Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where did the children go?

The day has come that you have been waiting for
- the children are grown and moved out!

Hoo Ha!!  Right?
Or maybe not.

Jan is feeling the first twinges with the empty nest, or in her case the slowly
emptying nest syndrome.
"It's natural for a parent to feel some sadness when children leave home.
Indeed, it’s normal to have a little weep now and again – or even go into the absent child's bedroom and sit there for a while in an attempt to feel closer to him or her."
Yikes! There is even a help line, in case you by chance go into a serious depression. See what children can do to us? First they wreck our luscious young bodies, and then after it is all over there is chance of drifting into a depression. Maybe it is just a delayed reaction - you know to the positive pregnancy test tests. Let's hope that doesn't happen - onward we charge.

 Daughter #1 is in Australia - seems so far away, even with Skype - hard to go for the usual pedicures other than in person. Yes we could try, but is - just not the same.

Her eldest son has married and left to setup house with his bride now for over a year, and there are 3 other children still at home. The advent of the first 2 has made Jan feel the tug at the apron strings and heart. Yes, she wants them to grow up and be productive and self reliant individuals. And yes, she has been looking forward to having house and home to self and husband again. BUT ... why is there such a heaviness in her heart. It is like missing your best friend, only worse.

Yep, I did experience this as well, and watch as other friends now are starting the empty nest syndrome - and see the forlorn looks, and holding back tears, and constant checking of text messages and Facebook for just in case 'she posts something'. It is similar to going through withdrawal after a love affair breakup. The loneliness feeling and longing - for just one more hug, or one more chance for her to be the little girl again. As yes we hoped for this day, some more than others
- especially through the teenage years
- "Please if there is a god in heaven, let these children grow-up and move out now!"
But ... We didn't really mean it. Just a wee bit longer to have them as children.

We used to add the Baileys to the coffee to bolster our nerves due to the children bouncing off the walls - now we add it to dull our emotions. And we slump.

PING  -- Jan scrambles to find her Blackberry (it slipped into couch during the slump) ... and ...

Darleen: Hey how are you today? Very exciting that E is in Australia!!

Pfft ... yeah sure it is a riot. But better put on the happy face.
Jan: yes very exciting. I am sad about but good for her.

Darleen: Sad? Remember it is not about you - it is her life now. But yes, I recall that feeling.

Ahh she is remembering .. and yes I know I moved far away from my mother at age 21 - who am I to talk. But that was different. Isn't it?
Jan: Yes. Just seems like she might never return.

Darleen: Well... she may not, but I think she will. But it is a good excuse for you to plan a trip to Australia. I know - still hard. Give yourself time - but you gotta release her. xxoo

ahh yes - release. BUT I DON'T WANT TO!!  NOT YET!!

uhuh ... Been there ... and the worst is that they do return. Not the fact that they return is the worst. The worst is that they leave after thrilling us with a short visit, temporary stay while new place is getting in order - and then leave - AGAIN! Just when we were getting used to them being there again ... GONE!

In my case the delight of grandchildren is softening the children having the indecency to growup. It helps - in fact it helps a lot. Not all of us are lucky to have grandchildren, or are often far away - due to the dang children moving away.

So now we have grand-parenting by Skype!
Hoo Ha!!

And they wonder why we mumble a lot as we age .
Pass the Baileys ...please ..

...darleen & jan

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Does Your Body Image Suck?

 Credit: Ruling Cats and Dogs
Do you hate how you look?

Do you wish you were:
  1. Thinner
  2. Prettier
  3. Sexier
  4. Looked more like you used to look

Hmmm...  I just finished watching What Not To Wear   - you know the TV show that people are nominated by friends and family, that require a makeover as their clothing choices are not promoting them in a good way.
"What Not to Wear draws on the personality and talent of fashion experts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly to convert participants from dowdy to dashing. Hair stylist Ted Gibson and makeup artist Carmindy add the finishing touches that complete the change."
 First there was Mindy Cohn 
She is child star from the Facts of Life sitcom in the 80s, today she is 44 years old and although her  personality is  vibrant and upbeat, her clothes were dowdy and attempting to cover her  largeness, and to obtain comfort. She didn't realized that her outside appearance was not displaying her happiness with herself and creating the image of who she really is within. The clothes chosen really made her look better - in fact fabulous, along with basic makeup and spiffed up hair styling.

Ok - so she can look better, and even quite attractive - but she is still not thin. She has never been thin however, so this just a better looking Mindy!

Second I watched Maggie - a very vibrant young mother of 2 young children, and had become frustrated with changes to her body after childbirth. She had never felt attractive, and was now overwhelmed with finding clothes to fit, and her self esteem and confidence was at all time low. The transformation was astounding with simple changes to types of clothes chosen, hair style and just a bit of makeup. The clothes selected to showoff her assets made her look HOT!

This one really hit home to me, as her issue was mostly due to changes that had happened to her body after childbirth. I myself am dealing with changes after later in life, after always being thin for 48 years, and suddenly having a completely different body - so similar, as what the heck is this and how do we deal with our body not being the body we are used to dressing and seeing in the mirror. So we cover it up with baggy clothes, and loose sweaters, and playing into the loss of self esteem and self.

Maggie said she never felt pretty or attractive, and I could relate to that as well - as I was always either too skinny, too flat chested, or too lumpy. Although when I was younger and thinner I did put more time into primping and wearing nice clothes, as was easier to find clothes that fit as they were supposed to fit. Now it is a challenge, and due to wanting to cover up the bulges I have become similar to Maggie - overwhelmed so throw up my arms in disgust and keep my coat on a lot.

BUT WOW - did she look magnificent in all the clothes and with the smallest amount of makeup and hair given a boost! She became absolutely beautiful.  Unfortunately I cannot link to a photo yet, as it just aired last night. Believe me in the black party dress - and as she stated old time movie start dress - it was an amazing transformation!

Is that all it takes? Yes I would and should lose some weight for my health - but at the same time I cannot expect or more I need to accept that I am no longer 20 and never shall be so again. Bodies change, age causes other changes to our appearance. BUT - as this show very well does, it is our image of our self and love of our self - our Body Image and Self Esteem that should see us through.

How the heck do we dress this new body and face? Well getting on a makeover show would be one way - or learning tips that are posted online and even will send to you on your cell phone (wonder how that works? - like can they see me and tell me to stop wearing the baggy fleece hoodie?).

OR  - a do it yourself makeover with girlfriends. Or you can pay for Image Consultants to do a makeover and assist with what to wear, and choosing clothes that suit the 'mature' you or changed you.

This photo was taken about 2 years ago
- and I can still fit into this dress.

I did have a new one for this Christmas,
but did not have a photo taken.

I will do that
- dress up and take a photo, and show I can cleanup good.

Next is to get some style added to every day dressing
with casual clothing as well as if dressing down going to feel down.

What do you think?
Is there a way to accept who we are on the outside?

Or should we even care, but like ourselves regardless?

And as with the examples shown - even without losing weight these women look fabulous and feel completely alive, feminine and pretty as who they are.

Do you look good when you dress up, but are you like me and not presenting yourself in the IMAGE you should be in casual clothes ? Or even to yourself?
Or every day attire to the office - does it matter how you dress? Should it?

Let's make sure our Self Image Is Brilliant! 

...darleen & jan