I am Becoming the Woman I’ve Wanted

“I am becoming the woman I’ve wanted,
grey at the temples, soft body delighted, cracked up by life
with a laugh that’s known bitter but past it, got better,
knows she’s a survivor –
that whatever comes, she can outlast it.
I am becoming a deep weathered basket.”
Jayne Relaford Brown, American poet and teacher of Creative Writing.

This poem Finding Her Here opens the book I am Becoming the Woman I’ve Wanted.

Today’s blog was ‘inspired’ by a comment received on an earlier post.  I am sure that the commenter did not mean any disparagement but said words to the effect that he was surprised to find such a well-written blog and by a 72-year-old widow at that.

So I began to think what do others expect of older widows?  Granny duck

  • When my eldest grandson was at kindergarten the class was asked to talk about their grandmothers.  Most children apparently, gave glowing comments on how their grandmothers baked or knitted.  James piped up that his grandmother wore a hard hat and went on building sites – I did.
  • I wonder how Ruth Rendell’s grandchildren would describe her?  Ruth Rendell is a Socialist baroness and is the author of the highly successful Inspector Wexford mysteries  Including those of Wexford, she has written more than 70 books and is still writing well into her 80s.
  • And Barbara Walters is well known to all who live in North America.  This vibrant  American broadcast journalist and author also is in her 80s.  A year ago she underwent heart surgery and she is still involved and asking probing questions on air .
  • Isabel Allende is a Chilean novelist, author of several novels and a short fiction collection, as well as plays and stories for children. Born in 1942,  she has received international acclaim for her writing.
  • And the list goes on – Jean Auel, author of Earth’s Children® books, a series of novels set in prehistoric Europe is 75 and still writing;
  • Kuki Gullmann of whom I wrote in an earlier post is 68 years old.  Novelist and founder of the Gullmann Memorial Foundation in honour of her husband and son who were both killed in Africa;
  • Maya Angelou, born 1928, is an American author and poet who has been called “America’s most visible black female autobiographer”.
  • Apologies to the many amazing older women I have left out.  This is not because I think the accomplishments of those listed here are of greater worth, but simply because I would need to write for a couple of weeks to cover them all.

So to the person who made the comment – I thank you for the gracious things you said about my blog, but draw your attention to the fact that I still have many more years to live and many more adventures to have.  Writing my blog is just one of them.

Granny on computer

“The strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us.
Men can be analyzed, women merely adored.” –
Oscar Wilde


27 responses to “I am Becoming the Woman I’ve Wanted

  1. In my country of origin, the older ones are considered as the source of wisdom and is respected and loved by the community. My parents are in that age group and I have the highest respect for them . I salute the older people for the contribution they make in this society , not to mention the happiness they bring to their grandchildren. great post.


  2. I’m glad you responded to that commenter. I am 61 years old and have gone back to graduate school. I love to read. I’m not a knitter. I have a disturbing relationship with my only child and I often blog about it which has gotten me into terrible trouble. We mature women have much to say and we say it well.


  3. So very well said Judith..I have many dreams to fill and while the years ahead may be limited the moments now have a greater quality about them..that is the benefit of experience!


  4. Brilliant post, Judith!

    I had the opportunity to interview a local woman artist a few years ago…she was one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met! I want to be her when I’m in my 70’s!

    As I approach my 50th birthday in a couple of months, I know that I will never retire…I have far too much to do! I fully intend to live to be 100!



  5. My mom is 67 and she doesn’t have a clue how to knit…and my dad is 71 and runs on a treadmill daily. At 27, I have a hard time keeping up with him when he’s walking cause he goes so fast and he is definitely in better shape than many people my age and even younger!
    Having older parents has taught me great respect for older people in general and a deep admiration. I think age is not a limiting factor in doing anything, as long as you have the ability to do it and the drive, you can do anything!
    In fact, I have learned so much from the wisdom of people around me that have experienced more, both older AND younger.


