See how she loves..

Being a Mother is a forever role……
A few years ago, I was having a late-night chat with my sister Holly. It was one of those profound moments when the eldest sister (me) seeks the youngest sister and spills her guts. I wondered if I was doing everything right as a Mom. Even though my children were adults, it is a forever role that is always evolving.
I wasn’t sure if what I was doing or saying at times was right. Was I making myself available enough? Or too much? Was I there for them when they needed me? Or nagging them when they needed space?
I was questioning every aspect of myself for a job I was doing for well over 25 years. A job I wasn’t trained for and I took on at the young age of 23.
I was saddened that at times I felt like the wicked witch of the west, constantly reminding and asking questions, phoning and texting.
Being a Mom is a rewarding yet confusing job. Our discussion inspired my sister to write the following piece, which I have read time and time again. It always makes me feel better about myself as a person and as a Mom. Last night I needed to read it again, for the first time in a long time. It is my pleasure to share it here with you:

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To the Mothers 

(by: Holly Bacchus)

To the mothers
Who were mothers before they ever
Imagined they would be.
Who accepted the challenge
Who put their own lives on hold
To create new ones.

To the mothers
Of children who are a bit different than
So-called “normal”
Of children they can only see as
Beautiful.
Who not only embody strength and courage, but
Who bestow it too.

To the mothers who didn’t think they’d
be doing it alone
But who do.
Who are two people where only one
Stands.
Whose lithe bodies become strong enough for piggy backs
10-yard hail marys, and
wrestling holds.
Who sustain sideways looks and snide comments
Who are told they ‘breed criminals”. But
Whose childhood dreams were never of
lone queens in castles.

Who are strong enough to dream anew.

To the mothers

In the quiet of a dark night
You do the toughest secret job
No one knows you do

Lying awake in a sleepy house
Contemplating tomorrows upon
tomorrows
While everyone else is drowsily,
dreamily, happily asleep.

To the mothers,
In the quiet spaces where
Little eyelids flutter
As sleep descends
Where dawn breaks through curtains
Onto heavy-lidded/adoring eyes.

To the mothers
Whose contributions aren’t writ large on
each day
But who instead
Quietly make each day happen

To the mothers
Whose children will never know
All they have done.

What you do,
Somehow exquisitely choreographed.
And yet impossibly agile,
Is a most beautiful, silent and humble
dance.

By: Holly Bacchus- www.hollybacchus.com

At the top of the 6ix

Recently my daughter and I willingly dangled ourselves 1,186 feet over the city of Toronto.  For fun! My mini me was turning 25 and I wanted to celebrate it in an unusual and exciting way! In my true mini me spirit, she is not afraid of heights and as I booked the event I was remembering her gleeful laughter when we went parasailing together over the sparkling, turquoise waters in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

IMG_9464The CN Tower Edgewalk gives participants the experience of walking around the CN Tower, suspended by harnesses. That would be 1,186 feet in the air, and a walk around the Tower itself.

CN TowerI pulled up the web page and booked it! Right after I did it, a little voice in my head said, “are you nuts?” My friends, parents and my son repeated the same phrase. I started to get nervous “wait, what??? Hang on, was this a good idea? Could I die? Could we both die? Good Lord, I’ve lost my mind.” Later that evening I saw my Husband and I told him I was scared, he shrugged and said, “It should be safe.” Yeah that’s right he said SHOULD. “I could die” I loudly said. “Nahhhh” he replied.

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On D-Day we were in traffic and arrived just in the nick of time. Which I suppose, in retrospect was a good thing, no time to think about the madness I was going to do! Aside from rushing, my daughter was a mixture of calm and excitement. We were greeted by friendly staff who gave us waivers which I signed and never read. What was the point anyway? They directed us to a room, where we were asked to put on orange jumpsuits and remove all jewelry, empty our pockets – even receipts weren’t allowed. They insisted on giving me an extra jacket as it was 9 degrees outside the tower. So, I put the jacket on over my orange suit and admired my extra padding, maybe I would bounce if I fell? Next, they administered a breathalyzer to all of us. Darling daughter loudly asked, “Mom did you pass?” Then collapsed in laughter.

