Subourbon Mom


This Pill Is So Much Like Weed…But Better
April 2, 2021, 7:00 am
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , ,
I know, weed is legal in a lot of states now, but there are still some gray areas, especially when it comes to federal laws. Not so with my Progestin pill, prescribed to help me through the throes of menopause. Now, I have not partaken of the Wacky-Baccy (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), but I can tell you this – there are apparently a lot of similarities between menopause hormones and weed:
  1. I’m hungry – A LOT.  At 1:00am the dogs look up at me, wondering why the Maker of Cookies to Steal Off the Counter is rummaging through the fridge and pantry, devouring everything sweet and salty.
  2. They’re edible. I’m seriously considering a venture start-up for hormone edibles. It would kill two birds with one stone – you get the hormones in a tastier form and you get to eat.  Bonus: no one would have a problem with enterprising Girl Scouts camping outside that store front and making a killing. munchies
  3. They make you spacey. Since taking this pill there has been a definite increase in the airhead factor. In one day, I managed to attend the wrong gym class, almost go to the wrong doctor’s appointment and wear my pants backward in public. So…wait, what was I saying?
  4. You still need a prescription to get it. Ok, I know having a prescription card isn’t a thing very much anymore, but a lot of the reasons for the prescription are similar, too: anxiety, sleeplessness, pain.  You get the picture.
  5. You need a dealer. Dealer, doctor…whatever.
But here’s why it’s better than weed:
  1. It doesn’t make me paranoid, just occasionally bitchy; and frankly, that’s only a problem for the people around me….so bonus in my mind.
  2. It’s regulated – there’s almost zero risk of some crazy shit causing flashbacks, blackouts or accidental heroin addition.
  3. My insurance covers it – completely.
  4. It keeps the night sweats away and (mostly) helps me sleep at night.
  5. My house doesn’t smell skunky when I use.
  6. I don’t have to hide it from my kids. I can continue to be the pillar of my family’s dubious moral high ground and still get all the bennies.
I generally like to try and eat right, minimize my bad habits and stay away from medicines unless I need them, but in this case I say “better living through pharma.” Side note: Yes, I tried a lot of natural remedies, but that fact is I’m at low risk for the more dangerous hormone replacement effects, and I struggled with anxiety, depression and sleeplessness for months before giving in. So, judge not, my friends – you do you and I’ll do me. If weed is your thing and it’s legal where you are, have yourself a green day.

Call Me Lagertha
March 19, 2021, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Country Living, Exercise, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , ,

After the possum-in-the-driveway incident, I realized I may need some skill with a gun to put animals out of their misery. Well, I’ve changed my mind. Sure, there are some valid reasons for getting a gun, especially when living in the country: coyotes, cops don’t hang around the end of my road for my convenience, and the creatures going bump in the night can be a little more menacing than the neighborhood tom cat calling for his ladies.

But there are a lot of reasons for me, personally, to not get one:

  1. I can’t see 10 feet in front of me without contacts or glasses (which are nowhere to be found when you actually need them), so night protection is out. All I’d be able to do is point my gun in the general direction of the problem.
  2. The kind of gun I would have to be able to shoot in order to actually wound anyone would be too heavy for me to use. (But OMG I love the image of myself charging out of the back door with a shotgun at my hip yelling “Come and get it, Mother F@#$%r!!)
  3. I don’t like loud noises, and using a silencer just screams “I’m going to end up in a Netflix movie.”
  4. Even with practice, I still can’t hit the side of a barn because it’s impossible for me to keep my eyes open and shoot. So, I pull to the side. Every time. Honestly, I don’t trust anyone who can keep there eyes open while shooting – they can probably do it while sneezing, too, and that’s just messed up. If you can do that, your body clearly isn’t functioning properly and you should start surfing WebMD to find out what the Hell’s wrong with you.
  5. Snakes (a.k.a. “danger noodles”) have tiny heads and move fast; therefore I will most likely still be bitten if I try to shoot them.
  6. Trying to shoot a dying possum in the driveway as an act of mercy would probably result in bullets ricocheting back into me, rendering me unconscious, next to the possum. I don’t want to die lying next to a possum. But if that happens, that shit better be in my obituary because that is FUNNY.

All of that said, I am now in the infancy of becoming the Lagertha of my neighborhood. For those of you who don’t enjoy bloody, Viking sagas on tv, Lagertha is a bad-ass, axe and sword wielding Viking Shield Maiden on the show Vikings. Oh, and did I mention she’s gorgeous? So yeah, I decided to channel my inner Lagertha these days.

Last month, when I turned 50, I asked Hubby for a different kind of gift, one I learned about from my friend Patrice. I asked for a set of throwing axes and a target, which he made, although not without some concern that his life expectancy might drop dramatically if I was having a bad day. On my birthday, when the world had iced over in one the many signs of the coming apocalypse, we threw axes at the target in the sleet for 2 hours.

Friends, I gotta tell you….it is life changing.

