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30 to Life

Jennifer garner, Jennifer Garner had the Audacity to Go Jogging Make-Up Free and the Internet is Showing its Misogyny and Ageism

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

This past Saturday, actress and doting, single mom of three, Jennifer Garner, was spotted in her residential neighborhood of Brentwood jogging with a friend. While doing her best and incorporating some cardio exercise into her almost certainly busy day, she didn’t let the rain stop her. 

The actress was caught running with a makeup-free face, hair pulled back in a messy bun, like most moms I know on most days. This is one of my absolute favorite things about Jennifer Garner, her relatability but at the same time absolute bad ass mom. Not everyone sees it that way. In fact, some critics were calling her names like “old plastic granny” and “platypus”, one man, even had the audacity to say, “Another single mother! She looks…60 years old grandma!” Be careful internet, your misogyny and ageism are showing.

Let me interject something, as a 50 year old woman who walks a 5K everyday rain or shine, sweltering heat or cold 40 degree mornings, without makeup, in a baseball cap, we are not doing any of it for you. Not for any of you. In fact, we give no shits about what you think we look like or think. We’re doing it for us. We are doing it for our children. We are doing it for the people we love and who love us. We give no fucks what 50 something Joe Single, who probably lives in his mama’s basement, thinks. Keep your opinions to yourself. Better yet, just shut all the way the fuck up. 

Why does society think it has the right to comment on women’s looks? I don’t know Jennifer Garner’s “why” but I know mine. I am 50 years-old. I am newly peri menopausal and on some days it feels like my body is foreign to me. I physically and mentally look and feel differently than I did when I was younger. I have different priorities and a different perspective. That doesn’t mean I am less than, it means that I need to do what works for my new state of being. I’m diabetic. I have children and a husband who I adore and choose to revolve my life around because that is what I signed up for. I don’t regret it or begrudge it but, on some days, it can be really fucking hard and I’m human. Jennifer Garner is human and as much as we try to ignore hurtful comments, we’re human. Even if your opinion doesn’t matter, it hurts our feelings.

Do you know how hard it is to carve out 30 minutes to an hour a day to exercise? It feels like a luxury. It’s not. It is maintenance to stay alive. Some men spend hours a day at the gym trying to get shredded and no one is talking shit about them spending too much time away from their family or looking like a ball sack while sweating their asses off and making their taking a shit faces. No, they are commended. But let a mom, who already feels guilty for doing anything for herself, alone, even in the name of her health and everyone and their mom’s got to weigh in. Fuck them.

I walk for my health and sanity. I walk for Vitamin D, for my ADHD, for an hour to clear my mind and focus, honestly, on some days, for the health and safety of my family. I want to live to be a really old lady, one who might actually look like a platypus at 103 and you better believe that I will proudly be walking my 5K and looking like a drowned rat because this is for me and the people I love, not some random assholes who have nothing better than to do than criticize a woman doing what they aren’t capable of doing. 

Getting older is hard for everyone. Nobody relishes the thought of feeling old, irrelevant or forgotten. Even though in this case, feeling forgotten would be the kinder option. Absolutely no one is excited about looking older. We all struggle. It takes time to acclimate and get used to our new state of being on a good day, without anyone pointing it out. 

 the Internet is Showing its Misogyny and Ageism

Society encourages us to grow old gracefully. We try. But that same society either treats us like we are invisible or offensive for simply trying to exist in a society not meant for us. Something I’ve realized as I age, I always feel 25 years old and, some days, I feel 18 and, then, there are the days when my knees feel 87. But on every single one of those days, I am worthy of existing. Aging does not mean that you are useless or have nothing left to contribute. We still have feelings and we are conscious of being pushed out and away. Everyone does. No one likes those feelings, not when we’re teenagers and we like them even less as adults. When I think of how our parents and grandparents must have felt, or feel, watching a world and society progress, while intentionally and aggressively telling them to stay put; treating them like they have nothing of worth to offer, it breaks my heart.

All this to say, it would have been absolutely weirder if Jennifer Garner would have been seen out running in the rain with a face full of makeup. Then the critics would have said she is trying too hard to hold on to her youth. See, you can’t win for losing in other people’s eyes so just be yourself, do you boo and be happy.  Fuck the haters. They will never have what she has and not achieve what she’s achieved. 

The only person any of us are accountable to is ourselves and the only people we owe any care to what they think is those people we love, and even then, it really boils down to what we think about ourselves. Love yourselves like your mama loved you. Run in the rain. Dance like no one’s watching. Speak your truth. The only person you need to care about what they think about you is YOU. Don’t let other people, smaller people than you, people who don’t matter tell you how to live your life. In a world of plastic and filters in a curated existence of perfection that doesn’t really exist, strive to be a real, good human. You are beautiful and you matter; you always have and you always will.

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Day 1 Year 50, midlife awakening

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I still feel 25 just with bad knees. How fast a half a century has gone by. The first 18 years felt slow as molasses for me but I know in retrospect, as a mom myself now, that only the first twelve months move in slow motion, sometimes even feeling like it’s moving in reverse. But every year after that goes at lightning speed. Too fast for me to notice in the thick of it but it was the burden of my parents to feel every bit of it. I had no idea. I do now on day 1 of year 50.

For the first 25 years, I lived recklessly because the burden to worry was my parents. I was afforded the luxury of living in a gilded cage that my young, inexperienced mind thought was an electrified prison. But in reality, I lived so selfishly that even those I thought were important to me were treated callously. Unintentionally, I was not malicious but I couldn’t see past myself.

The last 25 we’re about building a life outside of my birth family. It was the time when love found me, took hold of me and changed me for the better. That love opened my eyes and my heart. Soon, the pendulum swung too far in the opposite direction and the selfish, self absorbed girl I once was quietly and I in noticeably evolved into a selfless martyr who sacrificed everything for everyone. My body, my career, my wants and needs, the life I’d so meticulously planned and longed for.

