Celebrating Womanhood

I'm linking up with Dee today to celebrate "Women of A Certain Age" today.

At 53, I certainly qualify...Here I am, menopausal, a grandmother six times over, and quite happy to be right where I am.

Recently I watched a commercial... a woman of 69 had a facelift.  In the 'after' picture, three years later she looked perhaps 40...Do you know what I felt looking at that woman?  Exhaustion.  Just pure exhaustion.  I thought  how difficult it must be to keep up the facade of acting as young as she looked.  Can you imagine trying to act 40 when you're 72?  Not to mention the burden of looking for signs of aging that must be eradicated and the effort of continually monitoring your actions so you act as though you're half your age, because what's the point of looking 40 and acting 72?  Mind you I have no problem whatsoever with a little judiciously applied makeup or hair color.  I want to look my best...I just don't want to live a lie, so to speak.  I want to enjoy the season of life I'm in.



Perhaps my perspective growing up was a bit different.  I grew up with a group of strong women on both the paternal and maternal sides of my family.  I had the joy and pleasure of being raised with two great grandmothers who lived into their 90's; two grandmothers and great aunts who all lived well into their late 80's and mid 90's. My own mother was pretty awesome in her 50's and 60's.  She's only slowed down in her 70's due to arthritis.  By rights I am only middle aged by my family's longevity.

The women in my family lived full lives.  They were strong women.  They were wives and widows and grandmothers.  They were homemakers and employees.  They did it all, and I do mean all.  They gardened, canned, sewed clothes and quilts, did yard work, worked, nursed family members through illnesses, drove cross country, went back to school to earn degrees.   Most important of all was their attitude.  It was never one of fear, or helplessness, or "I can't"-itis. They were intelligent, strong, independent.   They were  feminine and attractive and womanly.  They were Women.

During my lifetime feminism really came into its own, but who needed that?  I had before me the greatest examples in the world of what REAL Women looked like.  There were right there in my family.  The women in my family believed they were equal partners with their husbands.  They were helpmeets, women who knew their husband was head of household but fully capable of turning their hands to fieldwork and housework, too.  Their husbands were respected and they in turn respected their wives.  The women earned incomes sewing, baking cakes, working in cotton mills.  They made homes out of humble houses or two rooms in a relative's home.  When they became widows, they were capable of carrying on with their lives, and embraced that season, as well.  They were never helpless. 

For my Celebrating Womanhood post, I want to celebrate the women who taught me about womanhood, and most especially about embracing this season of my life.

13 comments:

a8383 said...

Terri, As a 52 year-old grandmother myself, I had just the opposite upbringing. My mother had been a beauty. I have witnessed what is left when that is gone... not much. I was cute but no beauty so I knew I had to be smart, kind, etc. I am soooo glad now that I was no beauty- those traits have stood me much better. I hope my sweet granddaughter will only be cute... Blessings

Vikki (www.the-view-outside.com) said...

Just stopping by from the blog hop :)

Great post honey! At 44 I'm looking forward to the next 10 years that's for sure ;)

Xx

vickiejohnstone said...

Stopping by from the hop. Lovely post. That's so funny about the exhaustion at wondering how she'll carry on acting 40!! :)

Amy Putkonen said...

I love this, Terri. It is clear that the women you have chosen as your role models are comfortable in their skin and what is more powerful than that?

IM said...

Great post! I was brought up by a mother who was a good example. She once told me that throughout history there were always smart women who got what they wanted! Just because somebody put you down, doesn't mean you have to stay there. Pretty good advice, I say! I am 62 and just "coming into my own", totally enjoying my family, my life, and my undyed hair! Keeping up with the times keeps you young at heart, and that will do more for you than a ton of makeup! My one fear is to end up in a home with a bunch of old people who have forgotten how to belly laugh!

Amanda said...

I didn't even see the picture and I'm worn out thinking about a 70-year-old trying to act 40. :-( I'm with you. There's nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and feeling that you look your best. But not at the expense of giving up who you are inside.

Donna Brown said...

Lovely post! I've never even been able to get into the habit of using make up, let alone resort to a face lift. Sometimes, we just need to be happy with who are are. If you love make up, fantastic, but we don't need to do or wear anything to match someone else's perspective of us - least of all a face lift at 72!

jaci said...

Stopping by on the blog hop. I'm going to be 56 and I think women should age as naturally as possible. If I end up with a face that has "character" then I can know I truly lived a life that filled that face. ;)
Thank you for the post!
Jaci

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you! I think society puts way too much weigh on looks and youth. I think you should make the most of each stage of life, and if you are comfortable in your own skin then you will more than likely be happy at any age.
ECSmith, NC

The Capillary said...

At 26 I'm lucky to have met my grandmothers who grew up in Europe through some turbulent times. Women of that generation were amazing because, as you put it, they didn't have "I can't-itis". LOL, love that.

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Deanna said...

I'm still working my way through all the posts in this blog event! The women you describe sound a lot like the women in my family. Strong and basically self-assured. I *do* care about my appearance but not to the degree that I would consider surgery or even excessive amounts of time and money trying to look 30 when I'm actually 50.

alchemyofscrawl said...

Part of the problem is our movies where almost all the actresses have to have their face altered until they reach that 'crone' age where it's okay to look old.

There are only a couple of actresses who haven't changed their appearance and I love their work.

And you're right. It looks exhausting!

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