Reflections on going out at night and being a grown up lady

Lately I have been trying to ramp up my social life, specifically making time to go out in the evening sans the man unit and seven year old (when college boy is home, sometimes he and I will check out music, otherwise Mommy’s outside time is sans the family). While many women are happy to devote all their free time to hanging with their family; I am discovering the older I get, I enjoy actually getting away, besides it gives the man unit and I something to talk about.

This past month, I have gone out two times with friends and have definitely noticed that the vibe of being out and about at a bar or club is definitely different when you are older. For starters, all that attention you used to get when you were a perky breasted, thinner you in your twenties is gone. Oh, you still get looks but the scene has changed. I am still trying to figure out how I feel about this, granted a weird side effect is that young boys like boys in their early 20’s seem to like ogling older women…can we just say in BGIM land that is gross. My son is almost 21 and if you are young enough to be one of his boys please don’t look at me. Thanks.

On that note, let us talk men. In our trio that gathers to hang out, two of us are married and the other one is divorced. Let me just say though, I may be married but my eyes still like to look and take in the sights, hell I still like to get my flirt on. Married is not dead and that’s all I am going to say on that.  However advancing age combined with living in Maine, means my flirting skills are going to waste, like really going to waste. For starters all the guys in the 35+ range are either partnered or they like to hit on younger gals.

Once over the summer when I was hanging with my son, he peeped a gaggle of aging hipsters trying to get up, close and personal with some younger ladies. Aging hipster men, no matter how much you don’t look like you are 45, hitting on 22 year old girls reeks of desperation and I have it on good authority from my son that most of those girls are not laughing with you, they are laughing at you. So let it go and take off the pork pie hats while you are at it. For the older guys who do partner up with the much younger gals, we wonder about your maturity level, but hey, maybe it’s true love!

Speaking of the younger ladies, we see you looking at us women of a certain age with that look of pity; trust me your day will come. Damn it, our expanded hips have accommodated humans coming forth, our less than perky breasts have nourished babies and just because we are a little older we are still human and like to come out at night too. By the way must you always interrupt our conversations when we are talking with guys in our age group? Seriously. We see you and yeah they see you too, but don’t you see me standing here talking? At the end of the night I am going home to my mate, so trust me I am not competition, I am just making small talk.

In the end though there is a certain amount of joy in being out and about as someone who is getting older, for starters, I can just be me. As my girl and I found ourselves looking around last night at the younger gals, we realized we are at the age in life, where nothing is really that serious. Growing older brings with it a certain level of joy in being yourself and a place where your insecurities lessen and aren’t on display for the whole world. As I looked at several younger gals holding tightly to their men, in a manner to let everyone know that these men were taken (yeah, girlfriend of the singer, I am talking about you, no one is trying to take Scrappy, so loosen that death grip on him) I realized how nice it is to be at a place in life where I don’t worry about such things. Hell, offer me something cool, I might even let ya borrow my ole man and his snoring.

The only downside to a late night out is that seven year olds are not forgiving, they still get up early and make too much damn noise…oh well, small price to pay to get my grown lady on!

 

 

 

 

I love me!

I always used to wonder why once a person became middle aged they seemed to get all introspective and start going off in search of meaning for their life. You know the types, they start reading self improvement books, take up new hobbies, maybe even let loose old relationships, etc. Then a real funny thing happened to me, I became middle aged, funny because in this ever young society we are in no one wants to claim middle age or hell even old age. But in a country where life expectancy is 77.9 years, I am definitely in the middle thus I am middle aged and frankly I am cool with that!

Lately I have been feeling as if I have been on this path here at BGIM where I talk a great deal about personal development, it most certainly has not been intentional but really is a result of some internal changes I have been making. To be honest I got tired of not being comfortable in my skin, tired of feeling as if I am not quite the woman I can be….it’s a process and I still have a long way to go. Yet it’s not about the end destination, it’s about the journey and as we all know journeys have a way of taking on a life of their own.

This brings me to a quote I stumbled on this morning by Alice Walker “No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.” Get the fuck out of my head is pretty much what I thought when I read this quote. No. Seriously this quote summed up in one perfect sentence what I have been dealing with personally and even professionally.

It seems when we set our hearts and minds on growth, we can expect that others may not be as excited about our changes, I know change is hard, believe me I know. For me the area that I have had to just draw that line in the sand is around boundaries. I am a recovering people pleaser; I suspect this trait is one of the legacies of having been spanked as a kid. I learned early on that being a yes girl meant not getting in trouble, yet being a yes girl meant I didn’t cause any trouble but it also meant I was scared to be me, or to explore me. In seeking to please others, I had no idea how to please me, and in recent years that full time gig of people pleaser just became too hard to bear. So now I draw lines in the sand and lately I have been dealing with the fallout and folks realize BGIM is no longer the first person to say yes, I won’t sacrifice me time and while I will always be willing to compromise, compromise must be a two way street.

Turns out it feels a little lonely at times when walking your own path designed by yourself and lived by your own standards, but it feels oh so good. I have simply learned that those who stand in the way; can’t support the change or who seek to make me doubt myself are simply not my friends no matter what they say. The great thing though about being middle aged is I love me enough that I will not compromise and while I am not always happy to be alone, I can live with it because I love me!

Returning myself to my rightful owner….me!

As women I think sometimes its quite easy to get caught up in our roles (mother, partner, daughter, etc) so much so that we lose sight of whom we are. In most cases if someone asked us who are we, we would probably respond with “Well my name is XYZ and I am the mother to ABC, partner to EFG and I work at MNO” Yet does that really say who we are? It says what we do, it explains the various hats we wear but deep down it says nothing about who we are. Until recently that would have been my answer but I am tired of that being my answer. I not only want to know who I am but today after a powerful coaching session I am ready to return myself to my rightful owner…me.

Having children early in life gave me little time for self exploration, after all its hard to plumb your inner self when you are trying to keep a roof over your head and food on the table. It’s really only been recently that I have started to ask myself who the fuck am I? According to Joan Borysenko my life stage of 35-42 is the time that most women start to ask these questions, when we have spent just enough years as adults in some cases fulfilling others expectations for us or doing what we think we want but the cusp of middle age for many women is when we lose that fear of asking the hard questions. I suspect we crave them, hell we need them. Much like our bodies during PMS put out specific requests and we can either give in or ignore the request.

In asking myself the heavy questions to the point of even questioning my very faith, I have greater clarity and peace on many levels. Yet there is still the hard work of actually getting to what I want which in some cases means being willing to put myself out there, it means taking risks. Though in many cases nothing worth having happens overnight yet it’s all part of the journey of getting to self, where there is seamless integration between who we really are and the many roles we fulfill.

For me I am starting to acknowledge I am a seeker of knowledge, a truth teller, a rabble rouser who is passionate and sensual in all that I do, it informs every area of my life. I am learning to say yes to myself more often when I want something. I ask for what I need and occasionally even take it. I strive to be intentional and present in all that I do for when I live this way there is greater harmony in my life. I connect better with friends; I am more loving with my kids I can give more to my partner and not feel ragged and incomplete.

Right now the most important work I have is to return myself to my rightful owner…me. What about you? What’s important to you, what are you seeking, are you in balance in all areas of your life?

Note: The spring fundraiser is underway until April 27; if you are a regular reader and enjoy these musings please consider supporting the work of this blog. No amount is too small and if you are unable to give financially then send good thoughts and vibes.