But don’t feel sorry for me. In exchange I got so much more than I could have imagined. Not things but something I never had …. Stability which sounds mundane but not to someone whose entire life has been completely nuanced in tumultuous chaos. It hard for a bird to take flight with a chain and cinder lock around its neck. I got unconditional healthy love with no restrictions and ever replenishing. I got loved for who I was not in spite of it.I felt seen and heard so much so that I didn’t have to tirelessly fight to be understood. I felt peace and safe. Safe to be my most vulnerable self and still love remained. In return, I happily dedicated my life to nurturing those relationships. I built a life with my best friend whom I wholly adore as he does me. I raised amazing human beings who I’m

Proud to know and privileged to love. But pretty soon, they’ll be starting the next 25 years of life and I refuse to put the chain of guilt around their necks. Instead I will raise them up towards the heavens and encourage them to take flight.

My last 25 years have been about putting out fires. The next 25 years I will live my life with intention. It’s time for me to set life on fire. I am no longer going to white knuckle through life wishing and hoping things turn out alright. I’m letting go of things, people and other peoples expectations that no longer serve me. The time of mediocrity and sacrifice has passed.

I’ve loved the last 50 years. Honestly, I’ve got a lot of great memories and stories. I’ve gained invaluable memories and experience. I’ve gained something that you can only earn with age…wisdom. I’ve lived 10 lifetimes in the past 50 years..but this next part is going to be about me and reclaiming my relationship with the Big Guy.

No more getting by or doing what I’m supposed to do. If it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a hell no for me. Today’s the day, the first day of forever this is not a crisis it’s just the beginning. This is day 1 of year 50 and this is my midlife awakening. What would you do if you could do anything?

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back pain, sciatica, midlife

Well, it’s been a hell of a last few days. Of course, it’s May so what else did I expect? If the universe is not trying to break me, is it even May? Thursday, I fell down my stairs. Hello, sciatica, not so happy to see you again. My fall was dramatic like a full-on telenovela or someone threw me down our stairs (though it feels like it) but more accurately, our new, gigantic French Mastiff excitedly came down the stairs while I was heading down to refill my water bottle in the middle of the night. Well, if you’ve been here long, you know that at night or in inclement weather I walk like a f*cking pirate thanks to the hardware situation in my leg from the broken leg situation in 2015. Yep, it’s the f*cking gift that just keeps on giving.

My point is that I’m already unstable as it is and when an unexpected bull in a China shop comes running behind you in the dark, I’m more than likely going to end up on my ass and I did.

Disclosure: I was provided the Boppy® Multi-use Slipcovered Total Body Pillow for review purposes but my true love and opinion of this pillow are all my own.

Anyways, it was only about 4 stairs but my life did flash before my eyes because this is not the first time I’ve fallen and, more often than expected, I’ve ended up in the ER. I didn’t this time but, of course, it was no regular fall. In my desperation not to break more bones, I forgot my own “go limp b*tch” protocol and stiffened my entire body up. What happened you asked?

My feet were capoeira style swept out from beneath me thanks to aforementioned adorable, silent but deadly dogue de Bordeaux (big ass dog) and thanks to the carpet on the stairs, I lost my balance. I stiffened my arms trying to catch myself (as if I remember nothing from the 2020 broken toe/concussion situation) and at the same time, I broke my fall into the banister with my ribs while stiffening my legs, arm and entire right side of my body. I thought I escaped with minimal damage until the next day. I woke up pretty sore.

Oh no, bad timing. I had a second job interview at noon with the owner of a company that could prove to be a super exciting opportunity for me. I pulled on my big girl panties, a really cute outfit and sucked up any pain I was feeling. Did I mention the in –person interview went from being 2 people to 7-9, depending when you checked?  Did I mention I haven’t had an in-person interview in 17 years?

The unconventional interview lasted 5 hours (that’s a post for another day) but I wasn’t actually surprised because the first one lasted 6 hours. But for the 5 hours, I was sitting in a typical office chair, super uncomfortable. About hour 3 I started using my left hand as a chin rest because I was actually trying to feign interest in someone else’s interview that I ended up a part of. I think I must have kept it there for about 2 hours. After 5 hours, I tried to stand up and my sciatica said, “F*ck you, Debi. Sit your ass back down!” But I had to go because it had been a long, weird day and I had eaten nothing all day so I was ready to eat the face off of the next person who looked at me.

I got in my car and as I drove, I knew the damage had been extensive and the weekend was going to be for recuperating. As soon as I got in my car, I realized that my left hand that was supporting my face for 2 hours, had tingling in my pinky and ring finger. OMG, did I have a stroke during my interview? I figured it just fell asleep under the weight of my chunky face and double chin. Only the pins and needles gave way to numbness.

By the time, I reached home, I could barely get out of my SUV because my sciatica nerve pain was so intense. I slowly grandpa walked into the house and barked at my poor husband to get us some dinner, as I put the heating pad on my back and prayed the damage wasn’t permanent. I felt about 100 years old. I started to get worried because the funky feeling in my fingers was not getting any better.

Well, it’s been three days. The feeling just came back in my fingers today. It’s an ulnar nerve injury from when I dislocated my elbow trying to do some manual labor in my yard that is acting up. It’s basically a pinched nerve that shows up occasionally t keep my humble.

However, my lower back sciatica pain that started when I was pregnant with the girls has its own plans. I’m currently trying to find a way to position myself to not want to kill myself from the pain. The only thing that seems to work is the Boppy® Multi-use Slipcovered Total Body Pillow it’s a one-piece pregnancy pillow that can be used in multiple ways ( well beyond pregnancy, as I am almost 15 years postpartum) to make you and your growing baby bump ( or your regular mom belly) more comfortable. Its unique contoured design supports your body head-to-toe. That boppy has been my saving grace these last few nights. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to get comfortable enough to fall asleep.

