When I was a young woman I dreamed about the day I would have a boyfriend. Then after my marriage I dreamed about the day I would have a baby. After my baby my dream was to return to work and move up the ladder. After the second baby arrived, there were no more dreams. Every day I would remind myself that the kids would eventually get older and demand less time.
Many eventful years have gone by since then. In all that time I never thought about what the future would hold for me in my older years. I could never have imagined or dreamed about the many life changing events that happened after age 50 til now, at 65.
I was inspired to write about this subject on Sunday when I was heading out to pick up some groceries for my 5 years old grandson’s three day stay. (His mama was scheduled to work from the office all week. Because of the pandemic she was keeping him home from daycare until this wave passed). It was at that moment that I realized how the global pandemic overtook the world by upsetting our daily lives in ways we never imagined. Many stories will be told about “living during the time of Covid-19”.
The upside to this global catastrophe is that it has given me the will to dream again, to dream about the day we can resume social activities without restrictions and fear.
2022! Another year has begun. Everytime a new year begins, I’m brought back to my elementary school days; upon returning to school after the Christmas holidays, we had to remember to correctly write the NEW year digit in our notebooks.
The days, weeks, months and years seem to pass by too quickly. It’s no wonder I feel that the world is spinning on its axis a little faster and its orbit has picked up speed!!
What will this year bring? What new technologies, climate change protocols, fashion trends, behaviours, laws, health recommendations, etc., be introduced to us this year? The older I become the harder it gets to keep up with the fast paced changes. Just as one has mastered a new technology or adapted to a new change, it’s time to start over with something else.
We know that technology evolves rapidly improving productivity, performance and PROFIT, all in the name of progress and evolution. Yet, essential services are moving at a slower pace. Our schools, hospitals, etc. are not upgraded at the same speed as the money making enterprises. The global pandemic has brought these inequities to light, not just a soft light but big neon lights. Oh, we were aware but our fast paced, “busy with other things”, life, gave us no time to pay attention to the lack of progress, other than to utter the occasional complaint.
What will we do now? Or should I ask, “What will or leaders do now?” Will they have the proverbial “Balls” to usher us through a new and better world or will they continue to skate around the problem until their term is over?
Crocheting, normally my winter hobby, continued through spring and to summer, this year. I discovered Amigurumi, the art of creating crocheted or knitted stuffed dolls and creatures.
The summer has been extremely hot and humid forcing me to spend many hours inside my air conditioned home. Now creating dolls and stuffed animals has became the favorite activity of the day, as opposed to gardening, lunch dates or shopping. I have my 4 year old grandson to thank for this new passion. One day, out of the blue, he asked me to crochet a boy doll for him and a girl doll for his older sister. He continued to put through more orders so I decided to perfect the skill.
I’ve received several orders but my repeat customers are my two youngest very discerning grandchildren. When my grandson comes over he always asks to see my most recent work. It touches me deeply, simply because he’s so young and shows interest AND provides his unfiltered critique! Recently, I nominated his sister to come up with a name for each creation but he likes to participate too. In all fairness the latest doll was given two names, I didn’t have the heart to choose one over the other.
On another note I would like to share some personal feelings about the pandemic. It has given me more alone time without any distractions. Although, with the easing of the health measures my outings have restarted, they are far from what they used to be and I’m okay with that. There is a slight sadness in the air that can be felt like an early morning mist; the joie de vivre is temporarily extinguished. Does anyone else feel the same?
While enjoying my morning coffee in the backyard the light breeze drifts the smell of the lilacs from the four trees that line the west side of my home. The scent takes me back to my primary school years. Around this time of year, our school teachers would receive lilac bouquets from various students. It was also a symbol that summer was around the corner. The anticipation of another fun filled adventurous summer with friends was exciting. There was always something new to discover at that stage of life. Today, that feeling is back.
This upcoming summer represents a new beginning for me. I have been alone during most of this pandemic. It has given me the needed time to develop a positive relationship with myself, and to experience new joys with the life I created over the years.
Today is April 21 and it’s snowing!! Until this day, the weather has been pleasant enough to begin decent yard work and the prep of my gardens for its future blooms.
