I have to admit, I have it pretty good.
All of our boys have their health. The six of them live in six different states, though. Five of them – all of the ones of age – have jobs. So far, we have two undergraduates and one who just completed his Masters degree. We have two others who are on their way to finishing. And we have that one high schooler.
We’ve all had supper every day of our lives that we’ve wanted it. And we’re not in danger of that changing.
But tough stuff is happening, too.
Right now, in my own little family, we have one gravely ill person and another one recovering from spinal surgery. Oh, and we have mental illness, too.
We have two others living with life threatening diseases.
We’ve had one major car repair and one car accident in the last week.
This one sounds kind of silly, but if definitely adds to the stress: I have a new job and the back of my tooth fell off on Saturday, so of course I had to take time off to get it fixed while caring for surgical patient and making special end-of-school memories for that last one.
Among my friends, I have three who are dealing with advanced cancer. One is doing better than the other two.
I have unemployed friends, those dealing with infidelity, and all of us wonder if we’re going to be safe from financial and health worries in the coming years.
Those of us who are lucky enough are dealing with aging parents, the others have already “grown” to the top of the family tree.
The younger generation is old enough to experience broken hearts and they too have financial worries. And though none of that is within our domain of influence (or perhaps even business) their struggles weigh on our hearts.
Among my friends, I have a pretty standard “list” of challenges, worries, and concerns. Some are doing better. Some are doing worse.
The point is that this is a LOT to deal with on any given day, much less every waking one.
And yet we women at midlife soldier on. We’ve learned to be happy – or, rather, we’ve learned to insist on happiness amidst all the chaos.
We’ve learned that, if we don’t approach life with gratitude and a sense of wonder, we will never experience joy.
We can’t wait on pretty much anything anymore.
Not only is there no time, there is also no certitude – anything can happen to anyone of us at any time.
Therefore, love, the time is NOW.
Look around you and acknowledge the love and beauty that is waiting for you. It may not be the “kind” you seek, but it is there nonetheless.
Surround yourself with positive, funny, uplifting women. You’re gonna need a posse.
Fill your heart with gratitude and gladness. Let hopefulness be your morning prayer. Insist on joy and lo and behold, there it is.
You will find many of those things here, in our LAT community. Reach out to each other here (via our comments) and on our Reclaim the Sass Facebook page.
This is not the time to walk alone, love. Amidst the hardship and the difficulty there is much grace to be found.
I invite you to assume the serenity that is your birthright. Take on the mantle of matriarchy with ease and grace.
We are here for you, and we will continue to live it together.
photo: flickr, Anwar Shamim