A huge part and the most dangerous part of my anxiety is when it tells me to

“push through it”.

When I start to feel it …anxiety … instead of slowing down , the ” fix it” anxious mind kicks in and tells me to “get up and get going.”

When I get going in that take charge space ” I got this, I don’t need help”, anxiety says to me… “I’ll do this …then this, this, this, this, this, and this… All at the same time of course… and when I’m done – everything will be good.

under control.

I will feel better and THEN you can rest.”

It’s like I’ve been pressured into climbing onto a rollercoaster . Once I’m on, it’s kinda fun-but kinda scary. I never really wanted to be on it but now that I am, I ” think fast” on how I can control it, even though I am only the rider. Just lean into this upcoming curve and grip as tight as I can… I’ll be fine… maybe even in control.

But I’m not.

My body is telling my mind what it is trying to ignore because … well… I can’t get off.

So It takes over.

First the heart…racing. Then Adrenaline rushing to all parts of me. The scream in my throat that as much as I try to keep it there, in place, comes out. My head is spinning. Eyes can’t focus on anything, face contorted from the pressure coming at me full speed … I might even be laughing but I don’t mean to…. I want this ride, I never wanted to get on, to END.

I want off, but… I know I’m on until I either pass out, someone realizes how bad I am and stops the ride… and how embarrassing would THAT be???

or…. I have to just ride it out.

Once It stops and everyone else is laughing ( a lot of people enjoy rollercoasters) “lets go again “and” that was awesome” ..

I am exhausted and want to throw up.

Today I found myself at the head of the line to the rollercoaster. I actually had one foot on… ready to take my seat and buckle up.


I’ve learned the hard way , and actually am still learning, to recognize the ride…

to GET OFF or to



Not let anyone lure me on, not make myself get on it… for their benefit or to hide my feelings… not expose my faults.

No “pushing through” ANYTHING.

What I need to do in that moment is find a nice place in the shade of life and sit.

Maybe eat something healthy, read something healthy, drink something healthy…

write it out… talk it out… dance it out… but mostly just

sit, breathe and rest.

That’s what “fixes it”.

Let them go , with out me, if they want…

I’ll be fine,

until the park closes and I can go home.

a Bitch

She’s a bitch.

Is she?


Is she shy?


Scared you will hurt her?


Walling up to protect her insecurities?


Maybe she’s just


From trying to be nice to


So that you don’t think …..

She’s A Bitch.

a Privileged white woman’s “struggle” with racism

little innocent Janie.

In 1967 I was born In Maryland .

If you are a Northerner Maryland is the South. If you are a Southerner Maryland is the North. It is completely fitting that I was born there to a legacy of Both. My Mother born and raised in Connecticut by a first generation Italian, social worker Father and a Mother who was a Nurse . They had 5 kids of their own, were foster parents to poor, disabled and Black babies , and a loving couple who had to leave their church because the congregation didn’t “think highly” of that…

the black baby part.

My Father’s people were from the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Outer Banks of NC for as far back as the 17 the century. My Father “had to” marry my Italian Northern Mom… Like so many Men “had to” back in those days, and my Father’s parents didn’t “think highly” of that…

the Italian Northern Part.

I am certain they loved each other in the beginning but Those two had no idea how their differences would make it impossible to remain together.

My first memory of RACISM, and really anything, was in North Carolina when I was around 6. My Father was attending Duke University on a new Physician’s Assistant program through the Coast Guard. My Mom was working all the time, mostly nights as a nurse , and they were both trying to raise 4 kids on a prayer and a penny.

We Lived in a house right off of the Main street in small town Hillsboro. Our next door neighbor on the corner , an African American Church -or in those days- The Negro Church.

I remember WAITING for Sunday mornings to come.

I would jump out of bed and wait anxiously in the front yard, pretending to practice my cartwheels on our front lawn, or roll down the big hill that separated our yards, that … as it turns out … after seeing it as an adult , is only a tiny slant of a hill…. WAITING for the congregation to show up. They were the Most beautiful people I had ever seen. Always in their Sunday best. Brightest of colors . Brilliant and vivid colors in the form of dresses and suits and HATS and faces , skin and smiles!

