Women in Midlife Crisis – Suicide

midlife

I read an interesting and disturbing article today. It seems women in midlife (ages 45-64) are taking their own lives 24% more often than in 1999. That is a very large jump – in the wrong direction. 

I was also unaware that suicide is among the top ten leading causes of death for women.

Reasons? A few were suggested. Aging Baby Boomers are a large portion of these women – even from adolescence. Possibly, it is cultural with youth being celebrated and aging “getting a bad rap.” Social isolation is another explanation for possible midlife female suicides. Spouses die or divorce. Kids are grown with families of their own . . . busy and often living in other cities. A study showed that women who had strong social supports were less likely to have a premature death – by threefold. Another reason given was finances. With a lagging economy came more deaths. Finally, easy access to medications in the home didn’t help depressed situations. Pain killers can kill more than muscle or joint pain.

I’ve personally experienced seven years of Major Depressive Disorder and have medicated, changed my life (gotten rid of most stress), and introduced new friendships and activities to my days. I now have come through times of suicidal ideation and have a firmer grip on my emotions and behavior. Perimenopause isn’t helping much, though. Erratic hormones have turned me into a Jekyll and Hyde but I don’t give up, and I don’t give in.

We women of middle age are strong. We’re resourceful and wise enough to know how to change our circumstances. Fear will get in the way, though, if we aren’t constantly aware of our goals, and it will stall or even stop our progress toward mental and general health.

Remember Rosie the Riveter from the 1940s? We can do it!

rosie

 

 

 

Japan – A Disaster Waiting to Happen

I’ve blogged a few times about the Fukushima Nuclear Plant’s fallout and the water and land damage it caused. It was due to a 9.0 earthquake named Tohoku and its following tsunami on March 11 of 2011. See the link below for that blog:

https://everydayclimb.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/remember-the-2011-japanese-earthquake-fukushima-nuclear-plants-meltdown/

 

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The blog also stated that Japan is ripe for another large earthquake, possibly in or near Tokyo. See the article I read today below:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/strong-quake-hits-japan-tsunami-warning-issued-170923403.html?ref=gs

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Tokyo.

Friends, the earth is a powerful entity. We don’t control it. We don’t manage it. It behaves as it behaves. Enjoy your days here. Love your family and laugh with friends. Make a difference in people’s lives for the better. It’s a fleeting existence. Make it a full one.

 

 

 

 

 

Started a New Book . . . Quick Intro!

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Hello blog followers and friends! I’ve begun a new book. Will you read this brief intro and tell me your thoughts? If I “lost” you anywhere, etc. Thanks!

(This material copyright March 15,2016)

I stood at the precipice’s ledge – between me and whatever lies out there. My bare toes lined the craggy rock edge on which I stood. Such a place to be, present between two realities. Will I wake up somewhere else or just die and never again know what if feels like to inhale, filling my lungs with cold, moist air? Never again go to bed with an aching heart – a heart that never behaved properly anyway. It loved those who didn’t deserve it and was hurt by those closest to me. I teetered on the rock, almost falling before I was ready. Was I ready? Was living one more minute worth it? I’d only feel the pain from the fall for a short while but living was torturous every moment of every day.

I was ready to jump, eyes focused on my footing then on the expanse of sky in front of me – a cloudless, blue day. Quickly fighting with losing my balance, and righting my stance, I inhaled deeply, knees bent. Then, I propelled my body from the rock. Rushing wind pushed my hair back and gave resistance to my descent. I thought the fall would be faster, easier but time crept and gravity eased its grip on me.  Scents of mountain air, fresh water running below, and evergreen trees invaded my nostrils. It was a wondrous mix of smells but fear – realizing I’d actually done this – kept me from lingering on the beauty. Then, time sped, between hitting a large, jagged piece of rock sticking out from the mountain – first with my left shoulder then the opposite hip. Searing pain enveloped me. Raw, opened flesh and broken bones diverted any attention I may have given anything else. The whip of pine needles on my injured arm from passing saplings stung and gave final insult. Before I lost all thought, I wished I had held on . . . tried to live longer.

The wind continued to rush past my then unconscious body. Face downward I fell silently, as though no other thing in the world existed but my beating heart and faint respirations. Down, down, face into a rocky creek bed. The impact of my landing presented a unique and dull thump on the earth. Heavy, pushing out what air was left in the lungs. Breaking facial bones, skull. Gray matter as gelatin, neurons firing to communicate. Pulsing without answer. Firing without returns. There was no life. No time. No second thoughts. No second chances.

My question, though, was answered. There was existence beyond an earthly one, and I stood staring into it.