Well, that was my weekend. How was yours? Did you enjoy every moment of it or was it too short and filled with obligations?

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Funny story, a few weeks ago, I started getting dizzy while driving. Scared the sh*t out of me…Okay, not so funny. Anyways, went to the doctor and surprise (no surprise I’ve battled eustachian ear issues my entire life) and I had not only an acute sinus infection (no surprise there either…chronic sinusitis is my life) but also had an inordinate amount of fluid in my ears (Duh, I could feel it sloshing around in there teetering between itching and hurting for almost 2 months…again nothing new). But the getting dizzy while driving my kids, was new and I did not like it. Is this perimenopause, menopause, cancer, dementia or low blood sugar?

Needless to say, that sparked a series of way overdue anxiety attacks.  I mean come on, I’ve kept my shit together pretty well these past couple of pandemic years but some things got to give. If we’re being really honest, and if you know me you know that I am, my first thought at the dizziness which I’ve never experienced in this way (in waves) was a brain tumor ( long story short, I’m chronically afraid that God is going to use my big brain and big boobs against me and in the end they will take me out #pandemictriggeredhypochondriac). My doctor assured me, “Nope, Debi your heart, lungs and everything else is fine but your ears are a mess.”

So I went on a high dose of antibiotics with a side of Diflucan (because what would an ear infection be without a side of a yeast infection to add insult to injury? I mean if you don’t get an itchy vagina to go along with your sinus pressure and vertigo, did it even happen?) and something for the anxiety that the dizziness triggered (what if I blackout while driving my kids and we all die?) but since I have high blood pressure (controlled but still diagnosed) that’s all I got…not a damn thing to dry up all that fluid stuck in my head.

Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions and gynecological misadventures are all my own.

Fast forward to the week I was finishing up my antibiotics and I woke up in the middle of the night, not once, not twice but three times soaked from my shoulders up in the middle of a full-on panic attack. Sorry to say, I’ve battled my fair share of demons in my life ( #fullymanicteensandtwenties) and I am not about that in my head life. It’s a dark and scary place and I’d prefer not to live there for very long. So, I did what any sane person would do, I called my doctor and my gynecologist because eureka…this bitch is almost 50 and maybe it’s time to admit reproductive defeat. Maybe I’m (gulp) perimenopausal or even menopausal. I mean, it could happen.

Ever since I had my hysterectomy in 2018 and have been living that 1 ovary life, I’m basically waiting to become reproductively challenged. I know this. Every day of estrogen is a gift. Shit, my baby sister went through menopause a few months after having her baby a couple of years ago and didn’t even know it ( God really said…you are done) so, me, being 5 years older, it’s just a matter of time.

Let me share some knowledge with you, I’ve always been an alpha ( if you know you know) if you got anywhere in my orbit, I would pull you onto my cycle ( ask my sisters and my daughters). I knew exactly when I ovulated ( day 14) and menstruated ( day 28), I could literally feel it. I haven’t had a period in almost 4 years because I don’t have a uterus but every month, I still get PMS and every other month, I can feel my ovulation. I know when my girls get their periods because I get their bloating and munchies.

However, my husband did good choosing in that crucial left ovary, right ovary moment ( it was decided after I was under because someone forgot to ask me before) because this girl, she’s a boss. She will not go quietly into that good reproductive night. Girlfriend is keeping us in the game but alas, those hot flash/cold sweats and anxiety, what else could it be. It must be the reproductive grim reaper coming for me.

I made an appointment with my gynecologist and left it to God. I resigned myself to the fact that I’m at the very least perimenopausal if not menopausal and it was time to get myself some estrogen, progesterone, supplement, patch or black cohosh (only not black cohosh because it would surely make this bipolar 1 manic woman full-on manic.periodt. and nobody wants that.)

Yesterday, I went to see Nina ( that’s my gynecologist, we’re on a first-name basis because we’ve been together over a decade and been through cancer scares, a miscarriage, a D& E, another surprise in office ( no anesthesia) D&C when she removed multiple cups of blood from my uterus after my fibroids literally tried to kill me and ultimately a hysterectomy and, I thought to myself, now….the death of my femininity aka the pause. But after an offer of Paxil ( no thank you…manic people shouldn’t take anti-depressants if they can avoid it) then estrogen, we resigned ourselves to the fact that our perimenopause or menopause journey together had begun but first, let’s make sure ( because I need proof for everything…how can I fix it if I don’t know what’s broken?) and we did a blood draw to get my hormone levels.

Guess what? Congratulations, I’m not perimenopausal or menopausal or any other pausal. I’m 100% normal hormone levels. To say I was surprised is an understatement. To say I was relieved is more like it because even though I know I am knocking on reproductive invisibility’s door, I’m not ready. Not really. The same way I wasn’t ready for my first period, my last period or any of my pregnancies because even though you read all about it and plan for it, you can never be ready but it still happens.

I feel like maybe this is the universe’s way of giving me a 5-minute warning, Debi, get your health in order because soon, it won’t be a false alarm and you need to be prepared so drink your milk, workout, eat more healthily, get that weight in check, moisturize, drink your water, play soduku and, for the love of all that is holy, make peace with your anxiety because one day those hot flashes and triggered panic attacks are going to be triggered by hormones (just like your migraines and hypomania used to be). I’ve never been so excited to just be “normal” whatever that means.

Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve been doing to prioritize me.

I’ve recently tried some new Reset 360 products to help increase my protein and reduce my carbohydrate intake. I’m a diabetic but I think it’s a pretty good idea for everyone to keep an eye on what’s going in their body.

Plant-based cookies

The Decadent Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie is a soft-baked plant protein cookie that tastes delicious and delivers healthy plant protein.

Bite fuel Power Bites

Double the chocolate, double the gains! These little guys are packed with so much chocolate that if you leave them in your milk, you will have chocolate milk after 5 minutes. They are soft, chewy, and really pack a chocolatey punch and each bag contains 18 gm of protein,

Super greens dietary drink

They’re called Super Greens because they are mega packed with superfoods like wheatgrass, spirulina, kale, spinach, plus 6 more! It makes getting the right amount of veggies easy. With Super Greens you can make healthy eating easy without struggling to eat pounds of vegetables each day.