March and most of April has been quite emotional and physically draining. Apart from the limitations and stress generated by the the pandemic, the unfolding dramas around me have finally taken a toll on my well being.
There are a few people in my circle that are going through major health issues. For the last 6 weeks I was dedicating alot of time to my youngest daughter and her children since she came down with Streptococcus twice! Then the kids and I got gastro. I’m still recovering. There is always a positive side to what happens to us, if we look for it. In my case, my ex husband was genuinely concerned for my health and he even ran an errand for me. That made me feel that he had my back. The daycare that my grandson attends has shut down some of their classes due to a Covid case but since he wasn’t their during the contagion period (home recovering from gastro) he may have avoided a Covid infection.
The recent death of my cousin’s 16 year old daughter, who was terminally ill, has left me with an intense sadness. The funeral was a quiet affair; the heartache that permeated the room was overwhelming. The masks did not cover the sorrow peering through the eyes of those attending.
In my experience, the mourning of a young person is deeper and soulful, compared to one who has lived to old age.
My thoughts are with my cousin. May she journey through her mourning accompanied by the spirit and courage of her beautiful daughter.
Spring has sprung! It’s time to prepare for warmer weather. The winter coats are washed as well as my car’s interior/exterior. Now I need to “de winterize” myself. For me, that means changing my wardrobe from leggings and joggers to a more dressed appearance with some make up. The dirtiness of our winter and the snow accumulation is gone and I feel lighter. Call me weird but that’s how I feel about it especially around February.
This morning I tackled my make-up, discarding all the expired items. I ordered a new eyebrow gel and an eyebrow sirum that my eldest daughter swears by. Once this task done, I applied make-up, put on a nice pair of slim pants with a tunic sweater, and adorned myself with jewelry. It was time to look at the results. Hmmmm not bad, LOL!!!
It’s International Woman’s Day, bringing awareness to gender bias and inequality and the progress of women. The global effort has seen many changes over the years.
However, after all this time, women are no way near to having achieved equality. It seems like every other day, the news reports stories of women denouncing powerful men for sexual abuse. Husband’s, physically or emotionally abusing their wives is very real and more rampant then we think.
I question why we haven’t made more progress, after all these decades. Sure, the “Me Too” mouvment stirred some shit. But the men who are being identified as sexist or inappropriate with women are not changing. They defend or deny their actions.
I question this phenomenon , “the inability to reach equality”.
Where do I begin? It’s too long to discuss my opinion in a blog. But let me say this, we as women need to do some internal reflection. The power is within us. It is our personal effort that will bring us to the next level of equality. First, we must trust our own WORTH and capabilities. Second, we must not fear men and make ourselves feel like victims. We’ve got to face the dragon, our dragon, the one we created based on our fears and conditioning as girls. Women have to change their mind set and understand that the biological make-up of a man is different then women’s, thus their perceptions may be different then ours too! Some men’s fears of inadequacy and or insecurity are manifested through abusive or inappropriate behaviour towards women. When we realize that it’s not about what we might have done or said, to bring such unwanted attention our way, is when we detach from FEELING like a victim. To clarify, being a victim or feeling like a victim is not the same.
Anyone, man or woman, can fall victim of someone, but feeling like one, is something we decide to be.
Just came in from breaking massive slabs of ice on my driveway. I made myself a cup of coffee and decided to write.
These days we must get creative in order keep busy and active. Luckily I have a few interests that keep me occupied, one of them is crocheting. A few weeks ago my grandchildren G and J asked me to crochet a doll each, a girl and a boy respectively; I accepted the challenge.
I worked on the boy doll first and this Sunday the girl doll was completed. For a beginner, in doll creation, they turned out relatively nice.
Back in 1967, an Aunt had come to visit from Italy and she introduced me to the art of crocheting but it wasn’t until 2009 that I began to take it up as a hobby, making scarves, shawls, hats, etc. for family and friends. Every year I make a few beanies to donate to the Cancer Society for women who are undergoing chemo and have lost their hair. It’s my way of “paying it forward”, after all the kindness and support I received during my cancer treatments.
