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Old January 12th, 2001, 11:02 PM   #1
AuntieWOW
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Old February 21st, 2001, 08:13 PM   #2
tupi
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What's this folder about?

This has been my favorite folder for years. I will forever remember reading Mary's first post. Following a divorce she faced her first Christmas without her children. The fact that her kids were grown didn't ease her lonliness, and as she wrote she came to realize that what she really faced was a new life. With all this on her mind, she gazed out her bay window at the New England snow, and she saw that her lawn flamingos were covered with coats of white. She wondered if she should just have cornflakes for dinner as she had neither the money nor the inclination for much else anyhow. She wondered where life was taking her. It took her far. Last I heard Mary had remarried and was working full time. She was proud of herself and had progressed beyond the valley of hopelessness to a mountain of new experiences!

That's what this folder is about...going beyond the days when life changes seem so horribly traumatic that you don't know where to turn. Well, turn here for the support of other people in similar situations. If not in this folder, then to others in the WOW message boards. It's a wonderfully supportive place.
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Old February 23rd, 2001, 09:11 PM   #3
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{{{tupi}}} Thank you for the beautiful post, it gave me shivers. Thanks also for reminding me that the one thing that is constant is change. Sometimes, as scary as that can be, it's a good thing.
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Old February 24th, 2001, 03:42 PM   #4
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Thanks Addie, to be honest, I don't cope well with change. I face it with extreme trepidation! I've been known to avoid situations that I know will lead to change in my life. I do it all the time. Yet as we age, change is the one constant we have to keep us company. Life may be a bitch, but it beats the alternative.
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Old February 24th, 2001, 10:53 PM   #5
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I have recently faced a truth which I'm surprised to say I find neither pleasant nor unpleasant, just a truth. I'm middle aged. I'm not quite sure what to do with that knowledge. I know it means I'm no longer "young" and I know it means I'm not "old" yet. I'm just not sure what it means I AM.

I'm doing a lot of re-evaluating of myself and my goals and my ideals. I'm checking to see if the goals and the ideals I have held to this point are still ones to which I want to aspire. Interestingly, I'm finding they are, but often the methods through which I've been attempting to achieve them don't seem to fit any more. I don't know if that's a result of my own changes or other changes, but it's taking me down some new and interesting roads! Maybe that's what middle age is all about -- reevaluation and redirection.

When I was "young" I was often mistaken for much older. Life had led me down paths which had prematurely aged my outlook and behavior. I also looked anywhere from 3-5 years older than my chronological age. Imagine my surprise recently to learn that suddenly people think I'm younger than I am. I don't think I act "young". In fact, I'm relatively sure I don't. *I* don't think I look young, but when I tell people I have an almost 18 year old high school senior, they look at me in shock. I'm kinda enjoying that! <g>
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Old February 25th, 2001, 10:02 AM   #6
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Oh MommaD I know where you're coming from!!!!! I find that the older I get the more forgiving I am. Things I used to be willing to stand up and fight for, well, they just aren't as important as they once were. I'm much more mellow. (I can hear some people reading this saying, Jeeze if she's mellow now I'd have been afraid to know her when she was a fighter!)

I also look younger than I am. I cheat though, I wear makeup and use face creams and work hard at looking younger. I've learned though, that appearing to be young and vital isn't about chronology it's about attitude. I keep up with current events and think about kids and the lives they will lead one day. I keep active and seek out adventures. I will live to the limits of my capabilities forever, and sometimes I push those limits to their extreme. For example, I'm thinking about taking a ski lift to the top of a mountain and riding my bike down. It's an adventure!

Middle age to me is like middle income...the range is so broad that I'm not sure where the lines are drawn. My brotherinlaw died at 22...he must have been middle aged at 11. If I keep going like I am...I'll live to be 100. I wonder if those big three wheeled bikes will fit on a ski lift?
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Old February 25th, 2001, 11:20 AM   #7
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I'm finding that the older I get the less willing I am to put up with things that irritate me. (And I'm finding more things irritate me! <g>) I'm getting better about just walking away with an attitude of "if you want me, you know where I am". It's really a very freeing attitude!

When I see something being done either incorrectly or "the hard way" from someone else's inexperience, I've gotten to the point where I'll fight for a while to try to set it right, but I no longer beat my head against a wall. I accept much more quickly these days that sometimes people just don't want or aren't able to change either themselves or the way they do things. I used to fight and fight to give them the direction they needed. I've figured out (FINALLY!) that it's not up to me to help everyone. I can step away more easily.

I suspect that the realization that, not only am I mortal, I have already lived at least half my life has something to do with that. I don't have the time to waste any more. Now I'd rather move along and find a productive venue for myself, rather than try to help those who don't want help.