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The staff in this room was incredibly cheerful and happy. I wanted to shout at them “I’m risking my life today!!! I COULD DIE! STOP ME! But I didn’t. I let them check everything on me. I asked one of them if anyone has ever changed their mind. They said yes, usually right in that very room we were in. She took that opportunity to remind me that the ticket is non-refundable.

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Once we took our group photos, the staff lined the hallway and clapped for us as we proceeded to the elevator. What the hey gone diddly was going on? It was like a scene out of Armageddon. I sorta felt like an astronaut on my way to the space shuttle. Yeahhhhh I got this! Slowly my nervousness was giving way to excitement. Go me! Needless to say, my daughter was pretty excited.
We met our leader for our walk, and she was incredibly bubbly and friendly. I was impressed that she took the time to learn all our names. Along with my daughter celebrating her birthday were two others, so it was quite the birthday bunch.
We were hooked up to harnesses and instructed not to touch the clasps. Honestly?????? I wouldn’t dare. Just to be sure, they zip tied our clasps. A good idea, I thought, you never know if someone might have plans on ending it all in a dramatic fashion! Our leader told us that once we were outside, we would be doing some tricks. Yes you read that correctly. I didn’t recall reading about tricks in all of the promotional material. How could I miss that??? TRICKS, almost 1,200 feet in the air. Of course!

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Mini me was at the front of the line and our line leader said she would go first right behind her. Hehehe. My daughter looked momentarily nervous but sucked it up. Gosh she’s brave! Then the doors opened and BOOM! OH MY GOD. No turning back. We walked outside, and our happy leader walked us out, calmly smiling and shouting at the top of her lungs “Hello Toronto!!!!” we all hung onto the areas of our harness that she said we were allowed to hold.
It was chilly outside, but sunny and beautiful. My hands were sweating uncontrollably, I definitely did NOT need the extra jacket. Nerves kept me warm.
As promised, our leader led us through tricks, putting our toes over Toronto, leaning forward, and leaning backward, she took videos and pictures of us. Each of us felt the nerves and we all cheered each other on as we took turns completing our tricks. As time wore on, it became easier and easier to be out there. Looking out over the City I grew up in, everything seemed so peaceful. Our leader pointed out places and landmarks to our group as we had a few people from the U.S. and Ireland visiting. It was absolutely incredible to be so high up and exhilarating to be hanging over the city. I became aware of how quickly my nerves settled and gave way to excitement and elation

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As our walk on the edge was coming to an end, we waited while a new group was coming out with their leader. We encouragingly shouted to them “It’s amazing! You will love it! So exciting!” You would have thought we hung out there all day long as opposed to half an hour.
When we came in, they unhooked us, and we went downstairs to return our suits and get our coats out of the lockers that was provided to us. They told us, if we looked in our left pockets of our jumpsuits we would find our tickets that included our entry to sky pod. I took my ticket out and looked at it with my first and last name boldly printed on it. I immediately looked over to a staff member and asked if, these tickets were there to help identify our bodies??? He smiled and said, “Oh no, we would use your teeth for that.”
The Edgewalk at the CN Tower was amazing. I was astounded that one event could put us through a myriad of emotions, fear, happiness, excitement, nervousness and many more. I would highly recommend this experience to everyone. It is safe as long as you listen to all instructions from the qualified and experienced staff. The checking, double checking and triple checking by different staff members was very thorough and eased my mind.

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This was an amazing and unforgettable way to celebrate my daughter’s 25th birthday. On the way out, my birthday girl asked about skydiving…. maybe…but for THAT, I’d fail the breathalyzer.

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Ticket- $225 each
Celebrating and time spent with my daughter- Priceless

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I can roll with my new role!

In a month I’ll be 52. By the time you hit this age, you get comfortable with who you are. I’m a Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Cousin and Friend. Those are my “identities” if you will, and I wear them with pride.

