Over the past 46 years of my life, I have learned a thing or two about myself. There has been nothing extraordinary about me or my life circumstances. I am an ordinary woman who has lived an ordinary life. Well, except for the part of me that talks to dead people. But hey, other than that one little thing, I’m just a normal gal. That is another story for another time. In spite of my otherwise conventional life, I have come to a place where I can fully accept myself…all of me…the good, the bad, the ugly, the normal and the not-so-normal.
Although this might seem to be a natural evolution of maturity, it is actually a profound transformation that forever changes everything. What I now know is that a little bit of “crazy” can be a good thing, a very good thing indeed.
You see, when I started to live freely without self-judgment, then I started truly living. I no longer care about the full figure I am wearing at midlife. Instead, I can see my own beauty, even if society cannot. I wear clothes that are comfortable, flowing and lovely. I no longer worry about dieting. I concern myself only with joy, health and balance. Happiness certainly must be correlated with health and longevity, but I don’t need a scientific study to prove it. If I happen to die a premature death, I die a happy person. So there you are.
Later in life, I have taken up belly dancing, opera singing and painting just for the fun of it. I don’t expect to be very good at these things but I do have fun. At this point in life, having fun is, well, just so much more fun than being good. And I love that I don’t have any rules to follow…hmmm, when did the rules get to be so important anyway?
When I am with other people, I don’t care about anything other than just having a good time. In fact, my bottom line has become all about the fun factor. I now choose to be around people who can laugh and be merry, who are lighthearted and joyful, and yes, who can party like there is no tomorrow. Although it may be irreverent, I can laugh at almost anything. After throwing a party, I chuckle at the number of wine bottles in my recycle bin.
I love to be with people who are accepting and free-spirited. I seek out friends who have no need or desire to view the world through the eyes of judgment and control. I believe in progress through conscious awareness but not through moral condemnation. The one thing I still need to work on is my acceptance of self-righteous, condemning people; I avoid them like the plague and have not found my peace within their presence as of yet. In fact, these folks irritate me more than anyone else, at least for now. In spite of my overall Zen demeanor, these types still cause me to bristle. But my new, enlightened strategy is to find a way to joke about it. My current irritations are great fodder for some very funny stuff as you might imagine; humor really does diffuse the irritation.
I engage in conversations freely and openly, no longer worrying about what I might say. I am authentic and true to myself. I try to laugh as much as possible whenever and wherever possible. I am serious by nature, but I am learning the art of living with grand humor. I have learned to laugh at myself, and OMG, I am hilarious.
It no longer matters to me that my kids are not the most well-behaved children on the block or may not get the best grades. What matters to me is that they are learning through their own experience and cultivating their own brand of wisdom of which self-acceptance is a part. In liberating myself, I have unwittingly liberated my children. This alone is profound and very blessed.
I don’t worry about morality because that is just another form of judgment and control. Instead I live by my one cardinal rule which is Compassion. My life became very simple and unencumbered when I finally let go of all my silly judgments and rules. I didn’t suddenly become wildly reckless and outrageously irresponsible as a result. I have become instead deeply loving and accepting of all people and all ways of living. This also helped me see the world quite clearly. Mostly, I can feel my own joy, and it feels really, really good.
In my past life, I had a perfect body, a gorgeous face and lots of attention from men (not to mention a whole boatload of repression). Today, what really tickles my fancy is that it is no longer the men who tell me that I’m sexy, it’s the women. I have had many women blurt out that they think I’m sexy, and I can assure you that there is nothing about me that meets our cultural standard of “sexy.” I am full-figured, fine-lined, stretch-marked, saggy, baggy and perfectly, ecstatically, joyfully happy. I have thrown my head back and laughed out loud more than once when told by a woman that I am sexy. However, what these women are sensing is an inner sexy that has nothing to do with superficial appearances.
I am wearing the look of genuine warmth, joy, peace and acceptance, and these attributes are monumentally magnetic in a world weary of surface appearances, masks and games. In telling my story, I am telling the story of liberation, acceptance, true happiness and lasting beauty that never ages, needs Botox or loses sex appeal. At midlife, I am one smokin’ hot mama.
If I am fortunate enough to become a smokin’ hot granny, I hope I am that ridiculous old gal who wears a rhinestone-encrusted cowboy hat, an oversized t-shirt and thigh-high vinyl boots when she dances for her lover. I hope I break a few ribs with extreme, insufferable, side-splitting laughter. I hope I have a few too many glasses of cabernet and way too much chocolate. I hope I love everyone I meet with shameless, furious, passionate abandon. I hope to become an eccentric old bird who didn’t waste a moment of her life on the things that don’t really matter. If I get my way, I have about 40 smokin’ hot years left, and there’s no good reason I can think of for turning back now.
Does this mean I am going to ride off naked into the sunset on a Harley? Maybe it does. And from now on, when you hear me counting calories, I am just figuring out how hot it’s getting in here. Oh, and can you pass me a fork? I’m digging in…