Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Magic Women

The other day I asked our ward clerk for a list of women in our congregation that are over the age of 50. I’m contemplating setting up a secret grandmother program between the young women and some of the older women, and I wanted to know who exactly we are working with.

In reading through the list, truthfully, I was a little shocked to see some of the women who were there, and where they fell in the age order. It made me realize again, that after you are a certain age, it just becomes a number, and has almost nothing to do with how you look or act.

There are women that I would have guessed much older, and women that I would never have guessed would be on a list of “old people”, except maybe to look at the ages of their kids.

I wonder what it is that makes people so much younger in spirit?

I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, keeping in mind that in only a few short years, my name will work its way to the bottom of that list. I’ve been watching, and analyzing – so grateful to have examples of friends of all kinds to help me know who I want to be when I hit that magical time. I don’t want to be a grouchy old woman, who is difficult to get along with. I want to be one of those magical older women, who always has a sparkle in her eye, and remembers to ask you how your daughter’s ballet recital went.

As far as I can tell, it takes some time to create that magical person. It’s not like you just decide one day to be the kind of person who is always happy, or who has interesting experiences to share. It’s something you work on, practice, and build for years before you’re really good at it.

One thing that all Magical Women have in common is that They Don’t Complain. Not about their health, their husbands, or even the weather. They find something nice or exciting to say about anything. I don’t know if it comes from the wisdom of knowing that complaining and whining doesn’t really change anything, or if they’ve just figured out that nobody wants to hear it. Seriously – nobody wants to hear it.

Add to that the fact that Magical Women are Interesting. These are women who have not let their whole being become encompassed by motherhood, or any one thing that might define them. They have experiences to talk about, because it’s important to them to experience life. They learn languages, try new restaurants, preach the gospel, run marathons, travel the world, and volunteer at the hospital, the temple, and the school. They have interesting stories to tell from their lives, and the stories are new and fresh, not the same stories over and over, because they know that experiencing life means there’s always something new and fresh.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that they’re Willing To Share. They share their recipes, their homes, and their hearts. They only share advice when they are asked. (That one is HUGE by the way!)

I’m not trying to criticize anyone. I know that everyone has different life experiences, and sees thing in their own way. I’m just trying to figure out who I want to be.

I kinda think it’s not as much about who you are right now, as it is about who you choose to create.

26 comments:

sue q said...

Awesome post! Some of my best friends are over 50, even though I'm not quite near that era yet. They are awesome women who know when (and how!) to have fun! And they're usually the ones that stay up the latest at Girls Camp, too!

the MomBabe said...

Some of my best friends are Grandma's.

lusciouschaos said...

Loved this post. I will be 50 in a couple of years and it is a good reminder about the whining/complaining thing.

Heather of the EO said...

I want to be a young, vibrant non-complainer too. I'll keep working on it...

kristen said...

Randi, you never cease to amaze me. This was so profound....and every woman over 40 (or even 30) needs to read this.

I have to admit I don't like being around people who are so one-dimensional. Blah. If I have to hear about your child being potty trained one more time.....

And don't you just love the power of that list? I am privy to that with my new calling....and there's something cool about having that. (Mwahaha!)

Mom said...

Rats. I'm on that list. I'm fine with my age but sometimes I realize I don't belong to the young moms group anymore and I miss it. I got called to Primary last spring and I LOVE it! My kids are adorable and I'm croaking because we're getting close to the end of the year and I'll have a new class but how I will miss these sweet children I have now.
On another note, I realized that I grew up in a family that criticized everyone and everything. They criticize people on TV, in restaurants, walking by on the street - everyone is fair game. I told my daughters that I've had to work hard to break that habit and how much I don't really enjoy getting together with my sisters. It is so refreshing to be around positive people who are kind and polite. Thanks for the good thoughts.

Melissa said...

