Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today's thankful: Heat in the car

As I headed out the door today to take Youngest to the bus, I failed to grab a coat. This fact is not surprising given that a) I am a woman over the age of 45, b) I hate coats, and c) the temperature was a balmy 50 degrees. The thing that is surprising is that I actually got a little bit cold. Must be the fact that the sun is behind clouds which are spitting rain.

Anyway, as I was driving to my sister’s house to put my tiny person on the bus, I reached up and turned on the heater. My reward was instant heat. Though it isn’t something that is necessary to sustain life, I really am thankful that a mere flick of a switch can bring me so much comfort on a gray, drizzly day. I imagine the ladies riding in covered wagons on their way out West would have loved such a feature.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finding local food is hard in November

I have been trying for the past 11 months to eat less processed food and to buy local when I can. Often, I am finding that the two cannot peacefully coexist and I am forced to choose either nothing or processed. As an example, I can do the local meat, thanks to a wonderful local butcher shop, but finding local produce is extremely difficult this time of year. I have been forced over the last few months to buy produce at the grocery store. There are some organic offerings, but I am not sure I care about that as much as the transportation cost involved in getting the produce to the store. I would much rather buy a squash from, say, the southwestern US than from Brazil. Sadly, it is often impossible to tell from the information given in the grocery. Frozen is neither local nor unprocessed, but the variety is great and my family eats it well. For now, I am buying produce as best I can at the grocery and anxiously awaiting the spring growing season.
On a related note, tonight will be my first attempt at preparing/serving spaghetti squash. The kids are excited to at least see it done. That knowledge offers me some hope.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nature isn't being so kind

I have been struggling a bit lately with aging in general, and choosing how I want to age specifically. When I was a twenty something, my only real goal was to always look good for a woman my age. I still think it is a good goal, but looking good for a woman my age has become harder and harder to define.
It seemed in the early ‘80s that looking good for a woman in her forties pretty much consisted of exercising to maintain a healthy body weight and wearing more skillfully applied make up than is required of a younger woman.
Now that I am a middle aged woman, it seems that more is required to look good than living a healthy lifestyle. For example, hair color, neck waddle and sagging body parts all need to be addressed at this age.
With the exception of a few years in my self-absorbed teens, I have been happy with the hair color that my genes have provided. In fact, I have always really liked gray hair and was looking forward to having it. But then I started noticing that most of the women my age are dying their hair, covering the gray. Now to color or not to color is the question.
As for neck waddle, I have always known that it was going to happen. The thing is, I expected it to happen much, much later in life, like senior citizen age. It isn’t bad yet, but has definitely gotten a foothold. I have always had an aversion to pain, but that Lifestyle Lift is starting to look pretty good.
Which brings us to the aforementioned sagging body parts. I wasn’t completely thrilled with the sagging milk bags after the birth of Eldest, but would have been okay if the sagging had stopped there. Now I find that even the skin above my kneecaps is sagging. The only options I can think to fix them are having some work done or gaining a lot of weight to stretch out the skin.
So now I am struggling with looking in the mirror expecting to see the young, vibrant woman I am on the inside and seeing instead the middle aged frump bucket that is the outside. I am at the point where I think I would have some work done, but I have this aversion to pain. And therein lies the struggle. How do I define looking good for a woman my age?
The answer wasn’t simple, but after much soul searching I have decided that my definition of aging well and looking good for a woman my age doesn’t include having any work done. If I chose to color, whiten, nip and tuck, I wouldn’t be being true to myself. I know that my failure to enhance what nature has provided will put me behind the beauty curve among my peers, but I think I can be okay with that.