We had a yard sale on yesterday. I really hate having yard sales, but my oldest daughter is trying to raise money for a computer and we’re moving so it seemed like a good idea. And we did alright. What didn’t sell has already been deposited with Goodwill–which I consider a personal victory.
Aside from haggling over prices with just about everyone, I had a really interesting conversation with one woman. I liked her so much I ended up just giving her stuff, but she bought earrings for her daughter who is 17. So we started talking about teenagers and their habits and their bodies and their hormones. Then we started talking about our bodies and habits and hormones. This woman was 52 which I wouldn’t have guessed. She was clearly a committed mother, strong and thoughtful in her parenting. She knew about the changes her daughter was going through with puberty and adolescence and wearing sheer shirts to school, but she wasn’t aware of the changes in her own body. She didn’t know much about menopause and peri-menopause and how these stages affect women.
I found this fascinating. We talked about mood shifts with the usual laughter, nodding and eye rolling that women do. Hormonal activity, motherhood and the trials of housework bond women instantly. It might not be long-lasting friendship, but there’s an instant intimacy over the recognizable facts of PMS, stubborn children and mountains of laundry/cat hair/ dishes that pile up with an astonishing speed.
With this in mind, my yard sale friend and I compared symptoms and advice from friends. I made my recommendations for exercise, less caffeine and evening primrose oil. But I can’t stop thinking about how much this woman didn’t know about her own body and its inner workings. I’m thinking about my friend Shannon’s blog- The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful- and how much she’s written about trying to have a realistic picture of her own body. We’re heading into Mother’s Day. I know that being a mother has taught me more about life and myself than anything else I’ve experienced.
It’s funny the places we meet up with ourselves sometimes. I didn’t expect that a woman in a purple t-shirt with a car that lists to one side would stay in my thoughts this long or make me slow down and really think. But there you have it. Amidst all the stuff we wanted to get rid of, I found a good question–How have I learned who I am as a woman? What do I know about myself and the stage of life I am in?
How about you? What’s your take?