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8:18 AM Mon, Nov. 19th

Middle-aged Musings: Pepto, chocolate and a new friend

The store manager ringing up my purchases laughed heartily, and then she laughed some more. She finally stopped, pointing at my array of items: Antacid, Pepto-Bismol, a chocolate bar and a bottle of peach wine.

“You ARE the poster child for working women everywhere, honey,” she told me.

I looked at my stuff. She had a point and I, too, started chuckling.

“It’s been a tough day,” I said.

“They’re all tough as far as I’m concerned,” my new pal shared with me.

As we bonded some more I realized we were probably pretty close in age. She told me her magic potion after work is a hot toddy, the Hallmark Channel and this amazing foot bath gadget she got last year. And her cat in her lap.

It sounded marvelous to me.

At this point, the cash register needed the birth year of the person purchasing the wine.

“I hate to ask, but can I see your driver’s license?”

I’m never offended at that question – I stopped being offended by it when I hit 35.

She whistled and said “1967. Huh. Well, let me tell you, you don’t look anywhere near your age, honey.”

Yes, that settled it. She was obviously my best friend and sister in another life.

We laughed some more and wished each other a truly wonderful New Year.

I was still smiling an hour later.

Exchanges like that let me know I’m not some weird alien, doing weird alien things. I’m just like other women my age, looking for that relaxed, happy spot in a sometimes complicated life.

It also let me know I needed to change a few things. The antacids were my third bottle this month. We won’t discuss how much chocolate I’ve consumed this December. And the wine? Well, I do have a small glass every few nights – really!

My husband laughs at me when I buy wine. He knows it’ll take me a month or more to finish a bottle. I never liked the taste of wine before moving here. Interesting.

Anyway, I do know I shouldn’t be chomping heartburn pills like LifeSavers.

Managing stress has always been easy for me, until I got older. And moved to Arizona. Hmmm. I won’t examine that too closely!

I usually manage with music, cycling, reading and movies. Things that take me away from the real world for a bit.

So, for 2017, it’s back to those basics for me.

Right after I finish this chocolate bar …

Find your happy place and we’ll chat next time, Robin