Talk to Me Please

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I was just telling my 80 year old neighbor who walks with me and my dog daily how I have become the person I pitied many years ago when I was still tremendously mobile.

She is nine years my senior and I must go slowly as her feet give her trouble. My feet are fine, however.

Now my hip twitches from an old skiing accident I got when I boldly and stupidly took the slalom training course the young kids were running, which had, because of their intense use was now slick ice, which turned out to be a mistake.  I realized my mistake going into the second turn. Needless to say, I fell hard and had to be carted off by the ski patrol on a snow mobile.

At first, I thought my ski pole had not only broken but had also gone straight through my chest.  My face had slammed the slope hard.  I slowly sat up and checked to see if blood was running down or a ski pole had indeed gone through me.  It hadn’t.  No matter, I was seeing tweety birds circling my head and I was in pain.  Something certainly had broken.

As I waited for my rescue, I methodically checked each limb.  Sore but nothing appeared to be broken, but I’m no doctor.  A part of me was disappointed.

Yes, you read right.  Ever since I was a kid, other classmates had broken something.  An arm, a leg, foot, a finger and were getting all sorts of attention, not to mention the signatures on their casts.  Not me.  I’m as solid as they come, which I now appreciate.

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Buuuut, some attention would have been nice.  Be careful of what you wish for.  Little did I know…

I did, but not the kind I’d hoped for. At the time, I was working for this FM radio station in Colorado (I will not name the city, since there is only one golf shop there).  As an account rep,  my job was to get businesses to buy radio advertising.

As it was, I was black and blue with cuts and bruises over my  body, some on my face and a major black eye, actually that whole side was swollen and black and blue.  Not that unusual actually when you live in a place where people are actively engaged in dangerous sports and sometimes do get hurt. I did my makeup wizardry and off to work I go.

One of my accounts was this golf shop.  As I walked in, the owner , a very good looking, well built guy, was brazenly fooling around with his secretary/sales girl and had his hand down  her pants. Being as it was on the other side of the counter, I ,of course didn’t realize it until I was right on them.  He slips his hand out and turns to me, unabashed.  Yup! Out there in front of God and right smack dab in front of me!  That’s the kind of person he was.

Weeell, I was of course rattled but went into my pitch, pretending I hadn’t seen anything while he kept staring at my face.  Finally, he said, “What happened?  Your hubby catch you cheating on him?”

I responded with the truth,  but he acted like he didn’t believe me, doing his best to make me feel like the person he was. Sadly, I’m not one of those with a quick wit because there were a thousand other things I could’ve said and didn’t. I also probably should have just turned around and left, period, but like I said spontaneous quick thinking is not in my repertoire. I did turn around and leave but not before he got in a few more jabs.  Needless to say,  I gave the account to someone else and eventually quit altogether.

Some jobs, no matter the money are just not worth the abuse you may receive.  Nowadays, due to the “Me Too” movement, it doesn’t happen as often, but I’m afraid it probably still does, somewhere.

Not everyone reports, because it’s just not worth the energy expended to do anything about.  I know there are people who say I should pursue it, but it’s been nearly 20 years ago and way after the fact. Some might think if not for me but for everyone else and yes, that’s true, but I’m guessing at my age, now plus 70,  Why?

If I live to be my parents age, I may have only 10 to 16 years left, so time is precious.  Am I wrong to feel that way? I’d rather spend it with my kids.

Okay, I’d not intended to take this blog in the direction it went, but maybe it needed saying and maybe in saying it, I actually did get involved.

As time goes by, I have to mete out my energy selectively.  I still work out with a trainer and I eat horribly (not really), I have a cigarette now and then (don’t judge), only so I can stand being around hubby when he gets into a smoking jag.  (Stress at work)  So glad it’s not all the time.  But overall, I take pretty good care of myself.

I have learned that if I eat too many sweets or drink alcohol, I swell up like a balloon and my joints hurt, so after the holidays I find parts of me need to be salvaged.  The good thing is, I know what to do.   I didn’t always.

The truth is, I hit on it accidentally.  After one holiday 5-6 years ago, I was hobbling around, hunched over like an old lady and in so much pain I couldn’t straighten myself up.  I could not even stand up straight!!  The ol’ grey mare just ain’t what she used to be! I once could eat and drink anything and everything and not gain an ounce or have it affect my body adversely, but those days are so gone.

So what to do?  I thought about it and asked myself what was different?  It was the holidays.  Where I worked, everyone brought treats and goodies everyday for the last two months of the year and going into New Years. They were party animals and I was enjoying each and every morsel I could pop in my mouth! That is so how it was.

