I’ll take 40-something over 20-something any day

6 Comments

Arthritic pains, hot flashes, stress and wrinkles withstanding, I would not relive my twenties if you paid me.  That creased, hot-to-the-touch skin cloaks me in a sense of comfort that I was never afforded two decades ago.  In those days, I wore a skin that never felt comfortable.  That twenty year old skin never seemed to feel like it fit on the body that was attached to my brain.

Perhaps these wrinkles are the road map of the journey that led me to where I am now.  Each crevasse that is etched into my skin marks a milestone that ensured, not only a lesson learned but, a memory was created.  Like every foolish twenty something, I thought I was invincible.  I didn’t necessarily feel like the world owed me anything but I felt like it was my oyster and it was my destiny to find that pearl.

It took me that span of twenty years to realize that I am the pearl in the oyster of my reality.  The epic search for the jewel encased in a hard shell was actually the search for my true self.  The walls that I had created in my teens and twenties became the shell of my oyster and the pearl was me.  Slowly, over these many years, that pearl has come to represent the confidence I now have in myself in every facet of my life.

Spending time chiseling away at the outer shell of my oyster has allowed me to gradually peer into the real meat of my reality and open the doors of that tomb that was my shell.  I no longer feel the same constraints I did in my twenties and if some remnants of those constraints still remain, I don’t care.  It is only a matter of time before the sand on the beach of my reality wears away the residue of that shell that still threatens to inter my world.

In my forties the world has become my oyster, once again, but in a completely different way.  I know who I am and I finally can admit to what I want.  My obstacle now is not the boundaries of my shell but the only the boundaries of my courage and my imagination.

It could be really great…..or go completely pear-shaped!

6 Comments

spare time

Spare time is defined by thefreedictionary.com as “time available for hobbies and other activities you enjoy”.  I had to read that to refresh my memory as to its true meaning since I have not been able to really enjoy any for quite some time.

When you work in the hostility hospitality industry, time of the spare variety is few and far between.  Those waning hours of consciousness after working a twelve-hour day consist of having a libation of your choice and trying to keep your eyes open for longer than an hour after your body pours itself onto the couch.  It is difficult to enjoy an artistic hobby from behind partially closed eyelids.

But all that could change.  The summer staff are arriving, one by one, and my weekly schedule is set.  No more twelve-hour days are in my future, at least that is my conviction at this point, and this fleeting “spare time” could become more of a realistic part of my day.

The weekly calendar begins tomorrow.  The first of many crazy Saturday check ins will come and go and the weeks in between should be routine, in a perfect world.  Life, as I used to know it, should allow me a little more freedom to walk my dog, read the words of fellow bloggers, read a book or just simply enjoy the ever-elusive unoccupied moments of my life.  If all goes well, I will have moments of greatness spent doing exactly what I want to do.

To quote Marthe Troly-Curtin, “Time  you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time”.  (image credit)

 

 

You want fries with that?

7 Comments

When I win the lottery (note the eternal optimism) I dream of having a food truck.  Seeing this burger and New York Fries truck only placed that dream, once again, in the foreground of my reality.  Our lodge was host to a collection of guests who were attending a wedding at the golf club next door to us and this was the midnight snack truck the bride and groom arranged for their wedding guests.

IMG_2002[1]

My food truck dream changes fairly often.  I have thought about a soup truck with fresh-baked goods, since I love making both of those things, but after seeing this pimped out truck my idea morphed into a fine dining truck that would make the dining more of an experience in the truck rather than just picking your food up from the truck itself.

My brain kicked into high gear today and toyed with the idea of creating a fine dining restaurant on wheels, making the impossible night out possible by bringing the fine dining experience to you.  With a mock backdrop of a starry night and some great jazz, you would be able to enjoy the experience of a real date night without leaving the confines of your property.

Food courses, from Amuse Bouche to dessert, would be paired with wine and the food would be presented in a way that would please the eye as well as the palette.  I have been using myself as a guinea pig and, so far, the tests have been an overwhelming success.  Last night’s meal was bacon wrapped Pork Tenderloin served with spinach, apple, Goat cheese, crushed Pistachios and a Balsamic Reduction and I am confident this dish would be a success. (It was delicious!)

food truck

I am still waiting for the lottery Gods to smile favorably upon my new career choice.  Reservations are available but may take a few years to come to fruition based on how those lottery numbers match the numbers on my tickets.  Until then, I will continue to sample future items to perfect the menu of my food truck and hope my culinary dreams turn into a reality.  This truck, if all goes well, may be coming to a neighborhood near you!

 

 

 

My wrinkles are my map

8 Comments

I don’t often stand and look in the mirror for great lengths of time.  Since I cut my hair short and I don’t wear much make-up there is really no need to linger at my reflection.  But this morning I did.  I made the usual faces one makes while looking at themselves and I really studied my face, each crease, each unique spot that has gradually appeared on my skin over the years.

