Growing Older




Que Sera, Sera?

31 comments | July 24th, 2012

rising podos

(by Mir, @ wouldashoulda,com)

I think everyone has at least one friend or relative who plays Buddha. You know what I mean---we all know someone who seems to be in a perpetual state of Zen and acceptance no matter what. And just to be clear, I am not that person. I am never that person. Me, I tend more towards Chicken Little. While the calmer folks are busy "what will be, will be"ing, I'm screaming about the sky falling. Acceptance is not, shall we say, my forte. Never has been.

It's a funny thing about getting older and gaining perspective, though. The older I get, the more things I survive, the more some of those trite sayings that used to make me want to punch people in the face start feeling... true. My latest favorite is, "Everything works out okay in the end. If it isn't okay, it isn't the end." But there's also... ... everything that came before brought me to right here. ... there's a reason for everything, whether we know it or not. ... things have a way of working out. etc.

Sure, when ...

#lifestagesHappiness Makes Old Age Cooler

2 comments | June 27th, 2012

Get Busy Living

(OOC via

This getting older thing can be funny.  Seems few of us want to do it, and our milestone birthdays often seem like millstones around the necks of our happy (or maybe it's just our longevity).   It's stranger still when you consider, as this reasearch did , that it's those over 60 who are the happiest amongst us.  Or at least they're the happiest amongst the Brits, where the research was conducted.  From the psychologytoday article:   "Research on the happiness of different age groups in the UK has found - surprisingly, it might seem at first - that it's actually the over 60s. This research showed that happiness levels are quite high in the 20s, then dip through the 30s and reach their lowest point in the mid-forties. But after 50, they start to rise, and continue rising through the 60s, when they become even higher than young people's. Similarly, a recent world wide survey found that, so long as they are in fairly good health, 70 year ...

#lifestagesI Am No Longer Comparing

5 comments | June 20th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a 33 yo Chestist)

Sometimes what we see is not what we get.  Check out her story:

I was staring in the mirror.  Noting every flaw, every change, every thing I wished were different.  I was picking myself apart - more observationally than negatively, and wondering how what I had once been had become this 33 year-old version of me now, when I found myself saying "wow, you don't look very good."

Just as suddenly and actually taking me by surprise, I found myself saying "it is what it is and you are what you are."  And I smiled at my reflection, and walked away feeling pretty good about the me that I am and no longer comparing it to the me I used to be :-) {end story}

Truth, the happy ending here took us by delightful surprise.  How's about you, Chestists? What do you see when you look at you in the mirror?  However it makes you feel, why do you think you feel that way?   What needs to happen or change for you to feel (even) better?  Let's #discuss.   

#thecumulativeeffectI Want to Be a Housewife.

12 comments | May 1st, 2012

double standard

(story sub,itted anonymously, by a Chetsist. An OOC rewind)

There are times when what makes us happy conflicts with expectations about what we're "supposed" to want and do.  Here's her story:

"Sometimes I really don't want to be a successful career woman...I want to be a housewife."  [end story.]

Can you relate?  Any like examples in your world?

#lifestagesBullied at 42

11 comments | April 4th, 2012

chestist sad

(story submitted by Mary, a 42 yo Chestist)

We may all grow older, but we don't all grow up.  Here's Mary's story:

Hi, I need advice.

I had a group of college friends (I'm now 42), we were all close. But I was the only one who didn't get married. I went through a depression, gained a lot of weight and basically went through hell. The ring leader "T" went of of her way to ensure everyone knew I gained all this weight and was depressed (instead of coming to me and saying how are you). Then apparently weird, lies were being told.

All I know is I got fat and depressed. But to hear weird lies, devastated me. I now do not speak to any of them. During my hardest days, they never called or came by, but many  said"Oh, "T" is saying a lot about you. It has isolated me and I am so sad. Their true colors came through.

My question is do I call "T" and give her my mind? Here's the deal, she will just protect ...

