24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear

warning:curves ahead

This morning, as I was perusing my Facebook timeline, I happened upon an article that a lovely friend shared. It was entitled “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30”, and it triggered Maximum Eye-Rollingfrom everyone who took the time out to read it.

Written by Kallie Provencher for RantChic.com, this “article” (I use the term loosely) highlighted things such as “leopard print”, “graphic tees”, and “short dresses” (because “By this age, women should know it’s always better to leave something to the imagination”). Kallie, it seems, has a number of opinions on what women over 30 should and shouldn’t be doing, having also penned “30 Things Women Over 30 Shouldn’t Own” and “20 Pictures Women Over 30 Need To Stop Posting Online”. (What is this magical post-30 land where women are suddenly not allowed to do or own so many things?!)

Motivated by Kallie’s “article”, I decided to…

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Existential

I am having one of those days where I am weepy. I am crying over everything. I feel every nerve is exposed. I am trying desperately to find something joyous and uplifting but I feel stifled and inadequate. I feel small. I feel like a failure. How do I go from feeling like I am meant for something more – something great – to feeling like I am nothing, a hack, a wanna-be? I yearn to be like those great writers who pump out stories that have beautiful prose that can strike to the very core of someone’s soul. I want to make an impact. I want to be remembered. I don’t want my existence on this planet to be forgotten the moment my children cease to be.

I don’t need to change the world. I don’t need fame or celebrity. But I crave an existence that will be lasting. I am memorable. I am special and I want more than anything for that to be remembered long after I am gone.

Did Monet know when he painted that people would stand in front of his canvasses 100 years later and weep for their beauty? Did Jane Austen know that almost 200 years after her death that millions of people would still be reading and rereading her novels, celebrating her life? Did Shakespeare? Mozart? Beethoven? I don’t need fame within my lifetime. Honestly I don’t want it. But I do so want just one lasting thing so that my fleeting life, this solitary drop of water in an ocean of time, will have meaning to someone.

Why do I crave this so? For every Mozart there are thousands more who were passionate about music and no one knows their name. Is that what I will become? A forgotten name in an ever growing list of statistics that no one knows or cares about? I keep thinking that in a thousand years no one will know or care what we were, what I was and I will be nothing but stardust so nothing will matter to me. I won’t remember. I won’t be. I may have had hundreds of existences before now and I remember none. So I will not feel the pain of the loss of me.

The trouble with that is I know how special, how precious, this existence is. I feel it in the very depths of my soul. I feel it with a certainty, a profound universal knowledge, which I cannot ignore. It needs to be remembered. For if it is not remembered, did it ever really exist?

the semicolon project

Reblogging this in hopes more people will realize they are not alone. #AlwaysKeepFighting Mental Health issues are an illness. You’d never tell someone with cancer or a heart condition to “just get over it”. Proud of this young lady for raising her voice to be heard.

hpwritesblogs

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

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A Writer’s Lament

I used to write poetry
I used to have voices in my head
I used to let them out play
To be verses instead
Now the words feel stilted
I’ve shut them out too long
They’ve gone away
And now I pray
For what I’d long cursed as wrong

Come back to me my darling
Bring your crazy maniacal laughter
I long to hear your words flow
Like a river in its bed
Come trickle through the rocks
Come trip through my forest
Tear down these walls
And tumble before us
Please find your way back to me
I promise you are welcome

Copyright 2014 TL Jacobson

Ode to Bacon

Oh bacon

what makes you taste so fine

Is it the salt

Is it the brine

From the first waft of you cooking

To the greasy fingers I be licking

I could not ask for more from you

And yet there is so much you can do

 

You can be candied

Dipped in chocolate

Put on pizza

Mixed with broccoli

Drizzled with syrup

Whipped into butter

Tossed in gravy

Put in cookies

Crumbled over popcorn

Topping cupcakes

Wrapping hot peppers

Stuffing mushrooms

Covering cream cheese

Battered fried

Frozen ice creamed

Cotton candied

Donut holed

Marshmallow S’mored

Elvis sandwiched

Bananas Fostered

Rolled in scones

Cornbread

And cones

Added to soups

Chowders

Pasta

And salad

I believe this has gone from poem to ballad

Oh delicious salty bacon

I’d eat you here

I’d eat you there

I would not

could not

use you as underwear

copyright 2013 T.L. Jacobson

Fathers & Daughters

My daddy has dimples in his cheeks.

