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The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Mom Dreads

posted by Donna Henes

By Tracey Barnes Priestley
For the Times-Standard

Dear Tracey:
My only child leaves for college in a few weeks. I couldn’t be happier for her. She has worked hard in school and is going off to the college of her choice.

But my heart is breaking. How’s that for a drama queen? I can’t imagine this house without her around. I’ve known this day would come for years. It’s what I always wanted for her. But now that it’s only a few weeks away. I find myself dreading her departure.

I’ve been divorced for years, which I’m OK with. As long as I was raising her and working, I didn’t think too much about being on my own. I just did what had to be done. But when I think about an empty house, I can’t imagine how I am going to fill up my time. I have friends and all but they aren’t going to be here to watch bad chick flicks and eat popcorn with me. Doesn’t that sound silly? I hope you understand what I mean.

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Surely there are things I can do to make this aching stop.
–Dreading the Future

Dear Reader: While there are those who actually look forward to their children leaving home, I wasn’t necessarily one of them. I’m sharing this with you so that you can begin making this transition with the knowledge than many parents experience loss when their children leave home. While the severity and length of their reactions vary, it it always an adjustment.

Naturally you are sad, your heart even “aches.” Why wouldn’t it? Clearly, you are a woman who has enjoyed parenting. Given the fact that this pivotal role is shifting, it’s little wonder that you’d feel some real pangs of loss.

I appreciate that you are reaching out for support. You and your daughter will benefit from your ability to manage this transition. Remember, that while you may feel your parenting role is coming to an end, it’s simply being redefined. So here’s a gentle reminder; it’s always up to parents to be a positive model. The last thing any kid needs when they take off for college for the first time, is a parent who is struggling emotionally. To help you stay positive, reach out to family, friends and other parents who have adjusted to their own empty nests. Not only will this help you manage but it will take pressure off of your daughter.

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Begin planning now for those first few weeks of your empty nest. Make “dates” with friends for coffee, the movies, anything that will get you out of the house and connected with others. (I’d even make a invite friends for an “chick flick” evening — you may be surprised to discover how many people would love to share in the silliness with you.) Not only will this carry you through your initial adjustment, but it will also serve to strengthen existing friendships while helping you recognize what other activities you might want to include in your life.

Talk to your daughter about arranging a weekly “Skype” session together for the first few weeks. Undoubtedly she will be riding her own emotional roller coaster. Regular connection will do both of you some good.

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Take time to begin identifying how you will want to spend your time. Make a list of the things you used to love to before becoming a parent. How much does each thing cost? Is it a solitary pursuit or one that involves others? Slowly begin to add these activities to your social life.

And finally, I hate to say it because most of us hate to hear it, get some exercise if you aren’t already. Not only will a good cardio workout improve your spirits but it may also get you connected to others. Consider it a great “two for one” deal!

Sure, there will be days when you may have to concentrate on simply pushing through but in time, the aching will stop. Both you and your daughter are on the verge of creating new lives. I hope you can ultimately embrace the opportunities you have, just as as your daughter is embracing hers!

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

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Witness

posted by Donna Henes

By Shiloh Sophia McCloud

Inside of you 
is radiant luminous code. 
Ciphers ripe for deciphering. 
This seeing is what I came here for. 
Some might call me an artist, 
and a poet if they favor me. 
I am merely a witness 
to your potential beauty.

Inside of you 
stardust is begging the seams 
to cross the veil of form. 
Reach through 
and take hold of the tail 
of particle and wave 
and pull it through to this place 
where we hearts can witness you.

Inside of you 
there is something sacred. 
That which I call “content” 
which belongs only to you, as you. 
Sometimes you don’t see it, 
I see it, we are all witness to it. 
We have need for your gifts, 
place them here on the altar.

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Inside of you 
there is a great longing to be seen 
but only you can fill this longing. 
We already see your radiance, 
yet your longing persists. 
Now you know you must see yourself 
to be fully seen in the way you seek. 
You are your own witness.

Inside of you 
a great call is calling 
a great wheel is turning, towards you. 
That which is yours to do is at the threshold, ? 
beckoning for you to witness with your yes. 
There are many ways to say yes. 
Here take this pen, this brush, 
and give yourself 
as a love offering to your own life.

 

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

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Be A Queen: Own Your Power And Glory

posted by Donna Henes

Be a queen. Dare to be different. Be a pioneer. Be a leader. Be the kind of woman who in the face of adversity will continue to embrace life and walk fearlessly toward the challenge.

Take it on! Be a truth seeker, and rule your domain, whatever it is – your home, your office, your family – with a loving heart.

Be a queen. Be tender. Continue to give birth to new ideas and rejoice in your womanhood.

