The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest: Honorable Mention

An Honorable Mention from The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest goes to d. Myers for his poem about a mid-life crisis. He’s a writer, currently working on his first book.

He was sent one The Green Study Coffee Mug, a postcard from Minneapolis and $25 donation was made to his local Red Cross chapter.

mid-life crisis

By d. Myers

slow down and watch it all collide
watch it trail like a fish
is there ever any sign
smelling dog food in a dish

I’ll play with monkeys in a barrel
and legos at the mall
gonna get another snow cone
while I buy my kid a doll

old cars, old shoes, old people
they help to keep it all intact
I’m getting better all the time
I’m getting so I like the cracks

not the smooth stuff or the easy
is ever worth the tripcanstockphoto11178704
when I fall I fall so hard
but I’ll never feel the slip

little white fences all around me
I don’t feel too safe at all
fluffy curtains on the windows
and stuff hanging on my walls

great big trees and open highways
start to sooth my aching head
come and put me in a jacket man
and take me off to bed

Congratulations d. and good luck on your writing journey!

The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest: Honorable Mention

An Honorable Mention from The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest goes to Ruth at Travelling True North for the morning conversation we often have with ourselves.

She was sent one The Green Study Coffee Mug, a postcard from Minneapolis and $25 donation was made on her behalf to the Red Cross International Emergency Response Fund.

“Life in the Midlife Teens”

By Ruth at Travelling True North

Mind: What’s that noise? 5am and someone woke me up. Ergh… Zzzzz.

Body: Zzzzz….

Mind: Argh. Again? It must be the cat. No, stop that, it’s your child.

Body: I’m not getting up.

Mind: Well, neither am I because I am only 18 and I deserve sleep.canstockphoto15812243

Body: Still not getting up.

Mind: No. No. No,no,no,no,nooooooooo. Still with the noise! What’s that husband doing? Sleeping. Argh…

Body: I still hurt from staying up past 9.30pm last night. But YOU ARE A PARENT. Get. Out. Of. Bed.

Ok, done. Ugg boots on (it’s still a bit cold), fleece….

3 mins.

Body: Damn. Still up. Now with cuddly child. Lovely cuddly child, all warm and soft and desperately clinging on while saying ‘cuddddddddllllllllllleeeeeesssssss’. Nice. Eyes still barely open though. Just missed walking into the wall. Argh.

Mind: What do you mean we have to function? It’s 5am. 5. A.M.

Well, I leave it up to you.

Body: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no no. I’m the one who knows how old we are. I’m the one who feels the aches, the stress of aging joints, the fatigue of needing a few hours more sleep each day, and the head thump of that extra glass of wine last night.

YOU’RE the one who seemed to think this is all ok. That kids past 40 was a great idea and that we all had the stamina for several YEARS of sleepless nights, extended bedtimes, no personal time and endless rounds of the ‘why’ game. We’re all in this together, baby. Stump up.

Mind: Hmmm. I am still 18 you know. 18 was not that long ago, if you recall. We were vibrant, healthy, had a nice growing bank balance and could lift weights greater than our body fat index…

Body: 18 was YEARS ago. YEARS.

Mind: But then not so much has changed, has it?

Has it?

canstockphoto20425615Body: No, no. Though, um. There’s that ‘changed’ waistline, the hair colour, red-eye-reduction eye drop fascination and fondness for soft cheeses. Oh, and the need to head to bed at 9pm…

Mind: Well, in my defence soft cheeses are brilliant. And the kids have ruined all hope of normal sleep.

Body: And we’re all just passed 40…

Just sayin’…

Mind: 40 is the new 20.

Body: Really?

Mind: Really.

Body: Realllllly??

Mind: Pause.

…the new black??

Body: Clutching at straws, my friend. Clutching at straws. Do you recall when our 17 year old niece came to visit? You spent all that prep time thinking about how you would connect about social interests, school, friends and personal values. And it became verrrry clear that your scintillating conversation about home cooking, tree hugging and the joys of craft were falling just short of the dramatic eye-roll/ rapid-exit combo move. Even your ‘I really liked a party’ tale from the 90s was met with a well meaning, bemused, smile and a quick hug goodnight. Loving, but. Not quite what you were expecting?

Mind: Humph.

Body: Or the time you said yes to skiing and we broke a leg? 12 weeks in a cast, no driving, little travel and a particularly challenging time trying to work. Could have gone better, Lady Osteo?

Mind: Well, it did break on the end of a great run… And it was a very stylish manoeuvre…

Body: I say it again, juuuust not 18.

Mind: Right. Well then, I guess you’re saying it’s all back to hot flushes, the hair colourist, a stab at the 5:2 Diet, and carving out personal time in an overworked schedule?

Body: And reading Miffy at 5am.canstockphoto1486647


Mind: And reading Miffy at 5am.

