I wrote a few weeks back about my 50th birthday, this post is kind of a continuation from that.
Due to being stuck at a certain phase of life due to trauma I have never really celebrated life phases, becoming a mother – so moving from my maiden stage of life to the mother stage, becoming a grandmother (I was 42) and when I reached the menopausal era that just happened. No celebrations for these life phases.
Of course the healing therapies that I took part in really shifted me from victim to survivor, and then to who I am now. And who I am now is a 50 year old woman, been married for 31 years, have 3 adult kids (30, 28, 24) and 1 granddaughter (8). As I turned 50 I realised I’d reached cronehood.
And reaching this period of my life I spent time reflecting. About life. About loss. About grief. Realising life is very definitely for living. Understanding that we are steering our own lives and directing our own fate. We may not have control over everything that happens to us, but how we react is all us.
Realising I am now in my crone years I began to understand a few things about myself. A big takeaway for me is that I have allowed other people to dictate my happiness when that is mine to decide. I have allowed so called friends to use me, to abuse my generosity and willingness to help. One friend in particular whom I’ve known for over 15 years treat me appallingly. No matter what other friends and my family said I stayed loyal. But one day, when my own personal life hit a tumultuous time she turned her back on me because I dared to be friends with someone she doesn’t like.
I’m a believer in giving people chances. I probably give some people more chances than they deserve. But what really got me riled was how this so called friend was all over social media, and in real life, preaching love, light, harmony and forgiveness. Yet my own act of love and forgiveness to this other person was seen as a betrayal. I was lied about and criticised, and then blocked everywhere.
It was deja vu for me because this isn’t the first time this so called friend has done this to me. If I do something she doesn’t like this is what she does. And yet I remained loyal. Much to the chagrin of my family and other friends.
So as I have reached cronehood I have shed my skin once more. I’ve decided that my life, my rules is a good motto to follow. Who I let in is my choice and won’t be dictated to by some hypocritical liar who gets to piss all over my life and tries to dictate who I should be friends with. And yes, she gets to choose this for her own life too. I respect and honour that. If she chooses to not have me in her life, then so be it. But lies and games are not needed.
Cronehood, for me, has been quite the adventure so far. Opportunities have presented themselves to me that I’ve never even considered an option before. That sense of mothering has now taken a back seat, yes it is still present, but it watches from afar. Ready to step back in if needed, ready to guide and help. Cronehood isn’t the death sentence I once imagined it would be, it is so much more than I ever imagined it would and could be.
The crone years have brought me to a place where I can offer up my own distinctive talents and use them to help others. There are plans in the pipeline, being finalised and fine tuned. On some levels they are already in use, but hitting the going public button is taking a little longer. Chronic illness has played a part in this. But realising that I get sick when I do too much, I stepped back and let life flow with ease and grace. Younger me would’ve been chomping at the bit, pushing my body to its limits, burning the candle at both ends. This new me stepped back and rested. And watched. And learnt some valuable lessons too.
To be a crone is often to be viewed as a wise woman, a healer, a witch who is older. I believe cronehood incorporates all of those things and much, much more. It certainly isn’t anything to be afraid of or ashamed of. It’s all about embracing who I am. Who I have become and who I will become. I’m very much present in my life, conscious of who I am and who I portray to the outside world. I’m in control of my own life, my own destiny.
Cronehood is a stage of life that many women are denied, so I plan to embrace it and live life to the fullest.