PJ FIALA

Personally Speaking

This week we're discussing something personal to us.

How personal do we get?  As personal as we want.  So, I had to do some digging for this one.  I've already written about being with my father when he died, and I didn't want to repeat that.  I have no intention to discuss politics, religion, race, immigration or any other hot topic, those are for me and me alone.  There are just too many haters out there looking for a reason to pounce.  So, what does that leave?

Growing Older.

Yep, I know, this is a topic some simply don't want to talk about, but let's face it, the lucky get to grow older.  With growing older comes so many things, I'd like to share my thoughts on these.

I'm 57 years old.  I'm at an age where I'm feeling with and dealing with the effects of getting older.  Allow me to share a few of them.

1.  I've never been someone who enjoys working out but I do eat a healthy diet and yes, I do like ice cream and a snack here and there. Sue me, life's too short.  When I turned 50, my husband, Gene, and I started working out.  We did P90X and then started it again once our 90 days was up.  I've never been in better shape.  I was strong, shapely, fit and I felt great - about myself and just generally.  I felt powerful and ready to take on the world.  Then, I over did it and twinked my elbow and couldn't lift weights any longer.  So much for P90X.  

We then started doing Body Bootcamp, a video series of kick boxing, Jui Jitsu, Karate etc.   I enjoyed this so much better than P90X and as my elbow began to heal, I was able to stay in shape.  Enter super Patti - taking on the world.  Then, I hurt my shoulder, which has plagued me since.  I took a couple of weeks off to heal and once you get out of the routine, two weeks lead to two months, then two years and here I am today.

I've gained a few pounds, not lots but some.  I'm not terribly happy with my body now, but I simply don't like exercise.  Gene purchased us a treadmill and a desk to go on top of it and I do manage to walk about three miles a day while writing, and that's the extent of what I do for exercise and that's all I intend to do.  Time doesn't allow a lot more than that right now and other issues stand in my way.  Lately, I've developed a click in my left hip, so walking more than the three miles aggravates that click.  There we have it, as I get older, I have aches and pains that don't come from hard work and injury, it comes from weak bones and joints and an older body.

2.  Speaking of weak bones, my hands give me so much pain.  I wake in the morning and my fingers ache and are stiff.  I slowly open and close my hands until the bones loosen and the muscles become more pliable.  I've found some relief with compression gloves infused with copper.  I sleep with them when the pain gets too tough to handle and I'll wear them all day and night when it's unbearable.  They do help somewhat.  Since I am constantly typing, it's hard to get relief for long periods and as I get older and can't handle this pain any longer, I'll resort to dictating my stories, so there is another option.

3.  Skin care.  Skin changes as we age.  Things like spots and calcified deposits on skin as well as the natural downward slide of my face, arms and butt.  My skin has lost its elasticity and has become more textured with time.  I'm a baby boomer and those of us this age didn't have the benefit of growing up with sun screen and the education that keeping your skin from the sun would benefit us as we grew older.  I was a sun worshipper until about five years ago.  I've laid on tanning beds and out in the sun when I could. Bad I know, but there we have it.  

Now I know to wear sun screen daily, even when it isn't sunny outside, I put it on under my make up.  Reapply often (every two hours is recommended) and moisturize twice daily.  Speaking of make up, I've recently changed my make up foundation to a creamy foundation rather than the powdered.  It looks better and doesn't accentuate my fine lines.  Yes, I have those, but I've earned them, so...

4.  Muscle loss.  One of the most disappointing things I've noticed in my body is the loss and sag of muscle tissue.  My legs are no longer smooth and supple, they are mottled with uneven tissue under the skin which gives them that uneven, dare I say it, cottage cheesy look.  Usually it isn't that noticeable, but when the sun hits them just right, I want to climb in a hole and wait until the sun goes down.  I may have to find a vampire to change me so I can live in the night.  If you know a friendly vampire, send him or her my way.

5.  Bladder leakage, stomach issues, sleep deprivation, and a general impatience with people who want to create drama and talk stupid.  Move on please, I have no time or interest in dealing with any of this.  But I will.

6.  I'm tired of television and the need to make a reality show out of the most ignorant of folks.  The housewives of what ever constantly fighting, hitting, back stabbing and the like are so disgusting to me I can't even stand to see any of them on a talk show.  Over time they've all shown themselves to be the drug taking, alcoholic, whoring around degenerates they portray themselves to be and it's disturbing to think that people clamor around the television to watch this crap.  

Likewise the dumbing down of television series that have to explain every minute detail of every situation because people don't want to use their brains anymore.  That's why cable television has become so popular, dark and edgy shows that require a person to think about what they're seeing and use their heads to figure things out.

