It’s a magical time.
A time of accomplishment & celebration. (The kids are grown. They are totally capable of taking care of themselves. Our marriage survived. We are healthier than ever & still best friends.)
Coupled with a time of reinvention & adventure. (Now that we held onto what matters most – what matters now? What’s next? How do we reinvent our roles & goals? How do we craft a life that will support us for as long as we plan on living?)
I specifically remember 10 years ago posing the question to myself, what would happen if I were to enter peri-menopause healthy & happy inside & out. What would it look like? How would it feel?
So far so good!
One more year to 50…which many see as the half way mark these days. (Who knows. I personally think the half way mark is shifting closer to 70 – should we be so lucky.)
Meanwhile, I am loving this stage of life – both the pride and the vulnerability it brings.
In some ways, this period of life feels heavy – because it is full of choices. (And, for someone like me who torments over decisions…it’s a lot.)
At the same time, it feels so playful & light. Like – WHO CARES?! Your big work is done!
I have more freedom than I have had in decades. My choices are all good ones. (What a problem!) And I am beyond blessed to have reached a stage of life where I truly know the feeling of satisfaction & peace deep inside.
So, now what? Good question! I’ve been asking myself the same thing! 🙂
For now, I continue to focus on & learn how to play again. To not get caught up in the matrix (yes – for me the matrix is a real thing). To not get weighed down by it. To see the hope. To see the fun. To inspire others that – maybe – just maybe – it’s not all as serious as we make it out to be.
And simultaneously, maybe it truly IS serious – even MORE important than we realize. And for those on the planet whose basic needs & safety are threatened…we need people like me to step in and paint another picture. Chart another course. Speak up & protect the resources we tend to take for granted & disregard.
We all have our own ‘world’. And within the world I live in, I have experienced success in the areas that matter most to me – marriage, kids & self care. None of which have been easy by any means.
But I can actually look in the mirror and love what I see – faults and all. I have the energy to do anything I wish & to give anywhere I feel compelled to do so. And, a heart filled with humble gratitude for all of it!
The biggest challenge ahead is to learn to communicate more effectively so I don’t feel stifled or frustrated in translating these stories from my life into useful tidbits for others. To speak up when things don’t make sense. To call things out. To be okay with my own beliefs – while also being open to others.
My college degree was in translation/interpretation. At the time, I thought translation was about language/culture, but turns out – it’s about way more than that. It’s about sharing our viewpoints with each other. Not shutting the door when someone doesn’t see the same thing as you, but opening our own lens wider…to see if we can understand another perspective. To see if we can find words to wrap around our experience & to share those words in hope…when they matter most.
I very distinctly remember a moment in a translation class – where I was asked to translate the word ‘viejita’ from Spanish to English. Which if you were to directly translate would mean ‘little old woman’ or ‘old lady’. But, the way this word was used in the context of the story – I felt a much better translation at the time was ‘old fart’. Those two words implied more of a ‘playful, curmudgeon’ sort of thing. The character was older, but wiser. Someone who was ‘old fashioned’ & maybe even ‘fuddy dud’, but a far cry from close minded, bitter or shut down.
So, today….I feel l raise a glass to myself… and say ’Nice work, Viejita!’ (I’ll hang onto the diminutive ‘ita’ as long as I can get away with it!)