The greetings!!! Genuine joy, laughter ,warm embraces and strong friendly handshakes , all of it I could almost feel from where I sat, or twirled. I wanted so much to get their attention and possibly earn one of those smiles or a wave… but no matter how hard I tried or how many mornings I was there…

they NEVER looked my way.

After they all filed inside , arm in arm,

the music and singing and praise would fill the air , my little ears and my innocent heart…

until… My Dad would see me… “catch me “… and say

“get away from there!”

Nothing was ever explained to me, but I grew to know I could never be a part of that beautiful and joyful community.


They could not be a part of mine.

They …. could NEVER EVEN RISK smiling at an innocent little white girl pretend practicing her cartwheels.


That is my first memory.


Hello… my Name is Jane… and I’m an HSP

Highly sensitive person. It’s a real thing. and I finally have a name for who I’ve always been.

are you?

The world does not come easy for people like me, us, HSP’s, my people, my tribe…that I never knew exsisted…always thought it was just me. My whole life I’ve swung between thinking “what’s wrong with me? Why am I so affected by everything around me”,

And ” What’s wrong with everyone else? Why are they NOT affected by everything around THEM”?

You see… just leaving the house is an act of strength for me.

Take for example, a drive down Market St, which for 20 years I drove multiple times a day carting kids, running errands… I see and hear and feel what most do not.

Warning, you might want to buckle up and hold on for this example ride.

The construction noise, the latest beautiful tree chopped down to make room for the construction. The exhausted energy coming from the construction workers, the heat, fumes, pollution rising from the road covered with litter that nobody cares about and that will eventually lead to the waterways through drainage systems to find its way into the stomaches of the wildlife and ocean beings. The dead animal laying on the road , the impact site and the blood stained drag marks in front of the shop that has gone out of business and left the owners and workers jobless. The rude and PURPOSEFULLY , hurtful and instigating bumpersticker on the gas guzzling, polluting truck in front of me that is bulling the elderly, slow driver in the old sedan. The anger on the face of the truck driver that thinks he has the right to bully just because it’s what he wants to do. The homeless drug addict denying and lying with his cardboard sign, the mentally ill and the helpless TRUELY homeless man madly and endlessly trying to dry his blanket covering him from the rain with his hand, but who refuses the umbrella I plead for him to take from me…” no Ma’am ! YOU need that !” The historic building being torn down so that the Haves will have more and the have nots will be pushed out and away again. The dead looks in their eyes (the haves and the have nots alike). The sprinklers running in the rain. The parent texting while driving and ignoring their child in the back seat of the upscale mini van they probably can’t really afford. The obese killing themselves slowly and systematically in the drive thru of Chick-fil-A… a chain that kills hundreds of thousands of animals raised and kept in suffering conditions just to be served up on styrofoam that will NEVER decompose with a smile and a “my pleasure”.

But my kids are hungry and my husband (bless his heart for dealing with me and loving me anyway) is not and HSP, so we pull in to the drive thru, order, eat in the car with it still running and in the back of my mind I try to decide if I should discard the non recyclables or carry them home and waste water to clean and save them along with the others that I can not bring myself to throw away and that now haunt me from the back of the closet.

THIS… my friends … is a small example of what it feels like to venture out into this human infested world I am so fortunate to live in.

How do you feel?…. If you are actually still reading this? Crazy right? exhausted? overwhelmed? helpless? depressed?

HSP. Highly sensitive people. It’s what we are, and we feel the weight of the world that most people have the ability to ignore.

Maybe you are one too? Maybe you have a child or a spouse or a friend who is one.

I’ve spent my life trying to understand it and manage it secretly … hide my crazy right? (i actually wrote this 3 years ago but didn’t have the courage to post it) I’ve learned It can be managed with things like therapy and medication, or covered with addiction and dysfunction, but what it really needs to be is understood, explained and accepted as an extremely important trait for humankind.

Can you imagine a world without the contributions made by sensitive? Think Greta Thunberg and Jane Goodall, Mother Theresa and Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr…. Mr. Fickin Rogers!!!!

Literally COUNTLESS others that have done


We are who we are. We need to own it, share it, USE it. And I’m trying to do so.