My daddy tells great stories.

My daddy makes funny faces when he eats pineapple.

My daddy likes Big Band music.

My daddy likes to garden.

My daddy likes to fish.

My daddy tells dirty jokes.

My daddy watches too much Fox News.

My daddy has a very loud sneeze.

My daddy taught me to play baseball.

My daddy has never had much money.

My daddy loves my momma.

My daddy is the measure by which I judge all other men.

My daddy is not perfect and I would not want him any other way.

I love my daddy.

–Excerpts taken from a Father’s Day card I wrote in the 2nd grade with a few new additions.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers but especially to mine!

The Path Not Taken / One More Stand

The path not taken

The road forsaken

Put me here in this life I’m makin’

The coulda been’s, shoulda been’s

Make me wonder what woulda been

If we’d never met would I still be me

You opened my eyes and made me see

The choices we make

The chances we take

Right or wrong, they make us strong

Ready for what comes along

Leave the way you would want to be left

You can’t move forward if you have regrets

Looking back, you won’t see what’s ahead

Those troubles and stumbles around the bend

 You get knocked to your knees

Pushed face down to the ground

You begin to think you’ll never come around

Is that all you’ve got

Are you down for the count

Is this a knock out

Or can you make one more stand

copyright 2013 T.L. Jacobson

Free is always cheap

When I entered the ninth grade, I was in another new town and my seventh new school. Madonna was the most popular performer on the radio and like many other teen girls, I admired her gutsiness. She was everything I wasn’t but wished I was — bold, daring, brazen, and absolutely unapologetic about it. I mean, who else could get away with wearing a black bra under a lacy see-through top?  Not only could she get away with it but she had millions of young girls wanting to dress just like her, including me.

About 2 months into my ninth grade year, I had two friends. Barb, who was the seventh out of nine kids from a large catholic family. She was quiet like me and wanted to be a nurse. Toby was just the opposite of us. She was an only child of a single mom. Toby dressed in whatever she felt like. If that meant one green sock and one blue with maroon cropped pants, that’s what she wore. She also sewed her own clothes and made interesting outfits like Molly Ringwald’s character in Pretty in Pink. I was in awe of her.

The three of us somehow managed to con Barb’s older brother into giving us a ride into the big city to go to a discount department store. We needed three new outfits to wear for the homecoming festivities that week at school. It didn’t matter that we only had Barb’s babysitting money, a total of $10 to split between the three of us. We were going shopping for cool clothes!

We searched the whole store but came up with nothing. Just as we were about to give up hope of ever finding anything cool, I spotted it. There hanging on a flimsy plastic hanger was a sheer black lace midriff top just like Madonna wore in Desperately Seeking Susan! I flew to the rack and grabbed it before anyone else could and squealed with delight like only an excited teenage girl can. I didn’t have a black bra to wear under it but that didn’t matter. I had never seen a top like that anywhere my mom took me to buy clothes.  I had to have it! My hand moved in slow motion to the price tag dangling from the sleeve. $19.99! NOoooo! How could God be so cruel as to show me the PERFECT shirt and put it so far out of my meager price range? I balled the flimsy material to my chest in an agonizing show of utter grief and torment. I glanced, glassy-eyed, around me at all those perfect people. Didn’t they recognize they were most assuredly witnessing the end of the world? How could they go on about their lives like nothing was wrong? I could not permit this tragedy to occur. This perfection in black lace was meant for me and I would have it!

That’s when I noticed how little material there was to the top. With it bunched up, it could probably fit into my jeans pocket or into a pocket of my purse, at least.  My eyes scanned the area around me as I slipped the insubstantial garment from the hanger and wadded it into the bottom of my big denim purse. I slid the empty hanger to the back of the crowded clothes rack as nonchalantly as I could and strolled away pausing to look at other racks so as not to appear suspicious. My eyes scanned again, warily awaiting the sirens, flashing red lights and a person of authority to come rip the garment from my newly sticky fingers. When nothing bad appeared about to befall me, I located my friend Toby, looped my arm through hers and steered her out of the store. With Barb in tow, we raced to our lime green chariot in the form of a 1974 Ford Comet that Barb’s brother drove. We leaned against it breathless from our foot race, and waited for our “chauffeur” to return and drive us home.