I find that I seek women of my own age or older more often now. I've always felt more comfortable with people older than I (again, probably because of the paths my life has taken), but it's becoming more pronounced the older I get. I'm only occasionally comfortable with women in their 20s and I wasn't even comfortable with teenagers when I WAS one! LOL I don't know if this desire to be around women of "a certain maturity" is a result of where I am in my own life or if it's my way of seeking advice and direction. Whichever it is, I'm comfortable with it.
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Old February 28th, 2001, 10:22 AM   #8
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Midlife to me is wanting to change and letting go.
Releasing some of the anchors, so my broadside<G> swings gently into another current. But I know most changes come unexpectedly,
crash, bang, boom! /me goes away thinking....
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Old March 1st, 2001, 12:28 PM   #9
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Talking

lol, ok there was supposed to be a ;-D after broadside. hmmm wonder if I will learn how to use da faces.... ever!
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Old March 1st, 2001, 05:54 PM   #10
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Those smilies are a hassle to me too, anitana, but I suspect we'll conquer them eventually.

I suppose meeting midlife is all about accepting that change will happen. We can meet it head on and do battle with it, we can accept it and go with the flow, or we can do a combination of the two.

I need to work on chosing my battles. I find that, while I can accept some changes around me, there are some things I get really mad about. I can deal with my children growing and leaving home (I'm sure my oldest will actually leave one day.) I can deal with my parents aging. I have trouble dealing with my personal limitations though. I tire so easily; I use lots more skin cream; I'm less inclined to want to go out with the gang for a beer.

On the other hand, I get really upset by women who are willing to accept limitations put on them by others: my sister-in-law who won't color her hair because her husband doesn't like the idea; my arthritic neighbor who cancelled the order for a hot tub because her husband didn't think she needed it (as he continued to smoke until the day he died of lung cancer!); the woman I work with who won't drive 250 miles to visit her mother in a nursing home because her daughter won't take off work to go with her... These things are so minimal in the scope of daily life, but when we stop living because other people tell us we can't do something, then we simply stop living.

On the other hand, like MommaD I get frustrated by people who have so much faith in their own ability that they don't know how to listen to the input of others or assign the delegation of power. It's a very insulting thing to those of us who have lived through and learned from our experiences. It also impedes progress, and progress should be the goal of change.
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Old March 1st, 2001, 08:06 PM   #11
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{{{{{tupi}}}}}

It has always bothered me to watch anyone accept the limitations others place on them. I have friends who honestly believe they don't deserve certain things because they aren't "pretty enough" or "smart enough" or "worthy" or "important enough" or whatever. Not only do they believe it, they voice it themselves. "Oh, I can't do that because I'm too __________." I try very hard to NEVER let a comment like that pass without looking that person straight in the eye (if it's in person) and saying, "you are NOT too ______."

One of my favorite people is my father-in-law's best friend. This man is blind and has been since he was a young child. There is NOTHING this man hasn't tried that he's wanted to. He's driven a car. He's hunted. He goes anywhere and everywhere he wants to go, often without his wife. He can hold a metal pipe in his hand and tell you the exact diameter of the pipe. He can listen to a car engine and tell you what's wrong with it. He was a wrestling coach until his retirement and he was awesome at it. If even one of his kids started to walk away from the mat, he knew who it was and knew they'd done it. This man is, quite simply, awesome. I wish more people would take a page from his book and just go for it!
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Old March 2nd, 2001, 05:27 PM   #12
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I've been guilty of setting my own limits, too, MommaD. I've often said I couldn't do something because of something else. I've been working on it, but it's difficult. Your father-in-law's friend is a wise person. I look up to my husband who makes plans and carries through with them. He's inspired me for years to try to do more. Then it occured to me that he was trying to get me to be more like him. It did take some time to make him understand that I'm me and he's him. We can do some things together, but we aren't the same. We can not do everything together. Realizing that we are two seperate people, and giving each other the support to do what we need to without the other, has saved our marriage. Not that I don't get damned tired of him working on cars every single weekend...
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Old March 2nd, 2001, 08:34 PM   #13
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Ah, but {{{{tupi}}}} do you set your own limits for realistic or personal reasons or do you set them based on "other's" opinions/viewpoints/limits/whatever? Setting your own limits based on realistic or personal reasons is natural. For instance, I know there are some things I simply can't do. I'm not flexible enough to drive a sports car. I simply can't comfortably get in and out of one. Ok, that's a realistic limit. (Never mind that it's also something I have NO desire to do! LOL) There are a lot of realistic limits we can place on ourselves, as long as WE'RE comfortable with them and we're not placing those limits because others think we should. But that's just my opinion. :-)
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Old March 3rd, 2001, 02:09 PM   #14
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I used to set limits on myself. Especially in my private life. Now I find myself looking at people who do with a bit of sarcasm. One thing I hate hearing is women who say "I can't do that because I never learned or don't know how, or it's too complicated or bothersome". Good grief, how does one grow without learning at least one new thing a day! I've learned more in the past 3 years by finding this forum and using the internet to become informed and by asking questions! I may not always find the right answer, but I know I can always find someone who knows it.

If I thought for one minute there was nothing else to learn or experience, what a dull life we would be leading.
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Old March 11th, 2001, 02:32 PM   #15
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Oh I so love to learn new things! I love seeking out information. I just spent a week in Savannah, GA and I learned some of the most interesting tidbits about architecture and history that I may never need to know again. Still, it made my experience all the more gratifying to learn something new. I can't imagine happily living in the past and never seeking out new adventures. I look for an adventure behind every experience. That's what I consider learning...an adventure!
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