I’ve been getting little reminders about my age recently. More than the expected aches and pains of arthritis. That I’ve been dealing with since I was in my 20s! No, I’m talking about the other reminders.
- Looking in the mirror and realising that for some time now I’ve had more grey hairs than brown.
- My youngest son telling me after school one day – “Mummy, one of the kids in my class asked me if you are my Nan.” It didn’t worry or concern him, he was just passing on what had been said.
- Seeing women with newborn babies and getting broody. For grandbabies.
- Looking at the calendar and realising my 50th birthday is less than 3 months away.
- Looking more closely at the calendar and discovering it has been over 300 days since my last menstrual period.
Four years ago, I wrote my thoughts on what makes someone a crone. And I made this statement:
As I enter the latter half of my 40s I am drawn more and more to the figure of the crone and identify myself more with her. Even though I have young children at home. Even though I am not yet through menopause. This is a natural stage of progression for me as I move through life, and I look forward to making this transformation.
Four years on, and I have gone from looking forward to the future, to being in the midst of my croning time.
None of the points I made above cause me stress. I am not worried about growing older or trying to escape it. I earned the grey hairs on my head and wear them with pride. When you consider that I am the same age of some of these other kids’ grandmothers, and I have a child near their parents ages it makes sense that they would ask if I was his grandmother. Not having to deal with periods has been a blessing – no washing out pads and moon cup, no cramping, no mood swings.
I think I have been looking forward to this stage of my life more than any other. Of course, I have had more time to consider this stage as well. It didn’t sneal up on me in the same way that adolescence or motherhood seemed to do.
Not that the way hasn’t been easy. I have had to deal with and shed a lot of emotional crap over the past 3.5 years. But, I have emerged from it with a newfound sense of my own worth and power. I am standing up for what I believe and what I think in ways that I wasn’t able to do just 4 years ago. I am setting healthy boundaries, and keeping abusive and manipulative people outside those boundaries.
February wil mark the end of my first half-century of living, and it will mark the beginning of my second half-century.
I don’t know that I will have a birthday party – I’m not one for making a fuss about birthdays. A day of celebrating my croning and a ritual to honour this new stage of being may be in order though.