Author’s own photo
I am finding there are advantages to being a woman in her late fifties. Yes, there are disadvantages including various aches and having conversations about high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. However, this article is not about that aspect of getting older.
Anna Quindlen , an American author and columnist in her fifties said,
“After all those years as a woman hearing 'not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not this enough, not that enough,' almost overnight I woke up one morning and thought, 'I'm enough.' “
How wonderful to be at a point where one accepts oneself as one is and simply says, ‘I am enough’.
There is no denying society puts a lot of pressure on women. These days a woman is supposed to be an excellent home maker who can organise the ‘perfect’ party and hold down a ‘good’ job as well. Of course she has to be a wonderful mother, daughter and if relevant, partner. In addition she is expected to be well groomed, sexy and never look ‘old’.
There is so much talk of ways to slow the ageing process. Celebrities and women with enough money have plastic surgery, face lifts and breast augmentation in an attempt to be ‘more beautiful’ and to look younger than their years.
Women are expected to dress fashionably and have their hair styled. After manicures, waxing, pedicures and eyebrow shaping a woman still isn’t ‘pretty enough’.
Weight loss is a multi-million dollar industry. Reality television shows feature weight loss boot camps. Magazines and newspapers have features on the latest diet and exercise regimes. It goes on and on. The emphasis is on physical appearance rather than qualities like being kind hearted, patient and understanding.
Does it all really matter? Isn’t it more important that you can look at yourself in the mirror and sing along with Vanessa Amorosi, ‘This is who I am.’?
Everyone has something they are good at. It may be gardening, baking, listening to people or lifting the spirits of those around them. It is important to spend time doing what you enjoy and that is often the things you are good at.
I enjoy writing and taking photographs. Other things I enjoy include cooking (nothing too complicated) and gardening. Often I can combine some of these pleasures. Now I am older I am making a point of spending more time doing the things I enjoy. I also choose to spend time with people who contribute something positive to my life. Some of these people are relatives. The shared ancestral bond is something I am more aware of now I am middle aged.
As I get older I am cutting down on time spent doing things that don’t have
to be done. It is nice to read articles about ways to cut down on house work. I buy drip dry clothes these days and am finding the world doesn’t end if I don’t iron. Also, I don’t let myself feel guilty about not having the tidiest house in town. Hey, I have even found information saying messy people tend to be creative and I am doing my bit to spread the word. It is nice to feel I can cut myself some slack instead of feeling I am not tidy enough and not organised enough.
Life is too short to get hung up on the idea of not being ‘enough’. Who wants to join with me in declaring, ‘I am enough.’?
# Middle Age