I’ve been looking for a fun new exercise regime. Actually, I have been pretending to be looking, which means for about two years I thought about looking. Finally – yay, me! – I actually bothered to type “fun exercise class” and my city into Google and found an article about a couple of unusual local classes, like one that has a bunch of cowboy gates and all the exercises are somehow done on the gates, like maybe how cowboys climb over rodeo fences to hop onto those cows – wait, bulls? – that jump around and try to throw them off. (I mean, I guess that’s what it like. I don’t actually know. The article wasn’t too clear on that.)
I learned three things today, which makes it an awesome day for personal growth. (Yay, me.) I’ll share with you so that it’s a personal growth day for you, too. (Yay, you.) After you read this, and if you find it useful, you can go watch cat videos on YouTube or discuss conspiracy theories with your teenage son (don’t ask), because your day has been productive.
The three learnings are:
My planned topic for tonight got preempted by something you, my fellow middleaged women, really need to know. I’m being serious this time:
I went to Hashtagify.me, a site that shows you the top 10 hashtags associated with any particular word. I entered “dogs” and got predictable results like “love,” “cute,” and “puppy.” I tried some others, and found nothing surprising. Then I entered the word “middleaged,” and there were some interesting and even intriguing results. One was “silverfox,”* which was evocative, making me think of a sleek creature slipping through trees in the moonlight. Another was “story,” which I thought was perfect since I’m trying to tell my middleaged story here (and, hopefully, the story of others like me). I also liked “free.” Then there was “sexy” and “loved” and “romantic.”
Also listed as a top 10 word related to “middleaged”: serialkiller.
Today I was singing a song from Into the Woods which begins, “He’s a very smart prince.” But instead, I sang, “He’s a very smart shrimp.” My middleaged brain has been mangling words right and left lately.
I’m back and feeling more middleaged than ever. Awhile ago, I was saying how when other middleaged women talk about feeling old, I always think, “But I still feel like I’m 30,” or some such superior thing. Well, my body has betrayed me. Still, I would FAR rather be middleaged than a 15-year-old girl again. More on that in a minute.
Quick shift of focus: when someone states to the world at large that basically God commanded her to sit her butt down and write her blog, you’d think she would actually comply (“She” being “me.”) But instead, I spent another month sitting on my Continue reading
So, you know how I’ve been playing around with makeup lately? And I got this great new Kevyn Aucoin makeup book and palette for Christmas? Well, my father-in-law gave me the nicest compliment recently: “Wow,” he said. “You look absolutely radiant today.” I instantly felt beautiful. And loved. And it felt really, really good.
Sweet, right? But my next thought was, “It’s just the makeup.” Then, I remembered that a couple of weeks ago, my father-in-law told me he had made one of the nurses at his retirement community happy because he called her “radiant.” And further, he had told me that he annoyed one of his friends by taking the man’s wife’s hand, kissing it, and saying that SHE looked radiant.
I began to feel disappointed… but the glow inside was still there. Dammit, I thought, I AM radiant. And I allowed myself to feel radiantly happy… not because someone thought I looked pretty (or stylish or well put together or young or skinny). The truth is, being called radiant made me feel like I mattered to him, that I had a positive effect on him, and, just maybe, that I brightened his life a little bit.
It didn’t hurt that Paul took my hand and agreed that I looked radiant, and kissed me. I love him.
It would have been quite easy to dismiss the compliment, especially after remembering he likes to use that word “with the ladies” (his phrase). But you know what? I’ll take it. Women have a hard enough time feeling that we are okay just the way we are. Yep, sometimes I feel crappy about how I look. Sometimes I just feel crappy in general. We all do. But on the other hand, I often feel happy and loved and full of life and, yes, radiant, no matter what I look like.
My friends, you are all radiant. Celebrate yourself! Go out there and shine tomorrow.
Hey! I actually sat down to write tonight feeling a little out of sorts. And now… woo-hoo, I feel radiant! I can’t wait to shine tomorrow, with you all. Let me know how it goes.
**I never made it to Broadway, but I can always flash those jazz hands…