Subourbon Mom


What’s Your Dream?
June 20, 2022, 10:04 am
Filed under: Middle Age, Posts, Sports | Tags: , , , ,

Here’s something I learned this year – you can keep your childhood dreams, but they’ll look a little different when you’re middle-aged. But really, what doesn’t look different as you get older? I literally am those people on the Progressive commercials that are turning into their parents: “We all see it…we all see it…BLUE!!!”  Don’t know what I mean? Watch this…

So, back to childhood dreams…

This summer I checked off two huge bucket list items. To most people they might seem frivolous or meaningless, but to me they mean so much more. For the first time in 35 years, I jumped a horse over little cross rails (for non-horse people, that means poles set at a foot off the ground). By jump, I mean the giant horse I was riding barely saw them and hopped over while I just tried to stay out of the way. I also rode in a small horse show trotting over poles just lying on the ground. Yes, I was the oldest in the class by maybe 30 years, competing against a few  people, most of whom were children and at least two who were your people training horses who barely knew what a pole was.  Did I forget my girth (saddle belt) and have to borrow one?  Yes. Was I freaking out?  Yes.

But I did it, and I couldn’t have been more proud of myself.  

See what I mean?  This doesn’t seem like much, in but in my heart those two things were huge. Let’s back up so you can see why – and why you should still pursue your dreams, no matter what shape they take as you age.

After a terrible year of deaths in our family this year, human and animal, the barn where I ride was and remains my refuge. Soon after the sweet horse I leased died in January from a sudden, terrible infection, I walked back into the barn to get away from the world. It was awful, seeing his empty stall and halter, but the barn has always been and always will be my refuge.

One of the horse moms (aka boarders) saw me and said, “I didn’t think you’d be back.”

Not come back? For a second, I was really offended. I had to regroup and remember that this nice woman didn’t know me as a child, creating notebooks full of fictional racehorses with breeding charts, colors, personalities and race results. She couldn’t know that for years I doodled horse heads all over my school notebooks; that I drew pictures of the horseback wedding I was going to have (shockingly that didn’t happen); or, that until I was 15, when I fell off, busted my shoulder and simultaneously found boys, the only thing in the world I wanted was a horse.

To my mother’s credit, a single teacher who made $30k a year, she somehow found a way for me to take lessons once a week and occasionally do a local horse show.  But a real horse of my own?  Out of the question. As an adult, I was able to satisfy my horse itch by being a horse show mom for years, until Daughter #2 was clearly able to do it on her own but let me “help” because she knew I needed to be involved.

Then came the end of 2021 and early 2022: three family deaths, one horse death and one horse near-death.  It was terrible, but there was a silver lining. Losing so many people and animals in such a short time made me realize time really is finite, and that if I want to achieve some dreams I have to put my phone down, get off the couch and figure out what that means.

A horse of my own may still not be in the equation, but now I take lessons. Do I want to be in big horse shows? Not really – I don’t need that kind of stress. My dream has changed into finding that balance between learning to ride better and riding for mental health. The two are not always the same. Some days its okay to just walk around in a field, to look at the bobbing head beneath you and find that simple joy. Other days, its feeling like flying as the horse you’re riding graciously allows you to flop around while it steps over poles. Whatever your dreams once were, don’t let them go entirely – find out what parts of those dreams you can still do, or how they might work in new ways for you.  Life is short and unpredictable.  Ask yourself, am I going to be mad next year, or in five years, that I didn’t start something today? If the answer is yes, then put your phone down, get off the couch and see what can happen. You might be surprised with what your old dreams look like now, and what it feels like to realize them.  

Special thanks to my family, friends and especially Kimberly Anderson at Manakin Sabot Equestrian Center for their patience and encouragement. Thanks to Daughter#1 for telling me the truth and making me get up and do it, to Hubby for funding and taking pictures, and to Daughter #2 for listening to my blow-by-blow descriptions of each lesson. 🙂



It’s A Recipe, Not A Memoir
January 23, 2021, 9:15 am
Filed under: Food/Drink | Tags: , , ,

First, thanks to everyone for stopping and reading this when there is so much other stuff to read and watch, like TikToks and memes of Bernie Sanders at the inauguration.  I know it’s been a while, but apparently, I’ve been storing up a few rants over the last few months.

 One of my resolutions this year, in addition to just trying to be nicer to people, is to try some new recipes and stop making Hubby eat the same five things every week, plus pizza or cereal night.  Sounds pretty basic, right? Well, who knew that the most challenging part of this would be getting to the actual recipes online!  

When I finally find a recipe that has less than 10 ingredients, doesn’t call for some weird spice (like celery salt) that I’ll only ever use once, and doesn’t contain anything resembling fish oil, I have to keep it together long enough to scroll

down,

down,

down,

through the author’s family history, passion for turning said recipe leftovers into a gross smoothie afterward, and tips for cleaning my house while I stand on my head and cook.

To the people who post recipes online: No one gives a crap about how your grandmother used to clean her oven or that your 5th cousin is from Bulgaria and that’s where the recipe came from. We just need the damn ingredient list. We’re tired from being at work all day and we don’t want to touch anything more in Kroger than we have to, so stop making us scroll with grocery store-COVID fingers.  We just want to cook without ads popping up that we have to close with raw, chicken covered-fingers.