“What are you grinning at?” Toby was peering at me over the tops of her imitation Wayfarers with a mild curiosity.

“Oh nothing.” I said trying to quell the huge grin that was plastered across my face.

“Bull. Somethin’s up.” Now Barb was leaning on Toby’s shoulder staring at me too.

I glanced left and then right, scanning for interlopers who might overhear. I pulled my purse in front of me as the girls circled me giving protection from prying eyes. I pulled a corner of the lace out for them to see. Gasps, multiple Oh my GOD-s and squeals later, Toby begged for details of my daring heist. I laid out all the dramatic aspects of my first foray into law-breaking. For the very first time in my short life, I felt bold, daring, and brazen. It was intoxicating! I was euphoric. My friends were in a state of shock that I had the guts to do something so out of character. I was a good girl. I didn’t break curfew. I never went against my parents’ wishes.

Later when we were walking from Barb’s house to Toby’s we were still talking of the audaciousness of my act.

“What made you do it? It’s so…NOT you!” Toby was many things but subtle wasn’t one of them. She pretty much spoke her mind and rarely tried to soften the delivery. I’m not sure she came equipped with a filter from her brain to her mouth. I loved that about her.

“Are you kidding? It’s THE perfect shirt! It costs way too much—twenty bucks! My mom would NEVER give me money to buy that! She would have a coronary if I were to where this out in public but I am going to do it anyway.” I said with a brave lift of my chin. “She just can’t know about it.”

“Whoa… you are just so badass now! When– how did that happen?” Toby stared at me with a new-found admiration.

I looped my arm through hers and said “When I started hanging out with you.”

Laughing, she said “Now that you are going bold with a capital B, what are you wearing with your newly acquired attire?”

I stopped dead in my tracks. “I have no idea. I have nothing that goes and I have no money to buy anything. “

The three of us stood silently in the empty street, at a loss for what to do next, when quiet little Barb said, “Well, free is always cheap.” 

(Just a disclaimer. This is a fictional story and in no way am I advocating stealing.)

copyright 2013 T. L. Jacobson

25 LIFE LESSONS FOR MY SON: Things I Have Learned

(A little context here. I have been an emotional wreck for the past month as my “baby” finished his last year of high school. He’s officially a graduate. I wrote these for him as he ventures from the security of his parent’s nest out into the world of things I cannot protect him from. Like all parents, I worry I have not prepared him enough. I wrote this as a last-ditch attempt to get it all in under the buzzer. )

1.     You only get one chance at living. There are so many clichés about this and for good reason. Don’t disregard them just because they are clichés. Life is short. Do all those things you’d like to do before you die. We’re all going to die so make your big decisions based on that. That doesn’t give you license to do stupid things but if you’re trying to decide between doing something you’ve always wanted to do or doing the thing you should… just ask yourself “At the end of my life, which will I have wished I’d done?”

2.     All things in moderation. If you listen to the “experts” everything you eat, drink or do will kill you. Well no kidding! But that doesn’t mean you should restrict yourself so much that you forget how to enjoy the things that are out there. We ALL die. So, eat dessert first once in a while. Have bacon on your cheeseburger once in a while. Have real cream in your latte instead of skim milk once in a while. Sleep in instead of doing your normal workout routine—once in a while. Everything in moderation.

3.     Try it once. Do the things you’re afraid of doing or dislike – do it at least one time. Then you’ll know whether your fear or dislike is justified. If you’re afraid of heights that doesn’t mean you go skydiving but you can still go to the top of the Space Needle. If you don’t like sauerkraut but have never tried it – try it on a Reuben and then you’ll know for sure. You might just surprise yourself by liking it. Besides, it’s not really living if you don’t ever try new things.