We are daughters of God – here to teach the world how to love.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through, where you come from, who your parents are, or your social or economics status.

None of that matters. What matters is how you choose to love, how you choose to express that love through your work, through your family, through what you have to give to the world.

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Be a queen. Own your power and your glory.

–Oprah Winfrey

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

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Baby Boomers War Against Aging

posted by Donna Henes

By Dr. Glenda Smith

Have you noticed lately? There are too many of them to count… “Baby Boomers.”

Nearly 78 million of them can be found in this country, to be exact. This figure is not to be taken lightly, as it constitutes about one quarter of the nation’s total population.

Baby Boomers come in all sizes, shapes, colors and psychological make-ups. The one common characteristic among all members is that they were born between 1946 and 1964 – post World War II.

Who are they? “Baby Boomers” – often referred to as the S Generation or the Sandwich Generation — play many important roles. Their present age range is from the mid-40s to the mid-60s. Besides the communality of age, many feel that Baby Boomers carry a host of other characteristics, which distinguish them from their predecessors. Some of their traits include:

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  • Members tend to live longer;
  • Members begin families later in life;
  • Members are often interwoven in a unique intergenerational family structure. They are parenting their own children while also parenting their aging parents;
  • With this complex mix, they are also trying to satisfy their own set of spiritual, emotional and financial needs as well as those of a spouse.

If the variables mentioned are not enough to manage, baby boomers find themselves locked into an era in which political uncertainty prevails; the fear and devastation of global warfare dominate our consciousness; and economic instability is the hue and cry of the day. For many, these conditions tend to create a panacea of ills leading to states of anxiety and depression. Some psychologists call it the “midlife crisis.”

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Despite these phenomena, we clearly have in our midst the makings of a rare breed

Age-ism and the quest for longevity

America has been accused of being too focused on youth — to the extent that “youthfulness” has almost become a culture in and of itself.

The fact is, older adults have built the nation; run it reasonably well; and continue to control most of it, economically and politically. This does not seem, however, to daunt the “youth fever” which abounds in our society. We see this played out daily on television, in movies, advertising, and other media.

So what is the result? We dye our hair, flaunt the most frisky fashion fads, spend ge-zillions of dollars on cosmetics and health spas while we starve ourselves trying to get to size four. Sound familiar? Many conclude that baby boomers, in particular, have declared a war on aging. They will not grow old gracefully. They will not grow old at all.

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Baby Boomers wage war

This is not to say that all of their efforts lean toward silliness. Many boomers (and other age groups) also strive toward longevity by leading a healthy life style. They eat healthy meals, rest adequately, exercise regularly, and make regular visits to their physicians for a check-up. In either case, the end goal is to live a long and healthy life and to enjoy the journey.

Then there is there is the ‘ol’ demon’ stress and related burn-out, which many people suffer as they strive to maintain the status quo in our fast-paced society . The weapons waged against stress vary from vitamins, exercise, jogging and vacations to prayer, meditation and yoga. And if all else fails, there is Prozac.

Baby Boomers are winning

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Nonetheless, the nation is getting older. The age group 65 and above is one of the fastest growing in the American population according to population statistics.

In a recent broadcast of World News Tonight, Diane Sawyer reported that medical scientists have now developed a new test to determine a person’s level of aging. For about $700, a person can take a simple blood test which will indicate when he/she will die. The blood test will show if part of a cell called the telomeres is shorter than normal.

It appears that smoking, drinking alcohol and stress may shorten the length of the telomeres. One can lengthen them with the practice of good health habits.

Interestingly, most people surveyed did not wish to take the test. At present, the average life expectancy for Americans is about 82 years, give or take. The average life span for men in our culture is about 81 years, while women fare better. Most women can expect to live to about 83 years old.

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We also note that there is a marked increase in the number of centenarians in our society (persons age 100 or beyond). Compared to just a few decades ago, these findings are astonishing.

Medical scientists envision that the average life span is soon likely to extend to 120 to 125 years. With the advances in medical technology, access to “super drugs,” and the nation’s focus on healthy living, this level of longevity is indeed a possibility.

Many are concerned as to the extent to which we can handle increased longevity. Real problems can arise with aging. Not only are there social problems — can I depend on Social Security? Will I have to go to a nursing home? Will Medicare and Medicaid hold out?

But the real question may be, are we living well or simply living longer?

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

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By Tracey Barnes Priestley For the Times-Standard Dear Tracey: My only child leaves for college in a few weeks. I couldn't be happier for her. She has worked hard in school and is going off to the college of her choice. But my heart is ...

posted 6:00:37am May. 26, 2015 | read full post »

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Ciphers ripe for deciphering. 
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and a poet if they favor me. 
I am merely a witness 
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