All-in-one-chocolate shake

A plant-based protein shake that may help support overall health, ideal weight, & digestive strength. Creamy, delicious flavor that blends smoothly, and provides exceptional nutrition.

Superpower bars

Protein-packed, dark chocolate goodness with only 2 grams of sugar- sounds like a dream come true. With all organic ingredients and 10 grams of plant protein, this bar is the perfect anytime snack. 6g of dietary fiber in every bar keeps you satisfied for hours without weighing you down. keep these bars nearby during break times for a pick me up when there’s no time for a full meal.

I’ve also been cutting out animal byproducts as much as possible. I am not currently a full-time vegetarian but I do prefer vegetarian meals over meat options and it’s better for my health to choose leaner and cleaner foods. I love to bake so I’ve been swapping out regular flour, dairy

Organic Cacao Powder

LESS FAT and FEWER CALORIES: Chocolate is a staple in most households, but it can make people feel guilty because it is often associated with candy and sugary treats. Our Organic Cacao Powder provides you with a more nutritious alternative to regular chocolate. Our chocolate has the same great flavor as ordinary cocoa with the added benefits of organic cacao and less guilt.

Oatsome milk

NON-DAIRY MILK: Oatsome delivers a mild, creamy flavor—without dairy, nuts, added sugar, or any artificial ingredients. Now you can enjoy milk without discomfort from lactose or other components.

Coconut Palm Sugar

REFINED SUGAR ALTERNATIVE: Organic Coconut Sugar makes an excellent 1 to 1 ratio (spoon-for-spoon) replacement to refined white sugar. That means it’s easy to switch out white sugar or artificial sweeteners for BetterBody Foods Organic Coconut Sugar in simple meals and gourmet recipes. The possibilities are endless.

LOW ON THE GLYCEMIC INDEX: BetterBody Foods’ Organic Coconut Sugar is naturally low on the glycemic index. This means that it doesn’t raise your blood sugar as quickly as refined sugars do, so you can have the sweetness of sugar in naturally sweet coconut sugar without the associated insulin spike. 

PB fit peanut butter powder

  • POWDERED PEANUT BUTTER: All-natural PBfit has 87% less fat and almost 1/3 the calories of regular peanut butter. Made from roasted and powdered peanuts, it has real peanut flavor without the high fat.
  • PROTEIN POWER: With 8 g of protein in one serving of natural PBfit, you’ll get a boost of protein right before your workout. Add it to your morning shake or smoothie for a creamy peanut butter taste.

BBF oat Flour blend

This whole-grain, organic oat flour makes a great alternative to traditional flour for anyone with sensitivities to gluten or anyone looking to improve their diet. HEART-HEALTHY OPTION: Low in both saturated fat and cholesterol, oat flour is a healthy alternative to traditional wheat flour and also contains soluble fiber (1.2 g per serving).

Bowmar Butter

High protein cashew spreads. Flavors include peanut butter pretzel, cake pop, sugar cookie and buckeye!

Cashew Spread ( Cookie Butter)

High protein peanut, almond or cashew nut spread is a great way to add more protein into your diet.

These spreads all have 10g of whey protein and are a great alternative to other butters and spreads that are loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners. available in cashew, almond, and peanut butter.

I’ve also started drinking my water, getting enough sleep, exercising, upping my moisturizer game and taking care of myself, mentally and physically. Maybe I narrowly escaped the pause for now but its coming for me ( and you too) so why not start preparing now?

And if you’re wondering about the mystery root of my hot flashes and panic attacks and what cured it? ½ a dose of Sudaphed 2 times a day, it was all caused by the fluid in my ears. It’s crazy what your body can do to signal that your check engine light is on.

What are you doing to prepare for the next phase of womanhood? Have you already entered perimenopause of menopause? If so, what is one piece of advice you’d give to those following close behind?

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how motherhood can prepare you for a new career after kids, exciting new jobs, careers fro moms going back to work, stay at home mom

Being a mom is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I know that’s not politically correct and some of my feminist friends might think I’m setting the cause back but that’s not how I see it. We live in a time where women can have the career of their dreams and then chose to stay home or work outside the home and nobody blinks so that’s progress. Are we getting it all? No, it’s a lot of work but I wouldn’t change a minute of any of it. Did you know that being a stay at home mom, motherhood, can prepare you for a new career after kids?

For me, motherhood has been such a rewarding, empowering and enriching experience. For those of us who choose this path, I think we’d all agree that motherhood is awesome. Maybe it’s not all rainbows and unicorns and there are frequently mid-day blowouts, tantrums and breakdowns (by moms and kids alike) but still, on most days, there is nothing else that I’d rather be doing.

Believe it or not, motherhood can prepare you for a new career path.

But like anything else, too much of anything can simply be too much and it’s okay to admit that mommy burnout is real. Sometimes, maybe after years of parenting, you need something beyond just motherhood because eventually, our kids need us less and we need to fill that time and space with other things or we’ll suffocate our children and feel a void where all of that motherhood energy used to be expended. If you look deep within yourself, you will see that motherhood can prepare you for a new career after kids grow up. You’ve learned a whole lot of amazing skills like time management, organization, multi-tasking and customer satisfaction for the most difficult customers.

If you’re really lucky you’ll find new skills and passions that maybe you didn’t even know you had before. That’s how it’s happened to me. Like many moms, I’ve created career windows where doors were shut. When you are following your bliss, you are happy and your kids see that.

