There’s a quote I read once, somewhere, about life and the only thing you can be sure of is that it goes on. I think it was Robert Frost, he of the lovely woods so dark and deep and the two roads. Well, yes. It does go on. Things change, our lives change, and we must dance with that change or things get seriously sticky.
A lot of change happening around here, Chez Fabulous.
I am getting older. I turned 42 this year. I am suddenly not in my 30′s and things have changed very rapidly in the last 4 years as far as the body goes. Not only am I currently the meaning of life, but, you know, there’s a lot of stuff that comes along with your 40′s. The body changes. You can’t eat as many ice cream bars. My hair is a lot more gray, suddenly, and my hands look different. It was made so clear to me when I was watching my two beautiful girls get ready for Em’s birthday feast last week. Young women have a certain power. Women of middle age, well, we have a different power. It comes from a different place. And it can be a shocking shift to suddenly be made aware of. Moving into middle age with grace is proving to be a challenge at times, and then there are other times where I feel like I’m dancing with it pretty well.
Sometimes it’s very powerful.
Some days, I feel like hiding.
There are days when I look in the mirror and I see my grandmother. Not as I remember her, but as I have seen her in old black and white pictures from the early 1950′s. I have the same white streaks in my hair, waving back gently at the temples. My face is softening in the same ways. It doesn’t bug me, when I remember how completely amazing she was. Her kind heart and her gentle humor. Her character. And that beautiful hair that waved so gently back from her temples (which was, by the time I came along, completely silver). I look at my face in the mirror and I think, “You’re part of her legacy. You carry everything she gave you into the world. Don’t f*ck it up.” And then I walk a little taller and everything feels a little bigger.
Moving into middle age doesn’t bug me so much, when I keep that in mind. I have a pretty good template for how I’d like getting older to look. It’s still vital and amazing, which is good because I’m terrified of losing that spark. Society marginalizes women who don’t look super young, and I can already see the suggestion to go along with that. Insidious little thing. I refuse to go along with it. And I refuse to dye the white from my hair and pretend, just to fit in to our youth culture a little longer. No, I’m here. I’m okay with that. I’m gonna rock it. Bring on 42 soon to be 43… which I guess will be The Meaning Of Life, Plus.
Admittedly, I’ll probably never have matching shoes and handbags like she did, but, my grandmother showed me how beautiful dignity and character look on a woman of a certain age and I’d like to slip those around me as I go forward.
So yeah. Not 30 anymore. Not young. Not old. Changing. Moving into something new, a few decades of being “in the middle” as it were. I’m not quite comfortable with it just yet. Still figuring it all out.
I doubt it is going to involve bungee jumping, but, there will be some Adventure. And travel. And continually leaping off of tall obstacles into places I thought were impossible, and flying. Or not. Because that is just how I roll.
At the same time, I’m getting used to the idea of leaving our snug little cottage in the foothills and moving into something else. Youngest has her senior year left to do and then she’s off to Portland and I… I really don’t need a 2 bedroom house with a large built on studio and somewhat high rent. I’m wrapping my head around the idea that in a year, give or take, the cats and I will be moving on from this place that has been such a beautiful sanctuary when I needed one. Because what we need is different, or will be soon enough. I am saying goodbye to Casa Fabulous, this year. Loving it and thanking it, and letting it go.
I feel another purge coming on. When The Ex Mr. H&O moved out in 2007, I got rid of about half my stuff.
Stuff seems to have crept back into the empty places.
I need to have less stuff.
I don’t know where I’m going after this – hopefully it’s someplace with My Captain close by. My idea is something a la Frieda and Diego. We both like our own space and we both like to be close to each other. A bridge would be nice. Or a gate. Or a door. Where-ever it is, whatever it winds up being – whether it is both of us or just me – it will be different, and I want to carry less stuff into it.
I’ve got a year to fill some dumpsters, freecycle, and make big stuff decisions.
While getting used to this whole being in my 40′s thing.
While getting used to the idea of not being responsible for a child.
While running a new business and curating what is essentially a mini gallery at Crafted.
It’s a lot of change. Just like the man said in the poem. And me? I’m planning on rocking it.