#lifestagesWalking Tall

19 comments | April 3rd, 2012


(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda)

It finally happened, and I have to tell you... I'm not usually all that sentimental, but it got to me. Not even when it was happening, but later.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start over.

Yesterday I took my daughter to Goodwill with me. I've been a dedicated thrifter since high school, which is a fancy way of saying "I'm cheap and I don't mind buying used." It's only recently that my teenage daughter put two and two together and realized that the chances of me saying "yes" to a purchase at a thrift store are astronomically higher than if we're at, say, the mall. (This is a no-brainer to me. A t-shirt for $2? Sure. The same t-shirt for $35? Uh, no.) So nowadays if I say I'm going to the thrift store, she's eager to join me.

As it happens, I was looking for shorts for my son. And as it often happens when it comes to thrifting, the thing I needed that day was in short supply. It seemed silly to leave five minutes after I discovered someone had ...

#lifestages33 Is The Happiest Year of Our Lives

6 comments | April 3rd, 2012


(OOC via Time)

New research finds that the happiest year of our lives is 33.  How's that for specificity?

A British study found 70% of respondents over the age of 40 saying they weren't "truly happy" until they got to the magical double 3s.

“The age of 33 is enough time to have shaken off childhood naiveté and the wild scheming of teenaged years without losing the energy and enthusiasm of youth,” psychologist Donna Dawson said in the survey’s findings. “By this age innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong sense of hope, a ‘can do’ spirit, and a healthy belief in our own talents and abilities.”

Interestingly, just 16% of the respondents pined for their grade school years, and only 6% said they were happiest when in college. 

Digging a little deeper, happiness at 33 was a result of a nice mixture of doing well professionally and  having a support system made up of family and friends. "Not surprisingly, 36% said they were happiest when they had children" which suggests to us that 64% didn't say that (we're good at ...

Happy MakingWant to Live Longer?

5 comments | March 15th, 2012


(story by OOC, via CBSNews, on OOC repeat)

The key to your life's longevity just may be your happiness according to research from the U.K.  Talk about a marriage of qaulity and quantity, according to the study published here (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences),  "those who reported feeling happiest had a 35 percent reduced risk of death compared with those who reported feeling least happy."

And 35% ain't nothing.

The researchers came to their conclusions, which they shared with CBS This Morning, by tracking participants 52 to 79 years old for 5 years, finding that those who'd been the most positive on the first day of the study also were the least likely to die over the five year period, and those who were most "negative" were more likely to die.

If not for nothing, the lead researcher shared her conviction that "happiness makes a profound difference on overall health...(and that) literally, being happy saved their lives."

Well, the happy story has a hiccup we explore a lot here @OOC...what exactly are the keys to happiness?  While no easy answers come from this research, they did point to things like ...

Love & SexNo Love

4 comments | February 4th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a 19 yo Chestist) 

Love shows up later for some of us than it does others.  Those for whom it takes its sweet time, seem to feel they're missing something that they ought not be.  This reader does and here's her story:

I've never had a boyfriend. I'm turning 20 in February, and i feel that i haven't accomplished anything love wise. When i was younger i imagined my life way differently then what it has ended up to be, and now i feel i have no more time to day dream because i'm here, and it's now, and it's nothing...{end story}

Do you feel you've "accomplished anything love wise"?  How has falling in love, being in love - or not - changed how you look at the world?  And what about our writer...what words of advice can you offer her?  Is turning 20 without having had a boyfriend reason to panic and consider life empty?  Us, we think hell no, but share what you think here (and now).  XO, OOC

#lifestagesPost-Holiday, Then and Now

14 comments | December 27th, 2011

yellow sun rays

(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda)

When I was a kid, Christmas was a Very Big Deal Indeed. This is actually pretty funny when you consider that we were Jewish (and not very religious), but my parents were willing to buy into the hoopla for us kids. We had a lot of plants in the house, and even some sort of potted pine in the corner of the living room. That became the de facto "Christmas tree," and on Christmas morning there was always a couple of gifts from Santa waiting for us beneath the pine.