It is like being Lagertha (but in a semi-rural setting with the dogs barking madly behind the storm door because they’re too untrained to stay out of the way). There is something viscerally satisfying when you hear the THUNK of the axe sinking into the wooden target. When I picked up a powerful handgun once and fired off several rounds in a row, I could see how that firepower would have its appeal. But throwing an axe seems more connected, more intimate, more ancient. More violent. More…satisfying.

Yes, I know Millennials have been throwing axes at bars for a while now, and as usual, us old folks have probably already ruined it. But for a middle-aged woman, being able to forcefully throw something and connect with the target somehow makes you feel powerful, and more importantly, less invisible.

Will an axe beat a gun in a fight? Nope, probably not, but I’ll bet there aren’t many criminals who’ll expect to see a 2021, female version of The Shining coming at them.

Will throwing an axe make a difference in how others see me? Probably not, but more importantly, it changes how I see myself. So, if you come into our driveway and hear the steady THUNK, THUNK THUNK of an axe hitting wood, know that I probably had a bad day. You may want to loudly approach, holding a glass of bourbon at arm’s length. If you see me doing this with my hair braided and wearing some kind of animal skin, you probably should call the cops.



Metamorphosis: Morning Me to Monster Me
February 6, 2021, 7:00 am
Filed under: Food/Drink, Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , ,

Morning Me (and by morning, I mean 6:00am) is half-asleep, full of optimism, lists and plans to eat fruits and vegetables all day.  I’ve scheduled my water and stretching breaks from the computer.  Sometimes I even decide to skip a shower so I can have some extra time to write my stories before the real world starts intruding.  In my mind, I’m sitting by the window, calmly sipping a cup of coffee, musing about what my latest characters are doing, or what the next blog topic will be.

I’m also feeling pretty superior to, well, everyone because I have control of my life.  I’m ready for anything.

And then one or all of these things happen:

  1. I realize it’s winter, and I still have the upstairs thermometer set to FRIGID because I’m 50.  I know I’ll have to sprint to the bathroom to take a shower to warm up, or put on my new Comfy (a Snuggie on steroids) that I got for Christmas and hope I don’t have any zoom calls later. I am not molting back into human form once the Comfy is on.
  2. I make the mistake of reading the news on my phone. Then, because I’m disgusted by the partisan slant, I read the BBC news to get a more balanced view. This is followed by a quick check of what’s new on FaceBook Marketplace, because who doesn’t love thrifting from their bed?  Suddenly it’s 8:00 and there’s no way I’m taking a shower now because… I’m adulting.
  3. I step out of bed and realize I didn’t do my stretches the day before and my feet are acting up again. There’s no way I’m going for that early morning walk. Now I have to take a shower to loosen up my feet and leg muscles, but by the time I’m done with the shower, I’ve already had two freak-outs about work or something else in my life, and that picture of coffee sipping by the window isn’t even a distant memory anymore.   

Afternoon Me, or Monster Me, is like Dr. Jekyll to my morning Mr. Hyde (or is it the other way around?).  Afternoon Me has changed into sweats. Afternoon Me’s styled morning hair has been yanked back into a ponytail with a scrunchy from 1988, because I realized on a video call that I need a haircut and a dye job. There are three half-empty cups of coffee on the windowsill and zero glasses of water. I’ve eaten a bologna sandwich at my desk with a side of cookies. Afternoon Me has gone from planning to sip coffee by the window to planning to drink a (large) glass of wine and declare it’s Cereal Night.  Again. 

I don’t know about you, but despite Afternoon Me’s ragged appearance and snarky mood, I still have hope. All is not lost because, if it was, I wouldn’t be Morning Me at all.

So, here’s to all the Morning Me’s out there and all they represent for us. May your Morning Me always be there for you.



Quaran-Tuck It – Exercising
July 22, 2020, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Exercise, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , ,

Like a lot of people, I’ve gained some anxiety pounds during this pandemic, even though I have all the means I need to eat less/better and get more exercise. For the last week or so I’ve been staring at my flapping arm wings and the growing tire around my tummy while drinking wine and eating jalapeno poppers like it’s the end of the world (if you watch the news every night, that’s exactly what it feels like). 

ramen

I knew I had to do something when my sports bras started making it hard to breathe, causing me to question if I have the “‘rona”, until I remember it’s just that extra layer of fat squeezing into the modern-day corset causing the issue. For more on sports bras, read “Sports Bra Removal – The Struggle is Real.”

sports bra 2

Even my exercise shorts, designed to be stretchy and provide lots of leg room, were cutting into my stomach and making my muffin top flop over and nestle against my also-tighter workout shirt.  I basically feel like a moon pie that’s being held too tightly.

One of my Quaran-Tuck It List items is to start doing an exercise regimen in my pool. I’m lucky enough to have one, so I should get my butt in there and use it, right?  I downloaded a couple of YouTube pool exercise videos and started doing them yesterday.

