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Why the 40s are the best years of my life

Once upon a time I was an abuse survivor- 

Once upon a time I was an abuser-

Once upon a time I was a selfish cow who believed my own hype-

Once upon a time I was chronically depressed and unhappy-

None of the above is true anymore.

None of the above applies to my current life, nor has it in almost 8 yrs.

Someone once told me that the 40s were the best years of their life- way back when I was still in my early 30s and couldn’t even FATHOM being ‘that old’.

For me it is completely true.

My 30s were pretty decadent. I had a successful career that took me all over the world. I hobnobbed with the rich and famous. I was fit and in shape.

I was miserably unhappy and chronically depressed. My relationships with my family, my loved ones, myself were so unhealthy.

My 40s brought a separation from my long-suffering spouse, 2 small strokes (TIAs), the diagnosis of lupus, many deaths of people close to me, dealing with a (then) bipolar teen son with a substance problem, the diagnosis of bipolar and dementia in my mother- also, a new partner in my life, and a baby girl at 45.

The ‘bad’ things that happened weren’t so bad.

I found out that my chronic fatigue and frequent health problems I’d suffered all my life (and depression) were caused by alarmingly low vitamin D3 levels and an autoimmune disorder.

My sisters, mother, and niece all suffer from the same things. Had I not been diagnosed, neither would they have been.

My TIAs (and frequent miscarriages in the past) were genetic and due to my hypertension and Factor V Leiden which causes ‘thick blood’ and blood clots. I now take blood thinners and blood pressure meds. I was forced to change my diet and go semi (to total, depending on my whim) vegetarian/vegan.

I started juicing, working out, quit smoking after 25 yrs and started vaping.

I had to get tough with my family regarding my son’s (and mother’s) bipolar. It was a rough few years, but now at 22 (knock wood), he is on his way to becoming the person I always knew he could be. My mom’s issues will never be resolved, really. She now has dementia, so it is all downhill from here.

I had to get tough with MYSELF about my own emotional responses and PTSD from a childhood of abuse.

Therapy was a godsend for my family and me. You just take each day as it comes and live in the now.

My new-found healthy living gained me a great partner who is understanding, kind, loving- and quite a bit younger (though his maturity level probably tops mine by a TON). It also (with the help of the said person above) got me pregnant at 45.

I started growing my own heirloom veggies and went from glamma wannabe to hippie earth-mother.

I rarely travel any more and I am ok with this. My life is cozy and happy and I am catching all the bits I missed as a young mother with children.

Being happy- being content and at peace- is it’s own reward.

If someone offered me ‘the old me’ of 13 plus years ago, I’d run away.

Life is meant to be lived with the people closest to your heart.

Anything else is meaningless.

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Once Upon A Time I used to have what I considered a glamorous life…

early 2000s

early 2000s

I traveled to Europe and Asia and all points in between for work at the drop of a hat.

my former chauffeur, Albert.  Amsterdam @2002-03

my former chauffeur, Albert.
Amsterdam @2002-03

I wore makeup every day, had lovely Great Lengths hair extensions, went shopping and to dinner with friends at FABU eateries. I had the luxury of working out 2-3 hours a day and felt LAZY if I did not. I could take long, hot soak-y baths alone in my tub. I did theater and spent a lot of time in front of a camera. My nails were always painted and mani/pedi’d. My face was carefully botox’d. I was thin (for me).

This was from the Manila newspaper- Lolita Miripuri and me, at some Boy George party in the Philippines @2007

This was from the Manila newspaper- Lolita Miripuri and me, at some Boy George party in the Philippines @2007

None of these things applies anymore.

I am digging through the refuse of my house, hair mussed up with graying roots at least 2 inches long… wearing a SCRUNCHIE and grubby running shorts and tee shirt. I have baby spittle or what have you drying on my shoulder. I have Newfoundland dog slobber drying on the back of my shorts and am covered in dog hair. My nails are ragged and unpolished on my hands- my feet have been haphazardly topped up of color by whatever lacquer I find in the 3 minutes I am using the toilet. A quick shower is an incredible luxury. Makeup ditto.

this is as good as it gets right now lol

this is as good as it gets right now lol

Would I trade this current life (and Maisie) for what I once had?