4.     Be respectful. Put yourself in someone else’s position before you criticize or pull a prank. Treat others how you would like them to treat you. Trying to be funny doesn’t give you the right to hurt someone. Neither does “Freedom of Speech” or the other things in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Seriously. Nobody likes an asshole.

5.     Don’t take advantage. As a man, you do not have a right to get laid just because a woman may be drunk and throwing herself at you. She may have problems or self-esteem issues that you can’t begin to know or understand. Respect her even if she doesn’t respect herself. Value yourself enough to do the honorable thing. If you really like her, if she’s worth it, she will appreciate what you did and respect you for it. If you see someone harming a woman, you should help. Even if all you do is call 911.

6.     Listen to your instincts. Most people don’t do this and end up doing really stupid things. If your instincts are screaming that you’re not safe—listen! If your instincts tell you to take a leap of faith with a new job—listen! If you trust your gut instinct you will never have to regret your decision because you will have made a choice based on what you felt was right with the information you had at the time – right or wrong.

7.     You will always have regrets. I know this sounds like a contradiction to what I said in #6 but you will always wish something turned out better or that you had gone right instead of left. The only thing you can do is discover what went wrong, what you could have done differently, and not make the same mistake twice. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Learn from it and move on.

8.     Admit when you’re wrong. We all screw up. But most of the time we spend our energies defending ourselves and denying our stupid mistakes. Admit to yourself and if necessary, the wronged party, that you screwed up. Take responsibility for your actions and accept any repercussions for the act. Learn what you did wrong and take the necessary steps to make sure you don’t do it again. Do it sincerely and you will gain respect and admiration.

9.     Be on time. If you’re supposed to be somewhere at a specified time—BE THERE! It’s incredibly disrespectful to be perpetually late. Everyone has unexpected things happen that are beyond their control and those instances are easily overlooked and forgivable especially when you’ve set an example of not being tardy.

10.  Just because you can—doesn’t mean you should. You CAN spend all your time playing video games—doesn’t mean you should. You CAN spend your entire paycheck on booze and strippers—doesn’t mean you should. You CAN drink an entire bottle of Tequila—doesn’t mean you should. You CAN call that big guy with all the tattoos a pussy—doesn’t mean you should. Use some common sense.

11. Forgive those that hurt you. Not for their sake but for yours. Carrying around hurt and anger poisons everything in your life. You will never be happy until you let that pain go. That doesn’t mean you have to keep that person in your life, it just means you choose not to let them or what they did be important to you anymore. It’s very liberating.

12. If you love someone tell them so. Tell them what you love about them. It has the most amazing impact not only on them but on you. They may be having the worst day and just a few kind words from you can change everything for them. They will usually reciprocate with why they love you. It’s wonderful!

13. Read as often as you can. Books aren’t just for learning, they are for escaping. It’s comforting to know that there are more books in the world than you will ever be able to read in your lifetime. Think how many you can read though!

14. Travel. The world is big and beautiful and a little bit scary. There are so many places to see, cultures to experience, differences to explore, and foods to try. Spend your spare time and money on experiences not things.

15. Don’t forget to enjoy what you have. We are trained from an early age to always be looking at what is coming next, look to the future, plan ahead. Unfortunately, that usually means we forget to value what we already have today. Stop every once in a while to take stock of what you do have and enjoy every day. Not everyone has it as good as you. There is always someone who is wishing for what you already have.

16. Karma is a bitch. If you’re having a string of bad luck and it seems like everything is going wrong and the whole world is out to make you miserable – that’s bad Karma getting back at you for something negative you put out into the world. Just remember the Karma pendulum will swing the other way eventually. This is the time to do something good, something nice for someone else. What you do will come back to you three-fold.

17. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Sometimes you’re just screwed. Life seems to stack the deck sometimes and it seems like you just can’t win. Take a deep breath, vent if you need to, then suck it up and keep trudging along. It happens to all of us and this too will pass.

18. You don’t know everything. You may think you do but you really don’t. There is always something you can learn.

19. Marry someone you like. There are people who get married for money, status, or lust but their spouse is a total douche/bitch. If you like them, love will come but there is no cure for asshole. Oh, and if she tells you she’s bi, make sure she means bi-sexual not bi-polar. No one wants to have a threesome with a psychopath.  