The resurgence of game shows is also, just boring.  And, like him or not, Steve Harvey falling on the floor laughing at something that is simply not that funny makes me roll my eyes so far back into my head that I can see what's behind me.  Over acting, over reacting and just plan stupid antics like that make me sad for the days of old.  

Are there good things about growing older?  Sure.

As a younger person I used to think that all old people were crabby old farts.  Now I see that they are simply irritated and not afraid to say it when things are just stupid.  That's a good thing about growing older.  The confidence to say what you want and not give two shits if its accepted or not.  If I have a headache and don't feel like standing at a gathering and smiling at someone talking crap or not making sense, I don't feel bad about walking away.  Life's too short.  

I'm not afraid to turn down an invitation or leave a party early if I want.  I'm not interested in listening to some young kid bitching about his boss making too much money when I know that said boss probably used his life savings to start that business and keep it afloat to give said kid a flipping job, and I'm not afraid to tell said kid the same.

I'll try new things if I think they'll be fun, I have a bit more money to spend on things I like and I love looking forward to retirement and the things Gene and I will do when we are able to retire.

I've grown to appreciate spending time with my husband, just chatting and sharing stories.  I've also grown to appreciate that life is short and you need to live it.  I love spending time with my kids and grandkids and sharing meals, time, conversation and enjoying the people they have become.  It's heart warming.  I'm fortunate, I have great kids who are raising great kids. 

I have 57 years of knowledge and experience to share, some good, some bad, and if someone is interested, I'll share it.  Personally speaking, growing older is both a blessing and a curse.  I choose to look at the blessings. 

What are your thoughts on growing older?  

Hop on over and see what personal topics my fellow hoppers are sharing.

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July Giveaway!

I'm excited to share the July Giveaway with you.  The fabulous folks at Vandervest Harley Davidson have teamed up with me for this fabulous blingy t-shirt!  It's so cute and I'm sad to say the sparkle just doesn't come through on the pictures.  It's so easy to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on what your favorite piece of clothing is and invite a friend to join us here. So, enter away and I'll announce the winner on July 31, 2016!  

US residents only - Shirt is a size large.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  

 

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Stay in Touch - Please

Do you usually keep in touch with new people you meet or do they slip out of your life after the evening?

Social media is a blessing and a curse, isn't it?  I used to be more social, but sitting in front of a computer most of the time, I find that when I am going to be in a situation where I'll be meeting new people, I get a bit nervous.

Some of my nerves are all the self-doubt that creeps in.  I've gained a few pounds the past couple of years and I feel bad about that and I feel insecure about carrying on a conversation.  After all, on my computer I can respond when I want to and I can take a moment and look up information if I need to. In person, especially when you're trying to make a great first impression, my tongue gets tied and my mind isn't always as quick as I'd like.  I'm more worried about remembering a person's name or some little tidbit I've just learned.

All that said, I have recently been in several situations where I've met several new people.  My husband and I are bikers and that lends itself to meeting new people every time we go on a ride or attend an event.   With smart phones and social media, it's easy to stay in touch with people and I make it a point when I meet someone I have enjoyed, to like them immediately on Facebook and invite them to sign up for my newsletter.  I watch for them on social media and it's fun to see what they're doing and where they're going.

Do you stay in touch with new people you've met?  How do you do it?

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Grilled Fish Tacos with Avocados

I have to admit, when I first heard of Grilled Fish Tacos I thought they sounded gross.  Then friends began extolling how great they were and I took another look.  I was sent this recipe from a friend, Teresa Ellett Russ and I have to say, they are terrific. Reblogged from Avocados from Mexico's site.  

For the recipe, click here.  http://avocadosfrommexico.com/recipe/main_dishes/grilled-fish-tacos-avocado-pico-de-gallo/#ihuyckRjg6IcVd9B.97

Have you tried Fish Tacos?  Did you like them?  Is your recipe similar to this one?  Let me know.

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Killer Countdown giveaway

Last week I mentioned the group, Seasoned Romance, on Facebook.  We are a group of authors and readers who love mature characters.  This is where I met Amelia Autin, who has agreed to join us this week.   And, he......re's Amelia.

***

 Killer Countdown will be my tenth published novel (a mini-milestone), and my eighth in less than two years. But the journey wasn’t easy, and I’d like to share the history of this book’s inception, if I may.

 The idea for Killer Countdown came to me when I was at one of the lowest points in my life. My husband had just checked into the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, AZ “for observation,” and I was desperately worried.

 As if that wasn’t bad enough, my first book since the late nineties, which was about to be released in another month (Cody Walker’s Woman, Harlequin Romantic Suspense, October 2014), received its first online review. A one-star review. On my publisher’s own web site, no less.

