I know, it’s been forever since my last post. I’ve had a tough time making this a priority and it started to feel more like an obligation rather than a form of release and free expression. People hear about adventures in my life, or my husband and I will come across something interesting and all I hear is, “You should write about that!” I don’t do well with shoulds. I’m also a perfectionist…I know, family and friends are rolling their eyes and saying to themselves…”she’s looking at perfectionism in the rearview mirror.” In other words, I kind of take perfectionism, anal-retentiveness, and obssesive organization and wrap them up in a very tidy, perfect package, put it neatly on a dust free shelf (centered of course), and watch as it stiffles my creativity and paralyzes my life. However, every once in a while I force myself to get out of bed, not immediately brush my teeth, leave the bed unmade (ugh!), allow the dishes in the sink to go unwashed (ahhh it’s killing me!), and just write.
So what to write about? I’ll start with something small and timely since my 54th birthday is right around the corner. Many of you have read and hopefully enjoyed my post about menopause and it’s wonderful little gifts that just keep on giving. Something that I wasn’t prepared for and has hit me probably harder than anything is my fall from grace here in Costa Rica. Small but significant, a mere term of endearment brought me to near tears a while back and caused me to finally give in to the fact that I’m not a young woman any longer.
While out shopping, the shopkeepers here, in an attempt to flatter one into entering the store and spending hard-earned money on trinkets that one usually doesn’t need, will entice the ladies inside by using the term “Reina,” or “Queen.” How can I help you, Reina? What can I show you, Reina? Come in, Reina, look around.
Now I’m not one to be swayed by blatently false flattery and I certainly don’t think my self esteem is in need of bolstering by hollow words uttered almost automatically as I pass by. It’s something that after a while, amounts to nothing more than white noise. EXCEPT when that one, seemingly insignificant term, is replaced by another. This word, this four letter bombshell, is a sweet term of endearment but the difference in meaning, however small, crushed my world and caused me to bring my entire life’s paradigm into question.
The queen is dead, long live…Mami? Yes, Mami. I have crossed that line from Reina to Mami. I gotta tell you, that one hurt…it hurt bad. The first time I heard it I came to a screeching halt. My pleasant white noise was interrupted by the ear peircing assault of fingernails on a chalkboard. My head snapped around to be sure that the well meaning young man was actually addressing me. After meeting his handsome and helpful gaze and realizing the awful truth, my head began swimming, my vision narrowed, I felt my skin wrinkling, my hair go gray and my waistline plump. It had happened. In that very moment, I became… (sob)…Mami.
And so, here I am, befittingly penning this on the precipice of my 54th birthday. I have some gray hair, there’s a bit more of me around the middle, and my knees make funny noises when I get up off my yoga mat. I still consider myself a little wild and crazy but only till about 9pm or so and deep down inside I keep hoping the miracle of coconut oil will bring back my youthful skin.
But in the face of all this I realize that I also have a husband that adores me, a wonderful and supportive family, a happy and successful son, a beautiful home and wonderful friends in a tropical paradise. But most of all, in those 54 years I have managed to carve out a life that is full and satisfying and if that has left me with a few battle scars, I’ll take ’em.
So bring it on, Father Time…Mami is here to stay and she’s ready to kick some ass!