A Love Letter to Middle-Aged Men

shaving-brushesThere’s a running joke between the more experienced ladies in the office, and the young singletons. It goes something like this: We used to be attracted to  older men – until we got older.

Women get ugly and men get creepy. That seems to be the stereotype. I can’t say I know many creepy old men. I tend to avoid them like syphillis and fungal infections. My tastes rather lean toward the educated and emotionally intelligent gentleman. You know, the kind who might have a bit of a belly, but a beautiful heart.  Someone who still believes in romance, intellectual conversation and the value of intimacy.

I mean really. As we age, who truly wants to see us naked? Any of us? Sure, put Chris Pine shirtless on the big screen any day. But don’t ask me to be intimate with him. I could see myself making him a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and giving him a pat on the head as heads out the door to play, but not in my bed thanks.

I prefer my middle-aged, intelligent yet man-dumb, gives-a-crap-about-how-he-shows-up-in-the-world-every-day guy any day. And that my darlings, is hot.

There’s a lot of media out there that leads us to believe that men and women’s attractivness declines with age. I disagree.

Snuggling in with a middle-aged man has it’s advantages. First of all, they have come to some understanding that women will always think they are somewhat man-dumb, and are thus more open to communication.  They are more in tune with their  out-of-tuneness than younger men and are, at the very least, consistent.

Pay attention gents, we don’t want you to look any different than the day we met you. We don’t need you drive an expensive car or take us shopping. We just appreciate you for meeting us half-way, even after life has tossed you around a bit. We get it. We’ve been there too.

Yes, we see through bullshit at this age and we call you on it. We know you wouldn’t respect us if we didn’t. We don’t have time for that stuff.

gartersBut we do have time to appreciate your body and your soul. We think you’re sexy, and yes, we even fantasize about you.

We love the way that your your hairy old chest feels under our palms, and how your experienced body feels curled up next to ours.

We appreciate  who you are and where you’ve come from. We see you as a whole person; your intelligence, your emotions and your physical self. We can appreciate the scars and how hard you’ve worked and still see you as sensual and sexy and worth wearing our garters and stockings for when we go out for a romantic dinner.

We appreciate that you have earned your stripes as men, not boys. We have busy lives which keep us vibrant and we know how to prioritize a man who prioritizes us. As long as you share this adult handling of partnership, you are like Gods to us. We want to see you happy, satisfied, and we crave your touch.

Yes, we are as cynical as you, and yet we are still as hungry for fun, excitement and adventure as you. We are your intellectual and emotional equals and we want you. No Porsche required.

 

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Best Books for Fall

chickensWe’re all busy enough without feeling like we have to keep up with the reading list that’s padding the pockets of the wealthy (aka Heather’s Picks). In other words, these selections are not promoted by the CEO of a retail empire, although I am linking you to that empire as I’m a huge fan of the variety that they have to offer. Hypocrite consumer? You betcha!

These are the reading picks of a writer who barely squeaks out time to scratch a legible signature between working and parenting and trying to have a life.

So, here you are darlings. These are the books I hope to get to before I’m too old to comprehend what I’m reading or before December, whichever comes first.

 

  1. The Big Thing by Phyllis Korkki
  2. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
  3. Breaking Through Power by Ralph Nader
  4. Memoirs of Montparnasse by John Glassco
  5. Living with Chickens by Jay Rossier

Hopefully I get through at least a few of these before something else catches my eye. And yes, I’m dead serious about the chickens.

Sensuality; The Elixer of Life

stephanie-sarley

This is an image by Stephanie Sarley; Fruit for Feminism.

At this age, we’ve all had lovers. To be considered  a lover, one must be sensual, and as such, must be able to arouse and sate the sensuality in their beloved. Lovers are rare.

This post is about not letting your self-worth and sensuality get lost.  Don’t. Also, don’t confuse sensuality with sexuality. They are two different things, although they have a strong bond.

Enjoying and cultivating our own sensuality is something that I truly believe enhances our overall health; physical, mental, emotional and social.