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Last month, our Son asked the love of his life to be his Wife. They have dated for eight years and have a lot of experience under their belt both as individuals, and as a couple. This is the type of relationship that has a solid foundation. That makes me proud.

So, what does this have to do with my role?

Sitting on the deck one evening with my husband, we happily laughed about this new wonderful event that happened in our lives. We smiled proudly, marveling at how our little boy has become a man in front of our eyes. Suddenly, we realized that we were going to be someone’s Mother–in law and Father–in law. Whoa!!!!!

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This got me thinking. How does this all work? What does a Mother-in law do? Up until that moment, I had never given a thought to the actual role.

I mean no big deal, I was always in regular contact with my Son’s Fiancée, before she became his fiancée. I have always prided myself on our relationship and the ease with which we communicate. There doesn’t seem to be many topics that we can’t chat about. Our visits, text messages, hugs and kisses. But suddenly, I felt self-conscious.

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Is it because a “Mother-in law” has such a bad rap? Oh boy, what do I do? How do I act?

Obviously, just like some of the most important roles in our lives, this one comes with no formal job description.

No one wants to be the overbearing, obnoxious, nosey, pushy, condescending busy body the world makes Mother in laws out to be. When do I ask questions? What questions am I allowed to ask? Do I keep some of my opinions to myself? Or ALL of my opinions to myself?

EEEEEEEEK!!!! I will have a new identity in about a year!

I considered rushing to Google just to see what I would find. But, I stopped myself. Really? Come on Maryse! Get a grip! You are so not resorting to asking Google “What are the functions of a Mother-in-law”.

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And so, I have simply continued on with what I’ve been doing for the last few years. Communicating with my future daughter in law in the same way we always have over the past eight years.

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Maybe as if sensing my hesitation, she has recently asked me what I think of a few things pertaining to the wedding. Those simple things make me feel important, and I have realized that everything is going to be alright. Why? Because I am going to be just ME, this is who I am and will continue to be. Loving and supportive and kind. I embrace this new upcoming role with glee.

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Shades of our Sisters

Shades of our Sisters was an event held on Thursday June 21 at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. This event happened (intentionally or not) on National Indigenous Peoples Day. In recent years I have been learning quite a bit about the Indigenous people and culture. I am saddened that while growing up in Canada from infancy, I was never educated about Canada’s first inhabitants. Not in grade school, high school or even while earning two degrees. The only vague memory I have is of reading books in grade school about cowboys and Indians and even playing a game by the same name. Obviously, I now know that this was inappropriate.

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While I have been aware that there have been many missing Indigenous men and women in Canada over the years, I have never been intimately exposed to personal information about any of these people. That is – until I attended this particular event.
Shades of our Sisters was created by two particular families to celebrate the lives of two missing and murdered Indigenous women in particular, Sonya Cywink from Birch Island, Ontario and Patricia Carpenter from Toronto, Ontario.

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I was speechless as the event transported us back to the lives of these women. We participated in an interactive journey through their neighbourhoods, homes and interviews with their loved ones. In addition, there were exhibits that held personal artifacts that once belonged to the women.
I looked through each exhibit and I was moved by all the personal items displayed. Both women enjoyed writing poetry and some of their original work was available for viewing. There were also many photographs that spanned from their childhoods and numerous letters written on lined paper.

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Many family members belonging to some of the missing women in Canada were present. The families of Patricia and Sonya were there and interacted with the participants. Nothing makes it more real, than watching a mother silently weep as videos of her murdered daughter play on a loop.
I was very moved by this event and also extremely saddened. While we have heard about the cases of these missing women in the news, attending this event showed me who they were. They are more than just a statistic. They are our daughters, sisters, mothers, aunties and friends.
I was honored to have attended
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51

Last weekend I turned 51. The last year flew by and, to be honest, I saw some changes.

The doc, advised me that I had hip and foot arthritis which led to a slow down at the gym, until the arthritic flair ups settled. This led to weight gain– slow and steady, hard to miss weight gain. Suddenly, I had a tummy! Or beer belly? Hell, I don’t even like beer! Getting back to exercise has been incredibly challenging, my metabolism taunts me, laughing at me and teasing me, refusing to help. It won’t move its sorry ass!

