Friday, July 24, 2009

3 Kinds of Time Every Woman Needs

(One of the many Contemplative Porch Spots around the Beach House, just waiting to be occupied with a person in need of relaxing.)

Let me begin this post with kudos, hugs, love and huge buckets of empathy to moms of little ones everywhere. For I am all too aware that a day alone to do only what you want to do at any given moment may sound like science fiction or fantasy. Perhaps a day of solitude, sweet freeing solitude, is the compensation of middle-age.

At 50-Something, we aren't young and wrinkle-free anymore; our hair needs colored, our chins need plucked (as my mom says, "After 40, its 'patch, patch, patch'); and we look wistfully at our daughters or daughters in law and remember when...sigh... we looked like that. However, because I married at age 17 and began producing babies like a fertile rabbit right away (at my ten year high school reunion I won the Most Likely to Populate the Planet Award)... I don't think I had much time to savor the body & youth I'd been blessed with. I was too busy changing diapers, giving birth and nursing a child -- and longing, with every fiber of my being, for a full night's sleep. An unhurried day alone -- just for fun & pleasure --would remain a dream, for what seemed like decades.

And so it is now, at mid-life, that I find there are some pretty amazing compensations to the hassle and upkeep of growing older. Surprisingly, lovemaking is better at this age. Greg and I listen to the woes of hard-bodied, beautiful/handsome newlyweds trying to work out their sexual rhythms, desires and issues and cannot help but think to ourselves, "Oh, what we could do if we had your bodies and our relaxed, in-sync brains!"

Grandchildren are certainly another blessed compensation of getting older. They are, absolutely, the perfect way to enjoy children. With my grandchildren I have a simple philosphy that I adopted from my Aunt Hazel. "Give them every thing they want. Never tell them no." Thus far it is working beautifully. Of course, I can give them back to their mom and dad for deprogramming. But I get to remain the Fairy Grandmother who grants all their wishes and loves them unconditionally. A marvelous role, one I was born to fill.

But perhaps, greatest of all the compensations of growing old is to get days like this one handed to you on a silver platter -- like an unexpected gift, or suprise breakfast in bed.

Today, all the relatives have cleared out of our beach house; Greg & Troy & Steph are off to tour the Tilamook Cheese Factory (I've been on the tour before. To sum it up: cheese comes from milk which comes from cows. I hope I haven't spoiled the surprise for anyone.)

So on my morning alone, because writing is a great joy -- I am typing my thoughts, unbridled, unpressured and unhurried on the little porch/deck next to our bedroom... in my pajamas. Coffee and cream at my side. Sunshine on my shoulders, which -- as John Denver wrote -- does, indeed, make me happy. Birds singing in the trees above me, the sound of ocean waves in the distance. And best of all, I have hours of unplanned time ahead of me to do anything I want to do.

I think, later, I'll walk down to the Neskowin store and have lunch by the sea with me, myself and a good book. Will probably top it off with scoop of Tillamook ice cream.I've been eyeing that chocolate peanut butter flavor. (Just in case you are wondering, the Tillamook tour guide pointed out that ice cream also comes from cows.)

In this contemplative moment, I've decided there are Three Kinds of Time a woman needs in her life to feel balanced and full. One is time with family & friends. That busy, hectic time feeds our social soul. The other is time apart -- with the Love of Our Life. This passionate time feeds our sensual soul. Finally, there is time alone where we can hear our own thoughts and if we are blessed, and quiet enough, also the Voice of God speaking to our hearts. This solitary time feeds our spiritual soul.

May you take great pleasure today in whatever Kind of Time you are experiencing. And if you are feeling off-kilter, perhaps you can ask yourself what you are missing and arrange for a day with people, or a hot date your sweetie, or with the company of your own delightful self. (Yes, even you mothers of little ones need a day alone for Pure Fun, at least every now and then. That's what grandmas and Mother's Day Out Programs are for!)


  1. Becky, what great post. I learned long ago that it's critical to take a "mini-vacation" every day. I teach this to my clients as well. There has to be at least 15 mins. of every day -- even the busiest ones -- to do something just for you. Whether it's taking a walk around the block, making a strong cup of coffee and sitting on the patio for 15 mins, swearing you will not answer the phone or email until you have "me-time", listening to a book on tape in your car, or just having some time on the deck for prayer. YOU are worth it. Lucille

  2. What a great post. Just what I needed. I've been struggling with this very thing.