We, of course, always went to the mall sometime before the holiday to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what to bring us. It was all very logical that way.

The build-up to the big day always seemed very suspenseful. First there were those last days of school before vacation---they always seemed to drag on and on---and then it was impossible to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. But finally the big morning would come and there it was: Our Santa present.

I ...

#lifestagesGrowing Into Oneself

3 comments | December 15th, 2011


(story submitted by Kate in Michigan, a Chestist)

I am wondering. 40 is the beginning of a new and improved part of my life. Or something.

Until I turned 10, I was cute, shy, sweet, devious, lying, clever, smart, chubby.

From 10 to 20, I was trying to be old. Trying to be awesome, sexy, popular, smart, and awesome (yes, I said it again). I succeeded in being moderately smart, popular with a very limited group of people, and fairly pretty but falling short of sexy, and not really awesome. I showed glimmers, but it didn't happen.

From 20-30, I tried to be superwoman. I tried to be powerful, sexy, smart, organized, efficient, loving, successful, talented, and amazing. I succeeded in being smart, fairly sexy, pretty organized and efficient, mostly loving, and mildly successful. I was beginning to feel powerful. I worked my ass off. I tried hard to be everything to everybody. I managed to be a good daughter, wife, mom, teacher, player. What I didn't manage? Myself.

30-40 was pretty awesome and pretty friggin' awful. I was learning to be a mom, a wife, a professional. I went through some ...


42 comments | December 6th, 2011

candle flame

(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda, a Chestist)

I've got something a little different to talk about today. It's been on my mind, lately, and I'm wondering if I'm weird. (Well, okay; we all know I'm weird. I mean... weirder than usual.)

I grew up making a wish on my birthday candles every year. I grew up searching the sky at dusk for the first star, then breathlessly reciting "Star light, star bright / First star I see tonight / I wish I may, I wish I might / Have this wish I wish tonight" to myself before wishing for whatever it was I wanted.

The things I wished for varied, of course. I wished for friends. I wished for particular toys. Once I became a young teen, I wished for designer jeans and for that boy I swore up and down I absolutely was NOT interested in to look my way and smile. As an older teen, I wished to get out, get away, go to college, start over, remake myself into someone more whole, more lovable.

In my first marriage, we wanted babies---lots and lots of babies---and it became ...

#bodiesAsk A Woman Who Knows

16 comments | September 1st, 2011

new chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a 34 year-old Chestist)

My Message: When ever I see stories about young women even girls wanting or getting breast enlargements thinking it will somehow improve their life, I think, why do they never talk to the women who grew up with large breasts. Their response might suprise them.


I round up my height to 5'2' and currently wear a 32 DD. I've been wearing a bra since the 3rd grade. As a young girl I was automatically considered a slut, because apprently if you have large breasts it must be true. So I tried to hide it with large shirts.  To this day I still feel uncomfortable wearing tight shirts. Not to mention it's not easy to find a reasonably priced bra that is a 32 DD. You can't just go into Target.


And chances are its not going to be "sexy" looking at least if your goal is to have them remain in your bra when you bend over to tie your shoe. Large breasts tend to prevent you from wearing certain clothes--button up shirts, no way; strapless, you'll do a lot of ...

#lifestagesGive Me A Break

6 comments | May 6th, 2011


(submitted by OOC reader Ashley)

"I wish people would just STOP asking me what I'm planning on doing for the rest of my life! Once I figure that out I'll freaking fill you in okay. Yes, I am graduating soon but that doesn't mean I'm any closer to knowing what my future holds. Give me a break. Ahhh deep breaths.. everything will work out, won't it?" Yeah, why the eff do people do this? But anyway, how do you overcome your anxieties about your future?