That shit HURTED! (To quote Daughter #2)

I had forgotten how hard it is to run around a pool while swooshing your arms and pretending you’re doing certain dance moves under water. That night I was sore and tired, but that means it’s working, so I’m going to keep it up.

aaerobis

But here are a few tips for those of you who might want to try the same thing:

  1. Check your dignity at the door. You’re going to look ridiculous, even if it’s in your backyard. If you can, get a friend to do it with you – then you have blackmail on each other.
  2. Make sure your bathing suit fits snugly – that 3-year-old Target suit isn’t gonna cut it. I had on my old bikini bottoms, and they were so loose that they kept making a THWOCKA THWOCKA sound every time I jumped around as they scooped up water like a sail, smacking it against my back. It was so loud I couldn’t hear the instructions, and I had to keep stopping and pulling them up again.
  3. Make sure you’re standing in the right water depth – a couple of times I slipped on the ledge going to the deep end and went under. Again, check your dignity at the door.
  4. Don’t try to watch the videos on your cell phone at the edge of the pool. It’s really hard to flap your arms around effectively while squinting at the lady in the video, and also not get your phone wet. I suggest you watch the videos a couple of times and write down the exercises on a piece of paper that you can prop up somewhere – for those of you 40 or older, make it BIG. 
  5. Wear water shoes if you have them – nobody wants those weird red sores from the bottom of the pool on your toes – people will think you have COVID-toes.

Even if you don’t have this on your Quaran-Tuck It List, go ahead and make one.  It’ll help you focus…but be realistic.  “Have sex with Brad Pitt” is not realistic; however, “Dream about having sex with Brad Pitt” is certainly an achievable goal. 

What’s on your list? 

Here are the videos I was using (thank God at least one of those women isn’t a 20-year-old in great shape!):  



Crossing the Shaky Bridge to Middle Age

Women of a certain age joke about menopause all the time.

“If I had a dollar for every time I get distracted, I wish I had some ice cream.”

“I don’t have hot flashes, I have short, tropical vacations.”

“Menopause – it’s a thin line between love and homicide.”

This happens…that stops happening … and thank God THAT doesn’t happen anymore (you can Google the symptoms – it’s not secret knowledge, despite what our mothers’ generation thought).  I always thought that knowing those things made me have a pretty good handle on it, mentally.  My kids are grown and I’m definitely ready to kiss the whole period/PMS thing goodbye.

So, when mine stopped happening, I diligently started counting down the months until the magical 12-month mark with no period – then it would become official.  I’d be in a new stage of life that didn’t involve trips to the store because I ran out of tampons and packing extra underwear to take to work and on vacations (just in case).  I was looking forward to emotional stability, sleeping through the night and becoming the wise old matriarch I am destined to be.  I was even getting used to this new, fatty swim ring permanently hanging over the top of my pants, no matter how many sit-ups I did.

And then, at 11 months and 3 weeks – I got it again.

Are you freaking kidding me?

I was at the finish line, looking official Middle Age in the face and she laughed, said “Bitch, please,” and drew another 365-day line in the sand.

A couple of nights later (and one emergency trip to CVS for supplies), I dreamed I was pregnant (I’m not).  And in that dream, I was very upset.  I cried and wept, feeling angry and betrayed and trapped. I remember wailing “I don’t want to be 70 when my kid graduates college!”

50b

It took me a few days to process what was  happening with that dream. I finally realized that even though my body decided to have a last laugh or last gasp, whichever way you want to look at it, in my mind I had already moved on.  I’ve raised my two wonderful daughters and experienced  the joys and agony of watching them go through the ages and stages. I am ready to start a new phase of life.

That’s something the OBGYN, memes, Facebook and even your friends probably don’t talk about – the mental and emotional adjustment of menopause. I’m sure most women feel it is liberating, devastating, or some combination of the two, but we just don’t talk about that part of it.

Memes are way funnier, let’s be honest.

But eventually you either embrace or resent this new phase of life, this new you. You come to terms with it, or if you don’t, society will most likely not be very kind to you. There will be a lot of pursed lips and head shaking when you show up in your Daisy Dukes, 4-inch wedges and bikini top at age 60, no matter how in shape you think you are.

On the surface I was annoyed, but deep down getting my period again shook the fragile estrogen bridge (made of HRT pills and a secret stash of Midol) I was clinging to, as I tried to cross the chasm between youth and middle-age.

Bridge1When I look behind, I see a thinner version of me chasing my children, arranging play dates, juggling work and parenting and a busy social life, and generally burning the candle at both ends without a thought. I see Hubby working hard and picking up the slack, leaping into the chaos when he got the opportunity, and juggling the same crazy things.  It’s a busy, almost frantic life back there, and I get tired just watching them. When I look forward, I can see the other side, at least what we’re told is there: great, worry-free sex, wisdom, acceptance of certain physical flaws and changes that actually celebrate the life of a woman.  I see Hubby and I standing together watching our girls make their own way in the world, their own families, their own memories.  I see us figuring out this new existence together and connecting in a new way.  I see us being the team we were in the beginning.

And I realize that I’m looking forward to getting over this bridge, despite the bottles of Aleve, the moments of missing what used to be, and the memory losses that are already starting to peek around the corner at me.

So, another 365-day countdown begins. Now, if only I could remember where I put my calendar….

 

 




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