Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about aging as a woman, mother, partner, and goddess. My mother passed away when she 59 but was sick since she was 40 or so. My mother’s grandmother passed away when I was two, and my father’s mother passed when I was around 10. The point is, I have no aging female role models to observe, ask questions, etc. At 37, I am graying, wrinkling, sagging, aching, and more.
I don’t want to let society’s ageist cultural messages and ideas about what the ‘30s, ‘40s, or ’50s mean inform how I see myself. Age is just a number, but aging is an inevitable process. We begin to get older the moment we are born, and nothing we do can stop that process except death. Aging is all about deterioration. Agelessness, however, is not buying into the idea that a number determines everything from your state of health, to your attractiveness, to your value.
I want to embrace and learn to live agelessly. I believe an ageless attitude will help me flourish physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It is courageous to live like this. The soul is ageless, even if our physical body is not. I am in the process of discovering my ageless goddess self, and I have many ways to express my creativity and experience all the pleasures in life, from feeling good in my body and rediscovering my sexuality, to new projects and new ways of living.
Getting older is not something to fear. The number one thing many doctors say you can do for your health is to live joyously, indulging in sustainable pleasure, living fully and with a sense of joy and adventure. The body is constantly in a state of reinvention, starting at a cellular level and going all the way up. An important part of living agelessly for me is finding a way for my health span to match my lifespan. I do not want to die in the prime of my life, nor do I want to live forever sick, in pain, and miserable.
I want to be an ageless goddess who continues on this post-divorce, single mom, suburban goddess journey, recognizing there are always new things to learn and discover and new relationships to begin. I will continue to be exuberant about life and never give up on my curiosities and playful spirit. It is all about vitality, the creative force that gives birth to this new ageless life.
I believe that the real fountain of youth will be happiness, well-being, and connection to self, community, and the greater divine spirit- whatever or whoever that is for you. For each of us, our path to agelessness is different. You get to decide what makes you feel ageless and how you want to express yourself as such. It means you make your own decisions based not on a fear of looking foolish, but on feeling comfortable in your body and being keenly interested in the world around you.
This Suburban Goddess Mom is embracing the idea of agelessness, guilt free pleasures, self-love, and joy. It will be a daily practice. I will teach my daughter to be ageless too. She will learn to reject the notion that at a certain age her value declines. This lesson starts with me!
In my divorce
decree, I took the two kids and Howie took the two dogs. I was not a dog lover at heart, and I was not going to have dogs anymore. For the first year post divorce, I’d been saying an absolute no. No to
extra responsibility, no to one more thing to care for, no to the hair on me
and my stuff, no to the scratch marks on doors and wood floors, no to the
messes—inside or out—no to the expenses of feeding and vets. I mean, why would
I want to spend money on something that would mess up my house, make my life
harder, and give me yet one more thing to take care of? No way, no thank you!
But then a year went
by. I was feeling stable and at home in my new life. I had a wonderful partner,
and the kids and Chris started talking about us getting a dog. The thing that
sealed the deal was a recommendation from JoJo’s therapist that she could
really use an emotional support pet. I remember thinking so clearly,
“Goddamn it! We are getting a dog.”
We looked into
emotional support dogs. An emotional support animal is a companion animal that
provides some benefit for a person. Often the owners suffer from a disability.
For JoJo, it was anxiety. Emotional support animals are typically dogs but can
be cats; I have even heard of a peacock being an emotional support animal. Any
animal can be a support animal, but there is a process of having your pet
approved and certified. They need to be trained, and then you need a letter
from your mental health professional. There are also all kinds of
certifications you can apply for online.
So, we were getting a
dog. We picked a beautiful female Maltese puppy, which JoJo named Cupcake
Kitty. She was and still is so tiny and gorgeous. She is sassy and wild when
the situation warrants it and snuggly, loving, calming and concerned when needed.
We all love her and take turns caring for and being cared for by her. But
without a doubt JoJo and Cupcake have the most special bond of all.
Cupcake has changed
JoJo so much. She is much better about her fears of being alone and bugs, and
overall she is less anxious, happier, more open, and more loving. This little,
less than 5 lb. dog has done so much. And I don’t know what we would do or what
life would be without her. It is very important to get the right kind of pet
for your family. For us, it was a small, mostly inside, lap dog,
She is so very much a
part of our family. She was in our first day of school pics and Christmas photo
this year. I dare say I love her like one of my kids. Cupcake has changed me,
and she’s changed my family. We have more love and more laughter, more
expenses, more mess, a little more commotion, and a lot more calm and peace in
our souls. The Suburban Goddess Mom and Cupcake Kitty are an odd pairing, but
sometimes that’s all that your family needs: a little 5 lbs. of fluff.
I have numerous
“failed” relationships or relationships that just did not work for
many reasons. But as I think about it, almost all of them did not work because
I was not with someone who balanced or complimented me, which lead to me not
being myself fully. With Chris, it is different. He loves me and accepts me
fully, balances me, and compliments me so well. But I worry about the future
I wonder if we will
continue to fit together and grow together or if we will inevitably grow apart.
If I am constantly working on my own personal growth and fixing aspects of
myself I view as damaged or broken, can he keep up or meet me where I am? I am
writing this blog with all the hope in the world that he can, but these days
more relationships fail than succeed. And out of those that succeed, are those
individuals complacent or accepting of a subpar partner or relationship?
There’s no denying it,
relationships are hard work. They take time, attention, communication, care,
attraction, and so much more. But, when you find someone you want to be with long term, all that hard
work becomes infinitely worth it. Nothing feels better than feeling in love and
being the best version of yourself in that relationship. At this point in my
life I do not believe someone can complete someone else as much as compliment
My ultimate goal for
this relationship is to have it based on mutual growth and a wonderful
adventure of discovery. Mutual growth cultivates a deeper sense of self,
develops the values of integrity, honesty and transparency, uncovers our true
selves, and inspires us to be the best we can be as human beings. In this kind
of relationship, you realize your highest aspirations and spark change for the
common good. I think these types of relationships are rare. And when you find
them for yourself or you see them around you, you absolutely know.
Here are some ways to
work on growing together:
Be honest with each other from the start
Discuss the future
Be open to compromise
Be straightforward with your feelings
Accept your partner for who they are
Be good to each other
Commit to growing together
Balance time apart and time together
Learn things together
Communicate in a way that allows the other to
Laugh together, have inside jokes
Go on adventures
Say you are sorry and own it
Make time to talk about your relationship
When all else fails,
remember nothing and no one is perfect, and remember why you fell in love in
the first place. Being in a relationship is a choice, and I reaffirm my choice
to be with Chris each and every day. Who knows what the future will hold, but I
will trust in myself, Chris, and our relationship. This Suburban Goddess Mom is
nothing without her faith and belief in positive personal growth.