What is a G.O.W.?
It’s when a female reaches a time in their life when no rose tinted glasses obscure their vision and they go from a stumbling nervous fledgling to graduate into a stubborn, fixed in their ways Grumpy Old Woman!
I noticed this particularly over the recent seasonal holidays, namely Christmas and New Year. In the past, when I was young and when my children were young, I enjoyed Christmas ~ not loved but enjoyed it. Whilst I was young my mum and dad always celebrated Christmas and New Year hard ~ lots of parties and many people coming in and out of our house at all times day and night. Laughter,chatter and the tinkle of ice in glasses are remembered most.
As a teenager and in my twenties Christmas and New Year was about partying ~ hard! Over indulging, raucous behaviour and terrible hangovers on repeat were the holidays I barely remember but what I do remember was fun.
Then, when my children were young, mum and dad were local to us and so Christmas stepped up a notch. Arts and crafts, glitter ~ so much glitter, Santa’s grotto’s, reindeer, children’s Christmas parties and lots of spoiling by Grandparents. On Christmas day the girls had Santa sacks from each set of grand parents plus the presents from us and their Aunties and Uncles. It was overwhelming and so we broke down opening Christmas presents to go over 3 days! Our girls never really wanted much, they loved playing with cardboard boxes, glues, paints, glitter (too much glitter!) and general items found around the house.Actual presents were often played with a little and then re~cycled via charities or play groups. The only things they really held on to were books, dressing up clothes and the odd cuddly toy. Unfortunately our two youngest daughters spent most of their first few years in hospital ~ my middle daughter has chest issues and repeated infections and pneumonia requiring too many hospital stays for intravenous antibiotics and fluids. My youngest was “failure to thrive” and very sick, we couldn’t get her to feed from 5 weeks old, we were in hospital more than we were home. We had a family gathering when she was 3 months old as we thought she was going to die.
Any time we were home we spent it together, cooking, playing and cuddling with stories. My youngest eventually started to take soy baby milk formula which was a huge relief. Anything with dairy in it caused a huge reaction. We had bloods taken and she was tested for any genetic conditions, cancers and “syndromes”. The doctors still don’t know why she stopped feeding. She finally reached a normal BMI a year ago when she was 18. Precious photos of when they were playing and happy between the hospital visits are treasured.
Our Christmas dinners were always large affairs with several tables and multiple numbers of family depending who was around at the time. I enjoyed the excuse of time out to put a child down for a nap or bath or story ~ it gave me a little respite from all the socialising which I find exhausting.
As my girls have grown and my mum has passed Christmas has lost what sparkle it did have for me and became a chore. I find the excessive commercialism of it all just too much, why don’t all those who have give a little to those who don’t have? Why can’t we offer a roof over the heads of the homeless and displaced families? Why do so many people go so overboard with their celebrations and waste so much food and buy unnecessary unneeded gifts?
I know I was guilty in the past ~ but I can honestly say I was never excessive. Food wasn’t wasted, cold cuts and veggies were made into bubble and squeak and sandwiches, everything was eaten and not scraped into the bin. Wrappings were recycled and I always keep what I can to use to wrap the following year. Presents are considered and hopefully not wasted, any presents that aren’t right for us we give to charities or re~gift to someone who would appreciate it.
New Years for me personally ~ with the exception of my teen years and twenties when parties were most excellent and midnight gave you the opportunity to snog the guy you had fancied for forever ~ is a anti~climax.
I don’t go out and very often am in bed by the time the New Year is marked by firework displays the world over. To me it’s just another day, no different from the last.
I don’t get resolutions, not unless they are meaningful and are going to be followed through. The whole new year, new me thing drives me up the wall. If you want to do something you don’t have to wait til the new year ~ do it now ~ at any time of year!
I find fairy lights soothing and pretty when not overdone and inside the house but find outside house lights and decorations infuriating ~ how much energy do they use up? Surely it’s not environmentally friendly?
So much about the holidays winds me up, it’s the same for Valentines day and Easter ~ seriously so much waste for what? Tell people you love them every day, don’t celebrate it one day a year, do it every day. Easter is all about extortionately expensive chocolate eggs and unnecessary cards ~ I get it if you follow a faith and want to celebrate the religious aspect in a church but not with chocolate and cards!
Halloween though is okay in part, I don’t mind seeing children having fun dressing up as long as they are properly supervised and wearing flame retardant costumes.I really don’t like to see the teenagers though who egg houses and intimidate vulnerable older people in their homes. So I suppose Halloween is one celebration where I’m on the fence.
As I grow older I see more unnecessary faff around, too much commercialism and not enough substance. Politicians are all a shit show, I have no idea which party to support any more and am just sick to the back teeth of the whole Brexit shenanigans too.
I find some (NOT all, as I have some fabulously wonderful friends who follow a faith) religious folk aren’t really that much into their faith but use it as a cover to sit up on their thrones and judge others, usually you find these types are the ones not willing to give to those less fortunate ~ charity it seems, can be a dirty word to them.
I have found it is those with little who give the most and those with wealth are the ones who either don’t give at all or who give so little it’s insulting.
My friends who believe and follow a faith are genuinely the most sincere and wonderful women I have ever met. I am genuinely interested in their religious views and find that they are incredibly interesting people. It is wonderful when you can talk about your faith or lack of it.with others without it becoming a shit show. I am just anti those who push their views onto me or judge me for my beliefs. Religion is such a dicey subject and can get peoples juices going and all fired up, but often it can turn nasty, which is what I dislike.
