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I’m a swinger.

By Robert Louis Stevenson

When was the last time you had time to even think about swinging? Time, in my world, is a thing of the past. “Time” is the answer to the Jeopardy question, “What is there never enough of?” or “Where did it go?” or “What is the thing you miss most about your youth?”

Okay. Perhaps “time” isn’t the answer to that last one, but it gets an honorable mention.

My last post here was in January of this year. It’s October now. We just had our final great ‘blast-o’-summer” last week with our screwy Michigan weather making me more convinced than ever that I was NOT meant to live in warmer climes. Especially now.

Why especially now? Because now I’m going through that wonderful time in my life called “change.” I don’t mean “change” in terms of my kids no longer needing me. (Don’t they always need something?) And when I think of “change” it’s not in terms of retiring from my sedentary job as a court reporter to open my own yarn shop where I live six out of seven days a week; I see that as more of a metamorphosis of lifestyle for me. No; for me right now “change” means my 50+ year-old body has betrayed me, pure and simple. It’s not the one I grew up with. It now has a built-in furnace with a broken thermometer. It has sweat glands where I never knew sweat glands were. It stopped making brown hair and eyebrows. It places red spider veins on my chin and little patches of itchy exzema on places like my fingers or my calves. What’s with that?

Daily I’ve been trying to think of positive things to get me up and going, such as I only have to shave the very front of my legs now, and not all that often, either. I’m learning fashion by having to dress in layers — summer layers under winter layers. I spend much less time looking at my reflection. I no longer care if it looks cool to wear sandals in the winter. I’m collecting lots of cute little hand fans that say things like, “Is it just me or is it hot in here?” Red and purple are part of my wardrobe. I’ve gotten past the irritable stage and have arrived at apathy; no one listens anyway.

“Grateful” doesn’t even begin to describe what I feel to my parents for my sense of humor, one of the single things that gets me through my busier-than-ever days. Honestly, how do people manage this period of life if they take themselves too seriously? This is funny stuff! This particular misery loves company. We’re reassured we’re not losing our minds when we learn other ‘mid-lifers’ are having the same issues. When we hear from those who are on the other side of it, their own stories either encouraging or downright dreadful, we realize they are here to tell us that there is life after 40…and 50…and menopause. I think I’m adjusting, though quite slowly. Now, more than ever, I believe that men will never know how good they have it because they are simply different creatures, as different as cats are from dogs, birds are from fish. That’s fine. They couldn’t handle this stuff anyway.

For now, I’m making every attempt to enjoy the ride. If I discover myself finally on the other side of this “change,” I’ll let you know. In the meantime, there’s a knot tied tightly at the end of my rope, and I’m swinging!