Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Choosing to lose

The older I get, the more things I lose.
My figure.
The ability to stay awake for the 11:00 news.
The ability to sleep in on a Saturday.
My 20/20 vision.
A certain amount of bladder control.
My keys.

So, if I have to face all these losses, I’ve decided there’s one thing I’m going to lose on purpose –
 my insecurity.

When I was in my twenties, The Golden Girls was a popular TV sitcom. Watching those characters gave me a vision for old age that included the freedom to stop censoring my opinions, the wisdom to value the people who stick with you for the long haul, and the joy of leaving insecurity in the dust of the previous four decades.

(Now that I’m in my fifties, it’s funny that the characters on The Golden Girls no longer seem to be in their “old age.”)

Insecurity is understandable in younger people. Insecure young women often invoke a protective reflex in other people, it makes them quirky and endearing.

Insecurity in an older woman doesn’t invoke protectiveness in others; it invokes the gag reflex. It doesn’t make one seem quirky and endearing but annoying and a little pathetic.

One supreme advantage of getting older is enjoying the freedom of speaking one’s mind and expressing confidence in one’s opinions and abilities. I’ve put in the years, I deserve to inhabit what I know and the skills it’s taken me over fifty years to develop.

So, one loss I’m not only celebrating, I’m embracing, is the loss of insecurity. I speak my mind. I own my space. I’m no slave to the mirror or to the social comfort of others. Watch out, baby, this girl is going for Gold.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians continually late for dinner. Her articles appear in numerous magazines. She authors the blog, Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island, She’s seeking a publisher for her speculative Celtic adventure, The Overcomers. Back in the dark ages, Lori earned degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies and more recently, a black belt in karate. She’s a wife, mom, crisis counselor, and part-time dragon slayer.


Diane Dean White said...

Lori, cute share. I too feel I'm at a point of speaking my mind. It may happen a little too often, but I've earned it~

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Thanks, Diane. I intend to aim for more and more freedom as I age.

Donna B said...

LOL Great post! The world is being overrun with us Golden Girls, I think, but isn't it fun!

Beth Camp said...

You humorously point out how to value who we've become. Radical! Empowering! Lovely!

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Donna B - it couldn't be overrun with more worthy people than us Golden Girls! I think we've got some pretty good ideas, after all!

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Beth - Be radically empowered, woman! Thanks for your comment.

Marilyn Turk said...

Love this blog! How true. When I was younger, I was cute and perky, but insecure. Now I'm old and quirky, but I'm happy to be healthy and comfortable knowing that I really do know something. All these years weren't for naught. When I was young, I never liked my pictures. Now I look at those pictures and think I looked pretty good. So I figure that if I live another 20 years, I'll be able to look at me now and say I looked pretty good. So why wait another 20 years to enjoy being me now?

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Absolutely, Marilyn! I almost dared to leave the house without makeup today. It was funny to look in the mirror and kind of like the way I look! Maybe I'll try it tomorrow. I think I look like someone happy to be engaged in life. What could be more attractive! Love to hear your perspective - thanks!

TNeal said...

"I own my space." That phrase sums up a transformation in me over the years. I'm more comfortable taking responsibility for an opinion, a mistake, a choice, etc. I own it or up to it. Thanks for making me think a bit this morning.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

I like the way you fleshed that out, TNeal! "taking responsibility for an opinion, a mistake, a choice" That's a great perspective. I've had the opposite journey to owning my space. I've had to stop apologizing for having needs, opinions, and my own dreams." But now you've helped me see how that idea works both ways. You've made me think, too! Thanks.

Liz Flaherty said...

Great post!

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Thanks, Liz.

Sharla L. Shults said...

Oh, how I absolutely love the Golden Girls! Watch the reruns any chance I can!

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...


Tom Blubaugh said...

Cool post.


Tom Blubaugh, author
Night of the Cossack