Archive for the ‘Middle Age’ Category

Many of us are already starting to feel sluggish from the many social events and holiday parties.

Here in Kuala Lumpur there is always something happening on the expat scene. It’s a lively and active social life. I’d say it’s because most of us don’t have our families around us so friends and neighbors sort of become substitute family members. Who tend to congregate with astonishing frequency and celebrate everything. Also a lot of us have extra time freed up for us which we wouldn’t have back home.

Since the second week of November I have attended numerous social events. Not all involved drinking (most) but all involved food.

There was a farewell brunch for a neighbor who was moving to Scotland. Then a 50th birthday party. Followed by book club later in the evening. Next night there was another 50th birthday bash. Different person. And then my monthly cultural club lunch. Had to beg off another monthly lunch gathering due to a conflict.

Then there was a lovely Thanksgiving dinner celebration with neighbors. Jazz night. Lunches with small groups of friends. Canadian Association coffee -and mimosas if one were so inclined. Christmas party with PTA. Holiday party next evening in the neighborhood. Book Club again. Couldn’t make my monthly culture club lunch this time. Unable to commit to an upcoming cookie exchange. Another goodbye gathering for neighbors moving to the U.S. took place last night.

I have one more event tomorrow. A Christmas luncheon with the Canadian and American Associations.

Then I am officially throwing in the towel.

It has totally been a blast. But quite exhausting. I’m feeling a bit sluggish. Need to recharge the batteries.

Here’s a recipe for those of you who have had enough already and want to get ahead of the game. And not wait until that pesky new year resolution ritual rolls around in January. Flush the toxins, suppress the appetite and possibly flatten the belly.

Flat Belly Water

Pour six cups of filtered water in a pitcher. Add one tablespoon of grated ginger. One sliced cucumber. One sliced lemon. Half cup of mint leaves. Let sit overnight in fridge.

Drink the next day.

I meant drink the water. LOL

Wishing you all loads of energy as you embrace the holiday season.

 

 

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Was visiting my Mom this summer.

One day, after her shower, she says to me, “Gosh, as short as my hair is I just hate to dry it.”

I replied, “Me, too. I don’t think anyone likes to dry their hair.”

She laughed and said, “I thought it was just me.”

Nope.

Had same conversation with my husband when passing by “Drybar” a week later.

He said, “Good for her!”

Meaning the woman who started this booming business.

No cuts. No color. Just blowouts. They are in the business of drying hair. Yes, drying hair.

She’s making beaucoup bucks.

I said, “No one likes to dry their hair.”

He replied, “Wished I had known that.”

As in “Maybe he would have started that business before her??”

I remember laughing with my friend in California about the “missed opportunity” that can present itself when you use a towel.

I never dry my hair right away. Goes up into a big, white towel. And it could stay there. Minutes, hours and maybe even days.

Seriously though. When you have your hair up in a towel it’s like a clock (or bomb) ticking. If you leave it too long? Missed your opportunity! Have to start process all over again. Wet and wrap up in a towel once more!

Good for that lady. The Drybar dame. She didn’t miss her opportunity. She actually seized it!

There are always opportunities out there.

 

 

 

 

 

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I met with a friend yesterday. We were chatting about this and that. Traveling was one of the topics. Specifically about airports.

Jenny mentioned a line from the movie, “Love, Actually” which claims that the Arrival Gate at the airport is the happiest place to be.

Yes, that’s so true.

Even though an arrival gate can be quite chaotic.

Go through the doors and there’s a mess of humanity staring you directly in the face. Before they quickly dismiss you as not being their person.They continue searching for their loved one. Holding signs. Flowers.

Anxiously waiting.

Then the cries of joy. The smiles and laughter. The hugs.

It’s overwhelming when it’s face to face-on the same floor level. For the ones coming out of the gate. Especially if you are a shorty like me! Desperately looking for their own loved one in the sea of bodies.

What I always liked about the small airport in my home state is that you had to ride down the escalator to the waiting crowd. It allowed a bird’s eye view, while descending, to scan the masses and seek out your own people.

Also allowed them to look up and find you gliding down slowly.

And I would see my parents. Standing together and smiling when they saw us.

Would nudge my kids, “Hey, there they are! There’s Nana and Papa!”

Although they would have already spotted them on their own.

I went home last summer and then again for Christmas and it was different.

My father would never again be waiting at the Arrival Gate for me.

So, we passed through the excited crowds, collected our baggage and hopped into a taxi.

The Arrival Gate is a happy place. Love everywhere.

But not always. Sometimes it’s a memory of love everywhere.

And those memories are truly cherished.

 

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Once you go Mac you never go back.

Or do you?

What happens if your Mac goes kaput? Like mine did. Nothing. Not a light. Not a whir. Not a gasp.

Well, I gasped. Possibly shed a tear.

I wasn’t expecting a Mac to die.

Here’s the thing.

I didn’t want the laptop in the first place. I am not first in line when it comes to new technology. That would be my husband. I’m about four years behind him.

If I didn’t get the iPhone finally shoved down my throat I would still be happily using the flip phone. You’d get a phone call from me and not a text.

Now, I text and the only phone calls I make (where I actually have to speak to someone besides my Mom) or receive are wrong numbers, the unbearable conversations with repairmen which end up with me enunciating very clearly and the odd call from the school.

In this case the iPhone is a blessing. Laptop gone and phone to the rescue. I can do most things on it. But it’s not the same.

So I went and found the old laptop. The beloved one that put up with my hammering away on it for years. So much so that the letter “S” is non existent. Faded away because of me and my writing.

