Saturday, February 28, 2015

There is a semi-wrecked car in my front yard. Am I too nice?

Monday: There is a car in my front yard.
It belongs to a guy who lives somewhere in the neighborhood who police said was probably going too fast on the slippery roads and came within feet of hitting the only tree in my corner lot.
It was before 9 a.m. He was very distraught and didn't seem dressed for the was one of those sub-zero days we are all loving so much. He had on a thin hoody and sweats was older, older than me! He was very shaken up.
So, when he came to my door and it was freezing cold I didn't think. "Dude, you almost hit my tree!" I didn't say, "give me all of your contact information, right now Mister, you've torn my yard to shreds!"
Nope, I was concerned that he was safe and warm and wasn't hurt. I was worried about him and didn't  even get his name. I told him no worries and I was just glad he was OK. My focus was on making sure whether he needed help while calculating whether or not it was safe to invite him into my house to get warm or make a call because I was alone and in my bath robe.  (His other vehicle, a Ford Tundra which  a police officer said capable of pulling the car out of the ditch, was  idling in the street.)
The tactic agreement in this exchange was that I expected he would do the right thing and come claim his car out of my yard when the weather got warmer and the crisis passed and make an effort to make things right.
So, now, five days later, there is still a car in my yard.
I called the police because I thought they would place one of those stickers you see stuck on cars on the side of the highway and, soon, remove it from my property.  I was informed by the police that it is parked on private property....mine...I am responsible to tow it away if the owner doesn't come to claim it.
So, I suppose, within the next few days I'll have to play some kind of hard ball and tow the car, somehow notify the owner and say "pay me what I paid to tow the car or it is mine."
That makes me uncomfortable. I was just trying to be nice. But I had a different recent experience were I discovered that all that being nice has gotten me is screwed out of tens of thousands of dollars over the years. And, believe me when I say, I do not have tens of thousands of  dollars to be screwed out of. But it got me wondering is it ever wrong to be nice? Have I been too accommodating over the years because I wanted to be liked or because I was afraid to hurt someone's feelings? Or because I I thought I was protecting someone else? Would it have been so wrong to ask the guy for his name and numbers?
Tuesday: So, I started writing this post on Monday and now it's Tuesday. The nervous car driver came by while I was carefully stepping through the icy driveway to retrieve my garbage can so I didn't break a hip. He was nervous and apologetic and promised to get the car out of my yard.
He said he had lost three people he loved in the last six months, including his wife and his mother,  and hadn't gotten use to it all. For a minute, to be honest, I wondered if he was telling the truth. There was an instant when I took all of him in. He was still wearing the same clothes ill-suited for the weather.  His speech was difficult to understand because it seemed he didn't have in his teeth. He looked about ready to cry. So I looked him squarely in the eye and said "I'm glad your were OK" and "I know you'll do your best."
In that moment it felt like the right thing to do but I still wondered, stepping gingerly back down the driveway that I may well be the biggest sucker of all time.
Wednesday: I pull out for work and the car was gone. It was one of those moments where I couldn't help but smile and the sun seemed to shine a little brighter.  It may be overstating it but I felt like my faith in humanity had been in part restored. I had considered reconsidering my probably naive life outlook that assumes that basically people are doing the best they can. This recent lapse in faith has been tied directly to a particular person who never ceases to amaze me in their ability to be thoughtless and hurtful.
But here is the thing. I'm the one at fault in that case. Once, maybe twice, you give a person a chance. When it gets to be chance, five, six, 100, have to take some responsibility. Or, more directly, I have to take responsibility. And action. That person is out of good will and good thoughts.
But my distraught driver? He had one chance. He did the right thing and I have never been happier to see tire marks in my yard.

Shout out to our reader (readers?) in Poland! Menopause is universal.
Seventeen countries and counting!
Mary M.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I learned a valuable LIFE lesson today. Please read my story.

Today was my scheduled ovarian cancer screening that I told all of our followers about a month ago.  It was just a routine screening at the University of Kentucky; free to any woman over 50 years of age (the senior discounts have begun.)  The screenings were also offered to younger women who have a family history of the disease.  The day I made this appointment was a bright, shiny day.  I had no idea I would be going to my appointment in the bitter cold and snow…and I scheduled it for 8:30am.  What was I thinking?  Even with hot flashes, this created stressor number 1.

