Jean's Take

A blog about words, women, & whimsy

Category: Sleeping Beauties and Late-Bloomers

Life as a Sleeping Beauty

If you were ever a ‘Sleeping Beauty’, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. . . I was born and grew up in a small town in the south at a time when girls were supposed to grow up, get married, raise a family, and live happily ever after. Even the wives and mothers around me who didn’t seem to have that ‘happy ever after look’ didn’t tarnish the image I had of what I was supposed to be and what my life would be. I learned to cook, to sew, set a table, serve tea, wear aprons . . . . I grew up, got married and had a family; I was active in the church, my children’s school and a hospital guild. It was a time of white gloves, hats, teas and luncheons. It was a comfortable little world and I could have stayed forever. Many of us do.

Some women spend their lives in that place society prepares for them, never stepping out to explore themselves and what they can be; some step in and out, like in my Blog: Nutley AAUW and the Cello, while others are thrown onto new paths.

So how about you? What was your life like as a Sleeping Beauty? Why aren’t you one now?

If you aren’t a Sleeping Beauty anymore, you had an Unheralded Jolt—that’s for sure. Read my Blog: Unheralded Jolt

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Life as a Late Bloomer

I know, you just about told it all in ‘Awakening’. But this is your bragging place, the place you can say all the things about your life that you didn’t get a chance to say before; the place you can share your dreams—you can even admit that you want to climb Mt. Everest and no one will laugh. Jessie, my heroine in What About Me wanted to fly, she wanted to go as far as she could go. With that, she left me behind because I sort of like my two feet on the ground—but don’t think I don’t understand. We, women, understand each other. We are survivors! Women from the very beginning reach across the centuries to encourage us. Celebrate us! Celebrate yourself!

We can make a beautiful book together!!!

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Definition of a Late Bloomer

Sela Ward, the actress, was quoted recently in Parade Magazine calling herself a ‘late-bloomer’ because she didn’t start acting until she was in her twenties. This, in itself, does not qualify her for a place in The Late-Bloomer Chronicle. I call myself a ‘late-bloomer’ because I went back to school late, started teaching late, and started writing even later. This, in itself, does not qualify me for a place in The Late-Bloomer Chronicle. But I do qualify because…

  1. I had a Life as a Sleeping Beauty.
  2. I experienced an Unexpected Jolt.
  3. I am Awakening to myself and what I can be.

After reading the basic criteria, you may easily fit your life into these three stages, but like me, your life may not be so easily divided. For example, you may not have been jolted out of your world as a ‘Sleeping Beauty’, it may have been a gradual thing, the jolt, more like a nudge—the last straw. Also, the jolt may have placed you in a bad place—the dusk before the dawn—I call mine the ‘dark ages’. And you may find it difficult to separate this period from the moment you started moving on.

Maybe you will need to read more of my blogs, including Awakening is a Good Word and spend more time on the form I have included. Whether you submit your life or not, you will likely benefit from thinking about it in, what might seem, a calculated fashion. You may like what you see—if not—well, that’s up to you…

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Nutley AAUW and the Cello

I gave a book talk on my special theme of a woman becoming what she can be.  It was at the seasonal kick-off dinner for the Nutley Chapter of AAUW.  I think I passed on my enthusiasm.  While I was signing books a woman came up and stated.  “I’ve decided I’m going to learn to play the cello!”  We all looked at her, thinking that she might be joking, for I had said that when you ask yourself, “What about me?”  you don’t have to ‘run off and join the circus,’ you just have to think of ‘me’–what do I want?  Women are innately nurturers. We don’t think of ourselves first.  My son’s wife told me a story she had read about a woman who went to get a pickle out of the refrigerator and there was only one left.  She didn’t take it in case her husband or one of her children wanted it.  Her husband came in, went to the refrig. and thought nothing of taking the pickle.  That’s just the way it is.  But when a woman asks herself ‘What about me?’, she still may not eat the last pickle–but she might learn to play the cello.What about you?  What do you want to do?  Do you want to play the cello, or just be someone who never eats that pickle.

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