflection, I realize it was a part of me which was silenced for the sake of convenience.

I want it back. It’s up to me. You can’t do it for me. You don’t have “it” to give me. You only have yours to claim.

My voice.

I won’t let it be hushed. to keep the peace. anymore.

she listened to her heart