My birthday highlighted how little I’ve accomplished in the past 16 months. You?

Photo by author. Candles from my cake.

Yesterday was my birthday. For weeks I’d had a feeling of despondency and sadness. It perplexed me because what did I have to feel sad about? Or maybe a more correct way to put it was: what did I have to feel sad about that had just happened in the previous few weeks? Nothing.

But the approaching birthday tugged on my sense of what I wanted in life and it felt bad. This wasn’t even a milestone birthday, so what the hell was going on?

Yesterday a friend gently reminded me that the pandemic has made everyone’s lives worse (with…


It often isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

Photo 45177371 / Advice © Arne9001 | Dreamstime.com

Let’s say your name is Chris and you have a friend named Rita. Let’s say you see her right outside of your usual coffee shop, while she’s carrying her latte out and you’re on your way in for your morning pick-me-up.

You say, “Hey, Rita, what’s up?”

She steps out of the way for others and says, “Hey, Chris. My new job is driving me crazy.” Rita’s face is more flushed than usual and she looks like she’s already worked a whole day.

She continues, “Yesterday my boss asked me to find out how to ship a Tibetan carpet from…


You can’t control everything by watching what you eat and increasing how much you move.

Photo by Judy Rodriguez, 5/6/21

I’m 54 years old, 5'2″ tall (1.57 m), 197 pounds (89 kg), and I wear a size 20 (52 EU). I became fat at the age of 46 and after a few years, I decided I wanted to bend easily again. In 2016 I began seeing a Nutrition Response Testing practitioner and one of the the things I wanted to work on was getting rid of my fatness (I’m avoiding using the word “weight” since fitness experts say you should focus on inches and size, not pounds). In five years, the treatment of Claire Boye-Doe of Gnosis Natural Health has…


My life isn’t worse than it used to be; the problem is that I don’t have as much hope.

Photo 61941192 © Giovanni Triggiani | Dreamstime.com

As a new adult in my 20s, things weren’t easy. I needed to establish my independent life with a job I at least liked while still in the grip of my mother’s needs. But as lost as I often felt, I had faith I’d figure things out.

My 30s weren’t as much better as I’d hoped. I changed careers a couple of times, and after years of moodiness and feeling easily sunk by setbacks, I received a diagnosis of depression. It was actually a relief because now that my struggle had a name I could get treatment and the grayness…


We’re in denial that marriage has become another rite of passage that it’s fine to move through and leave behind.

Photo by Author. That was my actual divorce party cake.

On February 7, 2014 I answered a few questions before a judge and a few minutes later, a guy named Bob and I were no longer married. As I mourned the marriage and talked with friends and family about it, this is what I heard from other women who’d been divorced: divorce feels like failure. I told them my divorce didn’t feel like failure to me. …


If you’re new to using apps to meet people, watch out for these warning signs that the profile is fake.

I tried another dating app and this time it was for people aged 50 and older. The many others I’ve tried seem dominated by young people and I’m looking for a someone who remembers when Mork and Mindy was on TV. But it turns out that all dating apps are plagued by fake profiles trying to trick singles like me out of our money, and you have to be careful not to waste time on these.

Back in my day (that’s how old people talk, right?) online dating meant using a desktop website such as Match.com where the initial contact…


It’s time to grieve the 55-year-old woman I’m not going to be.

Photo by author

A friend tells me I shouldn’t say “I’m not marriage material.” He says having been married one time to one man isn’t enough data for such a statement. The idea that I should try many marriages to many people before I draw a conclusion appalls me. I know you don’t succeed if you don’t try, but one failed marriage feels like enough experimenting for me.

I’ll be 55 years old in July. I recently tried yet another dating app, this time one for people age 50 and over. It yielded no more success for me than past ones I’ve also…


It might seem right to reach out to people you aren’t CLOSE friends with, but wait.

When another white man kills more Black people or indigenous people or other people of color (BIPOC) and the news media makes it a national, dinnertime story, there’s this thing many well-meaning white people do. You reach out to the BIPOC people you know — even if you don’t know us very well — and tell us you’re sorry, this is terrible, you’re thinking about us, and are we okay? However well-intentioned these gestures are, they often do not land well on us.

If a Black person was murdered, you often text, email or otherwise message your Black friends, co-workers…


Finally a public discussion of the invisibility of middle-aged women! Then it disappeared.

Screenshot by author

A friend sent me the EventBrite link. On March 10th an expert on environmental spaces named Jay Pitter was going to give a Zoom presentation on Invisible Woman Syndrome. She was going to “broadly define this phenomenon and then use spatial feminism and intersectionality frameworks to uncover how this impacts women’s access to public green spaces, recreational facilities, transit, and local networks.” The description specified its focus on women, “especially those between the ages of forty and sixty.”

Women between 40 and 60 years old — that’s me! I eagerly signed up for the free event, excited about a presentation…


“I once was lost, but now am found” sounds nice, but accepting a belief you previously rejected is very painful.

Photo 16235002 © Magomed Magomedagaev | Dreamstime.com

I was talking to a friend about the anniversary of the American start of the pandemic. Of course everyone’s different after the past 12 months, but I told her that my changes include the loss of core beliefs and parts of my personality. She asked what I meant.

“Well, for one thing,” I said, “I used to not believe there was anything after we die. I didn’t believe in anything I couldn’t see. I was like, here we are and there’s no higher being or anyone or anything else. This is it.

Regina Rodríguez-Martin

Relishes questions of human behavior. Gets more Mexican every day. Blog: https://www.reginachicana.com

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