Yep, it’s Valentine’s Day. Sorry, there is no history I will offer on Saint Valentine of Rome. I have become colonized to the history of Hallmark cards and flowers; that’s really sad on my part, but I’m just being honest. Anyway, thinking about love today I wondered all the ways I have looked at this word, love, through all of my 61 years and nope, Hallmark won’t come calling. Here is what I found:
Love is Mom
Love is strange
Love is desiring
Love is hard
Love is breathless
Love is painful
Love is tiresome
Love is determined
Love is intentional
Love is blistering
Love is happiness
Love is sad
Love is healing
Love is kind
Love is sexy
Love is dangerous
Love is crazy
Love is satisfying
Love is transparent
Love is scary
Love is demanding
Love is acceptance
Love is justice
Love is God
I’m pretty sure my list will grow a little more. I might even look at love a little bit different in my seventies. But this is what I know for sure, “LOVE bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. LOVE NEVER FAILS.” 1st Corinthians 13:7
I’m looking at the 2020 Oscars and having a moment. Remembering when I was eight years old and saying one day I’m going to be on stage getting that Oscar. I loved acting and singing, knowing at such an early age what my talent was. I just knew one day I would be there. I’m not.
Yes, I’m sad that I did not reach out for my dreams. I’m sad that I didn’t try, at all to go for what I knew I could do. I should have listened to my heart and not listened to my mother who wanted to make sure I was able to eat and said, go to college, study business administration and get a skill to fall back on. I remember sitting in the back of the college auditorium, seeing students rehearsing for their upcoming play, “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Me, next day, singing, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”, in the girl’s dormitory bathroom and hearing one of my floor mates applauding the sound of my voice. I should have changed my major then.
It’s not anyone’s fault. But let me just say this to a parent who could be poor, afraid that you don’t have much to offer to your children, afraid that your children’s life may pattern the life of yours. Tell your child to trust their gifts, tell your child their talent is big enough to carry them into success. For if you don’t, you child will pattern their life after yours, a life of being afraid, a life of shoulda, woulda, a life of sitting sixty years later, drinking a glass of red wine, wondering what could have been.
I don’t dislike my life now. It took be a while to get to a place of contentment. But damn, I could have been a star!!
I decided to start a blog… I’m not sure if I can call it that, but anyway! Let me start over here. I decided to start a blog because I was turning 60. The blog was not focus on anything specifically, just whatever my thoughts were at the moment. It’s been months since I’ve written anything, so I guess I just didn’t have any thoughts I wanted to share. To be honest, it’s been a little rough and a little embarrassing to share anything.
I retired, but I think I told you that already. Anyway, I haven’t been motivated and no not looking for anyone or anything to motivate me but turning 60 has stumped me. Yes, I can blame age on my lack of motivation! I have that right! I know there are many wonderful women 60 and over doing amazing things and living life to the fullest; Oprah, Gayle, Chaka, Lynn, Alfre, Loretta,Debbie & Phylicia, and of course I can’t leave out Angela, which I’m still working on getting those killer arm muscles, since the age of 30? Oh well.
One thing I’ve learned through this period of drooping, is that it’s unfair to call young people lazy or unmotivated. I’m here to tell you, old folks (okay middle age?) can be lazy “af” too! (Can I say that?).
So, I am now 60 and really have no time not be honest with myself. I know when I’ve laid in bed too long, I know when I’ve had too much wine, I know when I haven’t been kind. I know when I have not shown compassion or share in the burden of my neighbor. I know that along with others, I have hidden my face and quiet my voice from injustices I have seen recently in our country. I am aware of the lack of education funding for public schools and the lack of affordable housing. I see that young single mothers today receive less than young single mothers in my day. I acknowledge that voter suppression is a real freaking thing and I can’t just sit by and watch it happen.
Yeah, I’ve been lazy, unmotivated, just pure selfish. So God I seek your forgiveness. I have everything to get me up from this place of gloom and it’s really up to me to now get up. I have to make that decision to be inspired, not to make everyone say, “Wow she’s amazing! Of course, if that happens, I would be thrill; why lie? But let’s be honest….it’s really not about age and seeing what you have not done in this wonderful life you’ve been handed, instead it’s recognizing how important your being in this world matters to someone who still don’t know how amazing their life can be.
So instead of trying to race against my age, which is nothing I can do anyway, maybe I can just learn to be and to love.
My husband and I pray every night before we go to the sleep. Our prayers are sometimes short, serious and sometimes our prayers have a sense of humor in them. Our prayers are for our children, our nation, our dreams and we even pray that the person who is doing all the farting under the bedcovers will stop! We take turns in praying and to be honest I try to get out of praying when it’s my turn. I think because as a child, I was taught that prayers were to always be serious, always sound intense and that you should quench your eyes, shutting them real tight and sweating profusely because you wanted to make sure that God or your Higher Power knew your prayers were sincere.
