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MidAge Mom is for women who are parenting in midlife rather than celebrating the empty nest on a beach in Bali . . .

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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Rediscovering My Life

I’m rediscovering my life and it feels so good.

For the past four years, I’ve been suffering from depression and severe anxiety. My life has been on hold; it’s often been difficult just to get through the day. My interests during this time have been nonexistent. I’ve barely touched the computer. It has been hard, at times, just to make a decent meal or take a shower. On three occasions I’ve been hospitalized.

The self I’d known had virtually disappeared.

None of the 13 medications from the psychiatrist have helped much. This summer I started getting a bit better, but only after receiving regular electroshock therapy.

Now, however, after a neurological test, they may have found out what is wrong with me. A walking EEG exam revealed seizure activity in my brain that could explain the anxiety I’ve been experiencing. The neurologist put me on a medication called Lamotrigine two weeks ago.

Since then I’ve felt like a new person, or rather, like a person I used to know. After four years away from my life, it feels like I’m discovering it for the first time.

The biggest revelation has been the computer. Though I was doing the basics, like checking email, and taught myself how to blog again this fall, I’d forgotten how to work every other program on my computer. In the last two weeks I’ve used Youtube and Google to relearn programs I haven’t used in years, including Omnifocus, Evernote, Lightroom, Feedly, Twitter, Bitly, Itunes and Devonthink Pro Office. In many cases it’s been like learning them for the first time. I’ve had to reset almost all of my passwords. But it’s felt like Christmas.

I’m also rediscovering our house, where piles of stuff have accumulated during my illness. I cleaned out and threw away scores of old vitamins the other day as well as 11 vials of old medications. Today I purged a pile in the living room with my husband. It was interesting just to see what was in it. And I have only just begun to fight as far as the house goes. Bags of stuff await Goodwill with more to come once I finish the cleanout and my husband catches up with me. (Good luck, Bill.)

I’m also reconnecting with my writing life. I rejoined two writers organizations and have found an entire book on the computer that I’d been writing when I got sick, I don’t know if I’ll finish the book, but at the least it will be interesting to read it and see what’s there. (It’s a first person account of late motherhood but I’m not sure how the last four years fit in.)

I’ve found clothes, shoes and jewelry I’d forgotten I had and have taken a few pieces of the later to be repaired. They’ve been sitting in the closet, broken, for years. I”ve also started listening to podcasts and music again.

I got a new camera, the Nikon D750, and spent last weekend reading the manual. Photography was a big part of my life before I got sick, but I haven’t had any interest in it since. I found a photo processing program in my computer called Lightroom. I don’t have the faintest idea anymore how to work it so I’ve reread a Lightroom book I found on my shelf that I hadn’t opened in years. Yesterday I discovered that I have another book on Lightroom, which was news to me, and which I may reread too.

It’s like starting over or coming out of a time tunnel. Things that are actually quite old, like the versions of my computer programs, feel brand new. And I’m so happy to rediscover them that I don’t care that I’m four years behind the rest of the world or where I would have been had I never gotten sick.

It all makes me believe that we’re only as good as our interests. By rediscovering my life I’m finding myself again. It’s like reuniting with a very good friend but even better because it’s me.

I’d forgotten how much I was involved in and how much I loved my life. Yet God knows, I’ve  missed it.

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Is there part of your life that you’d like to rediscover? Share by commenting below!

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                                                                                      Photo © Flynt

Disclosure: I use some affiliate links. If you click and buy a product, I make a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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Hey Smart Mom, What’s On Your Smartphone? 4 Apps You’ll Love

A good smartphone application can make a midlife mom’s life easier, more productive and even more fun.

So, what’s on your smartphone? Which applications, or apps, help you as a busy mother?

Below are a few favorites on my iPhone. All have free versions and are easy to use:

Evernote

Use Evernote to save and organize notes from text, web pages, photos and screenshots. The app lets you access them from your phone.

The notes are stored in the cloud on Evernote’s servers. They’re indexed and searchable.

Snap a picture of a business card with your phone. Then find it by searching the contact’s information. You can also email the notes. Can your tween do this?

Gone are the days of scrounging in my purse for a tattered shopping list that includes last month’s class cupcakes. My shopping lists are now on Evernote. I update them easily from my phone or computer.

Instapaper

So much information. Never enough computer time. What’s a mom to do?

Save articles on the web for later reading with Instapaper.

This application installs a “read later” button on your computer’s browser. Click the button when you find something interesting on the web and Instapaper stores a copy of the article in your account.

The app lets you access the articles later on your phone in a clean, easy-to-read format. You can also forward links or long emails to your Instapaper account.

With Instapaper, you can set up a library of material to read on the go. It’s especially useful for long articles. Some of us still read long articles, right?

Never be bored waiting at the orthodontist’s office again!

Dictionary.com

Yikes – some 5th grade vocabulary words leave me stumped! Do you know the meaning of “emend?”

Download Dictionary.com, hand your child the phone and make dinner in peace rather then be drilled on vocabulary you don’t know or have forgotten.

Or access it on the sly and preserve your status as an intelligent mom.

Alas, It is too late for me.

Lose It!

Studies show that people who write down what they eat lose weight.

But who can carry a notebook and calorie counter around – especially when you’re toting small fry’s stuff?

With Lose It you can set weight-loss goals and a calorie budget and meet them by tracking food and exercise on your phone.

Lose It’s database is comprehensive and includes meals from popular restaurants. You can also create foods and exercises and add recipes. Entering info is easy and fast.

If you set up a LoseIt.com account on the web, you can view reports on your progress and have them regularly emailed to you.

The only problem: you have to use it to lose it.

It’s best to log food right after eating. By the time you’re preparing the next meal the last one is ancient history. Did you eat it? Did they eat it? Did you give it to the dog? Who knows?

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So that’s my list. Please share what’s on yours!

Any cooking apps you love? Any phone camera apps you’d recommend? Any you use to track your children or amuse them?

Any that do dishes or laundry?

Midlife moms need to stay tech savvy, if for no other reason than to keep up with the kids. So I’ll be sharing more technology tips here.

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This post has been brought to you by a woman who learned to type on a manual typewriter. . .

Photo Credit © Anna Khomulo/Dreamstime.com

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