Category Archives: Menopause

Is College Bad for Girls?

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Last week, I dreamed it again! THE COLLEGE DREAM. The one where there’s a class I haven’t been attending. I didn’t drop the class officially, and so I’m going to get an F on my transcript.This  was a double feature; add on my other college dream:  I think I have a term paper due, but I’m not really sure. And I don’t do squat about it. I worry but take no action.

I LOVED college! Why can’t I dream about my favorite professors?  The library?  (Yes, I liked the library.) Hanging my posters that first day back in the dorm after summer vacation? The Richard’s Wild Irish Rose we mixed with ginger ale? The parties? The crazy conversations?

Who knows. Cliff says the dream isn’t about college anymore. It’s about something else. I’m too old. It’s been too long since college.

Maybe.

But in my waking hours I love to happily reflect on how college shaped me. My education.The ways I use the bits and snatches of history and literature and art in my writing today. And the bigger stuff. The reach of the mind. The curiosity of the spirit. The wanting to be your own person as you delight in the brilliance of those who have gone before.

So this framed pamphlet, on the wall of the Red Elephant Inn in North Conway, New Hampshire, made my eyes pop. All l I’ve got to say to the author, E.J. Richards, is that I did all of those things in college. Yep, every single one. SO THERE!

And to our foremothers AND forefathers who campaigned for women’s education, LISTEN UP!

I don’t blame you for my college dream. I blame that on some failing of my psyche. Instead, I thank you. Let’s shout it from every quad and dorm and student union in the nation. You let us girls dream big. You gave us big stuff to dream about. On this Fourth of July, we thank you!

Catharine Beecher

The bottom photo is Catharine Beecher, champion of women’s education and sister to Harriet Beecher Stowe. Read the tragedy of her life and the way she turned it for good.

Anxiety Dreams: Here’s an article on anxiety dreams. The article  mentions the high school locker dream, which  I still have every now and then:. I put my things in a locker and then either can’t remember which locker it is or the right locker combination.

Ropes! Beautiful Ropes!

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Rope

I spotted this rope in a bin at Home Depot. I had no idea such beautiful rope existed. I uploaded the photo into WordPress right away, and it sat for a year, waiting for inspiration beyond its mere beauty. I’ve been at the end of my rope waiting for an idea to come for a post.

Until last week.

Grandson Mazen reported to his mom that unlike preschool, at a summer camp they don’t have to hold onto a rope when they walk as a group down the hall.

Ah, I thought, lucky Mazen, feeling the independence of walking like the big boys do.

Then Kath added, “But I think he misses it. I think he likes holding onto the rope.”

Our world pushes independence. Women of a certain age are supposed to be brave, bold, empowered.

I felt some of that bravery as I awaited cancer surgery this time last year.

But maybe that’s because I had beautiful ropes to hold onto.

Let’s hear if for the ropes! Thank you one and all.

Dating in My Fifties Part Three: A Happy Ending!

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wedding party

A post by my friend Kathy D’Ambrosia

If you have been a loyal reader of Barbara’s wonderful Friend for the Ride blog for at least a year and a half, then you may have read two earlier posts I wrote for her regarding the perils and pitfalls of online dating.

My first post (Oct. 19, 2013) mentioned the criteria I used in choosing men to date once I became single again after a long marriage. I also described what I thought was the “fatal flaw” in each man I dated.

My second post (Oct. 21, 2013) recounted my interesting encounter with “Nick the Scammer.”

After my experience with Nick, I took a brief hiatus from match.com. However, my adventurous spirit soon resurfaced, and I decided to plunge into the online dating jungle once again.

Michael, who claimed to live thirty minutes from me, emailed me via match.com in late Feb. 2014. When I replied to his email a few weeks later, he had just arrived in Australia on business. I thought, “Oh, no, not this again!!” (Nick the Scammer was supposedly posing in front of the Opera House in Sydney, Australia in the picture that accompanies my second post). What a coincidence! So I grilled Michael with questions only a local could answer. He answered all of them correctly; he was legitimate.

Michael and I emailed back and forth on a daily basis (long emails, like those a pen pal would write), for the two weeks he was in Australia. After he returned to the States, we had our first date on April 7, 2014 at my favorite Thai restaurant.

michael & me 4-7-14 001

The date was awesome, and the rest is history…..

We were married on April 18, 2015. Michael’s 16 year old son was his best man, and my 23 and 25 year old sons walked me down the aisle.

walking down aisle

It was a simple, but wonderful church wedding, followed by a fabulous honeymoon in New Orleans. Now we live in his house in the country, and I am very happy and content.

Here’s my advice to any single woman: online dating is a great way to meet men; just be careful, be smart, and keep your wits about you at all times. Don’t get discouraged….I persevered, and now I’m happily married!

us by trees

Kathy D’Ambrosia lives in Burgaw, NC and has two grown sons, one in Raleigh, NC and one in Tampa, FL. She sells printing and works part time as an innkeeper on Bald Head Island, NC on weekdays, while her husband, Michael, travels on business. She also continues to use her master’s degree in gerontology by serving as a consultant to a non-profit Aging in Place organization.

Mirror, Mirror on the Bald Head Island Wall

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Mirror

Mirror, mirror at the The Marsh Harbour Inn on Bald Head Island.

This bathroom has WAY better light than the bathrooms in my old house. I see in gory detail how much I’ve aged. The wrinkles. The dark circles. The age spots. Sometimes, I am astounded.

And so in a place I love the most, I gaze at myself in my worst light, at least on the outside.

Is it best to note the effects of aging? Breathe it in? Get it?

Or is it better to ignore, to not care, to float through these later years without any concern over wrinkles?

I meet women who don’t seem to give a flip. I read of others who go to great lengths (and pain and money) to try to maintain their youth.

Check out this article o“Beauty for Life: 6 Steps to Accepting Agingfrom the Oprah website and this article from WebMD on “The Art of Aging Gracefully.” 

And here’s a fascinating piece in Psychology Today by Jere Daniel, who writes: “Fear of aging is the single most powerful agent creating exactly what we fear.” In other words, we’re making ourselves even older by worrying about aging. Yikes! We’re sunk!

Since I can’t figure out how to handle looking old, I use the Bald Head mirror to help me slap on sunscreen and a bit of makeup, and I head out to soak up the beauty of the island.

What about you? Do you have aging beauty figured out yet?

View from Inn

Marsh Harbour Inn