Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Aging Gracefully - Part V

Part V in a series of musings and ramblings concerning turning 50.  Today's entry is a continuation of my version of "I'm Over All That", based on the book by Shirley MacLaine

I’m over schedules.  Unfortunately, the world doesn’t allow me to be completely over this one – but I’m giving it my best shot.

I’m over playing the piano in public.  It makes me nervous.  It makes me frustrated.  It sucks all the fun out of playing.  So I’m done.

I will never be over conversations and listening.  This is a lesson learned from Dave.   For the majority of our adult life we have been the “new people”.  We’ve spent a lot of time getting to know new people.  Dave taught me to talk to people – even if it’s just the clerk at the convenience store.  Strike up a conversation and listen to what’s being said.  People are fascinating.  This thought is connected to the “rude behavior” section from a couple days ago.  Put down the cell phone, slow down,  and talk to people - more important - listen to people. 

I will never be over words.  I collect words. I have a notebook where I keep my favorite lines from books - strings of words that are more than the sum of the parts.  I am amazed at – and envious of – the ability to piece together common words to create a picture.

I will never be over dogs.  Another lesson learned from Dave.  Dogs are best friends, comforters, companions, healers, and much more.   *Update:  With the addition of Gabby to our household, and the subsequent squabbling between the two dogs, I may be closer to “over it” than I thought.  Update 10/9/11 - I'm over them.  SO SO over them!  I will never voluntarily bring another dog into my home.  So just scratch this one of the list.

Thanks for reading along with my random thoughts on turning 50.  Some of them have been controversial, some of them have been frivolous, but they can really all be summed up in one "I'm over it" thought:

I’m over pretending and I’m over apologizing. - I am a Baby Boomer - born between 1946 and 1964.  I am a registered Republican.  I was a stay-at-home mom.  I am a college drop-out.  All of these statements are true and when you read them, you form a picture of me based on the stereotypes of those categories.  But that's not a complete picture - that's not really me.  

For years i bought into the ideas of what I should be and what I should like based on labels and expectations.   Being "the elevator guy's wife" in small, agriculturally-based towns, I have to censor what I say, even to close friends, because often their husbands are my husband's customers.  Family has their own idea of who I should be, based only on history.  Every time we move, a new community forms their view of me with no history.  Few people have the complete picture, and I've spent a lot of years pretending to be what each of them expected, and apologizing when I wasn't.  But I'm over it.

I'm over pretending to like "classic rock" because that's what's expected of my generation.  I'm over apologizing for listening to light opera and classical music.  I'm over pretending to be anti-everything-Democrat.  I'm over apologizing for not having a "career".  I'm over "dumbing down"  because I don't have a diploma.  I'm over reading books just because they look more intellectual on my blog.  I'm over being anything but me.

The best friend I've ever had was a lovely lady named Wanda.  Her husband wasn't involved in farming so there was no conflict there.  She took the time to ask questions and listen so she knew my history, plus she paid attention to what was happening now so she new my life - she knew me.  And she accepted that with no provisos.  That's a rare quality in a friend.  Although she's been gone more than six years, she left me with the knowledge that the true "me" is a person who is worthy of friendship, and that's the best birthday gift of all.  

1 comment:

  1. Although I'm just now reading your "Aging Gracefully" series...I say "You go, Girlfriend!" Love it, love it, love it!