Luminosity And A Delicate Subject

1 Lough

We have now entered what I refer to as “The Luminous Weeks”, the time from ca. four weeks before the Summer Solstice to four weeks after. I’m nowhere near the polar circle, obviously, but the length of the days is still very noticeable. When I turn off the light in the budgies’ room and go downstairs around ten, it’s still bright enough to see without much problem, and in the mornings I wake up at five and think it must be eight. It’s not doing my sleep any favours – I’m far too happy to go back to sleep once I’m awake – but I love love love every minute of it.

Or at least, I will until my hayfever sets in around the Solstice. Then I’ll spend six weeks groggy and grumpy, with a swollen face and looking like my own grandmother. Not exactly looking forward to that.

I have something to share with ye today, which I’ve been a little reluctant to talk about. I first shared it in the Village – thanks guys, for “proof-reading” it for me – and now here’s a slightly extended version of it. It might even go into my articles list. I titled it “The Wild Woman Over 40”! Here goes.

Advance warning: This post may turn out to be a little rambling. It’s a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. As well, there has been tons written about it by far wiser people, so I’m aware I’m standing on the shoulders of giants here.

It’s about the perception of women in our society, but I don’t mean to make this a feminist rant. What I want to write about concerns me personally.

You see, I find – to my amusement – that society as a whole just doesn’t know what to make of me. To an extent, they never have, but as long as I was “young”, it was a little more accepted to live as I do. They could still put me into the “wild years” category. A young woman is allowed, to a certain extent and at least by more liberal minds, to live out her desires including her sexuality.

But what on earth should the world do with a woman in her mid fourties who is a. single, b. sexually active, and c. picky?? As well as being childless, if I may add.

I see this in almost everyone I meet, with very few exceptions. The first assumption is usually that I “just can’t get a feller to settle down with”. When they begin to realise that’s not quite it, they are confused (or they think I must have been “hurt”. I mean, yes I have, I doubt there’s anyone over the age of 15 who hasn’t been hurt in love, but I have no bitterness and I adore men). 

I think it’s to do with restrictive notions of how women are “supposed to be”, and considering how long feminism has been around, that’s astonishing. It’s the same reason why women seem to disappear from Hollywood movies once they hit middle age (except in very specific roles, usually as comic relief, or the “frustrated housewife” or similar). Yes, I know there are exceptions, but that’s what they are – exceptions, and far far fewer than the men of equal age.

Basically, a woman my age should be married / in a relationship, or a sad case. Since I am neither, the people I meet are at a loss. 

All my life, I’ve been used to being the weird one in the way I approach the whole subject of love (I wrote about this in the last paragraphs of my previous post). It’s hard for people to understand how I can love someone and not necessarily want a relationship, but this is just part of what I do: I adore people, I get starry-eyed about them, and I love them. In the case of a gorgeous man, this may include sex and last anything from a few nights or weeks to years. The entire construct of a “relationship” often just gets in the way of this (though not always; it does fit me at times). It’s a wild-woman thing.

I’ve ALWAYS had problems explaining this approach to people, but the way people don’t know how to react to me at all, has got a lot more pronounced over the last ten years or so.

Again, this isn’t a “problem” as such, it amuses me more than anything else, although it can get a little tiring. I’ve been fortunate to always know a few people who were above such idiotic ideas, and if the world has a problem with me, then that’s the world’s problem – I’m far too busy being happy! It’s just puzzling to me, and fascinating, how little has really changed in perceptions.

I own my age, my body, my intense-as-ever emotions (highly sensitive…), and my sexuality. Sorry, world. Not!

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7 thoughts on “Luminosity And A Delicate Subject

  1. Ailish

    I hear you! It’s not easy being a woman who is happy and content in being with whom she chooses in the manner of her choosing. There is very much a traditional morality and view on middle age women – and how they should behave- in Ireland..too bad!

    1. D’you know, I never thought of it as an Irish phenomenon, and I *have* come across these views in all four of the countries I’ve lived and worked in, but you are definitely right in that they’re a lot more widespread here! Thanks for the input, it’s something I hadn’t even considered 🙂

  2. More and more women are living as they please in their 40’s these days. From what I’ve seen, it’s more widely accepted here than certain other places. I’m sure it the acceptance will grow with the numbers of women choosing to walk their own path.

    1. My experience – in any country – has been that it’s officially “accepted” – but on an individual level, people still don’t know what to make of me. There’s a bit of a discrepancy!

  3. Hi! I can tick all of those boxes. And I get a lot of those reactions, but I don’t feel the need to explain myself. I am happy the way it is, it is a conscious choice. I respect the lifestyles people want to lead (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone). Now when the question comes up I just briefly say that I am happy where I am at this moment. I feel free and that is one of my core needs. By the way, I know a lot of women who are also single, sexually active and have no children or a child wish. You are not alone! Oh and yes above 40! 40 rules!!!

    1. I don’t know any women over 40 who choose to be single *and* sexually active apart from myself, actually, so this is amazing to hear! Thank you 🙂 It has always made so much sense to me, to just love someone without necessarily pledging one’s entire life to him, and I *have* known people who share these views, but never too many.
      Hugs!! x

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