Maiden, Mother & Crone: mother > crone

Stages of Life (for women):  Although in the TV show Merlin they referred to the Triple Goddess, all they were referring to are the 3 main stages of adult female life: the maiden or young woman, next the mother which just means she’s older and has child/ren, then lastly the crone: normally menopausal and quite possibly grandchildren or at least old enough to have grandchildren and even adult grandchildren and great-grandchildren (old has several levels itself).

Today’s post is about later stages of the mother.  I’m nearly 51 years old and have an “adult child” rather than a child.  While still firmly middle aged based on an 85 year life span, maybe more or a little less, that’s about it….I’m as much older as a 30 year old as my 23 year old offspring is to a 3 year old….as much older as it takes a human to go from conception to adulthood.

At some point it dawned on me that for many people “middle age” is the longest period of life.  However, I’ve also met enough older people to see that youth may in fact be the shortest phase.  During youth and one’s 20s it really doesn’t seem like most of one’s life was just the warm up for the reality; the vast majority of life spent as an adult.

Teens & Perimenopause

What these 2 phases in life have in common are major hormonal fluctuations that can cause mood swings, behavioral and psychological changes or even personality changes.  Self-identification can also shift.  (In truth, pregnancy can be even more drastic but that’s a story for another day).

Both phases have everything to do with human reproductive power.

Differences

Teens develop into being able to be mothers and adults.  During perimenopause, we’re heading towards the exit door: been there, done that.  All finished with baby making, thanks so much.

During either phase it can seem like it isn’t just a phase, but it is.  Perimenopause lasts as long, or longer than being a teenager does.  Freaky, but true.

Changes

Whether or not something is a blessing, a curse or something else can depend on how it is interpreted.  Perhaps because I was single or due to religious beliefs/interest, when perimenopause struck me at age 46 years I at first believed that God had finally answered a prayer that I stop being tortured by intense sexual desire regardless of whether or not acting on it would be okay.  Right before I wrote this post, I read some other lady’s: married women may suffer new kinds of anxiety about how to keep her husband happy when she stops experiencing nearly as much sexual desire….Which was really nothing more than a plot by Nature to persuade us to engage in behavior liable to lead to babies and raising more people.

For my own sake, it really felt like a blessing…and really did just feel like I was no longer being tortured by built-in desires.  It did not make it so that I have absolutely zero sexual desire, responsiveness or interest but like I was no longer in chronic danger of being overwhelmed by intense energies that I struggled with for control over my own behavior during some of my life.  I hadn’t ever meant to either deny nor to make too much of sexual energies.  I didn’t find it that easy to keep the proper balance of them in relation to my own lifestyle for 30 years; then finally some relief.

It did make enough of a difference that I realized that had I still been married, it would have become about how to convince my husband that I still love him when instead of his lustful, passionate wife I was suddenly satisfied with a hug and trying to avoid sex….it seemed like a good husband might wonder if I were having an illicit affair and that explained the sudden lack of sexual interest.

No need to make babies = no need to feel horny.

I’m a fairly learned person, so I do recall reading that the great Athenian philosopher Socrates wrote that for men, the greatest gift of older age is being able to think straight because the cloudiness caused by sexual desire wanes.

But seriously folks, what else?

The adventure of perimenopause mainly means that 25 years of menstrual regularity suddenly became irregular.

The most shocking discovery was that those tiny daily panty liners are for older women more so than for 12 to 15 year old girls.  I never would have believed it until it started happening to me.

The first month I had a weird period I thought it was either a miracle from God or a type of witchcraft I hadn’t run into before.  By the 3rd month I realized that it was just Mother Nature….Since it began, some months are almost the same as when I was 30 but much of the time it is much less and lighter flow.

A lot of the time, my periods are only as much in an entire week as one day of heavy flow at ages 30 and 40.

Then, in my later 40s, for the first time since I’d gotten pregnant well over ten years earlier, I just didn’t menstruate.  That went on for a few months.  Right after I had concluded that I never would again, I did.

The last month of being 50 the big thrill on that front was that I menstruated in December for the first time since I was 47 years old.  Weird.

Benefits

Aside from not being tormented by excessive sexual desire with no husband, there have been a few other benefits of perimenopause: less fuss and filth and reduced expenses of feminine products.

