I was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, and raised my three sons in Boston, Massachusetts, and now I live in Santa Monica, California. I enjoy long walks on the beach and hiking in the canyons of California with my rescue dog, Paco.
I have explored many new approaches to having a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Through my travels around the world, I've enjoyed learning about different cultures and especially their cooking techniques. I love to entertain and experiment with herbs and spices that I didn’t grow up eating. Two of my cookbooks that are available on Amazon are Cooking for My Three Sons and Heart to Table.
I have learned so much these past few years and have journaled throughout, and I felt I needed to bring it all together in one place. On this journey, I have learned that we can’t carry with us regrets from the past or fears of the future; we need to live, as much as humanly possible and as hard as it may be, in the moment. I decided early on to take the bull by the horns and approach this new life with courage, confidence, and faith. Although at times it has been difficult, it has never been dull. Far from it. It’s been more like a roller coaster, exciting with its slow ascents and anticipation of the inevitable drops, uncomfortable with its scary, neck-breaking twists and turns, and plenty of gasping along the way!
2016 was the beginning of this wild ride. At fifty-six years old, my marriage of thirty-three years was on auto-pilot and menopause was over. I had a long, hard conversation with God, and I gave him hell. Women have to go through childbirth, raise children, feel the emptiness in their hearts when those children leave our nest, and just when we are ready to circle back to ourselves, we go through menopause!
Since I was pissed at God and I am competitive to a fault, I decided I would take on menopause like no other woman in history. I mean, I was going to do it even better than Eve herself! So, what did I do? I changed everything about my life! In the next three years, my marriage officially ended and I moved from the northeast corner of America to Southern California. I left behind friends, changed what I ate, how I cooked, where I shopped, and what I wore. I gave away lots of my designer clothes and mostly live in jeans and sneakers now. I went from playing competitive tennis four days a week to yoga on the beach and sunrise hikes in the canyons. I went from a big house in the suburbs to a third-floor walk-up apartment with rented furniture. I joke with friends and say if I could rent the pillow-cases I would!
I left behind fancy cars and leased a jeep. I wear less makeup, dyed my hair lighter, and even changed my part. I used to wake up to super strong Italian roast coffee, now I drink green tea. I wish I could say I stopped drinking alcohol, but in fact I drink more. Turns out there are a lot of divorcés out there who are happy to meet for a martini! During all of the changes I made, I discovered meditation and other avenues that have helped me to have a healthier mind, body, and spirit, and that’s what I truly want to share with you.
Divorce is hard, but if I’ve learned anything, and believe me, I’ve learned more in the last three years than I did in the last twenty, it is that although change is difficult for everyone, going through it is when you learn and grow the most. If you look at nature, there are changes happening every second, and nature just adapts and accepts them. Humans, however, resist change.
Right when I was finding my feet in my new life in California, one of my lifelong rocks, my big brother Johnnie, died. So, my new life has been far from the Leslie Gore song Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows. When Johnnie died last fall, I was devastated by grief, and I’m still navigating that profound loss every day of my life.
But as I move forward, I’m constantly reminded—by friends, by God, by strangers in line at the farmers’ market—of the power of laughter to help heal the deepest wounds.
Frankly, I am very proud of myself. Although these last three years were the most difficult in my lifetime, I got through them. I didn’t go around pain, over it, or under it—I’m getting through it with hard work. I want to share with you the fruits of my labor so you, too, can feel the pride of accomplishment on your own journey.
My goal in sharing this is that something in it, even one small thing, resonates for you. If I can empower others, then I’ll be happy.