Still a dreamer…Old Memories and New Hopes

Archive for the ‘women’s issues’ Category

Modern Day Dear John

When you have a relationship that is no longer working for you. When the best is behind you. When being nourished is a foreign term, it is time to end, even though email is not the best way, it is the quickest. Here is a sample of a modern-day dear John letter.

Dear Whoever,

This is not meant to be mean-spirited. I find that closure is necessary for me. I liked having you in my life. I love not having you in my life.

You never deserved my friendship. You were my worst mistake. I have no regrets. Lesson Learned.

I wish you whatever,

Smarter Now

You’re the one taking charge. Perhaps you were doing unrealistic magical thinking about changing him/her. Freedom is just an email away. Take away the power from the person and empower yourself, not repeating the same mistake again. Needless to say, physical or emotional abuse should never be tolerated. Not one shove or one mean vicious comment. The more you love yourself, the stronger you will become in dealing with negative relationships. A mantra that should stay with you. “Never settle for less than you are.” pm

This was originally published  on Bershan Shaw and URAWarrior…


Why when you see photographs of men and women over 60, are they mostly old and sickly looking. Why not sensual and sexual? Why not vibrant? Why not Why not Why not???? Jane Fonda at 77 ! I don’t want to go  down the list. You can Google men and women in any field over 65 and see pretty terrific vital people. If you go to the doctor, chances are in his write up, you are considered elderly. I have never liked labels of any kind, and wish age was just a number, not a limitation. Not judging but just read about the owner of the Patriots. Again just observing. His wife died at 68 in 2011 after a long marriage and  four children. His net worth about $4Billion. Also a nice looking man. Educated. Article said he was very depressed after  his wife’s death. People close to him said his actress girlfriend (beautiful) helped pull him out of his sadness. She is around 34 and he is 74. They look perfectly wonderfully happy together, and again not to over state, I am not judging. I would like to know of one story of a grieving widow who has a man 40 years younger to help her with her sadness…..Not a  Harold and Maude joke, just a lovely story.. But, it would be a joke, because the choices women have are far different than the choices men have. That’s just the way it is…..

Living In New York City…..Behind A Closed Door

The strangest feeling is living in a building, a large building with many families, none of which are mine. My building isn’t huge. Maybe over 150 apartments. Most of the time, it feels great. Almost as if I am living at a hotel. New York Times at my door every morning. Mail down stairs. A staff that is wonderful. A gym and magically, even a storage area.  I feel very taken care of…any restaurant will deliver food. Elevator service. Some people who actually smile and greet.  Behind every door is a story I’m sure. There may very well be very lonely people behind those doors.  There may very well be very happy people behind those doors. You really aren’t aware,  because you don’t know your neighbors. I’m fortunate that I have many  to be with and talk to in the neighborhood. . I also write, so being just me  in my apartment  is not being lonely.  But, there are just too many single women living alone in New York City (read over 700,000), and many don’t like that feeling. When I first became a widow, I really thought living alone was abnormal. No one to talk to in the middle of the night…..unless you count stuffed animals. You see so many singles with dogs and there are reasons for all the dog and cat people. Company.. I had dogs all my life and never could I go through the losing process again. My canine grandson Lucky gives me a doggy fix when needed.  My brother is a psychiatrist for over 50 years, but I talk more with family and friends when I need a people fix. My therapy is self because it has always worked for me. I never judge what someone else needs, but with me…..I have a therapist on call 24/7. Just reinforcing all that I am grateful for, and not concentrating on the huge voids. Compartmentalizing has always worked wonders for me. I never let the overflow from sadness seep out to take away the gratefulness. I do wish I laughed more…so instead of watching news constantly,  the answer for me …. late night comedians. We all have to find what works, positive tools of course.

I do wonder if there is someone behind those closed doors who might need someone to talk to. We New Yorker’s are known for being very private…..but I do wonder who could use a human interaction.  I wonder?

I am grateful ……… but actually I  am just another single New York woman behind a closed-door.

Domestic Violence

I was watching CBS Sunday Morning, and appalled at the latest figures in violence against women by their intimate partners. In the news once again, since a football player is shown beating his wife on a video . The NFL should police themselves and not hide behind the fame of the players.  There should be zero tolerance for this behavior. Call to Action is long due to protect women from their abusers.  One in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. The voices of the abused must be heard, yet so many victims never report the abuse. Facts from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 85% of Domestic Violence victims are women. The consequences can cross generations and last a lifetime…Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers. Many fill out the temporary restraining orders, and then fail to go to court to make them permanent. Very often, when a woman decides to leave, she is murdered. The experience a woman suffers is terror and helplessness. She feels isolated and doesn’t tell her family and friends. She has nowhere to turn, especially when there are children, and they witness the beatings and at times are also victims. I was  taught  never to judge why they stay, either for financial or emotional issues.

