I work with a number of women who are ten and twenty years younger than me. They add a nice counterpoint to my life, a sweet to my salty. They keep me honest and make me laugh. They also remind me why I have a refrigerator magnet that reads, “Honey, you couldn’t pay me to be twenty again.” Some times they make me crazy, all I can do is shake my head and bite my tongue. Occasionally their lack of respect makes me want to smack them into next week. When that happens I throttle back and regroup because I know that my irritation says more about me than them.
Mostly I like their perspective of things even when you can’t tell them a dang thing. The biggest difference I see between our generations is that they aren’t fighting anything. They aren’t tilting at windmills. Women of my generation were the generation of change. We were part of the woman’s movement, the peace moment and the civil rights movement. Our generation fought for the right to be more than a stereotype. We fought for the right to chase our dreams and live life on our own terms. Some of us are still fighting.
We fight shadows on the wall with a wooden sword because it’s what we know. It’s how we define ourselves. Choose your label sister, survivor, renegade, rebel, outcast, trendsetter. They aren’t the truth of who we are. They aren’t even the truth of who we were and yet we cling to them like a child clinging to a ratty teddy for security. We fought to remove limits yet, we limit ourselves the most when we cling to labels of who we think we are or were. Consider the irony of that for a minute. How much value have we invested in being righters of wrongs and slayers of dragons?
When I sit in the stillness of now I am none of the things that I think I am or am afraid to be. I simply am, a child of God, whole and enough. There are no dragons to slay, no wrongs to be righted, no windmills to tilt at. There are no enemies.
I like the sound of that, no enemies. I am putting down my sword and turning away from windmills. I am done creating enemies so that I can be who I think I am rather than be the being that God created me to be.
Marianne Williamson wrote, “