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“Don’t worry,” said one friend, “it’s perimenopause.” “Don’t worry” said another friend it’s “menopause.”  So now, on a regular basis, the terms perimenopause, menopause and post menopause are thrown around. All I know is that I don’t like any of them! I sure as heck didn’t sign up for all the exciting things that want to be a part of my life while this menopause gang hangs with me. In fact, maybe (depending on who you ask) I may have some mood swings, tiredness, skin breakouts and blazing hot as hell flashes etc.

I’ve also noticed no– actually I’m convinced I’m losing my hearing. “No, no Mom,” consoles my daughter “You just aren’t paying attention”.

Hmmmm… I don’t know. It seems to me that everyone is mumbling around me except my extra loud son and my loud middle nephew, who I can hear anywhere. I think they need to give the rest of the world a lesson on speaking up! I know, I know– That was a cranky old lady comment.

I’ve also noticed that my eyes like to fly open around 4 am and presto I’m wide awake! So wide awake, in fact, I’ve considered getting up and starting laundry or maybe washing the floors? It’s crazy! Then, if I do fall asleep, wild vivid dreams fill my sleep.
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Alas, the latter has invited dark circles around my eyes. I literally look like a raccoon most mornings. So, for the first time in my whole life, I’m actually wearing concealer, highlighter and foundation …. God bless you Mac Cosmetics.

And you know what else? Lines…. lines around my eyes. Especially when I smile. Recently I advised my husband that I just won’t smile anymore…that should take care of things. He found that amusing, because he knows me: I love to laugh, it will never stop.

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But there has been some pretty cool stuff this year that I witnessed:

  • I saw a family member deal with a health set back in a positive and admirable way and worked their way up to getting better and looking amazing. (So…gee maybe I can at least lose the weight and get back to a solid fitness level!)
  • I watched both our children turn 27 and 24 and make grown up decisions regarding their careers.
  •  I watched my spunky dog turn 14 (that would be 73 in human years)  but she’s still  young at heart, and chasing everything that moves in our yard… albeit slower, and a little out of breath!

The year went fast, and now that I’m 51, I think I can say I’m settling into this decade quite nicely. Each year will bring changes I know, but I am happy and grateful for every day and every experience.

There will be some upcoming goal setting on my part. Stay tuned as I introduce you to them one by one…. You’re gonna love it!

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If I’m not red…I’m dead.

Staring in the mirror recently I started thinking how much it drives me nuts to have to get my hair coloured on a regular basis. The need to cover the grey hair, and the window that keeps getting shorter and shorter in between each hair dressing appointment! Damn! I looked closer and decided that I was pretty much done with the dark hair and the lack of personality in my hair.  My personality! I kinda felt like my hair belonged to someone else. I needed a drastic move, drastic for me at least.

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Ashley in Oshawa Centre’s Curio, listened to me go on and on and on, I mentioned red for some reason. Probably because it’s my fave colour. No sooner did the words escape my lips that I knew I had a horrified look on my face. Could I have red highlights in my hair? I was almost 51! What would people think? What would people say? Holy hell! Was I having a mid life crisis?

Ashley confidently smiled and said I would look great and she would be able to make that red show beautifully and that it would suit me well.

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It made me think..why are we so concerned about what others think? I mean I can give myself some credit and say that I have cared less and less as I have become older, and sometimes I even speak without thinking. But at the same time there have been too many times I’ve seen older women who..well..are either dressed or have a hair colour that would better suit someone in their 20’s.

But the thing is who made those rules? Who says that certain hair colours are for certain ages? I mean if I was 70 and wanted to rock some green or purple strands I could do it! Right? Damn right! Ok, Ashley from Curio. Bring on the expertise!

