April 03, 2009

Mid-Life Women Contracting HIV: The Hidden Epidemic You try to look at the bright side at mid-life, to find the silver lining. Okay, you say, so I occasionally sweat profusely for no apparent reason, I'm moodier than ever and I can't seem to remember s _ _ _ , but at least I don't have to worry about those damned condoms anymore! Get out the Kama Sutra and squeeze into some lingerie, it's party time! Heck, menopause hasn't given you much to smile about besides worry free sex, so make the most of it, right? Sexual freedom at last! No chance of getting pregnant, no worries? Condom Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but while unintended pregnancy may not be an issue anymore, there's a new kid in town and it's called HIV. Old news, you say? Not a problem for middle-aged, monogamists like yourself? If you really believe that, do yourself a favor and keep reading. Also, you might want to dig that box of condoms back out of the garbage, you're gonna need them. According to an article in the April 2009 issue of More Magazine, one in three women who are newly infected with HIV are women over forty. And, it's not just the divorcees having a fling with the pool-boy who are getting infected. In putting themselves back on the market, the newly single may be at risk, but married women may actually be at even greater risk. Single women, who don't have a long-standing relationship built of trust, are more likely to use condoms. But married women tend to trust their spouses and, as long as the threat of pregnancy is removed, think that they have nothing else to worry about. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Frustration: Friend or Foe? My son is a lot like me - poor kid. He loves to learn new things and share what he learns with others. Good so far. He also enjoys a challenge, but only to a point. He's pretty bright so most things come easily to him. The problem is when the challenge proves too much, when something doesn't come easily. Determined little bugger that he is, he'll keep trying and trying until frustration and exhaustion overwhelm him. Persistence? He's got truckloads. Patience? Well, that's another story. Frustration When my son was a baby, he didn't just want to be able to turn over by himself, he felt a desperate need to do it and to do it now. He would try and try and try and try to roll over and I would try to help, just a little to get him started. But it didn't happen right away and so the trying became straining and the straining became battling and the result? Crying, screaming and anguish. And you should have heard the baby! Crawling, sitting up, walking? Same scenario, over and over again. And things haven't changed much in eight years. The desire to roll over or to walk has been replaced with the need to speed read and to reach level three-gazillion on the latest Wii game within the first two days of ownership. My boy still loves to take on challenges and usually skates along effortlessly for a while. Eventually though, even the boy-genius hits a wall and then look out! The tears flow, pillows are beaten mercilessly and mommy's limited patience begins to wear thin. Granted, no one likes to feel frustrated, but as I've explained to my son, frustration is not the enemy. In fact, the ability to tolerate frustration is a critical ingredient in the recipe for a happy life. The real foe is our own lack of patience.

Lori Jewett

I'm an overly educated stay-at-home mom with two kids and the need for adult conversation.

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