I had a week that served as a reminder that this is a marathon, not a sprint. I wasn't happy that I turned into the Voracious Craw for a couple of days and threw off my painfully-slowly-developing good eating habits, but it had some learning moments. For instance, you hear much about "don't keep junk food in the house," which is good advice. But you know what? The day will come when you grab your keys, get in the car, and go get it! Don't beat yourself up - it'll happen. In my case, the mass quantities of cheap candy I mindlessly snarfed didn't even taste good and afterward - blech! So file it away as a lesson. To go with that lesson - don't let yourself get hungry-starved! I had some busy days this week and I fell into old habits, which includes thinking, "Oh, I just need to finish this before I eat. And this. Oh, look - there's another task over here."
Stop that! It's pert-close to madness and no one benefits from that.
When this happens (and it will), do not despair. Wash your face, say your prayers, go to bed. Then start over the next morning. Square your shoulders, Daughter of Shine! Treat yourself gently and do the same for others.
The answer is quite simple, but was a long time in coming.
To begin with, I think in contemporary American society, there's an idea that women my age ought to quietly go out to pasture. We're considered "past our prime," which seems to be measured almost solely in sexual attractiveness (I could use a far more vulgar term, but I was gently reared, so I won't) and a large swath of society seems to put an expiration date on that.
Nope. I am more comfortable in my skin than I ever was in my twenties and thirties and that is a fact with which others simply will need to learn to deal. Their discomfort is not my problem.
Secondly, as a child, I was nearly painfully shy. Really - I think I was attracted to working backstage on theatrical productions because the crew is so often invisible. I nearly never felt comfortable interacting with people, which is one reason I'm sure I developed my love of language and my (occasionally) sharp-edged tongue.
It's taken me years, as in decades, to learn how to stand up and be seen - and to holler if necessary.
I'm not giving that up to make other people comfortable.
There's a philosophy that claims we'll all have to answer, not only for the wrongs we did in this life, but for the joys we refused to partake in. I want both lists to be as short as possible. That doesn't mean I don't know how to wear a demure strand of pearls and a twinset, but to quote a costume designer I once knew, "All clothes are costumes." Why do we insist on only one version of ourselves?
Go shine. The world needs your light.