Inked….

Yes, I got a tattoo.

It took several months before I worked up the nerve to do it.  It was the first item on my list that I started researching right away.   I must have read a dozen articles on tattoos.  I asked friends who have body art to make suggestions for an artist. I visited a local artist named Carrie Black.  She was patient and informative with all my questions and you know I had many.  I scheduled my appointment with her a month in advance. 

Yes, it was painful.  But it was not as bad as I thought it would be.  I would equate the discomfort to scratching a sunburn.  It was more irritating than deeply painful. The redness in the photograph went away in about a half hour.

Before I decided on the artwork I would use, I spent some time with my Sharpie collection and drew in different colors and with different artwork to decide on location of the tattoo, which artwork and color of the ink.   I did not go into this lightly.  I knew all along it was going to be something that symbolized my love for my girls.

It was over in a few minutes.  The image I selected depicts my three daughters in my heart. 

The List…

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Makeover

I am not vain but I live with three teenage daughters and I am constantly under scrutiny.  They do not filter remarks for me in a way they would with friends or colleagues.   I often am faced with remarks from the girls about how often I color my hair, my lipstick is too light or dark, why I am wearing something and is that outfit age appropriate.  I have learned to have a thick skin.

These comments convinced me to make a visit to the makeup counter for a quick check on my makeup habits.  After a couple of phone calls, I visited Sephora.  I liked the makeup counter at Sephora because they carry many brands.  I explained to Sam that I was visiting her today to check in on makeup trends for my aging skin and I realized the makeup trends I learned in my 20s and 30s might need an update.  I went on to say that the objective was to look as good as I can not recreate the face that I had decades ago.  Sam is a makeup artist – not a magician after all.

I explained my face care regimen to her and she gave my skin a good look and trotted off and returned with a basket full of products that would rival a semester tuition payment at a state university.   Her next suggestion was not her best. She suggested using a magnifying mirror.  Why would I want to do that?  Denial is not a bad place to be when it comes to wrinkles.  Distance is my friend.

Anyway, she gave me some very good suggestions that I will pass on to you.  First, find a foundation that matches your skin tone. Too light makes your skin appear flat and lifeless and too dark adds a dullness and heaviness that is equal to aging.  She suggested picking your color by putting it on your face at the top of your cheekbone without blending.  Second, you need a good concealer.  The important thing about concealer is to find one that is the same color as your foundation.  Otherwise, you find yourself looking like a raccoon.  Third, wear a lipstick or lipcolor that adds fullness. A dark color does just the opposite by making your lips appear smaller and less plump.  She suggested a mauve tone for me.  As far as skin care, she suggested always wearing SPF.  Sun protection factor comes in many different forms.  She suggested finding a moisturizer or foundation that has a SPF of 15 or higher.  She said something that I had not really thought much about and that was use to moisturizer on my hands.  She said lotion is good but my hands could use the good stuff.

The good news is that I got a few new tips for my makeup bag.  The bad news is that I spent over $200 on a few items.

 

Progress Report on 50 at 50

Time for a progress report on my 50 at 50 list.  I am ten percent complete and working hard at scheduling events, reading books and writing thank you letters to people who have impacted my life and keeping up with my day-to-day stuff.

I have been able to “say no” to several volunteer opportunities in the last few weeks.  I feel a slight bit of guilt but am enjoying the extra time from not being overbooked.   I still struggle to find balance but with each passing day, I feel a little closer.  This is such a struggle for me and I think it stems from my junior high need to be included.  I want to organize, be a part of, help with or be invited to everything.  I worry that if I say no…I will not be invited again. 

I joined AARP last month.  There is a LOT of information on the website and magazine.  I have even used the discount a couple of times.  I still feel a little young for AARP.  A great deal of the information I have started receiving is about retirement and Social Security. 

My passport arrived last week.  My last name was misspelled.  The good news is that Emma’s passport was correct. She is leaving for Peru in twelve weeks and it would have been awful if hers was misspelled.  As I am looking at the silver lining, there was another form to fill out and six additional or more weeks to wait for the change. 

In the next few weeks, I have scheduled the dreaded colonoscopy.  The packet of information that they have sent me was a bit of oversharing.  I would rather that they send me an introduction to the procedure and then a few weeks later, a little more information and then the heavy stuff right before.   I am visiting with a cosmetologist at Sephora for a makeup makeover and some skincare techniques.  Tickets go on sale for Hinterland (music festival) next week.  We are still up in the air as to whether we will camp or stay in a hotel.  And, I have an appointment with the tattoo artist….stay tuned to see if I chicken out or not. 

The List… 

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.

Tiger Mom No More

I love being a mom more than anything.  I never dreamed this would be the path for me.  Once I held Elena in my arms for the very first time I never looked back.

I did try to return to my adult norms right after becoming a mom.  I went back to work after my maternity leave ended. I pulled out my pumps and dress clothes. I made lunch plans with my friends and date nights with my husband.  I tried to focus on career and compartmentalize my life like Working Mother magazine recommended.  I was going to have it all. I would have a career I loved, a healthy, brilliant child and a marriage that others envied.  I soon learned that the best-laid plans did not always come to fruition. After a few months, I was angry and exhausted.