I’m sharing my crazy with you here, in an effort to explain and give you an insight and understanding that being sensitive is a hard thing but not a bad thing.

…that is…

if we can make it down Market st.

white woman checking her privIlege. chapter 1

Yep! I’m doin it. Goin’ down THAT rabbit hole.

So soon into the creation of this midlife blog???

Yes. I want this to be a space of substance. To motivate to do good…be good…be better.

You see in my circles, we don’t talk about things like our privilege … or Religion, Politics……. RACISM. You know… things that don’t concern us.

We have the PRIVILEGE not to.  But I want to.

Also…”now is not the time” and “don’t be a downer” and “that’s just not good manners” 

I was raised a comfortable white girl. ( NOT “a poor black boy” … Steve Martin/the Jerk… circa 1970’s) 

My parents were hard workers with only a whole lot of class left over after paying the bills. I was taught manners, and to be kind and considerate, too not offend. 

I had this shirt made after George Floyd was murdered.


In an attempt to offer support for the BLM cause,

every time I put it on I’m worried about offending someone.

White people, black people, police officers…. 

You see… this white, blond, blue eyed woman of privilege … the one who has never had to worry about getting a job, being pulled over, or even just looking someone in the eye…. she doesn’t know how to help. Doesn’t know what to do or what to say or how to stand up for what is right,

but she’s done worrying and ready to try .

Some people who have experienced bad things in their lives , like cancer, or abuse, find their hearts heavy and being pulled to help make a change. I’ve had that heavy pull on my heart my whole life concerning Racism. 

After watching the testimony of the trial yesterday

I’ll be wearing my shirt today.


In my Midlife, I finally find the courage to speak about it and hopefully help and make a difference . 

I’d like to share some of my experiences with you here in a series of posts. I hope with all my heart it helps others see a different perspective, and above all …I pray it doesn’t offend.

but if it does…

So be it. 

It needs to be said.

#BLM #speakup #whiteprivilege #racismisreal #endhate #onerace #oneracehumanrace #makemidlifematter #socialjusticeforall

the backside of a buck


What a lot of you don’t know about me is that I’m a little psychic. I don’t even know if thats the right word.. I have a slight connection to the “otherside”. Yeah some people are rolling their eyes right now … so be it.

Over my lifetime I’ve seen ghosts and had messages sent to me from loved ones passed. Can I prove it? No. If I told you my experiences some of you would blow it off… explain it away… but when it happens …I just recognize it as real.

This morning I got up and wrote in my journal a loving Birthday tribute to my Uncle Steven . Born on April 1 (fools day) . He was no fool… but a whole lot of fun. He passed over 3 years ago . Way too young . Way too early. We all miss him.

I’ll spare you the long journal entry and just summarize a bit.

He was a Hippy always with a joke, cocky, kind and cool., a friend to everyone (unless you were an asshole)… and a breath of fresh air to our house when he and my Aunt Lisa and Uncle Perry ,would show up for holidays and birthdays.

Our house was a house of a single , hard working Mom – a nurse, who at the end of the day had not much left to give to her 4 kids . She was exhausted and angry and lonely and trying her best to work on her own shit. There was not a lot of joy in our house. My Uncles brought that.

They were 10 years younger than my Mom and 10 years older than me and that made them cool to both of us. We couldn’t wait for their visits! They brought tickles and noogies and arm twist/ burns … all the big brother/uncle abuse that you hated and loved at the same time. Jokes and laughing and SPORTS! Touch football in the streets and basket ball in the driveway and hitting the tennis balls against the garage door.

I was lucky enough to have a birthday within days of theirs and felt special that the celebrations were shared.

Of all the moments I had with my Uncle Steven in my childhood two seemingly insignificant moments stand out to me. One … when I was young my mother had just had new carpet installed ( 80″s mauve) and I was having a reaction to the chemicals . My feet were on fire and itching horribly. My Aunt and Uncle arriving late for a visit heard me crying in my bed. Uncle Steven wandered back to see what was wrong and ended up spending quite a bit of time scratching my feet and cracking me up with his silly jokes. He cared when this little girl cried. Another was when seeing me with his baby daughter telling me I was going to be a good Mom. Imagine… ME… good at anything.?! Those two small, simple moments helped set an intention in me. To grow up and be a caring , kind ,fun loving and joyful adult. Never underestimate the small caring moments of life!

