Healthy Monday

Shirley Valentine DVD Cover

A Role Model For Fearless Women… Shirley Valentine Lives On

I first met Shirley Valentine almost 20 years ago. The chatty, quirky, homely heroine in the movie by the same name, she was skillfully portrayed by British actress Pauline Collins. Shirley was a bored, middle-aged housewife who felt life was passing her by. Trapped in a bad marriage and going through the motions, she spent most of her time alone, at home, talking to the wall. Then came act two. And that’s when things got interesting. The drab mother of two grown children ran away from home....

It’s Not About the Hairdresser It’s The Journey

Liz. I don’t know why you insist on making that drive every month. There’s gotta be plenty of good hairdressers down here.” . And so begins my husband’s and my monthly-I won’t call it an argument-more of a debate- about my refusal to give up my every-four-week cut and color appointment on Newbury Street in Boston even though we moved to the Southeastern Connecticut shoreline 3 years ago....
Felice Shapiro

Things I Never Thought I’d Say or Hear A Year Ago

At times, I barely recognize the former me. A slow drip or should I say an injection of hope is on the horizon as the vaccine rolls out and into the arms of friends and family but in the meantime...... I wonder about the behaviors of the new me that have become embedded over the past year.  "No problem, I can wake up at 5:30 for our yoga class." Did I just say that? Yup.  ...
Candle

This Smells Like My (Charred) Vagina

For years, advertisers have tried to convince women that we should be ashamed of any aroma that might be leaching out of our Southern Hemisphere. A quick online search for “vaginal odor products” yields nearly five million treatment options including one called “Private Party Vaginal Probiotic” and another, a complete “Vaginal Health Kit,” in case just one product doesn’t nip the problem in the bud. Thank god someone who actually has one is finally reassuring us that, gee, our vaginas smell terrific! I’ve barely caught up with the aforementioned candle, when, lo and behold, Gwyneth’s back in the laboratory....
Woman dating on zoom

The Surprising Benefit of Zoom Dating

I carefully applied Nars Roman Holiday lipstick; just a hint of color to go with the sweater, instead of a darker color that doesn't suit my aging complexion. To avoid gas, I was not drinking a vodka tonic. Instead, I smoked a joint called Banana Kush that promised “a mellow buzz and a relaxed sense of euphoria in social settings.” Just for kicks, I spritzed myself with my favorite jasmine perfume and logged into Zoom a little early. “I look good.” I thought. “Cute even. And the Zoom filter hides all my wrinkles.”’ I had purposely made myself the Zoom host so I would have time to examine and re-examine my on-screen appearance and create the right lighting, if need be....
Ginny Poleman

Post Divorce: Feeling like 18 Again

Last Saturday with no plans, I reserved a timed entry for one person to the Whitney Museum of Art and headed downtown. I plugged my earbuds in listening to the museum’s audio guide, and took my time revisiting my favorites and appreciating some new works of art. No one interrupted, distracted, or expected anything of me. My skin tingled with inspiration, as my heart rate slowed. My feet floated through the galleries, while my spirit was grounded....
young woman stand in the room open curtain see sunrise

A Jab of Hope

I’ve always prided myself on being a keen observer of human behavior. In pre-pandemic times, if you described a stressful situation, I believed I’d accurately predict how my friends will react. As we battle the gut wrenching COVID infection rates upending our world, I’ve been doing a deep dive into how those I know best are coping with its aftermath of anxiety and depression. Who would arrange all their hangers to go the same way. Who would read 20 books. Who would have the hardest time adjusting. How arrogant I was. Behavior during COVID times is hardly rational....
we need an unlike button

3 Steps to Beat Divorce Loneliness When You’re on Facebook

When you start feeling lonely and left out, especially after divorce, there are three simple things you can do to get your mindset back on track that will pull you out of that Facebook divorce loneliness pit. 1. Mute or unfollow the people whose posts make you feel like shit. It’s as simple as that. If there are a handful of women on your timeline that constantly post those annoying posts that are like “I’m joining the ‘I love my husband’ challenge”...
A sad woman with mask on her face stands near closed Museum. Ban on walking, visiting public places

The Hardest Story To Tell

I like to think of myself as a writer and storyteller, someone who shares the good and bad and complicated of my life freely. I have no qualms opening up about sex, money, politics yet this story has sat with me for two years. I have a fear that I will be seen as a victim, someone who accepts violence and abuse, not the educated, self aware feminist I am. This story doesn’t happen to people like me. This is my difficult story:...

