grey hair, life

The Many Faces of 58…

This year I struggled with a number. It is my beginning to a new decade. I took less pictures. I thought way too much about my looks. And probably smiled less. However, my smile quota is higher than the average persons smile quota. But less is less. I am a happy person but the number 58 brought me down. So, with a new year and an honest discussion on aging, with a friend. I realized how stupid I sound about this wrinkly stuff. So, eff 58, 59, 60, and beyond. I finally am ok with my age. Took me long enough. As you read this don’t do what I did. Embrace your age. Now. Don’t hide or shoot botulism into your face. Or do the biggie. You know. The lift. To be honest, I would do my neck. But turtlenecks and scarves work. A bit. Frankly, I am just scared. So natural it is. Back to you…Just accept, age naturally, and move on. Even in a world where everyone looks fake, filtered, and frankly perfect on social media. Keep it real. Now, during this process of accepting your number, social media will screw with your reality and the acceptance of your aging process. Hang in there. It is akin to growing out your grey hair. The mess passes into silver wonder. Trust me.

Really, trust me on the grey stuff!

goals, granparent life, grey hair, life, retirement

Gave Up Influencing

My mid-life crisis seems to come and go depending on the day. It should be over. Technically. But mine has hunkered down to stay. I am either acting younger than my age (three instagrams and my flirting with influencer) keep laughing. I am back to one and grounded in the reality silver influencer is not happening. Or I am acting a bit over my age. A shopping at Chicos moment hit me right after devouring an Old Navy sale (love their stuff) for teaching. But truly the Chicos stuff is cute. Sigh. Or is it “the me” I am running from? Too many questions before coffee or my food that I consistently track to lose pounds that might have moved in forever. No Keep tracking. They will leave. Did I mention I spin? Yes, the cool girls exercise that blasts fat. Or in my case keeps it for the cold Arizona winters. Ah, 58. My new tread compounded with the bike will guide me through this mess. I think. Have to buy it first. Which brings me to Christmas. I overdid it. For everyone. It brought me true joy. The hubs not so much. It’s ok, on a teachers salary I will have this paid off by retirement. I got this. Screw the money. I made people happy. By people I mean the grandnugget. He was in heaven. His face. Every child should have his Christmas. The kid was thrilled as well, as he does not buy anything for himself, so I felt good. Like a magic elf bringing joy. While, not a fan of debt. This was worth it. Especially, for the hubs, as I brought him into 2022 with earbuds so he can retire the string hanging from his phone. The horror.

I digressed. Alot. Sorry. But the above frames my mid-life panic. Yesterday. I became a real-life tutor Mrs. L’s Tutoring and an Avon lady. Why? Oddly, not money. Ok. None of that would hurt, but a rich Avon lady is not my fantasy. Nope. Both digressions from the eventual retirement. As I can’t do this teaching thing forever. It is my calling, so to speak, without collar and celibacy. But everyear gets worse. I quit my weekly theater group, as $20 bucks a week is clearly not my scale. If you want the arts, I got you, but a real stipend please. Not babysitting. Just can’t. I am better than this. Sorry, if this offends those woke individuals worrying about the students feelings. I am too. But basically free ain’t working for me. Bring on the eyeliner.

I can picture retirement two ways on the cheaper end. Shoot me. Or with cushion. I want cushion and a full life of writing, tutoring, and possibly Avon. It’s fun. Why not. Now I need to try the product. Yesterday, in all my crazy stressful moments of overspending, I gained a true pause on what I want. That’s good. I want retirement, I want travel, I want the quiet of Neebish, the outlandish fun with the grandnugget and the ability to say no on my terms, not my bank accounts. This pushed me out of mid-life crisis into acceptance of my age and my desires to always be busy…busy…busy.

Now, back to my book (on chapter 2) and the moral of this chaotic dribble. Know your age, accept your age, do anything that makes you smile, spend too much, save, do you…and enjoy everyday. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow and my many tomorrow’s ahead will be readying for a lifetime of Chicos. And that’s ok! Good-bye midlife confusion. With my new acceptance and creation of a plan for the after-life of teaching, which includes, my writing, my forever tutoring, spinning, treading, Neebish, and my Avon…If throw in Paris and the hubs and this is a winning combination!