READ ALSO: How to be a present mom and have a career

Pursuing outside dreams and goals is actually good for your health and the overall wellbeing of your family. Having a mom who is happy, healthy and living her best life will trickle down to our kids; it teaches them how to live their best life, too – unapologetically following their goals and dreams, becoming the person they want to be. It’s a great example for how to live their lives. You owe it to yourself to be happy and your family wants that for you. You’ve spent so many years tending to everyone else’s needs and wants, maybe it’s time to take care of you a little bit.

But what to do after being a stay-at-home mom?

After years of giving your all to your kids and putting yourself last, you might be in the dark as to how you begin pursuing a passion. Or maybe you’re just ready to enter back into the workforce and don’t know where to start; what choices are available. You’ve got this girl. You’re currently a genius multitasking, organizing, go-getter who keeps humans alive for a living. You’ve got this. Your time is now. Follow your bliss. You’re not too old until you’re dead so don’t give me that.

READ ALSO:  When Happiness hits you like a train

Pursuing a brand new career, especially as an adult who has been home raising little people, can be a little daunting, but it’s also really exciting and incredibly fun. So many fields are open to you, and believe it or not, your skills as a parent have been training you for the discipline and creativity needed to pursue something new. Careers are out there in every field from healthcare to food, to business and more, all suited to your specific, special skills and interests. I’ve suggested a few things below to help get your creative ideas following.

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately myself. I recently dipped my toe back into the outside of my home workforce and while it’s not my dream job, it’s reignited a fire in me to know exactly what my passion is and set me on a new path to pursue it.

I’m choosing a new career after kids.

You’re hearing it first here people, I’m putting it into the universe, I’m going back to school for my Masters in Digital Marketing and I’m more excited about it than I’ve been in a while. It’s a field I’m already in just with more in-depth knowledge, a few certifications and a degree with expertise. Now is the time for me and I can feel it in my gut that this is what I want.

Exciting Careers for moms  going back to work

These are just a few options for exciting pursuits open to moms, for when you’re ready to re-enter the workforce and find a career or part-time gig that gives you excitement, joy and yes, makes you seriously good money. Having a great resume will improve the chances of you getting the job.

Become a Chef/Caterer/Food Vendor

Ok, so this one does involve a lot of work, but it’s a good kind of work. Fun, productive, delicious work. This is why a lot of women go into this field after their kids get a little older. In fact, the kids can help you with this venture. It’s a labor of love. Whether your dream is to be a pastry chef at a fancy bistro, to sell home-made donuts at sports events, or make custom-cakes and cookies for birthday parties, this is an attainable dream that will flex your brain, let you be creative, show off your unique talents and best of all: you can make a lot of money at it. There are plenty of women out there who, armed with only some mixing bowls and an Instagram feed, have revamped their entire career and started lucrative businesses selling sweet treats.

Become a Nurse

Again, a career in family medicine that involves a lot of study and hard work. But there are so many women who go back to nursing school later in life. With so many different types of nursing degrees to choose from, you can pick any field from ER Nursing to pediatric care (babies!). Many women talk about nursing school as one of the most fun, dedicated and amazing times in their life; times where they made lifelong friendships while pursuing a respected career. Nursing also pays really well and in some cases, you can enjoy a flexible schedule. I believe it’s a calling, like teaching, because it takes a special person who loves people.

Work in a theater 

Granted, acting comes to mind when people hear theater, which is a great career choice. However, there is more to this field than acting; there are so many opportunities you can explore. For instance, you can make an excellent director with your new-found organising, and multi-tasking skills. You can learn more about directing from experts like Travis Preston, so feel free to consider this. Or, you can choose to be a choreographer, dancer, script writer if you have the skills.

Become a Pilot

This is one of the most exciting careers that I can think of. I love flying and more and more women are becoming pilots these days. With four different types of pilot licenses available, you can be a part-time pilot, a commercial pilot, or whatever you want to be. You’re a woman, you are fierce and you can do all the things. There’s nothing cooler than a woman conquering the skies! And whether you want to make a career of it or just a weekend hobby, there are courses of study available to you no matter where you are.

READ ALSO: How to Get Yourself a Life after Motherhood

These are just three of the many, many hundreds of career choices open to you, if you’re a mom looking to get back out in the world and start a new career venture. There will never be a job more rewarding than raising your kids, and we know what a good mom you are. Taking some time for you, to become your best self and realize those goals and dreams of your own will only make you an even better mama to your children. Let’s dust off those cobwebs and start following those dreams. Your spirit – and your kids – will thank you for it. I’m doing it. You can too!

If motherhood can prepare you for a new career, and nothing was off-limits, what would you be when your kids grew up?

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I’m smack dab in the middle of a life journey back to me. Sounds existential, right? No, it’s not a midlife crisis. I was thrust into a situation where I had to evaluate all of my life choices and make better choices for myself, for my family and for my life but mostly, for MYSELF.

Women, you deserve better.

It’s really pretty simple and it’s more common than not. In fact, I know a lot of women who are also going through this exact same thing. Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty going through a midlife crisis too. I’m just not there yet. I’m sure my time is coming. When it does, I will embrace it.

READ ALSO: The Secret that will Change Everything

The journey I’m talking about is the moment that we find ourselves in a new chapter of motherhood and life. Our kids don’t need us as much as they used to. They’re a little more self-sufficient. We’re a little lonelier. We want to contribute. We want to feel needed. We want to feel purposeful. We want to be seen for who we are and suddenly, we barely recognize ourselves in the mirror.

I don’t recognize the middle-aged woman staring back at me.

She looks like me but tired and grey. She’s missing her spark. Feeling like a childhood lovie; worn, outgrown and left behind.

We realize that we’ve let ourselves fall to the wayside too many times. We’ve lost priority seating in our own life. We can’t even get past the velvet ropes into VIP and we’re the effing bouncer. Gone are the days of taking 2-hours to get ready but we’re done with the ponytail and yoga pants too.