Adult Kids of Divorce – Unfair Position

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http://mic.com/articles/127347/what-nobody-tells-you-about-being-an-adult-child-of-divorce#.HkUHPGxzb

 

The above is a very good article about adult kids of divorce. Somehow, I knew these facts but didn’t think much about them as I acted like a mainstream divorcing/divorced parent of these “kids.”

The article reminded me that not only is the divorced couple affected by the split but everyone around them are, as well. And it’s not the kids’ responsibility to be a counselor, confidant, or communicator to his/her split parents . . . no matter how old the kids are.

Now, if I can swallow my pride and ignore the inappropriate emotions I feel – and behave like an intelligent adult. It’s not so easy, even for a “smart woman.”

woman-thinking

Sadness Has Shades – A Poem

 

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A painter uses color, texture -tangibles – to express herself.

I use words. My mind purges its stresses on white pages.

I sometimes think in gray.

Cloudy skies are the shade of sadness.

Sadness has shades, if you didn’t know it.

I’ve had sadness in blue shades. Blue, more intense than gray.

Gray has no passion, is sleepy and without great expression.

Blues offer bite. When dark, it’s angry sadness.

Light blue leaves room for improvement. Hope.

Black. Ever felt black?

Absorbing all light around you. Reflecting none.

Lack of light is black. I’ve felt black. I’ve lived black.

Black was the height of sadness, and all was dark.

Are you beige? Beige is boring. Not ugly but boring.

I lived beige for several years. It was a color of denial.

Same old. Same old. Beige. Sad but denying it.

Currently, I feel green. New growth is everywhere.

Soon it will be spring. Life has changed.

Green feels nice. Cooling and hopeful.

No sadness blankets this life.

But now and then, I do have other-color days.

Life is, after all,  a rainbow of colors.

Sadness can be in many colors and shades

But joy can, too.

Coloured air balloons

 

 

Boxes, Cat Poo, & Sore Thighs

moving_boxes

Hello Friends! We’ve finally moved into the new house! The U-verse guy came this morning to hook up the TVs and internet. Friday, the fireplace man installs a full new gas fireplace with remote control. I’ve unpacked 3/4 of the kitchen boxes, and I can shower without drying my body with a hand towel. 

The cats have settled in fairly well. Skittish Henry still hides a bit but will live. The birds are already feasting at the feeder on the back deck with Rigby (other cat) watching intently at the patio doors, tail swishing back and forth. He wants to pounce so badly.

Dave is watching One America News. Hilary and Bernie are hashing the same old crap. Baby Dixie (kitten) is napping in her cat tree, stretched out and happy to have been found by her rescue parents. I do believe we’re happy here. I sure am. I sit at the little round dining table with tulips centerpiece. Bright light streams in because it snowed a bit last night, and the sun reflects from it. My coffee is strong and hot. I’m still losing weight each week and feeling better and better since being off the hormone cream Dr #1 had given me (that’s a whole other blog idea). 

I’m a newlywed (4 months) and am blessed to have had two wonderful men in my life. Also two wonderful extended families. My current two step children, Crystal and Davy, are delights. My two kids, Sarah and Ben are my heart. I have smart, funny, cute grand babies who make my life fuller. I have a best friend, Leslie, whom I know will be by my side for anything. 

There is one negative; the cat box contains “Yesterday’s News” litter. It’s tightly bound paper that is shaped into pellets. There is no real odor control and no clumping. It’s because baby Dixie has been declawed and needs it for a few days. So, the smell near that bedroom is not always pleasant if I haven’t caught it in time. LOL

Well, it’s time to unpack some more. I’m sore in my legs and lower back but I carry on so I get these boxes emptied.  It feels good to be happy again after 7 years of depression, worries, and emotional abuse from a loser boyfriend (no, not my current spouse). 😉 Have a good week, folks, and stay warm! Love to you all ~

moving_couple

The saddest music you gave me

wordsarefullofletters

I heard your silence

like bittersweet melodies in my head

a soundless humming in my heart

and I could almost. Almost.

feel your hands on mine

like where it was before

My hands shiver from their void

longing for the slightest bit of caress from your skin

wafting through its loneliness

catching only dry air in between the spaces of my fingers

Time has stolen our promises

regrets echo in the whispers of the chilly wind

hissing by my side

as I bury uncertainties in misery

as I carry on in the loudest silence I have ever heard

with the saddest music you gave me

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Rules For Happiness . . .

happy_couple3.jpg

I have had an unparalleled 2015. There have been so many changes that I sometimes feel I’ve been in a dream state.

Changes I’ve experienced this past year are below. After those, are my experiences on how I gained some “real” happiness in life.

2015, January began with my being unemployed for the second month. I’d been a mortician for a year but, because of stress-related depression, had to quit the job I’d trained for extensively.

