Five Minute Friday – Middle

Hello!  If you are joining me from Five Minute Friday, welcome to my little corner of the internet.  Please look around and get to know me and make a comment.  I will be sure to visit you as well and say hi!

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is “Middle”.  Let’s get started!

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I have to be honest.  the first thing that popped into my mind when I read the prompt was that old song, “Stuck in the middle with you.”

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you.
I feel a little stuck in the middle of things right now.  Life for one.  I’ve hit “that age” where I feel like more of my life may have gone by than I have left.  Of course, that can always be the case, but it becomes especially apparent as I get close to 50.  I mean, not many people live to 100, so you really are on the shorter side of life when you get to this point.  But, we often refer to the late 40s and early 50s as the point where people have “mid-life” crises.  I’m not having one of those (yet), but I am starting to wonder how to make this last “half” of life better than the first half of life.  This year is starting to feel better than the past few years have felt as far as that is concerned, but it still feels like pressure.  I think the key that I have come up with is that to make this half better, I need to live more, give more and love more.
Luckily, I have my DD to keep me young and having fun.  And, I don’t often feel like I have “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,” which I have to think is a good thing.
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TIME!
So, there it is.  Wasn’t expecting to talk about mid-life today, but sometimes the prompt just leads you to unknown territory!
What’s your “middle” today?

Why I love Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel

I’ve gone cordless in the last couple of months.  We dropped our cable TV and went back to straight Roku and Netflix.  I had a few reasons to hesitate on this change.  First, I like local news.  But, we got an antenna and I get the two channels that have local news with that antenna.  Second, we sometimes like to watch sports and Roku doesn’t have the best in sports selections.  But, we decided we don’t watch enough sports to make that a reason to continue to pay the outrageous cost of Cable TV.  And a lot of sports are streamed online now, so we can always access them that way.  The third and most serious reason was that I LOVE Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel.  But, I realized most of what I watched on there was Murder She Wrote and that was on Netflix anyways.  The key word in that last sentence is WAS.  As of January 1, Murder She Wrote is not on Netflix.  In addition, I was seeing my Hallmark Movies and Mysteries newsletters and seeing new movies in some of my favorite series like Gourmet Detective, Garage Sale Mysteries and new ones like Framed for Murder with Jewel and getting really regretful for cancelling my expensive cable.  So, I started a hunt to find where I could watch the channel on Roku and lo and behold, there it is on Sling TV!  I have to pay $24.99 a month, which is a bit expensive, but still much cheaper than my cable bill used to be and we get ESPN (for the hubby) and cooking channels and HGTV, which we also enjoy.  So, all-in-all, it is a great compromise that has given me back my favorite channel.  But, some may ask, why is Hallmark Movies and Mysteries my favorite channel?  Well, let me give you some reasons!

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  1. Things get solved!  My life is often composed mostly of problems.  I am dealing with problems with students, problems with TAs, problems with my finances, problems with my schedule, etc., etc.  I love that when I watch a show on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, the problems get resolved.  It seems overly simplistic sometimes, but it is a relief for me to watch something where solutions are had by those who need them.
  2. Those solutions are simple.  My life is complicated.  See the first point.  I don’t need my TV to be complicated.  I don’t want to make a lot of effort to figure out what is happening in a TV show or why it is happening.  I like to enjoy TV and relax while I watch it.  Some may see the shows on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries as predictable (not always, but they are often based on formulaic mystery books), but I see them as effortless.  I am sometimes surprised by the answers to the mysteries, but mostly, I just enjoy the ride and I don’t feel like I have to work at watching the show.
  3. The mysteries are solved by women!  I realize this isn’t necessarily unique to Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, but it is much more prevalent there.  I just saw a commercial for their “Women of Mystery” and every major movie series on the channel has a woman as the main character.  And they are often surrounded by women as well.  This is unusual in modern media.
  4. The women solving mysteries are doing “More at Forty (plus)”.  As a person who is edging closer to 50 than 40, it is nice to see women on TV who are not in their 20s. And I especially appreciate that the women on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel are not constantly concerned about their age or their weight or their looks.  They are simply being women, comfortable with who they are.  Lori Loughlin is 52.  Jewel is 42.  Candace Cameron Bure is 40.  Brooke Shields is 51.  Kellie Martin is 41.  Brooke Burns is the baby of the bunch at 38.  Alison Sweeney is 40.  I love that this channel focuses the majority of its series on women in their 40s plus.  Proving that you can be “more at forty”!
  5. Women are solving crimes rather than committing them.  The Lifetime Movie Network has women committing crimes and going crazy and killing people. But, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has women who love their friends and families and professions and are solving crimes rather than committing them.  They are good to those around them.  They are caring and they think critically and they are smart and not always concerned with getting the guy.  It is nice to watch women being good people doing good things.
  6. They celebrate the great eighties. I think everyone has a soft spot for things they experienced in their youth.  Music, movies, television, etc.  Well, much of what is shown on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel outside of their movies are TV shows from the eighties.  My favorite, by far, is Murder She Wrote, but I also enjoy Hart to Hart and they are now introducing Father Dowling Mysteries (who doesn’t love the dad from Happy Days solving crimes as a catholic priest?).  I feel like it takes me back to those evenings in my family room, with my parents, all watching non-cable TV and enjoying it together.  It is nostalgic for me.
  7. I can watch it with my 7-year-old.  I love PBS Masterpiece Mystery as well, but I can’t always trust that it will be okay to watch it with my 7-year-old.  There are often story lines and graphic violence that is beyond her capabilities.  Sometimes there is inappropriate language.  But, with the shows on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, I can feel safe having my 7-year-old in the room.  She loves Murder She Wrote as well. She knows the major movie series on the channel and her favorite is Murder She Baked.  It is nice to have something I can watch and enjoy and not worry about her being in the room.

