Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

Hail Queens!

The writing of this piece has been punctuated by a series of shopping runs and sous chef prep duties in anticipation of the Thanksgiving dinner that we are in the process of planning. I have been making lists and checking them thrice, assembling ingredients and scrubbing the kitchen. Before we eat on Thursday afternoon my partner and I will have collectively devoted five days in all to its creation.

We, like everyone else I know, have both been so tired — so over worked, over stretched, over extended, over committed, overwhelmed — that my first thought about how to celebrate Thanksgiving was to have a circle dinner. That is, a meal consisting of round organic frozen turkey burgers and round organic frozen sweet potato pancakes and that awful canned cranberry sauce of my childhood cut into rounds. I thought I would be thankful for not having to cook.

But.

I actually like to cook. And I especially like the ritual of cooking this particular meal. Thanksgiving is a primal time of cooking for days and for eating and overeating and eating leftovers for days. It is about bounty and abundance, appreciation and gratitude, connection and interdependence. It really is a Circle Thanks Giving. Thanks for the circles of our near and dear. Thanks for the cycles of the seasons, of the moon, of our lives. Thanks for the cosmic sphere that we live on, which supports and defines our living. And there is no better way to express that thankfulness than with some luv’n from the oven.

Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul satisfying and eternal. -Julia Childs

Food is the fuel of the energetic life force and, as such, it has always symbolized abundance, well-being and fertility. To eat is to ingest the divine essence of the universe itself. Food and drink taken together in community and in company with the deities becomes more than a meal. It becomes a benefit. A feast, a spiritual festival, a holy communion. A frank recognition and celebration of the flesh. A time out of time to enjoy the carnal arts, to indulge the appetites, feed the hungers and sate the thirsts with full understanding of the ephemeral transcendence of life… for tomorrow you may die.

Hospitality, especially generosity with food, has always been a valued expression of honor among people everywhere. It was, in point of fact, a stark necessity of survival, and remains so in many places to this day. Among most native American nations, a visitor, any visitor at all, is immediately offered something to eat. It doesn’t matter how many guests, how unexpected, how early or late, or how few provisions a family possesses. Actually, in my experience, those families with the fewest possessions are often the freest with them. Guests, of course, are obliged to eat in order to uphold their part of the bargain. People feed each other. Period.

Then, with good friends of such attributes and good food upon the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask, When shall we live if not now?  – M. F. K. Fisher

Bon Appétit!

Yours for food for all,

xxQueen Mama Donna

*****

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 article, poems and stories about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is 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.) 

These writings 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

I Turned 50 Today

By Fawn Germer

When I was 29, I went to a therapist

And told her

I felt old.

I turned 50 today,

under the towers of Zion

where I cycled and hiked and laughed until

the day ended in darkness

under the watch of a million desert stars.

Sometimes, I am officially irrelevant,

A middle-aged woman,

Invisible.

Yes!

Don’t tell, but I sneaked into the pool of a five-star resort

Just put my beach bag on a real nice lounger and when I put on my sunscreen,

A server brought me a glass of champagne,

Because she thought I belonged there…

Free champagne, I am so free.

I can wear whatever bathing suit and show off all kinds of cellulite because,

At this point,

No one is looking to criticize

The middle-aged woman.

Let the world ignore me while I ignore the expectations

Every day,

I will look up to God and

kiss warm light.

I choose not to dream,

But to live.

*****

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 about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is 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.) 

These writings 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

 

Midlife Women Are More Hopeful than Midlife Men – Part 2

By, Pamela Cytrynbaum 

For a wide range of reasons, men are less likely to have a tight-knit group of friends like that. But that group is apparently the key to everything. We know this, right? All of us who have found ourselves face down, kicked in the teeth by life, we all know the gals on speed dial who will come running. Often, you don’t even have to call them. They just know and show up.

I remember lying face down on the floor of the intensive care unit ‘family consultation room,’ as my brother lay dying a few feet away. The room was dark. As I wailed and sobbed I didn’t hear the door open.

Out of nowhere I felt a palm press deep into the middle of my back, stopping my sobs long enough to let me breathe. I looked up, and there was the same friend who picked the spinach out of my teeth before we went on stage in the high school variety show 30-something years before; who can tell you what my bangs were like in middle school and what I wore to prom; the same friend who painted my toenails the night before my wedding; who performed at our baby naming ceremony; who comforted me through a divorce; who has talked me off more than a few ledges than I care to remember; who remembers far more about me than anyone should ever have known to begin with.

She appeared, like an apparition, on the floor of that awful, bleak room in that awful ICU, at the darkest moment of my life. And she quite literally had my back. She is one of a handful of amazing best friends I consider my BFF team. Each one has come to my rescue and I have come to theirs, over decades, through it all.

I’m not one of those optimistic midlife women Gail Sheehy wrote about. I’m pretty convinced things will be fairly lousy fairly often. But I’m also convinced it doesn’t matter. Whatever happens, I’ll never have to go through it alone. I know there is a group of women who will somehow find out, who will drop everything and rescue me.

*****

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 about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is 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.) 

These writings 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

 

Midlife Women Are More Hopeful than Midlife Men – Part 1

By Pamela Cytrynbaum 

A new poll says midlife women are far more hopeful than men because we have best friends, the close-knit group of girlfriends who have our backs: “…Girlfriends are the bedrock. The most optimistic women have an inner circle of anywhere from four to a dozen friends who ‘have their back’ and will drop everything to help in a crisis.”

This will come as no surprise to any midlife woman whose close circle of girlfriends keep her afloat. It wouldn’t be much of a newsflash but the person writing about it is Gail Sheehy, the famed author of 15 books who has no peer in chronicling the changes (‘the change’) women go through. Her seminal book, “Passages” is the ultimate exploration of women’s lifecycles.

For decades, Gail Sheehy has been our canary in the coal mine, pushing on ahead to report back to the rest of us what we need to know to live more fulfilling lives. So when I saw that Sheehy had written a piece for USA Today, called “Girlfriends are key to women’s optimism,” I paid attention. And wasn’t surprised.

According to the poll: “Midlife women are flourishing compared with men. Despite the daily gloom of economic predictions, women in midlife are more optimistic about their lives today and five years from now than men are. Surprisingly, 25% of women ages 45 to 55 give themselves a 10 out of 10 on optimism about their future, finds a Gallup-Healthways daily poll of Americans’ well-being. These women have a sense of meaning and engagement. They love learning new things. And they expect in five years to be at the top of a ladder of well-being. Only 17% of men in this age group have the same sunny attitude about their present and future lives. What accounts for this striking disparity?”

Apparently it’s all about the girlfriends we have. If you have a “strong social support and girlfriend circle” you’re much happier, the study team at Healthways Research Center found. It’s great to have close neighbors, fun colleagues, a partner or love interest….but, according to the study: “…girlfriends are the bedrock. The most optimistic women have an inner circle of anywhere from four to a dozen friends who ‘have their back’ and will drop everything to help in a crisis.”

Tomorrow: Midlife Women Are More Hopeful than Midlife Men – 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.