Thursday, February 16, 2006

Time makes you bolder, children get older, I'm getting older, too

Lisa wrote an entry today that has me thinking. I'm not sure whether I'm one of the women she refers to, but I might be.

And what I have to say is: I really am aware, and I really am grateful.

Most of the things in my life are not what I would like them to be. For instance, there are certain aspects of my personal life that could stand an overhaul. And I do not, as it turns out, look like Tyra Banks, whom one of my sons has advised me is the most beautiful woman in the world. Furthermore, my house is too big, too broken down, too messy, and too-everything for anyone to manage adequately on less than a Trumpian income. My work life is not as satisfying as I had at one time imagined it would be. And certainly not as lucrative.

There was a time when I thought that by now I would be that gorgeous cover girl on Fortune Magazine, the Executive Vice-President for Environmental Affairs of Big Company I Used To Work For, featured for her gorgeous hair, gorgeous bod, gorgeous wardrobe, gorgeous career, gorgeous stock options and, of course, gorgeous house on the coast. It's hard to believe now, but I used to be a girl who wore great suits and had dinner in restaurants in Washington with other lawyers who had every reason to take me seriously.

Wow. That thought just made me momentarily extremely depressed.

But here's the thing. I really do have a rich, rewarding, incredible life. I have engaging work, absorbing studies, and a spirituality I love to pursue. I have three kids who are, uh, challenging and intriguing at this point in their lives. I have experienced terrible, really terrible heartbreak, situations so desperate that I could never write about them here, or maybe anywhere, but I seemed to have survived to not tell the tale. I have lots and lots of people to talk to and keep me company. And I have a few really incredible friends, people who would fly anywhere at a moment's notice for me (even if sometimes they don't seem to know exactly who it is they would be flying to meet).

All I can say is, every risk I have taken has panned out. Not necessarily in terms of traditional success. But every time I have extended myself for someone, or tried something new, or decided to be brave instead of chicken, I have expanded my sphere of being in some way.

Usually it's just little things. Yesterday I had to make a call to someone I had last talked to maybe two years ago. I would guess that she's about 10 years older than I am. I hesitated, but then I mentioned that I had seen in a newsletter that her husband had died this winter. Suddenly we were immersed in a conversation about loss, grief, starting over, taking chances. I took a tiny chance, and today my world is a little wider.

This is a good way to be 52. This is actually a great way to be 52.

If you saw me, sitting in a coffee shop or walking down the street, you would not turn your head. But if you sat down or ran up to talk, you would find that the conversation is GREAT.

I am so much more interesting than Tyra.


Vicky said...

Yes, Robin, indeed you are INFINITELY more interesting than Tyra. To me, anyway, and that's what counts! You are so right in this attitude. Speaking as another former lawyer, I have to concur that I too have not exactly landed where I expected. And there is much I would change, had I the proverbial genie. But, as you say, there is also much to celebrate. I may just spring off this to an entry of my own. Thank you, Counselor, for provoking a most profitable (in the spiritual sense) train of thought.

And I know for an absolute certainty that I would love to have a long conversation with you - any day, any way.

Love, Vicky

beths front porch said...

"If you saw me, sitting in a coffee shop or walking down the street, you would not turn your head."

Actually, I think I would turn my head, because I believe you have an aura. Good vibes emanate from you. It comes through in your blog posts! I have found it difficult to come to terms, however, with All The Things That Were Going To Be. Including me - I'm not sure I'm better than what I thought, just different. Love your comment that every risk you have taken has panned out!

Lisa :-] said...

I had some dreams in my younger days, but one of them was never to be "that gorgeous" anything. :)

Reading this post, I think I was right on with some of the things I chose on your Johari Window..."

Laura said...

Hi Robin/Geena....of course I remember you and the wonderful MOL/LIP. It seems like ages! But of course are children are grown/growing much too fast so it has been ages.
I remember Midlife Matters and enjoyed it a lot, yet I was clueless who the writer was. I'm glad you found me thanks to Marian!
::::waving hello::::

Theresa Williams said...

I agree with beth about the head turning. I think my head would turn if I saw you. I am always on the lookout for women of a certain age, with eyes that tell me the person has a rich inner life. I am I would see this in your eyes.

emmapeelDallas said...

I agree with Theresa, we'd see it in your eyes, which I'm sure are beautiful. And yes, you're not only more interesting than Tyra, but I'd be willing to bet that you're an infinitely better writer, too!



Cynthia said...

You are infinitely more interesting than Tyra, and I'd love to have that conversation.

Virginia said...

Finding clarity between the cultural definition of "successful" and the spiritual connection with "all that is" is a path that is hard to find. I would say you have done a stellar job. In the end of the day, fear not my friend, you "measure up" quite well.

Peace, Virginia

V said...

Woo Hoo, Robin. Good for you!

...."Time makes you bolder, children get older, I'm getting older, too" ....
Have you ever heard Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins cover this song? Very neat!


DesLily said...

You certainly can't see yourself as a looser if all (or even most)of your risks have panned out. That in itself is a success story!

Kathryn said...

Traditional measures of success are not valid. Rich people have more things but are not necessarily happier. You find joy in so many places and share them with us in your journal -- being able to find that joy is more important than material wealth.

Paula said...

Your way is a good way to be at any age. I LOVE this post!

sunflowerkat said...

I wish I could meet you for coffee, or bump into you on the street (or the trail). Thanks for an uplifting entry. Your attitude is inspiring.