Between the Lines Trueheartgal

My hubby and me.

My hubby and me.

When I first started this blog in May 2011, I did so with the intention of giving folks interested in our Trueheart Petite Sirah wine an inside look at life on our vineyard. While I love our two acres of award-winning grapes, and am constantly awed at the beautiful and ancient rhythm of growing and making wine, I simply do not know enough to write about it regularly and passionately.

What can I write about regularly? What am I passionate about? Midlife. Aging. I am fascinated by how other women are or have navigated this road. How my mother, aunts and grandmothers did it, how are my friends younger and older, movie stars, my sister, strangers on the street, women on Instagram, and women in magazines doing it? How do I want to do it – especially given that I can still hardly believe I’m on the road?

As I have been committing myself to blogging about midlife, I have been reaching out to other midlife bloggers to build a community of women. I recently discovered an opportunity to be showcased in the “Between the Lines” series featuring women over 50 writing about blogging at midlife, created by and hosted by Katie of Katherine’s Corner. Katie is typical of many women who are blogging at midlife, she is encouraging, helpful, curious, competant and helpful.

I feel so lucky to be aging at this time. Women my age (I am 57) are allowed to be beautiful, strong, sexy, athletic, smart, successful, creative, playful, fashionable, smart-ass, inventive and wildly adventurous. In other words, we are allowed to be full, vibrant human beings, a luxury denied to in large part to my mother, and wholly to my grandmothers. In addition, I have been blessed with good health.

While I feel lucky to be aging now, many aspects remain difficult. As a young person, I could sleep anywhere, anytime and wake up rested. Now, I sleep with a mouth guard and a C-PAP, and I wake up exhausted. My dermatologist tells me, “there are sinkers and saggers – and you are a sinker” (a thin face with hollowed out cheeks, and temples). Doctors start every sentence with the phrase, “as we age.” Arthritis limits my flexibility and my endurance. I had a frozen shoulder for two years, and now that it’s gone (after a painful procedure and tons of physical therapy), the other shoulder hurts. My sex drive – once strong and healthy – is now, well… neither. I can’t see my food unless I wear readers. I have developed acid reflux, so I take a daily pill,  elevate my head when I sleep and watch my diet. No matter how much makeup I wear, the best I can hope for is, “you look so rested.” I cannot remember any names or nouns, I mostly remember verbs – “what’s her name went over to that place, oh, whaddaya call it?” I have yet to find a church I can relate to, develop a spiritual practice, meditate regularly or learn yoga.

My relatives are aging (which is a good thing as my husband would say), and I have already lost friends. My 40th high school reunion is taking place this summer and it seems just impossible that some of my classmates have already died.

I have been reluctant to write about these topics. They are personal and sometimes less than attractive. I am not a former fashion editor, spiritual guru, award-winning author or a gerontologist. I just want to write about what I struggle with, what I’ve found that works, and seek answers for challenges that I, and many other women face.

When I talk with friends, we are all trying to figure this out. We are all doing it differently. We are all a bit shell shocked. It seems we blinked and our youth vanished. We opened our eyes to find ourselves in midlife. Perhaps, in my case, not getting married until I was 42, and not having children made me blind to my own aging. Perhaps I spent years unconsciously denying it, holding on to my youth too long.

I will still write about relationships, share favorite recipes, tell stories about our miniature Bantam chickens, two acres of Petite Sirah grapes, life in Sonoma and the Northern California wine country, being a step-grandparent, aunt, daughter, sister, friend and the deeper questions. But I will be adding occasional posts about midlife. I hope you’ll join me on this journey.



29 responses to “Between the Lines Trueheartgal”

  1. Hi I found you from the link up but missed it myself. Maybe next week. A lot of what you say resonates with me. I tend to keep off the troubles in life and be upbeat in my blog too. It’s great finding like age bloggers. There are so many twenty something bloggers but they have entirely different issues. At our age these virtual bonds are so important.

  2. Hi Ligeia! I found you through the Between the Lines Series … I can so relate to your post! Being 54 I also feel shell shocked, I woke up one day in midlife. It’s a bit scary and a bit rejuvenating all at the same time. I blog about midlife as well. I find it helps to write about it and always hope my words will fall on ears who need to hear.

  3. avatar amy says:

    Such a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing. Nice to meet you through Between the Lines. I’m following you on Instagram.

  4. avatar Annette Daly says:

    Such a pleasure to meet you in the BTL series. Thanks for sharing so much about you.

  5. I’m like you – not an expert. Just writing about issues I face and things that interest me in midlife. You look lovely, by the way.

  6. avatar Lisa says:

    “I have yet to find a church I can relate to, develop a spiritual practice, meditate regularly or learn yoga.” Love it! Found you via Between the Lines

  7. Hi Carla – I want to blog about midlife for two reasons: to delve into the topic and to find women like you who are going through this period of life and are interested in sharing experiences. I look forward to reading your blog and thanks so much for commenting and I hope you will visit often!

  8. avatar Nikki Gwin says:

    This was so interesting to read and think about! I am from week 5 of BTL also and am so happy to find new friends working on the same types of things I am. I look forward to hanging out with you and getting to know you better!
    🙂 gwingal

  9. I love your post! Many wise words! It is so nice to meet you thru BTL! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  10. avatar Gailya Brown says:

    Thank you, Ligeia! Although I am older than you and my friends and I are going through retirement, “downsizing,” relocating and joint replacement, everything you said is all too familiar to me. I’m sure I look young “for my age” — as do my friends – but then I wonder what my age looks like. Certainly not what women of my mother’s generation expected. I feel like we are creating a whole new way of aging. I hope that — in spite if everything — we do it well.

