Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Just Thinking

I am siting in my dining room, sipping a latte I made with butter pecan ice cream because we don't have milk, wondering about the next days of my life.

It is a different kind of reality to be in my late fifties and seeing a world that essentially says we don't matter anymore.

Now, of course, that isn't true.

In some fields, one doesn't come to their fullness until they are in the late fifties-late sixties because of the time it takes to develop voice, opinion, a body of work.

Perhaps it is this time of year, it is Mardi Gras Day, and with tomorrow being Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, I am in the middle of a season of contemplation. 

It was in the contemplation that I started to examine my life and what has been well lived or well accomplished.

My children are all adults, all of them are alive and well, thriving or emerging. I accomplished that assignment. They are thoughtful, insightful, and engaging in the world with a sure foundation.

Career, on the other hand, took a backseat to that.

I had to navigate the world while raising my last three children as a remote-available-mom still trying to keep my credentials valuable. I was blessed to be able to work around their schedules, long before the pandemic changed up how we consider the workplace, I had a home office. 10am-3pm is still my most productive time. I'm an early riser, so more often-than-not, got a lot more accomplished before 9am in the quiet moments in my office with a latte and the stillness. It was definitely preferred over nonsensical office chatter.

Emerging as a seasoned adult, it has been an examination of the isms and how to consider what is the next ten, twenty years of my life. I'm not finished yet. 

What parts of aging are encouraged and appreciated in men but not in women? I thought about that as we have octogenarians in our elected offices and so many Presidents and CEOs have much more snow-on-top than the few emerging grays in my twists.

Do we only consider women worth anything when they are young and pretty, popping out babies, raising them, and using the PTA or School Board as the only outlet for their creativity?

My husband told me once that perhaps something needed to change on my vitae and reach out to a recruiter. I did that, completely lopped off years of experience and felt some kinda way about it. They tell you not to put anything in the 19s on there. 

AARP has an entire workshop and session for those over-fifties who are still engaging, technologically savvy, and have done amazing things in life who want more than to be a Wal*Mart greeter until we take our last breath.

One of the things I told my children was to think about what they wanted to do in life and how certain interactions would impact that. Children and marriage are wonderful, but it can alter career plans for women, still. 

In my morning musings and wonderings as the morning chill sets in a bit, I look out at the horizon and think about what is yet to be. There are some things that are still important and possible, there is still wisdom, and still living.

Like some of my friends who are navigating these shifting sands of being and becoming, I don't have the answers, probably more questions. 

What are you thinking about as the calendar pages change, and young folks, the calendar will surely change. You will look up one day and thirty-six years have gone by and you look back in wonder.

One of the most cherished gifts I received this year was when my oldest son affirmed me and thanked me for all the sacrifices I made so they could have their possible. "I'm giving you your flowers now, darling, I appreciate you." 

We wake up every day with a blank page and hope that whatever we etch will matter to someone.

©2023. All Rights Reserved. Musing in Connecticut on a cold morning looking to the future.

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