READ ALSO: Best Things about 40

We’ve let ourselves become invisible for so long that we almost can’t see ourselves and if we do, we definitely don’t recognize the person staring back at us. We’ve glimpsed our reflection and we deserve more. We want more. We are no longer satisfied with being a ghost, transparent from the photos of our own lives. The problem is that we need to remember to see ourselves before anyone else can.

I thought I was in this situation by myself but its more common than not.

I had a medical crisis that made me take a hard look at myself with all the lights on, strong fluorescent lights at that. It wasn’t even good lighting. I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself and myself gave it to me straight.

This is all my fault.

No one else did this to me. They just followed suit. I’ve heard so many ladies asking the internet for permission to do for themselves lately that I’m dizzy. Before I would have nodded in agreement but now, I’m saying take it. You deserve it. You deserve all the good things. I’m grateful for me and I’m not taking it for granted anymore.

READ ALSO: Gynecological Misadventures of a Millenial Mom

Suddenly, I realized that if I wanted to be prioritized and treated right by others, then I have to prioritize and treat myself right. Respect yourself and others will too. We show people how to treat us. If we accept being pushed aside and made to wait for what we want, that’s what will happen. If you ask for permission, you run the risk of someone saying no. Do “you” and ask for forgiveness. You won’t need it.

There is no award for martyrdom and our families can’t read our minds. But just like we tell our daughters, “you set the standard of how others will treat you.” We need to believe that it applies to us too. I’ve been drilling it into my daughters’ heads and hearts since birth, all the while contradicting myself in the way I live my own life.

READ ALSO: The Moment I stopped caring what others think of me

That’s where I am today. I’m loving who I am. I’m remembering that I am worth all the love and hard work that I put into everyone else in my life. I deserve good things and I shouldn’t be afraid of failure or not being perfect. Just by doing my best, I am succeeding.

My journey is slow and steady and that’s exactly how I want it to be. Nothing good ever happens overnight and if it did, I wouldn’t trust it anyways. This slow shift is giving me time to get used to who I’m becoming; to live and thrive in my new normal. It’s giving me time to ease into the fact that I am good enough. You are too.

What are you doing for you? Just for you? Are you working out? Are you resting? Sleeping enough? Eating right? Are you forgiving yourself? Do you believe in yourself? Are you going for your dreams? Trying new things? Taking vacations? Being kind to your heart? Living out loud? Are you loving the life you live? If not, stop what you’re doing right now. Change it. It’s that simple. Make up your mind to change the narrative.

 

 

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What is a vaginal cuff ? Everwonder what that even means? I’ll be honest, I never even heard of the word before I got one. I can tell you that it is not anything like an ear cuff. It’s not a piece of jewelry. It is not an accessory of any sort. It does not adorn or make anything look fancy. It’s a procedure that is done when your uterus and cervix is removed. Basically, it’s a separation.

I’m on day 6 of recovery from my hysterectomy. I’m sure that you are all tired of hearing about it and I’m sorry but it happens to be the giant squishy elephant in the room at his time. Yes, it was squishy and big (like a softball) and apparently, the damn thing was so heavy my body decided my cervix should dilate a centimeter to help my body expel of this thing.

READ ALSO: Take this Uterus and Shove It

Basically, just like my misplaced gallbladder, my uterus didn’t look as was expected. That’s exactly what you want to hear after having the beast removed from within the fruit of your loins.

How do I feel? It’s the number one question everyone keeps asking and I keep telling them that I feel exhausted and sore. After all, I have 5 incisions in my frankenstomach now. In addition to the butcher marks from when they removed my gallbladder, my stomach looks like you can play a game of connect the ugly scars. I have become a carnival game for small children. And yeah that hurts.

But what really hurts is that it feels like I’ve done a zillion sit-ups. I guess that is what happens when they are tugging away trying to remove an organ the size of a freaking softball from the walls inside your body cavity. Oh, and did I mention that my vagina has been sewn shut?

READ ALSO: Last Period Ever

I found this out after surgery. No, it’s not like they sewed my face shut at the lips. No, it’s more like they sewed my mouth shut at the back of the throat only… between my legs. Are you getting the picture? Apparently, a few IRL people don’t because they keep asking me if I’m “really” supposed to be in bed and I’ll probably be healed in a couple of weeks. Obviously, they know more than my doctor.

See when they remove your uterus, your fallopian tubes, leave 1 ovary …they also remove your cervix. Its purpose is for the transit of babies from uterus to the outside world. As I will be having no more babies. I no longer need the cervix. Leaving it behind would be of no benefit, require yearly paps and the only purpose it would have is for me to get to play the delightful game of will she get cervical cancer or not for the rest of my life. So, they took it.

Well, like I asked my husband (not to be too graphic, as I am not a doctor) so what happens when you ejaculate? I mean, I love you Big Guy but I don’t feel particularly healthy about your sperm just roaming around my upper chest cavity like ghosts in an old house. That’s when I read up and was graphically explained while high as a kite on Percocet about a vaginal cuff. Sounds like a fashion accessory, right? I assure you that it is not!

READ ALSO: Having a Hysterectomy before the Fibroids Kill Me

What happens ( if you don’t want to know….stop reading here) when they remove your uterus and cervix and all the goodies inside ( save my left ovary who was left behind like a sacrificial lamb to stave off menopause) they have to cut the cervix free from the vagina. Yes, cut, it free from the VAGINA!

Remember your 8th-grade anatomy, it goes labia ( hello, come in. Welcome to my vagina. ) Vagina ( the grand foyer of your lady parts…it’s where you spend time getting to know one another…enjoying one another’s company), then comes the cervix ( mine was super deep and I like to think of it as the long walk to the back room) the uterus is where the magic ( and babies) were made. That’s where the babies grew and to be honest, as deep as my cervix was, I’m surprised I had any kids at all. They were determined. Those are my champion, long-distance swimmers.

READ ALSO: The Poor Man’s D & C

So, now that you know what the set-up is. In my scenario, you now come into the fun room ( the vagina) and then the rest of the house has not only been sealed off but removed. That bitch has been condemned; vacated and torn down.