Waking up alone this morning  I indulged in just-a-few-more-minutes. I spent some time thinking about neuroplasticity, and what I’ve been thinking lately.  I have spent a lot of time wondering whether I’m good enough or not; a good enough mother, a good enough partner, a good enough friend, a good enough professional…

But I always managed to make time to indulge in my own senses. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a long, slow meal at a table with friends with wine and succulent flavours? What about the smell of vanilla candles burning and a bubble bath accompanied by the dulcet tones of your favourite crooner? How about your true love reading Pablo Neruda poems to you while stretched out with your morning coffee? Perhaps it’s just the simple pleasure of being fireside with a good book, wrapped in a blanket with your fur baby curled up beside you.

I am by nature a sensual being. I believe we all are. Even Baptists. I’m not talking sexual here folks, although sensuality sure the hell does raise the bar when it comes to physical intimacy. I enjoy tastes, scents, sounds and tactile pleasure that the world has to offer. By nature I’m a kinesthetic learner.  I’m ‘touchy feely’. In relationship my need for physical contact is great.

I enjoy my wine, my bourbon, and my body. I find comfort in a soft blanket and a cool pillow. I love hugs. Not creepy-old-man-copping-a-feel-hugs, but hugs from my friends, colleagues and my kiddo. I love the strong taste of a good blue cheese, and the sweetness of a candy apple. Yesterday I stepped out the front door of my workplace just after the rain and for a few seconds was overcome by the delicious scent of the earth after an autumn rain.

This morning, I remembered how much I enjoy so many things. How I’ve let lazy lovers fool me into believing something is wrong with me; I’m too fat, I’m too needy, I’m too smart, I’m too fiery, I’m too nice, I’m too harsh, I’m too sexual. I’m not too anything, and neither are you my dear one. Today I vowed to turn my back on these judgments and re-awaken my sensuality; long, slow baths, indulgent fantasies, lingering over wine-rich meals with my friends, music, lingerie and most importantly, allowing myself to want.

 

 

The Awesome Power of Stillness

outsideBurn out – it’s a thing.

Turns out burn out is in. It’s here, and it’s happening right now. To a lot of us. Especially the women in my life. We are expected to be givers, and are still judged not only on how we care for our families and homes, but also how financially successful we are. And don’t forget of course, we have to be beautiful while we’re accomplishing the impossible.

If you have not yet read Lean In, read it. You need to.

It’s taken me over three months to let the fact that I’m completely and utterly burnt out, sink in.

This morning I sat in my jeans and a sweatshirt on the patio and just absorbed the still quiet of the morning before putting on my suit and heading in for another 12 hour day. I now understand the stereotype of old sanitoriums where patients sat outside like zombies tucked in Adirondack chairs,staring at the trees and sky. It’s incredibly healing and powerful, and if I could, I’d take six months to do just that.

But that’s unrealistic.

With just a little quiet and alone time, I find that I’m coming back to myself. The spark of my creative spirit is still there, even if it’s just a tiny flicker. Ironically, it is in the deepest dark that you’re able to see the tiny spark that’s left after you’ve given your fire over to the grind of daily living.

I am vowing to take some time for stillness, quiet, and the peace of being alone in order to heal, rejuvenate and look forward to what comes next.

I hope that you are able to commit to doing the same for your own tired, gentle soul.

 

Autumn Welcome: No More To-Do Lists

fall wineFor the past couple of years I’ve created seasonal ‘To-Do’ lists, and frankly, they leave me feeling like a bit of a twit and a loser.

I mean, after all, how hard is it to plan some ‘me’ time ladies? Yah, ha-ha, very funny. Me-time? When you’re a mother and full-time professional, and someone’s lover…pul-eaze.  Making these damn lists seem to motivate me as much as leave me disappointed by all of the fun, social crap that I  don’t accomplish.  For instance, for three years running, I have successfully missed the CanStage productions in High Park. You’d think that I could eak out enough time to drag myself there with a bottle of wine to stretch out and enjoy some theatre. But no. I’ve frittered away my time doing everything else but.

Having said that, I have done a lot (like a  lot) of fun stuff. It’s just stuff I didnt’ really think of, and just said, ‘Yes’ too.

So as much as I’m tempted to put together a fall list of things I’d like to do such as; Fall camping, harvest wine tours, decorating for Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en, a weekend of fall colour smooching and hiking the Bruce Trail, and hosting a wine tasting….I will NOT put together this list.