I don't watch Dr. Phil. I can count on one hand the number of his shows that I've watched... but I did catch part of a show and he said something that has stuck with me. This lady was defending her need to go out and spend lots of money because if she wasn't spending money then she was bored. He told her, "Only boring people ever get bored!"
I want to grow up to be like my Grandma... when we were kids she would have all the grandkids come and stay with her. She would come out and play with us. She let us cook the meals and she sang Bon Jovi with us in the car. I think it's true when they say that age is a state of mind!

Millie said...

Your post reminded me of two dear women in my ward whom I count as good friends, even though they're 40+ years older than I am. They're so awesome and kind and funny and giving. I want to be like them when I "grow up."

ganelle said...

Love the idea of mathcing the girls to "grandmas"

I want to be a cool grandma someday. I've just about got the cookie recipe down, but that Not Complaining part? Well, that's going to take some work!

Kimberly said...

How thought-provoking! I have a sudden desire to find some magic...

Melissa Bastow said...

That is very inspiring.....because I think I'm on the path to loud and grouchy/senile grandma. And I don't know if I want to be THAT woman.

Janell said...

Beautiful post.

Chell said...

Thats so weird that I read this post today, cos when we were driving to work this morning I was telling Ryan that I dont want to be an "old" 50 year old, but instead someone who hasnt resigned herself to being boring, cranky and hard to get along with!

Yvonne said...

Oh my goodness--I'D BE ON THAT LIST!!!

I remember when I joined the Church, I loved listening to the "older" women--they were so wise. Hard to believe I'm now one of those "older" women--just not all that wise.

As always, such a great post, randi, and a reminder that it's up to us to decide the kind of woman we want to be--whatever our age.

JustRandi said...

Yvonne, if I were making a top 5 list of Magical Women in my life, you'd be on it.

Sara and Family said...

this is great, and i still have time if i start working now :) i always love when you have thoughts to share, thanks.

Linda said...

Wow, what an insightful post. Having just entered that list myself, I appreciate your musings. I want to be a Magical Woman! I'm going to work on it...

Jen said...

Some of my favorite people in my ward would be on that list. I really enjoyed reading your post.

Jan said...

I love this Randi. By the way, my neice is named Randi if that is your real name. :) I have always liked that name. Moving on....

I am approaching the magic too. It has come so fast. But, I do have such a love for those types of women too. It does make growing older seem more bearable. And somewhat exciting. They really don't let life dictate to them on how they will choose to live. They just live the way that they want more. And it is fab. I just have a couple of years to figure the magic out. I have got to get busy.

Thanks for this post.

Heather said...

What else can i say? I hate getting here last.

Gimme some magic! Oh wait, you have to earn it? Dang, I guess I'll get going.

Teritoo said...

This is the first time I've ever read your blog.. What a magical woman YOU are! I agree with you on the sharing life's experiences and inviting people to one's home. Regardless of whether it's super clean or super cluttery, sharing the warmth of home, family and personal interests is a good thing.

The Dillon 6 said...

I loved all of your observations of Magical Women, and think you nailed them on the head (so to speak).

years ago I worked with an older woman (she was approaching 70 when we met) who said, "You're only as old as you feel...and I feel like I'm 40!" I was in my early 20s at the time I thought, "Wow ~ 40 ain't exactly young..." but now, as I am VERY close to that age, I realize that she's right...

mormonhermitmom said...

Amen

Marilyn said...

well, I haven't checked in for awhile and now I have to admit-I am on that list....I am currently taking Spanish at my local community college with a bunch of fun, cute RMs and other kids. They were talking about age and "who is on the next to be dead list..." That would be me. Older than the prof.....Oh well-I am the mother of the class...But it's lots of fun.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

I want to be a Magical Woman when I get to that age, and its' not too many years away now. I hope that I would have lived my life so when I get there I already am that wonderful person I hope to be when I grow up :-)

Great post!

Nancy Face said...

I know a lady who recently turned 70, and she looks and acts 25 years younger. It's not because of foolish things like plastic surgery...it's her adorable smile, the sparkle in her eyes, her humor, her positive attitude...and pretty much all the things you mentioned! :)

I want to be like her when I grow up! ;)