I’ve been working really hard lately. I’ve been giving up my silly, frivolous, much-needed girly weekends away and evenings of testosterone dependent entertainment.
It’s been that way for a while now.
After my promised self-enforced-year-of-solitude, I have made some pretty big changes my darlings.
Yes, that’s right, I have dared to hang onto my dreams. I have finally taken the time to nurture and grow them into something real. Picture a wild wisteria vine making everything old, beautiful once again.
What is it that you want to change? I’m not talking about superficial cucka like the last five pounds or a boob-job to make your girls a little more perky. I mean real change. Big, scary, I-don’t-know-if-I-can-really-do-that change.
Thinking of starting a new business like yours truly? Wanting a new job where your leadership and skills are finally recognized? Want to pack up and move to another country? Is it time to finish your degree or start a new one?
It may be time for a life remix. Instead of standing at a natural threshold in fear, I highly recommend taking that leap of faith.
My advice for anyone who needs to do a life-remix:
1) Dream. Dream hard. This might include pulling out your old projects, photo albums and remembering the excitable, idealistic kid you once were. When you find your happy place, stake a claim and return often.
2) Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk to your friends, the person next to you at the café, in line at the supermarket, and your colleagues. Put it out there, and see what comes back. Filter out the negative, and let the cream of your dream rise to the surface.
3) Educate yourself. Learn about small business, and how your dream might be something that you not only enjoy, but others can benefit from as well.
Wishing all of you joy, meaningful success, and of course, enough bourbon, fun and fabulous gal-pals to help you understand how rich you really are!
It’s taboo. It’s frowned upon, and more often than not over-romanticized. Younger women and older men go together like cashmere and lambskin leather. They just fit.
Younger men and older women on the other hand have a social fit a little more akin to vinyl pants clinging to sweaty thighs – not so comfortable.
But, my darlings, for the single woman, younger men have their place. I’m not talking a few years younger. No dears, that’s nothing. I’m talking a decade or more.
This weekend I did a little experiment. Something to push me out of my comfort zone, and away from the unrelenting pace of all-work-and-no-play. Yes, I succumbed to a much younger man’s invitation. I know, I know, what on earth was I possibly thinking? Stamina perhaps? A wild romp through the bed linens? Perhaps some nostalgia for the beautiful-taught young bodies that we all once had?
No, it was none of that really.
It was boredom. Sheer, I’ve-gotta-take-a-break-from-this-all-work-and-no-play year.
After having been romanced by lovely, cultured older men, I feet it is my humanitarian duty to ‘pay it forward’, and tutor the occasional enthusiastic young gentleman. There’s nothing sexier than learning something new from a lover, and most younger men don’t have much to offer in this department.
As a woman-of-a-certain-age, I finally understand why men have so long coveted younger women. Yes, it could be their hot bodies, but most likely, it’s the doe-eyed, breathless, the-world-is-my-oyster attitude. It’s charming to be around, and reminds us that the joyful essence of our youth has no expiration date.
What they do offer is a reminder that life is fun and fresh and new. They offer us a reminder about how far we’ve come, and how thankful we are not to have to do it all over again. A simple (pun intended) chat over a glass of wine can bring a smile, a little tweak to our self-image that serves as a reminder of how much fun we are.
What happens when you’ve lost your joy? Maybe your heart has been broken (again). Perhaps you’ve been managing your home life, and you’ve forgotten how to play? You may have cultivated a deep inner peace, a wonderful meditation/prayer practice, a balanced harmonious way of showing up in the world….but what is life without unbridled joy, deep belly laughs, and the occasional throwing it all to the wind and living, not just peacefully, but fully in the present moment?
Although my lovely little ‘French Enfant’ is not the love of my life, he reminded me that there is silliness, fun and humour out there still.
Your laugh may be buried, but it’s still there my sweet peach…somewhere.
Insufferable foodies be damned, one of my favourite meals is informal, with lots of delicious, healthy nibblies set out among chilled bottles of wine. Delicious food and wine paired with excellent company cannot compare with any other dining experience on the planet.