February brought the realization that I HAD to get out of a mentally abusive romantic relationship. I had to finally completely break off with this man and ended up having to get an Order of Protection from him -issued by the county court so the ex-boyfriend couldn’t get within 100 yards of me. After 4 slashed tires and numerous times I saw him stalking me, multiple texts over a short period of time, and parking in front of my house to intimidate me, I had to protect myself. We were officially over but my mind still held paranoia, fear, and anxiety over his possible presence. Changing the locks on the house just didn’t erase those feelings.                                                                                                                                  March began an unexpected chain of events that would forever change my life. A week before I celebrated my 51st birthday, I met David. It was intended as nothing but an innocuous dinner date to get me out of the house one Sunday evening. That meeting turned into a movie afterward and another date the next day. I had just broken up with a scary stalker. I was NOT looking for another serious relationship.

Over the next few months – April, May – David and I were always together. We couldn’t bear to be apart. Our personalities, goals, and morals were identical. He was eight years older than I and full of humor, sincerity, generosity, and affection. I had hit the jackpot this time. Never had I known this type of relationship. We had much in common and were quite attracted to each other. We shared respect and a thankfulness to finally find someone who would be honest, faithful, and loving (among other traits). We had discussions of possible marriage in our future – which was unbelievable since we had each told the other on our first date that we’d never wish to re-marry.  Never say never. God will show you otherwise.

June was a month of seriously tossing around the idea of marriage. We had spent every day and evening together since our second date. The mutual love and dedication we felt was alien to us. We quickly developed a strong and deep bond. We were in a tornado of new feelings, changes, and complete joy. Every day, I woke to see that rugged face of the unique man who had captured my every sense.

July gave us promises and me an engagement ring. Life was among fluffy clouds, sun shining on our faces, and constant smiles.

August was a month of planning, decision-making on honeymoon options, and finding a dress for the wedding day.

September was the month of joining lives – physically and legally. I married David after knowing him a mere six months. I would never suggest such a step to a friend after knowing someone less than a year but this was an entirely different situation. All of our friends and family saw the rare bond David and I shared. We were finally happy. Really happy. October = our first Halloween together. November = our first Thanksgiving together. December = our first Christmas together

happy_couple2.jpg

Now, it is January of a new year. David and I have been inseparable for over nine months and are still just as in love, just as entertained by each other, and just as sure we made the only decision that made sense . . . to join our lives and share adventures that lie ahead – together.  We’ve not once considered being with any other partner. We’ve found our “other half.”

To be happy . . .  ~ Free your heart from hatred, guilt, or resentment. ~Free your mind from worries and unnecessary stress. ~Live Simply. ~ Give more. ~ Expect less

I had to let go of deep guilt I carried over breaking up my previous (and only) marriage. I finally let my long-carried stress go. I think time passing and not encountering the ex-stalker, plus feeling secure and loved by David, allowed me to finally wake up one morning, have coffee, eggs, and go right back to bed. I was exhausted physically and mentally. This lasted almost a week. I couldn’t stay vertical for long before I needed to nap or just lie down. It was my relaxation after 7 years of built up stresses over money, relationships, unsure future, fighting Major Depressive Disorder with med after med that didn’t work, and gaining sixty pounds from stress eating. The following months brought me to enjoy simplifying my life. I donated much to local charities, and I sent the larger items to auction. I love not being surrounded by nick knacks that collect dust and grab my attention.                                                                                                                             I had often volunteered to deliver meals to hungry senior citizens and to teach adults how to read and write English. David, being retired, dedicated his time volunteering to helping veterans through his local American Legion. When you give, you don’t have time to think about “self.” That is a good feeling.                                                                                                                      Finally, when I learned to expect less from surroundings, pets, and people, I began feeling satisfied with this imperfect life. If we all do the best we can with what we have to offer, that is enough.

May your 2016 be full of happiness . . .

 

 

 

 

Proposed to – While I’m Married?

weddingrings

When people say that life is unpredictable, they’re correct. When they say it’s ironic, they’re also right. I’m living proof that the strangest things can and do happen at the oddest times.

After my divorce (from a very long marriage), I was single for several years before meeting Thomas. We “met” on a singles site and spoke on the phone. He was a newspaper editor who looked adorably like an old hippie. I loved his sense of humor, too. So, we decided to meet for dinner. As soon as I saw him, my knees went weak. I’d never been so attracted to a man before. This 48 year old woman felt 16 again.

Thomas and I sat in a booth and had salads, iced tea, and fun appetizers. We had witty exchanges, conversed about a wide variety of topics, and discussed our mutual love of the written word. I admired everything about this man. Pouty lips under a salt and pepper mustache and goatee, deep brown eyes, shoulder-length, gray hair. I swear, I stared at the man all night. His intelligence mixed with humor then topped with handsome looks sealed the deal. This was the man I wanted. Now, to figure out if he was interested in me!

