Aging (also known as really getting to know yourself)

Aging (also known as really getting to know yourself)

Upfront admission: I am not full on embracing my wrinkles or the parts of me which are not “defying gravity”.

I’m not shying away from them or considering plastic surgery but “embracing” implies a fondness that I’m not feeling.

I don’t love the creaky feeling when I stand after a long sit.

I am, though, over worrying about my upper arm flub.

Okay, that’s maybe an exaggeration. With a ‘mother of the bride’ event or two recently, I was slightly worried. But in the moment, it definitely was not even a passing thought.

It’s everything else that has happened in the past few years that I’m really intrigued by.

The chutzpah that comes when you have enough perspective to know what is important and consequently what it means to speak your mind. Kindly (mostly).

I don’t have time for fake or toxic relationships or superficial chats at parties while your conversational partner is looking past you to see who is more interesting.

Generally, I am over pleasing others. As I said to hubby recently, I still like to be liked but I can’t keep throwing rocks (or allow others to) at my self-esteem.

Weirdly, there are still a lot of growing pains when you get older. Not the physical but the mental.

Like rethinking and reorganizing your perspective. So many things I was brought up to believe and lived by in the past were either off base or outright wrong. The volumes of misinformation I was led to and did believe – well it’s taking my whole midlife to rethink.

And that’s okay.

Perhaps the biggest – and the one which leads to all other fundamental changes – is the view I’ve had of myself.

That one flaw or bad choice (or several) does not undo or truly define you.

That speaking my truth – really loudly – actually can set you free. You just might have to speak it more than once and to the right person: yourself.

I wrote my truth and submitted it to a writing contest. I was so proud of that piece.

I didn’t make the long list. Maybe didn’t even make it past the first hurdle.

But I wrote it.

And it is good.

Because it’s mine. My story, my life.

It hurt like hell.

And healed like sunshine.

 

Hello old friend

Hello old friend

It’s been too long.

It’s been a busy few months.

It’s been a busy life.

Weddings, vacations, jobs and other new jobs.

Cottage repairs.

No complaints.

And now, as a new year – as in a new school year – begins, I am in the midst of sorting through lives.

My mother in law is downsizing and many things are being filtered through our home. She is a holdover from the days where you always picked up a brochure wherever you went and you took two in case you lost one.

Also, we recently had a film crew take over our home and one of the many outcomes – besides a cool experience and meeting some exceptional young film makers – was that my basement got turned upside down.

And that’s a good thing.

In one day, two film people moved the 27 years of accumulated STUFF (cause junk is too harsh a word) that we had in two of the many rooms in our basement. They moved it into another already STUFF filled room.

When the crew was putting the house back together, we asked them to not refill the basement rooms. We asked them to leave it all.

So now, I am trying to take a critical eye to every single thing.

Why is it that I have enough paper plates to feed a small army? Or literally enough push pins to create a push pin Mona Lisa?

Life has a funny way of being told in material accumulation and man, we have had some kind of BIG life.

It’s easy to know that you don’t need hundreds of cork board push pins.

But what’s harder to decide is about the hundreds of masterpieces my children created over the years; I gotta say – they were a prolific pair.

The handmade birthday cards, sure. Easy choice (keep).

It’s funny, though. It’s those little doodles that Laura did in a notebook I kept in the car. I remember the day when it was finally not about Barney (keep).

The drawings where Kyle made heads HUGE and hands coming out of those heads – I remember talking through why heads are big (“cause they’re the most important part”) even thought it was 27 or so years ago (keep).

We live in the digital world and so I can, and will, digitize much of it.

There are some outfits that were in a box, alongside a box of crib bedding. Those all have a new home in a cedar lined trunk. Little runners and dance shoes and Sesame Street dishes somehow made it in as well.

For now, I am looking at things like roller blades and tote bags, wrapping paper and grapevine wreaths.

There are people who can use these things that have sat for years and years (and years).

And the childhood treasures, well, they will have to wait for another day.