After my morning journaling I thought to myself “I will do something silly in honor of my uncle today… a birthday gift for him… and went out for my usual walk about with the dogs around the property. The Wisteria was purple and magnificently everywhere , complimented perfectly by the bright new green Privet! I was walking and talking out loud to him. “I miss you you old fart” and I could hear his laugh and see his grin and hear a few funny little comebacks in my head. Continuing on , corralling the dogs and watching my step to avoid the ant piles while inhaling the sweet scents of spring, my attention veered from thoughts of him. Then at the very end of our path through our woods … the dogs safely ahead… I got a perfect sighting of a Buck. Hiding in the thicket , statue still, framed beautifully by the draping wisteria. I gasped and smiled, but kept moving so as not to alert my crazy dogs and disturb his conspicuous hiding spot. Also … cursing myself because I didn’t have my camera on me. It wasn’t until I got the dogs safely back in the gate that I heard the words in my head… “backside of a Buck” !!! “Backside of a Buck”.!!! like yelling to get my attention. I was like” yeah a buck and the wisteria… it was so beautiful… and I NEVER see deer out here… and I wish I had my camera” (conversation in my head).


I actually “saw” what I saw…or had been shown. JUST the ass of a HUGE buck and all it’s glory… if you know what I mean …surrounded by the thicket disguised – yet framed perfectly by beautiful flowers.

THAT… in a nut shell… is my Uncle Steven’s sense of humor. That was his birthday/ April fools day joke to me. And I got it.

I got the joke.

Some of you wont get it but I still hear him saying it , so I know it to be real.

I know whole heartedly that our loved ones can still connect with us on this side of heaven. And I’m so glad my Uncle Steven’s sense of humor is still intact …

just like the backside of that buck.

thanks you old fart!

A “Want To Do”

I have never experienced boredom.

At any given moment I am consumed with countless ideas and thoughts of things I want to do. Everywhere I look I see inspiration , THAT… is my problem… (one of them). Add in the “have to do‘s, “ and There is no possibility of boredom.

The feelings that come from too many options usually paralyze me and wrap me up in a self-induced maddening dilemma where I then CAN’T make any choice at all.

The best way to try and explain the feeling , is to compare it to being “hangry”. That feeling of being so hungry you know you HAVE to eat but you are too hungry to decide WHAT to eat. That feeling .

What I usually end up doing is stalling the decision while busying myself with the endless “have to do’s” ( like cleaning a home with four animals in it) and I never make my way back to choosing a “want to do”.

So …..

the other day it occurred to me that I could take the decision making process off of my own shoulders.

I could try an OLD SCHOOL idea.

Drawing from a hat.

I pulled out my crumpled and dirtied old, straw, garden hat and I wrote down about 10 options of “ want to do’s” on small strips of paper, strategically making sure they were the same size and folded exactly the same way of course so that I couldn’t possibly cheat myself.

before I drew, I promised myself that I would follow through… something that is very difficult for me if It’s something for myself.

Of course No one Would know if I didn’t follow through… but a promise is a promise.

My options included painting, drawing, RESTING (lol) , reading, writing, dancing, yoga, etc. all enjoyable, recharging , self-care practices that I still don’t create time for.


I drew “Paint”

Which … of course….

is really the main thing I want to do.

No surprise! Just a good knowing laugh to myself that if I step out of my own way, the powers that be , or whatever you want to call it , will deliver. At which point it’s my job to recognize, listen… And yes ….

follow through.

So… I did.

Only after I briefly tried to talk myself out of it…

Self sabotage is always a force to be reckoned with…

but I did.

And I enjoyed it.

And simply by taking the pressure of “the choice “out of the process , I developed a new technique in managing this overstimulating , too much world that this HSP ( Highly Sensitive Person… it’s a real thing) introvert has to navigate through and I accomplished something I wanted to do.

Old school for the win.