We parted ways after a half hug (yes, I was disappointed). He didn’t call for another date – only texted saying he had enjoyed my company and thought I was a delightful lady.

For a year, he was all I could think of but I carried on with my life. We were Facebook friends, so I saw his posts and kept up with his family now and then. One day, he texted me and asked if I’d like to meet for another meal. I melted . . . of course I would! We had a nice lunch but I could tell that he still didn’t feel anything for me more than friendship. It broke my heart all over again. We parted as friends. Again.

About 18 months later, Thomas contacted me and wanted to go out. I hadn’t forgotten him. Not at all. I’d kept up with him on social media. I still got butterflies when he commented on my posts or “liked” my status’. I just knew THIS time, he had realized what he had been missing. We arranged a date and saw a movie and ate burgers. Thomas seemed interested this time. We kissed, hugged, and even got more serious physically. I was more in love than ever, and he seemed to be following my lead, finally, although slowly. After about 4 dates, it fizzled, and he stopped calling. Said he wasn’t ready for a serious relationship after all.

I was sick of being pulled and pushed away multiple times. My heart could take no more. I began dating others. No one special and nothing serious. Just lunches and coffee dates. That is, until I met my current husband. Yes, I married someone else. Joe was a wonderfully kind, funny, generous man who was almost a decade older than I. We got along famously. We were a pair made to enjoy each other’s company. Within 6 months, we married and have been happy since (3 months later. Ha!)..

Well, last week, out of the blue, Thomas contacted me – telling me he hasn’t stopped thinking about me, loves me, wants to spend time with me, remembers how well we got along, how we laughed and had good times. He said he wanted me to be his wife.

I asked him if he realized I was already married. He said he did but couldn’t hold back from telling me how he felt any longer. I guess in case I wasn’t happy in the marriage I had just entered?

Thomas’ words were ones I had longed to hear for the last, long three years of my life. I’d have cried with happiness to have heard them from his mouth. Dream come true. But that day, on the phone, they were swords in my side. I cried, was angry, couldn’t believe his nerve to say these things to me NOW . . . knowing full well that I still had love for him and would be confused and frustrated. It wasn’t a fair thing to do at all. What do people say? All is fair in love and war? I think that is an awful statement.

No, I didn’t leave my husband for Thomas. Today, we wrapped Christmas gifts and planned what to cook for dinner. We played with the kitten, watched a Christmas movie, and snuggled before bed. Joe is a good man. He sneaks gazes at me when he thinks I’m not noticing and then tells me I’m beautiful. He sees some of his friends “eyeing” me and says he’s proud to have a pretty wife. He makes me feel beautiful. He even likes my sub-par cooking. 😉

For the Thomas’ out there, pay attention to the magnificent women who cross your path! They won’t stay there for long. A man of taste and character will grab her and marry her and treat her like a princess.

For the Joes out there, if you find yourself alone at present, keep your heads up, Ms Right IS out there and she is waiting to find you.

I wish you healthy, happy relationships and lots of love and affection!

Happy Holidays, my readers and friends!

She Went From Fine to Dead in Three Weeks

friends

My sweet friend, Ann, a long time survivor of ovarian cancer was a published author of a nonfiction book on the subject of her ordeal and survival of that cancer. Her book was organized to help the cancer patient, her caregivers, and family. It was a fantastic compilation of biblical scriptures and uplifting advice from someone who had lived the disease and come out on the other side healthy!

She lived over a decade with much energy, fervor for life, a generous nature, helping others, and caring for her ailing parents and disabled husband.She gave me inspiration.

We, both, being writers, would set regular coffee dates and sit in out of the way booths with our laptops, paper, pens, books, and espresso-filled coffee concoctions. We laughed, shared the happenings in our lives, then we’d write for a bit and read the resulting masterpieces to each other for a quick critique or kudos. It was fun.

Then, I moved to Dallas to attend mortuary school and lost touch with Ann. When I finally moved back home, Ann and I didn’t get back in touch again. Our lives were full and changing. However, we “knew” the other was “there,” and that was somehow enough.

On November 4th, 2015, a fellow writer friend told me that Ann had suddenly passed away from cancer that had gone undiagnosed until it was too severe to treat. She was diagnosed, went into hospice care, and died within three short weeks. I didn’t know about it until she was gone.

I realize that true friendship doesn’t have to mean you see each other often or talk every day. You just have to know the other is nearby and just a call away. I knew that about Ann. I loved her, and I knew she loved me.

I wish I had taken the time to see her just for a coffee date, though. It would have been such a blessing to me now. I’m going to pay more attention to the people I love. I’m going to make it a point to tell them I love them. Life is too unstable, uncertain, and fleeting to assume anything.

Thank you, Rebecca Ann, for teaching me that lesson. God bless you my dear.