I left my home at 7:00am to give myself enough time to get there and walk the stairs up to the third floor.  But, as luck would have it, construction had taken over Rose Street, which just happened to be the street I needed to get across to my appointment.  I drove for miles in circles that kept ending with signs that said, “Street closed.”  I was about to pull my hair out!  I even contemplated moving one of the signs…it was wood planks…it would be easy.  No one would know.  I could move it…drive by it…put the sign back in place…and no one would know!  

But, the police officer to my right, who seemed to know just what I was contemplating, shook his head “no” at me.  I waved and continued to drive all over the university campus until I found the magical street that got me to the correct building. This situation was stressor number 2.

At this point, I only had 10 minutes to get parked and up to the third floor.  SO, that meant I had to ride the elevator.  I don’t do elevators.  I have been known to do things people would find bizarre.  I love to hunt crawdads and fish, and ghost hunting and TV shows about ghost hunting are my favorite forms of entertainment.

Steve and Dave from Ghost Hunters-Steve and I share certain fears.  I told him I needed to get over my fear of flying, and he said, "Don't do it Kim...don't get on a plane."  
But, riding elevators is something I truly fear.  I can self-diagnose myself and link this irrational fear to several incidents that happened when I was younger (I should have been a psychiatrist,) but regardless, the fear is real. 

SO, I walked up to the elevator and pushed the “up” button.  The door opens and people are swarming around me to get on.  I looked in at all of the people and froze.  One really sweet woman said, “Are you alright sweetie?”  I said, “I am claustrophobic.  I have to get myself prepared to get on an elevator; otherwise I end up with a panic attack.”  The kind woman said, “I will ride with you.”  And, her husband laughed and said, “I know CPR…you will be fine.  Come on board!”  So, I did.  This was stressor number 3!

The couple talked to me, and they suggested I breathe.  Haha!  Was it that obvious?  I could not breathe.  They said my face was looking a little… “rosy.” But, we made it to the third floor just fine.  It took a few minutes for my heart to slow down and for my hot flash to subside, but I did calm down.    

After I signed in and filled out all of the necessary paperwork authorizing the clinic to do the screening, I reflected on my morning.  So what if I had a difficult time driving to the right building? So what if I had to walk a short distance (very short) in the cold to get inside of the building?  So what if I had to ride an elevator?   None of these stressors really mattered.  You see, the kind couple who rode up the elevator with me was dealing with so much more, and it did not dawn on me until that very moment.  She had a scarf on her head, and she was at the cancer clinic.  That very kind lady was dealing with cancer.  And, her amazing husband was not only there for her, he extended his kindness to me under all of that stress.  In that moment, I felt shame.  In that moment, I felt warmth and kindness.  In that moment, I felt blessed.  In that moment, I thanked God for my life.

I don’t know if that kind couple will ever see this, but if you do, please know that you inspired me like nothing ever has today.  I will keep you both in my prayers.

Have any of our readers ever felt like a whiney baby when every little thing doesn’t go your way?  Share your story with us. 

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder.
Kim York

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hot Flashes + Snowpocalypse 2015= Happy Menopausal Mom

Snow.  I had never thought about it, but “snow” is a four-letter word.  And, typically I don’t like four-letter words, but I happen to love this one! 

I was so excited to hear Sunday night’s weather forecast for Monday: “10-14 inches of snow predicted for Central, KY.” Yay!!  And to top that, record low temperatures will follow the big snow storm, which was named “Octavia” by the way.  That name actually sounds more like a kind, menopausal woman you would invite to dinner rather than a scary snow storm

But, speaking of menopause, as we so often do in this blog, I was watching the “Today Show” Tuesday morning, and they devoted an entire segment to menopause…it even spanned into Hoda and Kathie Lee’s hour.  They were reporting that menopause could last 14 years or more.  They said many factors played a part, and that “The younger you are when it starts, the longer it may last.”  Really?  Really? I began having hot flashes when I was 45.  This could not possibly go into my 60’s…could it?  Well, my husband said he hoped I stayed hot as I got older.  Be careful what you wish for. 

And, for those of us who suffer with our own personal summers year round, does it get any better than a prediction of a massive snow storm?  It’s a menopausal woman’s dream come true!  When a hot flash happens, you just open the door.  Immediate, refreshing relief!

