Daily Living

I Became A Mother in January: An Anniversary Celebration

I became a mother in January. My mother drove me through the freezing dark night, sometime between midnight and dawn, to the hospital, my doula following in her own car behind. My labor, strong and painful and many hours old, seemed to suspend itself for the duration of the drive, so worried was I that my mom, driving an unfamiliar car through an unfamiliar city, would lose the way. Hours later, she held one side of me and the doula the other, straining with me as the nurse instructed: “Push. Push.” [Read More…]

By |January 28th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

10 Tips for Coping With January Blues

Feeling down in the dumps now that the holidays are over? If you’re hoping for something uplifting on these dreary days and cold nights, you’re not alone. T.S. Eliot, in The Waste Land, said, “April is the cruelest month.”

But studies have found that for the majority of Americans, January is the most depressing month of the year. [Read More…]

Still a Thing Or Two To Learn at My Age (A Starbucks Story)

Nick and Starbucks II can still hear my loud, echoing voice inside the car. Alone in my car, I was yelling, windows closed, at the woman in front of me who forgot she was turning left.  There we were in the middle of the road together for that split second, and I lost my sh#t.

I wasn’t the only one. Others around us were extolling a similar response. Looking at their faces yelling at us, made me think of how my own face must have looked at that moment in time. Pinched, angry, red faces all encircling this unfortunate woman who made a tiny misstep.

I want to be better than that. I do. I remember reading a bumper sticker that said, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” I suppose most people want that too, Michael Vick notwithstanding. For myself, I want to be the person that I want my kids to become. [Read More…]

By |January 24th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Gay Fathers|Tags: , , |0 Comments

‘Tis the Season to Be…Thinking About Having Another Baby?

stork with baby




According to the CDC, most babies in the United States are conceived during December and January. Is it because couples hunker down for the long winter season?

Or is it the holiday celebrations and spiked eggnog that lead to mistletoe munchkins nine months later?

Whatever the reason, the statistics remain pretty consistent. More couples begin families — and add to them — during this festive time of year. [Read More…]

By |January 22nd, 2015|Categories: Daily Living|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Am I Too Old To Be A Dad?

Len Filppu I’m an older first time father, a late bloomer dad, a more senior sire. Our son was born when I was age 49, and our daughter arrived three years later.

While I’ve discovered over this past decade of parenting that becoming a father in the maturity of midlife has proved to be a distinct advantage for me, I certainly didn’t always think so.

At first I was scared. I didn’t know whether to celebrate by jumping for joy or leaping from the nearest cell phone tower. Would I have the stamina, regret my loss of freedom, live long enough, remember my math?

But the most terrifying and persistent fear I harbored was: Would the world mistake me for grandpa? [Read More…]

By |January 20th, 2015|Categories: Daily Living|Tags: , |6 Comments

To See or Not to See…

Dear Reader: This is a reprint of my post two years ago. This experience had such an impact on my life, that I’d like to share it again with all of you. I would suggest that if you have the opportunity to go winter animal-tracking, do it.

We went on an animal tracking expedition this past weekend, through first-winter snow and frigid temperatures. While I could complain about my frozen toes and hands, and my unhappiness with the extreme (and sudden) weather conditions, it was my experience of seeing the unknown which has had the greatest impact on me.

I feel exuberant to have found so many clues I had previously overlooked and

unnerved to have never known this. In fact, I feel so completely astounded that I could have lived this long and not seen/known/ experienced this, that I want to share it with all of you – no, make that scream it from the hilltops: All is not (just) as we see!

Could it be that we all too often miss the signs/signals/information, the minutiae in our lives necessary to fully comprehend the greater elements and, perhaps, the grander plan for our lives?

You decide.

(Open full essay to see photos!)

5 Steps to Gratitude Despite a Tough Economy

gratitudeEven with harsh economic news and the jobless rates still up, we can still find a lot to be grateful about, especially during the holidays. Families and friends traditionally draw together for support in times of crisis and this year is no different.

The gift of appreciation – a heartfelt thank you – can be a daily present this holiday season for those you love. And the cost won’t cut into your tight budget at all.

Why, then, is it so difficult to say thanks? We are often focused on ourselves – Galileo may have proved that the earth revolved around the sun but most of us secretly believe that the world itself revolves around us. It is sometimes hard to pull out of that orbit and become more aware of the contributions of others. And we all tend to take good things for granted.

Humans instinctively pay more attention to threats to their safety than they do to situations of security and pleasure. We are less likely to notice supportive behaviors so positive acts are often ignored. [Read More…]

The Spirit That Counts

When we were young, we approached the holidays with anticipation because we “knew” they contained magic. We believed in a world of open-ended possibilities.

But then we grew up, and we moved further and further away from such things and, sadly, from our natural, spiritual, way of being. As adults, too often we allow the expectations of others (parents, religious leaders, teachers, family, friends) to be placed upon us, along with the associated guilt, if we do not live up to them. For many, the holidays have become nothing more than pressure-filled weeks chocked full of check lists and coping mechanisms. And now, deep down, we feel that we have lost something and we don’t know what it is. [Read More…]

3 Ways to Fight Colds and Flu with Immune-Boosting Juice

Complete book of juicing

According to the latest CDC Influenza Surveillance Report, flu is widespread in 25 states so far this season. As for the common cold, the CDC estimates that more a than 1 billion of us will suffer from it in 2015.

Raw fruit and vegetable juices are great immune system fortifiers, especially during an active infection with a cold or flu. This time of year, it’s critical to get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and bolster the immune system with freshly made juices rich in vitamins, minerals, and important phytochemicals such as flavonoids, which are known to be powerful antiviral agents.  [Read More…]

By |January 8th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , |0 Comments

How to Inventory Your Personal Assets for 2015

2015Have you ever noticed how, at this time of year, there are lists and lists circulating? You can find a list of the 20 best films of 2014, the 10 worst dressed people, the 50 most interesting books.  In addition to spending some of your spare time reading through these lists, how about taking some personal time to create your own list – of your 10 most important assets?

It may seem unusual for you, a midlife mother, to concentrate on yourself instead of on the needs of the family around you, but allow yourself to focus on and embrace your own development at this pivotal time.

Creating your asset inventory will give you a leg up on beginning 2015 from a position of power, but how do you begin?  [Read More…]

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