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So, we began by removing layers and layers of dark colour so that we could give me a medium dark root, we then chose the red. Ashley began expertly applying it to my hair. Friendly, and incredibly knowledgeable about hair colour I was intrigued and picked her brain on stuff related to hair colour.

While sitting and waiting for the stuff in my hair to do it’s thing, I felt myself becoming increasingly nervous. What if it turned out bad? What if my hair fell out? What if I looked like a clown? What? Why the hell was I thinking that? Ashley periodically came by and with her big smile she would check my hair. Why didn’t she look nervous I wondered? She should be nervous this was a big moment. Then I realized that she has done a kabillion of these in her lifetime. I sat quietly and thought about how good a glass of wine would be at that moment.

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Finally, we washed it out and I looked in the mirror. I was beyond pleased!  Ashley started styling my hair, it was perfectly vibrant with just enough sass! There was red in my hair, and it looked great! It looked like ME and that it belonged there, like we belonged together! Red and Maryse! Together at last. I finally felt like the colour reflected my personality. I felt quite comfortable in my own skin. This was exciting!! I was so happy and the compliments have been flowing non-stop.

Yep! I was almost 51 and rocking red highlights! What’s next?

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Women: Mental Health and Wellness

Yesterday I attended an educational event that focused on Women’s mental health and wellness. This event was hosted by Markham Stouffville Hospital. I was immediately intrigued when I received the invitation as well as the list of guest speakers that were mentioned.

As we all know mental health needs have been on the increase every year affecting millions of Canadians of all ages and both sexes. I have been increasingly impressed with companies stepping up and sponsoring events or educating the public on mental health. One such company is Bell and the “Let’s Talk Campaign.”  Openly talking about mental health issues is the cornerstone of this campaign. Today it was great to see another company join in on bringing mental health to the forefront: Shoppers Drug Mart was a sponsor of this event, an event about Women FOR Women!

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The morning began with a seamless registration process followed by a yummy breakfast of fruit and yogurt. We were then shown into a large meeting room that was beautifully put together right down to gorgeous flowers on the table!

As I took my seat I immediately felt comfortable. There was nice calming music playing and a selection of positive quotes on power point being shown on a large screen at the front of the room. I looked around and took notice of booths on the perimeter of the room that had all sorts of community information. There were people at each booth ready to explain what they had to offer. I also took notice that there was much diversity in the room, women of different ages and races. This was wonderful to see, because the need for wellness and good mental health is important for everyone.

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The Chief of Psychiatry was one of the first speakers and listed many relevant statistics about women and depression, among the many things he discussed was the ever-increasing needs of women with regards to mental health. At this time, it is the number one form of disability in Canada. I almost wished I had written these statistics down as they were astounding.  Women face different burdens and pressures that are different then what Men face. Women deal with hormones that begin early in life and hit highs and lows throughout puberty, pregnancies and menopause. Sometimes, this ends up being too much and results in post partum depression, anxiety or depression or other types of mental illnesses. All the speakers were amazing, and about 75 women sat in rapt attention to everything that was being said.  Did I learn new things? Oh yes, I did. I learned:

  • That there is a connection to menopause, hormones, depression and anxiety.
  • That one speaker who is a very confident teacher and is also a successful black belt in karate with numerous competitions under her belt; can also have down moments, moments of questioning herself, and moments of wanting to give up.
  • I learned that a yoga teacher can have the best understanding of anxiety, panic disorder, PTSD and depression and still come out an amazing person, with a gift and passion to help others going through the same thing. Through diet, nutrition and yoga she helps with mental health issues. I had no idea that this type of yoga teacher existed!
  • I learned how to breathe properly as taught to us by this lovely yoga teacher. At 50 years of age I had not been using my diaphragm properly for breathing and having learned this, I could immediately see what a positive difference it made! I was immediately relaxed.
  • I learned that our brain is an organ and it is just as important as our heart. We need to take care of it. If we had a heart attack we wouldn’t go out and shovel snow. So why would we not take care of our brain the same way?
  • I learned that women can get overwhelmed, pulled in different directions. Tending to the needs of others, meeting deadlines at work and easily forgetting about themselves. But we need to advocate for ourselves, keep our brains in tune with our bodies. Sense any symptoms of disharmony between the brain and the body and address them immediately.

