a whole different view

I’m fifty five.

Yes.

And suddenly I move up into a new age category on most surveys. I actually can now get the Senior discount at some fine dining establishments like Dennys and Ihop – heh. My body won’t stop reminding me the number of times I have circled the sun thanks to gravity either.

Happy birthday to me!

I won’t lie, there is a feeling of ambivalence yet at the same time the usual optimism because it is my birthday and I am fifty five…and very much alive! Inspired by photographer  Justin Hackworth, I decided to attempt a new photo project which includes a little bit of personal navel gazing – 55 self portraits to represent me at 55. Justin is right, this can be a challenge. But in that challenge I see me as I turn 55 – and, if you will indulge me, so do you.

It’s a whole different lens you look through the older you get. ~ Andre Agassi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nurses of Instagram, and me

So, this happened yesterday.

Yeah, that’s me

Nurses of Instagram posted:

This week’s amazing #WomanNursrWednesday goes to the beauty @nicurnmama who has been a nurse for over 26 years from Cali!

Wait…beauty?????

I am honored and I have loved the comments and attention; but beauty????

No, I am not fishing for compliments.

I swear.

The thing is I almost never see it. There has been a lot of self doubt and unwelcome events in my life. Self doubt cultivated and nurtured in an environment that declared there was nothing pleasing to the senses about me, the child, the teen, the very awkward young woman.

Lies. All of it lies. As a mature woman I realize that. I accept that.

As a mature woman I also am acutely aware that a mature….middle aged…woman doesn’t hear such adjectives thrown in her general direction very often. Lines on the face…that crepe-y thing happening on the décolletage in spite of ALL THE SUNSCREEN AND MOISTURIZERS, those freckles or age spots along with the swollen, aching joints on my hands that now look more like my grandmother’s hands than my own make me acutely cognizant of the reality that I am not as young as I used to be. I’m not even going to mention the lumpy, bumpy post menopausal body because it is what it is.

Beauty????

I’m sorry, I don’t see it.

But I will accept. it. I will blush fiercely, almost as red in the face as the ginger in my hair (thanks to my darling, talented daughter, Hollie); and I will say thank you.

a slow day

When you have no appointments, no particular thing to do or place to be there is sooo much that can be done…so much to be accomplished. So you check that to-do list that is is just too much…but today, at least, it can wait for another day…another day. Today is a slow day and, for once, you are going to to take the time to do slow day kind of things:

Like curling your hair and putting on makeup.

Then take a picture because you know this won’t last. But now it will because you took a picture which will end up being your social media profile pic because it’s a slow day and you have time for that…and because you curled your hair and put on makeup.

A bit self indulgent, I know.

Perhaps I should consider others on a slow day.

Don’t judge. Son is at school. Darling husband is at work. Darling daughters are on their own in the world doing on-your-own-in-the-world grown-up kind of things. Don’t tell me that you weren’t asking the same question about Siri. Well now you know. You’re welcome.

Oh, and on this slow day I begin a little light reading.

And discover what was likely Lin Manuel Miranda’s epiphany while enjoying a little poolside vacation light reading…832 pages of light reading, y’all. On a slow day seems like the thing to do, to begin.

 

surviving with deep roots

Storms make the oak grow deeper roots.

~ George Herbert

As a survivor I know why I have survived and why I thrive. It’s my roots. So many storms weathered through. Too many, much too many when I was at my most vulnerable and defenseless as a child. The fact that I am a alive it’s a miracle!

Yeah, I still sometimes quote Hamilton with no apology whatsoever!

It’s true though. How did I manage to survive and thrive when others have not?

That is not for me to figure out.

No.

Instead I will continue to survive and thrive. I will because I am stubborn. I am loved. I also continue on because I know when I must fight and when I must retreat. I don’t retreat because I am letting you who attack me win. I retreat because I am working on me which means that I win. I win because I know for a fact you (who belligerently raged at me trying to rip open wide horribly scarred wounds in reminding me what a useless, worthless shitbag fuck I am) are apoplectic right now in that I walked away from your very public meltdown directed at me. And while you raged on like a storm, I retreated into words…words that heal, that strengthen and remind me how much stronger and better I am than you. Three thousand-six hundred-fifty eight words, words filed away for now. Filed away with your words that I have boxed up for no other reason than I can. Perhaps someday you might read those words, all directed at you. Perhaps not. It doesn’t matter either way. In all these words I have strength and power in me and over anything and everything you have and continue to try to throw my way.

My roots are deep and I am stronger because of and in spite of you.