Birthday Blog Month Jan24 – Sarah Madison

Welcome to January’s Birthday Blog, with a post – or maybe more – a day for your entertainment and fun :).

cheerToday’s guest is SARAH MADISON. Please show your appreciation for the post if you enjoy it, and all the author’s links are below for you to take forward. Watch every day for any Rafflecopter giveaways, and don’t forget there’s ALSO a Grand Prize Draw at the end of the month for ONE lucky commenter.

Many thanks for dropping in, and have a great January!

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If there’s such a thing as ‘age’ anorexia, I have it.  I know, I know, that sounds weird, right? It’s true, though. When I look in a mirror, I see every line, every wrinkle, every gray hair… I’d go on, but you get the picture. All my perceived failings magnified to the nth degree. The thing is, I’ve been doing this as long as I can remember. Well before I actually hit middle-age, I began mourning the things I was going to lose someday. Long before aches and pains caught up with me, I heard myself lamenting what I could no longer do, with a few rare exceptions. Those times when I bucked the own negative soundtrack in my head were only when I wanted to do something so badly I resisted all the naysayers around me, myself included.

AgeI came by my ‘anorexia’ honestly. I grew up hearing how horrible it was to get old, and was taught from an early age to fear loss of independence. My parents even told me not to get old, as if there were many other options.  Now that I am actually facing the kinds of issues I’ve been terrified of my entire life, suffice to say, my level of acceptance hasn’t been very good. Instead of doing anything constructive about my fears, I’ve pretty much taken a head-in-the-sand approach because, you know that works so well.

I’ve never been good at the whole ‘act as if’ concept either. Act as if you are successful, talented, sexy, beautiful… If I don’t believe something, I can’t fake my way into belief. And yet at the same time, I’m very much aware of the power our minds hold over us. We hold the key to making or breaking our lives by the way we think about ourselves—and ain’t that a kick in the teeth? Because the implication there is that we doom ourselves with our own negative self-speak and unhelpful thought patterns.

I tore my rotator cuff last spring, which knocked me for a loop. When you’re a fiercely independent person, and your life is physically demanding, it’s a real wake-up call to find out you’re facing surgery and restrictions. More recently, I got some mildy bad news about my health a few weeks ago. Not the terrible kind, which leaves you in a cold sweat, wondering how you’re going to get through it, but the kind that serves as a little ‘uh-oh’ and a reminder you’re not as tough or as invincible as you thought. I’ve been very fortunate to be blessed with good genes and good health, and it’s been a major adjustment to realize I can’t keep taking these things for granted, that I’m responsible in part for taking care of what I’ve been given. The combination of the two woke up the lightly sleeping Age Anorexia Demon, and I found myself taking more and more things off my list of things I Should No Longer Do as a result.

I wasn’t happy when I read a post about how negative thoughts regarding aging was correlated with significantly more aging problems, including dementia. Yikes. But like I said before, how do you change the mindset you’re locked into?

Fortunately, a couple of things have happened recently that have pulled me up short and made me re-think what I’m doing.

First, I saw this delightful video on Facebook. I confess, mentally I shrieked during most of the dancing that she was going to break some bones, but the reality of it is that it was marvelous and beautiful and if this woman can dance like that at her age, then perhaps I’m not ready to give up some of the things I’ve been setting aside with tears. I’m not saying determination and persistence can overcome age and infirmity, but I do believe I’m a long way from being the old woman I’ve been acting lately.

In the past week I’ve been blindsided by the recent deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman. I didn’t know either artist had been ill. I’m left at a loss to explain how two such talented people have made such an impact on me that I feel gutted by their passing, but I do. I’m not the only one, either, given the heartfelt tributes I’ve read to both performers. Of all the amazing things I’ve read, I think I was most struck by Chuck Wendig’s blog post: Death Becomes Us. The post is well-worth reading; you should check it out. The part that resonated the most with me was when Wendig stated this:

Everybody dies.

Love those that you have while you have them.

And do what you love while the world has you.

And it made me realize I’m not done yet. I haven’t loved enough, or created enough, and there are still a lot of things I want to do. I can piss and moan about the things I can no longer do, or I can rush out and embrace the things I can. Who wants to live forever anyway? Not me. Live well, on the other hand… sign me up.

The Boys of Summer200x300My newest release is a story of lost love and recognizing the need to grab your chance while you can, which strikes me as kind of appropriate right now. The Boys of Summer is available from Dreamspinner Press. If you like a chance to win an e-copy of The Boys of Summer (or alternatively, a story from my backlist), leave a comment. Thanks!

Links in this post: The Boys of Summer: http://tinyurl.com/qxgvgn9

Death Becomes Us: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2016/01/14/death-becomes-us/

Dancing Elderly Woman on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/antena3/videos/10153420815306298/

GifStarClick on the Rafflecopter link below to enter. All Rafflecopters will be drawn on Jan 31.
Sarah Madison Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Sarah Madison_Little French Hat - CopyBio: Sarah Madison is a writer with a big dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. She is a terrible cook, and concedes that her life would be easier if Purina made People Chow. She writes because it is cheaper than therapy.