I tried.  I nursed on my lunch hours and pumped during the work day.  I took naps when Elena napped so we could have awake time together.  I  got up early to have time with her in the morning before I went to work.  I read parenting and child-development books.  I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  I was one of the lucky ones, I was not alone in this new adventure.  I had a committed partner but we had become two tired parents who were exhausted and not happy.

A great deal of planning, discussion and prayer went into our decision to become a one-income family.  At first, I didn’t know what to do with myself.   The house was clean, laundry done, groceries purchased.  Baby girl was settling into her new schedule, all was good in the Hildebrandt world.  It would take some time for me to feel as happy as Ben and Elena did with the new schedule but I got there.

We added Emma to our family a few years later and then Ellie.  There were hundreds of trips to the library, the zoo, the science center.  I consider myself a bit of an expert on children’s books because we read so much.  Heck, I was even a super reader at the library learning I had checked out more books than almost anyone else in the Des Moines library system one year.  I think I was third or fourth on the list.  We were busy and I loved it.

But just as you start to settle into life.  Changes happen.  You feed the kids and they grow and grow.  One day, you are helping them into their tights for kindergarten and the next day you are kissing them goodbye as they head off to Cuba with passport in hand.

As my kids get closer and closer to high school graduation, I can’t help but feel panic rise up in me.  You know the same type of panic that high school juniors and seniors feel when they realize that they need a plan for the next phase of their lives.  Being a stay-at-home mom is a noble and important profession.  We have a good life, and being home with my girls for many years has garnished huge benefits for all of us.

In addition to the panic I feel about being an empty nester, I feel the panic of the disruption of the identity I have for me.  I am MOTHER, MOM, MA.  I am consumed with the loss of the particular type of relationship I have with my children.  What happens when they don’t NEED me anymore?

I have made choices that are now irrevocable: the relationships that have fallen by the wayside because there was no time to maintain, the career that never quite materialized because I chose to be at home for longer than I should have, the marriage that is good but could have been better.

Tiger mother no more.  I am about to hang up my stripes and adapt to a new role in my children’s lives.  New goals and plans are on the horizon. I can have it all.  Just not at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take Care of You

This week I was reminded exactly how fleeting life can be.   Ben’s Uncle Wayne passed away after 87 years of life.  He lost his battle with cancer.  Cancer is such a devastating disease that it can turn a rugged Kansan farmer into a 113 pound shell of the man he used to be.  

One day, you are strong, feeling older but fine.  The next day you discover an ache, lump or something does not feel quite right.  You wait, you put it off, you are sure it is nothing.   Go see the doctor.  Have it checked it out.  If you will not do it for yourself, then do it for your family and friends.

The point is simple.  GO TO THE DOCTOR!!  There is no shame in a false alarm but there is shame in not taking the absolute best care of your health.

I am as guilty of this as the next guy or gal.  I always have something better to do with my precious time.  Going to the doctor is not fun.  There are about a million more enjoyable ways to spend my time.  Taking care of me must be a priority.  I have to move “ME” up on my list of priorities.

Recently, I made an appointment with the dermatologist for my annual mole check.  I was on the phone with the scheduler, she came back to ask if I had been a patient at this office before.  I was shocked.  Of course, in fact, I had been to the office twice this month with my girls.  I have been having annual mole checks for many years.   I started having annual mole checks over two decades ago,  The scheduler returns from the darkness of being on hold.  She is excited to report that she has found me.  I have not had an appointment with them for nine years.  She is optimistic to report that there were three appointments made and cancelled in past years.  Yikes!!!

As part of my list of 50–I have made my appointment for my colonoscopy.  I am not looking forward to this endeavor but it is a necessary evil.  I scheduled it way in advance to mentally prepare.

The List… 

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Big 50…

Two weeks ago, I turned fifty. 

I have never feared aging. I consider it a privilege and the alternative really sucks.  As I have gotten older, I find that I have become more content with what I have and who I am.  I have finally gotten to the point where I am pretty comfortable in my “not so elastic” skin. Getting older has freed me from societal norms and enslaved me with others. 

I love books. I have recently completed a book by Elizabeth Gilbert where she talks about living a more creative life.  She comments, “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than fear.”  This statement really resonated with me.  It had me thinking.  I live a wonderful life.  But I worry that I have not been brave.  I have made safe choices and with those choices came very little risk.  beach-book-coffee-mug

Life is short so I try to live my life with few regrets.  I fill each day with as many things as a twenty-four hour period can hold.  I LOVE to be busy.  I do worry that I have spent too much of my precious time on tasks and chores and not enough on dreaming and daring to imagine my life in a different way.

My kids are almost grown and my full days are about to change.  Change is scary and a chance for growth.  I guess you could call this a preemptive strike against irrelevance.

As I embrace turning 50 and the next phase of my life, I would like you to join me on my journey.  I have been compiling a list things that I would like to encounter or change in my life.  I have been adding and subtracting and rewriting my list for some time.  I have been stockpiling vacation time and some extra funds to fund this special adventure that I am calling “50 at 50”.  This list will seem geriatric to some and crazy to others.  This is my list and I am excited about some items, nervous about others and wondering if I can get it all done.  Make your own list…

A few days ago, I shared my list with my three teenage daughters. As with most things, each reaction was unique.  One daughter was interested in joining me on some of my adventures, another was unsure if I would have time for the family and the third daughter wondered if this was one of the mid-life crisis and should she be concerned. 

So with fingers crossed, I begin the journey. 

The List… 

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an improv class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy