Tag Archives: Molly Rossiter

50 isn’t all that old – is it?

50 for molly3

Part of a daily countdown to 50.

86. Migraines are the devil. That’s my post for 86 days out. They’re evil.

85. I got a text this week from a high school friend who said she’d been reading these posts and they were making her feel old, that it “doesn’t seem possible” that we should be this old.

I totally agree. I certainly don’t feel the way my younger self perceived 50 would feel, I don’t think I look like I’m nearing 50 – at least, others seem surprised to hear that I’m close to that milestone.

Actually, I still kind of think of myself in my late 30s-early 40s. You know, not a kid anymore but nowhere near retirement age, either.

And then I think of my kids. And their friends.

How is it that I can have kids that are going to be 25 and 22 this year? (When I was 25, I had been married for two years and had just given birth to my first child.) How is it possible that several of my kids’ friends have kids of their own? Or are buying houses?

How has it been 30 years since U2 released “The Joshua Tree”? I remember several of my friends from college were going to see them in their concert stop in Kansas City that year and I begged and begged my parents to loan/give me money to buy a ticket. The concert came and went I didn’t get to go – only to learn a week later that my parents had, in fact, given me the money for the tickets. (We didn’t have ATMs then, and forget about online banking.)

How has it been 34 years since I first got my driver’s license in Missouri, or 32 years since I cast my first vote? How has it been 36 years since I first started paying into Social Security with a non-babysitting job? I should be 36, not have 36-year-old memories.

Now, suddenly, I feel old. I need a nap.

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Some things never change

20170323_094736

Part of a daily countdown to 50.

87. We’ve all heard the saying, “with age comes wisdom.” I’d say that’s mostly true – I’ve learned a lot over the years and often catch myself using another old saying, “if only I knew then what I know now.”

Sometimes – more often than I’d care to admit, actually – I find myself making the same mistakes, generally with the end result being the same injuries.

When I was 15, my parents sent me to modeling classes – not because I was some super-thin raving beauty (even at my thinnest, in photos above, I was a size 11 – well beyond the requirements for even “plus size” modeling) but, well, they thought I needed to learn how to walk properly.

It was a safe and correct assumption: I grew way too fast – I hit 6’0″ by the time I was 12 – and so did my feet – a women’s size 12, also by the age of 12 – so “balance” and “grace” weren’t exactly in my vocabulary. Before the classes, I’d fallen up a flight of stairs and ended up with a knee brace for six weeks, tripped over several of my sister’s dolls, got hit with a softball while trying to catch it because my feet got tangled up in each other – you see where this is going.

Fast-forward 35 years and I’m still having the same accidents, or at least the same kind. I’ve been sleeping in a queen-sized bed since college – which means I’ve made the bed thousands of times, walked around the bed even more. Yet I still somehow manage to break my little toe once every two or three years by ramming it into the leg of the frame. I still run into tall bookshelves in my office, or into door frames as I’m walking through them. Apparently I think I’m living a life-sized pinball game.

Not convinced? Here’s another one: I started curling my hair when I was in high school – with the exception of a few ill-conceived perms in the ’80s, that means I’ve put a curling iron to my head about 12,000 times, give or take a couple hundred.

Yet, without fail, every time I get a new curling iron I have to break it in by burning my forehead. Every. Single. Time. My arms are as long as they’ve always been. The barrel of the curling iron is the same size. Yet for some reason, I can’t seem to stop rolling my hair when the hot piece of metal gets too close to my face.20170323_161959

I just got a new curling iron this week because the cord on my last one split. Here’s what happened the first time I tried to use it. >

That shiny stuff on the injury is a first-aid ointment that will hopefully take some of the sting out. It works – until I go to spray hair spray. Ouch.

(And yes that’s me in the morning, sans makeup and with still-damp hair. Ten years ago this photo, if it appeared at all, would have had me with makeup and styled hair.)

I still also burn the roof of my mouth on that first piece of pizza, pull hangnails even though I know they’ll bleed, run my knees into the legs of the table and occasionally forget to duck when putting something in the back end of my Escape.

So there’s that.

 

 

 

 

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Staying out on a school night

20170322_193334Part of a daily countdown to 50.

88. Weekdays have always been “school days” to me, so the nights – even after my kids grew up and moved out – have always been “school nights.” When the kids were little, our weeknight evening activities were limited to those that ended early, were school functions or were special occasions, like birthdays.

Most of the time, though, we stayed in because “it’s a school night.”

As they got older, those rules began to get more lax – sports, youth groups, even just hanging out with friends sometimes kept them out later, and as long as they were getting good grades and good sleep, we made it work.

My weeknight routines began to get a little more lax, too. It became OK to go out with friends after work, or to go see a movie.

