Thursday, November 28, 2013

The #FatChick vs Holiday Blues and #Depression #MyWANA

Welcome back to the special edition of Memoirs of a Forty Something Fat Chick. I thought I'd share a post I did back in 2011 for a Black Friday blog hop. I've always had to deal with horrible depression this time of year and it hasn't been until the last few years that I've found ways to get through it. I hope my story helps others out there get through the loss of those special someones during the holidays and the rest of the year as well. ~Tammy

Winter Holiday Blues

Solitude by Idea go /

Many people go through the blues this time of year due to the weather or the fear of being alone.  For many, the holidays are extremely sad and lonely time even when surrounded by friends and family.  For the last few decades I have suffered from severe depression from the beginning of November until February.  My friends and family have been there for me each time, but the depression still overwhelms me.  It’s not always about making sure you are not alone in a room, but about finding some way to not be lonely in your heart.

            Watching my younger brothers and sisters get married first, become parents and basically have entire lives away from our family, made me feel like an outcast.  It wasn’t easy hiding those feelings.  I didn’t want to bring down anyone else.  Who wants to be known as the fifth wheel or the odd person at the table?  My family was always really supportive of me and I remember one Christmas when my Great Aunt Mary took me aside and said it would be okay if I brought “a friend” over for the family holiday parties.  I was always alone at these functions so my aunt assumed I was gay and not “out” yet.  Imagine her surprise when I said, “Thanks, Aunt Mary.  I’m not gay, just fat.”

            Yep, I was that overweight, extremely shy, smart girl who buried herself in books and classes until I graduated with honors from veterinary school.  It was much easier to hide behind those books and my weight than to admit to someone I was interested, only to have them “let me down easy.”  I was good enough to be their friend, but never a lover or a wife.  My heart really took a dive when I fell for a family friend.  I tried to work up enough nerve to tell him one summer after I lost a hell of a lot of weight.  He was always over our house for parties or just hanging around.  After seeing my transformation, he told me he was proud of me for setting my mind to it.  He already thought I was beautiful, but not my inner light shined for everyone to see.  He was a smooth talker that one!  I was head over heels in love with him and still too shy to confess.

            It was our annual July 4th pool party/barbecue.  Our house and yard was filled with family and friends all day.  I was in major flirt mode and it seemed to be working, but I was kidding myself.  The object of my affection was interested in my cousin, and I was soon forgotten.  I found out later that he knew about my crush, but adored me more as a sister.  That was a bitter pill to swallow for a bit, but his friendship came to mean a lot more to me over the next few years after that party,  More importantly, I came  to love him as a big brother too.

            His name was Paul and I can still hear his bawdy laugh and see his devilish smile.  He was there when my Dad’s Marine reserve unit was activated for Desert Storm.  I was in veterinary school at that time and unable to get away, but Paul was there for my family seeing Dad off at the airport, promising to watch over all of us until Dad came home.
            Paul was there when Dad took me back and forth to Michigan State my first year in veterinary school.  Both men wore their University of Michigan sweatshirts each time driving back to “enemy” territory, aka the Michigan State campus.  Sitting between the two of them for a couple of hours trying not to be embarrassed was a chore, but one I would gladly have back again.

            In the wee hours of Thanksgiving 1992, a drunk driver speeding well over 100 mph took Paul away from us. I still cry thinking of that phone call from my Mom telling me he was gone.  At this point I was in my clinical rotations of my senior year in vet school and could not get home for the funeral.  I didn’t get through the grief over losing him for a hell of a long time, and over the years the melancholy during the holidays was all the more raw without him.

            I didn’t think that pain could get any worse until we lost Dad on Thanksgiving Day 2005.  John McInerney was my stepdad in name, but Dad to me.  He was there for all of the growing pains, heartaches and joys.  He was there when I graduated from vet school and moved away to Detroit to work as an emergency vet.  He was there when I thought I had found the man I was going to marry and decided to give up everything in Michigan to move to the unknown…California.

            He was there when that all fell apart and was ready to come out to help me move back home if I needed him.  Dad was there when I decided to make it a go all alone in California for just a little longer, and he didn’t make me feel like I was a failure.  During that time, I met another man who I did marry.  Dad was honored to give up his right to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day in order to be the one to perform our ceremony.   He would joke to his coworkers that he was going to marry his daughter.  That got a few tongues wagging until he told them to get their minds out of the gutter!  He was performing the ceremony since the state of California allowed anyone to be an “officiant for the day” for a small fee of course!

