I mentioned before, that a couple of weeks ago I attended the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference. One intensive that I attended as all about menopause, actually that wasn't the official title. I can't remember the official title, but it was much more glamorous than simply "menopause". But that was the topic. It was very interesting but one thing surprised me so much.
The speaker talked about dealing with women in this stage of life and how most feel like this is "their" time. Their time to do what they want and many are making dramatic changes in their lives, coming into themselves. I was shocked. Of course then she had us turn to each other and share "what it is we really, really, really, really want." OK as an introvert PLEASE do not ask me to share personal information with a complete stranger, I cringe whenever I hear the words "turn to your neighbor....". Yes, we shared, I had no idea what to say, as I have always lived a life of "what I want".
The instructor then asked some women to share with the group what they wanted. So many were making changes, they had lived their whole lives, up until that point, placing themselves on the back burner and focusing on children, husband, extended family, community, they had lost themselves. It was sad really. I am so glad I decided early on that "I am important".
I want everyone out there to know that it is not something women have to do, we do NOT have to be martyrs. We do NOT have to put our own wants, needs and desires on the back burner to take care of everyone else. Here in our house, we have always worked hard to help each other, help make sure that every one's wants and needs are heard and met. We talk about our plans, goals, and dreams, and we really care about each other and we find joy in seeing everyone happy. I can't imagine living 50 years and not having my needs met, what pent up emotions must be going on inside.
I am hopeful that, raising children that also see the prize in living that kind of life, maybe more of the next generation will understand that we should all be always living a life we love. That a family where every one's wants and needs are met is the norm. We don't need to have a revelation moment in our 50s where we finally feel able to take time for ourselves, we can have it all along, and no one has to suffer for it. We can all be happy.
So what I said in answer to the question "what do I really, really, really, really want" was that I want to continue to live a joy filled life, continue to watch my children blossom, continue to learn and live and laugh and love and do exactly what I am doing right now.