So please, for the love of all things cookery, STOP giving us your life story and just post the damn thing with a picture of the finished product so I can see where I messed up!



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….

 

 



Does This Smell Like Fish?
October 16, 2018, 5:05 pm
Filed under: Food/Drink | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I recently had a restaurant fail that made me realize:

  1. Food should always be clearly labeled
  2. Not everything “tastes like chicken”
  3. I have a very weak sense of smell
  4. Customers should not be too proud or shy to ask questions

A month or so ago I went to a local chain restaurant for lunch with work friends.  I like to try new things on the menu and saw this:

restaurant menu

I like mushrooms and Brussels sprouts. I don’t know what bonito is (I do now), but it sounds like another kind of fancy mushroom, so I’ll get it. And no, I didn’t just Google it because I was being polite and not using my phone at the table.

This is what was delivered to my table:

It MOVED.

I freaked out until I realized the heat from the bread was making whatever that was wave like things you see swirling around your feet at the beach – they don’t hurt you, but you don’t want to think about it much, either.

I ate about three pieces before I realized that my friends were looking at me like I’d just pulled a rabbit carcass out of my pocket, put it on the table and kept eating.  About the same time, the smell emanating from the plate finally penetrated my sinuses and I got a whiff of…fish.  And not a good, seasoned salmon or tilapia, either.  It smelled like fish that had sat on the counter too long and the cats were thinking they would reach Nirvana if I would just let them have it.

My stomach flopped and I stopped eating.  Lacy, my co-worker with a five-year-old’s palette, took pity and offered me one of her BBQ sliders. (Lacy I will not make fun of you again for at least a month).

I didn’t get sick, and I know I’m partly to blame for not asking questions. But seriously, who puts mushrooms, Brussels sprouts AND FISH SHAVINGS on a flatbread? And what part of the fish did that come from?  I don’t think you can shave anything on a fish except maybe the skin, and I sure as hell don’t want to eat fish skin unless its salmon and deliciously crunchy inside a sushi roll.

fish beard

The only kind of fish shaving should happen here.

 



FaceBook – Guilt, Not a Guilty Pleasure

images

I’m tired of FaceBook making me feel like a crappy parent, an uninvolved citizen, an un-inspiring adult, and someone who is only marginally good at weird visual puzzles. Mostly, I’m tired of feeling guilty about things I didn’t realize I’m supposed to be doing to be a good person, according to the Facebook Junkies.

Brace yourselves – I realize I’m probably going to offend some of you – but I’ve never been accused of holding back or using much of a filter, so here comes the hurricane…

First, stop with the chain posts – Share this with 10 people who need a hug today. If you send me one of those, consider it dead when it reaches my page. Adding a task to my already overloaded shit-I-have-to-do-today list does not make me feel more loved. I need an administrative assistant, not a FaceBook hug.

I also need a break from all those pseudo-inspirational messages like, Who did you inspire today? Or, my personal non-favorite, How are you bringing your AMAZING to work today? Seriously? How about “Congratulations! You didn’t punch that person in the throat today!” Or maybe, “Hang in there – they can’t all be that stupid.” Or, if you don’t like the heavy sarcasm, how about “Try to be nice to people today – yep, even them.”

But the ones that REALLY get me are the posts that say something like Share this if you have an amazing son/daughter. Wow – those are annoying on so many levels.

First, I’m pretty sure my kids know I think they’re amazing. If you don’t, D1 and D2, please be confident that I’m well aware that you both are already better people than I am, that you inspire me every day, and that I brag about you to the people that matter. When I criticize you, it doesn’t mean I think you’re stupid – it means I’m trying to protect you, and enable you to function as a kind adult in an unkind world.

Second, if I were a person struggling to conceive, or who’s child had passed away, I can only imagine that it would break my heart a little every time one of those little brag posts popped up.

And finally, I noticed there are precious few posts in the same vein saying, Share if you have an amazing husband/wife/partner/grandparent/parent.  Hmmmmm….what does that say about us?

The Share this if you love your son/daughter/grandchild posts are almost as bad. So are you saying that if I don’t share it I don’t love my kid? Seriously? I would be more irritated with this one if I thought a lot of kids were actually on FaceBook and fretting that their parents didn’t love them since they didn’t share that post. But, since most of them are on every platform other than FaceBook, maybe these aren’t so bad – just mildly guilt-inducing for us dinosaurs who don’t speak in pictures and acronyms.

So, like many of my friends have from time to time, I’m going to take a break from FaceBook. My blog posts will still appear because they automatically push to it, so don’t worry – you’ll still get your doses of Subourbonmom wit. Of course, it will help my chances of getting them published in a an actual book if you follow the blog by signing up to receive it via email. (Okay, that’s my very rare marketing plug.)

And don’t worry, Family, I’ll still be stalking you on Instagram and SnapChat, and yes, I know y’all have Finstas and other places where I’m the subject of many a meme. Have at it – the fact that you’re posting anything about me means I’m making an impact on your life.

Share this if you love sharing FaceBook rants. 

 




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