Midlife love

Making Long-term Commitments

“Yeah, he seems pretty cool, but would I want to push him in a wheelchair?” — Amy Schumer

scan0012When it comes to love, the question should always come up: How long do you believe you could commit to this person? Although I have to admit, it didn’t come up for me previously.

Seeing your new love at age 24 and wondering what he will be like as an old man is just, well, weird.

These things do change by age 50 or 60… a lot. My family thinks I made a BIG MISTAKE marrying my present husband at age 50, because he had and still has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and an assortment of other physical problems.

My response is simple.  I relate with Mike better than any other human being I have ever met, and on so many different levels. Yes I have to take care of him sometimes. That is what a relationship is all about. Do not commit to this if you cannot live up to that deal. He was there for me when I fell off my bike and suffered a traumatic brain injury, fractured ribs, etc. I am certain he will be taking care of me more in the future.

We have experienced the lowest lows and the highest highs together, especially in the past few years of moving from a “safe” suburban neighborhood in Fort Collins, and building a home in rural southern Colorado. I would never have taken on something like this with anyone else, and I am certain that what we have experienced together would have destroyed most relationships.

Mike + Laura small versionAmy Schumer is funny because she says what the rest of us may be ashamed to be thinking, but there is still so much truth in asking yourself tough questions when it comes to committing to a long-term kind of love.

Waiting for Marriage

successful marriageI just heard about some new research that asks why millennials are waiting to get married. The reasons seem to be that the younger generation is less religious, facing a tough economy, the high cost of weddings, and fears of joining finances with another.

Please allow this 60 year-old to add her two cents on this issue.

I believe waiting to get married or choosing not to marry are brilliant choices for all. The reasons we marry are fascinating to me. The timing of both of my marriages had something to do with my need for health insurance. I do not recommend that way of making decisions, although it can tend to be a major factor.

Mike and Laura standing 2005 smallThe most important part of the decision is why you want to get married. Religion, a tough economy, the high cost of weddings and fears of joining finances were not a part of my decision to marry my new husband Mike at age 50.

We had already worked out religious questions, our finances were good, our wedding costs were very low, and we had already joined our finances by the time we married.

I knew I had the kind of person I had been looking for my whole life. Unfortunately it took most of my life to find him and know what I had. Marriage was in the end a solid financial decision.

I had recently been through a long process of figuring out how I really felt about love and what that meant to me. In that process I decided that finding genuine love was my only goal at age 49. And if that was true I had to find a way to believe in love again.

Now I know believing in love is your first step towards finding true love. The next step is deciding love is your highest priority. What you focus on does grow! Marriage is not the issue.

Do the necessary work on yourself, trust your intuition and heart, and then love will take care of itself!

Learning to trust in someone else …

Mr. Right frig magnetBelieving in and trusting someone else has been one of the greatest challenges of my life. I have always struggled to believe in my own power to find the best life for myself, so trusting in others has been even more difficult.

I gave up early trusting in others. After my first genuine belief in love failed miserably at age 24, I gave up. I felt like it was all up to me to make my life meaningful, and I wasn’t going to let anyone else in.

That ‘worked’ for a number of years, until I realized just how lonely and afraid I was. A compassionate counselor helped me see that I needed to try again to believe in the kindness of others, but it would be years before I found someone worthy of this faith. Trial and error dominated my 30s and 40s.

Finally at age 49, after decades of struggle, I found someone smart enough and compassionate enough to earn my faith, but you can imagine my difficulties in believing in him after so many years of not trusting.

Even today, over ten years after we met, I struggle daily to trust in his vision and expertise as we build a house together. Should I do as he suggests or not?

Trusting in others is my daily challenge. How about you?

The value of seeing other perspectives

Love imageJust this week I learned something new about myself. I am very stuck in the here and now.

This failure in vision has truly limited my ability to move on to a better life.

I think it has a lot to do with my upbringing. We are very present-minded, cautious people usually erring on the side of fearful instead of faithful.

The way I finally saw the limitations of my way of thinking was by realizing how visionary and courageous my husband can be. Mike has always known that he wanted to dream up and build his own passive solar home with a fantastic view. Ever since he was a youngster he held tight to that dream, number one in his life.

So when he could no longer work at a 40-hour per week job, he found some inexpensive foothills land with fantastic views down here in southern Colorado and started building.

Contrary to all of his certainty and vision, I had my doubts. I knew I wanted to get out of the city. I was certain that I didn’t want to spend anymore of my limited time left here on earth sitting in traffic jams, but could we do exactly what we wanted?     It sounded like a stretch to me…

Every time in the past ten months when I expressed my fears about changing so much at once, Mike would simply say he was much happier in this rural setting, and he was certain I would love our new home when it was finished.

IMGP3528Well, he was right. He had the vision and expertise to make this thing happen! This is the view from our new home up on a ridge with amazing views of the Spanish Peaks, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Mount Mestas.


To learn much more about building solar in southern Colorado, check out our website!

Perception is Everything!

Butterfly side view small 2007Perception: the act of perceiving by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.

It has taken me most of my life to realize that we all perceive everything very differently.

Light, color, smells, sounds, taste and even our reading of others’ emotions are impacted by our unique way of seeing and being in the world.

Originally I believed everyone was seeing the world much like me. A few experiences have taught me how wrong this perception was. I met a man with color-blindness once. He told me what he saw and I was shocked. He was certainly not seeing the world I was looking at. Colors shape my world and make it feel better. He was not seeing the same colors as me.

Then I met Mike at age 49. This experience was shocking in that he saw the world so much like I did. We saw things so similarly and reacted in the same way to these perceptions. As we checked with each other over and over again, we were seeing things in such a similar way. It was shocking!

Now I wonder how I could have ever believed the world felt and looked the same to everybody, and I see just how out of sync most of us are.

Being a human being is not one big generic experience. We are born with certain ways of perceiving and then our upbringing also has so much to do with the way we react to everything and everybody. As we age we also decide how we feel about life. Our way of perceiving evolves.

Most of us have a strong desire to bridge some of our differences and connect in some authentic way with others. It is such a blessing when we meet one other person who sees the world in ways similar to ours.

I now see what a gift it is to connect meaningfully with just one other human being. To feel like you belong with someone else is a triumph. It is what we all seek in this lifetime.

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Best exotic Marigold Hotel 2Where will fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig) stay? Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship!

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