And, I was elated to wake up Monday to find out the prediction was correct.  By Monday evening, we had over a foot of snow in my little hometown of Winchester, KY.  I was like a little girl wanting to build a snowman, but this type of powdery snow would not support an Olaf.  But, that mattered not to me.  I was just happy that with snow came cold temperatures.  I must have opened the door at least 20 times on Monday. 

 No one else in my household seemed to like the snow one bit. Even my dogs did not want to go out in it.  I would open the door for them to go out and do their business, and they would tuck their tails, look at me with those sad puppy dog eyes, and run back into the living room.  Sometimes, I would open the door and they would look out the door, look up at me, look out the door, look up at me, as if to say, “Really, you haven’t shoveled us a place to poop yet?” They REALLY had to go bad before they would venture out.  And, I have to say, watching them try to find a place to actually do their business was hilarious.  They would push themselves through the snow in a circle until there was a decent path, then they would let er rip!  They didn’t seem to appreciate my laughter, but it was entertainment for mom!

My husband acted much like the dogs.  He didn’t want to go out in the snow either.  But, Tuesday came and the cars and drive-way needed clearing.  So, he opened the door, looked outside, looked at me, looked outside, looked at me, and I said, “What, you expect me to do the shoveling?  Get on out there…the dogs had to figure it out too.” 

Today’s forecast is calling for record low temperatures.  I believe one forecast said -10 degrees, and this is not the wind-chill factor, this will be the actual temperature itself.  That makes me happy.  If I feel a personal summer coming on, I will just open winter’s door.  Life is good.

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder.
Kim York

Monday, February 16, 2015

Trapped by the snow: 10 nice things you can do for yourself

It it cold and gray and the snow keeps coming down and piling up. (The picture is a two foot bucket in my backyard.) It seems like a good time to think about some things any Mom can do for herself without much fuss or money. My only expertise in this area is being a Mom like many Moms who doesn't often put taking care of herself on her to do list. 

So here are some thoughts.

1. Take an extra long shower, take a few extra minutes to deep condition your hair and use that fancy soap that seems too good to use everyday.

2. If you have pets. Play with them. Throw the ball for your puppy. Get out the laser pointer out for the cat. It makes them so happy, it will brighten your day. 

3. Watch the first Netflix movie or On Demand movie that catches your eye. No judgement. Not even on yourself. Why is it that the longer you spend trying to pick something to watch the more particular you become because, you know,  you invested so much time in picking. I watched a fairly terrible movie earlier today. All the way through. I'll admit it. When I'm done here, I'm tuning into Hallmark I'm really hoping for an Ed Asner cameo and the main female character being or becoming a chef.

4. As Hallmark commercials keep reminding me as we get older we get drier.  Splurge a little on some deep moisturizing lotion and keep it on within arms reach or your favorite chair. (That's what they are talking about in the commercials, right? Dry skin?) Also, a tube of Chap Stick or Blistex should always be on hand.

6. Invest a little money in a good pillow or two. How much time do you spend in bed? How important is sleep? You don't have to go broke. Check out Big Lots or for good deals or use the many discounts offered by Kohls.

7. Hold on, I'm about to get all Zen-y but celebrate the good things you've done today,  the ways you have loved people in the right way and the times you have been kind just because it was the thing to do. I know I can dwell too long on the many, many things that have gone wrong.

8. Tell somebody who is important to you that you are glad they are in your life. It will help the both of you.

9. Write something just for yourself. It doesn't have to poetic or a work of great fiction just put your fingers to the keyboard or a pen to paper to organize and get out some thoughts. If you are like me, the unbridled and cluttered brain can get very noisy place.

10. Stand up for yourself but without malice. If you get pushed stand firm and hold your ground but try to do it for yourself not out of spite. If you figure out how to do that, please let me know. If I master that, you'll be the first to know.

Shout out to Poland, one of 14 countries and counting where we've reached Menopausal Moms. Menopause is universal!

Mary M.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The phone call every parent dreads.

The phone rang at 11:30pm.  A phone call after 11:00pm is never a good thing.
I immediately felt something internally grab my stomach, and I couldn’t breathe, and my intuition was correct.  It was the call no parent wants to receive…the call telling me my son had been in a car accident.

I jumped out of bed and started asking a million questions.  The nurse was put on the phone, and she replies with, “He is lucid.”

This was the longest night I can ever remember.  