I also have a pet hate in that I dislike the way people judge others by first impression ~ the most wonderful people may have old clothes, dirty hair, tattoos, piercings and little to show for themselves. I am always suspicious of someone who is too well groomed and too “perfect”. My girls get judged by their hair colour, piercings, tattoos and clothing choices ~ do these things change who a person is and how they behave or how intelligent they are ~ no! So why judge them on it?
We encourage our girls to find themselves, to express themselves and to live their lives according to their beliefs. They go on rallies, protests, support and help the homeless, they follow diets based on their beliefs and are always available to listen to and to support and help others. How they look doesn’t change anything other than the perception of those who can’t really “see” people but who judge based on their own shallow beliefs.
I worry about the younger generations addiction to technology and social media. These things are awesome in moderation but gaming, social media and mobile phones etc can make our youths miss out on the now, on being and doing and really seeing the world. Life for them is tough, they are having to deal with online bullying and hacking which is something I didn’t have to every deal with as I grew up in a golden age pre~internet. To have your every move “seen” on line, to be searched and found and stalked. To have to deal with your peers on so many online platforms and to have apps like snapchat instead of conversations.
SEE ~ I told you I was now a fully graduated Grumpy Old Woman!!!
I could go on and on, so much makes me chunter but amongst all the chuntering I try to keep it real ~ she says tongue firmly in cheek.
I am trying to live my life by what I believe in, choosing to dabble online on various platforms of social media in order to maintain friendships I have made that would have been impossible without the internet and today’s technology. However I temper it with time away from the screen to enjoy bird watching, baking, photography, audio books, meditation and time out with my family and dogs.
I realise how precious life is and how short it can be, how swiftly it passes. I intend to make the most of what I have ~ to also give back to others. Instead of do as I say not as I do I am doing as I say and that’s that.
Perhaps we are allowed a little grumpiness with age ~ perhaps it’s a right of passage?
I will try not to work myself up into too much of a lather but can’t promise anything ~ especially when the news comes on. Then I may be seen not just chuntering but ranting back at the television.
One thing for sure is, as far as I am concerned, each so called holiday is just another day, even birthdays. So lets just get on with celebrating our lives and each other each and every day instead of buying into commercialism on one particular day and unnecessary tat.
2019 hello to you and I’m sure we’ll get on just fine ~ I’m sure you have some surprises up your sleeve and we’ll navigate them when you show your hand. I aim to live this year the same as I did last year, in the moment, celebrating life as it happens, when it happens and how it happens. I intend to put my thoughts into actions and to give back what I can, when I can, to whomever I can.
I intend to live my life as fully as humanely possible until my dying breath. When my time is up I want to be able to look back and think that I lived honestly, fully and lovingly. Who can ask for anything more?
On reflection I wonder if my grumpy inclinations are due to that monster menopause ~ it could well be and the sooner I’m out of eggs and barron perhaps I’ll feel less cantankerous ~ or worryingly maybe I’ll become grumpier still! I found this menopause poem on the internet by a blogger called Midlife Dramas in Pyjamas someone I am now following because her blog makes me laugh and she writes so many more funny poems on her blog, it’s well worth a visit. Anyway here is her poem Oh Menopause Oh Menopause, I hope it makes you laugh too…
Oh menopause, oh menopause
You’re here at last – woohoo!
And all the things I’ve heard about
I see you’ve brought them too!
Put your feet up, make a brew
I’m told you’re here to stay.
You’re going to change my life I guess,
Well that’s what people say.
I’ve heard that there are lots of things
I’m going to get to meet.
So tell me all about it then,
Hang on I’ll take a seat.
Running to the loo.
Not bad, that’s just a few.
Oh sorry did you say there’s more
Beg pardon do go on.
I can’t help thinking that’s enough;
You surely must be done?
Aches and pains
Now let me get this straight.
I have to suffer all of this
Because I am a woman?
That’s surely just a horrid joke
‘Cos most of its not human!
Night time sweating
Falling out with friends.
How long until it ends??
The years may be as long as ten?
Or maybe only five?
But why do I deserve all this?
And how will I survive?
Dryness down below.
Not sure I want to know!
Drying skin and hair.
I’m starting to despair!
Don’t think I really want to change,
And truly not like this.
It’s good you came; but off you go
I’m giving it a miss.
Low and tetchy moods.
I’ve heard enough
It sounds like hell
So basically I’m screwed?!
If women have to cope with this
Then what about the men?
Now tell me all the things THEY get –
NOTHING?! – Say again!!
What’s that you say, there is one thing;
They do it to their grave.
They have to tend their facial hair –
THEY HAVE TO FUCKING SHAVE?!
Hopefully that has made you smile or even chuckle a wee bit?
So back to trying to limit the grumpy tendencies ~ I’ve just created myself a meditation space to create mandalas whilst listening to my guided meditations via blue tooth speaker ~ perhaps by practising this more it will soften the grumpy old woman in me.
Much love to you all and hope that this year brings you whatever it is you desire.I will leave you now with my favourite poem about growing old, it’s well known but never fails to make me smile. Another blogger called James Milson ~ writing & things wrote about Jenny Joseph and this poem, interestingly she isn’t a fan of purple clothing as it doesn’t suit her! If you click on his name the link will take you to his blog which is very good and a new blogger found for me to follow.
“Warning” by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple,
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves,
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired,
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells,
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain,
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens,
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat,
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go,
Or only bread and pickle for a week,
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
And pay our rent and not swear in the street,
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised,
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Always try to remember, no matter how you feel that..
.“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”