Nope. No. No way in Hell.

I’m much happier now. I am more relaxed, even if I am far less social. Though I am not happy with how I currently look (who ever IS?), I still feel more satisfaction and content than I’d ever felt before.

this little diva is my entire world <3

this little diva is my entire world ❤

If you would have told me 10 yrs ago that I’d be STARTING OVER as a new mother at 45, I would have laughed in your face. I was a different person 10 yrs ago, 5 yrs ago, 20 minutes ago…

my Maisie

my Maisie

When I look over my shoulder at this sleeping child next to me, I know without a doubt that it’s all worth it.

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Today is my THIRD WEEK blogging- Plus MAJOR renovations happening at my house!

I just realized it… and my posts have been rather prolific. I can’t believe it’s only been 21 days since I started this blog!

I’ve been having a difficult time keeping up with it because I have SO much to do right now.

We have been really busy these last couple of days in my house- pie baking, adjusting to life without a baby minder, renovating a bedroom to turn into a studio, getting Maisie used to changes and new sleeping arrangements- I moved her (and myself) back into the master bedroom. I haven’t slept in it for almost 2 yrs. I had to be on bedrest, then after the c-section didn’t feel like hauling the baby up and down the stairs. She has her own room up here, but has never slept in it. She loves sleeping with me in my room, though.

Sweet sleeping baby #sleepingbaby #baby #sweetbaby #sleep #love #angel #momlife #goodnight

A post shared by Miss Maisie (@missmaisiebabyfashionista) on

I am so fortunate that this big hulk of an old house has about 7 ‘bedrooms’- though not all are used as such.

I rented this 20 yd dumpster today

I rented this 20 yd dumpster today

Maisie and R inspecting the dumpster

Maisie and R inspecting the dumpster

I rented a 20 yard (that’s meters for you non-Imperial folks) dumpster today and am cleaning out the basement and 3 rooms.

One of the rooms off the master bedroom is going to become a clothing room (because I can’t fit everything just into a closet and this 100 yr old house lacks adequate closet space to begin with). My basement suffered some flooding, so we need to throw out a ton of damaged stored items and books. I’m so sad that many of my favorite books were damaged. It’s painful to throw them out and see them in the state they are in now.

My oldest son, who hasn’t lived at home for about 5 or 6 yrs, moved back from Chicago today. He has an internet show that he streams, so we are turning one of the rooms into his studio. When he moves out (whenever that is- he says 6 mos- a year, but we love having him, so any amount of time is good), we will convert it to a playroom/toy room for Maisie/ guest room.

I haven’t been able to help with the basement, because I have to watch the baby. I don’t want her down there until we clean it out and bleach all the damp crud away.

We gave away 2 nice full sized mattresses today and I have some old washer/dryers that I will give to scrapper friends to haul out. I also am going to be leaving old exercise machines by the side of the road for people to take for free.

My basement currently resembles something from the tv show “Hoarders”. That is NOT good. I want to remedy this.

In my office, which I rarely use anymore, I will be setting up an interim studio for him to broadcast from… the room that will eventually be his must be gutted and drywalled and painted first. Hopefully this will all get done within a month, if he helps out.

I lost my SHIT on R this afternoon. Went to check on the dumpster progress and saw that they’d thrown away a box of expensive linens, heirloom ornaments, blankets I bought in Scotland years ago, 2 Louis Vuitton purses, leather and fur gloves, and a BAG OF COINS. I screamed so loudly that my neighbors came outside to watch as I scrambled/climbed that dumpster with Maisie attached to me in her Korean baby carrier (on my back). Apparently, they didn’t check the boxes they were tossing. NOW they will be more careful. Or. ELSE..

he is going through this to make sure he didn't throw anything else away that he wasn't supposed to

he is going through this to make sure he didn’t throw anything else away that he wasn’t supposed to

I probably won’t be posting as much, but I will be reblogging things I find interesting.

Night all!

