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The Queen of My Self

 

June is traditionally the month for weddings and it is also now celebrated as Gay Pride month. Love is in the air all around. This is a juicy time of making whoopy.

But while June is the jolly season for Brides and Grooms, Brides and Brides and Grooms and Grooms, it is important to remember that the most primary and important love is that of Self Love. All relationships are built on the respect, esteem and affection that we have for our self.

 

On Beauty and Age – Part 1

By Anne Lamott

I was at a wedding Saturday with a lot of women in their 20s and 30s in sexy dresses, their youthful skin aglow. And even though I was 20 or 30 years older, a little worse for wear, a little tired and overwhelmed by the loud music, I was smiling.

I smiled with a secret Cheshire-cat smile of pleasure and relief in being older-49 and change, which even I would have to admit is no longer extremely late youth. But I would not give you back a year of life lived.

Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life — it gave me me. It provided the time and experience and failures and triumphs and friends who helped me step into the shape that had been waiting for me all my life. I fit into me now-mostly. I have an organic life finally, not the one people imagined for me or tried to get me to have or the life someone else might celebrate as a successful one — I have the life I dreamed of. I have become the woman I hardly dared imagine I could be. There are parts I don’t love-until a few years ago, I had no idea that you could get cellulite on your stomach — but I not only get along with me most of the time now, I am militantly and maternally on my own side.

Left to my own devices, would I trade this for firm thighs, fewer wrinkles, a better memory?

On some days. That’s why it’s such a blessing I’m not left to my own devices. Because the truth is I have amazing friends and a deep faith in God, to whom I can turn. I have a cool kid, a sweet boyfriend, darling pets. I’ve learned to pay attention to life, and to listen. I’d give up all this for a flatter belly? Are you crazy?

I still have terrible moments when I despair about my body. But they are just moments — I used to have years when I believed I would be more beautiful if I jiggled less; if all parts of my body stopped moving when I did. But I believe two things now that I didn’t at 30. When we get to heaven, we will discover that the appearance of our butts and skin was 127th on the list of what mattered on this earth. And I know the truth that l am not going to live forever, and this has set me free. Eleven years ago, when my friend Pammy was dying at the age of 37 we went shopping at Macy’s. She was in a wheelchair, with a wig and three weeks to live. I tried on a short dress and came out to model it for Pammy. I asked if she thought it made me look big in the thighs, and she said, so kindly, “Annie? You just don’t have that kind of time.”

I live by this story.

I am thrilled-thrilled-ish — for every gray hair and achy muscle, because of all the friends who didn’t make it, who died too young of AIDS and breast cancer. And much of the stuff I used to worry about has subsided — what other people think of me and of how l am living my life. I give these things the big shrug. Mostly. Or at least, eventually. It’s a huge relief.

 

Tomorrow: On Beauty and Age – Part 2

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml

 

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The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

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