rollercoaster

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.

but…

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

to GET OFF or to

JUST NOT GET ON IN THE FIRST PLACE.

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?

or

Is she shy?

Broken?

Scared you will hurt her?

Overwhelmed?

Walling up to protect her insecurities?

Or…

Maybe she’s just

EXHAUSTED.

From trying to be nice to

everyone.

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.

and…

They could not be a part of mine.

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

so~

That is my first memory.

RACISM.


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?

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/highly-sensitive-people-signs-habits_n_4810794

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

SO. MUCH. GOOD.

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

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.


making midlife matter

Tripple M.

Having been a full time Mom these last 20 years and spending my every waking moment focused on raising good humans and creating a healthy upbringing and happy home, and now that the kids are gone and the farm is settled , I find myself wanting to BE more and DO more than just a housewife.

Housewife. I hate that word. And no… I do not watch any of those ridiculous “real” housewife shows. I think they and “reality ” TV in general has been the worst influence on our society… but that’s another rant for another time.

I have been working on some projects that have been spinning around my head for the last said 20 years… while I was caring for everyone but myself… and Now is the time. smile! They are coming soon!!!

But Midlife can also be a time when we finally have some extra time.

What do we want to do with it? Play, travel, do all those things that we always wanted to do? YES!!!

How about volunteering.

I burnt myself out on volunteering for a while there , when my kids were in school. I said yes to everything because, “I didn’t work”.

Now I’m ready to get back on board. The problem is I want to help everywhere but am determined not to over yes myself this time.

So~

I’m thinking instead of over committing and over extending myself and leaving me no time to do my creative projects, for now I am going to do ONE GOOD THING a week.

Like last week, I gave blood.

The week before that I picked up trash along the roadside.

maybe not wear your good shoes if YOU go pick up trash…

This week??? I’ll let you know. Who knows… maybe I WILL overextend and end up doing ONE GOOD THING a day.

It doesn’t have to be a big thing… even thanking an Old man wearing a Navy hat in the grocery store checkout line for his service, and listening to him tell you about Vietnam. Our Elderly are not respected or admired or appreciated as much as they should be.

Complimenting a noticeably, uncomfortable shy someone…

How about helping out a young exhausted Mother???

or

Helping out a neighbor….

You know the neighbors that Jesus spoke of when he said “love thy neighbor as thyself”? Newsflash… that means all your neighbors. Your conservative neighbors, your liberal neighbors, your black neighbors, latino, gay, straight, Asian, LGBTQ, ………….

EVERYONE.

As THYSELF.

And for the record Neighbors means all humans.

I plan on making midlife matter . Not just to me but to my neighbors, strangers, the enviornment …… just make a difference…

now that I have some extra time.

Triple M.

who else is with me?

#makemidlifematter #lovethyneighborasthyself #volunteer #midlifemama #mamaisms #fulltimemama #retiredmom


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.

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 https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/04/08/us/derek-chauvin-trial

I’ll be wearing my shirt today.

So….

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

so~

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).

Then,

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!


my second bloom

I am currently experiencing my midlife awakening .

Recently, one well intended person called it a midlife crisis. … explaining to me when I disagreed that …

“that’s what they call it” .

I laughed.

THIS is nothing of a crisis.

This is a midlife reawakening. A second bloom . A remembering of who I am , always have been, and finally having the time and the courage… or the just don’t give a shit what others think … to share it… live it … Bloom.

I turn 54 this spring, and believe me when I say I’ve been through some Hot Summers, frosty Autumns and some HARD Winters in my life.

so~

I intend to allow myself to bloom this second Spring of my life.

That’s what I feel midlife is. A second Spring.

Midlife, when you get here, if you’ve worked through all (well maybe most) of your shit, is the time when you get to… Do You… in a healthy way.

For many women , we have spent our lives “doing” for everyone else BUT ourselves. Much of that is taught to us from the very beginning…”be nice”…”don’t be selfish”.

A lot is our nurturing instinct.

I AM a nurturer. I just never included myself….carved the time out to nurture myself …until now.

Empty nested, now I can nurture …My health, My likes and interests, MY happiness… MYSELF.

Choosing to be a full time mother and struggling financially in the earlier years has now placed me in this comfortable space that I CAN afford to have the time to “do me” ; that, and my incredibly hard working husband. I realize every single day how fortunate I am to be where I am in life. I struggle with the guilt of that… knowing millions of others are struggling to survive and I am living in safety and comfort.

I also know through experience that at any moment it can all be gone in the blink of an eye.

so~

I am going to appreciate what we have worked so hard for. I am going to give as much as I can to relieve even just a bit of suffering in the world.

But I am also going to have some frickin’ fun.

I’m going to dance in public and work on my art DAILY and not worry if its good enough. I’m going to talk to the birds and the trees and the fruits and veggies and flowers that I am growing out here.

I’m slowly recalling what my interests are and pursuing them. My birthday gift from Paul was a real camera. Photography is something I’ve always been interested in . Midlife gives me the time to do it.

Writing is something I’ve done in my journal, in private, midlife is giving me the courage to put it in this blog.

Dancing is my favorite thing to do. Midlife is giving me the gumption and the don’t give a shit to share my dork dancing online …also …my kids are gone so I don’t have them to dance with… and Paul has seen it so much half the time he doesn’t even notice it. lol.

My point is … I want people to know that midlife doesn’t suck at all. It’s a time to remember yourself. And to motivate yourself like we motivated our kids or everyone else in our lives , to pursue your own interests.

To bloom again.

and if you have the gumption … dance like a dork in public.


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.

And…

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.

HSP OUT.


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…

so~

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.

so~

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…