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How I’m Dealing With Empty Nest Depression

They say it is normal to get the blues when yours children leave the home. And I thought I was prepared. Well, the tears and emotions hit me unexpectedly and I realized it was time to be honest and admit that I have empty nest depression.

But who cares what tag or name I use for it? The bottom line is my children are going on with their lives.

I am happy and excited for them, yet I feel so sad.

I was feeling so proud of myself. Here I am, separated at fifty years of age. I have been feeling wonderful, living my life to the fullest. And I have been proud of myself.

I really have been doing an excellent job at going through this “midlife change.” And it is a complete transition. Over the last few years, it seems nothing is the same. Over the last few years, I left my husband and set up residence for myself and my two youngest children.

It was such a relief to make these positive changes. As a mid-lifer, I made some significant changes. My kids were older so they didn’t need me as much. And life is great!

Then I find myself in this depressed funky state. And I realized that I have empty nest syndrome. And its no wonder. Over the last 2 weeks, my oldest daughter got engaged, My middle child moved out on her own and this weekend my son will graduate high school.

And I found myself moody and depressed rather than excited and happy, like I should be.

So I decided to take an honest look at my feelings and I realized that I was simply being normal. Of course, I’m going to feel sad and maybe even a bit lonely. I had spent the majority of my life taking care of my family.

So I went through the process of mourning…

ID-100150791How to Deal With Empty Nest Syndrome

I went through a 4 step process in dealing with the sadness of an empty nest. Here are those steps…

1: Cry – I don’t care what anyone says…crying helps in healing your soul. I think that tears help to wipe away the fears and the worries. So just let it all out. Cry as much as you want.

2: Embrace the feelings: I realized it was okay to feel a little down. Of course I feel sad. I love my kids and I wont get to see them as much as I would like. There is no reason to feel guilty about your feelings.

3: Talk it out: I have a wonderful friend who is an excellent listener. He doesn’t tell me my feelings are wrong or that I am over reacting. He simply listens. He lets me know that it is okay if I feel lonely and sad.

My biggest worry about dealing with an empty nest was that no one would need me. And my friend asked me if that was true? I realized it wasn’t true at all. My kids will always need me. And it is funny, while my friend and I were discussing this, my oldest daughter called me. She just needed my opinion on something. And I just smiled ear to ear, because I realized that it was true. My kids will always need me just like I will always need them.

4: Get excited about what life has to offer you: This same friend reminded me about all the exciting things I have to look forward to. He pointed out that although I will miss my daughter, I will no longer have to wake up at 6 am to drive her to work. When it comes to cooking, I don’t have to make a meal if I don’t want to. I can just make something simple just for me.

I have so much more freedom than I ever did with children in the house.

The reason I shared this with you is because I want you to know that I think it is okay to be emotional when your children leave the nest. Cry and get it out of your system. But don’t do it for too long, because you have an exciting future ahead of you!

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5 Reasons I Love Midlife!

ID-10081427I love my age! Midlife is a normal part of aging. Many people fear midlife. I know I did. And it was here before I even had a chance to really enjoy my life. But I’m not going to let age keep me from being happy. Midlife offers a lot of opportunity and reasons to embrace it. Here are a few of them.

Freedom: For most people, in midlife they find for the first time in many years, they have more freedom then they ever did their entire life. For me, with my kids growing up and not needing me as much, I feel free. I love my kids, but it is so nice to finally have a me time. I feel like a butterfly who has come out of a cocoon.

Self Image: I love “me” at 50. I no longer worry so much about what people think about me. I have gotten tougher over the years. I feel like I am what I am. If yo don’t like me, then it is your loss. I feel beautiful and that is whats important.

Wisdom: With age, comes wisdom. I have had lots of experiences throughout my life both good and bad. So now as an older person I get to share my experiences with others. I feel like I really can help younger people. I get to prevent them from making some of the mistakes that I have made.

