I live in Washington State, and like Oregon and California, we pride ourselves on our fine wines, and the magnificent vineyards that produce them.
That said however, my neck of the woods is NOT the wine producing country. That special terrain lies east, across the Cascades, where the landscape looks like moonscape, and the temperatures rise in excess of 100 degrees in the summertime… where rain is scarce and when it falls, is often accompanied by lightning bolts and rolling thunder…where winds howl and blister, tumbleweeds tumble- and the beauty that is Washington State becomes more stark and aggressive, unlike the cool and moist sweetness that is Puget Sound and Seattle.
It is this very bleak starkness, this ‘I AM A SURVIVOR’ attitude that produces award-winning elixirs; whites and reds that cajole groans of ecstasy, requests for seconds… and smiles of satisfaction and delight from those who imbibe.
This recently got me thinking how very much like fine wine a Midlife woman truly is!
True, the metaphor is an old one, has been around for decades-centuries really-and is not original, but it’s been a very long while since it’s truly been visited and dissected. Much like the old adage, ‘the older the violin, the sweeter the music’ it’s about time we took a long hard look at just what this praise really means, and how true it actually is.
Unlike our younger, greener, more perfectly-packaged Sisters, Midlife Women are ripe and juicy… we’ve been Around, ya know??!- and although the mileage may show, if you look closely, you will discover a landscape that mesmerizes: laugh lines around our eyes showing experience, spirit -and perseverance, a furrowed brow we earned through too many long nights sitting up with hurting children, aging parents, a dying spouse… lines around our mouth where smiles, frowns, sobs -and toe curling kisses- have lingered…hands that have cooked, nourished, cleaned, tended, soothed and brought pleasure- and will again….
Midlife -and the process that is Menopause- offers a great gift to both Woman and Man; a deep, rich,full, lasting and True sense of peace, tranquility, humanness and acceptance; experience that not only celebrates Life but honors it; a comfort that warms to the bone and protects from the deathly chill of the world.
Midlife Women are works of art- but society doesn’t like us to know this, and instead, gives us messages to the contrary: ‘Go away, you’re old and not pretty to look at…’ ‘Step aside Sister, your day has passed…’ ‘If you’re over 30, you’re done!’ ‘Who the hell wants to hit THAT?’
Even this time of life is given the unflattering term: ‘CRONE’. ‘WISE WOMAN’.
-Really??! Is that all there is? To make matters worse, if we’re not labeled that way, we’re marginalized and insulted as being hyper-sexual Grandmas known now as ‘COUGARS’.
PLEASE ALREADY! So, so sad. And so very untrue!
To hear pop culture tell it, day by day, we slip deeper and deeper into the process of becoming our mothers, aunts -and dare we say, grandmothers. We wallow in self-pity as we wage war on what we find staring back at us in the mirror. ‘Who IS this hag and why does she keep trying to fit into my clothes?!’
We cry and moan and grieve. We starve and battle our bodies. We lose little pieces of ourselves dailyone way or another- and secretly fear we’re losing our minds too.
How DARE this curse befall US!
It’s our sincerest prayer that you are NOT one of the millions of women doing any of the things just mentioned, because if you are, you’re throwing away considerable precious energy that can and should be used elsewhere- and you are certainly overlooking the great gift that Menopause is actually meant to be.
We hope too that if you are an over 40 man, you aren’t responsible for perpetuating this crap by dating someone old enough to be your daughter, while you give yourself a comb-over every day before you head to the office, and down a Viagra with a gin and tonic every weekend. If you are: shame on you, and you are SOOOOO missin’ the boat, Dude!
We’re here to help you begin to see Midlife for what it truly is: the greatest Reset Button life can possibly hurl your way, be you Female or Male.
It’s indeed a crying shame that in this country, we don’t honor women in their Prime…
True Beauty and REAL Sexiness come from the very same root: Acceptance of Self at a very deep and profound level, being comfortable in your own skin, and NEVER losing the willingness or ability to grow.
The simple truth is, if you don’t have self-esteem, you’re in a very dangerous place in life- and Midlife will not only demand that you get it- but richly reward you when you do!