Jordan was able to talk with me, but he was extremely anxious about everything.  His legs were aching terribly, his head was hurting, his chest was hurting, and he couldn’t remember much about the accident.  I felt that was a good thing.  The good Lord above protects our minds until we are better prepared to handle all of the details in such traumatic events.  That is my belief anyway.

I don’t ever think I have felt more helpless.  My son, Jordan, was in Dallas, Texas, which was many, many miles from Winchester, Kentucky.  He was in his 3rd week of flight academy training with American Airlines.  All that I could do was depend on Jordan’s friends to keep me updated on all of his test results, and they did.  One friend, Caity, will forever be on Santa’s good list if I have anything to do with it.

In between phone calls, my mind wandered to that baby boy I brought into this world 26 years earlier.  I saw pictures of him in my head taking his bottle, or playing with his big brother.  I remembered his first birthday.  I remembered his first day of school.  I remembered band concerts, and I remembered a special lunch we shared at Ramsey’s in Lexington, KY.  I felt fear like I have never felt fear before, and I felt completely out of control.  Yet, I had to be strong for my son, my baby boy. 

After Jordan was a little calmer, he was able to tell me he was on his way home after a very late class with 4 other friends, and that he was in the middle of the backseat.  A car in the left lane beside them came over on top of them and pushed them off the road.  The driver panicked and overcorrected pulling the car back onto the highway, and the car began flipping.  That was all he could remember until he woke up to paramedics.

He then said the hospital had to cut off his clothes and shoes to get to his injuries and that he would need some new clothes.  Really?  Really?  That is what you are concerned about in this moment.  I was sure it must be the meds talking, or his way of thinking about something else.  I assured him we would get some new clothes.  And, I told him to try to relax and think about other things…hoping to lower his anxiety after such a traumatizing accident.  But, that didn’t work very well.  I could hear the trembling in his voice.

Throughout the night, test results indicated he would be fine.   He had lots of bumps, cuts and bruises, but nothing that seemed life threatening.  He did have a strong headache, and the doctors asked friends who were taking him home to wake him up every two hours to make sure he was ok.  This created a situation where Jordan was afraid to go to sleep.  But, I do think he got a little sleep.  I, on the other hand, did not.  I was up thanking The Good Lord above for taking care of my child.  Oh, how this story could have been so different.  

The next morning, Jordan was beginning to remember pieces of the wreck his mind had protected him from.  He remembered the car was laying on its side, and the young man to his right being on top of him.  He could hear screaming.  And, he could remember trying to reach up to push the door open at the top.  That is all he remembers.  He still does not know how he got out of the car.  However it happened, God had a big hand in it.

My son has had an on-going headache, his left leg has a deep cut and is very swollen…he has many aches, pains, bruises and cuts throughout his body, and his nerves have been on an emotional roller-coaster.  But, he survived.  He even got up the next morning and made himself go back to class.  I was not too happy about that.  The momma bear in me wanted him snug as a bug in a rug…getting rest.  I lost that battle.  He is nothing, if not determined!

I was so inspired by the strength my son demonstrated that next morning.  I would like to think he got some of that strength from me.  Well, he would have received that strength from a younger version of me.  I only made it through a half day of work the next day.  This menopausal mom cannot run on zero sleep!  I went home and went to bed. 

But, my son has taught me a valuable lesson.  When I feel, let’s use the word, “witchy,” I will step back and think about how blessed I am, and that I need to keep the “witch” in me, in check!  And, when I have minor aches and pains, as older women do, I will remember how much he was suffering when he got up and went to class the morning after such a horrific accident.  And, when I have those days where I feel I cannot take anymore, I will remember the Lord above is with me, just as he was with my son.

