Category Archives: Baby Boomers

Warm from the inside out


I didn’t realize I’d forgotten what it’s like to be warm from the inside out.

It took a glorious getaway this past week to Southern California and Palm Springs for my nephew Neal’s wedding to Allie to remind me of the feeling.

I awoke a few mornings ago—in the comfy bed of my longtime friend Luanne’s peaceful guestroom in L.A’s San Fernando Valley—to the long-forgotten sensation.

I grew up in the Valley—but had somehow never been to Palm Springs (just a few hours east). There was no need to pursue more sunshine, heat and dips in a pool when we had all that right at home.

Let’s just say things have changed—dramatically.

Since moving to Seattle in 1994, I (along with all my fellow Emerald City residents) thoroughly appreciate when sunny skies and warm sunshine are in the forecast—especially this time of year. The long, dark winters and relentlessly gray skies can most definitely take their toll on everyone in the Pacific Northwest.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve also begun to notice that I get colder more easily—and really don’t like it. I’m starting to understand why so many aging seniors choose to retire to warm climates.

That’s why the feeling I awoke to the other morning was so incredible. As I lay there, I reflected on the many magical moments that unfolded over the past week.

The sunny skies and desert heat worked wonders on my body and spirit—but even more so did the abundance of joy-filled moments throughout the trip.


Celebrating Neal and Allie with those most special in their lives at the rehearsal dinner and welcome party the evening before the wedding.

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Giving myself the gift of time

Today, I celebrated another year of living on this precious and increasingly imperiled beautiful blue planet we all call home.

I happened to glance at the clock at 11:11—the moment I made my debut 58 years ago. I love it when that happens, and appreciate the fact that my arrival time was so incredibly symmetrical, numerically speaking. I’ve heard and read about the power of being associated with 11:11. The band Film School wrote a song with it in the title. I also once went to a numerologist who remarked positively upon the power of it. (I’m not sure what the significance really is, but am delighted that it’s part of my life’s story—along with the fact that I was only lefty in a home with seven right-handed siblings and two-right-handed parents.)

I eased into the morning, had a delicious and satisfying lunch of pho and always-fulfilling conversation with my sister—and then headed downtown for happy hour with a few former colleagues on the waterfront of Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. All in all, a low-key but highly satisfying day.

I’ve just arrived back home after a rather long and crowded bus ride, alone in my quiet little house on my modest little street near the town of Woodinville, Washington. My phone has been dinging with notices of Facebook greetings and a few voicemail
messages. I’ve chosen to remain unplugged for the moment, but look forward to reading the wishes from friends and family near and afar. (It’s a definite positive on the social media front.)

On this June 2, 2017 birthday evening, I’m reflecting on the past, pondering the future—and feeling incredibly grateful for this life I’ve lived and all the love that surrounds me.

My birthday gift to me this month is time. I’m not going to rush into the next contract or pursue a position that doesn’t spark joy.

I’m going to take a break, regroup, renew, recharge, recover, return to the gym, write—and forge a new path for the next chapter in “The Life of Marcy O’Hara.”

It’s a gift that will pay dividends for the rest of my life—and the fact that I’ve realized that is making me feel older and wiser even as we speak.

(Happy birthday to me!)

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@ awkward intersections in my brain

0280_0065117080 (2)When talking about my family,  siblings and birth order invariably come up in conversation.

Ever since my older sister Ellen died suddenly two years ago,  so much has changed. That includes the “birth order” convo.

Now, when it comes up, I now find myself reaching an an awkward intersection inside my brain–every time.

I’ve always been interested in the subject of birth order, and eventually bring it up with all my friends and colleagues. (How could you not be?)

“I’m one of eight kids; five brothers and two sisters. I was fourth,” I say. Sometimes, I’ll add in a p.s.—“I was the quintessential bitter middle child.”

Other times, when reminiscing about my father, I’ll share this anecdote: “My dad was a lawyer, and absolutely loved it. He wanted all eight of his kids to be lawyers, too. He’d tell me, ‘Lefty, there are so many f**** a******* who are lawyers. You can be one, too.’” (Was that a compliment or an insult?)