BTW here is my store. If you use the product. Please order. My top picks: eyeliner, and waterproof mascara. Give it a go or please share.

https://www.avon.com/repstore/TLivingston?rep=TLivingston

Christmas, family, granparent life, life

Fast Forward to Valentines…

I am on auto-pilot once Halloween hits the shelves. Perhaps, it is the teacher in me, to be prepared and organized. Or not. Probably, it is just the media hype and the retail store push turning us to Valentines day before the Christmas meal has been digested or the last political fight put to bed. Is New Years the new Thanksgiving, just a brief stopping point, before the next big show? Christmas, to me, is the big show for obvious reasons and yes, the presents that I have accumulated for months and my anticipation of my families delight. I do shopping like no other part teacher part trained personal shopper with former retail training. I am dangerous especially in handbags, they make me drool. Thank goodness I have boys. I would be broke.

We spent Christmas Eve delighting in little person toy delight and today recovering. As the dust settles, and the Valentine cards take their proper place on the shelves, my moment of true piece will be just a simple “I love you,” from both my boys before I took a well earned nap.

So with all my hustle and bustle (and I am not alone) it was three little words and our togetherness that made me feel at peace and get my engines revved up for the sales.

echelon, fitness, goals, life, Peloton

Tread on The Cheap

I feel like a giddy schoolgirl waiting for the cutest boy in school to walk by my locker. Or something like that. Feelings of long-ago now compared to a piece of equipment. About right. My Echelon tread is heading my way. I can’t wait. Currently, a proud owner of the Ecehelon Sport, which has turned my exercise experience upside down and made me a true believer and one who needs my daily dose of the benefits of fitness. This, alone was my ah ha of the year.

I learned to exercise and like it, enjoy it, or at least tolerate it. Nevertheless, of the category of delight or not. It is a daily habit. Most of the time.

To push myself I found virtual races. Yes, you pay. But that medal and your group keep you going. You ride, walk, run whatever and log your results. Currently, I have wandered through Colorado and next up Ireland. Never in my life did I think I would ride 118 miles. If I can do this anyone can. During this time, I lost weight, felt fitter, and slept better. Not miracles, just work with my Peloton App (Bless these instructors) and my gear. Lesser than my bougie friends and riding partners…butmaybe someday. If not that is OK as the ride is the same. It is. I tried the real enchilada and the only thing I want is the screen. That’s it. I can wait.

To up my game, enter the tread, my new baby. Still enroute. My goal is a mile or two every morning on the tread and my daily 5-9 miles on my bike in the afternoon. Picture fabulousness in my goals of slimming. I am.

So, wherever you are in your fitness journey. Hang-in there. Challenge yourself and enjoy! It worked for me and one year later I am still at it with a vengeance!

caregiver, echelon, family, fitness, life

Injured Not Out

Oh, I went boom. Metaphorically. In reality, I turned. Yes, turned. Insert ouch and two days in bed and nursing my back that has felt this pain before. On the third day, I rose to 1790 steps, and soreness. But I walked with the obvious delight and desire to get on my Echelon aka Peloton light. I am addicted. While tomorrow is out I will be back. Soon. Still not today, during this continuation of dribble, but soon.

My new found love of fitness has begged Santa for the tread so I can walk in the morning and ride at night. Oh, I hope he listens. My current level of fitness saved me from this small blimp being worse. So, thank you bike, miles, legs, and my new love of sweat and Amazon Lululemon dupes. I am a teacher by day. We don’t do “real.” It’s ok. I love teaching. Fake Lululemons are fine.

But this is not about me or my Santa wishes. But I hope he reads this! Hello, Santa? Are you out there??? This is about a reminder to be kind, gentle, and patient. It is about our “back” life coming full circle.

They say everything happens for a reason. This bump had a reason. I needed to get my compassion “back,” it was lacking, it was getting cranky, it was forgetting how hard raising a little person in pain is…insert child and his degenerative disc. Um, now I remember and while you would think I do not have to remember in this type of pain, my stubborn ways forced me to relive my own back issues, to give him the type of love and consideration he deserves on a daily basis. I often forget or push or etc. etc. I am difficult at best. Not that I am wrong. Just difficult. At worst I am truly a pain in the ASS. Or back. Both the same in this house. So while I recuperate, and I am. My son will never. His pain is tolerable. But never gone. Never. It is as it is, and this recent back boom, is now forcing me to remember that and to kind. Notice all he does with every painful obstacle standing in his way.

While I oohed and oohed…my kid was by my side. How sweet. Not one complaint. Just taking care of another back patient. He knew. I wanted to hug him and just say I am so sorry to give you this, but he knows. Or I hope he knows. If not, he just read it here, first.

