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Archive for December, 2011

Dream on!!

I have put a lot of dreams aside in my life for the sake of responsibility and ‘reality’.  Skeptics and critics have messed with the confidence in my eyes and have kept my spirit in check.  No more!! I now know that my dreams can be and are a reality.  I will now live with the mantra of “I will see it when I believe it” and not the other way around.

From now on, I will keep my head up and create the future of my dreams!

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My oldest daughter recently had her first menstrual period beginning her beautiful transition into womanhood and sexuality.  I was so filled with joy as I experienced this milestone and am thrilled to see her develop into a gorgeous, vibrant young lady.  However, this transition has also brought to the forefront of my mind the fact that I am no longer that.  I am no longer a young lady.  I am a 42 year old woman and say with some trepidation that I actually belong in the category of middle-aged mother.

My initial feelings upon realizing this were that I was old and no longer beautiful.  I had thoughts of being on the downward slope of beauty.  After all, I no longer have the firm, strong abs that I had in my youth, I have stretch marks on my body from weight changes and pregnancy, and my breasts are sagging more and more as the years go by.  I find grey hairs starting to take residence in my once golden blonde, but now dark, sandy, brown/blonde hair and wrinkles developing across my face.  Yes, I no longer exemplify the image of youthful beauty.

Now I know that many women will try to extend their youthful beauty in many ways:  by dying their hair, getting breast implants or plastic surgery, trying many forms of wrinkle creams and makeup, and even wearing push up bras.  I’m going to try a different approach.  I’m going to forego the hair dying, nail painting, extra hours at the gym, wrinkle creams, and designer clothes and attempt to find the real beauty in middle age!

As I ponder my aging image, I find this stage of being a woman is very different from the youthful version, but it’s still really beautiful.  It’s merely a different kind of beauty.  Yes, my breasts are no longer perky, round, and youthful.  They have begun to sag loosely from years of gravity and the breastfeeding of my three children.   But when I stopped to consider this and view it from a different perspective, I found the current state of my breasts, and also my stretch marks, reflect the fact that I have physically carried, birthed, and fed three children – and that is pretty sexy and beautiful if you think about it!

And then there is the graying hair, and the developing wrinkles.  How could these really be beautiful? Well, I found that answer only after removing the ‘youthful beauty’ filter.  The filter that says ‘youthful is good and beautiful, but old is bad and ugly’.  As women in today’s world, we’ve internalized this belief and spend billions of dollars and personal energy trying to maintain our youthful, and therefore  beautiful, appearance.  However, by removing the filter, by letting go of the images of what a beautiful body should look like, the real beauty of middle age becomes apparent and the rest becomes irrelevant.

My husband and I recently paged through many pictures and found that our favorites, the ones we thought were the most beautiful, had nothing to do with the physical, external image of the person.  It had nothing to do with what was being worn, how the hair was styled, or how thin or physically fit the person was.  Our favorites were the ones in which the beautiful, unplanned smile shined forth into the image.  When joy could be seen through the eyes of the person being photographed.

It was in that moment when the words I heard as a child came back to me and the real truth of beauty became apparent.  I heard the cosmic DUH as I realized that real beauty really does come from the inside rather than the outside.

This is the truth of beauty.  For all ages, all body types, all ethnicities, the most beautiful pictures emanate joy.  So when middle age takes us in it’s grasp, wrinkles, gray hair, sagging breasts and all, why don’t we let go of the youthful image of beauty and instead spend our life energy embracing internal joy.  Let’s find the beauty that shines forth from the inside.  Let’s measure our beauty by the number of sparkles in our eyes instead of the numbers on the scale or the numbers of wrinkles on our faces.

I can now make peace with my middle-aged body.  I can confidently say that my middle-aged, feminine beauty comes from knowing that I have nurtured another generation.  It comes from the fact that I have been a woman on the earth long enough for gravity and time to take effect and have gained much understanding, knowledge, and wisdom along the way.  I have come to live my days finding and sharing my joy instead of primping and perfecting and as a result, my middle aged beauty shines into the world, bodily ‘imperfections’ and all.

If you want to be a beautiful middle-aged woman, find your joy…find your passion and let that shine from you into the world!

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Out of the Gates

December.  The twelfth month.  Year End.  The time of the year when we are all completing tasks, taking inventory, finalizing details, and wrapping things up – in more ways than one.

So why in the world am I starting a blog in December?  It seems all wrong to me.  I feel like I should wait until January because that’s the time of new beginnings.  That’s when we start anew.  That’s when we begin new adventures and envision bright new things for our lives.  That’s when we resolve to make changes in our lives and set ourselves new goals for the coming year. That’s when I should be starting this blog.

But then again, how many New Year Resolutions and intended life changes actually end up as long term life changes and how many fade away after a week or a month – after the initial intention gives way to old habits and we find ourselves retreating to the proverbial comfort zone of our lives?  Well, I certainly don’t have any statistics on that, but as I sit here contemplating and reflecting on my own past, I’m guessing that a greater majority of resolutions fade into the comfort zone after a relatively short time.

So, I guess I might as well start my blog in December.  While the rest of the world is winding down and nearing the finish line, I will go ahead and put the pedal to the metal and take off out of the starting gates.  See you on the track!

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Victoria’s Secrets…

So first off, this blog is not about intimate apparel, although from time to time I may discuss the joys and pains of wearing or not wearing the stuff.

Secondly, this blog is not all about exposing or sharing all my shameful and deepest darkest secrets to the world, although I will discuss many things that I have kept secret from myself and been afraid to share with the world out of feelings of guilt or shame or out of fear of being shunned or ostracized by my friends, family, and/or community.

I am blogging in an attempt to be really real for the first time in my life.  To express the authentic me.

I have spent pretty much the first 40 years of my life doing the things that others wanted me to do and saying the things that other people wanted to hear.  I have been a responsible, upstanding, good girl, wife, and then mother and have pretty much followed the rules established by society at large.  I got educated, earned degrees, made money and was involved in acceptable group activities and hobbies.

There have been many times that I have looked around myself and felt like the life I was living was not even me.  But what is Me???  That was a question I could not answer.  So over the last decade of my life I have undertaken many internal journeys of the self, been involved in self discovery groups, and asked myself many hard and emotionally painful questions in order to discover the answer.

So here it goes…Victoria’s secrets and thoughts are now coming out.  I am stepping forward into the world without fear and without underwear…OK, I still have a little fear…yeah, and sometimes that overwhelmingly huge ‘someone’s gonna’ kill me’ fear, but here it goes.

Read on and enjoy, and cry, and laugh, and yell at me.  You can even throw things at your computer if you really don’t agree with me, but I wouldn’t recommend it as you may damage your computer more than my feelings.  I do welcome all your thoughts, comments, and feedback.  Thanks for playing and please be gentle!!

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