Body: So, it’s not so bad… Is it?

Mind: (Staring at a bundle of warm, soft, cuddly child, resting in peace) No. It’s not so bad.

Mind: Not so bad at all.

Congratulations Ruth!

Check out her blog for a little direction:

Not on Facebook. Here’s Why.

A Week of Underachieving: 4 Ways to Ease the Mind

Location, Location. Finding Your Spiritual Home.

The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest: Honorable Mention

An Honorable Mention from The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest goes to Meryl at Six Decades and Counting…Life Reinvented for her inspirational essay about the upside of aging.

She was sent one The Green Study Coffee Mug, a postcard from Minneapolis and $25 donation was made to her local Red Cross chapter.

“My Time is Now”

By Meryl at Six Decades and Counting…Life Reinvented

Crossing over into the fifth and sixth decades of life can be traumatic – I speak from personal experience – yet at the same time present opportunities previously ignored, avoided, or put off to some unspecified future date.

canstockphoto23836626Early adult decades are punctuated by major life events and the reality of a constant rush and commotion. The years are chock full of growing up, finding jobs and settling into a career, getting married, having kids and raising a family. All kinds of activities, positive and negative, stir the pot.

Suddenly, if you are lucky, you can sit back one day, take a deep breath and realize –

My Time has come. My time is now.

Maybe the kids leave for college. You have extra time, more room in the house, and control of the remote. Grocery bills shrink and the extra cash in your wallet and gas in your car does not disappear. (Personal experience and discussions with contemporaries provide ample evidence to support these claims.)

Maybe you feel secure and happy with your job. Maybe your relationship with a spouse or significant other is going well, or a bad relationship finally ended.

Mature adult years offer time to pursue activities left behind in youth or never attempted because of time, finances, or other issues. Take the plunge and do whatever that little voice in the back of your mind says you want to do, but for too many years were ignored and pushed to the back of your brain.

Now is the time to bring it on.

It might be little things. Exercise more, begin reading those novels gathering dust on the shelf, get canstockphoto1962805together with friends you never had much time for in past years. Those belly dancing classes forsaken with the birth of my first child started again twenty years later. On the other hand I did not waste time renewing an interest in tennis or golf, activities tried and abandoned with no regrets years earlier.

It could be bigger things, such as traveling, downsizing or relocating. Travel reignites an interest in people and places different from our daily experience. It is a dangerous pursuit, however, if one fails to walk or in some way exercise off the calories absorbed enjoying different cuisines. Those extra pounds get harder to shed the older one gets. I know this from excruciating personal experience, bolstered by the laments of numerous contemporaries.

Downsizing is a cleansing, exhilarating experience, although exhausting during the actual process. The same with relocating.

Different kinds of diversions, some upbeat and others not so much, often face individuals heading into their fifth and sixth decades. Children boomerang and return home. Aging parents may require your time and attention. Health issues begin to surface and you realize if you do not begin accomplishing items on your bucket list, physical and/or mental issues will curtail your plans.

On the other hand you might find yourself planning weddings and welcoming grandchildren. Dissatisfaction with a job may spur changes, and an entirely new career energize and excite you.

New activities, new friecanstockphoto18884264nds, new experiences and old pleasures work together to make the higher side of a half-century of living interesting and stimulating.

I think the key to aging well and enjoying the second half-century of life is to welcome and embrace new opportunities. This is the time to forget about putting things off saying, “No, I can’t. Maybe next time.”

This is the time of life to say, “Yes I will,” and open the door wide when opportunity knocks.


Congratulations Meryl!

Check out her blog and get inspired:

A Retiree’s Life

The Top 10 Reasons I Travel

A Patriotic Pair Step Up and Purchase New Stuff

The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest: 3rd Place

3rd Prize goes to Fransi at 365 and Counting for “Aging Gets Better with Age”. There’s nothing like a middle-aged meltdown to make you feel all growed up.

She was sent one Green Study Coffee Mug, a Minneapolis postcard and a $50 donation was made on her behalf to the Red Cross International Disaster Response Fund.

“Aging Gets Better with Age”

By Fransi at 365 and Counting

 For some reason, age has always been an issue with me.

Maybe it’s because I’m an only child. I spent a lot of time with adults. So in some ways I was more sophisticated than most of my contemporaries.

When I was 10, I couldn’t wait to be a teenager. When I finally was 13, I couldn’t wait to be 16. Then 21.

My twenties and thirties were sublime. My forties, well I did gulp on my 40th birthday. That came as a bit of a shock but I was having such a good time both in my career and socially, the horror of the number didn’t last long. A blink and it was over.

And then came the big Five Ohhhhh. Actually I went into a slump slightly before my forty-ninth birthday. About six months into my forty-ninth year I was completely freaked out at the thought of turning fifty. I just couldn’t handle it. Working with a bunch of twenty and thirty somethings could have had something to do with it, I don’t know. But I was in a bad state.

