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
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.
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