Today, for savoury Sunday, I offer up a the first in a trio of Antipasti recipes sure to please. Intended to be savoured during long, winding, conversations at least one of these will be guaranteed to please.
4) 4 tbsp. olive oil (plus some more for drizzling if you like)
5) 16 medium to large peeled and deveined shrimp ( ~3/4 lb)
6) Flour for dredging shrimp.
7) 1 minced garlic clove
8) 1/2 cup dry white wine
1) Bring water to a boil and add salt to taste. Add peas, reducing heat to medium and simmer until tender. Drain peas, reserving the cooking liquid.
2) In a blender or food processor add peas, 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and 2 tbsp olive oil. Blend until smooth. Add more cooking liquid if needed and add salt and pepper to taste. (this puree can be made ahead of time and can be gently reheated prior to serving. You may need to add more liquid if reheating.)
3) Dredge shrimp in flour to coat.
4) Warm remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute or two without browning. Add the shrimp, and cook until they turn pink (2-3 minutes). Add the wine and let it come to a simmer.
5) Divide pea puree in small glass bowls. Place two or three shrimp on top of pea puree. Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley if desired and drizzle with olive oil. Serve Immediately.
This week I have been very distraught darlings, very distraught. It’s enough to change a girl’s complexion and drive her to drink. My, my, my!
What on earth could upset a cool, calm, collected, well-spoken woman like me? Well, darlings, it’s all this nonsense about our Canadian criminal code not being a holy book, restauranteurs tweeting racial slurs, and a young black girl writing about why non-whites don’t care about the Boston marathon bombing.
I’m going to make this one quick and dirty for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I’m entertaining a much younger man tonight, and I have to make sure my mood and manners are in check for such a young dollop of fresh- man-pudding. Second of all, I think most of my readers know exactly where I’m coming from and don’t need a lecture, but rather a few smiles and nods.
You may not know that I live in one of Canada’s most culturally diverse regions. When I go out for dinner, I can’t swing a cat without hitting a restaurant that doesn’t serve up something delicious from other parts of the world. As a white, English-speaking person, I am also a minority.
Of late, I have been exposed to different religious and cultural groups trying to change our Canadian political landscape to represent the one from which they fled….to Canada. Think about that. Sounds like a great idea to me, turning the land you fled to into one you will need to flee from again. Perfect.
Second of all, what the hell are we doing to attract immigrants in Canada? I have had the privilege of meeting professionals from around the world. Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers. You know where I’ve met them? At the gas station, driving cabs, volunteering and getting paid squat, so that they can gain ‘Canadian’ experience.
Here’s a thought. How about in order to land in the country, we make sure their qualifications are rip-ready-to-go, and let them begin achieving their professional dreams as soon as they set foot on Canadian soil? I’m sure this would stunt the impact of adjusting, decrease the incidence of depression, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other not so lovely symptoms of being mislead into a life of menial labour and poverty. Just sayin’.
Our country was built on SECULAR politics. Our laws are SECULAR laws. Just FYI, this allows everyone the right to a spirituality and religion that satisfies their own human spirit. Making our laws religious based will throw us into a turbulent, emotional sess pool of war and violence. Again, why come here if you just want to make it like the place you felt you couldn’t thrive?
To the young girl who calls the marathon a ‘white’ sport, you should check the international attendance record. Who won this year? Lelisa Desisa, a black man from Ethiopia. I would encourage this writer to pay attention to the facts. The marathon is a sport that is dominated by…drum roll please…blacks. More importantly, it is an event that has always crossed cultural, religious and political boundaries to celebrate human strength and, peace.
For the white, bleeding heart readers who read that piece and feel guilty. Give me a break! Think about what you read for heaven’s sake darlings. Reading does not make you intelligent, questioning what you read does.
To the Muslim extremist quoted as saying our Canadian Criminal Code is not a holy book. Your’re right. Thanks be to whomever you send your prayers. It’s the law, and as poorly interpreted as it can sometimes be, it protects us all.