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder.
Kim York


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

50 Shades of Grey: "Nay" to the movie and bondage teddy bear

50 Shades of Grey that epic ode to bondage and something called the Red Room is all the rage. It's been dubbed "Mommy Porn" and  although plenty of suburban moms found it a page-turner statistics indicate that a lot of unmarried women in the 20s and 30s are reading it too. 
From the Today show to the Interwebs it is being pitched as a naughty movie spectacular aimed squarely at Soccer Moms. It is the only porn-lite creation that I can think of in recent memories that made it OK to talk about erotica at the neighborhood barbecue. (Unless you live in a significantly racier zip codes than I do where discussion of erotica is the norm.)
I just don't get 50 Shades of Grey. To be honest, I had no interest in reading it when it came out but, in the interest of elevating the discourse of Menopausal Moms I just read some excerpts. With language like "My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves” and "He hits me, hard" and perhaps my favorite, this ode to baby oil "from makeup remover to soothing balm for a spanked ass, who would have thought it was such a versatile liquid.”
After reading the bits and pieces, I'm secure in the fact that I made the right choice for me. (For the record, this is Mary, if there is any wondering.)
I will say this. I don't judge. If bondage porn gets your motor running and a consenting adult wants to get in that leather suit with you, well you guys probably make a lovely pair. If you enjoy it because it is a daring daydream, good on you.
And I suppose if you have to say "I am not a prude" you are pretty close to admitting that you are a prude.  But truth be told, I liked 9 1/2 Weeks and remember fondly Last Tango in Paris although parts of it just confused me.
I am all for a little dirty fun.
It's just I think the dynamics as I understand them between Christian and Anastasia is too skewed for comfort and a little cliche.  Plus, Dakota Johnson speaks like a little girl in interviews which I find off putting. In the trailers show her begging the much older man to love her and he resists. Yet, apparently, the more he hits and tortures her the more he is willing to be her real boyfriend.
Yes, that's a message I can get behind, to love me is to beat me.
I won't get into why sexual violence in a shouldn't be celebrated.
And, beyond that, I just don't like the author. I suppose I should. A middle aged writer turned international success. But she just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe I am jealous. Maybe I would like to be a middle aged writer with international success.
Here is the final thing. 50 Shades is celebrated for appealing to woman, suburban woman in particular, slightly older woman at that. But last week the Today show had a special showing of the film for 1,000 mostly middle aged women. There was something about the running joke that --ohhhh, ladies of a certain age like S-E-X.
And, truthfully, isn't one of the only bonus things about menopause is that you can have sex and not worry about an unintended pregnancy. So, if for no other reason than that, shouldn't we all like sex a little more.
Are you Yay or Nay for 50 Shades. Tell me what you think.

15" Fifty Shades of Grey® Bear
Update: This is a for real thing from the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. It is 15 inches tall and costs $89.99. I wish I was making this up.

Shout out to our reader in India. Menopause and Moms are universal

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Movie remakes are making me feel old!

I can actually say I watched the original “Star Wars” movie at the Weddington Theater in Pikeville, Kentucky, in late May of 1977.  I am sure my children, who are anxiously awaiting the release of the newest movie in what is now the third trilogy, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” must think I am ancient!

I probably am.

That movie was released at a good time for my family.  In April of that year, our home was swept away in a horrific flood.  We lost all of our family pictures, home movies…and everything else we possessed, and we were living in a mobile home provided to us by HUD.
But, for that one night, we were immersed in battle with the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire and their terrifying space station, the “Death Star.”  I so wanted to be like Princess Leia, and of course my brothers wanted to be Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.  And, for a few years following the movie, their bedroom paid homage to the film.  There were Star Wars curtains, blankets, lightsabers,  and toys everywhere!  Some of the items were quite scary to see at night. Can you say “Chewbacca?”

What is making me so nostalgic you ask?  Well, I watched a trailer for a movie remake that will hit theaters this year, “Poltergeist.”  I simply could not believe the movie was old enough to have a remake.  But, I saw this movie when I was dating my first husband, in 1982.  That was almost 33 years ago.  #ThatCannotBeRight

And, I freakin’ LOVED this movie!  But, my experience watching this movie was most likely scarier than most.  Why?  Because we were watching the movie at the Huntington Mall in West Virginia and a tornado came through.  It knocked the power out in the theater, and the theater went black during the “clown under the bed” scene.  I just about peed my pants!  And yes, I screamed like the girl I was!  And, no, there were no cellphones back then to light up the place.  Of course, when you actually need the guy who kept walking through with the flashlight to make sure you weren’t smuggling in food, he was nowhere to be found!

When the movie came back on, my heart was racing out of my chest.  There was no way I could finish the movie at that point, or so I thought.  We started to exit the theater, and I kept watching the Freeling family search for Carol Anne, as I was walking out.  We decided to sit in the back row and watch a few more minutes, just to make sure Carol Anne was ok.  But, she wasn’t, and that was all it took to reel us back in.  I was so glad we stayed.  And, the whole experience gave new meaning to the phrase, “Go into the Light, there is peace and serenity in the light.”  There was almost no light for Carol Anne to walk into.  

