What Am I Going To Do Now?

Time creeps in without warning. Not even an alarm clock can help us.

When a significant event occurs – the death of a loved one, divorce or hitting fifty – you just don’t know what to do. When multiple events occur at the same time, it’s worse. You really, truly, deeply, have no effin idea what to do or where to start.

Society I think, programmed women to be the nurturers. Even with the women’s movement giving us the right to vote, the right to education, the right to employment – hell, the expectations have not changed. Women are still expected to do the housework and if dinner’s not ready, beware. It’s not only those around you who would make you feel incompetent, but you too would feel hugely incompetent. Because. The expectations are such.

I’ve stopped watching television which is a blessing, otherwise, I’ll be bombarded with advertising to regain that youthful glow, edifying youthfulness and the insatiable quest to remove the lines. Well, there’s no stopping the ageing process. If gifted with the genes, it might be delayed a little bit. Or if you’ve been consistent with slip, slop, slap in your youth, you might be saved from early skin leathering. But regardless, there is no stopping ageing. The age spots will turn up in the most unexpected places. The hands that have done loads of laundry and washed so many pots, pans and dishes will show dryness. No stopping that at all.

There’s supposed to be a fashion rule for over 50s – and I’ve no idea what exactly. My wardrobe is boring to the max with a few hints of colour here and there. Solely because some years back the now ex-husband commented that I have nothing else but dark colours – so I bought the brightest of all: lime green!

I remember a girl from university who loved to wear large earrings – I admired her punk. I remember her saying once that the large earring distract attention to her tiny nose. Well! Genetics can’t help me there either – I’ve got a button nose. But I still can’t wear large earrings. Not because I don’t like them, but I just can’t be bothered having that many trinkets and matching them with outfits. And forget bracelets. I like my wrists free of encumbrance. Women in their 50s are supposedly to wear muted colours – but hey, I’ve just discovered colours in the last few years, so can I please have some slack? After thriving on greys, blues and black for several decades of corporate work, I kind of like the idea of mismatched palettes. Who cares?

In Grace and Frankie, I enjoy Frankie’s predictable unpredictability and the layers and layers of hippiness. Grace exudes grace – coiffed, poised and always well-dressed. And those fake lashes. I don’t even know how to draw on my eyebrows. I’ve given up. My little one once asked me what I put on my face and I replied just moisturiser with some sunscreen. Then he said “you don’t really wear make up, mommy do you? Except for some special occasions?” Without thinking I replied “nope, I have nothing to hide in my face.” Ohhh I shouldn’t have said that. But there it was. And he made some comparison of you-don’t-know-who-who’s-name-cannot-be-said.

The show gives me hope nonetheless that ageing doesn’t have to be boring or disgraceful. And bucketsful of laughter from their business venture. Their children and exes have more dramas than those two ladies have.

Every day is now an adventure. I know roughly what I’ll be doing but I’ve no idea of outcomes. I just prepare myself to simply be surprised. There’s only one predictability that I need to have each day: coffee and peanut butter toast at work. Other than that, I’m happy to be surprised.

What am I going to do now?

I’ve done so much in the last ten months than I have done in the last ten years being married. Reminds me of my grandmother’s counsel when I was just a young adult: “single blessedness has its own blessedness.” It took three decades before I have fully understood that.

I’ve been to places that I’ve never been to in the past and invited to more places that I never thought I’d ever be. Living in a household where your voice is non-existent results in the absence of opportunities. I eat chips with gusto and drank shiraz equally so. And yet the waistline is shrinking not expanding.What am I going to do now?The world is now my oyster. We often hear that said when a child transitions into adulthood. I’m saying that now to myself. All the possibilities are now up to me. There are no restraints.

“I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
Had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing”

Thank you, gorgeous Eliana for reminding me to do it my way. After all the pain and some still ongoing, I discovered I have been the one I have been waiting for.

19 March 2019

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