I worked with a gal who always acknowledged my birthday so I knew I had to clip her wings before she planned “an event”. I was so demented I went to her assistant, half a year in advance, and laid it out for her; and begged her to make sure “S” got the message.

canstockphoto4562663All I wanted for my birthday was for everyone to ignore it. The day came. I dragged myself to work. I just didn’t have a good feeling. Sure enough, at about 10:00 a.m. I was called to reception. A huge — and I mean — gigantic arrangement of flowers.


Not wanting to make a scene out there, I took them and stalked back into my office, where I slammed the door shut and literally had to sit down I was shaking so bad. I don’t have to tell you who they were from, do I?

Called my boyfriend, sobbing. Men are not known for their sensitivity, but he really got it. He talked me off the ledge for a few minutes and told me to call her into my office and explain she’d really upset me — even though her intentions had been good. She should have respected my wishes.

First I checked with her assistant to make sure she’d done what I’d asked. She swore she had and I believed her. Then I called “S” and essentially let her have it — in between sobs.

canstockphoto0276849She ran to my office and apologized, but I was way too far gone by then. When she confessed she’d also organized a lunch, I totally flipped out. Dumped the flowers into the garbage and flounced out of the office and went home.

A slight over-reaction to be sure, but I was totally and insanely traumatized.

Before I knew it, I was over it. And it turned out to be no biggie. Although from then on each passing year did give me pause; and then something interesting happened.

Sixty. I turned sixty and stopped giving a damn. Really, who cares? I’ve had a fabulous life and it’s given me bragging rights. I am armed with all the knowledge and wisdom only someone who’s been around long enough to make every mistake in the book (and learned from them) can have. So I figure I’m entitled to say what I want, do what I want and go wherever I want.

Definitely a perk of aging.

True, I do have to deal with some previously unknown aches and pains. If it’s not an ankle it’s a knee. Or my shoulder. Or my back. Or a wrist. Or my index finger. But I can still get up there and shake my booty with the best of ‘em when the right music’s playing.

True, the future’s a bit too close for comfort now. So I concentrate on the now. The present. Today and canstockphoto7431966only today. Yesterday is history and tomorrow, if I’m lucky enough to see it, is yet another blank canvas for me to decorate — however I choose.

What’s wrong with that?

Congratulations Fransi!

Check out her blog to see what counts:

Day 46. Helping Others

Day 47. Polishing Work

Day 120. I’m Afeared

The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest: 2nd Place

2nd place goes to Kiri at The Dust Season for “Personals vs. Real Estate, Financing Available”. This essay made me laugh, while thinking that I might need a contractor or ten as well.

She was sent one Green Study Coffee Mug, a postcard from Minneapolis and $75 donation was made to the American Red Cross on her behalf to her local Red Cross Chapter.

“Personals vs. Real Estate, Financing Available”

By Kiri at The Dust Season

canstockphoto22518543I have come to the conclusion that, in terms of real estate, I am what’s known as a fixer-upper. Or, rather, a handy-man’s special. Now, before you interrupt, saying, “No, no. You are what’s known as a woman who’s been ‘well-loved’ and ‘priced to sell’.” Let me just stop you there. This isn’t that kind of post.

House hunting has brought me to a new appreciation of the dating site I am on…which shall remain nameless, but bears a resemblance to being the K-mart of free online dating. Not quite as well-known as or Dis-Harmony (names changed so I won’t get sued) but just as great at getting me out there on the market.

Looking at houses and being critical of poorly vented furnaces, lousy window installations and shaky roof construction makes me wonder, is this why I haven’t found a buyer keeper on my dating site? Maybe it is a seller’s market there too! Hear me out.

If I took a look at myself as a prospective home buyer might, I’d like to say I see the same solid construction and weather-proofed body of my twenties and thirties. I’d point out all the selling features: Look she’s maintained the furnace and all the pipes work. She even comes with ample storage.* This gal has everything you are looking for when it comes to putting down roots. But the truth would come out in the inspection, so what’s the point? I’m all about the disclosure statement, which would probably look something like this:

canstockphoto2439049This structure hasn’t been updated in a while. Still has original fixtures! Some wear and tear and it will need a new support beam sooner rather than later. The paint has faded a bit, but just needs a splash of color makes it look shiny and new again. Comes with child already attached. Warning, house has some issues: intermittent gas may cause an odd odor to linger in the basement. Foundation has shifted over time and the balcony is in need of buttressing.** And, if you watch a lot of comedy, it is prone to leaks.