Instead I will keep on saying, ‘Yes’.

As difficult as it may be, I will just try to go with whatever opportunities  the season presents.

But I may refer back to my list. You know, just in case I need inspiration.

Wishing you the splendor of fall in all that you do.

Love Letters: I Almost Forgot About You

postmanWay past the hour when I should have been asleep, I rummaged through my bedside table looking for a grey and red package that only I know exists.

It belongs to me and no one else. It’s a part of my past that I reflect back upon now and then, and one that I treasure when I feel listless and alone.

Reading, ” I Almost Forgot About You” by Terry McMillan, reminded me of a few people in my past that I have not almost forgotten about, but had completely forgotten about. Thank gawd.

As I rummaged through old love letters and cards, I found myself deliberately searching for that grey and red package. The one that I found a few years ago and read again. Every time I go through it, I cry. These are bittersweet tears.

Decades ago I threw away all of the love letters that my high school sweetie penned. We were grand letter writers back then, and they were special. Alas, they long ago became part of the ecosystem, and hopefully are helping to sprout wildflowers somewhere for a young lover to pick for his beloved.

I still believe in the art of letter writing despite the instant and efficient technology we favour today. I believe in the value of quiet reflection while taking in the written word. It’s a lost art, but I try to tend to it faithfully.

As we stumble through life learning about ourselves, falling in and out of what we often mistake for love, once in a while we catch ourselves caught up right in the middle of it. Once in a while we reflect upon where we are, and we realize then, and only then, the little things that make us feel loved.

This is how I felt snuggled under my fluffy, white duvet. In the stillness of the night, I found the grey and red package and  reread the letters contained within it. Somehow they bring clarity to my life. They put my needs in perspective and remind me not to settle for someone who makes me feel less than…Love can be fleeting if you do not tend it. Like a garden it either grows roots or it withers like tender blossoms after the summer sun tucks itself away for another season.

Love letters can be grand reminders of what you really have to offer in relationship and what you really need. If you have nothing left after a relationship, no letters to remind you of what it felt like to be adored and cherished, I have to wonder if it was really love at all.

A wise woman once told me to pay attention to how a relationship started. If it did not start with affection, romance, and caring, it was bound to end with even less.

Love letters remind us what we love about the person we’re writing to. They remind the recipient that you think of them when they are not there, that they are cherished, and that love, despite distance, remains a true and trustworthy bond.

My little grey and red package reminds me that it’s out there somewhere.

 

The Economics of Time; How We Spend Our Days

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How did it get so late so soon?          It’s night before it’s afternoon.              December is here before it’s June.       My goodness how the time has flewn! How did it get so late so soon?                ~Dr. Seuss~           

…and we do spend them…

More valuable, and even more volatile than the markets, my awareness of the preciousness of time becomes more acute as I age.

Today I woke feeling less than rested. Actually I felt like I’d been not only hit by a truck, but dragged along a wet, dark gravel road for twenty miles. My body actually ached from relaxing. Relaxing! 

The past month has focussed a spotlight on how I’m actually spending my days, and how much energy goes into caring for and worrying about the comfort of other people. It’s a fine balance when you are a nurturer who needs nurturing.

So this morning, perched in my Adirondack chair on the patio feeling like my body weighed ten thousand pounds, I  made a decision to spend the day creating; writing, learning how to play my new sparkle-purple ukulele and then tending to the few things I must do; an appointment and  groceries for dinner.

Staring up at the sunshine gently streaming through the September evergreens, I gave myself permission to spend the day wisely. The energy I expend today will bring me  joy  in abundance.

How we choose to spend our days is how we choose to give our energy to the universe. In such a fast-paced world, with so many temptations, it’s easy to skim the surface of life keeping busy without time to satiate the gentle yearnings of our spiritual selves; waking up quietly in the fresh air with a cup of steaming coffee, keeping the slow quiet company of loved ones so we can share our thoughts and feelings  without agenda, letting the poetry in our hearts find its way onto the page, and taking pleasure in the mundane tasks like cooking that maintain our homes as safe havens of love and support.

Today I will spend my time wisely, like the precious gift that it is. My wish for you is that you get to do the same.