About me, so I’m turning 50 this year. Big deal right? So are millions of women. Well it is a big deal for each and every one of us! It appears to be a fork in the road of many women’s lives.
Sue Monk wrote in Traveling with Pomegranates, “Is there an odyssey the female soul longs to make at the approach of fifty that has been blurred and lost within a culture awesomely alienated from the soul?” Well my answer is YES! Sue, yes there is, and I want a ticket for the trip. Gee I hope I like what I meet!
I’m fully aware nobody will read this except my children, who will do so with great enthusiasm and provide thoughtful and engaging feedback. Why would my busy 20 something kids do this? (Kyle remember the time you peed in a diet coke can in the car and I accidentally drank it? Amanda aside from the million times I set your hair in rollers for “prom hair” at 10 at night when I was pooped, do you remember when you made me earrings with plastic bowling pins and I wore them all night to a fancy client dinner? Katie, do you remember those shockingly early mornings I took you to school and all the times I picked you up from friends and pretended not to notice you were hung over?) Dennis of course needs no coercion, he has to stay on my good side if he wants to get out bed in the morning.
Before we get going I probably need to explain what a “cripples drudge” is. Webster’s definition of Cripple: a. offensive. a term used to refer to a person partially or totally unable to use one or more limbs. Drudge: a person who does menial, distasteful or hard work. In the epic Masterpiece Classic series, Downton Abbey, the acerbic Dowager Countess (played to perfection by Maggie Smith) in reference to her granddaughter marrying a man with a bum arm (oh my God how did he carry on) “Is this to be Edith’s life an old cripples drudge?” Upon hearing this my daughter and I laughed hysterically. My husband is 13 years my senior and classified a quadriplegic. Indeed I am an old cripples drudge! As a full time caregiver I don’t receive a paycheck or anything tangible to acknowledge what I do with my life but ahhhhh now I have a title I wear with great pride and honor, Cripples Drudge.
I like it because it makes it sound like a saint who works tirelessly. It’s true caregiving is hard, like really hard sometimes. I’ts exhausting and every day my heart breaks a little more as I watch the agonizingly slow ravages of Multiple Sclerosis on my husbands body. None the less, I’m not sure about a lot in life but I am 100% positive it is what I am called to do right now. Being in the palm of God’s purpose for your life is the most fulfilling way to live. Also my life is nothing close to drudgery, some days Dennis is doing great and we can be found at the local bar drinking wine at noon. Other days we are napping in the afternoon or my favorite hanging out in my hot tub drinking wine and watching Masterpiece Theatre, loudly commenting to myself on the plot twists.
So there you have it I’m a cripples drudge, officially hitting middle age in search of more, more love, more insight, more connection, more compassion and more from herself! While I was mulling over how I would embark on my journey I overheard a friend of Amanda’s, Sheryar, asking her what her three pillars in life were. He was an orientation leader at UGA and he was referring to the three pillars of wisdom, justice and moderation. It quickly came to me my three pillars in life are growth, compassion and connection.
Based on these values I decided upon things I thought would help me grow from these roots. So my friend Bombay Sapphire and I came up with a list of ten things I would like to accomplish before 50 and you readers (aka emotionally black mailed children) will keep me accountable! So hold on to your Spanx here we go!
start a blogYou go girl already done number 1! If you want to read more about this task go to menu then blog
- write love letters to the people closest to me in my life, hopefully in time for Valentines day despite this being a crazy good season of The Bachelor. This one is done although the letters are coming out in waves. If your interested in hearing about any wisdom I gleaned from this exercise go to Menu hit Blog
- Prepare for and have a piano recital that has real human people come to it. This event will have a two drink minimum as in I’m not playing until everyone myself included has two drinks. Not wine or beer but hard liquor drinks. Trust me this is for the good of everyone involved
- Make a friend with someone forty years older, I have a few leads on this or maybe there is there is some sort of tinder type site for people in their 90’s, or I will just go to the nursing home down the street with pudding.
- Make a friend with someone 40 years younger, I think church may be the place to find some teenager, with maybe not the best social skills or acne, who would have time to be a friend with a middle aged woman!
- Dance with my husband Dennis standing. This is going to take some creativity, perhaps a harness from the ceiling or a bunch of guys holding him up? hmmmm
- Learn to make crème brulee, Kyle and Amanda love this stuff and they are the greatest loves of my life. Plus this is a badass dessert to make. I read the recipe it involves bruising vanilla beans, cooking the brulee until it is done but still and I quote ” trembling” and a blow torch! I know what you are thinking Damn that girl has stones!
- Spend a day in a wheelchair. We own an extra one and I really want to get some teeny tiny glimpse of what Dennis goes through every day. Obviously I will have to get out to help Dennis a bit but a field trip is planned.
- Publish mine and Dennis’ love story. I think posting it on a blog no one but my kids and husband are reading qualifies!
- Do something special with Katie – To Be Announced. How exciting a cliff hanger!
I will post as I accomplish each task. Hit on menu and them posts, I have already done #1 and #2. So Kyle, Amanda, Katie and Dennis press the follow Frolicking at Fifty button. I love you guys!
If your interested in participating in any of these tasks let me know!