So while we may both be metaphorically down, neither of us are out, and I will get back on the proverbially horse of fitness he will get back on his educational journey. Yes, it had to be inserted because I am a pain in the ASS.

family, life

A Moms Love

When the kid was little. He almost died. Easy to write, hard to say. Even now, during my click clacking of the words, tears still fill my eyes. To say, I am overprotective, is an understatement. This almost tragedy along with my Jewish upbringing, which was the epitome of hover- craft parenting, meant the kid was doomed. Or as I put it loved to the max. Still is. I am guilty of trying to take away all the bad with my magic wand. One that has waved mightily over all the simple fixes of life, but recently has seen better days, as my waving has became a habit to cure all that can’t be cured. Life is life and wands wear out.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I can be tough. On others, myself, but never the kid. I am still the hapless waver of my tattered stick, believing I can change what I feel should be changed. And there you have it…what I think. Not anyone else, just me. If others think it, I am the only brave one to confront, push, and attempt for the ending I see leading to a happily ever after. I think of myself as a trailblazer. The kid. Not so much, I am annoying at best. I have used the I gave birth to you, too many times. While I feel it should still ring true, with every passing year the sound becomes faint. Not gone in my ears, just faint.

To be fair. He is right, I am too much. He has to do him. But an open mind and my abundance of love and guidance does not hurt anyone. Or does it? This is debatable…as raising him was not a picnic. Truly. During the lows I saw his soul, desires, talents, faults and fears. We have had our moments. Most have passed and our relationship has settled. Recently, I entered “fixer recovery” and my wand has been banished. Now, I am just another overbearing mom that sees a variety of directions that will bring him great pride and teach his son lessons of a lifetime.

No matter what path my son chooses. He is my world and the reason I gave up my wand and entered “fixer recovery.” I will always be happy with his choices as he is my gift from God. But a mom can dream. But dreams and support are different from pushing, annoying with overbearing ideas and comments coupled with a hint of hovering. I will stick to my dreams for him but be ready and on call whenever needed. This is what I call a healthy balance and a sponsor (if fixer recovery existed) would call back to Step 1. Baby Steps!

I love you KWL.

Christmas, family, granparent life, grey hair

Elfing Ways

A long, long time ago there was a young mother (not so young) who wanted to bring Christmas cheer to her only son and husband. Money was a new found struggle, while the hubs had a growing business thus purchases were supposed to be limited. I found “The Elf” at a house party and it was the best $30.00 (I did not have) but spent in my life. Insert the hubs daily eyerolls and daily lectures that gifts of daily love and belief of this magic elf ( matchbox cars, cheerios, Pokémon cards etc.) were not needed. Of course, I knew that, but carried on. I am the picture of moderate (comparably) Christmas spending and usually with a bit of debt and a targeted pay off date. I am money smart, in my world, just no one else’s. But Christmas must go on…and frankly no one complains. Secretly, they love it. Especially, the elf.

But every penny of ornaments, decor, stocking stuffers, and presents including those requested from Santa and the needed clothes make my clan happy. As I am the only shopper for the family, and it is all for others, I see no harm. Try to debate happiness or put a price on happiness. You can’t. I won’t. Back to the elf. It always hung on the front door to make ease for delivery or at times a quick delivery before I dashed to work. The worst days were when the kid woke up early and the elf was forgetful the previous night. He would crawl into our bed and I would logically explain the elfin route, storms in the area, and prompt him to write the elf a note and have an “extra-good” day. Boom, two gifts the next day with his traditional “Thank you Elf, I love you!” My heart would explode. And special thanks to the ASU theater department. Stories come easy. Too easy.

This went on yearly, as far as I could stretch it. It made me happy because while the gifts were trinkets, they brought smiles, hugs, and the reaffirmation of my craziness would be given. My Heart ❤ was always full and my boys were happy. Occasionally, my husband would actually remind me to get the Elf gift ready. That was akin to winning him over! Once in awhile I even caught him smiling.

But this year caught me off guard. Insert the grandnugget. Last year it was just decor. This year it is HO HO and with it came the story. Which I extended further, and further with a trip to the north pole, an elf for his room and yes, the transfer of THE Elf to my sons home. I shudder. This was not my idea. It was the hubs. He sat me down and explained how it is time to pass on the fun. I cried. This passing of the torch is killing me, but it is has to happen this year. Twenty-seven years after I created this monstrosity of love, it must go on. It is my hope that my son passes on the tradition to his grandchildren.