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I absolutely enjoyed every minute of this event, right down to the wonderful lunch that was provided for us. The day felt like it was just for us, for Women with needs and questions and a safe and wonderful forum for us to ask them and learn in.

Everyone in that room had a story, my hope is that after this event none of them will simply ignore their challenges and instead will actively seek out help. There is no need to struggle or suffer in silence.  Mental illness needs to be talked about openly the way it was today. Moreover, it needs to be addressed. No one should feel ashamed to bring these challenges up to their doctors.

As if the day and breakfast and lunch wasn’t amazing enough, at the end of the event we were each presented with gift bags containing, magazines, candy, body wash etc. So incredibly thoughtful!

Thank you to the team that put this wonderful day together and planned every aspect of the event. Your efforts did not go unnoticed.  Most of all thank you for giving women and their quest for continued wellness a voice today. A place to learn and be heard. I’m totally stoked for next year!

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International Women’s Day

 

Annually on March 8th, thousands of events are held around the world to celebrate women. This day is known as International Women’s Day and dates back all the way to the early 20th century and every year it continues to grow and blossom in power and presence. This year more then any other year I can feel the build up towards this day and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe because our current political climate with our neighbours to the South has shown an incredible lack of respect towards women, or maybe because I am more aware of my beautiful adult daughter and Women’s Day is taking on an extra layer of meaning to me…so to speak.

Part of me likes and appreciates this day and another part of me is saddened by it. Why do we need a day? Is there an International Men’s Day? No, because they are seemingly always spotlighted and respected and have rights, all of which we women are still fighting for on many levels. Then the logical side of me kicks in and I realize that women need this day to reinforce the need for equality in even some of the most basic things such as education which is denied to many women in different parts of the world. The hashtag this year is #beboldforchange. I love it!  Women must talk about equality and be bold about it.

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Sophie Gregoire Trudeau has been bold about it recently and I was impressed. On Tuesday, she shared a picture of herself and her husband, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holding hands on social media. She urged women to post a picture “with their male ally and share it on social media using the hashtag “TomorrowInHand.” She went on to say, “Together we create a movement that inspires more men to join the fight to build a better tomorrow with equal rights and opportunities for everyone…because “equalitymatters.” So, what was the problem? Well immediately women were angered. She was critcized for having her husband in the picture, many tweeted that she was taking the one day of the year set aside for women and making it about men.

So here we go, women arguing with other women over what is the right way to express our need for equality. Criticizing a fellow sister who is doing just what is needed. She is being bold for change and is highlighting the need to inspire more men to be part of the fight for equality for women. What’s wrong with that I ask? Our Prime Minister is a self declared feminist for Pete’s sake! They both are excellent examples.  Men are an important of the equation to help us achieve equality- taking them out of the equation seems to go against the definition of feminism, doesn’t it? This is where change must begin! By getting men to join the fight for equality.  As women, we need to build each other up. Criticizing Sophie Gregoire is counter productive. Go ahead Sophie do your thing!! Being Bold for change means just that. I applaud her, all women and men who stand up for women’s rights and celebrate International Women’s Day. Rock on I say! Rock on! #Beboldforchange.

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From young mom to older mom…what’s next?

Being in my fifties so far has been pretty interesting, I mean it’s like being a teenager caught between young and old. I have to giggle when I hear it referred to as middle age, Is it really? How many of us really live to 100? As awesome a thought that may be.

Since starting this blog I have obviously found myself all over social media and found it amazing how many women with adult children now are keeping busy! Seems like we all have the same idea. Way to go ladies! I applaud you. I enjoy reading the blogs on fashion, on makeup and on food. All of which tells me that we are women who keep on going long after we have raised the kids.

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Often this stage of the game gives us the independence to pursue those hobbies we always found interesting or gives us more of an opportunity to do some self reflecting. What do we want for the next 30-40 years?

