Plenty of Fish-y

I haven’t found Mr. Right. Nor have I found Mr. Almost Right. And I haven’t found Mr. Not-Right-Yet-I’ll-Take-Him Anyway.

Yes I’ve tried–OKCupid, Chemistry, How About We, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, and Match–I’ve tried them all.

I only met one guy in person. He was a personal trainer yet curiously wasn’t certified as a personal trainer.

In his profile photos he had black hair. In person he had gray hair. So his photos were 10 years old.

His online requirement was that he sought to meet:

“An intelligent woman who loves life and likes to laugh.”

Though I fit this criteria he wasn’t interested in me. He acted like I was a charity case–like he was doing me a favor sending me messages.

To meet him in person I wore a sleeveless denim dress with an ombre hem and cut-out back like a keyhole. I had on navy-strap platform sandals.

His idea of “intelligent” involved reading James Patterson novels.

This date took  place 3 years ago. It’s the only time I’ll spill details about a person.

After I met this guy the better highlight of that day was shopping at a fish market to pick up dinner.

It pays to stock up on plenty of fish in your refrigerator when you dine alone.

I turn 55 in the spring and will be treating myself to a birthday feast for dinner in my apartment.

Complete with a new set of flatware, dishes, and cloth napkin.

And yes a lobster tail should I be able to get one.

Serve yourself. Don’t wait for a mate.

Get dolled up and dine like you’re in a restaurant when you’re at home.


Colors of Compassion

mardi gras outfit

The photo above was taken at a poetry event.

I had thought the theme was Mardi Gras so dressed in carnival colors. The night’s theme turned out to be homelessness.

Green is for faith. Gold or yellow signifies power. Purple denotes justice.

The symbolism of the colors is beside the point. The picture points to another story.

This is the photo of a woman living in menopause.

I’ve learned a lesson viewing this picture: it’s time to halt obsessing over things that don’t matter in the scheme of things.

Like a lot of woman, I critically assessed my features. I wasn’t happy with my skin showing through my foundation. I envied women with creamy smooth skin that looks flawless without makeup.

In the photo I’m wearing MAC Pro Long Wear foundation, Sephora brown eyeliner and NARS Shrinagar lipstick–a sheer raspberry.

And I look perfectly fine in the photo. Which proves my point that all of us are going to live too long on earth to continue obsessing that parts of ourselves need fixing.

I’m rolling halfway to 60. I used to be 50. As a feminist who is attracted to men I can attest to the idea that maybe I’ve gotten folded up over this.

I might have despaired because I’ve yet to find Mr. Right. And I haven’t found Mr. Almost Right either. Nor have I found Mr. Not Right Yet I’ll Take Him Anyway.

Acting kinder to ourselves is the way to go as we get older.

To take the stance: “And what is it to you if I don’t measure up to society’s–or a man’s–impossible standard for how a woman should look, act, dress, and live?”

All hail those of us who DV8 from norms. Praise be the sisters among us who dare to rock our natural faces. Who don’t care what others think about us.

I say: it’s time for a global uprising of women asserting our power to act true to ourselves.

In a world where the focus has been on women’s bodies and how we look, let’s not buy into this myth that we are nothing without Botox.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we should be beholding our own beauty.

I think everyone living on earth is beautiful. If you do too, I urge you to consider that you are beautiful just the way you are.

God doesn’t make junk.


My Cure for the Change of Life Blues

I turn 55 in the spring.

Letting yourself go at 40 and older is a form of depression.

The loss of loved ones can lead to sadness, a lack of energy, and a loss of hope.

All of which I’ve experienced in the last four years.

Life can be so hard–there can be pain–that little rituals of self-care can lighten the burden on your hips.

Self-care has become a buzzword that’s a cliche. Yet it’s a truism because it’s an effective way to nourish your soul.

I won’t go under the scalpel, so I chose another option: buying a new shade of foundation: MAC Pro Long Wear NC 27 – Y (yellow).

The authors of the Makeup Wakeup wrote that older women benefit from going up a shade or two in our “base” or foundation.

From my experience at the MAC counter this appears to be true.

Taking a risk–to buy a new foundation; to get to know a new person; to do anything new and different–is the remedy for the change of life blues.

When 55 beckons it’s time to flout the rules, to celebrate your imperfections, to embark on the open road of your life.

Buying foundation could seem to be a frivolous endeavor.