The passing on of the Elf is hard. It is the last right of our child’s passage into adulting, along with art and report cards, that I still have and treasure. Still keeping these! But this is magic and in the passing I am hoping that the magic will continue for decades to come.

granparent life, grey hair

She’s That Kind of Crazy…

Being a grandmother is a gift. It is one that some open with trepidation and the acceptance of one’s age. Some spend months deciding on what to be called. Like that matters, but it does allow the transitioning into our new role. The day, our nugget was born, I was in a parade. I was in the midst of royal waves for miles with a bit of Vaseline on the teeth, to hold my fading smile. But this additional news brought a feeling that I had lost. Pure joy. I had not felt this for years. It brought me back to all the good times as a parent multiplied by a bazillion. No Vaseline needed.

Initially, I tried to be the low-key grandma. That did not last. I craved that smile and inner light this person brought to my life. It was akin to reliving my own sons great days without any of the traditional raising stressors. I could just sit on the floor and play, stare, laugh. No need to cook, clean, work, etc. All attention on one human. Pure delight. At least for me. Not all grandma’s are alike…some even allow themselves to live out of the state of their nuggets. How, I do not know. I would sell my soul to live near mine, much to my sons chagrin.

I am over the top. I am one of those. Not low-key. Whatsoever. The family is getting used to my craziness. As a result when I suggest the the nugget and I dress as elves for a school event. No one bats an eye. At least in front of me. When I suggest we go take the nugget on a European cruise for my 60th (ouch) in 🇫🇷 so we can do everything together. They took it well as I threw in Euro Disney for entertainment and if they were tired, I offered to do the entire park without them. They rallied. Eyes stopped rolling. Craziness back in check. When Christmas rolls around and well, you know…they put up with it and I just glow. My inner kid is fulfilled.

We live 90 minutes away. Too far. I am ready to move. Have dinner weekly and go to every game/concert/play etc that he participates in during his school years. I will be that one in the crowd just glowing with pride not only for the nugget but for the kid I raised, who gave me the initial gift of motherhood, and my pure happiness and fulfillment of life.

education

Turning Off

It is fall break. Some teachers travel to a variety of local or even exotic locations. I applaud them. My trip would be filled with constant lists going through my head. Passing the Versailles would be a blur and a waste. Ok. France is a stretch, on a teachers dime, but our 35th is around the corner and I am preparing a major bash. Obviously, in Paris plus more. But NOT over fall break. Nope. It’s just not me. Nope.

I am the ultimate of dull. I sleep, workout, wear nothing more than workout clothes or jeans. The old ones. Yup. Dull. I clean, cook. Kinda sorta on the latter. Take out fall clothes and say goodbye to summer ones. I grade, create lessons, and organize my weeks ahead. I nap. But it is my rest my way. I remind myself how much I like to putter. I like to clean, organize, and keep a home. I do. My biggest achievement over these few days has been the creating of the best baked potato that has come out of my kitchen. It was a moment. Yup. Dull. But am I? Nope. Not. At. All.

I take this time to reset as so much of my day is “on.” This is my “off” time to get me through until December.

family, granparent life, life

Park Mom

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away…I was a park mom. Or my term for a mom with kids playing in the park with the important duties of watching, protecting, opening juice boxes, or providing snacks while kissing boo boos. A park mom who of course can be a dad and can work. Not going further, as it would take up the entire blog, and I am not woke or PC.

A park mom usually comes alone with kids in tow and always is searching for a few minutes of quiet in the storm. These are the true warriors of toddler life. They may look exhausted but in a moments notice they are at the top of the playground equipment rescuing their cub. I once crawled up the McDonald’s Playground slide tube to get my kid who suddenly realized that going down the big tube was not going to happen on that day. He went from “I got this because I am a big boy” to a puddle of tears within nanoseconds. That’s when we kick in. Yup. To the top I went and we slid down together to applauding moms. They got it. The kid ate the remaining portion of his Happy Meal and went back to just playing in the seriously germy ball area. I could breathe and he could play. When we left he asked if I could always ride the big tube with him all the time…I wanted to say “yes” but I used my best mom speech and told him next time he could do it on his own. He did. We both won.

Now, as I take my grandson to the park. The speech about inner strength and the promotion of independence doesn’t change but the pride is somehow more amazing and indescribable.