Imagine if you could spend the entire summer at a remote cabin on the beach with a bunch of girlfriends. In the evenings, you’d gather around a bonfire, maybe with a glass of wine, and share in great conversation and the exchange of ideas. It could be really inspiring and amazing. That was the genesis of my second annual summer guest post series, Around the Bonfire. Since we can’t spend the summer together in person, we can do it virtually.
So another group of talented writers is here to share their thoughts on topics that are important to women every Wednesday, all summer long. I know you will enjoy this series if today’s kickoff guest is any indication.
Jessica from Four Plus An Angel
inspires me with her beautiful writing. As a woman who has struggled with and overcome so many obstacles, she always brings an amazing perspective to any topic she writes about. Today, she’s talking about a topic with which I constantly struggle: aging. Gather round the bonfire to hear what Jessica has to say about getting older gratefully.
I have a confession.
I actually like getting older.
Like, have been waiting for it, will never complain about a birthday, like it.
I became a mom very young and I spent years envying moms who were older than me, moms who were “supposed to be” moms.
I envied how they new exactly what they needed at the grocery store, how a waitress would look to them to rattle off the orders of all of the children filling a noisy table, how they were regarded in the workforce, called Mrs. or Mam more often than Sweetie or Honey.
Many years later, although I can’t say I’m a fan of “Mam” I appreciate every bit of the respect that comes with age.
I am happy to not be dating or apartment hunting or job surfing. I’m content to cuddle up to a good book on a Friday night and order in take out and a movie with my husband on a Saturday.
Laugh lines and crow’s feet and the deflating of, um, everything, have taken me by surprise but I’m okay with it. I can’t say I don’t miss my 20 year-old figure but I wouldn’t dream of going back to reclaim it.
I could totally do without the responsibilities of paying bills and figuring out what is for dinner every. single. night. but the confidence in my decisions, the respect I am given as a parent and the ability to coupon my way through the grocery store with my eyes closed leaves me perfectly comfortable with the next birthday that rolls around.
Sometimes I wonder if women realize the confidence they exude as they age, the presence a younger me could not wait to gain.
I hope you do.
I hope that as you cook a dinner that no one is going to eat any way or try to find a wrinkle cream that doesn’t make your eyes burn or refuse to wear white because tiny hands will cover it with goo before 10 am, that you take pride in your place in life.
Good choices, bad haircuts, store-wandering, parallel parking attempts, spit up catching and menu speed-reading have made up the years that have brought us to the women we over-criticize in the mirror each day.
So I have to admit, I cringe a little when women wish away birthdays because we’ve earned them… every single candle. And one of these days when I have enough for a blow torch to light, I hope to be surrounded by women who want to live to be 100 too and also for an extra cake, with extra icing because I’m eating the whole thing, all by myself. I’ll be long over the loss of my bikini bod by then.
Jessica Watson is a freelance writer, blogging her way through the loss of her daughter, autism, life with multiples and everything else in between. You can find her at Four Plus an Angel, on twitter, facebook and always, always on Pinterest.