            Dad was the rock of our family, retired Marine Corps sergeant, and computer geek.  He hid his pain for a bit before he had to admit that the Non-Hodgkins  Lymphoma was kicking his ass. Eighteen rounds of chemo and the cancer kept growing.  The doctors promised to get him to Thanksgiving and he held them to it.  Only ten months passed from the time he was diagnosed until he left us, and it’s still a bit raw.

            I lost myself in all of this, buried myself in my work and refused to see what was going on around me.  My marriage was over before it even started but I didn’t want to end it at first.  Dad married us and it seemed like it was disrespecting him to end it even though I was miserable and dying inside.  I had to remember what he always told us growing up.  “Do what you need to do to be happy.  Don’t do what you think other want you to do. That is not your path.  Follow your heart.  It will never steer you wrong.”

So I did.

            Now I have found quite by accident, the one my heart has been searching for all of my life, and every lifetime.  He is my Muse, my life partner and the part of my heart and soul that was missing.  Now the holidays are a time of joy. I’ve rediscovered my Wiccan faith and the happiness fills my life once again.  The holidays are no longer a time where I am depressed and melancholy, but a time to remember those I’ve loved and lost and be thankful for the time we did have together and the lessons I’ve learned from them.  It was Paul who showed me that true friendship never dies.  They are always with you, encouraging you along the way.  It was my Dad who encouraged me to follow all of my dreams wherever they may lead.  Both men would’ve had the biggest kick out of the fact that I’m a published author of erotic romance.  They would have been my biggest fans.  Well, I know for a fact they are “up there” smoking a couple of Cuban cigars, sipping scotch, and smiling down on me. 

            This holiday season, take the time to remember those who have made lasting impressions on your lives whether they have left this world or are still with you.  Light a candle or two for them at sunrise and allow it to burn until sunset.  When you see that light burning bright, smile.  Your loved ones are there with you now and forever.

This was one of Dad's favorite songs. We played it at his funeral at his request.  Every time I hear it, I remember my Dad.  For those of you who have read For the Love of Quinn know that this song plays an important roll in the story.  Quite a bit of my own life ended up in one shape or form in Quinn's story.  Curious? Read for yourself and you tell me!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The #FatChick Salutes the Cougar! #aging #MyWANA

Welcome back to this week's edition of Memoirs of a Forty Something Fat Chick. Today I'd like to give homage to the older woman/younger man relationship. That's right. I'm talking about the Cougar!

What exactly is a cougar? 
Basically it's a woman forty years of age or older who exclusively pursues very young men for either just sex or a full relationship. The age difference seems to have to be around ten years or more. Quite a few of these women are pursuing men who are young enough to be their sons.  LOL

As a fellow Cougar myself I can say it's da bomb! I agree there should a minimum of five years between you and your lover. My hubby is eight years younger than I am and treats me like a queen. My ex hubby was only five years younger than me and acting much a teenager who refused to grow up.

Peter Pan anyone?  Let's just say he's my ex for a reason.

Now the perks of having a young stud for a lover are pretty obvious. Both of you are in your sexual prime. Because they're eager to put a smile on your face, they'll bend over backwards to fulfill all your wildest fantasies. They know if you're happy, they'll want for nothing—both in and out of the bedroom.

Last week I talked about my infertility. Well, another perk of having a younger husband is he wants to have a family and will do everything in his power to make it happen. Whether it's trying fertility treatments, surrogates or good old fashioned adoption, the mate of the Cougar is game.

So all you over forty single women, get yourself a young bit of beefcake and have fun. Who knows? You're little romp in the hay may turn into a lifetime of happily ever after  just like mine.

Speaking of happily ever after...
My forty-seventh birthday is in a few short weeks. My hubby surprised me with reservations to stay at the Grand Californian at Disneyland.  I LOVE everything Disney and for him to save up for this trip to make my birthday extra special just goes to show you our match is really made in heaven. 

While looking for another video to poke fun at being a Cougar, I found this parody video. Hubby and I laughed so hard together and had to watch it a few more times. That's another thing that makes us click...he gets my wacky humor!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The #FatChick Smashes Her Biological Clock Against the Wall #infertility #aging #MyWANA

Welcome to this week's edition of Memoirs of a Forty Something Fat Chick. Today I'd like to talk about something that many women have to come to grips with in their lives whether they're single or married.


Whether it's a problem with conceiving or carrying a child to term, this is one of the most heart wrenching issues a woman and her partner can face. As young girls we dream of the day when we can be The Mom. It's more or less drilled into you that it's a part of life you're expected to take part in. It's expected you'll get married and start popping out babies. Of course you can choose to have a career—as long as it doesn't interfere with giving your parents their grandchildren to spoil.

