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The Queen of My Self

 

Mid Life Crisis: What is it? Is it inevitable? Is it even a real phenomenon? Or is it an invention of the media — that is, corporate advertising trying to sell us things we don’t need? (Not only do we not need these cosmetic and quasi-medical accoutrements, they are downright insulting and sometimes even dangerous.)

I have been inundated lately by articles, poems, and stories about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is a subject very much on the minds of many, many women. The writings that I have been sharing with you cover the gamut of opinions, ideas, and suggestions about coping with a Midlife Crisis, ours or someone else’s. I offer them up to you to for your interest and edification.

As always, I invite you to send me your stories — experiences, advice, and inspiration to share with our community of Midlife Queens.

Midlife Crisis or Midlife Consciousness? You choose!

xxQueen Mama Donna

 

Emerging Maturity – Part 1

By Vivian Diller, Ph.D.

If you’re between 45 and 65 years old, then you know what it’s like to be lumped together by age, as a mid-lifer, Baby Boomer, Hippie or Yuppie. Viewed as that huge generation reaching middle age (and beyond) by the millions, we’ve been told that we can retain our vitality and visibility if we just work hard enough. “Hit the gym, keep active, play Scrabble, join Facebook and try Tweeting,” experts advise. Oh, and should we hit bumps along the way, hampered by some poor life choices — a dysfunctional marriage, a dead-end job, an overweight or out-of-shape body — we need only reawaken our dormant passions and reinvent ourselves to move gracefully into old age. We are, after all, going to be all right. Better than ever.

With angst, yet relief, I read Never Say Die, by Susan Jacoby, who is a little less sanguine about this whole aging thing, describing it, more or less, as “brutal.” She argues that we have been blindly led to believe in midlife “mythical metamorphosis,” after years of being bombarded by age-defying fantasies in the media — and not just by marketers who make money out of that sort of thing, but by well-meaning psychologists, support groups, self-help books and magazines. According to The New York Times, Jacoby debunks the anti-aging fairy-tale and questions our dream that “medical science will transform human biology and spare us all from decrepitude.” She warns, “Dream on.” Or better yet, stop dreaming.

Somewhere between “forever young” fantasies and throwing in the towel is reality — the true-life struggles confronted during the phase I call “Emerging Maturity.” In a recent article, titled “Midlife Crisis: A Misleading Myth or a Reality in Search of a New Name?” I described the cultural changes that necessitated a redefinition of the outdated term. Originally coined in the mid 1900s, the midlife crisis has become associated with the derogatory image of the 40-year-old guy behaving badly (think Owen Wilson movies) as he yearns to return to his youth — a hackneyed cliché rendering the term relatively useless.

Emerging Maturity, on the other hand, is customized to fit today’s cultural landscape — neither something that occurs at midlife, nor necessarily a crisis. Experienced by both men and women, it starts most often as signs of aging emerge but can occur at any point when questions about mortality arise. It reflects the fact that we are the first generation living well into our 80s and 90s, facing new challenges and opportunities as a result. While our midpoint once led to feelings of panic and urgency — and therefore a desire to fulfill unmet goals before time ran out — it now more often leads to a heightened awareness of the many years that lie ahead, and a wish to bring fulfillment to the rest of the journey.

Tomorrow: Emerging Maturity – Part 2

*****

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™

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid Life Crisis: What is it? Is it inevitable? Is it even a real phenomenon? Or is it an invention of the media — that is, corporate advertising trying to sell us things we don’t need? (Not only do we not need these cosmetic and quasi-medical accoutrements, they are downright insulting and sometimes even dangerous.) 

I have been inundated lately by articles, poems, and stories about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is a subject very much on the minds of many, many women. The writings that I have been sharing with you cover the gamut of opinions, ideas, and suggestions about coping with a Midlife Crisis, ours or someone else’s. I offer them up to you to for your interest and edification.

As always, I invite you to send me your stories — experiences, advice, and inspiration to share with our community of Midlife Queens.

Midlife Crisis or Midlife Consciousness? You choose!

xxQueen Mama Donna

 

Some time ago, I put this question on Face Book:

Q. Men are said to have affairs and sports cars when they freak out in midlife. What do women do during their midlife crisis? What symptoms do women express when they are experiencing a midlife crisis?

A. Women can’t have affairs and drive a sports car?

A. Sit on husband’s midlife crisis car’s hood.

A. Have him start car, rev a couple times. Rev less if V8 with burly exhaust, a little more for the v10s and v6s, and if his midlife crisis car has a 4 cylinder — get a new husband.

A. I had an affair with a sports car.

A. Well I just made an appointment to get liposuction. you tell me.

A. I think we buy ourselves a lot of jewelry. That is my plan, anyway. No, change that…not a lot of jewelry, just expensive jewelry.

A. I sleep with guys fresh out of college, young enough to be my son!

A. Women change careers and start dying our hair.

A. I may do sumthing drastic with mah hairs.

A. Women go on mad buying\spending sprees… oh wait… you do that your whole life… whoops!

A. Women suddenly develop an interest in going to the gym and getting a personal trainer.

A. You get a trainer and start running marathons.

A. Many of us decide to grow mustaches.

A. And get fat.

A. They get the fat sucked out of them.

A. Then get it pumped into their lips?

A. Or their boobs.

A. I’m getting the fat sucked out and they can throw it away.

A. Blame their children for their stretch marks?

A. Douch often.

A. Drink martinis.

A. Women have affairs I think.

A. Women have affairs.

A. They get a divorce.

*****

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™

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been inundated lately by articles, poems, and stories about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is a subject very much on the minds of many, many women.

