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When you are "overcoming middle-age" you are entitled to rest on your laurels, eat them or even redecorate them. The point is when we reach "a certain age" we have earned the right to "kick back" a little and we should remember to do that for ourselves.

What were all those things which seemed important, significant or just plan inevitable when we were younger? Chests, confusion, competition, calendars and so forth. So, they may still be lurking around but we probably don't EVER NEED them now actually.

Visitors to the CARYL page are invited to "reflect, relax, laugh and give ourselves some applause!" Each essay at this location will hopefully offer that "thoughtful perspective" we have now earned and present us with an opportunity to laugh a bit.

It you or any neat women you know are interested in guest authoring an essay for this page, please send EVE an E-mail. If there is a particular topic you'd like to find here, let EVE know. Sit back, put your feet up and find a subject you'd like to "mull over" as you're "overcoming middle-age."

It’s Not Change

Behavioral scientists report that human beings have an innate discomfort with and resistance to change. Those of us who were coming of age in the late 1950’s and early ‘60’s (before hippies, beatniks, and flower power) were taught that nice girls didn’t smoke, drink or swear. The most compelling ambition in those days was usually to “marry well” and live happily ever after, with perhaps a degree in education or nursing as a “back-up” plan, just in case. Over the course of the next couple of decades, we found ourselves awash in a sea of social change, thrashing about for any available life preserver. As our daughters began growing into young women, so much had changed that we often spotted the bumper sticker, “Good girls go to heaven Bad girls go anyplace they want to!”

Some days a new hairstyle seems a more stressful change than switching careers! The bad news is, as we breeze by such milestones as 40 and 50, the changes can be more dramatic and traumatic. Upward mobility is replaced by outward bound-downsized, right sized and just plain unexpected unemployment which might befall us or a spouse or both. Relocating has lost its luster and sense of adventure and the sight of one more moving van can put us over the edge. The good news in all of this is-well, hard to find. Sure, we’re more “mature” and less susceptible to hysterics but sometimes that can be attributed to simple exhaustion. We’re tired of keeping our sunny side up-it’s gotten a bit runny. Putting on a good face takes a lot more time than we care to bother with at this point.

Ah, mid-life….whenever that is. Admittedly, the term mid-life is a moving target and seems best defined by she who wears it. The rite of passage that “women of a certain age” find themselves faced with has come to be known as “THE CHANGE.” For a few it is “the pause that refreshes” but for the majority it is the end of what we commonly called “the curse” and morphs into something akin to a plague of night sweats, mood swings, and the complete demise of rational thinking when we need it most! The good news is-when it has finally passed….in it’s wake is a measure of liberation that can be happily embraced. Of course, if you choose to write about menopause and have a good editor, agent and publisher….it can be quite profitable. For the rest of us, we’ll have to settle for less tangible rewards. There is certainly no shortage of websites devoted to the issue. We especially like Dee Adams’ humorous take with her friend

Whatever the changes may be that inevitably influence our lives; we have all been admonished at one time or another to “go with the flow.” Weeelllll….that is so often easier said than done. The currents of our years are sometimes propelled by hurricane like winds and those are not ridden with such carefree abandon. Perhaps, we might recall an older utterance-“roll with the punches.” Heaven knows, some of us have more to rotate than we ever have before. Women of a certain age have a litany of handy catch phrases to offer some security in our foothold on life as the sands of time shift ever more swiftly beneath us!

We learned about life in the “school of hard knocks.”

“For better or worse” usually means a healthy dose of each.

It’s better to “never say never”-again.

Beauty may only be skin deep…..but, once a crow walks all over your face, you’d better have something pretty spectacular under that epidermis!

No good deed goes unpunished.

We think Nadine Gordimer summed it up nicely in this quote: “It is not the conscious changes made in their lives by men and women-a new job, a new town, a divorce-which really shape them, like the chapter headings in a biography, but a long, slow mutation of emotion, hidden, all-penetrative; something by which they may be so taken up that the practical outward changes of their lives in the world, noted with surprise, scandal or envy by others, pass almost unnoticed by themselves. This gives a shifting quality to the whole surface of life; decisions made with reason and the tongue may never be made valid by the heart.”

But, the inconvertible truth is that change happens-nothing stays the same forever. We found something recently that does offer some hope for mother’s at least:


Is there a magic cut off period when offspring become accountable for their own actions? Is there a wonderful moment when parents can become detached spectators in the lives of their children and shrug, "It's their life," and feel nothing?

When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital corridor waiting for doctors to put a few stitches in my son's head. I asked, "When do you stop worrying?" A nurse said, "When they get out of the accident stage."

My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.

When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little chair in a classroom and heard how one of my children talked incessantly, disrupted the class, and was headed for a career making license plates. As if to read my mind, a teacher said, "Don't worry. They all go through this stage, and then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy them."

My mother listened and said nothing.

When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime waiting for the phone to ring, the cars to come home, the front door to open. A friend said, "They're trying to find themselves. In a few years, you can stop worrying. They'll be adults."

By the time I was 50, I was sick and tired of being vulnerable, I was still worrying over my children, but there was a new wrinkle. There was nothing I could do about it. But I continued to anguish over their failures, be tormented by their frustrations and absorbed in their disappointments. My friends said that when my kids got married I could stop worrying and lead my own life. I wanted to believe that, but I was haunted by my mother's wan smile and her occasional, "You look pale. Are you all right?" "Call me the minute you get home." " Are you depressed about something?"

Can it be that parents are sentenced to a lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another handed down like a torch to blaze the trail of human frailties and the fears of the unknown? Is concern a curse? Or is it a virtue that elevates us to the highest form of life?

One of my children became quite irritable recently, saying to me, "Where were you? I've been calling for three days, and no one answered. I was worried." I smiled a wan smile...THE TORCH HAD BEEN PASSED

They are chic, heavenly tasting and affordable designer chocolates. Send some to a friend-after ordering some for yourself!
“As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: Any month whose name contains the letter a, e, or u is the proper time for chocolate.”
~~Sandra Boynton, Chocolate: The Consuming Passion (1982)

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