So, there you are.  The seven reasons I love Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.  I am toying with the idea of having a weekly post on Mysteries (Monday Mystery Mashup).  I will have to play with that idea for a bit.  If you haven’t checked out Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and any of the seven reasons sound compelling to you, you really should check it out.  It is my (not-so) guilty pleasure.

Tuesday Truth

Today I’m starting a new weekly writing theme – Tuesdays I will focus on writing about some “truth” in which I have come to feel confident.  It is important to realize that I don’t often feel confident in truths.  I am a skeptic at heart – a questioner of most conclusions.  So, these will certainly not be Truths (truths with a capital “t”), but only small “t” truths that I have come to believe for myself.

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Being an older mom is tough.  First of all, the energy of a 5 year old and the energy of a 45 year old are not at all compatible.  Now, I understand that the energy of a 5 year old is not really matched by any adult’s energy levels, so 25 year old moms are also exhausted.  I think the difference is in the recovery.  A 25 year old bounces back.  Having a 5 year old is kind of like drinking too much – you have days where you control your intake, drink plenty of water, eat enough food to soak up the alcohol and all feels great.  Sure, you’re a little tired the next day, but you feel fine overall.  Then, there are those nights where you are ill-prepared, didn’t eat dinner, can’t find a glass of anything but liquor to parch your thirst and you overdo it.  The next day is hell.  But, at 25, it is really only part of the next day.  Maybe, for a REALLY bad night, it takes the whole day, but you’re feeling fine by the next night.  When you’re 45, it could be a week before you feel right again.  There just isn’t that resiliency you once had.  And, that, my childless friends, is what it is like having a preschooler.  And the bad thing is, you can’t just quit your 5 year old cold turkey and stay home alone for weeks on end to make yourself feel better.  Nope.  They are there.  Every. Single. Morning.  Greeting you with that crazy hair and requesting breakfast.  Sigh…

But, there is more to it than that.  OIder moms are like the tweens of the adult set.  We don’t really have anything in common with the 20-something mom set (other than we have a children), but we do not want to be grouped in with the grandmas because it is slightly insulting.  I say slightly because some of the grandmas I know are actually chronologically younger than I am.  But, that isn’t what I see when someone asks if my daughter is my granddaughter or asks if I qualify for the senior discount (seriously retail workers, I will ASK for the damned senior discount if I qualify, you don’t need to remind me that I look old enough to qualify).  I see MY mom.  I feel like I look 65 and I should be headed for retirement and a bingo game.  And I realize that I often look old and haggard because I just don’t take the time to care for myself – no makeup, hair pulled back in a really poor attempt at a pony tail that highlights the gray streaks in it, and too much time in the sun giving me age spots visible to all.  But, sometimes I’m just too hungover (see the first paragraph) to put myself together and be presentable.  Anyways, its hard to find a cohort group that I can relate to on a regular basis.

I am hoping that once Bean starts school I might find some more moms to hang with whom I have things in common.  If not my age, then other things.  Being tired (maybe moms of multiple children), not looking great, interested in TV watching more than going out on the town, and not looking to be impressed by someone’s house and/or organizational/cleaning skills.  But, until then, I’m stuck here in old mom land.  And sometimes that is a slightly lonely place.  I have my 5 year old to keep me company though and she doesn’t seem to care if I do my makeup, clean the house perfectly or get my hair colored.  She unconditionally loves me and for now, that is good enough for me.

That, friends, is my Tuesday Truth.  What about you – are you a young mom, middle-aged mom, an old mom or no mom at all?  Do you have struggles fitting in or finding your people?  I’d love to hear how others deal with this.

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