As an aside, “S” is very popular. I am not a yes girl but I am most definitely an “S” girl. Hangman, crossword puzzles and Scrabble. “S” always comes in handy. As in SOS! What would happen if you got a distress call “O”??

Anyway, back to the ThinkPad. I fired that baby up and was back in business.Except this bad boy literally heats up like nobody’s business. Could end up with third degree burns on your lap if not careful. I could rename it “lap-top layer of skin.”

Took getting used to again. I was trying to use my finger tips to move things around the screen to no avail. Kept deleting things. And getting frustrated.

Now here is the very cool thing.

When I opened up the laptop I discovered a file titled “Papa.” It contained photos and four videos that I hadn’t seen in a few years. Forgot they existed. They were sent to me by one of my cousins. Taken at my father’s surprise party when he turned eighty.

It was me, at my cousin’s Irish Social Club, giving the speeches in honor of my Dad. Was a great day.

I came up with a game “How well do you know Pat Lennon?” followed with fun facts.

Then poked fun at him for his phrases in my growing up years. About how he never pronounced “th” only the “t” Like how my kids would ask the gas price (on purpose to hear his answer) and he would reply, “Tree-tirty-tree a gallon.”

I told him my memories of him would last a lifetime.

And then I thanked him. Not just for creating me and acknowledging that I was his best work ever. LOL. But I also told him I was grateful he was my Dad and that I was always aware I was one of the lucky ones.

At the end of the speech I told him I loved him.

You know what?

I was absolutely right that day.

My memories of him will last a lifetime.

And I was reminded of this by my Mac biting the dust and me having to figure out something else.

My Nana used to say, “Light from another window.”

One could also say that one door closes and another opens.

Sometimes that’s hard to believe.

But sometimes it is so true. Even if we don’t know it at the time.

 

 

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girls

It’s the prom season.

I don’t want to be the happy sucker.

But.

Prom is a just a snapshot in time.

Sure, it should be a happy occasion.

But that is all it should be. A joyous time.

High school occasions are important but not a foretelling of anyone’s future.

No life decisions made at this moment.

This is a prom photo of me and my gal pals. Kristen L, Linda Mc., me and Jodie B.

Not a one of us with our prom dates. In the photo.

Or now. More than thirty years later.

Telling, isn’t it?

Enjoy the moment. But the moment might just be a moment. And that’s okay.

 

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I was sifting through Facebook today and saw a notification. On a page I created for AT&T folks that worked in Providence.

Someone posted that a former colleague had died.

Fifty-five years old. That might seem old to a teenager. To most of us? Not so much. Doesn’t seem old to me at the ripe old age of fifty-one.

I was shocked. It seems like he just posted on Facebook a few days ago.

He did.

His name was John. I met him when we were in training at AT&T many moons ago.

I remember our training sessions and the following days and months. Dropping him off at his home that he shared with his wife at the time.

We reconnected in 2010. He was happy. Divorced. No kids. Living the life in New Hampshire.

Was even helping me try to find employment for my brother at Nokia some years ago.

Had a horrible year in which he lost his dad and sister. He inherited a lake house in New Hampshire and knew that is where he wanted to be.

I’m sharing a correspondence with him because I think it’s important.

Commuted from Bethlehem, PA and absolutly hated it. I lost my Dad in June 08 and my Sister in Aug 08 (horrible year) and inherited my familys Lake House on Ossipee Lake in NH. So I decided last summer while sitting on the porch overlooking that georgous site (the lake) that I could not just do two weeks a year there. I decided I was going to try to get back to New England

Sometimes we are sitting on a porch overlooking a gorgeous sight or site. But it might be something different that triggers a life change.

Hopefully, we know what we hate. And more importantly what we love.

John’s postings (once he figured it out) only proved that he made the right decision. He loved life in New Hampshire and his summers on the lake. Always positive postings.

Just a reminder that none of us know the moment we leave this world.

He died of a massive heart attack. With no warning or chance to say goodbye.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to be reading this should realize we have moments and opportunities that many others do not.

The opportunity to change our lives. The moments to extend love and appreciation. And to say goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

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I could go on and on about my mother. I mean, shoot, she literally made me. Doesn’t get much bigger than that!

She also helped form me.

But I wont go on and on today.

I will just share some memories I have of my mother when I had children of my own.

Seems appropriate for Mother’s Day.

When I had my first child my husband drove us home from the hospital. I always knew he was a keeper but it was solidified after the birth of that first kid. He was normally a fast driver. That day he navigated the pot holes of Providence at a snail’s pace. Was like driving with a ninety year old man. Precious cargo.

We pulled up to our home and my mother was already there. She came out the back door to greet us. And I ran into her arms and cried. I don’t know why.

I never thought I would be a victim of hormones. I was happier than I could ever be. I had a healthy, beautiful daughter and a loving husband.

But I was a victim of hormones.

My mother comforted me.

That day she cared for the baby, my husband and me. Cooked us meals. Cleaned.

And then in the evening she was preparing to go home (only a mile away) and I hugged her and cried.

She was like, “Awwww, honey, you cry when you see me and cry when I’m leaving. I don’t want to go.”

Six years later I had another beautiful child. My mom flew to Texas and was there the next day.

I was out of the hospital in no time because this child was not a C-Section like her sister.

But I was feeling worse each day.

My mom, a nurse, said that I should feel better physically each day and I wasn’t. In pain and sweating. She’s the only person in the world I would let look at me. She told me to call the doctor.

Anyway, problem eventually resolved.

But the one thing I remember, might not be a big deal to anyone else, is that when I got into bed that evening I had the cleanest, freshest sheets.

I could never forget it.

I just love her so much.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Thank you for everything. For your care, compassion and thoughtfulness. Thank you for being there. Always.

 

 

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