 No author enjoys receiving a one-star review, but if the reader had just said the book wasn’t her cup of tea, given it one star, and left it at that, it wouldn’t have upset me…much. But that wasn’t what she did. She didn’t just dislike the book, she actively hated it. I had never read anything quite so vitriolic as that review. The reader trashed the book, revealing critical plot points (without noting they were spoilers), and using the words “Boo hoo!” in a derogatory fashion regarding something in the hero’s past that had scarred him. Ouch!

 Then she went on to rip me apart as an author, wondering why the book had even been written. As if I had offended her somehow—how dare I think I could write! There was a lot more in that vein, but I will mercifully draw the curtain at this point.

 I tried to ignore that review—I had a real life crisis on my hands, which was far more important than some reader’s negative opinion of my “baby.” Still…it was there in the back of my mind as I lay on a pull-out bed in my husband’s hospital room in the middle of the night.

 Sleep was elusive, though I reminded myself I’d pay for it in the morning. Then it came to me, the opening lines of Killer Countdown. Now I still couldn’t sleep, but for a good reason. I quietly dragged out my laptop (so as not to waken my husband) and began writing. All the angst I was experiencing, all the emotional devastation caused by what was happening to my husband and one reader’s vicious review, was poured into those first few chapters.

 The book wasn’t written in the week my husband spent in the Mayo Clinic, of course. But writing was my escape, and I survived mentally and emotionally because of it. I eventually turned those opening chapters into a proposal I submitted to my editor…and she bought it. When I look back now on those desperate days in the fall of 2014, I realize what a blessing in disguise they really were. I’m a better person now, I think, for having lived through that experience. I know I’m a better author. And I learned something crucial about myself I hadn’t really known until that point—I’m a writer. Because writers write…no matter what.

 Amelia is giving away a copy of Killer Countdown.  Check out the excerpt:

Killer Countdown

“What did you say?”

She lifted her head. “I said I never needed a white knight before, but it sure felt nice having one when I did.”

He couldn’t look away from the bright intensity of her blue eyes. “Is that how you see me?”

“Sometimes.”

“What am I when I’m not a white knight?”

“Well, sometimes you’re a hot stud.”

If he’d been drinking something, he would have choked.

Back of the book

TV reporter Carly Edwards has the scoop of a century! She's discovered that Senator Shane Jones was diagnosed with a life-altering illness, but she can't help but be drawn to his courage. So when Shane saves Carly's life from a killer, she resolves to keep her story—and the irresistible politician—alive…

A politician and a media personality are a recipe for romantic disaster. The last thing Shane wants is to endanger Carly. But how can he prevent her from getting close when the very air between them sizzles? As their lives are threatened, Shane realizes Carly's the one woman he wants forever—if he can keep them both safe!

Available 08/01/2016 (ebook). Pre-order links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Killer-Countdown-Mission-Amelia-Autin-ebook/dp/B01BSFBUPO/

 Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/killer-countdown-amelia-autin/1123427221?ean=9781488005107

 Available 08/09/2016 (paperback). Pre-order links:

Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/Killer-Countdown-Mission-Amelia-Autin/dp/0373281463/

 Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/killer-countdown-amelia-autin/1123427221?ean=9780373281466

 

How do you enter to win a copy of Killer Countdown?  Like most men (my husband included), the hero in Killer Countdown, Shane Jones, is particularly susceptible to a woman in red. So he’s practically speechless when he sees the heroine, Carly Edwards, in red...

When the door swung open Shane started to speak, but the breath left his lungs at the sight of Carly in red, and he had to remind himself to breathe. Last night, in her sparkly blue evening dress that matched her eyes, she’d been regal and radiant. Tonight she was stunning.

When their eyes met he said huskily, “There are no words, Carly.”...

 But that’s not my favorite color, which is lavender blue. What’s yours? Comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Killer Countdown (US residents only; international winners are eligible to win an emailed ebook copy).

 

 

 Award-winning author Amelia Autin is an inveterate reader who can’t bear to put a good book down…or part with it. Her bookshelves are crammed with books her Ph.D. engineer husband periodically threatens to donate to a worthy cause, but he always relents…eventually.

 Amelia is a long-time member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), and served three years as its treasurer. She resides with her husband (a real-life hero she affectionately refers to as Bodyguard on Facebook) in quiet Vail, Arizona, where they can see the stars at night and have a “million dollar view” of the Rincon Mountains from their back yard.

Follow Amelia around:

Website:   www.AmeliaAutin.com

Email:  AmeliaAutin@aol.com

 Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Amelia-Autin/e/B000APUHNA/

 Harlequin Author Page: http://www.harlequin.com/author.html?authorid=2619

 Twitter: @Amelia_Autin

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Amelia-Autin/100008236030992

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