What I see

Sometimes I just look up from what I’m doing and am caught by the arrangement of the space I’m in.
This morning I find myself sequestered in the “art room” … aka the room I rarely use for art…

I’m in here hiding from the newly hired cleaning crew that will be coming once a week (Huge and difficult decision for me – but that’s another post to be made)  … hiding because the crazy dogs have to be sequestered,  so by default I do too or else they do things like chew up their bed for the 3rd time in a week.. or scratch the doors ,chew the baseboards,  or just bark continuously until my nerves are fried and  I let them out…


I find myself in my little space surrounded by a lot of my favorite things this morning… Thank you God…

and I look up and just “See” what’s in front of me… instead of looking but not really appreciating the moment…. This moment….    I see.

I miss my Dad.

I miss what we had.

I miss what we had when I was little…

even though I really don’t remember,( or… as Arden used to say when she was little “bemember “ …which I’m pretty sure will be my next tattoo on my arm so that I can also “see” THAT daily) 

 but I know we had it… and Also…  I miss what we didn’t get a chance to have.

This little space… this little “ Vignette” of his handsome young man photo, his palette, Coast Guard cup filled with goods, his knife and his glasses, books and plants and a special handwritten note from his Mother to me from 30 years ago…
This is what I see … and it’s beautiful.

Last night He was on my mind so much and I was missing him in a little Janie way.  It’s strange how sometimes all the older years with him just fade away and I’m left with the feeling in my soul of just he and I and our connection when I was a child.


I placed the photo of Little Janie ( on the back is written in my grandmother’s handwriting “ Our Janie” ) beside the younger Dad and It gave me comfort.

So much “life” got in between us …. you know????   Maybe … when we see each other again we will “see” each other that way.

I don’t know…

Still With Me



I was channeling my Grandmother the other day…


do you ever do that?


Feel your loved ones from the other side with you? Within you? I do all the time. Especially her.

My Beautiful Grandmother, imperfect like us all… but to me the earthly manifestation of loveliness.

My Parents were from completely different worlds growing up.  My mother was raised by a first generation Italian American who grew up in Connecticut in settlement houses , shining shoes , serving in the war , and making his way through college with the hard-earned money of his siblings, to become a social worker.  His wife ( my Grammie)  came from Illinois,  born to her mother as a late in life surprise and adored by her much older siblings. She became a nurse and in addition to raising their 5 children in the 1940’s and 50’s, also fostered babies , oftentimes with special needs or “ colored” babies, which did not go over too well in their time and town.  They were liberal democrats.

My father grew up on the Eastern shore of Maryland for the most part. His father after serving  in the war, returned to the small town of Pokomoke , married my Grandmother , had 3 Children (2 boys and a girl) and lived their lives in a very old-fashioned, proper, southern way. Grandpa worked and Grandma,  along with their loved “help” Hennie, raised the children and maintained a beautiful home. They were southern conservatives.

This is what I know. I am certain there is far more to the story… but this is what I know.

After 8 years together my parent’s  differences could not be worked out… and I’ll leave that there.

My Mother moved us to California where her parents had retired, and I rarely saw my father or his family again until I was an adult, at which time I reconnected with then.

I deeply, deeply love all of my family… on both sides… but the connection with my father’s mother has always been different. She has been accused of “playing favorites” over the years and I understand how hurtful that can feel if not one… But what it was …     I think…  was not favoritism … rather connection.  An innate connection to certain people. Some people we just recognize, relate to easier, understand more .  We just know each other.  Especially with relatives because of  the genetics.   We are literally a part of them.

She and I shared many common interests and traits even though I was not raised with her influence. The love of Gardening, history and reading. Her home was always beautiful decorated in an understated sort of elegance. Her style was simple and lovely. Her go to outfit was always a crisp blouse a pair of blue jeans and white tennies. When she dressed up , a simple pencil skirt and another blouse and pumps.

I think of her when I dress up, when I am in my Garden, when I walk into an antique shop, when I smell boxwood.   I talk to her and ask for her guidance in a lot of things.  And I wear her perfume when I need a little extra love. Because with her… I always fealt accepted and loved.  There are many people who come and go from our lives that challenge and teach us and help us to grow… but everybody needs someone to make them feel accepted and loved just by being themselves, and she was that to me.