  6. I’m sure he probably meant it as a compliment, but what inspriation for a great post on the subject! Young and old alike are a matter of mindset, not the number of candles on the cake.


  7. InsideJourneys

    Judith, as I was reading your post, I was reminded of a television commercial I’ve only caught the end of. It featured some older folks — up to 90 years, I think — I know you’re not even close — who’re doing some pretty amazing things. The message was that our life isn’t over just because we get to a certain age — the same message of your post. In fact, it should be just beginning. There’s experience, knowledge, etc., to share.
    Thanks to your reader who left the comment — I smiled when I read it — and to you for addressing it,


  8. TheIdiotSpeaketh

    Wishing you many more DECADES of happy blogging! 🙂


  9. Well said/written, Judith. 🙂

    I wondered about that comment as well, although thought perhaps it was from someone whose parents (or grandparents) are much like mine who have not embraced the world of blogging (or computers, for that matter) and/or have barely moved beyond forwarding silly (or maddening, depending on how you look at it) emails.


    • I have friends of my age who are still not comfortable with computers. A friend told me the other day that her computer hadn’t even been turned on for three months. No wonder she doesn’t respond to my emails – and I usually just delete those silly ones that come through, although I admit that some are read. My next post on children’s sayings was ‘inspired’ by one such.


  10. Judith, I loved this post and I am forwarding it to my mom.
    (Hey, if 60 is the new 40, then you are just in your early 50s!)


  11. Thanks for forwarding it to your mom. And yes, I really think that somebody made a mistake in my age. did you see my post on chronology vs biology https://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/chronology-vs-biology/. Maybe your mom would like that one too.


  12. Pingback: Finding Her Here | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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  15. Linda J Wilson

    I know this blog was from 2011 but I just came upon it and have to comment.

    I just realized a couple weeks ago I couldn’t find my “I am a woman becoming…” poem that I framed years ago. I have been searching for it since then. Thankfully, the first line finally popped into my head so I found it on Google. I also just found my Marianne Williamson’s book, “A Woman’s Worth.” I have been rereading it!
    We have moved many times in the last 3 years due to from the economy and I haven’t had my woman’s shelf set up by my bed in quite some time. I just printed pictures and quotes from Barbara Jordan, Jocelyn Elders and Ann Richards. I am framing those as well for my new shelf.

    My mother will be 91 on September 7th. She doesn’t complain about sore bones or arthritis in her hands.

    She does drive her little tractor all over her 5 acre flower and lawn garden while she keeps a 20′ x 60′ vegetable garden. Every year she swears she is cutting back and each year her gardens grow just a little more. She brings fresh veggies to several lower income families because she is fortunate enough to be able to do that. She bakes for the same families. Her pies are famous as is her temper if you “rile” her up.

    Her heart of gold goes well with her steel backbone. She had pancreatic cancer 5 years ago and refused to stay in the hospital longer than 3 days (normal stay is 7 – 10 days.) She goes for her monthly check ups and thankfully, there is no sign of it returning.

    I am lucky at 60, I can see my future!!

    Grateful daughter, Lyn


    • Linda thank you for reading and commenting. I haven’t been around much the last few weeks – sold my house and moving to Florence for a while, so blogging has taken a back seat. But watch this space. I shall be back in full force soon. I love to hear about other elderly women making their lives still exciting but your mother has 16 years on me. I intend to be doing as well as she in 16 years time. 🙂


  16. Bernadette sheridan

    This poem has been sitting on my exam room wall for years! And in the meantime, I did not realize that I was becoming that woman..thank for putting this where I call it back to myself in wonder observing , gratefully just how far I’ve come. Congrats on a blog worth following. Continue to live your life with passion and on purpose.


    • Thank you for the comment Bernadette. I have loved that poem since I first read it and think about it often. We don’t always realise or recognise the changes that make us the women we are today; sometimes we need reminding.


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