“The world is so serious that having fun is not frivolous,” said an image consultant I’ve talked with.

This is exactly the reason why, if you’re an activist, you should dance in your hotel room to music coming out of a high-end speaker.

My goal in life is to spread pure joy wherever I go to make people feel good.

I’ll end here with this:

At 55 there’s no shame in doing things that make you feel good.

Putting my best face forward has made all the difference.

The Beauty of Individuality

The online Merriam Webster definition of stigma is “a mark of shame or discredit.”

I’m not keen to use the term stigma to describe what is in effect a lack of compassion for people who are different, who might not look like you, who might have an illness.

Too often the word stigma is framed as the cause of people not seeking help for mental health issues.

My memoir Left of the Dial chronicles my own fear of not being normal.

In 2020 I would like to be part of the solution to what’s going on in the world.

For too long narrow-mindedness has ruled in society.

I can identify with individuals who were subjected to “conversion therapy.”

I can relate to people who were told to conform and give up their dream of being an artist.

What I’d really like to do is contribute to the dialog about how to heal from stigma.

No one should feel guilty or ashamed because they don’t fit the mold of what other people think is acceptable.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of internalizing this stigma.

On the cusp of 55 I’ve decided to promote individuality as the remedy.

The only way to succeed in life is to be who you are not who others would like you to be.

In coming blog entries I’m going to talk about the beauty of individuality in more detail.

Changeover #3

As I head along on the road to another birthday I’ve made one other change: Cutting the crap out of my life.

Refusing to fall prey to the hateful rhetoric advanced in “click-bait” news articles on the internet.

Choosing to walk on the sunny side of the street. Instead of dwelling on what’s not right in the world.

As the ability of our elected officials to govern ethically is going down the toilet I have no trust that anyone in Washington will come together to help ordinary Americans.

So–I will not talk about Mr. Toupee and his ilk.

I can only tell you that I’m impressed with Andrew Yang–the Democratic candidate. He gets my vote for President should he make it to the primary.

No–I just say no to Joe Biden. It’s because the former Vice President has stated that he thinks marijuana should remain illegal. I prey–prego as Italians would say–that Joe Biden is not elected president.

This is the end of my screed about politics.

As I’ve written, my life improved when I cut the crap out of my reading matter. Cutting the crap out of what I eat has helped too. Cutting the crap out of my relationships has changed things for the better too.

Our government is a circus–yet it’s a dangerous clown act. There isn’t a clown car big enough to fit all the Bozos with the power to screw up America for ordinary Americans and screw up the planet for everyone on it.

So–I chose to dedicate my Left of the Dial blog to positive topics that can empower readers.

I turn 55 in 2020. I will continue to write about my experience as a woman living through “the change.”

Sharing what I’ve learned and what I think along the road to 55 is my version of “What Now.”

Changeover #1

Instead of dwelling on what’s not right I choose to focus on the positive.

This is one change I’ve made living in menopause: I’ve stopped dwelling on the hate and judgment that exists in the world.

This changeover has saved me from a lot of misery.

I no longer fall prey to the click-bait of hurtful and hateful Op-Ed pieces that writers are given a platform in the media to write.

This changeover has freed up a lot of my energy to focus on what’s going right in the world.

Focusing on the positive is the foolproof tactic at mid-life for feeling better and having the energy to tackle your goals.

Not only do I want to educate and empower readers I want to entertain readers.

Who says a blogger can’t write things that are funny and amusing?

In the coming blog entry I’m going to talk about lifestyle changes I’ve made in menopause.

Some of them are good for a laugh.

Common Sense Approach to Fitness

I’m a 54-year old woman living in menopause.

I have a shocking secret to tell you: Not ever in all my adult life have I exercised “5 times per week” like so-called experts tell you to do.

Years ago the New York Times offered this alternative guideline: to exercise for 150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. Or for 175 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

Dr. Chatterjee in his book How to Make Disease Disappear lists a 15-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercise routine you can do in your home.

A couple of years ago in the New York Times a champion track-and-field athlete wrote a column. She vetted that when she changed the frequency and intensity of her workouts (shortened them) she had better results.

I can vouch for this because I lift weights 2x per week for 45 minutes total in each session. I train harder because I have a limited time to do so.

Shortening my exercise routines has made all the difference.

Lindsey Vonn the Olympic gold-medal skier in her book Strong is the New Beautiful also empowers readers in this regard.

