Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

I Don’t Really Care What You Think

Today, we see many women in public life, ranging the gamut from Hillary Clinton to Sharon Osborne, who have stepped out of the shadows of their husbands and families to pursue their own ambitions for themselves. Millions of ordinary women face the same challenge in our daily lives, as well.

After a couple of decades on the job, many of us feel that we have explored one option or direction as far as we can and now we want to do something else. Or, we have wanted to do that certain something else all along, but never had the chance, the opportunity, the backing and/or the nerve to pursue it.

Now we recognize that to stay with what we have always done simply by default would be stultifying and self-limiting. And money isn’t necessarily the object this time around, either. Now it is more a matter of what is personally satisfying and fulfilling than what is smart, stable or safe.

  Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.

-Oprah Winfrey

When I was in my early fifties, I made the decision after years of procrastinating to begin publishing a quarterly journal about living in sync with the cycles

After a quarter of a century of studying, teaching, writing and celebrating, it was the next logical intellectual step in my exploration of the cycles of the cosmos and their physical, emotional, and social significance. This new publication would deal with how to live consciously with the changes of the seasons — including the seasons of our own lives.

Good idea or not, however, my well-meaning friends pointed out that I had no resources or backer to support this ambitious project. But I was beyond reason. My biological clock was ticking, though I wasn’t thinking of babies. Mortality was on my mind. Mine. If I didn’t do this now, when would I?

Needless to say, I didn’t listen to the criticism, constructive though it might have been, and went right on ahead with my plan anyway. And, yes, they were right. But though I incurred a very large debt as a result, I have no regrets. Publishing that journal was a most rewarding endeavor, a four-times-a-year-discipline that challenged me to stay in tune with, and respond to, the times, even as they change. This effort kept me alert and in the moment — a worthy lesson at any price.

I kept Always in Season: Living in Sync with the Cycles alive for eight years. Thirty-two issues. And I am still paying the bank interest for lending me the capital. But I am grateful for having taken the chance. It yielded me critical acclaim and loyal subscribers in thirty-one states and eight countries who were not simply readers but more like an extended community of like-minded souls, a network of spiritual support, an international circle of care and concern. Surely this is what truly matters.

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers 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.

 

 

 

 Auntie Gravity – Part 2

An Antic Cronish Goddess

by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.

“An’ you jus’ start thinkin’ of them lines,” She says, “as your Auntie Gravity’s rainbows, an’ remember all the colors of what you done in your life. An’ where’s that ol’ somewhere over the rainbow? In a land full of midgets, that’s where, mental midgets that don’t know what you know. Buncha mental midgets don’t know who you are. Believe you Me, you don’t even wanna go there.

“An’ don’t you dare say hot flashes, either,” Auntie Gravity says. “Those’r power surges! As the cat told the cockroach, toujours gai, toujours gai, there’s a dance in the old dame yet. Don’t you forget that. So maybe you don’t dance so fast anymore. So what? Now your dance got the power. Maybe your monthly blood’s done dried up, but, Gal, you still got the juice. Got it mor’n ever before, got it straighter, got it deeper, got it stronger, got it higher.

“Hey, Gal,” She says, “you hungry? None a them diets for me! Ol’ gals need their nourishment, preferably chocolate nourishment. You know there’s more of gravy than the grave about Me, don’t you? So let’s just stir the pot an’ see what we stir up in the world. Double bubbles, maybe, an’ toil an’ trouble an’ mischief an’ reality. Seriosity an’ humorocity—heck, let’s have four, five, or a dozen humors. So what’s cookin’, hmmm? Here, have a bite while we’re waitin’ to see what’s got stirred up this time.

“Gal,” She says after awhile, “This here visit’s ‘bout over now. I got things to do an’ places to go yet. So lemme tell you one last thing: gravity’s the universal force that pulls everyone together. Remember that. An’ you take good care of yourself, you hear?”

And She is gone.

But She’ll be back.

(From Finding New Goddesses: Reclaiming Playfulness in Our Spiritual Lives (ECW Press, 2003), copyright Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.)

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers 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.
 

 

A Senior (I Should Be So Brilliant) Moment

This is the Letter of the Year from The Times of London:

An elderly lady actually wrote this letter to her bank. The bank manager thought it amusing enough and sent if off to the Times to be published. This newspaper thanks him most sincerely.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three ‘nanoseconds’ must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension, an arrangement. which, I admit, has been in place for only thirty-eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.

I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, over-charging, re-recorded, faceless entity. which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate. Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact Status, which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Solicitor, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:

1— To make an appointment to see me.

2— To query a missing payment.

3— To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.

4— To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping

5— To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

6— To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.

7— To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is required. (A password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorised Contact.)

8— To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 8

9— To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.

Your Humble Client

Addendum from The Editor:

IMPORTANT to REMEMBER that this letter was written by a 98 year old

woman. DOESN’T SHE MAKE YOU PROUD!!!

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers 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.

 

 

Auntie Gravity – Part 1
An Antic Cronish Goddess
by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. 

Here is a goddess for mid-life.

Sisters, do certain parts of your anatomy that used to stand right up and salute, now ignore the flag no matter now vigorously it’s waving? Is “perky” a word whose meaning passed you by a decade ago? From behind, do you look like you’re sitting down even when you’re standing up? Does it require a crane and two body-builders to lift you out of a deep knee bend?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, relax—you’ve been visited by our beloved Auntie Gravity, a cronish goddess Who pulls our bodies ever closer to our Mother Earth even as She lifts our spirits. Like some kind of cosmic elevator operator, Auntie Gravity dares to speak out loud the proper locations of ladies lingerie, housewares, better dresses, and the tea room. Auntie Gravity wears good cotton underwear, cooks as seldom as possible, dresses in purple (and then some), and eats and drinks what she wants to eat and drink. She lives in the present moment and tells it like it really is.

“Gal,” She says, giving you Her famous Look, “where you livin’ at? The past is dead and gone. Sure, you’ve lived through quite a lot. But how good was the good ol’ days, really? How good was it, back then? Gal, you livin’ today. You deserve some respect for your long life. You got survivalocity, big-time. Don’t you forget that. An’ don’t you let no one else forget it, either.

“Your face look like a road map?” Auntie Gravity says. “Well, jus’ you remember—all them lines come from some place significant. You been places and you done stuff—you wanna trade places with some skinny, smooth-faced child who don’t know nothin’? Each one a them lines is a line in the poem of your life, and maybe yours is an epic poem. Ever thought about that? Hmmm? Not all epics gotta be about men wavin’ phallic symbols an’ conquerin’ folks. Hmmm?

“What you done in your long life?” She asks, and She pokes Her pointy finger at your heart, “what you proud of? What you ashamed of? What you learned? What you got to tell the young ‘uns? Gal, you got wisdom you don’t even remember you got. What you gotta do is, you gotta pass it around. You hear Me? Pass it around, what you know, what you’ve learned. Help bring up some little sisters in the proper fashion.

Tomorrow: Auntie Gravity – Part 2

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow: Auntie Gravity – Part 2

 

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers 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.