Saturday, October 10, 2009
I am now 55, but I really haven't changed much since I was 5.
I am still a redhead - although I need a little help on that.
I still have blue eyes - and am still told they are my best asset. My Dad called me Twinkle because of my eyes even when I was young.
I still sleep on my side - and wiggle my foot to go to sleep.
I still think of myself as the little girl would climb into her bed on Home Street in Rialto and tuck way under the covers...I still do that.
I still think of myself as the preteen young lady who would try on at least four outfits EVERY morning before settling on something I liked and then walking to Frisbie Junior High School...I still try on (or at least consider - age makes you less anxious to fully try things on) at least four outfits every morning before starting my day.
I still think of myself as the promising teenager and young adult who could have done anything she wanted with her life...I am still that person, I still believe that I can and will do anything I want to. I've just had a few stumbling blocks along the way and my timing is beginning to look a bit iffy. What I want to do is what has shifted a bit, not my belief that I can do it.
I still think of myself as the young married mother with children on her lap, hanging onto her legs and cradled in her arms...I am still that person; it's just that the children grew up. Now I savor the moments when I have grandchildren at every appendage.
I still imagine myself as thin and fit - well, I can't say that I am either thin or fit, but I do have that image in my mind so it's only a matter of time. I am still that person, only hidden beneath some unwanted layers of self-loathing.
I still love life.
I still love to laugh.
I still love to be outside.
I still have to be careful in the sun.
I still enjoy a Coke every now and again.
I still have a curiosity for anything new.
I still love to write.
I still love family.
I still love to decorate my home.
I still love the jewel tones.
I am still me, all the things below are things that haven't changed about me over the years:
I love my friends.
I love to keep busy.
I love naps.
I love denim.
I love casual.
I love to take walks or go on a hike.
I love the mountains.
I love the beach.
I love Indian Summer.
I love a slight breeze.
I love to entertain.
I love to cook for a crowd.
I wish I could sing, or play the piano, or paint.
I wish I had a horse.
I am a cowgirl at heart.
I love cowboy boots and hats.
I love live music.
I love outdoor concerts.
I love to read.
I love good restaurants.
The flag passing by still makes me cry.
I can't watch a parade without tearing up.
I can't watch children excelling or being recognized without balling like a baby.
I can't watch anyone or anything that is truly amazing without wiping my eyes.
I am still a hopeless romantic.
I still believe the glass is half full.
I still believe people are inherently good, not the other way around.
I am still gullible and trust blindly when I should know better.
I still forgive instantly.
I still have trouble forgetting past pain, but I act as if it isn't there.
I still spend every extra dime on my kids - only now it's to travel to see them.
I still live on a shoestring budget.
I still wonder at the generosity of some and the stinginess or thoughtlessness of others.
I am still happy, with only brief moments of sadness or loneliness or despair or even fear.
I still fight hereditary depression every day of my life.
I still wake up excited about a new day.
I am still happy. Period.
I am still me.
Fifty years hasn't changed me a whole lot. I have more Wrinkles, the slow creeping Weakness that comes with age, and I am Wornout at times, but along with all of that comes an earned Wisdom - the four W's of age.
But the bottom line is that I am still me. Jeannie with wwww. Just older.
I often think about the older folks who are in homes - they are still the little girl or boy that used to climb trees and race down the street and play kick the can - just weak, wornout and wrinkled.. And all too often, we don't look beyond the physical attributes to find the wisdom or to see the twinkle that may still be in their eyes.
Why is that? I wonder if it's because it scares us, somewhere in our subconscious we know that we are moving toward a similar state of wrinkles and weakness and being worn out.
Sometimes I think about how my kids must think of me - some of them don't even remember me as thin and fit, or even sane and wise, and yet that is the only way I can see myself - unless of course I am forced to look in a mirror or examine some of my past choices.
I want them to know the real me, so I guess I better show them the real me.
I can't do much about the wrinkles, but just a few changes in my life will help the weight and weakness and being worn out. Although mentally and emotionally there are some things in my past that I will never have the energy to revisit again, and I think that's a good thing. Opening old wounds is painful and sucks the energy right out of us.
As for the wisdom, it's a slow process for me. I seem to have mastered the art of learning through failure. So many choices I have made were not necessarily wise, according to conventional wisdom, but they were necessary due to circumstances no one but me will ever know or understand. This is a tough one. It's so easy to look at another person who has affected your life sometimes in a negative or damaging way and be critical and judgmental. I know I have done that. As for how my children look at me, I guess I will just hope that after I am gone they will see some exercised wisdom in my life.
It's the best I can do. And it was the best I could do at those times, in those circumstances, with the often-drained emotional, physical and financial resources I had at the time.
And that is yet another thing that hasn't changed. I do my best, and if I fall short in someone's eyes, the fall out is something I can't worry about. I simply don't have the energy. I never have. I own my mistakes, but I also own that I am human and imperfect. And I prefer to look forward, not back and to focus on positive, not negative. Sometimes life drags me kicking and screaming down memory lane, but I avoid those trips at all cost. That's not who I am, or even who I was. It's someone else's life that affected mine.
I can only be me. And thankfully, just like when I was five, fifty years later at fifty-five I don't want to be anyone else.
After all, Grandmother's are Just Antique Little Girls.
And I still have a twinkle in my eye.
Toby Keith "I Wanna Talk About Me"