I was trained by the State of New Jersey to serve on a volunteer  domestic violence crisis team, and worked closely with the police department. In New Jersey, they have a haven for walk in victims to come to the station, and a team member would arrive at any hour. We were on call 24/7 to listen , give comfort, resources and most important safe houses for them  and their children.  In our training, as much as you wanted to say “are you crazy for staying?”….that was not an option.We were not there to impose our opinions . We  were there to listen.We were just what we were…a crisis intervention team . We were advised to say the six most important words to a victim.

Do you think you deserve better?

Fall…….”Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” Betty Friedan

I once wrote that the season of  Fall reminds me of older women. One day, in their glory like  gorgeous shades of fall leaves,  then  shriveled up and  slush in the streets. That was years ago, and I have since become an older woman. Naturally, I no longer think that way. Instead, I have chosen the denial route. Most of my friends avoid the number discussion,and mortality is rarely if ever discussed. Seems to me, why discuss. As long as denial works, and I do think for me, it’s a productive descriptive word, then use it to your advantage,  Nothing negative about denial, when it makes living well worth living in the moment. I do have one friend that I talk to once a week. She never has a conversation without saying the word old. I firmly believe that if you have your health, and feel old, then you are old. Other friends and some up to 97 say over and over again.,,,, Age is just a number, not a limitation They seem ageless in their outlooks on everything… Of course I do  notice a few changes in myself, and then denial appears,,. Lighting is everything. Look at  televisions stars. In person you  see every flaw, and with  flattering lighting, perfection….some women ….even with some “work” done still don’t look totally natural.  So what’s the answer?  Only look at yourself  in good lighting, and don’t overspend your time scrutinizing every little line and droop. Seriously if you smile , it’s amazing what a quick fix lift you have. Good nutrition and exercise a must.  Pay attention to not being in the sun without protection, and always moisturize…. if you don’t live in a hot climate, organic extra virgin olive oil is a good inexpensive one. Speaking of virgins, we have mostly become born again virgins, but nothing should stop you from engaging in a one on one…Not difficult to figure that out. In my apartment I do walk as if I am 102. Falling is the number one accident you don’t want to have. I read that most women are in nursing homes because of broken hips. I have all beautiful tile floors and I would prefer not laying here for a week, and then playing bingo the rest of my life. Just going to touch on that subject, If I can’t take care of myself, by myself, I may have to move to Oregon. Quality of  life is essential. Not judging anyone who  lives in senior places, whatever works.  As long as I can, I want to see diversity in all areas of my life. Shoot me is my answer to my children, who for some reason do not find that humorous. Guess denial works for them as well.  But enough of reality. Reality sucks! If I want reality, I can read the newspapers, so full of violence and more violence, that I avoid. Avoid and deny. I can’t do anything about it. Politics is a subject that is very foreign to me as are politicians, most anyway. Love reading articles about the arts, culture and any feel good information. I seem to be giving myself many many choices now. Be around nourishing positive people, listen and use all your senses  for what is kind and loving. Sounds  banal??? It actually works if you can manage it. Let negative people go.. You have no choice but to Spring ahead, even though Fall is here…..just to add, all those positive women I know in their 90’s, never talked about being dried up formerly beautiful leaves. It’s all in the attitude. “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” George Bernard Shaw……I just read this to my youngest son (54)  calling me from the  West  Coast, and he wanted me to add. “Don’t associate with the falling leaves; instead the everlasting tree with always surviving roots.”


There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. I think there’s a big difference, or maybe I talk myself into thinking that way. We can use our mind to talk ourselves in and out of whatever we want. I choose to think that for the last ten years, I have learned to live alone. I have also learned not to think of loneliness as an option. I live in New York City. The city that never sleeps….I have the choice of going out 24/7 for food, hairdresser, movies, shopping in all night drug stores, and whatever. Have I ever gone? Will I ever? No of course not. Forever forever grateful for all the family and friends in my life. As I always say, my emotional transfusions. Actually only people who live alone know exactly what it’s like living alone. You eat alone, if someone actually cooks, you cook alone, you watch television and listen to music alone, you wake up and go to sleep alone. You are alone. There are so many single women in New York City, the numbers are huge. So, as many of us do, you find something lovely about being alone. You can eat anything at any hour. You can watch whatever you want. You can You can You can……anything and everything…..but who wants to really? After many years women accept their fate and say things like…..”I love being alone. Who needs a man? Who wants to be a nurse or a purse? If a man came through my roof, that would be the only way I would be with one. I never want to do his laundry. Maybe one in my life, occasionally in my bed, but never in my apartment.”
For me personally, I love what Betty White said, “I had the best, who needs the rest.”
But, and a big but. Occasionally when alone, a ten second pity party and let the tears flow. I just can’t stay too long at the party. Sheer joy is being in love with a man who loves you back. Just remembering takes away any lonely feeling and brings me comfort and joy, and even hope….still…..
Hey, it’s almost 8pm and I didn’t have lunch. Dinner can be anytime and great left overs from a family favorite restaurant night….in a basket while I watch television.
Alone yes, feeling lonely no. Do I love living alone? Of course not!!!!!!