Next month is my forty-seventh birthday. It's time to face the fact I won't be able to have a child on my own. Biologically speaking it's no longer an option and that hurts more than I can ever express. As a medical professional I know all the reasons why, but as a woman who has always wanted to be a mother it's devastating. Top that off with the callous comments of others about why they "think" I don't have children. 

"Maybe you should have tried sooner than now to get pregnant."

"Now that you have that hot young hubby,it's time to get down to baby making."

"Too bad you threw yourself into school and your career when you were younger..."

"Why don't you want kids?"

"Having kids isn't all that." (from my Mom...LOL!)

"When are you guys going to have one of your own?"

"What do you have against kids?"

What most people around me don't know is that I did get pregnant once and miscarried within the first month. It was devastating then and it still stings today. My ex-husband never went to the doctor to find out if he was part of the problem and refused to consider adoption. He and his family pretty much blamed me for the issue. 

Of course none of them came right out and said it to my face, but the little digs about me being the only one not pregnant around the holidays beat the hell out of my feelings of self worth. Of course they even turned it around to being the reason that marriage failed. It wasn't true and that story is for another day...or maybe it's already been depicted in one of my books. ;)

Fast forward to my new life with my new husband who's eight years younger than I am. I'd love nothing more than to give him a child. I want to see him melt the first time he hears his son or daughter call him "Daddy."  This time around adoption is on the table and I couldn't be happier. 

No longer do I have that biological clock tick tick ticking away. I don't have to feel like a failure as a woman because I haven't given birth to at least one child by now or Goddess forbid be a grandmother at this age. Not that I'm knocking anyone who is, it's just not for me.

Now that both of us are looking toward retirement and partial retirement, we can devote more time to raising a house full of children. We want the minivan to schlep them around to dance class, gymnastics, ball games and the movies. We're looking forward to have little voices join in cheering for our favorite hockey and football teams. 

Growing old together with your soul mate is a wonderful thing. Being able to do it with a team of grandkids at your feet...priceless.

As I move into this new stage I have to share my progress in my journey to better health. As you all know, I've been diagnosed with type II diabetes and high blood pressure. Both brought on by my obesity.  I'm thrilled to report I've lost 20 pounds and feeling great! My diabetes is now more controlled with the dietary changes alone. No more highs and lows. My sugar levels are now just barely elevated.  The best news of all is my blood pressure. I started out at 140/98 and now two months later it's down to 128/84.  It's all working!

Until next time,
~The Fat Chick

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The #FatChick Asks: When Did the Music I Love Become #Oldies? #MyWANA

Welcome back to my weekly spot on Not Enough Time in the Day. I'm Tammy aka "the Fat Chick."  This is the week I realized I've turned into my mother. Not physically of course, but from the view of my taste in music.

When I was a kid, my mom and dad loved to play "the Oldies." I have to admit I enjoyed them as much as they did. Who didn't love the Beach Boys, anything from Motown, Jan and Dean, Patsy Cline, and the Righteous Brothers? My generation...those of us in our forties now, had the blessing of sharing the music our parents loved.  

Of course as I got older, my tastes in music branched out. I lived through the Disco Era of the 70's, the fabulous 80's including the hair bands, and the music of the 90's including grunge.  All of those bands still resonate with me today and I have them all on my iPod. Don't get me started on my CD collection.  (I'll refrain from telling you about the cassettes I had of SINGLES...LOL)

So tell me, when the hell did MY MUSIC become oldies?

When did Motley Crue, Warrant, Winger, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Michael Jackson, Madonna, AC/DC, and Rush all move into that category? I mean besides Michael Jackson, all of these examples are still making music today. You should see the look on some of my younger coworker's faces when I talk about the "early stuff" from these bands and so many more. You would have thought I made their brain implode demonstrating I know all the words to just about every single Def Leppard and Heart song ever released.

Here is another one to blow your mind. Heart teamed up with Jason Bonham on drums to honor one of the greatest bands of all time. And yeah, Led Zeppelin is considered and Oldie band now too. WTH???

Oh wait, it's called "Classic Rock" now on some stations. Talk about making a broad feel real old, really fast. 

The more I thought about it, the more I got riled up. I'm not going out like that and neither is the music I grew up with and still love. Instead of pulling out my rocker and walker, I'm going to keep introducing these youngsters around me to the best damn music EVER recorded. By doing that, I'll help bring more fans to these bands who're still rocking. 

Hell, if The Rolling Stones can get their old, wrinkled selves up on stage and give you over two hours of a mind blowing live show, then maybe being labeled  classic or an oldie isn't so bad.

So join me and raise your flicked Bic for the one and only Aerosmith.  This song resonates with all generations so together we can ROCK ON!!!

 Until next week,
~The Fat Chick

Wildfire Romance Series