Last November, my sweet husband … another one who makes me feel loved always… showed up in the middle of the day … and called to me to come outside.   He had taken her bike, given to me by my Dad and damaged by the hurricane the month before , and had it restored.  And unbeknownst to him…

delivered it to me on her birthday.

It was possibly the nicest gift I’ve ever received because I felt as though it had come  not only from Paul,  but also from her. How else do you explain the timing.

The other day I dressed in my favorite outfit. A crisp white blouse, and blue jeans .  I put on my Grandmothers perfume and went about my day.   It wasn’t until that evening when I found myself on her bike with my cheeks aching from smiling that it occurred to me she had orchestrated that beautiful day for me.  She was channeling through me,

still here, still living,  and as long as I invite her….

still with me.



The Light of Now


‘it’s a beautiful frosty December Thursday morning. It’s a quarter to eight… and I’m lounging on my couch next to the Christmas tree snuggled up with my pups and just finishing my coffee.  It’s a morning like I’ve longed for over the last 20 years. All is quite, all is calm, most importantly…me.

The exhaustion and the rushing and the often full blown panic to get other humans and nonhuman family members …aka…numerous types of animals living with us…awake, fed, dressed, organized , and to wherever they need to be for the day is no longer a part of my life. It’s now just a fond and humorous memory… which is often what happens after you’ve moved through the challenges  of motherhood.     That time when your toddler is screaming for ju-juice at 5:00 am … or your son won’t get out of the shower… or your daughter is begging through her sobs to not have to go to school…  well now they are just endearing mem….. nahhhhhhh they still stress me out just thinking about it. LOL my ass.

Anyhow… it’s all in the past. And I am lucky enough to be able to relax a bit in the mornings…  To leisurely allow my brain and body to awaken without the jolt of the baby cries or later the torturous alarm clock.

THIS … is one of the benefits of this time of life.    MIDLIFE .  And really…. there are quite a few!

But what do I find myself doing… well I have been sucked into reading another article about how to fight your aging metabolism by eating less and cutting out all things yummy . And another one about how much exercise you need to lose weight in mid age. And another one on how to look 40 after 50. And another one… and another one… and another one.

And I’m thinking … WHYYYY do we do this to ourselves. Why are we FIGHTING it when clearly theses changes are as natural as any other growth stage in life. Like puberty.

FD16D7F5-C6BC-4EE1-84CF-38EB81FEA169And like a spotlight from above… the sun moves in front of my kitchen window and beams right in my eyes and momentarily blinds me, forcing me to abandon these foolish teachings!  A redirection if you will.   A “ look up you idiot!   “quit trying to regain what you were and what you are not meant to be right now!”  instead, focus on where and who you are….. NOW.

So many of us entering into this new stage of life are fighting it rather than ENJOYING IT. WHY does it matter that I am 10-20 lbs heavier as long as I am living a healthy lifestyle. WHY would I give up the sugar in my coffee that I now have time to leisurely finish,  just to stay the same weight I was in the past?  Clearly slowed metabolism and healthy weight gain is meant to happen at this age for multiple reasons. Who am I to FIGHT it?

Honestly… I don’t want to FIGHT anything at this stage of the game. I’ve done enough of that in too many aspects of my past life.


I’m just going to relax a bit into this time.

Instead of pushing myself in some crazy workout class with young, perfect, beautiful bodies all up in my face… I’m going to run around the yard with my pups… and dance a little more on my treadmill, and maybe make it out for a walk on the beach that is 10 miles from me and that I haven’t set foot on in years.

Instead of giving up bread and butter , donuts, and my hard apple ciders… I’m just going to cut back a bit and add in the homegrown veggies I now actually have time to grow.

And instead of a size smallish whatever… I’ll throw on a medium or large and let my belly Rest In Peace after the long hard battles it endured in my younger,  endless days.

Trust me! I am not going softly into this time by giving up on looking or feeling my best… on the contrary… I’m going softly and relaxing into thus time I’ve worked so hard to get to.

And I’m going to remember to look up and see “the light “ again and again every time someone tells me differently. For , I THINK …  it’s our daughters time to be stressed out and thin….

its OUR time to be relaxed and PLUMP (ish)