The older I get, though, the harder it is to go out on a school night. Sleep almost always seems the better option.

Sometimes, though, there are exceptions. Gaelic Storm is one of those exceptions. They were in Iowa City this week and I won two tickets to see them. On a school night.

No regrets.

Here’s one of my favorites  (one of many – which probably doesn’t make them “favorites”, right?) (not from the Iowa City performance, though they were even better now.).

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Goodbye, my youthful attributes

50 for molly3

Part of a daily countdown to my 50s.

  1. There are a lot of things I’m looking forward to in the coming decade – I’ve had a lot of personal growth and I see more of it coming – but there are definitely some things I’m going to miss. Hell, I’m missing a lot of them now.
  • My eyes. It’s been about four years since I got tired of squinting at the TV trying to see the score of a football game or moving my phone around just so I could read a text without difficulty and decided to go to the eye doctor. I was expecting glasses, but I wasn’t expecting bifocals. Those are for old people – you know, people whose kids are grown, who are … oh. Nevermind. I’ve gotten used to using bifocals, but I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to admitting that I have them.
  • The ability to stand up without noise or difficulty. I used to love sitting on the floor – I’d turn down a chair in favor of the floor if there weren’t enough chairs to go around, and I spent many Sunday afternoons playing solitaire on the floor. I could stretch out, lean against the sofa or a wall, it was all good. Now, I cringe at the thought. Getting up from the floor now means using the sofa or the wall as a brace to help boost me up. Low-sitting chairs and sofas are the same. Part of it is due to osteoarthritis, but I know age plays a part, too.
  • Not knowing what osteoarthritis feels like. I had just done a story about a woman who’d had surgery for OA and thought how painful it sounded. Then I went in to talk to my doctor about a constant pain I’d been having in my knee. I did have a torn meniscus, he said, but we couldn’t do surgery because of advanced OA. Yippee.
  • My memory. I’m not at risk of Alzheimer’s, but I have to admit I find myself sometimes telling a story and I get to a point where I just stop and … it’s gone. The word I was going to use has disappeared from my brain.
  • Being the youngest at the office. When I started my first journalism job in 1989, I was the youngest person in the newsroom. Despite working at a newspaper with somewhat of a revolving door – it was good training ground for rookie reporters – I managed to stay the youngest, or among the youngest, for quite some time. Now I find myself working alongside coworkers who are the same age as my children. It’s … humbling.
  • Being able to have just one drink too many and not have a headache in the morning. This one needs no explanation, really.
  • My metabolism. Why can you put five pounds on in a week, but it takes a month to take it off? I blame new math.

There are more, I’m sure, but I’ve forgotten them. And I need to spend the next three minutes trying to stand up so I can go switch my laundry.

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Put your big-girl panties on and just do it

Wine and cheese

Part of my daily countdown to 50

92. One of the things I’ve really come to appreciate, especially in the later part of my 40s, is finding “me time.” That’s not necessarily time to myself, but rather time spent enjoying what I enjoy doing.

 

I was out with friends last night for St. Patrick’s Day and I was reminded just how much that part of me has changed. It wasn’t uncommon for me to make plans with friends and then flake out the day before, or sometimes hours before. Money was part of the issue – you have some when you make the plans but it disappears in the days leading up to it – but so were exhaustion, headaches and, frankly, sudden attacks of anxiety about being out in public.

50 for molly3That last one, the anxiety, was the one that completely mystified me – as a reporter for 22 years, I felt no anxiety whatsoever talking to strangers, walking into a variety of situations to talk to sources (businesses, gatherings, events), and doing so alone. But take the notebook out of my hands and suddenly I’m a person – open to judgment, condescension and scrutiny.

In the last decade, though, I’ve gradually stripped my anxieties away. I ate in restaurants by myself. I stuck with plans I’d made. If I was meeting friends for drinks, I no longer asked one of them to wait outside so I didn’t have to go in alone (that was the hardest one to conquer, but I did) and I’ve even – just once – gone into a bar and had a drink alone while waiting for a project to be completed at a nearby business.

There is one more I’ve yet to get past: going to a movie alone. I don’t know why, I just haven’t done that one yet. Maybe this weekend.

 

 

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93 bottles of anti-aging cream on the wall, 93 bottles of cream …

OK, so I don’t really have 93 bottles of anti-aging cream – on my wall, in my vanity, or on a shelf. I have one bottle of a store-brand eye cream that I put where the crows feet are slowly appearing every morning, and I’m not sure it’s working.

But I do have 93 days left before I turn 50, so here’s another nugget I’ve picked up and will use daily in my 50s.