For me personally, the greatest benefit has been an emotional evenness or reduced emotional reactivity that I really like.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t have any emotional reactions, but it is less drastic than when I was younger.  It is possible that this is only 20% the result of hormones and the rest is based on other factors, but I suspect that it is 99% hormonal changes, and only 1% any changes in personal character or personality.

Sorry if that doesn’t seem great to you; those are really all the benefits as far as I can tell so far.

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Pop Art Chat: Music

During the decades, like most people, I developed a love for music.  I like various kinds of music but my favorites are: rock, orchestral music and pop music.

Here are some of my favorites:

In the English language rock category I have to mention U2 and Rush.  While I confess to not being as intense of a their fan as I was when I was an adolescent both these bands have produced music that I truly really like during the past 5 years, even though I became a fan way way back in the 1980s.

German language rock category: Kraft Klub

English language metal-rock: I know this is old news, but Disturbed and Godsmack are my favorite 21st century newly discovered metal bands.  I’m not a metal head either; at least, I don’t think of myself that way.  In truth, I’m not sure that any of the band’s members are either but that’s what they do that seems to bring them in the most money.  It may or may not be what any of them like the best.

Symphonic / Classical – Instrumental

Amazing as it is, I have heard of and even own some of Yo Yo Ma.

Another one of my favorites is the adult daughter protégé of a famous Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar: Anoushka Shankar.

At this point, I wish to point out 2 other musicians specialized in one instrument as their expertise that I particularly like:  neither are American.  I have no idea of whether or not they speak much of any English but as their works are purely instrumental it doesn’t matter so much:  Mitsuko Uchida’s Schubert Piano Sonatas, and Nikolaj Znaider‘s Bravo!

For classical symphonic music, I am fond of Mozart and Beethoven, possibly the most.  Normally, however common my senses are, I tend to trust the major urban philharmonic orchestras to competently play the music of those composers to my satisfaction.

General Information

I’ve always loved music, and like most of my generation grew up listening to a lot of radio broadcasts.  My father made sure I heard plenty of classical music, and my sister preferred classical and folk music.  I have fairly broad tastes, but due to the thematic genre nature of commercial radio stations and my generation I mostly listened to forms of rock-n-roll.

Of the old stuff, I do appreciate Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley.  I love the work that Cream did in just 2 years; I admire The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Hendrix.  I liked lots more than those, including, of course, The Beatles (that should just go without saying; that’s how great they were.  In all seriousness, I loved them and even like the Monkeys/Monkees).

Of newer old stuff:  Eurythmics, Annie Lennox, David Bowie.  I got into that Flock of Seagulls song, and enjoyed a high volume of “one hit wonders” throughout the years.  I loved the B52s and even the Go Go Girls.  As a grown woman I learned to enjoy Peter Murphy and the Cure.  I even like Elvis Costello and the Talking Heads. Oasis is one of the few 90s bands that I managed to notice.

Like everyone else, there have been so many more bands who put out at least some song or two that I liked but this gives you a good general idea.

This is mainly opinion and is just sharing some of my musical preferences with you all.  You can decide how much or how little that tells you about me.

German Stereotypes

Kraft Klub (German band)

For foreigners

Germans are well aware that foreigners have tendencies to see them in certain ways.  Which region of the world they are dealing with has some influence of how they are seen.

They know that people to the West of Germany, especially French and English speaking peoples tend to jump to certain conclusions.  Some right, others wrong.

  1.  Germans are frightening powerful yet unpleasant and speak a difficult language that native speakers of English wouldn’t wish upon their worst enemies….except maybe the Germans (ha ha ?)
  2.  NaZi ism.  This is related to item #1, but also involves the perpetuation in the USA at least where there are very old Jewish people who’s native language is either German or Polish, who have American grandchildren.  They moved due to the NaZi Party.

3. Still related: in the USA for propaganda reasons, the vast majority of information        that Americans get about the Germans and the German language is WW2 re-runs.  Due to this most Americans only know a few German words they learned while watching WW2 related documentaries or TV shows or movies.

4.  Frau und frauline:  Germany is full of happy, blonde women with large breasts who serve beer for a living, at least until they get married and have children.

There are people who have a more current image of Germany.  In 2012 it was rated the most popular European country, internationally.

True Stuff about Germans

They can be rather serious, mostly because the Summer is not that warm and people can be hard.   German is not that easy to speak but when German there is no choice if one hopes to get anywhere in life.