My message here is for all of us to pull our heads out of the politically correct pie-in-the-Canadian-sky. Fix our immigration problems. We have lots of folks happy to have any job, let alone flooding our cities with foreign trained professionals who have their hands tied to do any meaningful work related to their profession.
For those who think it’s ok to hate anyone, white, black, brown, yellow, red, pink, slightly off-beige, or any other shade of the racial rainbow, you’re idiots.
This may sound crudely simple, but here’s my ANDSHELAUGHS advice; be kind to one another.
The headline on my homepage asks, “What’s the dirtiest fruit in the grocery store?”
After a yoga class, two mojitos and a hot bath, the only obvious answer is the banana. Duh!
You see my sweet little Georgia peaches I came face to face with a dark-haired blue-eyed devil this weekend. A demon I thought I had left behind along with 3am-morning-after-escapes and my dark, dirty and delicious Mr. Grey.
As my Belgian pal would say…le sigh. Le sigh indeed Carson, le sigh. What is a girl to do???
You see, in a former life, I wouldn’t have thought twice about a younger man. A much younger man. In fact, a couple of them have been great fun, and a very smooth stroke to the ego. In the past I’d have had a hot romp and set him loose, locking the plantation gate behind him with a flick of my blonde locks.
Instead, tonight, I let the last of the steaming bath evaporate from my skin, sip my drink and think, “Tomorrow….maybe, just maybe tomorrow…”
In the spirit of all that’s sultry, sexy, and reminiscent of our youthful, sexy, feminine, giggly, glory days, I present you with Mr. King and Mr. Hooker….do dim the lights, sip your bourbon, and let your mind wander to your young indiscretions as you listen to this;
I’ve never been known as a terrific communicator. I’m conflict averse, because when I get involved it’s 100% or nothing at all.
Generally it’s not worth the stress, so I clam up, and if I don’t like what’s happening, I move on. OR, worse – I mumble and steam under my breath which tends to raise my blood pressure, encourage bourbon consumption, and generally make me not very pretty to be around.
In plain speak, I disengage.
I’m learning just how dangerous disengaging can be, thanks to a few wonderful older women whom mentor me without even realizing it.
I’m also learning how dangerous over-engagement can be when you remain powerless to effect change.
I have more than a few pals who are also poor communicators. Generally, it’s accepted to be good form that if you are extended a greeting or invitation that you should reply, even if it’s in the negative.
Ah, there’s the rub my sweet little plums. The negative. We’re not so great with the negative stuff, and generally as women, expressing anything perceived as anger, resistance or persistence, labels us as bitches, selfish, or mean.
I have to tell you that my experience has been that the muck is where the good stuff grows. I’ve learned that through my professional experience, and in personal relationships. Sure, it’s dark, and scary, but if you don’t go there, you’ll never know what can grow.
Women who can pitch a fit in a calm way, with a level voice, and organized thoughts still get labeled selfish bitches by the weak and ignorant. That’s generally the case for business, but I believe we have a long way to go when it comes to our personal relationships.
Unlike professional relationships, personal relationships come glued to an intricate web of emotions. After all, these are relationships that have been chosen.
Like romantic relationships, they can be an emotional landmine when it comes to expressing any negative emotions. Instead, we delicately skirt the issues we’re uncomfortable with; your husband eyeballs my breasts and hugs a little too long, you never return my phone calls, you never come visit, you only call when you’re upset – never to see how I am….the list goes on.
Before you hang a ‘for sale’ sign on a friendship, I suggest you both wade into the dark muck of what’s making you feel less than connected to your gal-pal. Sure, it’s scary. None of us want to hurt one another’s feelings, and more than that, we don’t want to feel the squeeze of having to defend our own personal boundaries.
If you’re the one raising the issues, do it gently. Expect resistance, tears, and give it time.
If you can’t go there together to strengthen the relationship, maybe it’s time for a separation, and if it’s meant to be you will connect again.
If you’ve explored your friendship, you’ve given it a chance to grow and deepen. The worst thing that can happen is to abandon a friendship and have one of you say, “You didn’t tell me.”