Sarah Madison was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and is the winner of Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards for The Boys of Summer. The Sixth Sense series was awarded 2nd place for Best M/M Mystery Series in the 2014 PRG’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Walk a Mile (Sixth Sense series Book 2) was a finalist in the 2015 Rainbow Awards.

Contact links:
WebsiteOn AmazonOn Facebook (Author page)
On Facebook (Profile page) | On Twitter
On DreamspinnerGoodreads | Tumblr

 

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Follow the month’s posts at your leisure:

Jan 01: RJ Scott on her inspiration for a new series in 2016.
Jan 01: Temple Dragon on giving for free during December.
Jan 02: Chrissy Munder on an author’s passion for paper planners.
Jan 03: Meredith Russell on inspirational cop series.
Jan 04: Becky Black on her five-year anniversary as an author.
Jan 05: Alexa Milne on characters stepping outside their comfort zone.
Jan 06: Sandra Lindsey on her dancing shoes challenge.
Jan 07: Anne Barwell on her WWII trilogy at Dreamspinner Press.
Jan 08: Elin Gregory on reviews – past, present and future.
Jan 09: Eli Easton on mature heroes and our life choices.
Jan 10: Julie Moffett on the geek in us all.
Jan 11: Jaime Samms and the rewards of an online life.
Jan 12: LC Chase on paying kindness forward.
Jan 12: EM Lynley on the recipes that add taste to her books.
Jan 13: Nicki J Markus on falling in love with her characters.
Jan 14: Vicktor Alexander on giving thanks to friends and fans.
Jan 16: Joanna Chambers on the spark of joy from reading and writing romance.
Jan 17: Jordan Castillo Price on esteem-building new year do-overs.
Jan 18: Lillian Francis on deciding on when to come to an end.
Jan 18: Hunter Frost on a Top Ten new anthology.
Jan 19: Lily Harlem on hot fiction and cool drinks.
Jan 19: Liam Livings on how writing is like ski-ing.
Jan 20: JL Merrow on being a boot-aholic.
Jan 21: Paul Alan Fahey on growing up gay in the 1950/60s.
Jan 22: Mickie B Ashling on her new period novel set in Pakistan.
Jan 22: BJ Sheppard on his new cover services business.
Jan 23: Aimee Brissay on her publishing plans for 2016.

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About clarelondon

Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters. Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind... she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home. Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here: Website: http://www.clarelondon.com E-mail: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk Blog: www.clarelondon.com/blog Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarelondon Twitter: https://twitter.com/clare_london Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/clarelondon Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/clarelondon/ Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ClareLondon/posts

20 thoughts on “Birthday Blog Month Jan24 – Sarah Madison

  1. Lovely post, as usual Sarah. Clare and I have had a couple of conversations about this “age” thing which I think is much different for women than men. As if you didn’t see it already, the Amy Schumer piece with Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey and Patricia Arquette on The Last F*ckable Day is about the most spot-on satire I’ve seen on the subject. Once I hit 50 I became actuarially very undesirable – as I found out when my life and disability insurance pretty much doubled in cost overnight. As a woman of “a certain age” unless I look at least 15 years younger than my actual age, it’s sometimes quite difficult to be seen and heard. It’s like someone throws an invisibility shield over us. And for those aren’t conventionally “attractive” it’s even worse. I applaud you in taking the bull by the horns and realizing it for what it is. My father was terminal and died quite young, so I already feel like I’m on borrowed time – or as my cousin David put it, “gravy.” It does depress me at times and I try to focus on the positive as well – my new job with an outstanding company, the fact that my house will be paid off long before the original mortgage maturation date, I’ve been lucky enough to travel in my life, etc. But some days it is much more of a struggle than others 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes, the ‘invisibility’ of the older woman–I didn’t even touch upon that! It’s bad enough that we’re invisible in so many ways before we age (did you see the Gillian Anderson article on how FOX not only wanted to pay her half as much as Duchovny for the X-files, but never wanted her shown standing side by side with him, only slightly behind him? She fought that battle over the years and finally won it, only to have FOX offer half his salary for her to come back for the revival…) I keep thinking some day I’m going to write a story about a woman who, in the process of losing her house and job, has someone turn up on her doorstep on her 50th birthday, informing her she’s the long-lost princess of a magical realm. Because THAT’S a fantasy I’d enjoy reading. 🙂

      Thank you for telling me about the Amy Schumer piece–I’ll have to go look that up!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know my mother, who looks great for her age, basically has nothing but negative things to say about her age. I am still in my mid twenties but I’ve also been looking lately at those expression lines on my forehead…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do wonder if is not a generational thing with our mothers. They grew up at a time when the majority of a woman’s self-worth was tied into her attractiveness and her family. I’m not saying that those messages don’t still bombard us, but we’ve got other messages too that can help counteract that to an extent. Unfortunately, that leaves us with a generation of women still programmed by their mother’s fears. I suspect it will take time to completely erase this mindset, and more women standing up to media images to counteract that process in their daughters too.