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Katie O’Reilly on the Downsides to Donating Your Eggs

thought this was a really interesting blog post. I know that a lot of women over 40 opt for donor eggs. My Maisie was all mine and resulted from the use of the supplement ubiquinol, but this is good to know…

I can commiserate with her problems after fertility treatments – I had a brief foray into that sphere with no success, but ended up with three years of serious female troubles, not unlike what O’Reilly describes.

I am not a fan of Clomid and the hormones that they pump into a woman during fertility treatment.  My first TIA (small stroke type event) also happened during this process.

Longreads

For a brief while in my late twenties, I toyed with selling my eggs. In the end, I was afraid of having the procedure, of what the fertility drugs might do to me—and the idea of having offspring out in the world whom I might never know. (I was afraid enough of having offspring I would know, which I ultimately avoided.)

At BuzzFeed, writer Katie O’Reilly writes about her experience going through with the procedure a few years ago. Now, she suffers from what appear to be side effects—the evidence is pretty persuasive, although unconfirmed—and has many regrets:

After wading through a slew of Craigslist ads seeking plasma donors, I finally hit upon a gig that sounded promising: “Extraordinary females” with “high SAT scores, athletic backgrounds, and emotional resiliency” were being sought to “make someone’s dream come true.” My pulse quickened as I read on to learn that for this “most…

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I’ve Given Birth To A 10 Month Old Foodie Who Demands Raw Green Onions, Persian Khoresht, And Crab Legs…

crab

crab legs all over her little baby face and in her baby fist

Maisie is a foodie, I can already tell this now.  She has been demanding everything we eat since about 5 months.  So far, there is nothing she won’t eat (except juice and milk). She sneaks drinks of black coffee or tea out of my cup, if I am not looking.

Spicy curries, Persian kebab, Vietnamese pho?  NOM NOM NOM will be her answer.

home made pho for mommy

home made pho for mommy

Pho for Maisie

Pho for Maisie

“Hey, where’s my pho?!”

 

Garlic Okra Pickles?  MORE PLEASE!!

Crab legs?:  Don’t take her to an all-you-can-eat crab leg buffet, they WILL charge you!

Strawberries and raw green onions from the garden:  GOBBLES them up.

 

 
Unless it’s the odd organic veggie/fruit pouch or some baby cereal (rarely), she eats what we eat- in amounts that are astonishing.  She’s been clocking in between 25th-50th percentile for weight- and OFF THE CHARTS in height, consistently.

If I gave her avocado toast every morning, she'd be happy.

If I gave her avocado toast every morning, she’d be happy.

Today’s Breakfast Menu:

Eggs Scrambled with Dill
Sliced Tomatoes
Medjool Dates
Avocado Mashed w/Sriracha, S & P- on toast.
Water (because she seems to dislike juice and milk.  Getting her to drink her bottles is a chore)

Spaghetti, with a side of kale salad

Spaghetti, with a side of kale salad

I generally make enough to feed her, plus enough to throw on her table so she can ‘feed’ herself.  She is 10 months old, so her self-feeding skills are not quite spectacular, but our 3 Newfoundland dogs appreciate her technique.

Make no mistake- these are HER dogs.

Make no mistake- these are HER dogs.

Maisie with 2 outta 3 of our Newfoundlands

Maisie with 2 outta 3 of our Newfoundlands

 

I often wonder if she eats such a varied (and highly spiced) menu because that is what I ate during gestation and breast feeding.  I was RAW VEGAN and juicing prior to becoming pregnant (and during the first month).  I developed an insatiable craving for avocados straight away.  THAT led to a sudden and urgent need for chicken wings, which I despised pre-pregnancy.  Those chicken wings were the death knell to my healthy vegan lifestyle…

I feed her solids 3-4 times a day, not including her bottle feedings.  I am no longer breast feeding because I had issues with milk production due to an earlier breast lift and reduction years ago.

nomm... chicken...

oooh… chicken…

I am thankful that she has no food issues- I went through TWO picky eaters, my middle and youngest son.  My eldest boy was exactly like Maisie in terms of ‘foodiness’.  By the time he was two, Sam was leafing through magazines and asking me to cook him ‘magazine food’.

What IS a first for me is that she’s not overweight.  I thank my lucky stars that she did not seem to inherit my metabolism.