How can anyone really pray when you are already stress about praying? It makes no sense. People project images, pretending to be something or someone they are not. All of us do it, at times. And the older we get, we realize that we don’t need to play those games anymore…it becomes tiresome and hey God, you’re gonna get what you get…. I figure you can handle it. So I pray in my authentic self, my words are not grand, sometimes I close my eyes, sometimes I get on my knees, but most times, I hold my husband’s hands and we lay in bed and begin to pray.
We pray to release our thoughts and concerns into the universe, our hopes and our aspirations and we believe that a Creator who creates the universe so carefully can take our prayers among with others who have a love for humankind, sprinkle those prayers and nourish the earth with those prayers that are prayers of love. Prayers are never to be selfish, never to used as a device like a genie in a bottle and definitely never to be used to pray to a god to hurt people. Prayers are an opportunity to hold the hands of your neighbor who you may never see or know but your very being shares with them a belonging to this universe created for all. Your authentic self in prayer mixed with everyone’s else hopes and aspiration produces a beautiful light that beams in our homes and communities but a prayer that is self-righteous, a prayer that is only to project an image produces nothing….it’s just noise in the universe.
Tonight it’s my turn to pray. I will be my jovial self, laughing and telling jokes, being who I am, holding my husband’s hand, having the air fresher close by and talking to my God, just as I am.
I am now 59. How should I embrace this time of preparing to see the big 60 around the corner? Hmmmm?
I will make it fun! I will laugh and dance! I will run my fingers through my thinning hair! I will keep flossing so I can keep the teeth I have! I will workout, maybe not go overboard though, to keep my bones strong. I will wear funky outfits that will make heads spin. I will shake my hips! I will be a sexy diva and make my husband blush everyday.
There are 23 items listed on my “You Can 2018” resolution goals. Twenty-three! This may not seem to be many goals for you to reach, but for me, shucks just the mere fact of being on a diet for two days is a major accomplishment! I have managed to work on some of those goals but the one that frighten me the most I accomplished today! I retired from corporate America after 36 years and 11 months. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. After working so long in one place you really kind of feel like you have it made. You can come in when you want to. You can reply back to emails when you feel like it. Nothing becomes an expedite any more and the boss knows you have all the inside dirt so he/she just leaves you alone. An easy, cushiony, laid back, sun-roof top, digging the scene with a gangster lean kind of work attitude. Gosh, though, I’m going to miss those first quarterly bonuses! Ahhh…..you know the bonuses you looked forward to that would determine how vacation would be spent that year! Yeah, Jamaica versus the Baltimore Harbor!
Look!! I am grateful for having a job that allowed a single mother to raise her child and to teach me leadership skills that will carry me for the remainder of my life. I’m grateful for co-workers who became friends. I’m grateful for a pension..even though I know this company really could have done a whole lot better by it’s season employees, but hey I don’t expect any corporation to care about me as a human being! This isn’t the environment in which we live and corporations unfortunately don’t have to care. They don’t and why we, older generation, put so much stock in these companies is beyond my understanding! Baby boomers like me have worked for American corporations most of our lives….most of our lives! We’ve made American corporations great! Baby Boomers have sacrificed their dreams for the privilege of someone walking into a Walmart to buy 100 rolls of toilet tissue or someone walking into a car dealership to buy a Ford truck. Baby Boomers have sacrificed their dreams for the sake of America! Yes, we have given blood, sweat and tears so that America could buy internet, phone and tv at a bundle rate.
It’s time to go. Just that simple. So for my baby boomers who are too young to venture into retirement homes in Florida and too old to learn anything else remotely technical, don’t fret! You really have to believe that you are worth fighting for. That you are worth searching for a passion you once had but just need to remember; that you are worth living out dreams that are only hidden but can be found (for they were never lost); that you are worth living your absolute best life; that you are worthy of being your authentic wonderful self! That you are just freaking worthy!
Search and remember your passion and go after it! Live your authentic self and dare to give a damn as to what anyone has to say or think. Seek God for direction in whatever ways you seek God; for God is present in all things. But when you begin to stir up that passion again, let it be to give of yourself unselfishly, to influence a new generation to love better, to appreciate the earth, to embrace different thoughts and to believe good can happen. There is a world out there that is desperately in need of our dreams which were deferred for a time but now need for us to show that you don’t have to sacrifice your journey in order to live an awesome life. There is a world who needs to believe that their life is not wrapped up in corporate greed and their life can be fulfilled with living their passion. There is a world who needs to see, hey, baby boomers were selfish for a while but we’ve repented and have seen the light! No! We’re not ready to walk towards the light….move away from the light! Not yet!
So as I clock out from my corporate life, I clock in to living my best life! Be bless my friends!!