Tag Archives: Middle Aged

This Is What I Want, What I Really, Really Want

Here we are, creeping up on a full week in January already and I have not yet made a single resolution for the new year. I’ve thought of plenty, mind you—lofty, idealistic goals stirred up by the bold declarations of those answering the call of self-improvement and good deeds. It’s a contagion, I tell you, one I do my best to ward off.

It’s sort of the same for me as Black Friday—everybody in a panic, crushing into the stores, snatching up bargains all in lather, sacrificing Christmas spirit to the idle worship of the solid gold beast that is consumerism. I like to wait until the fever pitch cools, the excitement dwindles and the competition all goes home. I’m good with paying a few dollars more to avoid the triathlon of jogging in place at 3-a.m. to keep warm while waiting for the store to open, sprinting through the aisles, and then playing tug of war over the last Samsung Galaxy SII 4G—which will be obsolete before I can wrap it and tuck it under the tree.

With resolutions it’s not as much a competition as it is joining in the fray, tossing your intentions into the ring to see whose lasts the longest. I’d rather sit back and watch the perennial, early contenders—exercise more, eat less, get in shape, lose weight—all going down for the count.

It’s never wise to be rash about these things. Setting goals is a careful consideration, best based in reality—the reality that the harder they are, the less likely you will succeed.

Well that’s just wonderful advice coming from a midlife mentor isn’t it? Harsh even. Here’s the thing, if you start out working toward what you want, instead of setting goals for what you should be doing, the chance of success is way better—and you might just get a bonus to boot.

I don’t want to give up sugar, chocolate, wine or delicious fatty foods like cheesecake and maple nut ice cream. But I do want to feel better, and feeling better means eating more whole fruits and vegetables, drinking two liters of water, and getting my butt out of the chair for a walk in the brisk air every day. When I do those things consistently I feel better—physically and emotionally. Success!

I also have fewer cravings, and when I do indulge in chocolate, cheesecake, ice cream, cookies, potato chips, French fries . . . some body stop me!  When I do eat those taste-tempting treats, I’m satisfied with smaller portions because I’ve filled up on wholesome, fresh foods.

I also want to write more of what I want to write and less of what I think I need to write to get paid. If I write what I like to read and enough other people like to read it too, maybe there will be some money in it down the road. If nobody likes it but me I’ll still have enjoyed writing it.

I want to treat myself well—really well. I’ve done it for other people for most of my life, and I don’t regret it nor will I quit doing it, but I’m ready to stop denying my own special treatment of myself.

I want to worry less. I think that one is going to take some practice, or training in meditation, or maybe drugs. Whatever, it’s something I want so I think I can achieve it.

Finally, I would like to avoid selfish, negative, aggressive, ignorant people, but short of becoming a hermit (yes, I know that’s not a long walk for me), I don’t think I have much chance of success there. So I will say instead that I want to deflect the energy of selfishness, aggression and ignorance with my own super power cloaking shield.

Okay, that one might be a little unrealistic.


Make Mine Platinum, Please

I have no doubt that in my heart and especially in my vision of myself, I will be the Middle AgeD Goddess until I leave this world, but let’s face it, chronologically my middle age is not going to last forever. My forties have been left in the dust, and I blew past fifty almost seven years ago. It’s a bit disconcerting to realize I am closer to the next decade than I am to the last one I left behind.

There is a prevailing edict for women of middle age and beyond in our culture to fight the outward signs of aging until the dying breath. Of late, I find I am always struggling to exude the correct mix of vitality, grace and maturity without being perceived as dated and frumpy. The older I get the more exhausting the effort becomes and I wonder, when will it be okay with everybody else for me to look my natural age?

I’m pretty sure, the answer is never, but in moving toward yet another decade of life, what other people think is right for me has less meaning than ever before. And, the more tricky it becomes to pull off the facade of youth without appearing like I’m foolishly clinging to false hopes, the more I relish the thought of accepting the crown of the Crone.

In that spirit, I decided to stop coloring my hair. I don’t remember exactly when I made that decision—I’m guessing about six months ago judging from the three-plus inches of growth from my roots of dark brown with gray streaks. What I do remember very distinctly is that last color coming out somewhat on the hot pink side of the color wheel (in the sunlight at least) instead of the usual chestnut brown. It eventually faded to a tolerable auburn.

When I began this outgrowth, I wasn’t quite sure what might be revealed; my mother and my sister both went mostly gray—stunning silver, to be exact—quite early in their lives. Alas I am blessed with the genes from my paternal grandmother and aunties, who all continued coloring their hair well into their 90s. I’m beginning to understand why; I think all gray is far less aging than this salt and (mostly) pepper nonsense—it’s not even a color for Pete’s sake.

A few weeks ago, I had nearly all off the faded titian tresses (six inches worth) snipped off, leaving me with a contemporary, wavy bob I hoped would help me look less dragged out and perhaps a bit younger. Every man who has been brave enough to comment truthfully says it makes me look older than my age. I tend to agree, which is why I didn’t turn any of them into balding, paunch-bellied,Viagra popping men. Oh, wait; they already are.

All of that aside, I’m fed up to my whiskered chin with bad hair days. Long, short, colored, graying, straight, curly, none of it is making me happy when I look in the mirror. I am sorely tempted to chop it within an inch of its life and go platinum blonde—what’s the worst that could happen?

Get a  ^  life!

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Marginal Woman

growing up i learned two sides to everything
right wrong good evil should shouldn’t your way my way
love-&-acceptance fear-&-hate everything black-&-white
and marginal me a foot in each world
the devil’s advocate scaling both sides
tell her it’s black and she’ll say white my mother would say
what i saw was so much gray

cocooned that way in a world so light we all
just might disappear in a good winter’s snow
not a single black-skinned person
not then-and when they arrived my father (a product of his generation) declared
interracial relationships were not right black should not mix with white
i asked him what degree of dark complexion is the cut off line

half serb one-quarter french one-quarter ojibwa
mistaken for greek, italian, latino and
when summer tanned mulatto too (that was the word they used)
i am only the second born generation with feet on this land
i do not know the blood that ran in the veins of my people centuries ago
but I see all the shades of my skin and i know

fear and hate divide us across a parted sea of color
your side my side a chasm wrought
over what ought to be
while violence rains down and I wonder
can no one else see the philistines
working both crowds
waiting for us all to drown
in a river of blood
that runs
all the same

Follow the MAD Goddess on Facebook and Twitter
Living the second half of live with Passion, Purpose & Pizzazz.

Get a  ^  life!
at http://www.madgoddess.com

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