Stepping into Wisdom without Carrying the Baggage
I love Mayim Bialik. For those of you who don’t know her (really??), she is a proud Jewish actress in Hollywood, famous for the Big Bang Theory. I love her for a myriad of reasons, but the latest one is because of her new podcast “Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown”.
I won’t go into the details of what the podcast is all about, that’s not the point of this blog. However, in promoting her new podcast she did an interview with Drew Barrymore, a fellow Hollywood actress.
Mayim Bialik said something during this interview that really resonated with me and made me think about the way we view our own personal life story.
In the interview (skip to minute 6.20) she expresses her philosophy on life and parenting “I am going to do today. This is the first today that there has ever been, I have never been this age, my kids have never been this age before. And tomorrow is a whole new one!”
Maya Angleou, the famous American poet, author, and civil rights activist famously said “Do the best you can. Then when you know better you do better.” I have loved this quote for years. And I think ties in very nicely to Mayim’s approach too. Basically – take things as they come, and do the best you can with the information you have at the moment.
This really got me thinking about how we relate to our life experiences, how they impact us, affect us, and influence the way we act and respond to situations.
Often life experiences can be viewed as baggage. The traumas, the failures, the genetic pre-disposition, the childhood bullying, the unstable family. Sometimes, often without even realizing it, we carry our life experiences as baggage. They weigh us down, they stop us from growing. They become the excuse, the reason, the explanation for why “this is my life, this is the way I am.” We carry it as a safety net, protecting us from getting hurt again.
There is no “this is a new day” philosophy here. There is only “this is my lot, history is always set to repeat itself.”
However, as we age, especially as we enter our mid-life years and into post-menopause, one of the things that we as women become especially proud of is the wisdom and experience that we gather over time. The image of the “older wise woman”, is something that thriving post-menopausal women step into with pride and honour. Through life-lessons, lived experiences, interaction with others who have different perspectives, understanding the complexities of life, we amass knowledge, wisdom and insight that we want to share and pass on. It is part of the responsibility of being an “older wiser woman”.
We start to unpack the baggage and leave behind what doesn’t serve us and bring us joy. We start to reassess our experiences in a new light – with a deeper understanding, with the passage of time, with a different perspective. And that is where the wisdom of age comes in.
As women we should not shy away from this responsibility of sharing our wisdom. Of being aware that we bring the experience of all the days gone to live in today. Of doing better when we know better.
Now all of this is very nice in theory. But in the real-world it is not always easy to implement.
When life is busy, when the kids are driving you crazy, when people are relying on, or someone annoys you, when life doesn’t go according to the plan, it is often hard to respond “in wisdom” rather than “with baggage”. For the average person, making that switch can be a challenge. Responding with wisdom and patience sometimes feels like a luxury. But this is the thing about aging and stepping into your post-menopause years, it’s going to happen whether you like it or not. It comes with the territory.
The question that interests me and I share with you, is can women in peri-menopause and menopause tap in to this wisdom state with grace, with honour and with self-love. Can we off-load our baggage, recognizing that the life we have lived until this very moment grants us life-lessons to learn from and share. Can we take each day as a new one, bringing to it the wisdom we have gathered, to help us navigate the here and now? Can we really and truly live each day to its fullest without the baggage and expectations that we so often place on ourselves.
I know that I am trying to do this. And as with everything in life, sometimes you do it better and sometimes you have to try a bit harder.