Mid Life Crisis: What is it? Is it inevitable? Is it even a real phenomenon? Or is it an invention of the media — that is, corporate advertising trying to sell us things we don’t need? (Not only do we not need these cosmetic and quasi-medical accoutrements, they are downright insulting and sometimes even dangerous.)  

The writings that I have been sharing with you cover the gamut of opinions, ideas, and suggestions about coping with a Midlife Crisis, ours or someone else’s. I offer them up to you to for your interest and edification.

As always, I invite you to send me your stories — experiences, advice, and inspiration to share with our community of Midlife Queens.

Midlife Crisis or Midlife Consciousness? You choose!

xxQueen Mama Donna

 

Dr. Carol Osborn, author and CEO of BoomerInfluence.com says “boomers want to be different than their parents.” She says “boomers are defying the stereotypes.” She says that “when a boomer woman hits her 50s and 60s she starts living for herself.”

As we look at an elongated lifespan, boomers are going to be doing things differently, according to Osborn. “It is inevitable that when you hit 85-90, things will falter,” says Carol. “However, in between 60-80, you will have more vitality than your parents did.”

Here are some other boomer trends:

  • Elongated life-span
  • Multi-tasking products and services
  • Simplicity denotes status, luxury is being redefined
  • Connected Technology
  • Inward bound
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Shift from anti-aging to aspirational aging
  • Reality tempered by resourcefulness
  • Growing awareness of the importance of our influence

She says, “Boomer women are a large and growing population and we will continue to live longer than our male counterparts. Women have found each other online and we have tremendous ability to make our voices known. We have power to make big changes that will be important to our legacy. While we are self-absorbed, we are also concerned about the future not just for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren.”

*****

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™

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

 

The Day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday, which refers to the fact that it is the busiest shopping day in the year – and hopefully, with luck, the most lucrative, putting merchants well into the black. Good fortune on Black Friday portends a thriving economy.

Normally, the term “Black Friday” refers to any ill-fated especially unlucky Friday. It was originally coined to describe two incidents in British history: Friday, December 6, 1745, the day when news reached London that the Young Pretender and his army of invasion had reached Derby; and Friday, May 10, 1886, the date of an extremely severe financial panic.

Friday is heavily charged with guilt and pain and death in the Judeo-Christian tradition and is always associated with bad luck. “It was on a Friday that Eve served forbidden fruit pie at her legendary garden soiree. Friday was the day that Adam was expelled from Paradise, the day he repented, the day he died, and the day he was cremated. And it was on a Friday — Good Friday — that Christ was killed on the cross.

In ancient times, Friday was associated with the early Mother Creation Goddesses for whom that day was named. In Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, Icelandic and Teutonic cultures she was called variously, Freya, Freia, Freyja, Fir, Frea and Frig. Friday is Frig’s Day, Frigedaeg, in Old English, Fredag in Danish, Freitag in Dutch. In Mediterranean lands, She reigned as Venus. In Latin, Friday is the Day of Venus, Dies Veneris; Vendredi in French, Venerdi in Italian and Viernes in Spanish.

Like the Roman Venus, Frig was the Goddess of love and sex, of fertility and creativity. Her name became the Anglo-Saxon noun for love, and in the sixteenth century, frig came to mean, “to copulate.” On Friday, Her hallowed day, fish was eaten as a fertility charm. Fish have a connection with fecundity in several cultures. Friday is also sacred to Oshun, the Yoruban orisha of opulent sensuality and overwhelming femininity.

Held holy in Her honor, Friday was observed as the day of Her special celebrations. Friday is Sabbath in the Islamic religion. Jews around the world still begin the observance of the Sabbath at sunset on Friday evenings. All work is put away, a feast prepared, the table set, everything and everyone spanking clean. The family gathers to usher in the day of prayer and rest. The mother and her daughters kindle two white candles to light the welcome way for the entrance of the Sabbath, personified as the Sabbath Bride.

Sacred sexual rites were once held in honor of the Goddess on Fridays. In anticipation, fish was consumed as an aphrodisiac — that is, sacred to Aphrodite, the Greek incarnation of the Love Goddess. The “Vessel of the Fish,” vesica piscis, was a widespread euphemism for the yoni, the female sexual organ, originating, perhaps, in the belief that women’s secretions smelled of fish. One of the appellations of the Hindu Great Goddess was referred to as, “A Virgin Named Fishy Smell, Whose Real Name Was Truth.”

Native Greenlanders believe that eating fish makes women, and even some men, pregnant. In Brazil, Samoa and parts of India, young virgins are fertilized by receiving gifts of fish. In Java, if the husband of a barren woman eats fish caught from the “Children’s Sea,” he will surely have offspring. Many American Indian tribes buried a fish at the foot of each corn plant, and organic farmers today feed their fields fish emulsion and fish mulch fertilizer.

Though the early Church was anxious to overturn pagan practices, the custom of eating fish on Friday was too ingrained to be ignored. The practice was continued by Christians, but not, certainly, as a sexual sacrament. Rather, it was viewed as a modified form of fasting, which, along with sexual abstinence, was thought to be the sort of solemn behavior befitting the day of Christ’s death. Marriage, too, was deemed inappropriate for Friday. This was a complete perversion of the prior popular opinion that Friday, the blessed day of the Love Goddess, was the best day to marry.

But old passions die hard. Despite the prevailing negative patriarchal associations, the ancient positive association of Friday with the good fortune granted by the Goddess has endured, in some skewed way, in our culture’s celebration of Black Friday as a national shopping frenzy. Once again the people are rejoicing on Her day! And the festivities continue for an entire month, as Black Friday marks the official start of the Christmas biz tiz.

Wishing you a Merry, Mary, Month of Madness.

*****

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™

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