Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

My book project 'Living Fit After Fifty' is nearing completion. It has been an interesting, and at times, frustrating process yet there has been a lot of opportunity for learning and growth. I feel blessed to have received so much help and support from friends and family.

After I sent the package off to the publisher I was left feeling a little vulnerable - like I had sent a part of myself out into the world for public examination - until I realized that those who end up reading my book will have chosen to read it. My hope is that a lot of people will make this choice, but that remains to be seen.

 If all goes as scheduled, the book should be available sometime in November and the next leg of this unexpected journey will begin.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Girlfriend Reunion 2011

The past weekend was our annual girlfriend weekend. This group of friends have known each other since high school and in some cases junior high. 45 years later we still get together whenever possible. I feel very lucky to be a part of a group with such a long history. We have grown up together, supporting and encouraging each other through marriages, raising children, illness, and loss. We have shared the best and worst life has to offer.

This year we met at my home with four friends flying in from three different cities. One of our group of six was unable to make it, so we were a comfortable group of five. Everyone arrived tired and stressed and the reunion was just what the doctor ordered.

I don't know what I would do without my girlfriends. We provide each other with advice, therapy, entertainment, companionship, laughter, laughter, and more laughter, which is the best therapy of all. Last year one friend was still in mourning for her recently deceased husband and two others were working out their differences, so it was a time for support and understanding. This year we were all in rare form and ready for some fun. We left our worries on the doorstep and focused on enjoying being together.

Today the house is quiet, the beach towels are washed and put away, but I smile as I relive the events of the past few days. What a joy these friends are, and how lucky I am to have them in my life after all these years. Friendships and relationships of all kinds require a little effort, but the rewards far outweigh the effort. Make your life richer by nourishing your relationships and keeping them strong. You never know when you may need them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Females and males have been described as being from Venus and Mars, which are 67.2 million miles apart. In my opinion men have specific, basic needs, while women are complex and may not receive all of the emotional support they require from the men in their lives. This is why God created girlfriends.

Last week I spent a few days in the mountains of Idaho with a group of friends, four couples who have known each other for years and always have fun together. On the last full day the women ventured out on their own, while the men stayed behind to work on the cabin. We wanted to revisit the hot springs we had discovered the day before, but did not have time to fully enjoy. Needless to say, this day was the highlight of the trip. We soaked in natural hot tubs, we sang at the top of our lungs, we laughed at each other until our sides hurt, and then we laughed some more.

Throughout history, women have always managed to spend time together. Quilting bees, sewing circles, and tea time allowed women to bond and share feelings their men may not have related to. Today we enjoy girl’s night out, spa days, and shopping excursions. When I am with my girlfriends I know I can count on having fun, being supported and understood.

Back at the cabin, the men were grouting a stone wall, and later taking a drive in an open jeep, on a dirt road, getting covered with dust and grim. I guess they enjoyed themselves, but hearing about their day makes me really happy to be from Venus.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


We have all been told to ‘follow your gut feeling’, or to ‘sleep on it’ and the situation will be clearer tomorrow. Some people have very strong instincts, while others don’t, or don’t think they do. I have very strong instincts (woman’s intuition), and have instinctively followed them all my life. My husband has powerful instincts, but does not trust them (to his own detriment). I can’t count the times I have heard him say, “I had a feeling”.

Throughout our 37 years of marriage we have had numerous disagreements in regard to listening to that ‘gut feeling’, or going with the sometimes more logical decision, with me pushing for my feelings. He, being a man, used to question what I based my recommendations on, not understanding that my instincts are sometimes so direct that I somehow know them to be right. He has learned, over the years, to listen closely when I have a ‘feeling’, because the feeling is almost always right. Now I encourage him to act accordingly when he ‘has a feeling’.

Instinct rules the animal world. It is what guides their migration patterns, their mating rituals, knowing their enemies, etc. They live in tune with the earth, following the seasons and using their senses for survival, which is their one purpose. Humans could learn from their example. Our minds are so cluttered with the details of our busy  lives, that we may lose sight of our true journey. Clearing the clutter through meditation, contemplation, or prayer may be all it takes to get in touch with our inner selves. That part of ourselves that can make clearer decision and keep us grounded. Finding and listening to your ‘gut feelings’ may put you back on your true path. When you have a ‘feeling’ about something, try letting that feeling guide you. You may end up right where you want to be.