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NOTE: This is a post from my blog pluckycharmed.com where I am taking notes about my mid-life reboot. @pluckycharmed/Twitter

***

This week was up and down, mostly down.

First, the ups.  My family was really kind to me.  There were valentines and chocolate and flowers.  There was steak and lobster and cake and strawberries for my birthday.   My mom gave me a very lovely white dress with a pink Chewbacca fur jacket.  I had dinner with my best single-mom friend and we laughed a lot, which was nice because last week she cried a lot.  (We take turns.)

And then there seemed to be lots of grieving.  Worse, there was a sense of pointlessness and hopelessness that invaded my space the entire week.  It was always there on the periphery, both tainting and defining the joy of each moment.

But, I soldiered on, which has always been my strength.  Every day, I wrote, and ate something healthy, and drank water.  I kept moving, but also rested.  I stretched and moved my body.  Hazel cut my hair.  We went on a long walk around the mall in DC yesterday, and took a few minutes at the Hirshhorn museum, the nation's unfortunate representation of "The Emperor's New Clothes" as art.

The theme I tried to embrace this week was "community", but here I refer to new communities.  Ones that can actively support this new journey I'm on.  

I researched other writers in my genre, registered for the next BlogHer convention, and joined a couple of blogging communities.  I also joined a couple of Yahoo groups on menopause (I'm not there yet, but the coming change is definitely the impetus behind this mid-life reboot.)  Anyway, I don't know if I'll stay with those groups.  I reject the disease model of menopause.  Instead, I hope to reframe it.  To take the powerful hormonal and emotional energy of this time in my life and channel it into my reboot – as an artist, a woman, and an individual.  

I still didn't create anything in the kitchen.  I've got "kitchen block."  There were some tears about our relationships with the kids.  Four of the six didn't call for my birthday which stupefies me more than it hurts me.

But The Italian and I saw a great young group at the Kennedy Center, and I've been listening to their CD in the car since then.  You should check out "Deep River" and their first new album, "Ten Mornings."  It was so uplifting to see young people making a go of it in the art world.  But sad, too, because of that damn persistent cloud of hopelessness that kept graying out everything and whispering coulda, shoulda, wouda's all week.

The most uplifting thing I did this week was have Drag Queen Brunch at the funnest gay bar ever.  Afterwards I reflected on why the brunch was the highlight of my week and I think it's because I could so relate to the girls.  After all, I've been a reverse drag queen all these years.  I'm fun, arty, irreverent, naughty Jenny playing drag as suburban soccer mom.

Spiritually, it dawned on me that I have been misapplying the Serenity Prayer for some time.  Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr prayed, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

Looking back over these last years, I think I've been thinking I was supposed to accept some things – duty, life choices, responsibilities – when what I really should have been doing was asking for the courage to change them.  Not rid myself of my responsibilities to others, but create a space of equality where my duties to others could reasonably coexist with my responsibilities to myself.  Over the years, this imbalance grew tentacles which have increasingly constricted the flow of creation and possibility in my life.  This year — this midlife reboot — is about breathing fully again.

The tears of this past week make sense to me.  Beginnings are always endings as well.  We commit to leaving the place we know for the unrealized promise of the future.  Sorrow and possibility are soul-sisters.

I welcome and embrace both.

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