Goddesses in Older WomenGoddesses in Older Women by Jean Shinoda Bolen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I actually wasn’t sure I would like this book when I first started it but once I was into it, I did really enjoy it. It was interesting reading about the different mythical goddesses and their strengths. It was actually inspiring to think about how they are in all of us to some extent. It wasn’t a quick read but it was an interesting one. I definitely could relate to some of the ideas about the power of women after fifty. I am embracing my third stage of life and am going to live it to the fullest.

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Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was recommended this book to me several years ago by a friend. He was the most positive person I had ever met and I asked him how he was that way. He was going through a divorce and things in his life were quite difficult but he was always happy. He told me that this book transformed his attitude about life.
It has taken me a while to actually sit down and read this book but this was definitely the right time. For many years, I was a wife and mother and all my goals and dreams involved my husband and kid. Five years ago, that all ended and my youngest graduated from high school a couple of years later. I am finally ready to focus on me and my goals again. I don’t think I realized that until I read this book. I have been thinking about goals and dreams now and am making plans. I have broken a lifelong habit of picking my skin. Tomorrow is two weeks since I picked and I actually have not had a hard time in days. I am no longer a picker. I have tried to quit all my life. Quitting smoking was easy compared to this. Suddenly, after reading this book, it has been easy to quit.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that is wanting to make positive changes in their life. I will continue to work on the assignments in the book and continue to grow and follow my new dreams and goals.

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Life has been a bit busy and crazy for the past few weeks. I thought about blogging many times and about many things BUT just have not been taking the time. I have 24 more hours with my son home and I have been enjoying every moment we have had together. I also have been doing a lot of reading and self reflection. One of the first guys I dated after my divorce was the most positive person that I have ever met. I asked him how he could always be so positive and he told me that it was because of this book by Tony Robbins that he read.

I have finally been reading this book after almost four years. I will go into it a bit in a later blog but I wanted to share one major thing that I have realized. I am GLAD that I have been alone mostly for the past five years. It has enabled me to grow. It has enabled me to learn who I really am. Time (and this book) have given me the ambition to set goals again. My life had been, for so long, all about our kids, our marriage, his career. Our kids are grown, our marriage is over and his career doesn’t affect me anymore. I have not been focusing on goals for years now. If I had stayed in the relationship with BFF or gotten serious with someone else, my focus would have become on them, their wishes, their lives, etc. This has been a great time of growth for ME and maybe, eventually, I will be able to let someone back in that fits into MY GOALS. I truly love myself and enjoy my own company. I am setting my own goals and have my own dreams now all because I have taken the time to get to know me- post marriage.

Things I Overheard While Talking to MyselfThings I Overheard While Talking to Myself by Alan Alda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, I LOVED this book. I could enjoy another 200 pages of things he learned. There is so much to think about in this book. There were things that made me laugh out loud and things that made me cry. This book is a series of speeches that he has given and him talking about them. I highly recommend this book and think we can all get things from his insight.

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Before I was married, my mother used to host a party on Christmas Eve. She didn’t do it very long but I enjoyed it and when I got married, I continued the tradition. When the kids got to school age, we changed the date so it was a Saturday before Christmas. For many years, it has been the highlight of the holiday. I have baked for a month prior to the party. Cookies and breads galore.  A few main dishes, side dishes, chocolate fountain. For many years, we had a pool table (the ex got rid of it two months before he filed for divorce- I gave in to make him happy) We have  dart board, air hockey table. When the kids were younger, we let them have one friend spend the night every year. One young man has only missed a couple of these parties since he was about five. He is twenty now. We have had as few as ten people come and as many as sixty come and go. We have had clear skies and almost blizzards but it has happened every year. Every so often, during my bad years, I would threaten to cancel the party due to stress but was always glad that I didn’t. The event was always one of my favorite nights of the year. After the divorce, I almost stopped but the kids still really wanted it to happen. Some of the best ones have been the past few years. We pulled out the karaoke machine, board games, and just enjoyed the time BUT it has been more and more difficult for all the kids to be here. The middle one has been late or missed due to work for years. She won’t be able to be here at all tomorrow. My son has to work  and miss the first few hours. The eldest is driving down tomorrow and has no idea when she will be here. I have been working so much as have the kids so hardly anything is ready for tomorrow night.