Germans do tend to be proud but sometimes also uniquely sensitive.  They know that if they were not so great and powerful they would not be and have been so dominant in Europe both in peace time and in war time.  They know that both North American nations and the Russians viewed them as “the Villain” in 2 world wars.  Because of what they have been through as a people, they also feel that the nation degenerated to having been a menace for awhile….but Germans and what is Germany is really much more complicated….Given that the modern “German state” is about 120 years old, but there have been German speaking people living in the same region for 2000 years and more.  In fact, the “First Reich” really was 1000 years of Germany being a Catholic Empire and simultaneously the remainder of the Western Roman Empire.  *Personally, despite having learned this I find it hard to break through the American-Hollywood images of the Romans and of the Germans to accept this basic truth.

Germans have poor sense of humor.  Well, they don’t have the gentlest or most consistent senses of humor but I can assure you that they are less likely to laugh at jokes in English when travelling outside of Germany and dealing with using their “holiday English”.   I’m sure there are numerous incidents in which some German didn’t get the joke.

administration architecture berlin building

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Writer’s Life

human teeth

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Anyone have anything to say?

The fact is that the written word is still using the language.

Writers are:

  1. Just people who have the gift of gab and the time or the patience to do it in writing.
  2.  People who tend to have something to say.  In some cases these are just egocentric people who love attention.  Other times, these are insightful thinkers who have great input.
  3.  Lonely people who want to talk to someone.
  4.  Happy people who prefer to hang out alone more than very extroverted, social people but not nearly as much as most hermits.

Images,

but not in pictures….Novelists: male: Dr. Watson, the narrator and character of the Sherlock Holmes stories.  Neil Gaiman.  Novelists female:  the lady from the TV show ‘Murder she wrote’ and JK Rowling.

Journalists: Walter Kronkite and Barbara Walters.  Next generations: Diane Sawyer and John Stewart.  These are very well dressed, fast-talkers able to do rapid research and behind the scenes are adept at accepting criticism and making editorial changes, on a daily basis, at the office.

Still, we also have the image of the war-correspondent: some nutter who went overseas and dangerous to get 5 minutes on TV.  Some of us still recall that 10 years ago or so, a freelance journalist broke into the mainstream with some of his work over in Iraq and ended up getting offered a “real job at NBC”.   That’s a clue as to how tough it is for freelancers and how many rightly assume that freelancers are people hoping to get a steady job as staff writers.

Freelancers

People doing it for love.  People desperately trying to break into the field.  Hobbyists, who just want to write for fun now and then and are happy to get the occasional ‘prize money’ of being paid for a published item.

Millenials and younger

Women and college students, trying their hand to earn a few bucks doing something cool that can be done while kids are playing around in the house.

These are sometimes poor people who have been trying to earn a living writing for varying amounts of time.  They may be depressed, or drunkards, or totally fascinating people.

YA and Children’s

Either people with decent day jobs or ‘miracle mom’ types who are able to earn a steady living from sales of their books.

People who seem to have won the ‘incredibly successful book lottery’.  When asked, the swear they are overwhelmed and thrilled at the success of their book.  They are now swimming in more money than they know what to do with.  Often it is something like a fuzzy caterpillar book, or a dragon illustrated by previously unknown illustrator and everyone with children the right age for it are reading it and everyone just loves the book.

Staff Writers

People earning a living.  Often the younger ones are financially poor but still have hope.  The older ones are sometimes still poor but many are lower middle class and have a weird vibe because if asked they just have a day job and would never write for anyone who wouldn’t pay them.  These blend in seamlessly with other workers during lunch breaks in big cities when people are out of the office and bustling about.

person holding white paper and typewriter

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Boxing Day 2018

Back to work already?

Today, while going about my business I came across some people who were already back at work after the holiday.  I was a little surprised by some of what they told me.

The reason I was surprised was simply because I am the kind of person who genuinely loves having time with relatives and friends at the holiday.  I’m sure I’m one of hundreds of millions of people who feel the same way.  However, I am happy to report that some of the people who were already back at work felt pretty okay or even better about being there.  It was just that I had expected that either they would feel as if they had to lie to me about it, or that most of the people who worked today would have been miserable about not having had more time to enjoy their relatives and friends.

Christmas Day

Due to my personal preferences and stage in life and spiritual interest, I actually spent almost the entire day on Jesus.  Again, I’m sure that my being actively oriented that way at the religious holiday commemorating Jesus’s birth is something that hundreds of millions of people around the world also did, but for me it was somewhat special because it was voluntary and I did it that much more than I have done most years so far in my life.