I’m Alive! Many people are not lucky enough to reach midlife. I am blessed. Every day is a blessing.

New Fresh Start: Okay really each day is a fresh new start, but I feel like for me, midlife is when you really get to evaluate you life and figure out what you really want. You get to decide in what direction you want your life to do. Do you have regrets? I choose to not look at the past in a negative way. I mean without my past I wouldn’t be where I am today. And now I get to look at each moment as a fresh new start! I have been blessed.

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Are Your Kids Ready For You To Date?

For those who have divorced during midlife, getting out there and dating again can be difficult to do. One of the biggest challenges is in dealing with children or even adult children who are not very comfortable with Mom or Dad dating.

I remember when my parents divorced after 34 years of marriage. When they started dating…I found it very weird. And I felt uncomfortable watching them hold hands with someone else and kissing was really creepy. But I learned to accept it.

It made me realize that they were never going to get back together. It was really sad for me. But I also realized that my parents deserved happiness. So I decided to deal with it. And now several years later my father has remarried and I actually am pretty close to his new wife. My mother on the other hand isn’t really dating at the moment. And that is fine too.

So now I find myself is a similar situation here in midlife where I am beginning to date. And I am getting a bit of pushback from my son in particular. When I sit him down and talk with him, he says he understands and just wants me happy. But I can feel how he is uncomfortable. I think he feels like this other man in my life will take more of my time. Or maybe he is realizing that his father and I will never get back together.

Something that I have learned from talking with others who start dating after divorce is that the girls seem to have a harder time with Dad dating then sons, and boys seem to have a harder time with Mom dating.

I think the biggest reason kids have a hard time with their parents dating is that it clarifies for them that their parents never will get back together. And they may feel concerned about losing time with their parent.

Even though it isn’t true, children feel as though the person is taking your parent away.

Have a Heart to Heart

It is really important to let your kids know that you love them. And that you dating someone doesn’t affect that love. Let them know that they are important and you are there for them. Just because you are dating doesn’t mean they will lose you.

And Remind them that you are a person. Sometimes they forget that we are also people. It is important for kids to understand that you have needs just like any other person.

We like hanging out with our friends just like they do. And we also need companionship, love and sex. These are all natural human needs.

Once they realize that you are not only their Mom or Dad, but you are also a person with real human needs it will become much easier. Maybe not at first…but eventually they will realize that they want you happy and if dating makes you happy, they will lighten up.

If you are excited about dating in Midlife, you will may want to read Rewriting Your Happily Ever After: A Midlife Divorce Survival Guide for Modern Women.

Online Dating, Uncategorized

Online Dating Tips for Women 40+ – Your Profile

So now that I’ve been dating online for over a month, I figured I would share with you my online dating tips for women 40+. And most of them I have learned from the men that I have dated!

Here Is What You Need To Know about men and online dating when it comes to your profile:

ID-100105482Men are visual:

The first thing I want you to know is that men look at profiles differently then women do. While women tend to read the profile of a person, men look at the picture first. They will eventually read your profile but only if they like your picture. So if you want to get more visitors, it is really important to put up a real picture of yourself.  And don’t worry so much about how you look. Men are way less critical than we think they are. Just be yourself.

Men want you to be yourself:

When you set up your profile be yourself in an open and welcoming way. Be sure to write the truth. Don’t write what you think the men want to hear, otherwise you will have some disappointed men when you meet them.

Men Love it when YOU make the First Move:

If you find someones profile attractive…DO send him an email and let them know. The men that I have talked to say that they feel like it is up to them to make contact. They tell me that women simply don’t email enough. If you start emailing men, you will be more likely to find a partner or at least get a first date.

Be Confident:

I think one of the hardest part of midlife for women is looking in the mirror and realizing that you are not as young and a “perfect” as you would like to be. Keep in mind though that the men are aging as well. To them, you are beautiful. The thing I love most about men in midlife is that they are not at all critical when it comes to women. Men love women. So know that you are a sexy and beautiful woman.

