When I was a child I was sort of old.
I was very serious and quiet most of the time.
I spent a lot of time thinking.
I was pretty happy where I was.
When I was a teen I was still sort of old.
I was very serious and quiet and afraid of making mistakes.
Being afraid of making mistakes didn’t prevent them but made them seem worse.
I desperately wanted to be older.
As a young woman, I was still quiet but not as serious.
I was kind of wild and rebellious, in a quiet way, but definitely undisciplined.
I had a lot of fun!
Not always in my best interest but still, fun for the most part.
I wanted to be a young woman forever!
In middle age, I got serious again, very very serious.
That was not good.
A little seriousness is good but
when it gets in the way of having a life it’s bad news.
Now I am old in years, not elderly just old(er).
That was the best thing I ever did!
Being old is freeing.
I am semi-serious and seriously serious when it’s needed.
I am happier than I ever have been.
I like myself.
Not sure why it took me so long to get here but
the lessons along the way taught me to live
in the now, not yesterday or tomorrow but today.
In the not too distant future, I will be elderly.
Who knows what that will be like?
All I know is that it will be what it will be.
I am hoping to be an old woman who is wise.
Oh, and I hope to be funny and not too cranky.
The way I see it age isn’t all that important it’s just a number.
Be yourself whatever the number of years you are.
“So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why don’t somebody wake up to the beauty of old women?” Harriet Beecher Stowe
I have been thinking about the above quote for a few days.
Yes, the gears have been turning but all I have is questions.
Young girls/women are beautiful. No question.
But why? Simply because they are young?
Old women are not thought of as beautiful. Question.
Why? Just because they are old?
Is there only one standard for beauty?
We look at things that are old and see beauty in them.
Antiques are highly prized though they may be
faded, scratched, wobbly, imperfect.
The works of the artisans of long ago are valuable because they are old.
Doesn’t matter that they are blurred with time, chipped or torn.
Why are old objects valued for their beauty and women are not?
Old houses are bought and renovated inside and out.
Tens of thousands of dollars are spent to bring back their beauty.
Old cars are restored to their former shiny good looks.
A great deal of money is spent to make them beautiful again though
they are less efficient and costlier to keep than newer cars.
Why is it okay to spend a fortune on old houses and cars
to make them look their best but it is considered silly or wasteful
for a woman to have cosmetic surgery to enhance her beauty as she ages?
Just questions that resulted from my thinking about women and beauty.
What do you think?
Are our beliefs and thoughts about the beauty of women distorted or skewed?
Are we too easily influenced by media and advertising?
Are we so superficial that we will not look beyond the outer wrappings
to find the treasured gifts within?
This is my response to this week’s quote at In Other Words.
“A man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” Muhammad Ali
In my late thirties and early forties I was miserable and I knew things had to change. I looked back on my life and spent some time being brutally honest with myself. I owned up to mistakes and bad behaviors. Admitted to myself that I was an unhappy child and teen mostly because of being a stubborn and difficult child. I acknowledged that as a young woman I made some seriously bad choices and paid heavy prices for some of them. I hurt many people and I hurt myself because I was still stubborn and difficult.
Things did change, I changed, but it was far from easy. The hardest thing to realize was that I was the way I was because I was afraid. Fear defined my life. I knew I needed help and got it. That was the hardest year of my life and the most important. I took responsibility for my life, all of it the good and the bad. There were so many times I wanted to give up and just be “me”, but the “me” I was then was not who I wanted to be. I was done with her. Done with letting the bad stuff that happened and the fear define me and my life. Done with living in the past and ready for the future while being present in the here and now.
My fiftieth year was one of reflection. It was a very good year. I finally came into my own. I knew I was the “me” I wanted and needed and was meant to be. I liked “me”.
Now in my sixties I still have fear to deal with. It’s okay it doesn’t rule anymore. It rears its ugly head now and then, but I am in charge. I think dealing with fear is a part of my life that keeps me from slipping back into the old me. I have learned that those past years were not wasted years. They helped me become who I am today. Hopefully, wiser and kinder. I must say, I am still stubborn, but I am working on it.
This is a very personal post. Maybe the most personal and open I have ever written. I am not sure why I have written what I have. I guess I just needed to be me.