I watched the trailer for the new “Poltergeist” movie, and the first thing I noticed was cellphones.  Technology will most likely add a whole new edge.   Just think, with the new 3D TVs out, Carol Anne shouldn’t have an issue with a fuzzy screen.  And, the messages from the dead should come through loud and clear!  Hopefully, this Freeling family will have surround sound!

After watching the “Poltergeist” trailer, I began to think about all of the remakes that have been coming out lately.  And, it made me think about some of the remakes of great movies I watched as a young woman.  They were new to me because I was too young to remember the originals.

One such movie is “Cape Fear.”  When I saw “Cape Fear” in 1991, I remember thinking, “It’s hard to believe the original movie was made in 1962…two years before I was even born.  That was a long time ago!”  But, it was actually only 29 years earlier.  That wasn’t even as many years as there is between the “Poltergeist” movies.
So, to see all of the movie remakes coming out lately and knowing I watched the originals when I was a young adult, really makes me feel my age.  “Ghostbusters” is even being remade.  Has it been that long since we heard Ray Parker, Jr., sing, “Who ya gonna call?“

And, was it really that long ago that we heard Sissy Spacek ask, “Why didn’t you tell me momma?”

I guess it was.
Time goes by so fast anymore.  I fear closing my eyes and hearing the remake of “Fifty Shades of Grey” is coming out.   But, for now, I am not too old to consider watching the original on Valentine’s Day! #UhOh

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder!
Kim York

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Teen + Menopausal Mom = Hormone-poolza and, yep, Gratitude

When I had my daughter at 34, I should have done the math and read a little biology and maybe reconsidered the decision. (And my decision on that Sister Wife hair, above. )
Now, I would never reconsider having my girl. But if I had at least thought though the long-term implications I might have been more prepared.
But, no,  here I am, a Menopausal Mom with a hormonal teen. God Bless Us Every One.
If you Google "Menopausal" and "Mom" the first five hits are about "How to handle my Moms mood swings." Or YouTube videos like this . If you wonder about the challenges of dealing with a teenager, just ask any teenager or ask yourself...what was I like as a teenager?
And I will say on any scale of teen angst and unreasonable-ness my level-headed girl is on the low end.
Still, there is a natural, biological friction as she tries to pull away and I struggle to let her go.
I've written about it. (See: 1045 days and counting)
To say it has been hard will be understatement. Some of my Mom friends whose kids are now in their  20s say it isn't an accident that you are ready to see them go when it comes time for college. They will admit anonymously to wanting to push them out the door.
I'm not there but still....I feel like my life has been turned inside out

Because, you know, this is the girl I've grown use to.

And this is where we are today. She is taking over the world, as she should.

So. It's been hard. That's no surprise to any of my fellow Moms, Menopausal of otherwise.

But here is something that's new for me, I'm learning to cherish the time I have with her. We have Wild Women Wednesday. ( I just made up that name, FYI, and I am sure she would not approve.)
We reserve the space each Wednesday evening. It's official. It's on the calendar. It's been great. we both put our phones away. (Mostly) I love nothing more than talking big thoughts and what is fascinating to each of us than talking to Bailey.

This week we ate dinner and painted pots. Even if it is once a week it is twice the "quality time" we would have on a given week when we are doing dishes, folding clothes, doing homework, finishing up work, checking emails........
So, I have to make a shout out to Tim York, the husband of my fellow Menopausal Mom. Their amazing daughter Ashley. She has just been amid the whirlwind that is Sundance Film Festival she sometimes shoots through Kentucky for a visit. Tim said something like, "it's a couple of hours with Ashley, but it is always a good couple of hours."
So there you go. Quality not Quantity. And being grateful for the chance to make that happen.  Hormones or no hormones. 
Shout OUT: France. I feel like there may be more than one of you. Either way, Thank YOU!! Menopause has no bounds. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

I’m not ready for Depends…yet.

It seems my cookies have betrayed me. 

No, not Chips Ahoy cookies.  It’s those dang cookies within our computers that make note of everything we search  online. 

They have divulged the fact I, Kim York,  am 50 years old to the entire internet world. 

Now, when I open my email, not only do I have emails from companies who cater to people 50 years and older, but all of the advertisements surrounding my email inbox are also for products for people 50+.  UGH!