      The main reason I wrote this post is because like you, I began seeing signs of aging in my 20s. You know what? No one should go through life mourning what they are going to lose decades before that happens. And no one should go through life convinced that time is running out for them. It’s running out for all of us. That’s not the point, the point is living with joy in the moment. 🙂

      Like

  3. Thought provoking post. Society is so focused in ads, films, TV etc on youth and appearance and especially hard on women. I know that we all want to live a long life, but hopefully, one that is healthy, productive and vibrant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know that we all want to live a long life, but hopefully, one that is healthy, productive and vibrant.

      Yes, we do. And yet we live in a society that demands we work ridiculous hours while taking care of elderly parents and small children at the same time. We live on fast food, don’t get enough sleep, and our adrenal glands must be the size of cantaloupes based on the stress in our lives. But still we must be slim, beautiful, and stylish on a dime. It’s nuts. It’s a vicious cycle of not having the time or energy to eat right and exercise properly to stay *healthy*, let alone look like a model.

      And our choices in life seem to be limited to model, mother, or crone. I resent that, but don’t really know how to break out of those roles, either. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Age is simply a count of how many free trips you’ve had around the sun. 🙂 Growing up, however… when I was younger, I thought I needed other people’s position to do things. Now I’m older, I go running into fountains/ballpits/dance floors with my permission to enjoy life.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve gotten less bold as I’ve gotten older, not braver. I know this is in part because if I don’t work, I don’t get paid, and I have crappy health insurance. I got injured last spring, and found out how quickly I could be replaced at work if I didn’t ignore the surgeon’s advice and just go back. As a result, I can tell I’ve lost a lot of strength and fitness because I’m not *doing* things anymore. That needs to change…

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          • Ah yes, the modern day paradigm of having a job to pay off house debt, when doing so means you never spent any time in the house you’re paying for… Or other debts/loans/bills you may have. I have found studying the small house movement very enlightening, as there is no mortgage, most are movable as they are built on trailer bases, and the bills are tiny as the space is so small. It might not be for you, but it just reminds me that there are options for when we feel trapped by circumstances.

            My personal level up was not relying on other people to fix my health. Once I had the mindset that I had to live with my health, so I wasn’t going to wait for other people (and endless waiting lists on the NHS) for something that is often detrimental, a world quickly opened up about plants I could use as medicine, food that is naturally anti-inflammatory, and a local swimming pool that’s actually warm. I had to change how I thought before I started noticing all these free, cheap and local options that ran to my schedule. I hope you find a mindset that works for you. ❤

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            • You are indeed fortunate to live in a country with a national health service. Here in the US, everyone I know is one medical emergency from total bankruptcy. Not to mention the amount of debt we incur to get an education that promises–and fails–to ensure success in life. In my area, paying a mortgage proved less costly than paying rent, but it is it’s own ball and chain, that’s for sure!

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              • I was fortunate for free NHS, before it was privatised in 2012. Now it’s only good for putting a cast on a break, or stitches on a wound. Everything else you’d die before you got the treatment, as profit making companies bleed public money dry for shareholders. Similarly, higher education now comes with a £9,000 a year tuition fee, on top of accommodation and living costs. I don’t know anyone whose salary reflects their degree (myself included). Private rent is also more expensive than a mortgage (landlords pay the mortgage and want profit on top). Goodness knows how we ended up in this mess, but the sooner we leave, the better.

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                • Yes, I was surprised and disheartened by the turn your government took in recent years, particularly in the most recent elections. I’d held the NHS up as the standard the rest of the world should ascribe too. Sadly, austerity policies only work for the people at the top of the economic food chain. 😦

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  4. I became essentially bed ridden when I turned 19, and spent a decade or so being exempt from the usual expectations forced on women in a gender binary – no-one cared what I looked like. I was expected to die quickly as I didn’t fit into the model of feel inadequate so spend a fortune on superficial cosmetics, get married, work, raise children, always do things for other people and never for yourself, and be silent while all this is happening. As it happened, I did die, and in that moment I decided I wanted to photograph every country in the world. Once I put that idea of a future in my head, my life and health got better. My Dad died in his 60s, and I’m a carbon copy of his genetics, which put haste on my intentions.

    On the plus side, having spent most of my adult life in bed has given me something of a Sleeping Beauty image. I get IDed for lottery tickets (that’s under 16 in the UK). Changing thought patterns is possible, but takes time. I gave up ‘sorry’ for Lent in 2014, and I had tremendous migraines for six weeks as I created not-sorry pathways in my brain. But now, sorry rarely passes my lips. I also took up belly dancing, where having flexible skin and ample filling certainly helps. It’s not about the movement, it’s about the feeling behind it. The more you’ve lived, the better the dance. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could ‘like’ your post more than once. What an amazing story, and what a validation of the power of changing thought patterns. You can’t change your genetics, but you can change how you respond to them.

      The more you’ve lived, the better the dance.

      This is simply beautiful. I should have it tattooed on my forehead or something. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. ❤

      Like

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