I made a decision today. This is the last one. I basically cancelled it today. I told a few people to still come. Tomorrow I will clean house and make cookies. We only have a few old time guests coming, including that young man. Next year, my kids and I will not be hosting this party. Our lives are so different now. They have jobs, boyfriends or girlfriends. I am trying to date. I love our party but no longer want to make this a have to event every year. We may choose to do something smaller from time to time but no longer will we have a date set in stone for a year. No longer will  I spend a ton of money and time on this party. The kids will be free to go hang with friends during the holiday time when they are in town and their friends are home, too.I will have the freedom to go with a boyfriend (if I have one) to other events.

It has been a good long run. I have hosted this party 25 times in 27 years. There are many things that I will miss but it sometimes is good to change traditions. I wonder how I will feel next December when I do not have a party to plan and prepare for. Only time will tell but I imagine that I will be more free with money and time and that will be good.

Over the past ten years or so, I have been working real hard to try and look at things differently. I have never been an optimistic person by nature. I think it is part of my depressive nature. My mother used to tell me all the time to not be so negative. Since my last depressive episode, this has been a goal of mine. I knew that I had to try and make changes to save my life. I have gotten pretty good at this recently and today was a good example of it. Today, it was snowing. It is our first snow of the season. I love snow and was so excited. On my way to work, when I got to the highway, I never was able to get any traction and slid off the road almost immediately. I went straight off an embankment and slid into the bushes. I was sure that I was going to flip the car but luckily, that did not occur. When I came to a stop, I immediately called USAA to get my roadside assistance. I sat there for a while  waiting to hear when the tow truck would be there. I had many people stop to check on me but I was fine. I was told that there were several cars off the road in the next couple of miles so I knew that it might be a while.When the USAA gal called, she let me know that it would be about two hours before the tow truck driver got there. Instead of getting upset, I planned on walking home (about 1.5 miles) and thanked her. The driver called and told me it wouldn’t be that long so I decided to hang out in the car and read. Several years ago, I would have been sobbing by now. I would have been stressing about work, my car, money, everything. Today, I sat there and read and enjoyed watching the snow fall.

I had so many people stop by- a few that I knew but many that I did not. I had one guy stop and ask me if I needed anything, I told him (jokingly) that I wanted more tea. He actually went home and brought me a travel mug full of hot water, a thermos with more, several teas, sugar, a blanket. I had never seen this man before. He told me to call if I needed a ride home or anything else. When he left, that is when I cried. I couldn’t believe the kindness of strangers. Eventually, the tow truck got there. He had a hard time getting my car out safely but managed and I drove to work. The rest of the drive was uneventful. An event that would have stressed me out years ago instead made me look at life in a good way. I was glad it was snowing. I was glad my car and I were fine. I was happy with where I have chosen to call home. I was loving seeing random acts of kindness from so many. I was smiling like a fool all day., so happy about the snow. Nothing could shake that happiness, not even sitting in a car, in a ditch, for three hours. Actually, the worst part of the day was needing to pee after drinking all the tea. I had to climb through the other side of my car to pee in the bushes. It really upset the cows on the other side of the fence but it was worth it.

Heartbreak and Hope

Much of the dating advice directed at women states that guys will continue looking until exclusivity is agreed (we won’t mention those that mess about after) and that women should do the same.  Considering this it is surprising how many men I have encountered who prefer to focus on one woman and expect me just to talk to them.  Typically at this point I tell them a short versions of what happened with Import-export guy to explain why committing to one person too soon is a bad idea.

One of the more extreme versions was a guy who contacted me, chatted for about 10 mins and then said ‘Ok found what I’m looking for. Can we move to WhatsApp?’  I was a little be bemused and so I asked what he meant and yes, it turns out he only intended to chat with me.  I explained that I had no…

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