The other night I was in a very reflective mood. I began to think about a few things that randomly popped into my head as I sipped on a wonderful glass of Merlot. It seems like the more Merlot I sipped, the more reflective I became. Yes! I decided that material for my next blog piece was taking form. I was inspired, and a little bit buzzed, but that’s irrelevant. The point is, I had some random stuff that I wanted to share with whoever wants to read this. If that’s you, then keep reading and feel free to leave your own random thoughts in the comments section…with or without wine.
Someone recently very vaguely hinted to me that I needed to “improve my people skills.” Oh, yeah, he hinted at it but never directly said it to me. I’m not surprised at this. However, I was surprised at how funny I found this innuendo to be. My internal laughter lasted for hours afterwards and I was filled with amusement the whole day.
I’m just no good at “hints, innuendoes, beating around the bush or sugar-coating” shit. This sometimes means that when other people “hint” at stuff, I don’t get it right away. I guess I expect people to be as direct as I am. Direct I get – no offense taken. Hints, I’m like, what the hell are you TRYING to say? Spit it out already! I’ll admit, this direct, no-nonsense quality has always been a part of my being and has only become more developed and uncensored as I get older. But, Oh my God, has it caused me some problems! But here’s the thing: I used to care about the problems, now I don’t.
My children often remind me that I have a filter from brain to mouth about the depth of a quarter – I agree with them. However, the other quality that is actively working in the background is that of discernment and learning to carefully “pick my battles.” I no longer feel the need to address or contend with every rude, ignorant, or stupid thing/statement/behavior that comes my way. I’ve discovered the beauty in prioritizing who and what gets my very valuable words, time and energy. For the majority of people, they just simply get my silence or a side eye look, or both. My emotional peace remains intact as I happily walk away.
Nope, there’s nothing wrong with my people skills. I just have no more tolerance for negativity, over inflated egos, drama, disloyalty, selfishness and confusion. And I’m not buying that crap about “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” No! I don’t want anyone in my inner vibrational orbit who doesn’t mean me any good. I’m not interested in what my “enemy” is doing or how they’re doing it and they can kick rocks and peek into someone else’s life, because if you’re not for me, you’re not with me. Why would I intentionally give my enemy access to any part of my life? Just to watch them watch me? Nope, I don’t think so. I’ll continue to let God and the universe take care of my enemies. I got things to do.
“Rejection is God’s Protection.” Author Unknown.
It has only been in the last several years of my life that I can honestly attach myself to this quote. I think in some ways, I’ve know this to be true, but I never summed it up as well as these simple words do.
More than once in my life I have found myself wondering why many of the things that I wanted didn’t work out for me. These could be material things such as the purchase of a home or car that I wanted at the time or even a particular job. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my disappointments in my love life and wanting and wishing that certain people/person was a part of it. In all honesty, in the past, I have longed for things and people who, for unknown reasons at the time, remained out of my reach. I often remember how angry, deflated and even outraged I’d become. Oh how unfair life was to me! Nothing ever worked out for me! Those were two of my most frequently used mantras.
For a long time I walked around feeling left out and slighted. And then, one day, not sure when, but one day it clicked for me. Sure, life is unfair and bad things happen to good people all the time – and even worse – good things happen to bad people, too. That’s just life. But what really clicked for me is when, in the past several years (probably when I turned 50), I began to see that things that I used to want so badly – or the people who I thought I wanted in my life – would have been big mistakes and would have caused me more heartache than I could have imagined.
I’m not saying that God has revealed every reason for every single thing that was ever withheld from me. No, that’s not true. However, He continues to allow me discover my own truths and through this process, my spiritual eyes are opening and I see differently with those eyes. My spiritual eyes see that everything that I thought was good for me simply wasn’t. I’ve discovered that nothing good was truly withheld from me and that I am currently living my best life – right now, right in this moment. I’ve had more than my fair share of disappointments, heartbreaks and failures – professionally and personally. I’ve had to slay some demons, face some ugly truths and put on my big girls panties often. But guess what? I’m still here and I’m not just surviving, I’m thriving –
“Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant” – Maya Angelou.
On Grey Hair & Aging:
Most days I look in the mirror and say, “Girl, you’re looking mighty good at 57” (mind you, I didn’t say “for” 57 – there’s a difference) And most days that is exactly how I feel! And then there are the other days – less often, but true – when I look in the mirror and say, “Wow, you look old today.” Or “You look old AND tired today.” And there are some days where, even before I look into a mirror – just getting out of bed – I feel “old” and achy. I can go to bed feeling great at night, and wake up feeling like I’ve been in a fight during the night and I lost.
My grey hairs are coming in more frequently now. Although my family has a history of being “hard to grey,” it doesn’t mean we don’t. The majority of my ancestors and living relatives grey slowly and more “salt and pepper” rather than wake-up- one -day -and -completely grey. I used to think this was a good thing – hey, I wouldn’t have to deal with a complete head of grey hair for a long time.
My natural hair is very long, unprocessed and thick. I haven’t put a relaxer in my hair in almost 10 years and it’s very healthy. However, I do weave or crochet some hair into my natural hair on a regular basis. Not because I have to, but because I chose to. I take good care of my natural hair, but Lord help me if I had to maintain, comb and style it daily. I do not have the patience or energy for that – never been a hair person. So, I do whatever makes life easier for me.
Now the funny thing is, I wish the grey would just come on in and stop playing! The grey comes in mostly around the edges and ONLY just a little and the majority of my hair is completely dark brown. So to me, my hair doesn’t have that beautiful salt and pepper look or completely grey look that I would be proud to rock naturally. No. Instead it has that “Well I guess it is time to have some grey in your head, ole girl. So, here are a few scraggly strands to remind you that you’re not a spring chicken anymore!” Thank you very much!
Seriously though, I laugh at it and chalk up my scraggly greys, my aches before I even get out of the bed – and sometimes while I’m laying in the bed – to a life filled with raising beautiful children to adulthood, marrying/living with their fathers and all the bullshit that entailed, being in the workforce for over 30 years and just showing up daily and being engaged in life. I have laugh lines that are becoming deeper and are present even when I’m not laughing. That’s okay – I’ve earned them. Just as I’ve earned the right to NOT always look like I’m still in my late 30’s or 40’s (and I’ve been told this many times). Of course it’s very flattering to hear that. What 50+ woman wouldn’t love to hear that she looks a decade, or more, younger than she really is! But the beauty about inner acceptance is that on those days when my body – for whatever reasons – is tired and the aging is more apparent when I look in the mirror, is that it IS really okay to be okay with it and to embrace it. The pressure to always look younger, more beautiful, sexier, skinnier is just too much sometimes.
Sure, I’ve got my share of anti-aging nightly moisturizer that I ritualistically apply ALMOST every night. But some nights, I just take my wig off or wrap my weave up in a bonnet, brush my teeth, take a shower, and go to bed. Some nights, I’m okay with looking “my age” – however that may look on me. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone and to me, that’s crazy sexy cool.
For more of my insights on aging/middle age/sex, love and dating over 50, please check out my previous pieces:
Middle Age: Living and Loving It
Love, Sex & Dating After 50
50 Fabulous Facts About Being In My 50’s
(Just put these titles in the search bar)
Special thanks for the use of their content/imagery and a shout out to my new favorite page on FB:
The Fly Hip & Ageless
I’m so happy that I found them and I’m always renewed from the positive energy, sage advice, and beautiful human examples of aging beautifully. I always feel like a badass after I visit their page!
Please check them out on Facebook at FB@Flyhipageless and follow them on Instagram: IG@Flyageless.
Other Photo Credits: Pinterest, Photo Stock