O….The Oprah Magazine June 2014

Brave, wonder-filled, show women of every age, looking absolutely marvelous, wrinkles and all. Beauty of heart and soul shining brightly from within. How refreshing to experience them. Would love to see the entire magazine devoted to women over 60 who have secrets of their own to share. Perhaps bodies as well!!!! Browse any fashion magazine ( I rarely do) and what do you see? Styled women in their 20’s,30’s 40’s and some daring enough to go to the 50’s. It then ends. Where are the women 60-100? We’re out there. Reading, going to every cultural event, contributing, shopping and adding to economy still, living…. Having dinner with women friends, and what might be shocking? Drinking, having sex with or without a partner. Where legal, some even smoking weed. Why are their voices unheard?…In O there was a full-page devoted to a 100-year-old woman, still teaching and offering her wisdom. Proof that if in good health, age is just a number, not a limitation.. Wish more magazines would take the plunge.Jane Fonda at 76 doesn’t deny aging and her own mortality. She said “With age, I am able to appreciate beauty in small things, more than when I was younger, perhaps because I pay attention more.” Perhaps the media should pay more attention to women that can add their wisdom to the world.

Happy Story

My friend Vivian called me from Florida with a lovely story.
She was at the beauty salon, and a woman was paying her bill and chatting with the receptionist. My friend overheard the woman say that her birthday was 7/11, to which Vivian responded by saying “that’s my birthday too.” The woman quickly responded, “I’m going to be 96 and my husband is 101’……..and with that said, she left the salon, keys in hand, went into her car and drove off.
I love this story!!!!

Golden Girls? We’re Here!

mother nature is a man and other observations..

What a fun great show that was. With all the reality shows, I wrote to Andy Cohen at Bravo and wanted to know why there wasn’t one show with women over 60? It could address so many issues and be humorous and poignant. Are the demographics only directed at those way under 60? I wrote to Linda Wells of Allure magazine over 15 years ago and asked why everything stops at 40…Now they go to 50. We really don’t drop off the earth and all the 20 somethings are going hopefully to be over 60, someday. I have actually known women over 70 who still shop, still wear cosmetics, eat, drink, walk, do yoga, involved with nutrition, and the list goes on. They even want sex or shall I say delicately, they want someone normal to be in their lives and make love. Oh, I almost forgot, they go to…

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Golden Girls? We’re Here!

What a fun great show that was. With all the reality shows, I wrote to Andy Cohen at Bravo and wanted to know why there wasn’t one show with women over 60? It could address so many issues and be humorous and poignant. Are the demographics only directed at those way under 60? I wrote to Linda Wells of Allure magazine over 15 years ago and asked why everything stops at 40…Now they go to 50. We really don’t drop off the earth and all the 20 somethings are going hopefully to be over 60, someday. I have actually known women over 70 who still shop, still wear cosmetics, eat, drink, walk, do yoga, involved with nutrition, and the list goes on. They even want sex or shall I say delicately, they want someone normal to be in their lives and make love. Oh, I almost forgot, they go to theater, films, jazz clubs, comedy clubs, opera, and any other creative venue. you see them all over the place. You see them having dinner together and sharing everything. Well, not everything. So Linda Wells liked my idea of having older women give their secrets, and said she would pass on to the another editor. Never heard back. Pitched an idea to Andy Cohen about a show called No Sex In The City. Never heard from him either. Then I took a humorous approach and called the Bachelorette Show and suggested they have an older woman. No, not me…too ridiculous to think of finding love on television, but I certainly would watch. More and more baby boomers are getting up there in age. We can name stars that are still working and looking terrific in the 60-90 range. My grandchildren don’t think of me as an old lady, but guess Andy Cohen does. . Isn’t there anyone out there who thinks a woman can be a certain age and still BE!!!!