Monday, November 24, 2008

They say the memory is the first to go....

It was a moment of clarity that I will never forget. I'm old! I'm one of those old middle-aged women that I used to snicker at when I was 15. You know the ones...their clothes are out of date, their hairstyle hasn't changed in 10 years, they wear the wrong color-palate make-up for the season, and their bodies don't turn heads anymore!

My moment of clarity came on my 45th birthday last week. I had already been reflecting the fact that I was no longer on the upside of the 40's, instead I would be heading in the downward slide to 50. Half-way through my 40's on my way to 50. I got up the morning of my birthday, my young and beautiful 16 year old daughter was the first to call me and wish me happy-birthday (I was out of town on business). Not long after, my other young and beautiful 19yr old daughter called to do same. It was nice to hear from them and know that I am loved. I went about my business getting ready to meet my colleagues for breakfast. I went to breakfast and made no mention of the fact it was my birthday, I didn't want to acknowledge it really.

And then it happened, my moment of clarity. I went back to my room to fetch something before heading over to the conference for more meetings and I looked in the mirror. Aghast in horror, I saw a woman whose clothes were not hip, whose hairstyle hadn't drastically changed for over a decade, whose body was deplorable...and the makeup?


Yes, that was my moment of clarity.

I'm old.

But, as an old friend of mine used to say, it is what it is. I can't change my age, and I certainly don't feel all that old on the inside - at least not how my 15 year old self imagined it would feel. So what if my outside looks it?

This is why my blog address is named as it is. Every moment of (bitter) clarity I've ever had, has been followed by a (sweet) epiphany. Life is a wild ride and I'm sure rarely turns out as people expect it to. I may be frumpy and old, but - as they say - with age comes wisdom, and I think I finally understand the true meaning of this. My life has not turned out as I had planned, but I know enough to value the sweetness of my life and am smart enough to know that my 15 year old self had a lot of learning to do. Every person's life is a journey, and I believe we are measured by the depth and breadth of what we give of ourselves. I have a loving family and great friends who love me without the make-up! I hope that I've given of myself to the extent that they feel no need or want of more, but also know that I'll always be there with more anytime they want for it.

Love, and be loved.

That's all that matters in life.

Nothing else.

(On my birthday - I flew home and we went to dinner.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hippo Birdie Two ME!

Wow! I didn't realize it's been fully two weeks since I posted. Seems like just yesterday...

I'm on the road in Charleston, SC, and headed home tomorrow...November 19th...MY BIRTHDAY! What a crappy thing to have to spend my day in airports. But at least I'll be with the ones I love in time for dinner.

Check back again later...once I'm home and settled, I'm sure I'll be back to blogging...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

California: Land of the Fruits and Nuts

I can call it that. I lived there a good many years in my young adulthood. When time came for me to decide where to raise a family, I couldn't get back to Minnesota fast enough. California has some wonderful things, and I loved living there when I did. But, politically speaking, I was always frustrated by the lack of coherence in policy to any common ideals. I speculated then, and I think am proven right now, that this is due to the fact that California truly is the great melting pot of the US.

California likes to think of itself as a progressive society, leap years ahead of the rest of the country. And, I believe, for the most part the rest of this country believes that to be the case. I, however, believe this to be a false perception.

And on Tuesday they proved my point - much to my dismay! Of the many ballot measures they had, the outcome of two of them in particular speaks volumes about how haphazard and flaky their political psyche really is.

Prop 2: A proposal that would force more humane treatment of farm animals such as egg-laying hens, veal calves and pregnant sows. The measure would force farmers of these animals to provide space for them to fully extend their limbs or wings, stand up, turn around and lie down. It would outlaw cages and crates that prevent those movements.

Prop 8: Would amend the state Constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, thereby outlawing gay marriage and making gay people second class citizens with little to no legal rights in relation to their partner. If one partner becomes terminally ill, the other could be forced out by family members and have no visitation rights, or have a say in the disposition of the estate. This is, of course, just one of many rights the partner has lost.

Prop 2 passed. Prop 8 failed.

Only in California are chickens afforded more respect than a gay couple. Well, at least the gay couple can still extend their limbs now like the protected chickens, calves and sows.

Welcome to the land of the fruits and nuts!!!

Yes We Can

Whew! It's happened. It's finally happened! This is indeed a great day for our country and I am so proud to be a part of the dawning of a new era. Stand Tall America - this is OUR victory!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Please GO VOTE!

This is it. Historical. Exciting. Palpitating. I arrived at the polling place 10 minutes before it opened and got in a long line. I stood for 30 minutes, no easy task for me and my bad hips. But it was worth it.

Savor the moment.

Go vote.