I have heard of some sad stories of marriages that collapse at this point. I’ve been told by a few of my friends who are in this situation that sadly, once the common denominator of children is removed. What is left behind is often a lack of love and a change of life that no longer resembles what they started out with. I think that sometimes there may be marriages that run their course and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I say to my fellow sisters if this is you. Now the chance to find happiness is there, seize it!

I feel fortunate that for me this is not an issue. My hubby is definitely the old guy I want to grow old with! I’m blessed that he is patiently walking beside me on the road to those ‘cough’ ‘cough’ menopausal mood swings.  I’ll keep him.

I have talked with women my age that kind of wonder what is their purpose now? What do they do? Is it all about just going to work?  I say why not do the things that you wished you could have done? Think back to when you were busy burping babies and toilet training and think of the time you saw or thought of something and thought, “Wow I’d love to do that someday.” That someday is now. Do it.

Aside from being a 50something lifestyle blogger, I’m really focused on the following:

Fitness: I don’t have anymore excuses for not getting to the gym. No need to rush home and get dinner started. My adult kids, are just that – adults! Often they can be found on a machine right beside me at the gym. How cool is that? I’ve also been using this opportunity to get fit and expand my circle and meet others who are doing the same. It’s rewarding.

eeukggcejzk-eric-barbeau.jpgHealth: I’m trying new healthy recipes and not panicking if one of my kids doesn’t like something I’ve made. They genuinely seem interested in low cal and nutritious food. Gone are the days that they would shriek at the sign of something green in their food. What’s amazing though is that I don’t have this issue as both adult children are health conscious. Busy at they gym and health conscious, it tells me we did steer them right. The information is flowing both ways as we make them aware of family medical histories and they encourage us to eat right and exercise! It’s not easy to sneak Cheetos into the house anymore!

psuweghs_cm-iwona-lach.jpgSkincare/Beauty: This is big! I spend lots of free time staring at the mirror at new found facial lines. Don’t get me wrong, those laugh lines sure are well earned, but my skin is drier and the smooth even colour is well… not so even or smooth anymore. I’m spending time reading skin care blogs and acquiring a solid skin care line. Splurging for regular facials is now a necessity that I love. Makeup! What fun! As a young mom, I stuck to the quick and easy to apply old faithfuls – eyeliner and lipstick. Only recently have I been exploring the benefits of foundation! Oh the things that sucker can cover! As well as having the luxury of more then one lip colour, how cool is that? Keeping the Manis and Pedis going! I deserve it, and that I think is half the battle! Understanding and accepting that we do deserve it and that its okay to put ourselves first.

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There is more to this list but I just wanted to give you my top three. Follow along on my blogs regularly and I’ll recount for you some of the things that I’m up too. If you’re in my boat with the adult children and wondering “what next”? There is sooooo much!! I’ll show you.

 

With a little help from my friends

When 2017 began, I started thinking about all resolution stuff I was going to blog about, and then abruptly decided that this year that stuff wasn’t important to me. I started to think about all my friendships with the many females in my life. I am fortunate to have many friendships, they range from friendships with my daughter, mother, sisters and cousins and of course my friends. Friendships among women can be very complicated and hard to understand especially from the male perspective.  Women find great solitude in the woman they can call friend. We all have a friend that we know we can call and vent to, get advice from, the shopping buddy, the lunch or dinner friend, or the let’s grab a coffee friend.  The understanding and respect that come with these friendships is enormous and led me to think of the many friends I have that are my age or older that I really admire. Women who hold dear our friendship yet manage to be amazing individuals themselves. Women who conquer the role of mom, wife and friend. There are two women whom I really admire that I would like to share with you over the next day or so. These women have been a big part of my life and have respected and understood the importance of friendship as a two-way street. We have striven to never place demands or burdens on one another and as truth be told I think in all the years I have known both of them I can probably count 2-3 disagreements that we have had. Females and our friends are important, they are a part of who we are. Keep reading as I share these two women who are a part of my tribe and my sister hood. I am so blessed to have them in my life.