Stories of a single mother raising four kids after her divorce while trying to reinvent herself, including dating again

In Praise of Birthdays

 

On a cold, dreary December day seven years ago, I was having coffee with my dear friend Twinkie Lyman, at our local Starbucks. Letting out a long and disillusioned sigh, I began to cry the blues regarding my upcoming 50th birthday. Menopause had crept in years earlier, but I felt my youth truly slithering away with the onset of this momentous age.

It was becoming harder and harder to look at the image in the mirror. Where there was once smooth skin, fine lines, along with […]

Worth the Price of Admission

As the pharmacist pushed the 12” x 4” inch box across the counter, fear created searing heat that flushed my face. Seeing the apprehension in my eyes, the man in his pure white lab coat seemed sympathetic as he nudged the box a little closer. Then he giggled, “Better you than me.”

All my life, I’ve been diligent about my doctor’s appointments. I’ve been poked, prodded, scanned, pricked, and squashed. I’d gone through every possible medical investigation except one – a colonoscopy.

It wasn’t that I […]

Lessons Learned Through Technology

When it comes to technology, I’m the classic village idiot. About the only thing I know how to do is turn a gadget on, and even that doesn’t always work. When I was in the market for a new laptop, I decided to take my kid’s advice and purchase one they called “user-friendly.” Not only did this company offer classes for the challenged consumer, more importantly, my children would also be relieved of incessant questions from their mother.

I took a seat in a crowded […]

The Time of My Life

As I stood at the Chevron gas pump, I saw my sweet friend, Carol Simmermacher Smith, bounding up to me from the street. Out of breath, she shouted, “I just took a bike ride the other day with my husband and daughter!” As she beamed with excitement, all I could think was, What a horrible way to spend your day.

Riding a bike was never one of my favorite activities, and certainly never resulted in my finer moments. Sitting on those hard seats was excruciating, […]

My Graduation from One Phase to Another

Looking into the sweet blue eyes of 10-year-old innocence, I wasn’t sure how to answer the question Kaitlyn Ecklund asked.

“Jackie,” she began. “I still don’t understand why you have to retire. You can easily teach a few more years. I’m not ready for you to quit.” And then, with complete certainty in her tone, she added, “you’re not THAT old!”

On so many levels, she was right. I’ve heard it said time and time again, “you’re only as old as your mind says.” Despite the […]

My Moral Compass

Recently, my girlfriend Mondana and I were shopping at Chico’s in downtown Los Altos. After I had squeezed myself into a sleek pair of straight-legged jeans, I asked her the proverbial question all women query whenever they are in a fashion dilemma: “Does this make me look fat?” The Christmas holiday had come and gone and once again my bloated waistline was pushing against a zipper that refused to budge.

“Ah, they’re a little snug,” she said, eyeing me up and down. “I don’t really […]