If you're a Beatles fan, or over 50, you likely know the lyrics. right?
"When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now...will you still be sending me a Valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine, if I stay out till quarter to 3, would lock the door? Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?
Well, for me, that day is not "many years from now". It's today. Today is that day.
I am not losing my hair, nor is it likely I ever will. A stylist that I worked with for years used to bemoan my thick, heavy hair. She once stated, "Well, I don't think you'll ever need to worry about thinning hair, or hair loss!" Her prophetic words are still true, thankfully. It's just as thick and heavy as it ever was. And for that, I am grateful. (Except on hot, muggy days. Then my gratitude meter dips just a little!)
I still love being remembered on Valentine's Day (especially by my sweet grandbabies and my children, and I adore birthday greetings! I don't need anyone to buy me a bottle of wine, I'm well over twenty-one. I got that covered. If I stay out till quarter to three, it's all good. I have the keys to the castle. I decide when the door gets locked, and when it stays unlocked, thank you.
Will you still need me? Please don't. If you want me, as a friend, partner, confidante, what have you, that's awesome! However, after several years of soul work, inner healing, many multiple Ayahuasca journeys and work with other plant medicines, I have officially stepped down as the "Savior of broken individuals" (especially men!) After many, many hard learned lessons, I have finally realized, the only person I can "fix" is me. And it's still an ongoing process, so please, be patient with me. I am still a work in progress and likely always will be. And for that, I am grateful.
Will you still feed me? Jeez. Really? I am still, as of this moment, able to acquire all the food I have need of, and feed myself without dribbling. (Usually.) Should that change in the years ahead, I'll let someone know. (Maybe. I still haven't mastered the art of asking for help.)
There are so many things that I am "over" at this point in my life.
Lack of authenticity (in myself & others)
Racism, homophobia, sexism, ageism, bigotry, white supremacy, the patriarchy, and a few more. I am still learning, and trying to be better in all of these areas myself.
Lack of self-love & self-care.
I was raised in an era when all of these things were the norm. When most everyone was a racist. My parents were racist. All of their friends and my extended family were racists.
I grew up being told that self-love and self-care were selfish and conceited. Nice people, decent people, simply did not behave that way. Period.
I spent most of my life filled with self-judgement and self-loathing. I was too fat, too skinny, not skinny enough. Too pretty, not pretty enough. Too short, too talkative, too quiet, too smart, not smart enough. Thought too highly of myself, lacked self confidence. I was too permissive as a parent, or not permissive enough. Is it any wonder why most people, especially women, are so confused. We spend so much of the early part of our lives trying to please everyone else and never really succeeding, and the one person we really need to be concerned about is at the very bottom of that long list. Ourselves.
Is it any wonder by midlife we feel as though we are losing, or have lost our minds? But if we are very fortunate, and haven't yet been completely crushed by all the mixed messages and confusion, we see a light in the distance and begin walking toward it, eventually running at breakneck speed to try and end the insanity. And for that, I am grateful.
I am also grateful to be walking among so many "woke", empowered, beautiful, strong, young women today, that hopefully may never live that insanity. They inspire me with their candor, self-confidence, authenticity, and radical self-love. If you're one of them...thank you! I am grateful for you.
At 64, I am also over hating my own body, which has served me so well despite years of abuse, and neglect and continues to today. I do not take a single prescription drug and have not seen a physician in over a decade. I am very grateful to it, and it's time to give it the love and honor it deserves. My days of being a jaw-dropping, flaming redhead have come and gone. I am grateful to have had them, but I won't miss them. It was all so much work. Too much work, and who was it for? Very likely, not me. It was all part of the role I played for society.
So what if my once firm, perky, 36 B's have become drooping 38 Longs and soon, thanks to gravity, will be able to be tucked into the waistband of my yoga pants? (I am eternally grateful to the inventor of yoga pants!) Those girls nurtured and nourished my precious babies. I'm going to give them all the love and admiration they deserve!
So what if the body that once housed an exercise obsessed fitness instructor has become soft and squishy? This body created, and incubated seven human beings. It is a fucking marvel! It is still to this day, and always has been, the only portal through which new souls arrive on this planet! Think about that for a moment! You are a freaking Goddess!
And those once firm, shapely thighs, have morphed into ample, soft laps for bouncing and cuddling grandbabies. Pretty damned good trade-off in my mind.
The face, with it's once firm skin and perky features, is now filled with fine lines, deep lines, and creases, and the beginning of jowls...yup, jowls. These serve to prove two things. Number 1, just like with the boobs, gravity works! I, for one, am grateful for that fact, not having any desire to go hurtling into space. Number 2- that face is living proof that I have lived, laughed (a lot), cried, (a lot), and not only wore my heart on
my sleeve, but every single emotion I ever felt, on my face. For this, once again, I am grateful. I wouldn't have had it any other way. My "smile lines" are surprisingly deep and tell the story of countless hours of laughing, smiling and expressing my inner joy. How could I not love them?
So today, as I celebrate my 64th trip around the sun, my heart and my being are filled with love, and gratitude for my life, all of it. The happy times, the sad times, the painful times, times of loss and triumph, the times of learning and growing, the stagnant times, the "full steam ahead" times, and the times of just simply being, and surviving another day. Today, I am cultivating more and more of the latter...just being content to simply "be".
I am so thankful to have achieved nearly every goal I've ever set for myself and am looking forward to the next one. And what might that be, you ask? Growing into that feisty
old lady that people are forever asking one another, "What the fuck is she up to now?"
This one should be a piece of cake!
Thanks for reading, and celebrating my birthday with me! I am grateful!
It's a beautiful life!