On Being a Middle Aged Woman of Color in America Striving for Self-Care

Warning – social and political views are clearly expressed…AND no one who knows me should take this personally.

I took some time away from blogging because I was supposed to be engaging in self-care. I ended up having to care a lot for others, but that is sometimes how life works out. I did have the opportunity to reflect a lot on the stage of life in which I find myself – a woman of color sandwiched between a preschooler and an aging parent with a spouse, both of us mid-career with lots of questions and doubts.

I like my age and being labeled as “middle age” if it pleases the Human Behaviorists. I also take with it the lessons learned (usually the hard way) and hope other women can embrace them sooner than I did.

  1. I am a woman of color for which you require no explanation and I offer no apology.
  2. That being said I do not need to identify myself in every situation. I am who I am. You do not need to ask or know.
  3. I may not always accept your way of doing things and that should be o.k. because you don’t have to accept my way either…hopefully we’ll meet somewhere in the middle.
  4. I am REALLY o.k. with not doing everything the “right” way and in fact I know that there REALLY is no one “right” way to do, say, or be (sorry to all the etiquette freaks).
  5. I have lived long enough to know that I do not have to be friends with everyone I meet nor does everyone I meet have to like me.
  6. My mom was right.
  7. Love changes and is changing…it evolves and grows and diminishes and reappears.
  8. I do not have to do what I do not want to do.
  9. I do not need a posse or 1 million “friends” on FB or “followers” on Twitter.
  10. True unconditional friends take me how I am, whenever I come to them, don’t ask lots of insignificant questions and offer what is needed.
  11. My hair is o.k.
  12. I know that Women’s Rights are everyone’s rights and that means women are human and should stopped being discussed as if we are not in the room and cannot hear you. We hear you and see you and we’re coming after you! #ReproductiveRights
  13. Related to Women’s Rights is the idea that I know we are all worthy of respect and dignity (my social worker self is speaking) and that means #VoterRights for all, Fair Immigration Policy and Universal Health Care!
  14. Patience is a good thing when you can find it and investing in one of those gadgets or apps  that beeps, buzzes, uses language not appropriate for my preschooler is a good substitute for when my patience has gone missing.
  15. Red wine and caffeine are good. Stop researching and publishing studies to the contrary.
  16. Naps are also good.
  17. I know I am intelligent, witty, funny, loving, giving, creative, and other than writing this statement here I do not need to talk about it with others. Nor should you ask me to prove any of the above.
  18. Related to #1, #2, and #3 my personal choices are mine (and sometimes my spouse’s) and no explanation is needed so your criticism is unwelcome.
  19. Life is too short to cut out bacon.
  20. Self-care is important and can mean different things/manifest in different ways.
  • Speaking up for yourself/finding your voice is slef-care
  • Advocating for others/being passionate about something is self-care
  • Setting clear boundaries is self-care
  • Asking for help is self-care
  • Loving your family and friends is self-care
  • Taking a nap/being still
  • Drinking some wine (and or coffee)
  • Eating ice cream, potato chips, a bacon cheeseburger….
  • Exercising (even a 15 minute walk)
  • Being o.k. with who you are is self-care!





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