I then go on to say that he ended up with four lawyers out of 8— 50%; not bad at all. And it’s at that exact moment that I now  pause and mull it over in my mind:  Should I add the caveat?

I am one of eight—but now we are seven. He did have four kids who grew up to be lawyers–but now there are three.

A little over two years ago, our sister Ellen Marguerite O’Hara, died suddenly. Getting used to speaking of her in the past tense?

It’s taking longer than I’d anticipated.

“Bree’s Company”

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I’m living a sitcom life.

It’s called “Bree’s Company,” and it features a colorful cast of quirky characters.

Let’s start with me, a young-at-heart freelance writer, former “Valley Girl” and bonafide late bloomer. (At least, that’s what I like to tell myself.)

The cast also include Gio, my ex-hubby. We divorced 8 years ago, right when the Great Recession was taking hold. Our daughter, Bree, was going to start 10th Grade, and after renting expensive apartments for a while–we decided to pool our resources and buy a modest rambler. The plan was for all of us to coexist until she went to college, at which point I’d move out, he’d stay and we’d continue gaining equity over the years.  Plans didn’t quite pan out that way, though. (I’ll explain more later.)

Gio has a great relationship with his girlfriend of several years, and most nights stays at her place. But all his stuff (a lot of stuff!) is here in this little 3 bedroom/1 bath rambler with no garage and limited storage options. He and I both have accumulated way too much stuff over the years — but happily, downsizing is in full swing.

Then there’s the star of our show — Bree. Her full name is “Gabriella Mary,” and she also answers to “Gabby.” She’s a senior at Western Washington University, a creative writing major with a psychology minorr. She and her fiancee, Jeshua, moved in last month. he’s taking two online classes this summer, and will finish up in December. Jesh is busy looking for a job in tech. Their entourage also includes two cats, Giles and Charlie, who have fortunately settled in peacefully with our Jake.

Last night’s revelry involved an abundance of red wine and a magnetic poetry smackdown followed by an hour’s worth of wrangling over where to order pizza — and you know what? It was a great Saturday night.

It’s “Bree’s Company”– and so far, it’s working out swimmingly.

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Musings on millennials


Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Weird and Gilly,
And The Spiders from Mars.
He played it left hand, but made it too far,
Became the special man,
Then we were Ziggy’s Band.

So much of my previous workday existence I do not miss.

The commute, the tolls, the parking, the stress — all are thankfully behind me.

The sad part is leaving behind the many colleagues who became friends. Most of them were much younger. A few of my most favorite called me their “work mom” — and I loved that.

I definitely was in the minority at zulily — an aging baby boomer in a sea of millennials. I was around their parents’ age, and they around my daughter’s.

The generational disconnects were glaringly apparent from the start.

I remember, on my second day in the bustling and crammed offices of zulily’s former SODO headquarters, I asked a 20-something where the printer was. She looked at me quizzically. “Printer?! I have no clue. I’ve never printed anyting here since I started last year.”

Every Tuesday, the CEO would hold a weekly all-hands meeting. It would always start with a question for the new recruits. Things like “If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would that be?” or “What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year.”

I had been asked to help think of new questions, and one of the ones on my list was: “If you could go back in time right now, what era would you choose to live in?” Most of that week’s crop gave an answer that made me laugh out loud. They all wanted to go back to the 1990s. (Of all the possible answers that I had envisioned, going back to the 1990s was definitely not one of them.)

A few months ago, I jokingly made a reference to a young marketing guy about “putting out fires with gasoline.” He looked at me blankly. I stared back for a moment, then added: “You know, from the David Bowie song?” He shook his head no. Then: “Who is David Bowie”?

I decided to lend him my recently purchased “Ziggy Stardust” CD. After a few weeks, I swung by his desk and asked what he thought. He looked sheepish and admitted he hadn’t yet listened to it. I took it back, returned to my desk, popped it into the cd drive on my laptop, grabbed my headphones, hit “play,” cranked the volume way up — and let the music get me through another day.