So when you fill out your profile don’t be afraid to let the men know how awesome you are.  Because you are pretty awesome.

I hope you found these online dating tips for women helpful. If you are doing some online dating during midlife please leave a comment below. I would love to hear how it is going for you.

PS…a good book on the topic is A Woman’s Guide to Online Dating…After 40.

Uncategorized

I will never let myself go!

I think at any age we can get in a rut. But I know for me my forties were really hard. I was working a lot of hours and found it so much easier to just let myself go. Meaning…I stopped wearing make-up, pulled my hair back in a pony tail and off to work I went.

It wasn’t until I was going through my divorse from my marriage that I realized that I had somehow lost myself along the way. I guess you could say I became a plain Jane.

One day last year at the age of 49 I made a promise to myself to treat myself better by treating myself to treats. The first treat, was getting my nails done. Then I decided to make a commitment to wear start wearing makeup daily. I did this for me. Because for some reason when I wear makeup, if feel attractive and better. And I make an effort to dress in a way that I feel sexy and attractive.

Once I started being good to myself, I started realizing I was getting looks and men noticing me, which of course is great for the ego.

But the main thing is I feel good about myself…

So I made a promise to myself…I will never let myself go again…I deserve to be dressed up and feel attractive.

Middle Age Challenges, Uncategorized, Women's Issues

I Choose To Be Happy. Do You?

Okay, let’s face it. There is a lot of crazy thinks going on with those of us in midlife. I know for me, I have all kinds of crazy things going on with my body. My body seems to have a life of its own.

And my life feels as if it is so out of control. Because there is a new normal in my life. I know for me, my children are growing up and not needing me so much. And for many of us, our finances are not where we would like them to be. Many of us will not have retirement or have lost jobs. We are living in hard economic times. And mid-lifer’s are feeling the strain.

Snapshot_20130830_1

I Choose To Be Happy:

But we have a choice in how we want to accept that we are aging. And we can choose to be happy even during the really trying times. Yes we are aging. But so is everyone else and there is little we can do to stop it. So we need to just accept it.

I don’t know about you, but I find it really hard to believe that I am 49 years old. I mean I feel like I’m much younger. Where did the time go?

Sometimes it is easy to let all of the challenges in a normal life of a baby boomer get you down. But you could chose to embrace the changes.

I learned a long time ago that I am the only one who can make me happy. I mean, yes, people and things can make me smile. But only I can choose to be happy. And I choose it for myself.

When you choose to be happy for yourself it is a form of courageousness, I think. It means that you are strong and up to the challenge. Let’s face it. It can be hard to find a reason to be happy. But the reasons are there if you look for them.

When I first think about my body, my thoughts are negative…

I could easily look at my body and see the wrinkles around my eyes and lips. And I have stretch marks on my breasts and hips. And I have a bit of a tummy. It was at one time nice and flat.

But I can change how I feel about my body…

Then think about how amazing this body really is. It carried three healthy children each for nine months. That is really amazing if you think about it. It is a miracle. And my body never complained. Not one time.

I love my body…

And my breasts are may not be a perky as they once were, and they now have stretch marks. but they are beautiful to the man who loves me. The look in is eyes when he touches me is so full of love.

I love my body…

My wrinkles next to my eyes and mouth are there because of years and years of smiles. I love to smile. Okay, so I have wrinkles. They make me look mature. I think. But these wrinkles are from years and years of smiling. I think I earned these wrinkles. I will wear them like a badge of honor.

I love me!

And my 49 year old soul is happy too. I am so happy and proud that I raised 3 terrific young adults. They turned out perfectly. And are now going to live happy lives. I must have done a good job.

And so,

I choose to be happy. Do you?

 

 

Uncategorized

Why Am I Here? My Purpose

One of my biggest frustrations of being middle aged is trying to figure out my purpose. You see for years my purpose was to be a good loving wife and raise three terrific kids. But now that I am separated and the kids don’t need me, it is time for me to focus on me.

