Smart Woman Conversations with Author, Business Strategist, and Coach Katherine McGraw Patterson
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Rebirth with a Memory

Rebirth with a memory baby boomer women

Reinvention = rebirth.

I believe that when we reach a certain stage in life, we wake up and realize it's time to make a change, so we reinvent ourselves.

We are, in essence, reborn. 

I say "reinvention is a rebirth with a memory." Because we aren't a clean slate, this time. This time we come with memories, good and bad; we bring all of life's experiences, good and bad; we know, this time, that we can and should celebration, and that celebration is good, and necessary.  

We understand the purpose of celebration because we have a lifetime of experiences to tap into. We have learned, or at least it's hoped we have learned, that life is for celebrating. Our life is worth celebrating.

Why when we hit 30, do we think life is over?

How hard did you cry and tear your hair out, when 30 came - and went - in a blink? Were you one of those women who cried silently, inside, checked the mirror for gray hair and wrinkles, and started paying more attention to the anti-aging creams touted on TV by beautiful movie stars who weren't even old enough for anti-aging cream?

Don't feel bad. We all did it. Even those of us who didn't buy into the culture in America that said women were only beautiful if they were young, young, young. I remember when I hit 40, I was watching my eldest daughter become the young and beautiful girl I remembered being, and I wondered what happened to the young and beautiful girl I once was? Because, being 40, youth and beauty were not my friends any longer.

Much of that thinking still exists today, but women today are fighting that kind of thinking with bared teeth and clenched fists. I know I am. Are you?

The biggest problem with the idea that women are (a) only beautiful up to the age of 30, and (b) that the idea of beauty is a universal thing - blonde, for the most part, with ample bosoms, is that it makes women less than - it creates a being so superficial she exists no where in reality.

It's taken me a good bit of time to learn this but the idea that women are only as good as their age, or their hair color, is infuriating! It's insensitive. It fills me with rage!

Rebirth with a memory and magic

My life, and yours - is not about how we look

Today's woman prefers to age gracefully. Yes, we often take outside steps to make that happen (I am a fan of Oil of Olay - and no, they didn't pay me to say that), but as we age, as we move beyond 30, into 40 years of age (oh, 40 was glorious, wasn't it?), and 50 (Who thinks as fondly of 50 as I? It was full on new adventure and life and excitement, for me), and into 60, very much headed for 70 and beyond (to that 100+ Life I talk about so much!).

We grow in confidence, self-awareness, purpose, courage, temperance, and transcendence. We embrace the talents we hid for so long! We turn those talents into magic, and we start thinking, "Maybe this magic can make me money!"

We don't just accept our rebirth, we eagerly grab it out of the Universe and wave it around for all the world to see!

That sixties cry, "I am woman, hear me roar," is faded memory now. I submit that today we are "Warrior Women" and like Oveta Hobby, first director of the Women’s Army Corps, said, our cry today is: “Give me my sword!”

And, like the Wonder Women we are, we grasp that sword in hands made strong by years of work in the home and out of the home, carrying for children, our own and others, and making life a commitment, not a job.

It’s the journey not the destination

On the journey we were reborn a number of times, but none like we are now! Now, we see our rebirth pulsing on the horizon, sending beams of sunlight and the many-colored images of our dreams, like stained-glass in our church of self. We understand now that our rebirths at 30, and 40, and 50, were in preparation for now. For this full rebirth, complete with all the flowers we gathered, the storms we endured, the picnics and holidays we celebrated, the moments we wished we could forget, and the moments we hold dear, like precious gems that give our hearts a glow.

It’s in our rebirth with a memory that we truly live and accomplish those great things we only dreamed of in our 30’s. It’s in our rebirth, today, that we truly understand the way we look – our face, our body, our soul – the pieces of ourselves that were separate once and are now whole, are beautiful. 

It's now, in this rebirth, that we begin to believe in the success of everything we want to do. Failure, as Susan B. Anthony once said, as she fought hard for women's rights, "... is impossible."  Oh, it’s not that we suddenly become brash (though some of us do!  How delightful!), it’s that we KNOW what we know, and we have LEARNED how to get what we want, and best of all, we know what we want. In this rebirth, we won’t stop until we get it.

Women of certain age

Because we also know what we don't know. And, we know where to get that information. (some of it is right here at Nurturing Big Ideas.)

In the book, How Remarkable Women Lead, February’s video book review series (Time for Books), on Lipsticking, author Barsh writes, 

“Ownership is what psychologists call having an internal locus of control in your life. This means you believe your destiny is up to you.
The opposite is an external locus of control, believing things happen to you regardless of your effort and behavior; events shape your life, not you.”

Believing My Destiny

I sometimes lay awake at night and listen to the ceiling fan, staring into the darkness. I don’t really notice tears slowly slipping down my face, but they do. I’m thinking. I’m wondering. I’m lost in yesterday, and what “could have been”; I whisper to the shadows, quoting Marlon Brandon in On the Waterfront,  “I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody!”

Those moments of pity are reserved for dark nights when my brain wanders down avenues of reflection. I shake them off before falling back to sleep, and I pull ownership back into my soul. Because, in the light of day, I know that I am master of my fate.

I am in my second act. I had a great first run. Oh yes, I did! I didn’t stand on the sidelines all the time, I stepped into the fray now and then, and gathered my wits about me, and keep the teachings fresh, to help me move through the fog of “growing old”, when growing old was a bad thing.

Not for me, that growing old thing. Not for me, that conception of age being debilitating and weak, relegated to the back bedroom.

Not for me the growing old that said I should accept my end of life gracefully, with a smile, holding out a gnarled shaky hand to my grandchildren, mouthing, “I love you!” silently because my teeth were on the bed stand, next to me.

I saw it. I saw that image. It frightened me a bit. But, I looked to my own mother, and I looked to women of substance around the world, and I looked into my soul, and I said, “That’s a fictional character. Society is the author of that character. I am not she.”

I am Strong I am Powerful

I am lively and spirited. I am wayward and determined. I hang around with other amazing women my age (50 -70 – indomitable Baby Boomer Women) who are vigorous, vivacious, snappy, and animated.

And every one of them is so beautiful, I love looking into their eyes and seeing the girl she once was, still very much alive in there.

These women are so beautiful they shine, like blazing stars in a great blue sky.

So beautiful, their confidence radiates like celebrated actresses with a dozen Oscars.

So beautiful, they dance, and laugh, and create new life at the snap of their fingers.

A rebirth of dreams so vivacious and real, you can feel the world sneaking up behind them, looking them over, wondering how they got so dazzling.

There is nothing you cannot do, if you want to do it. I talk of baby boomer women, because I am one. But, I meet women younger than I all the time, and many of them struggle with the same things. This post if for them, also. 

This post is for women of the world, who refuse to allow society to objectify them by saying we can only succeed in this life if we are young and beautiful.

Because we know, we women of the world, that we are all young, we are all beautiful, we are all creating a better world, with each rebirth we go through.

Beautiful women dazzling rebirth


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