I have a zillion questions going through my head. Will my husband still fit? He’s a Big Guy. Is it going to be too crowded? Will it hurt? Will things still work like they are supposed to?

Aside from all of this, I have people who have never had a hysterectomy telling me how I’m supposed to be feeling and how fast I’m supposed to be feeling and asking me if I actually feel as bad as I appear to be. Am I really supposed to be in bed?

I want to shout, “No, I’m just doing it because I’m lazy.” That’s the answer I feel like they want. I feel judged for trying to recover.

Well, I’m not a gynecologist and the people who are asking me aren’t either, but my doctor was pretty adamant that I take it easy as to not rip any stitches and end up back in the hospital. But hey, I’m sure this stranger’s cousin’s sister’s friend who was the janitor in the hospital knows better.

Basically, I feel like I’ve had a c-section minus the baby. Instead of pulling out the baby, the removed my entire uterus. It hurts. It’s uncomfortable and I’d appreciate it if certain people would quit questioning if this major surgery is “really that bad”.

 

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Hysterectomy, surgery, uterine fibroids, fibroids, what happens when you get a hysterectomy

Take this uterus and shove it! You ain’t welcome here no more!

Remember that song? Take this job and shove it? Yeah, that’s how I’m feeling about my uterus tonight.

We had a good run. She gave me two amazing little girls. She flaked on the last one. I’m still bitter about that.

So, my uterus has been being naughty again for the past few days. Of course, she chose her full on mutiny to coincide with my first ever red carpet press event. And of course, it happened when I was completely unprepared and 3000 miles from home. Yes, this is a TMI post. If you are squeamish, don’t read on. Leave now. Run away. It’s going to get bloody awful in just a few seconds.

Basically, my baby maker hates me. I don’t know why. I’ve been perfectly nice to her. I’ve always taken care of her. I’m gentle but firm. But she’s decided she wants to throw a tantrum. She’s suddenly throwing out medical oddities like a surprise uterus full of blood. Fibroids that grow with love. One that is full on prolapsing and blocking my cervix and another one growing into my uterus and wreaking havoc. Last but not least, uterine polyps. It’s a party in there and I’m just the poor sucker whose house is being trashed.

She has no shame. Oh, she’ll do it on a plane. She’ll do it on the train. She’ll do it in a fancy black car service. She’ll do it on a tour. She’ll do it while you’re dancing. And of course, she’ll do it when you’re in a very public place with a whole bunch of very important people because my uterus doesn’t care who you are or what you’re doing. She’s the boss of you.

And oh yes she did! She did all of that and more. She didn’t care. She waited for me to be vulnerable, away from home and she tricked me one last time. She got me good. She ninja style snuck up on me and karate chopped me in the ovaries.

My uterus threw a full-on mutiny. She knows that today she’s outta here. Getting evicted and she’s not going gently into that good night. She is bitter. It’s not me, it’s definitely her.

As if that my situation was not embarrassing enough, she made me revisit my teen years. Thank goodness for that jacket tied around my waist and dark blue jeans. Being a woman is hard, even after 30.

I wanted to crawl into a hole and die but I didn’t, because I’m a grown woman. I went on about my business. I did the damn thing… as well as you can while asking everyone in proximity where the restrooms are. You thought you lost all modesty when you gave birth? Psst! Nope, this was worse.

Did I mention how wonderful and understanding every single human being I met was to me? They all tried to help me. Yep, humans are amazing. My uterus not so much.

While you’re reading this post, I’m in the hospital burning this mother down because I’m done with this 78-day hostage situation that my uterus has had me in.

I’ve got one last thing to say to her, and one thing only, “Bye, Felicia”.

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hysterectomy, last period ever, menstruation, uterine fibroids

When you’re young, it feels like waiting forever for your period to come. Then, once you start, it feels like you are going to have a period forever. I can’t tell you how many times I wished it would stop in my lifetime. But I never thought, and still don’t, about what it would be like to have your last period ever.

As many of you know, since I wrote about it ad nauseum as I was freaking out, I’ve been having some issues of late with my lady bits. A few weeks ago, it was a few hours before my birthday and I felt more like I was about to attend my own funeral. That’s what happens when you have a 38-day period, an emergency “poor man’s d&c” and you are on so many hormones that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, so you do both.  Anyways, if you want to read about that..it’s all on this blog.

READ ALSO: Waiting for Biopsy Results

Today though, I’m here to talk to you about something completely different. Now, after 78 days of constant flow of the heaviest cycle, I’ve ever experienced, anemia induced by blood loss and generally not being sure what the heck is going on with my female parts. Today, with a hysterectomy on the horizon, I’m realizing that this nearly 3 month period will be my last ever.

Which is amazing in all kinds of All CAPs AWESOME ways but then it hit me, just now, in the shower, that this is probably my last.period.ever. I should be ecstatic. I mean 78 days is a long time. But so is forever.

Last year, when my doctor first came to me with the idea of a hysterectomy. I looked at her like she was insane. I’m too young for a hysterectomy. I’m not menopausal. I’m vibrant. I’m fertile. I’m every freaking 28 days, ovulating on day 14. I’m a reproductive machine. Only this machine has chosen not to grow any more humans. This machine is not a machine at all. It’s a woman with all the feels. I’m a woman who found out last week that my uterus and fibroids are conspiring to mess me up. They are doing medically unseen things.

READ ALSO: Why I Won’t get an Elective Hysterectomy

Last year, a hysterectomy was an elective opportunity to stop some nuisance heavy days. I knew I wasn’t going to have any more babies because when I lost the one, it broke me but I wanted the option. What can I say, my uterus makes me feel special. It’s like a superpower and I wasn’t ready to give that up. I’m still not BUT when you are hit square in the jaw with an emergency type situation and told that you might have cancer, well, then a hysterectomy sounds like a breeze; like clipping toenails or trimming fringe.  That’s how I came around to my current reality.

