Looking back at 20 from 50

After spending the day with my Mom on Friday I suddenly realized that my mother is reaching the juncture of retired go getter grandma and veering into elderly matriarch.  I, on the other hand, am well advanced into mature, self sufficient, bitch stage. Bitch can be a bitter insult or a flattering compliment.  It all depends upon who and how they are using it.

In today’s world, in my opinion, a bitch is any woman who stands up for herself and what she believes in.  She won’t be quiet and she insist on being heard.  She doesn’t require that you agree with her, only that you listen and value her opinion.  I think any strong woman, no matter her position, has been called a bitch to her face and behind her back.

My thought, when I started writing today, was not to dwell upon the term bitch but to examine how different I am at 50 compared to what I was at 20.  At 20 I was still young and innocent.  Just starting out on this adult adventure called life.  So many choices and opportunities spread out before me.  So many paths I could have taken.  Determined to make my own choices and my own decisions.  Eager.

Its little things, innocuous things, major things, egotistical things.  Events that I stumbled into, unprepared for.  Things I caused, things that weren’t my fault, and things I had no control over.  All of the things everyone experiences and it is called “Life”.

At 20 – I had at some point between 20 to 30 pairs of shoes.  At 50 – I have about 6 pairs.  I’m just happy when I walk out the door with 2 shoes of the same color and style on.

At 20 – My hair was long and I fussed with it for hours.  One side must be exactly like the other side.  At 50 – My hair is short and I spend probably a total of 5 minutes on it.  I wash it, dry it, and muss it up with some control paste and then I don’t give another thought the rest of the day.

At 20 – I wasn’t happy when I was alone.  At 50 – I appreciate time to myself and enjoy it.

At 20 – I didn’t want to rock the boat and kept quiet.  At 50 – I don’t care how long we sail upon a stormy sea!  I will throw my opinion out there.  I’m not belligerent, but I’m not going to stand quietly by while someone else drones on and on about a subject that I feel strongly about.

At 20 – I didn’t like to ask questions.  At 50 – I ask lots of questions. Sometimes I know that I’m being irritating, but I can’t stop myself.  I just have to understand why someone thinks a particular way.

At 20 – I didn’t want anyone to think ill of me.  At 50 – other people’s opinion of me generally matter very little to me.  I know exactly who I am and what kind of person I am.

At 20 – I was afraid.  At 50 – I am unafraid.

Life bends each of us and shapes us into the person we are today.  As women we are a completely different breed than our grandmothers were.  This is neither good nor bad, it just is.

Mary Anne Radmacher (author & artist) “Find your balance and stand with it. Find your song and sing it out. Find your cadence and let it appear like a dance.  Find the questions that only you know how to ask and the answers that you are content to not know.” 

And also “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

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