I followed the lines of wrinkles starting to appear around my eyes and, although those fissures are permanent lines in what was once smooth skin, those lines created a map of places I had been in my life.  They are carved from life experiences that made me the person I am today.  Each of those lines tells a story and remembering some of those stories caused me to smile which only pronounced those lines even more.

Senior lady

I like to think I earned each and every one of those laugh lines because I took the time to truly enjoy the good moments I’ve had.   The small lines on my furrowed brow help remind me of the difficult and sad times, but times I undoubtedly learned a lesson or a coping skill.  Those wrinkles belong to me.  I choose to own them because I know the emotions they embody.  They are imprinted in my psyche as much as they are etched on my skin.

My wrinkles are my map.  They have led me from my past and, with the myriad of directions I may follow,  they will help guide me into my future.

Having walked into a new freedom

2 Comments

I was recently rummaging through my desk drawers to get a long overdue start on my spring cleaning when I came across a letter I have saved.  It is not the typical style of prose I would choose to hang on to but rather a glaring reminder of how therapeutic it can be to exorcise a toxic friend from your life.

Toxic friendships start innocently.  The relationship begins to build on a foundation of trust and common interests, camaraderie is evident and the rules of the alliance seem to be clearly outlined and understood by both parties.  Each participant silently vows to put the other’s well-being ahead of the general population and to always have the other friend’s back.

But, somewhere during one particular friendship of mine, the rules changed.  My toxic friend began to show the obvious characteristics of being narcissistic and she no longer had a genuine investment in my feelings.  She began to pollute my reality with her selfishness and her uncanny ability to focus solely on herself.  Although the previous vows of our friendship still may have percolated in the back of her mind, she forged ahead only looking out for herself, completely negating any regard for my feelings.

Unfortunately, I have fallen victim to more than my fair share of toxic friends.  I have created excuses for their behavior, forgiven them on many occasions for the negative effect they have had on my life, and the lives of others, and defended their antics ad nauseam.  For the duration of those relationships, my toxic friends broke all the fundamental and universal laws of friendship and yet I found it difficult to break the bond of our kinship.

I keep this letter, still, as a reminder of the journey I took to find my worth.  This one solid shred of evidence is proof of the strength I possessed to finally walk away from a toxic friendship and put myself first.  It is a letter, penned by a third-party, written to attack my character and accuse me of misrepresenting myself as a friend.  Although this letter initially angered me because the author was completely ignorant regarding my history with this certain friend, I now look at those words and smile.

I was accused of being a bad friend and I was a bad friend – to myself.   I was accused of changing and I did change – for the better.   I was told I would regret ending this one-sided friendship and, yes, I did indeed have regret about ending this particular friendship – but only because I didn’t have had the balls to do it sooner.

into a new freedome

(image credit)

I made a monumental decision that day and one I will never regret making.  I finally gave myself permission to define how I let people treat me.  My friendships now are nurturing and reciprocal and the friends I have in my life treat me with the same respect I show them.  It was a bumpy road for a while but knowing when to let go was a lesson learned the hard way.  I may have a few cuts and bruises from having walked into a new freedom but I shall wear those scars with pride.

Where I find myself

2 Comments

My head is here,

IMG_1442

lost in what looks like a painting.

Texture emulates emotion, freedom.

The horizon represents reality,

meeting effortlessly with creative indulgence.

There are no rules in the clouds.

My heart is here,

IMG_1443

 swelling with emotion,

nurtured by nature and blessed by light,

comforted by the embrace of the essence of life.

free to move in a path that is meant only for me.

An excellent “first date”

5 Comments

I’ve watched them from birth to now.  I’ve seen them take a few of their halted first steps and utter the beginning of many words to come.  I did not birth them, but I love them just as much as if I had.

The time has gone by so quickly and my nephews are now 15 and 12.  They are unique characters and very different from each other which makes them all the more fascinating to a person who does not see them every day.  I get fragmented pieces of time to create memories and I have realized that time is quickly running out before they fly from their nest.

I had a date with my 12-year old nephew tonight.  It was more like an expeditious speed-date but it was an hour that I got to spend with just him.  We laughed, we talked in funny accents and we allowed ourselves the freedom to just be silly and enjoy each others company.  He and I are very similar creatures and it was nice for both of us to recognize that bond.  He reads as voraciously as I did as a child and shares my animosity towards running.

My 15-year old nephew is the opposite.  He most likely thinks he will burst into flames if he had to read a novel.  His hours of leisure, and work, are spent at a golf course.  He lives and breathes golf.  He has found his passion and it is something at which he excels.  He and I have yet to have our date but I will be asking him soon and I am  hoping to make these dates a recurring event before I blink and they are both in their twenties.

I want these moments.  I want to create this stronger bond before they have gone off to college and the miles are stretched between us.  I selfishly crave those snippets of time where I see signs of them becoming the men they will continue to be throughout their lives.  I want them to know how proud I am of the strengths they possess and encourage them to never let anyone try to change their ideals.

smallest things

(image credit)

These dates may seem like small things to them but the memories we create will reside in my heart, and hopefully their hearts, for many years to come.