But now my period, this crazy long cycle, is my very last period. I mean she’s going out with a bang. 34  years of right on time cycles ending with a 78-day, Shining type of a rager, I’d say my uterus is the flipping Rolling Stones rock star of uteri.

READ ALSO: Why I’m having a Hysterectomy before the Fibroids Kill Me

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, many of you have been here since the girls were babies. You held my heart when it was broken into a zillion tiny pieces and duck taped that bitch back together when I lost my third baby. You’ve read all about the saga that is my reproductive mishaps, I thought you’d like to know when I played my farewell show. I don’t think there will be any more encores. There better not be. Geez, Keith Richards the uterus…go the fuck home.

But, I’m scared. Nothing about this has been “normal”. I’m constantly surprising my gynecologist and I really don’t know what to expect tomorrow. I may wake up with an incision and no ovaries but the plan is to have a robotic surgery and leave the ovaries. I’m not ready for menopause or any of the hormonal treatments that go with it. I’ve been on hormones for the past 78 days to stop the bleeding and it’s making my vision blurry, my moods all over the place, my blood pressure high and a host of other issues. I just want to be normal again. I just want to stop bleeding and feel good.

Pray for me. Keep me in your thoughts. I’ll be here on the couch for the next 6-8 weeks recovering with limited mobility. Apparently having your baby maker removed is a big deal. Pray for the Big Guy, he will be playing the role of Mr.Mom as I won’t be able to drive for at least 3 weeks. I need a mommy meal on wheels and a maid, STAT.

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hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological issues, perimenopause , uterine biopsy, cancer, poor man's d and c, D&C

It stands to reason that since women’s superpower is that we can conceive, grow, birth and feed babies taking our uterus is like using Kryptonite on us. I never knew how vital my uterus was to my existence until I had children, then I knew it gave me miracles. I never realized that three little uterine fibroids could kill me. I never believed a hysterectomy would be my best case scenario. 

I also learned quickly with my miscarriage that my uterus could also bring me to my knees in prayer, pain and humility. When it’s supposed to work and it fails you, there is nothing like that pain and vulnerability. It’s indescribable. It feels like a failure and betrayal by your body against your soul.

With each of my beautiful children that I was fortunate and blessed enough to conceive, I was also given a uterine fibroid; a tumor. They’ve been monitoring my fibroids, Mo, Larry and Curly, since 2004 to be sure they caused no interferences with my pregnancies.  Each doctor made it sound like there was no cause for concern. So, we let them go…grow with estrogen, not with love. But as they grew, so did my uterus.

READ ALSO: The Surprise Biopsy

But then last year happened and this entire year has been a catastrophic menstruation disaster. Nothing is working right. I’m as about as anemic as I can be. They’ve just upped my iron again and apparently, my uterine fibroids, now more reasonably named, Jason, Freddie and Michael are trying to kill me. If you don’t believe me, explain a uterus full of blood?

You can’t. As I told you in the last post, not even my doctor can. I’m just this anomaly with a uterus like a swamp that needed to be drained. Whatever the hell that even means.

The thing is, as I was referring to women possessing the superpower of conception, gestation and birth, it makes me think that our uterus is pretty vital to our womanhood. It’s our essence. Or maybe that’s just my scared out of my wits that I have cancer, I just read the hysterectomy surgery pamphlet and all these hormones have me jacked talking.

I’ve had tonsils and adenoids taken out. I’ve had tubes put in my ears. I’ve survived a miscarriage and a D & E. I’ve Humpty Dumpty broken and shattered my leg into a thousand tiny pieces, had it put back together and then had the armor put in and surgically removed 3 times. I’ve dislocated my elbow and had it go back into place (both equally as painful). I’ve survived excruciating gallstone attacks and had my gallbladder removed. I’ve spent the better part of the past 3 years in hospitals, laid up and still paying the bills. But this surgery scares me and it’s not just that I might have cancer. Though, believe me, that scares the shit out of me.

READ ALSO:  The Poor Man’s D & C and Waiting for Biopsy Results

This entails a mandatory hospital stay. I may wake up with a couple robotic incisions or a cesarean like incision. I might get to keep my ovaries or she might take everything. I might go into menopause or onto hormones. I might have an oncologist in the surgery or I might not. There’s a 6-8 week healing period. My doctor says that’s very restricted. I have children and I have been here in this restricted position and it’s so hard to be so vulnerable and dependent on others.

There are so many uncertainties and that’s nothing to say of the fact that I just put myself out there and interviewed for a new job in a brick and mortar establishment.  I mean what do I say? What do I do? That’s if I even get the job.

My mind is a million different places this weekend and my sore uterus from my Friday office visit is a constant reminder that this is real. I’m still bleeding…day 29. I’m trying to stay calm for my girls but then all I can think of is what if these fibroids kill me?

I’m afraid of all the things I’ll miss. The milestones. Our 25th anniversary. Bella’s quinceanera. Gabi’s confirmation. Gabi’s quinceanera. High school proms. First boyfriends. College. First heartbreak. College graduation. Weddings. Babies. Becoming a grandma. Growing old with the Big Guy. So much life still to live; so much love still to give. Not enough time to change the world. Not enough time to love the people I love.

hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological issues, perimenopause , uterine biopsy, cancer, poor man's d and c, D&C

So, I’m getting a hysterectomy and I’m waiting on biopsy results. I’ll never have another baby. I’ll never have another period. Bella and I, our periods sync up. Gabi and I will never have that. I know it’s stupid. I know that maybe everything might be all right but right now, I have to face the facts that these fibroids are slowly killing me and now, my uterus has become hostile towards me too. I just want to be ok and be here for the people I love.

So, if you are the praying kind, I’m asking for all the prayers you’ve got. Because, right now, all I can do is wait with nothing but prayers to keep me sane. And to think,  a few days ago, I thought early menopause was the worst thing that could happen to me.

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