The Curious Life Choices of an Introverted Control Freak

I joke that I like to “plan my spontaneity,” but most who know me well, know I am not really joking. Over the years, friends and colleagues have encouraged me to drop my guard, to be less “bossy” and to compromise more. Let someone else plan something for a change, they’d say. What they didn’t understand is that my desire to control my universe is deep-rooted. It started with a revelation when I was about eight years old....
Woman writing

Millennials Embrace Prenups—but Through a Very Different Lens Than in the Past

Millennials are often known to buck convention. That seems to be true even when it comes to prenuptial agreements. In the past, prenups were most common among young adults from wealthy families or couples entering second or third marriages. Today, younger adults of all income levels are drafting them, not only to protect assets accumulated before and during marriage but to address societal realities that weren’t necessarily present or common years ago, such as......
loneliness

8 Ways To Combat Loneliness, Especially Now

During the COVID-19 crisis, all of our lives have been disrupted. We're not connecting with family, friends and colleagues like we used to, and it's easy to feel lonely. To help some of the people I was coaching, I wrote down eight ways to combat this feeling and tested them on our business clients, executives, and even some friends. What they found was they could, indeed, address their own sense of being alone and fill their days with well-being and even happiness....

A Story About Mood Swings. It’s Not You, It’s The Menopause!

Perimenopausal hormonal mood surges are insidious. They didn’t announce themselves as something that had changed in my body. It just felt like it had always been this way. I began to wonder whether I had ever been any different. It’s like a personal form of gaslighting! So, it’s such a relief to realise that I’m not having a nervous breakdown, am not an awful, angry anti-social person, don’t have to cancel my life, and can find ways to cope. My hope with writing this article is that you find some comfort and normalisation...
Skiing and listening to music

Throwback Music That Fills The Soul : What’s On Your Spotify Playlist?

My Harman Kardon stereo was my bed mate in high school. America's Horse with No Name, The Doors Rider's On The Storm, and Steve Miller's Joker and Toker and Midnight Smoker tucked me into my dreams each night. I can't remember it all but Bruce Springsteen carried me through my first romance and although I gave up the boyfriend, I never gave up Bruce....
Person deadlifting

Self-Discovery Through Deadlifting

A few months ago, I became a grandma, and I’m proud to say that I can safely rise from the floor while holding my granddaughter. I also grew my hair out to its natural silvery gray. Now I resemble that vibrant older woman I envisioned five years ago when I began deadlifting. In this elder stage of life, deep core strength grounds me in myself, fully present to the here and now, which is where I want to be....
Old Photo of Pam and Joy

Friends to the Bitter End

The audience is riled up, rocking its way towards midnight. I am standing on the stage with a microphone in my hand. The band plays behind me. I shout out over the noise, eager to keep going. “I don’t look sick, do I?” I ask, shaking my head and nodding to the crowd. “No, no, no,” they shout back. Turning to my keyboard player, signaling for her to begin the intro, “One, two, three,” I count, as my fingers strum guitar strings. I have been performing my entire adult life. Now, standing in the club, aptly titled The Bitter End, I have bargained my way out of the hospital to perform this gig....
Books on a table on a ship

My Solo Fling with a Mediterranean Playboy

It was a blustery August day in Marseille. The view overlooking the Mediterranean was dramatic. The waves crashed against the rocks, mere feet below my table. I chose Restaurant Peron because it was extensively featured in famed author Peter Mayle’s Caper series. The four books ran the gamut from vintage wine theft and unsolvable diamond heists to the influx of Russians along the French Riviera, and a real estate deal gone bad....
House for sale

Seller Beware

It should have been so easy. Everyone else had done it in a snap: why not us? The real estate market was booming in our town and after 3 years of vacillation, of should-we-stay-or-should we-go we decided to go. We called our agent friend, our neighbor, who had sold two houses already on our street, and told her we were ready...