Aging is not for the Weak

wipeoutLIFE AFTER YOUTH
introduction

Several things I want to leave with you.  Some of these writings might offend you.  Some of these writings you might not agree with.  What ever you think of these writings, know that I love you.  Yes, I said that.  I am proving that I love you by taking the time to write you this “letter”.

People of Planet Earth, we need to stop fighting each other and band together.  We need to start sharing our experiences and focus on our similarities and not our differences.  You do not need to conform to what I think is correct and I am certainly not going to conform to all of your ways.  We are different, every one of us and that is a fact.

No two of us think alike.  Even identical twins are very different people.  Most of my life, I have not even known what I believed or what was true for me.  The world is changing, there are more colors at the paint store now to choose from to paint my living room than ever before.  Today, you might just find a color that wasn’t there yesterday, then completely change your mind about your favorite color.  Keep your options open.  Hell, the moon might be in a different phase and so today it is green where everyone thought it was purple because yesterday that was your favorite.  Just tell them, the moon switched phases and I am simply going with the flow of it.

Don’t conform to anything.  Yes, many things are important to agree with and when you do, then agree, but do not simply conform.  For instance, if you do not agree with traffic laws then go ahead and break them.  When, you decide to stop paying the State (or worse lose your privilege) then make a different decision and stop at that red light.  I can pretty much guarantee you that if you choose not to conform to traffic laws resulting in someone dying, it will traumatize the rest of your life in ways we will not even discuss here.  I choose to agree with traffic laws because they make sense and as long as everyone is in agreement, the gamble of my hurting some one else goes way down.  Certainly the odds are in our favor here.

You will often hear me speak of God.  Don’t get your panties in a bunch with this.  I don’t care what religion you are.  I don’t care if you do not have a religion at all.  When I speak of God, I am talking about your higher power.  The thing that gives you strength and speaks wisdom when you need it silently in the night is what I consider God.  We will not discuss my own belief system simply because it is not important to your life.  I might mention from time to time the teacher I choose to follow but it needs to be understood that I believe there are many teachers to help people along their spiritual path.  If you do not believe in God then just change the word silently in your head to, myself or science or whatever it is that your belief system feels comfortable with.

So that being said (all of the above) let’s get on with life and what in the hell do we do now that we are aging?  I mean, good grief, here I am with a spirit that seems to think it is around age 28 or 30 and a body that says… “yeah, go head and dance, see how I remind you of your age in the morning”.  Damn it all to hell and back!!!!   Aging is not for the weak.  This is the only thing I am certain of.

Next up:  Aging is not for the weak.

AGING IS NOT FOR THE WEAK

Speaking primarily to women here.  It would be nearly impossible for me to speak to men because I am not one.  Honestly, to this day I have little idea of what goes on inside of their heads.

First life is going on beautifully, then we get the bomb of puberty dropped on us.  Everything suddenly changes.  We are expected to act differently, no more going outside to play without being fully covered.  What happened to going out to swim in the pool in just my shorts?  Why in the world does my body changing have to change everything in my world?  Suddenly, people seem to think it is a big deal for me to play sports or climb trees or well, many of the things I did just yesterday.  I need to be what?  I need to be a young lady now?  Really? All because of something that happened naturally?  Society now has a different set of rules for me?  Really?

Puberty was quite traumatic.  Now, when I was upset, they did not try to fix the problem.  NOOOOOO, it was because I was being hormonal.  I need to calm down?  REALLY?

This was nothing compared to menopause though.  The funniest things about menopause (now that I on the other side of it) was how others acted like it was something I was doing to THEM.  REALLY?  Yeah, I am in a bad mood.  No, it isn’t because I am going through menopause it is because I had to get up and change the sheets three times last night because someone turned up the faulty furnace and I couldn’t lay there in those wet sheets from sweating.  REALLY, you think this is because of menopause?  NOOOOO I am sleep deprived and tired, just get the hell out of my way.  Funny the furnace repair guy never found out what was causing our furnace to just go crazy like that.  Must be faulty repair guys because it can’t be ME, this is NATURAL after all.  RIGHT?

Menopause brought with it many gifts.  I learned during those years (yes I said YEARS) who my true friends were and who I needed to just fondly remember.  My true friends just took a side step when I needed to rampage and asked me if I needed to go out dancing?  Or could they sit with me while I was in the garden?  Sometimes they just listened.  It was during these years that I sorted out a whole bunch of junk from my mental closet.

Why is it that between the years of puberty and menopause we put up with so much?  I put up with a lot more during those years than I do today and for a lot longer simply because I was told that I was suppose to.  REALLY?  Today I have a very different opinion of what I should have put up with, stuffed into the emotional garbage can, and what I did put up with.  Just be a good girl and get along, you don’t want to offend because you might need these people some day.  Jimmy Crickets!!!!