When you look at all the flaws, it is hard to see why someone might be willing to put down an earnest deposit. But, I remind myself, someone did once before. He was a special homeowner, that guy. He didn’t notice the flaws and always played up the character and love gleaming beneath the clutter. He even put up with the kitchen’s tendency to feed him vegetables for dinner. So that’s what I’m waiting for, a buyer who can see past the cosmetic and value the classic. In that light, here’s my offer:

New Listing:

This little family model is ready for the right buyer. Presently it is built for two, but has room for growth. The property has a huge entertainment center—both outdoor and indoor—and you’ll spend so much time in the kitchen you won’t notice the squirrels in the attic. Don’t pass up this opportunity, this gal’s got massive potential.

canstockphoto6630357I took my listing down for a while for a lack of a committed buyer, but I am contemplating putting myself back out there and all this house hunting has got me thinking…maybe it’s time to spruce up my curb appeal? So, stay tuned for Next Week’s Installment of This Old Broad, where a team of workmen pinpoint my flaws and try to refurbish me for a quick flip!

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnotes:

*Not sure this is a selling point, now I come to think of it.

**It was too perfect. How could I not say it?

Congratulations Kiri!

Check out her blog and see what This Old Broad is up to:

You Hate Me, You Really, Really Hate Me.

Long-Term Sleep Deprivation = Permanent Brain Damage, or….

Home Buying for Morons, Part III: The Good, The Bad and the So Very Ugly

The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest: 1st Place

1st Place goes to Dave at 1pointperspective for the “The Shoe Polish Chronicles”.  I found this essay to be poignant with a dash of Dave’s usual self-deferential humor.

He was sent one Green Study Coffee Mug, a postcard from Minneapolis and $100 donation was made to the American Red Cross on his behalf to his local Red Cross Chapter.

“The Shoe Polish Chronicles”

By Dave at 1pointperspective

 “Every time I go to one of these things, I feel like I’m just getting closer to the head of the line” – An old man’s comment to my father-in-law at a funeral they were attending.

canstockphoto9123679I’ve been trying not to get older, but deep down inside, I know I’m destined to fail. The music I like, the things I find funny, my worldview, my hairline; all of them conspire daily to put me in the middle-aged-to-old-guy bracket. I remind young women of their kindly old uncles, and I remind older women that their husbands aren’t the only ones to whom the years haven’t been kind.

I exercise, when my joints aren’t rebelling against me. I try to eat right, especially when I’m not ordering off the dollar menu. I try to stay positive and upbeat, knowing that negativity can easily morph into grouchiness.

Then there was a death in the family. It wasn’t an unexpected passing, and as the years tick by, attending funerals has become a more common fact of life. I was busy helping make arrangements and tying up loose ends. I needed to get some shoe polish. The years of weddings and funerals had taken their toll on my lone pair of dress shoes. They were a well made pair of shoes. I’d bought them for job interviews over twenty five years and multiple careers ago.

canstockphoto12881001I went to the mall, because that’s where the shoe stores are. At the first store, I asked one of the sales guys where they kept the shoe polish. He looked at me as if I had wondered which aisle the cheese spreads were located on. I saw the 20 watt bulb flicker on in his head, and he told me they didn’t carry shoe polish. I imagine the bulb in his head was one of those new-fangled screw-in fluorescent jobs. As I walked from store to store on my fruitless search, I recalled the wooden box my Dad kept out in the kitchen cabinet containing several tins of polish, along with rags and brushes. The box was awkward and too sturdy for such flimsy contents, lord knows where it came from.

We weren’t really a dress shoe type of family, and my brothers and I tended to grow out of any shoes before they were scuffed enough to benefit from polishing. Be that as it may, the shoe polish box was there in my head, a relic from a bygone era. I could picture it in the bottom of the cabinet. I could almost smell the polish. The box and its contents are long gone, existing only in memories.

canstockphoto0426281As I repeatedly failed to find a store which sold shoe polish, I felt more and more like some sort of fossil who was trying to find a replacement needle for his Victrola. Victrola! Even my analogy was antique, in truth, I was more like a fossil trying to find a copy of The Archies Greatest Hits on 8-track or LP.

The funeral was the next day, so shopping online wouldn’t do. I finally found an old fashioned shoe store in the middle of town and picked up a tin of ox blood polish. Upon closer inspection of my shoes, I realized the entire odyssey had been in vain. Even polish couldn’t bring those shoes back. I returned to the store and bought a new pair of dress shoes and exchanged the polish for the color of the new ones.

I wore my new shoes to the funeral, knowing they would forever be linked to this passing. I’ll surely wear them to more funerals and weddings. Perhaps I’ll never have another occasion to buy a pair of dress shoes – these might take me to the finish line. In any case, I won’t likely be able to find my new tin of polish by the time I need it.

Congratulations Dave!

Check out his blog for a little perspective:

This Ain’t No Vodka Stinger

A Weiner By Any Other Name

14 Seahorse Court