It’s as if, you turn 50, and you no longer buy any of the products you purchased when you were 49.  I do not need Depends undergarments, yet!  I can still wear my thongs as long as I choose.  Ok, I may not wear thongs, but I could if I wanted too!

And, reverse mortgages…really?  I am still working hard every day and I will have my mortgage paid off well before I retire.  Oh, and that’s another thing…AARP!  It’s like they stalk you when you turn 50.  AARP has life, auto, home and travel benefits.  I know because I receive mail from them every single day.  I am sure the postal service will never go out of business as long as AARP is mailing out information.

Then there is life insurance…yes, we must not leave our families in a situation where they would have to pay for our burial.  And, it is detrimental that I buy more now because the end is near.  It’s like a preacher staring you right in the eye stressing the possibility of eternal damnation, hell fire and brimstone if you do not have hundreds of thousands of dollars to leave behind.  I just want to be cremated, or possibly have my body donated to science. 

Turning 50 also means we must be in need of hearing devices.  “Hear what you have been missing.”  That is what all of the advertisements say.  Maybe I don’t want to hear what others have to say?  Maybe I would just assume be left alone!  Take for instance listening to the news, it is so depressing!  It’s never good.  Never.  It’s always bad.  Always. 

The most ironic part of the advertisements are the celebrities who advertise them.  Really, Lisa Rinna in her red carpet dress wearing Depends Undergarments??  Really?  Oh my goodness, if Lisa wears them, I have got to have them!  They will look great under my skinny jeans! 

But, I guess the most embarrassing advertisements are those for products like Viagra or Cialis.  They actually use older people for these commercials, but they always make the situations just a little creepy.  How often do you see two people in bathtubs at the ocean?  And really…they are in separate bathtubs? They need a better understanding of how things work before they take any medication, period!  Just creepy!

As much as I love cookies, my internet cookies have got to go! 
Bring on the Chips Ahoy!

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder.
Kim York

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A big 'ole Nerd, I applied to college, again. What will you tackle?

I just applied to college. 
Not just regular college.  Nope, I applied to a really fancy college for a chance to be a "fellow" and study stuff not for grades but because I want to. If they pick me, send prayers and vibes my way, they'll pay me to think big thoughts about journalism and maybe learn how to sculpt and eat some really good clam chaw-dah

In my current job in a ever-shrinking newsroom I sometimes don't have time for thoughts at all.

The idea of the fellowship makes me giddy. Because, here it is, I'm a big ole Nerd.

Yep, I get excited at USB drive filled with documents because I figure there is something in there that is exactly what I am looking for. I learned recently of a mythical creature called a data concierge who can help me find specific healthcare statistics and it almost took my breath away.  I found a research paper on wildly varying outcomes among Medicare patient depending on not on the benefit they received but how the state where they lived decided to allot it. It made me audibly go "ohhhhh."

I never particularly thought of myself as nerdy but I never thought it was a bad thing. Honestly, because of particular quirks of my nature, I don't want to seem too invested in anything. Maybe that's why I have a job where I learn a lot about a lot of things. But now at 50 I suddenly want to go deep.

On Thursday I spent eight hours listening to health policy discussion as it relates to the Affordable Care Act. Did you know Wal-Mart is going in to the doctoring business in a big way? Yep, thousands full scale doctor's offices are going into Wal-Mart. Employees can go for $4. You can go for $40. They'll only take cash. If you watch House of Cards you may join me in wondering if Sam Walton is the reason we have the Affordable Care Act at all. (If you don't you should watch House of Cards)

Anyway, I suppose the bigger point is this. I was shaking when I pushed the submit button on my application. Honestly, I had tears in my eyes.

I haven't worked as hard on something for myself if a very long time. It involved all kinds of things I find uncomfortable. Promoting myself. Asking people for help. Asking people to say nice things about me via recommendations.

But it was a really good process for me and whether or not I'll be having "chaw-da" I'm glad I did it. It helped me see I've done some really good work. I've made a difference in some lives.  Over the years I've actually learned a lot.

So here is my challenge to you, my Menopausal Friends, find something to do just for yourself, something that makes you a little bit afraid. Whatever it is. It might be learning how to paint or driving a race care or taking up belly dancing or applying for college. Just do it. And let me know when you do.

Shout Out! Yeah to our one  reader in the Bahamas! A Menopausal Mon