Fight for your children, don’t let anyone hurt them BUT a completely different rule from society for me.  Get along, be a good person, try to understand everyone.  Blah, Blah, Blah.  Here I am, on the other side of menopause, and I say…. NOOOOO  try to understand others BUT do not put up with their crap if they fling it on you.  Wash that stuff off and remember where the crap slingers are, side step them in the future.  Let them sling their crap at someone else cause it isn’t going to be at you.

Just wish someone had this talk with me when I needed it so here I am talking to you.  Be you, be authentic.  We are women, we are born loving, kind, gentle and all of the other soft qualities that went into making of woman.  Nothing is going to change that, unless we stuff who we really are way down deep to conform to what someone else (who does not live in our bodies by the way) thinks we should be.

Some of us are born feisty.  Be feisty.  Be authentic.  Some of us are born mellow and laid back.  Be Mellow.  Be authentic.  Some of us are born demonstrative.  Be demonstrative.  Be authentic.  Some of us are born reserved.  Be reserved.  Be authentic.  What ever you are….. BE THAT!

See, some people are going to like you.  Some people are going to dislike you.  Some people are going to love you.  Some people are going to be crazy and decide to hate you.  BE YOU.  This is your true gift to the world.

Whatever you do, don’t decide to be crazy yourself by trying to be what other people want you to be.  Why?  They don’t know!  It all depends on the phase of the moon or maybe which new color came out this year at the paint store.

Next up:  Who Am I?

WHO AM I?

At times during our life we need to do a self-check.  Very simply, who am I?  Had a few issues with this one when the colors at the paint store changed and I drooled over them.  This didn’t happen much with the phases of the moon though cause quickly it went to half moon and it was on with life.  Tally ho!!!

This question, you will discover I am a slow learner, did not happen for me until mid menopause.  When it happened though, it came on like a freight train hauling nothing but tons and tons of coal.  Today looking at it, it is as if in one night of those horrible furnace malfunctions, the question came.  In glowing neon lights, I asked myself, “WHO AM I?”

Talk about a disconcerting moment!!  Quite simply who are you?  Are you being authentically who you are or are you conforming in some way to some one who does not live inside of your body?  Gesh, I hope you are smarter than I am and already know.  Just in case, I will share the gems that came out of this question for me.  They MIGHT help you in some way.

On that morning, that horrible, HORRIBLE, morning, I woke up.  It was as if the room were filled with this muck and grime (yeah I needed to clean it but this was different).  Suddenly I realized that I had absolutely no idea who I was.

Now, I knew who I was as a Mother.  I knew who I was as a wife.  I knew who I was as a friend.  I even knew who I was as a lover.  What I did not know was who I was when all of these specific roles were taken away.

The next question was even worse, only thought the worst of it was in the initial question.  Did I like me?  Did I even want to know who I was?  Would I even like me when or if I figured that out?

Menopause was some kind of very special scary place for me.  Still laughing that others thought it was something I was DOING to them to mess up their life in some way.

In retrospect, guess figuring out who I am did mess up their lives.  They had a choice to either get on board with my authentic self or be a fond memory.  My true friends remain by my side.  They actually like the new color of my internal paint department.  Now, it had to grow on some of them BUT it did and now we can be happy together, authentically happy.  We are no longer pretending to be happy or just being situationally happy but happy in all we do.  We are finally free to be happy together in a moment, no pretences, simply happy.

Still remember the incredible look as if invasion of the body snatchers happened as I very loudly declared this or that as how I feel.  In reality the opposite happened, I rid myself of all of the outside influences that snatched my authentic self from me.  How could I tell my Besties who I was when I did not even know?

So how did I figure it out when completely clueless?  Can’t even remember now where I read about this but it began with knowing who I was NOT.  Sounds counter productive but it works.

I began making internal lists as situations came up.  It went something like this:
1.  no, I am not that.
2.  no, I do not believe that.
3.  no, I don’t want to do that.
4.  no, I don’t want to eat that.
5.  no, I don’t feel that way.

With every NO I found my own personal yes.

I wish you many, many no’s in your life.  See, it doesn’t matter if someone else likes to do whatever they want to do.  That is their life and their own personal color of the moment.  What matters is that I do not want to do that and choose not to.

By finding my own personal silent no’s, I found my own personal verbal no’s.  Many people were quite surprised but no more surprised than I.  Who knew you didn’t have to wear green on St Patrick’s day?  I mean isn’t there a law there somewhere?

Pretty much, those meant to continue on with the next phase of your life will be supportive.  Now they might gasp a few times and they might even need to be on a respirator for a while BUT they will get through it and live.  Just as you would not want those you love to be anything other than who they are, you owe yourself this same liberty.

Yes, I said you owe it to yourself.  If you are not being authentic, you are cheating yourself and all those around you of something very special.  You are unique, there is not another in this entire world just like you.

Now, get out there and be YOU.

Love,
Sho

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