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Sooo, I said, “Self.  What are you going to do about it?”

Well, I could have gone to the doctors and picked up some meds. That’s what most people tend to do.  Cover up the problem.  I’d already been told I was pre-diabetic and on the cusp of becoming diabetic and my cholesterol was on the high side but not dangerous. But I really didn’t want to rely on meds to get and feel well.  It meant I was going to have to be pro active.

Sugars are inflammatory, that I knew.  Alcohol, and caffeine were also inflammatory.  I’d heard the nurses often enough tell young women with breast sensitivity to first eliminate caffeine from their diet.

At the time, I was proud of the fact that for my age, I was not on any prescription meds, so it was my goal to keep it that way.  So, in as much pain as I was in, not to mention the pounds I’d put on, I went cold turkey and cut all the above culprits out of my life.

The first to show results was the pain in my back and legs due to swelling began to subside.  Little by little, I was able to stand erect once again, eventually I saw a loss of  weight.

As for keeping off meds, even with my workouts, I’ve finally had to give in to the only one I take – for cholesterol.  That’s it.  I still suffer now and then, but I know what to do and it has never gotten so debilitating.  I sort of wish I could go Vegan or pseudo vegan, but it’s not gonna happen.

As my son would say, “I want meat!”

I don’t have to have it all the time, but now and then.  You know I did write that article about chicken… That’s still on the table, but it is my least favorite. I do like fish though.

Has anyone else found themselves in my shoes?  Having to pick their battles regarding food, time and other life choices or am I the only one?

BTW, I would never attempt that run again even though I’d sure like to go skiing again someday.

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Women’s Day

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet in honor of all the women in my family who’ve reinvented them self late in life.

First, I salute my sister Diana.

My sister Diana, who with me found the stresses of caring for our aged and dying parents quite trying at times. It forced us to find ways to grow and be better than we once were.

Di found that drawing would calm mother as well as herself and she developed her own unique style of crayon art

and from there she wrote her first book “The Importance of Thomas” which reveals, as told to her grand kids, her journey  with me in caring for our parents.

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Available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback

Second, My daughter Andrea:

My daughter Andrea, who just started writing her own blog, I salute as she embarks on a new career which is growing stronger everyday.

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Andrea

At 34, she went back to school and was the first girl in my family to finish college and get a degree.  You can read her story and goals at the link that follows. (Actually, Diana was the first in my family to finish college, but of me and my girls, Andrea was)

Her blog: http://usmountainstandard.com/about

Third, I salute my daughter Tina

Now, my firstborn Tina,  married at 17 and didn’t even finish the last 6 months of school thinking marriage was her destiny, At 45 she found herself evolving.

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Tina

Tina in Bali 2

Despite the fact that she didn’t start her family until she was 29, my former 3.5 grade point average student took her time getting that GED.

I only list her third because she is only now starting her journey.

At age 47, she started college and is now waiting to be admitted for a nursing degree, which I don’t think will be a problem with her getting straight A’s.

Both girls following in their mother’s footsteps taking strides, moving forward late in life. I guess you could call us late bloomers.

And well, most of you know my story. It’s been a rocky road but I keep on truckin’. I’m blogging while embarking on a screenwriting career.

And finally, I salute me:

My first screenplay was written with Andrea in mind, but even though her acting career took a detour, she is now back on track. With encouragement from Sean Astin and others, she has renewed her enthusiasm for film. Like me, she doesn’t know where that will end up.

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‘Baja Run” is the story of a woman who goes up against the Mexican drug Cartel and her father in order to save her son.

With Andrea, I have just completed the first phase of a web series we hope to start filming sometime next year.

Both girls are supportive of my efforts and eager to collaborate.

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Andrea, my grand daughter Becca and Tina showing their best sides.

Everything I’ve done I did after 45.  It took three marriages for one to take and that was at 45. I raised four children, two girls and two boys and in the interim pretty much kept my dreams on hold.  Now it’s my turn.

At 45, I learned to ski and…

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Cross Country skiing in this pic, but I did downhill as well.

I rock climbed and loved it. I would say it was my favorite sport. I also climbed mountains.

and at 50 I got to go to one of the most prestigious acting schools in LA, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

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Dance Class

In addition, I got to learn more from  LA Coach Molli Benson, Check out her site: “Specialty Acting Workshops”

At 65, after mother died, I learned belly dancing, Jo 1

It’s been quite a journey for us, but here’s to the ladies…AND we’re not done yet!