Fifty is a scary number for a woman. Add in a floundering economy, job losses, and worst of all, a child struggling with addiction issues and pretty soon, you find yourself circling the drain, praying that you don’t get sucked down.

It hardly seems like the subject matter for humor, but that’s exactly what saved me. Sure, it was black humor for a while, but finding a way to laugh, even in the most unsettling of times, helps you walk towards the light. And assuming you’re not staring into the headlights of an oncoming bus, that’s a good place to be.

I started the blog, Not Ready for Granny Panties, in the midst of all of that muck. And what began as a place to share my humorous take on life soon became an outlet for reaching out to women through our shared experiences. And we gals have A LOT in common.

Mary Fran and Dave Bontempo

Mary Fran and Dave Bontempo

Like many of you, I’m a mom. I was the best mother in the world before I had kids. Once they actually arrived, all bets were off. Happily enough, after many, MANY rough roads, tumultuous waters and general ka-ka, they are all solid citizens and doing well. My son, David, after walking on the wild side and struggling mightily with addiction, works in the treatment and recovery field. Daughter, Laura, is a special education teacher, and youngest, Megan, an E.R. nurse. Two are married, and one has gifted us with the light of my life, and mini-me, my granddaughter, Emma, whose favorite phrase is, “Where Franny?” (That’s me!) Husband, Dave, is 35 years into his life sentence and holding up fairly well, God bless him.

In addition, I’m blessed to be surrounded by extended family, both blood relatives and friends who mean just as much. Really, I have amazing friends. We laugh—a lot. Of course, sometimes the laughter is of the hysterical variety. As in, losing your mind hysterical. And then there are the voices in my head. But I’m getting better at taming them, especially the critical ones. Which is why I’ve chosen this path.

Since starting NRFGP in 2010, I’ve spoken to women about the mental granny panties we wear in our heads, taming our self-talk, cleaning up the “dirty words” we create for ourselves. And I talk to them about life, and how tweaking life in small ways, and making ourselves a priority, can create big changes.

It’s about creating the life you want, even when you think you’re stuck, you can’t, it’s too late, or it doesn’t matter anymore. You aren’t stuck, you can, it’s not too late, and it does matter. Plus, it’s easier than you think.

I love sharing that message with women, through my books, which are on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, my website,, and the blog, Not Ready for Granny Panties. It seems that I learned a few things along the way, things that can benefit women of any age.

And as for age? Turns out the 50’s are pretty fabulous. And fun

Please keep in touch. Share your stories, thoughts and dreams. And most important, make sure those voices inside your head are good to you. You deserve it.

Mary Fran Bontempo

Emma and Franny (Mary Fran)

Emma and Franny (Mary Fran)