20. Not everyone is as trustworthy as you are but neither is everyone out to get you. You’re going to get screwed over on deals or by a mechanic or by someone… it happens, but that doesn’t mean everyone is a thief. On the other hand, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, but it’s telling you it’s a bouquet of roses – don’t be an idiot.

21. You are not responsible for the advice you get but you are responsible for the advice you take. You see it all the time, people blame someone else “You told me I should do it.” So. Just because someone told you to doesn’t mean you had to do it. Same goes for friends. If you have that friend who is an asshole and throws beer bottles at cars or whatever, you may not be responsible for what he does but you are responsible for hanging out with him and continuing to call him a friend.

22. It’s not what you say that makes you the better person, it’s what you DO. Just look at all the people who say they’re “good Christians” and that by going to church every Sunday makes them better than someone who doesn’t. Yet these same people will spew hate against gay people or are stealing from their employer or they are molesting a little kid. Your actions speak louder than any pretty speech you can think up.

23. Don’t change who you are for someone else. If you want to make changes for you than by all means do it. But trying to change who you are at your core for someone else is like pretending you’re a dinosaur. Eventually you’re going to get tired of the game and want to go home.

24. You can’t please everyone. No matter how hard you try, how close to perfect you perform, there is always someone who is ready to find fault and dump all over you. As hard as it is, accept that. Cull from their criticism whatever you deem useful and let the rest of what they spew slide right off you. As long as you try your best, let the rest go.  

25. You’re going to fail. Bad things are going to happen. You’re going to be at your lowest point and feel like life just can’t get any worse. That’s when you have a choice to make. You can let it control your life, you can let it ruin your life, or you can get on with your life. It really is up to you.

Now go out into that big, wide world my son, and know that there is at least one person who is always on your side, who always has your back, and will always love you no matter what— your mom.

So… this is new

Not sure where I’m going with this. All I know is I’m a writer trapped in a procrastinator’s body. I need a place to get out these thoughts, stories, ideas that are flitting in and out of my consciousness. I figure, since I’m on the internet anyway… 2 birds, one stone.

I guess I should do some sort of introduction. Don’t know why. No one is going to read this but maybe a few of my die-hard fans i.e. my mom and my husband, and they already know me. However, it seems like I should and I, for the most part, do as I should.

I’m 40-something. Married. Grown kids- 1 starting college and 1 in college part-time (the other part of the time he’s playing video games and NOT moving out of my house!) I am a taphophile (look it up) and a lover of all things “books” which tends to make me somewhat of a pack rat. I seem to “collect” things. Books, notebooks, hats, piles of paper, old tissues, scraps, bits, bobs– in a word… stuff. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a hoarder (isn’t that what hoarders usually say?) I throw stuff out. I recycle. I donate. Somehow, seemingly without my knowing, stuff just seems to get back into the house. It gets shoved into closets and crannies. Pushed into piles on the counter and table. Until one day, I look up from my laptop or book and see I have no room to even breathe. Does stuff multiply like horny little rabbits in the Spring? Oh, wait. Is this why they call it Spring Cleaning??

Where was I? Oh yes, me. I am a foodie. I love to cook and bake. I probably realized much too late in life that I should have been a pastry chef. Now, I’m too run down with a bad back, feet that hurt almost all the time, and an aging body that needs to get healthier not learn how to make decadent things with butter and sugar. So you will, from time-to-time, see a few of my newest food creations on here. I may even write about interesting restaurants we’ve eaten at or want to visit. After all, I have owned 2 restaurants and a coffee shop/bookstore. Once that’s in your soul, it can’t be removed, not even with a rusty spoon or a colossal failure.

Image

This is my dog, Peanut. Yea, he likes to bogart the remote. He’s a Yorkshire Terrier. They say owners and their dogs tend to look a lot alike. Not sure if that’s someone’s way of saying I’m a dog or if they’re saying I have long flowing hair. Either way, now you have an idea of what I look like.

I’ll leave you with one of my current favorite quotes from Jarod Kintz-

“I cut an inch off of every straw I see, just to make the world suck a little less.
”