Vonn believes you’ll love to exercise when you find The Fitness You.

This can be salsa dancing or bike riding or gardening or swimming.

The key factor is to get moving and keep moving throughout the day.

I found my Fitness Me when I started to lift weights. Strength training was the number-one activity that toned my body and sharpened my mind.

To readers everywhere I say: put down the diet books. Find the exercise you like to do and keep doing it as long as it helps. Find something else to do when it better suits you.

At 54 years old I can no longer work out for an hour at a time in each session. I”m more of a sprinter not a marathoner in terms of exercise.

If you think you’re a “failure” because you don’t live up to the standards that so-called experts preach to everyone in America: think again.

I’m here to say that listening to what your body needs and paying attention to the signals your body is giving you matters more than what an expert says who hasn’t met you.

In the coming blog entries I’m going to report on other changes I made living in menopause.

The science backs up these habits.

Cereal Killer

I wanted to write about a specific change I made that turned everything around.

Just say no to boxed cereal for breakfast. I would even say not to buy any food “product” that comes in a box. Especially not frozen boxed lean cuisine that is allegedly healthful or a frozen choice passed off as a smart one.

Making one tiny change has made all the difference for me.

For over 4 months I’ve been scrambling organic eggs and organic veggies for breakfast.

The health coach I hired had zoomed in on my granola mush morning habit (pour milk in bowl; eat in five minutes) as a culprit in my lack of energy.

Ever since scrambling the eggs and veggies it’s true my mood has improved.

At the same time I changed up the frequency and intensity of my exercise routine.

For over 9 weeks I’ve exercised in the morning in my apartment 2x per week for 40 to 45 minutes total each session.

I’m 54 years old and living in menopause. For over 8 years so far I’ve been lifting weights at the gym and now at home.

You want to be fit and active at mid-life the secret is to do strength training to build bone and maintain your weight.

Since April when I started having the new breakfast food I’ve lost 8 pounds. I most likely lost the weight because of the exercise routine as well.

The older I’ve gotten I can no longer exercise for an hour in every session. The trick I’ve found too is to have my personal trainer create a new routine for me to do for 8 weeks. After this I meet with the trainer again to get another new routine. And so on. And so on.

Because the exercise routine changes every 8 weeks this is partly why I lost the weight.

I want to end here by telling readers: step away from the cereal box aisle.

It takes me longer to scramble eggs and veggies in the morning. I dice the peppers and cut up the broccoli florets in advance on Sunday night. This makes it quicker to cook the breakfast in the morning.

Yet the results have been phenomenal: I feel better having eggs to start the day. And starting to exercise in the morning has been the best wake-up call too.

This said I’m not a fan of obsessing over the number on the scale. I feel better at 8 pounds lighter. Yet it’s not my goal to lose any more weight.

The trick is to know that your weight might have a set point or a range of weight numbers at which your body feels better and is fitter.

I’m not a fan of thinking you should weigh 127 pounds if you’re currently at 205 pounds on the scale.

More than how much you weigh it’s your health habits that will determine how you feel in your body if you ask me.

Is any kind of cereal really the best breakfast to start your day off with? I think not.

In the coming blog entry I’m going to talk about what I think is a common sense exercise plan for a woman living in menopause.


Life at 54

Turning 50 is what it is. Turning 54 is another thing entirely. You’re on the shady side of your early fifties.

In coming blog entries I want to talk about this era in a woman’s life.

How your priorities can change. How your identity can change.

I want to document my efforts to go Green.

I want to chronicle what it’s like to wake up one day and realize your life is getting shorter. Realizing that you have only a limited amount of time to achieve your goals and resolutions.

The future isn’t guaranteed–either for ourselves or the planet.

Like Michael Jackson sang in “Man in the Mirror” I’m striving to help better the world.

So first I have to look in the mirror and change my life.

This starts with having a sustainable lifestyle first of all. Once this is in place you can start thinking about global issues.

Menopause is the right time to make positive changes.

Changing for the better is possible at any time in your life.

I say: love turning 50. It heralds a decade where the possibilities are beautiful.

Not everything might be a bed of roses at this time.

That’s when you put on rose-color lipstick. And go out to get what you want.

Women are conditioned that we have to take care of everyone else.

Now is the time to get our needs met.

I’ll talk in a coming blog entry about an interview with Dua Lipa in Elle magazine.

Along with Arianna Grande she’s one of my new role models.