I received word this morning that one of my friends had a series of strokes last week.
I don’t need to share the details but she’s roughly my age. Too young for this kind of thing. She’s alive but her recovery is just beginning.
We live in a society that removes value from women as we hit certain milestones.
Our stories often end when we’re married. Remember the happily ever afters? Yeah.
And if they don’t end when we’re married, they definitely end when we have kids. Boom! We’re fulfilled. The purpose of our lives has been achieved.
So what happens with that kind of thinking is that when a woman hits 40, she might as well be dead.
We’re generally done having kids then. We’re in marriages of various levels of health, or leaving them. Our lives revolve around shuttling our demon spawn around and making the latest gourmet slow cooker meals.
There’s no room for being creative. Having dreams and fullfilling them. We’re supposed to be content, or at least act content and live vicariously through our spawn.
I reject that narrative and I know so many others who do too.
Whether it’s the rejection of having kids or the choice to leave a marriage or relationship that isn’t working. Or maybe it’s the complete stop, leave the job and turn your entire life upside down.
What I do know is this: we have limited time, so why the fuck would we spend it meeting society’s expectations for us?
It feels like we have forever. Hell, living past 80 is now common and it wasn’t when I was growing up in the 1970s.
We have so many obligations that we put off our dreams and wishes until someday. I’m a mom, that’s enough, right? WRONG.
I’m here to tell you that someday NEEDS to be now. NOW.
Do you have a books to write? Start writing.
Art to create? Get going!
Dreams that need to come to life? Start making them happen.
Because even if you do live to 80, there’s no guarantee that you will be in any condition to actually do the things you were saving up.
My artist uncle worked his butt off his whole adult life. He had big plans for retirement including world travelling with my aunt and spending more time with their adult daughter.
My aunt died of cancer in her 60s. She didn’t trust doctors, so she died of a cancer that could have been treated.
My cousin died in her 40s from septicemia as a result of other things.
My uncle got Parkinson’s and died in a nursing home.
No plans ever saw the light of day.
There are no guarantees in this world. There are only the odds. I’m not a betting person, so I’m doing my things now.
How about you?