  11. avatar Lynne says:

    I want to cheer and say, “Keep on writing, my friend!” We need to hear what you have to say, and we all need our dear friends on this journey.

  12. avatar Dyann Espinosa says:

    Thank you for being brave enough to approach the discoveries we make about aging. I believe that women experience it more acutely (for a number of reasons) and often without their mate–who has passed away. It’s a complicated time in life and I believe that what turns things into a happy, healthy time is to give to others. You have learned, experienced, and found answers that can help others. This is the time in which you can take all that knowledge and give to those who are just starting out in life.

  13. avatar Rayetta Esquibel says:

    Hi Ligeia,Great topic to add to your blog, being that I am one of these aging women. I am 64 and as you know just retired.I am moving from the San Fernando Valley where I was born and have lived all my life.I am moving 2 hours south to Riverside which is quite intimidating…looking for new doctors, vet, dog groomer, grocery stores, banks, etc., it is very exciting yet scary. I am making the move to be near family which is the best choice for me as I get older. Since I have tackled all the packing by myself I have incurred bruises, aches and pains all over, and this is just the front end of the move, I still have the back end to contend with!Phew…Yes when we were younger we were energizer bunnies but today we move more like slow pace tortoises. But I totally agree that we are aging better than our mothers.Keep up the good work with your blog,I love reading it.

  14. Hi Ligeia, I am finally catching up on the Between The Lines series and it’s so good to meet you! First, as someone who loves wine and touring Canadian vineyards (oh how I would love to tour vineyards in California and abroad), I am so jealous that you live on a vineyard. You and I are the same age and I was nodding my head with every word you wrote in paragraph five. Looking forward to following you!

  15. Thank you Nikki – I too am still getting caught up on all the BTL posts. So many interesting midlife women out there to connect with! Thanks again for stopping by and I am eager to follow your adventures. Trueheartgal (Ligeia)

  16. Thanks for stopping by Marci! This BTL opportunity has been such a great way to meet other midlife bloggers, like you. I’m eager to check out your blog posts. Stay in touch! Ligeia @ Trueheartgal

  17. Dear Gailya, thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting! I agree that we are all redefining what aging looks like. I learn so much from midlife women of all ages – older and younger and my own age. It’s such a wide open time to experiment becoming who we always wanted to be. I know that you, my friend, are definitely doing it well. XO Ligeia

  18. Dear Friend, Thank you so much for stopping by and giving such a supportive and encouraging comment! I treasure our friendship and expect that many of our ups and downs will wind up on these pages. I know I need you on this journey and feel so lucky we are walking each step side by side. XOXO Ligeia

  19. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting Dyann! I am going to try to do just what you said – share what I am learning, but I am also hoping to learn from others who stop by and offer up their insights, experiences, successes and failures. It is a complicated time, and I know I need friends and fellow midlife women to help me along the way. Thank you again for commenting, and please stay in touch! xo Ligeia

  20. Dear Rayetta, Thank you for stopping by and adding many of your own experiences. My hat is off to you for embarking on a new adventure after retirement! I know of many other women who are choosing to move to be closer to family. I know I wish I could move my mother to be closer to me. I am eager to hear about your experiences in your new home and to staying in touch. Mucho big hugs, Ligeia@ Trueheartgal

  21. Hi Marie – Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hello! I am still so far behind in catching up with all the fabulous women bloggers featured in the BTL series, but I’m eager to get busy soon. I look forward to reading your blog as I am a late to the game in terms of learning about interior design. My husband adores interior design, architecture, landscape design and so I am learning and loving it. Looking forward to staying in touch! Ligeia@Trueheartgal

  22. I’m so glad you invited me to follow you on Facebook, and so glad I stopped by to read your post today. I often think how grateful I am to be living in this day and in this time, where I am challenging myself to continue to stay relevant! Glad to be with you on this journey!

  23. I used to come to your part of the world on a regular basis… Napa Valley. I was a photographer and worked for a couple of the vineyards as I was working on a book. Then breast cancer, my husband died, and I’m now writing for midlife women, so I get it. See you, again! Brenda

  24. avatar Glenda says:

    I’m so glad I came by your blog. I had no idea you’re in the wine business. What a wonderful art form. Your post was beautifully authentic. The subject of mortality is never pleasant, and surely not romantic, but one we all ponder from time to time.

  25. Dear Glenda – we’ve been surprised to find ourselves in the wine business. It was never anything we planned, but it’s been a fun and creative ride. I find myself pondering mortality more often as I age, and as those I love around me age and battle illness. Thank you for stopping by! XO Ligeia@Trueheartgal

  26. Dear Brenda – It sounds like you hit a very, very rough patch, but that you are back redefining your life and writing about it on the way. I am so glad you stopped by and told me about yourself. Thank you. XO Ligeia@Trueheartgal

  27. Hello Susan, Thank you for the Facebook follow, and for stopping by. You are more than relevant and a role model for me and for many others. I’m glad to have so many smart, curious and accomplished women along for the journey. XO Ligeia@Trueheartgal

  28. avatar Jacqui says:

    Hi Ligeia – just come across your blog and I think it’s great. Your post above about midlife is honest and fresh, and I think resonates for women everywhere. Thank you.

  29. Thank yo so very much Jacqui! I do try to be as honest as possible. The funny thing is that the more honest I am in my writing, the more people seem to like it. Thank you for reading and for commenting!