And I have realized that although I have been happy as I go about my daily tasks.

Honestly I am happy!

But I realize that I really don’t have a true purpose. I mean I work everyday at my job. I update my blogs, clean the house, do the shopping, pay the bills, spend time with my family. I go about all of the motions of my day.

But what am I adding that is only special from me?

I want to figure out what my purpose is. I feel a need to figure out what makes me really tick.

I think I have spent way to much time over the years focusing on making others happy. Sadly I sort of lost myself along the way.

So what is my purpose? Why am I here….now?

I think a persons purpose can change with age. It think things change as we accomplish things in life. Perhaps rather than focusing on trying to figure out what my purpose is, I should just focus on being happy and enjoy the beauty around me. Life is good and I think it is better to simply choose to be happy!

I’m not sure what my purpose is. Maybe it has to do with connecting with people through my writing. Maybe it is to help someone I haven’t yet met. What I do know, is that I do have greater purpose… A reason for being. And I believe It will become clear when I have found it.

What about you? Do you have a burning desire to find your purpose? Have you found your purpose as a mid-lifer? And if so how? I would love some insight.

 

 

Uncategorized

The Virgin Diet Book – Why I bought It

The Virgin DietThe Virgin Diet

Over the past few years I have been struggling with my weight. I have been gaining a pound or two each year, and they have added up. Although my doctor says I’m healthy I feel really sluggish lately.

So I have been trying everything I can think of to loose the extra weight. And nothing seems to work.

The other day I was watching Public Television and saw a program about The Virgin Diet.

I learned that many people have a difficult time with there weight when they have a food intolerance. And unlike an allergy  you could have an intolerance and not know it. There are only subtle signs like weight gain, dull hair, feeling old, sore joints, stomach problems like bloating and heart burn. Plus many more symptoms.

The diet is about illuminating the 7 most foods that give most people difficulty. You go completely off these foods for 3 weeks. Most people end up losing up to 7 pounds during the first week.

Here are the foods you need to avoid during the 3 weeks…

Soy
Peanuts
Corn
Gluten
Dairy
Sugar and artificial sweeteners
Eggs

Now when I first saw this list I thought I could not survive without my eggs or Dairy. And I do like bread.

The Virgin Diet Book

But I was interested and decided to by the Virgin Diet Book for more information. And I’m glad I did. It was packed full of information I couldn’t put it down. JJ the author explains all about leaky gut and what it is plus she explains how your digestive system works and why sometimes our bodies hold onto weight, no matter what we do.

I blamed my weight on menopause  but I really think it may be that although I am eating so called healthy foods, they are not the right foods for me.

I decided that if any of these foods is making me feel bad and affecting my weight it isn’t going to hurt me to eliminate them for only 3 weeks.

After 3 weeks, I will be adding them back one at a time, weekly. And if I start feeling bad again then I know that is a food that I can’t tolerate.

I am going to be blogging daily about how I’m feeling on my blog here. Feel free to follow along with my results.

When the 3 weeks are up, I’ll be sure to leave a full review.

 

Update:

Overall with the Virgin diet I have gone down 2 pants sizes. I feel awesome. Now I have added all of the food back but I limit corn and milk as I find I get reactions from them. Corn makes me feel bloated. And when I over do dairy I break out.

But all the other foods I limit my intake. I eat lots of fruits, vegetables and fish. I’m feeling great and looking younger as well.

What about you? Have your tried the virgin diet? Are you getting results?

 

Update: October 4th

I have kept corn out of my diet all together as well as foods that have corn or corn syrup in them. It just makes me feel bloated and uncomfortable. I also have found that dairy affects me and causes me to feel very lethargic if I have to much. I find though that I can cream in my coffee I just can’t over do it, but cheese I am fine if it is a “once in a while thing”.

I am still down 20 pounds. I probably could lose more, but I really feel good at this weight and I look healthy and happy.