the curiousness of women as we age

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Human beings are a strange bunch. One thing that fascinates me endlessly is how some women, who as adults are still controlled by their parents, eventually come to mimic them. In both appearance and behavioral patterns.

Social media gives us a look inside of the lives of those we know. Sometimes it also gives us a look inside the lives of people used to know but no longer are in contact with or really connected to. I had one of those experiences recently. Outside looking in. Being a couple steps removed changes your perception, and often you see things that you wouldn’t have noticed before or didn’t want to acknowledge you noticed before.

Recently I saw photos containing someone I used to be quite close to, and very fond of. But when I moved to Chester County it became too much of an effort for them to stay connected, so the relationship fizzled away. I wish this person nothing but the best, but after just catching them in someone’s photos from the holidays, wow, do we as adult women always run the risk of becoming doppelgängers of our mothers? In this case it almost made me sad to see.

This person I used to know at one time was extraordinarily vivacious and alive. And in all the photos I’ve seen for the past couple of years she smiling but it’s like there’s nothing going on behind the smile any longer. Truthfully, she’s looking more and more like her mother. Also, much like her mother she seems to have one friend she takes everywhere, and that friend looks enough like HER mother’s friend in photos I saw that it could be the daughter that woman never had separated at birth.

Someone said to me recently as they overheard a conversation I was having with someone that I had morphed momentarily into my mother. That kind of freaked me out. It’s not that I don’t love my mother, but I want to remain my own person. Not become a mini me of her.

Some women I know I do indeed resemble their mothers in their looks, but not the personalities and behavioral patterns. Perhaps men are like this as well, but this is a thing I have observed more so in women.

My mother has a very strong personality and so do I. But I would like to think and hope I am my own person. Not that I don’t love my mother but I just wasn’t put on earth to be her mini me.

And then there are the women I know that are all mostly chameleons, ever-changing. It’s like they can’t decide who they are even as adults.

And there are some women I know who seem to want to almost compete with their teenage daughters, something I completely don’t understand.

What happens to women as we approach and enter middle-age? Do we fight the aging process tooth and nail, or do we accept who we are? Or are we the balance somewhere in between those two things? And is this struggle which causes some women to head down paths already in place courtesy of their mothers?

What happens to female individuality as we age? Do we just get tired and in some cases give it up to Stepford? Or do we become more fiercely protective of our individuality?

Does who we are continually evolve or are we always basically the same person? I know there’s a lot about me that is considered constant, but I like to hope I am continually evolving to be the best person I can be. In the end I might fall short of the mark, but I at least want to remain my own person.

Thoughts?

what happened to the devon horse show sign?

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. Here’s one to spark a conversation.

A friend of mine called me about this yesterday. This is the iconic Devon Horse Show sign as of two minutes ago.

What the heck happened? And is it an odd portent of the future?
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how humans can be like a flock of chickens, or navigating parenthood

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So, I am but a few short years into this whole parenting thing, but by no means an expert or veteran.  I am an engaged novice at best. However,  I now understand further why my parents and a lot of my friends’ parents had limited involvement and interaction with a lot of school parent groups, PTA, and so on.  It’s often a no win proposition situationally.

Just like some work on the Victorian theory of children should be seen and not heard, it can also apply to the parents.  Truly, it’s fascinating. To me it can be like watching humans behave like a flock of chickens.

Chickens form flocks, flocks have pecking orders. If the pecking order is ignored or feathers are ruffled, often chickens will turn on one and other.  Remarkably, we will also do this to one and other as human beings. And it can be quite cruel and mean spirited.

I have now experienced marauding chickens first hand. Sadly what I have learned is just because someone is a parent, it doesn’t mean they will behave in an adult fashion.

My observations on all of this are simple: we all don’t have to be each other’s best friends and live in each other’s pockets but we are supposed to be the adults. We are supposed to (in theory)  be able to tolerate and appreciate differences in others. That is something I do not find from some parents at times.  I find that sad as we all share a common goal and core value of wanting the best for our kids.

I am very independent minded and unafraid to speak my mind, and always have been. I understand and appreciate that I can be considered an “acquired taste” . But I do always do my best to try to do the right thing. I respect this in others as well. But what I am learning is the path to good intentions is paved with the corpses of parents who thought they would try to help.

No school is immune to this phenomenon.  Check out any school of any kind whether public, private, parochial, or whatever and you will find this flock of chickens.  As long as your world view matches their world view, it’s all good.  But deviate from their comfort level or even just have a differing opinion and you will discover a world of hurt.  They will come at you hammer and tong. And trust me, it can be most unpleasant until you consider the source. They don’t call it bullying, but it is a form of bullying behavior in my opinion. It’s also fascinating to observe from a sociological perspective.

I will admit that for someone who was once a member of a sorority and who has headed up non-profit volunteer committees I am not much of a joiner. I was as a high school kid also not part of particular cliques or social circles. I enjoyed many different friends from many different groups and I am still very much that way today.  But independence like this is often very threatening to others.

With my 50th birthday came the renewed and self-inflicted wisdom that we should learn that sometimes tilting at windmills can be a fruitless proposition. But maintaining your independence and standing up for what you believe in shouldn’t have to resemble tilting at windmills either, should it? Yet sometimes it feels that way doesn’t it?

People will often fear and judge what they do not know or understand.  I have been guilty of that in the past as it is simply put, human nature. But as a parent when I see this it makes me sad. But now as a parent the positive is I can gain perspective if I am open to it.

We are all supposed to have common core values of wanting the best for our kids. So why is it some parents need to decimate other adults to attain this goal? How is it we are supposed to teach our kids to be better human beings when by our very example we are doing what we don’t want them to do?

But back to the theory of humans as flocks of chickens.  We should be better than pecking farm birds, shouldn’t we? (And I say this as someone who actually really likes chickens!)

Navigating parenthood is a tricky proposition.  I am learning something new every day. I just wish more of these adults, these parents, could be more open to learning at times.  We all can’t be perfect, and we come to the table with different life experiences. I guess it is what we do with those experiences that matter, right?  We should NOT expect everyone we meet to be cookie cutter images of us, should we? Wouldn’t that make us all Stepford Wives on this life bus if so?

I endeavor to try to learn and go forward a better human being.  I am not perfect. But I do try to do the right thing. And I am reminded again that I can only be responsible for my own behavior and actions.

Thanks for stopping by.