This is another piece by the wonderful author, Anne Lamott. I wish I could say I am 100% where she is, but I’m getting there. Self-love is somewhat slow in coming to me fully, and the wonder of rest given freely is still something I aspire to, but, like Anne, I would not give back a year lived. I, too, have the life I dreamed of; one I hardly dared imagine possible. I offer, here, some brilliant ways of being from one of my favorite writers:
I was at a wedding Saturday with a lot of women in their 20s and 30s in sexy dresses, their youthful skin aglow. And even though I was 30 or 40 years older, a little worse for wear, a little tired and overwhelmed by the loud music, I was smiling. I smiled with a secret Cheshire-cat smile of pleasure and relief in being older. I would not give you back a year of life lived.
Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life—it gave me me. It provided the time and experience and failures and triumphs and friends who helped me step into the shape that had been waiting for me all my life. I fit into me now—mostly. I have an organic life finally, not the one people imagined for me or tried to get me to have or the life someone else might celebrate as a successful one—I have the life I dreamed of. I have become the woman I hardly dared imagine I could be.
… I am militantly and maternally on my own side. Left to my own devices, would I trade this for firm thighs, fewer wrinkles, a better memory? On some days. That’s why it’s such a blessing I’m not left to my own devices. Because the truth is I have amazing friends… to whom I can turn… I have learned to pay attention to life, and to listen. I’d give all this up for a flatter belly? Are you crazy?
… I know the truth that I am not going to live forever and this has set me free. Eleven years ago, when my friend Pammy was dying at the age of 37 we went shopping at Macy’s. She was in a wheelchair, with a wig and three weeks to live. I tried on a short dress and came out to model it for Pammy. I asked if she thought it made me look big in the thighs, and she said, so kindly, “Annie? You just don’t have that kind of time.” I live by this story.
… I became more successful in my mid-40s, but this pales compared to the other gifts of this decade—how kind to myself I have become, what a wonderful, tender wife I am to myself, what a loving companion. I get myself tubs of hot salty water at the end of the day in which to soak my tired feet. I run interference for myself when I am working, like the wife of a great artist would: “No, I’m sorry, she can’t come. She’s working hard these days and needs a lot of downtime.” I live by the truth that “no” is a complete sentence. I rest as a spiritual act.
All photos in today’s post were shot by Kevin Hulett.
Love to you all,
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