17264942_10154536877053562_8554538634694687862_n93. The older I get, the better I am at laughing at myself. This has been a work in progress for the last 30+ years, starting when my good friends Mike and Kevin proved to me in college that they were going to laugh at me anyway, so I might as well laugh along. I’ve learned over the years not to take myself so seriously – stuff happens, deal with it or laugh it off and move on.

Among the things I’ve learned to laugh about:

  • My clumsiness – I’ve broken the little toe on my left foot probably three or four times, and the one on my right foot just as many. The first break of either of them came in college, dancing on the couch and lip-syncing to, “Welcome to the Jungle” on a hung-over Saturday morning. I also severely sprained my ankle during my bachelorette party while playing darts. Apparently I’d had a bit too much to drink when I won the game and started jumping around to celebrate. (I’m sensing a theme here …)
  • 50 for molly3My love life – This only became a topic of ridicule after my divorce (well, duh, I didn’t date while I was married …) and with the popularity of online dating. I’ve posted about my misadventures in the past, but some of the highlights include the guy who gave me a fake last name because he was married and I found out when as a reporter I covered an event he and his wife were hosting; the guy who showed up for a Friday night date packed for the weekend (he lived 20 minutes away); and one of my favorites, the guy who said, several times, he was an “aff-eh-KON-dee-oh” of weapons. I know he meant “aficionado,” but it was really painful on the ears.
  • My mishaps – I’ve posted about the times I’ve ridden the Cambus the two miles to my parking lot, only to remember as the bus was leaving that I parked in a parking ramp back at the hospital where I work; getting sprayed by a skunk in college, thinking – erroneously – that it was a cat; audibly “passing gas” while working with a physical therapist – and a cute one, at that; and then there was this gem from 2012 – an incident that to this day has me avoiding walking near anyone with a construction vest if I can at all help it.

There really are so, so many more things. Maybe I’ll finish out the rest of my 100 days with reasons I’ve had to laugh at myself …

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The Year of Me

Wow. That sounds kind of narcissi20160520_143643-1stic, now that I see it in front of me. “The Year of Me.” Who does that?

Well, I do. Or I will, soon.

It’s not what you think – I’m not going to go all self-absorbed on the world, caring only about MY wants and MY needs and MY chocolate. This is something different.

A few years ago, a friend and former coworker had the “Year of Chris.” She has two daughters, and twin grandchildren, and a husband, but she spent the year doing things that made her happy – or being happy doing the things she was doing. It was awesome. And I was jealous.

Having been a single mom since 2002 (you have no idea how much I HATE playing that card, seriously), there had been relatively few “Days of Me,” so the idea of taking a full year? That was amazing. That’s what dreams were made of.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a bitter, angry person. In fact, I’m actually quite happy. I laugh a lot, I smile a lot more, I enjoy the “todays” because they’re so fleeting. I enjoy life – I truly do, and I am honestly happy doing the things I’m doing. Do I wish I had more money to enjoy it more? Sure. It would be nice to have extra to be able to go more places and do more things. But do I let it get in the way of enjoying today? Not in the least.

But this year is going to be different. Kind of.

My big dream has always been to go to Ireland. I’m third generation Irish-American, and there are still some distant relatives I’d like to go meet. And let’s be honest – Ireland. It’s beautiful. Flights aren’t horribly expensive, and if I (and however many friends and family members care to join me) stay in an Airbnb place, lodging won’t be too bad, at all. So, I thought, set it up. Make a plan. Do it.

In 2017, right smack almost perfectly in the middle of the year, I turn 50. It’s not a frightening number to me – 20 years ago I was terrified of 30, but 50 sounds almost exciting – but it’s a milestone and I want to mark it as such. So, sometime in the Year of 50, I’m going to Ireland.

But what about the year leading up to it? I don’t really want to spend a year in wait, saving every penny (though I’ll be saving several), waiting for the calendar to turn the right amount of pages so I can go on my adventure. Plus, I’ve loved my 40s, absolutely loved them. This has been the most fun decade by far – even with scraping to get by, failed relationships (which made for some pretty funny stories, I gotta tell ya’), and the loss of my favorite canine companions. My 40s have been great, I can’t just let them end on a whimper.

No, what I’m going to do in the year between 49 and 50 is allow myself to do the things I haven’t made time for/didn’t save for/made excuses for over the last several years.

I’m going to Phoenix to stay with a cousin I don’t get to see very often. I’m going to go to one of my college football games and try to connect with some college roommates and friends. I plan to go to Chicago. I’m going to go see an Iowa Cubs game. I’m going to go to the movies. I’m going to go sit on a friend’s balcony and have drinks. I’m going to do things for me.

I think we all need to take a year for ourselves. Just not this year – this one’s mine.

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