It just started snowing again! Can’t wait for spring. It will be time to garden. Cleaning up and fertilizing the flower beds after the snow is gone is heavy work but enjoyable and grounding.
This week I began watching the Netflix series “Firefly Lane”. It’s a story of friendship between two teenage girls (growing up in the 70’s) through to their early forties.
This show has triggered memories of my teenage years and young adulthood. The main characters Kate and Tully are relatable. Kate is a bespectacled simple girl, unnoticeable to her peers. She’s not cool and not attractive to the boys. Tully on the other hand is the complete opposite. I see myself in Kate and my childhood friend G, in Tully.
When I was seven we moved on a new street closer to school. That summer I met a girl named G who lived across the lane. She was almost 2 years older than me. We became friends and later she became friends with my older sister. As the years went by the bond my sister and I had for this friend was exceptional. G became part of our family. My relatives all got to know her and invited her to many family affairs. In highschool she was popular with both the girls and boys. After highschool she went to hairdressing school. By 20 years old she was already working for a high end hair salon downtown and making good money. Her social life became exciting. My sister and I were in awe of her life, her trendy hairstyles and clothes. It was the disco era. She knew all the “in” disco clubs. We were lucky to go with her sometimes. When we would attend the traditional church dance halls she was always the one being asked to dance. Its funny, but I never felt jealous.
My years in highschool were far from exciting, I felt like a wallflower, invisible. My parents did not encourage us to participate in any sports or after school activities. They wanted us home. I didn’t have any friends my age except for the last year of school.
Back in 2018, I found the courage to prove, to myself, that I was not a wallflower amongst my peers anymore. That year I received an invitation to attend my highschool reunion. The list of people attending were unknown to me except for 20 or so but nonetheless enough for me to go. It was an outing after all. Why not?
The day of the reunion I tried every dress in my closet, none seemed to fit well. I arrived late! Everyone was already seated. As I entered the room people gazed my way. This can make anyone uncomfortable but surprisingly, I didn’t feel embarrassed. Seated at my assigned table were two familiar faces. During the course of the evening I circulated and chatted with those I knew. The reunion committee organized a silent auction to raise money for a charitable foundation. I checked out the items and placed a bid for a beautiful Georgio Armani bag. One of the attending prior students was a fashion stylist for Armani in New York and he donated the bag for the auction. Just before the closing of the auction I placed another bid. At the end of the auction, the purse was declared mine. Unknowingly, the purse was the highest priced item on the auction table and my bid generated a very nice amount for the foundation. The organizers were very grateful for my generosity. It got everyone’s attention. I no longer felt like a wallflower amongst my ex highschool peers! While I was waiting to pay for my purchase a fellow male student engaged me in a flirtatious conversation. He pointed out that I must have been one of the “Good Girls” in highschool since he had no recollection of me. Point made.
I used to be like the Kate of Firefly Lane, for many, many years that followed. That all began to change when I met Maia, my beautiful young friend. She introduced me to a new world and helped me embrace my true nature.
I just came back from an afternoon walk; we are experiencing a mild winter thus far, making the time outdoors more pleasurable. The city has also been good this year at removing the snow and applying salt.
Yesterday, I restarted my exercise routine after several weeks of having abandoned my elliptical and weights for other forms of activity, not all related to staying in shape.
As a child I don’t recall ever having built a snowman, therefore a few weeks ago I decided to make one, actually, a “snowlady”. Did I have fun doing it? Absolutely NOT! How could I? By the age of ten I wanted to be a grown up, make my own decisions.
I was having a phone conversation with my youngest daughter about how mental/spiritual and physical health are connected, how your physical health can be compromised when living a life you feel does not belong to you. It’s since age 54 that I began to actually take control of my life and make it mine. Ironic, how it took 44 years. So many opportunities were within my reach back then but I did not seize them. Why? Because of what I was conditioned to believe and my fear!
The old adage,” It’s never too late” is true. Working towards a more authentic life, one more suited to who you are and your own values, is possible. Although, the missed opportunities remain missed, new ones do come along.