If you did to, I hope you felt wonderful about it.

Good wishes

This is just to wish you all well, and hope that you are either continuing to enjoy what Christmas does to your life and the lives of those you love, or that you are glad that the craziness has already passed you by.

Christmas & Life Stages

Childhood

At some point, people are taught about what Christmas is.  Depending upon birth order, how the perception of it comes together may vary: something about a cuddle, a pinched cheek by a grandmother, the stench of shrubbery in cold weather, hot chocolate and then wrapping paper with something one likes.

Christmas carols and how for some reason we have to be old enough to differentiate the baby Jesus and our more mature selves…but maybe not that mature….Next thing you know they tell us about Santa and a red-nosed flying reindeer and at our age of learning and mental stage it’s all equally believable.

Some year, when old enough to be urged to create or buy presents for other members of the family…especially if we’ve ‘busted’ the parent/s sneaking around the house in the middle of the night and setting out packages….Disillusionment….How much have we been lied to?  Just the man who comes through the chimney or also that Jesus who’s mother never had sex stuff?

Adolescence and Early Adulthood

Either we figure out that the Jesus thing is for real but the reindeer that can fly and the fat guy in red who brings presents is more fiction than fact….Or else we lose our religion….or else we find that more of our friends think we are weird for still believing in Santa.

Once in a while, someone will do actual research and will be able to put the pieces together:  St. Niklaus brought Christianity to the Arctic where there really are reindeer and travelling by sleigh through the snow was realistic rather than crazy.

In reaction to the sorry state of affairs for English workers during the Industrial Age, the British nobility and top level executives had a spiritual transformation: instead of letting (mostly adult male) workers to have Christmas Day as their only day off for the entire year so that they would get drunk and demand liquor from their managers….How about: buy presents and hang out at home guys, with the wife and the child/ren?  Hence, the amazing development of Christmas as a family oriented religious and cultural celebration.

Meanwhile, it is also true that here and there the odd friar, sadly a fat one, really did go around with a bag full of toys …and would give the odd child a toy as a charitable act from the best kinds of motives: love of God as love of others…This was turned into “give to the poor at least at Christmas” and the wealthy families developing “boxing day” when rich kids would pick from amongst what they had received to give to someone else.  Obviously, in some cases, kids would only give what they wanted to trash otherwise…and sometimes there would be some sincere act of generosity with a profound spiritual motive and some children would give away stuff they really wanted to keep …to grow beyond selfishness.

In some cases for early adults and teens it stays being about….Jesus and family and also presents….Or the presents and parents and God are both tolerated as a means to receiving presents.  That varies a great deal from one person to another.  Let’s say that there is a difference between the people who keep or delve even more deeply into the real meaning of Christmas than those who are only reluctant to give up liquor-eggnog and receiving presents.

Parental Adulthood

Tables turn and people find themselves working “back stage” to create and present a Christmas celebration for their children.  Parents include this as just another part of whether or not they are any kind of sincere Christian or if they just don’t want to give up Christmas trees and eggnog….Or that they notice they would feel they were depriving their own children if they did not celebrate Christmas.

Adult Children

Again, what the holiday and does not mean comes up yet again.  Is it still about God or presents?  For many it changes and while hopefully still about God it is more about being able to spend some time in person with relatives that aren’t that available most of the year.

Of course, for many people this is also the triumph of unions and of having good jobs in as much as these are “paid days off” rather than “unpaid days off” and here or there, someone is working the holiday: hopefully for “time and a half” or “double the wage”.    Adult children are more likely to opt out of family gatherings by working the holiday.

People confront their “family issues”.  Happy families are thrilled to meet up.  People dealing with major tensions have to contend with whether they are hoping to avoid in-laws or hoping to win them over at long last.

Limitations

This was written by me.  I’ll turn 51 years old next month, so there’s only so many stages of life that I’ve lived through so far.  This is the case with everyone ….Like all of you, I’ve reviewed what this holiday means to me and why again this year.  For me, personally, God is the central cause, but I do also love to meet up with loved ones and I still like to receive presents….but I enjoy giving as well,….and my expectations aren’t the same……

Hope yours is good!  Meanwhile, I heard a rumor that loads of Jews living in the USA are hoping for Chinese restaurants to be open: Buddhists feeding Jews while the Christians are busy celebrating.