In our travels and dealings with women we have come to the conclusion that most older women (of course there are exceptions to the rule) have, during most of the seasons of their lives, given to others excessively even to the point of sacrifice and neglect to themselves and their personal needs (of time, money, opportunities and lots of other things.)
Now this is not an un-natural occurrence. As a child we defer to our parents and honor them for being who and what they are. Whether we like them (as well as love them) is sometimes debatable, but ....... As a growing teenager, we suddenly discover we can do lots of things outside of our parents rule-book (whether they know about it or not is another matter!), but we grow and learn and discover lots of new things, and sensations. As an adult we can quite often find ourselves responsible for other people, including parents, children, other family members, indeed even friends. We take on all these responsibilities with sensitivity and regard them as being privileges.
Then one morning we wake up, and life has changed - drastically and dramatically for us.
Our children (those of us who have them, bless their little hearts) have moved out, married and started their own families; our parents may have an even greater need of our attention and our love and care (and even though we get tired at the end of the day, we really wouldn't have it any other way, because the alternative is too horrid to think about !); our partners need not only more emotional care and support but also physical; and friends have a far greater need and call upon us to offer the shoulder more often plus a few tissues to help them through all of what's going on with, and in, their lives.
Some of us even find that what we thought was "firm" and long-standing, no longer is. Financial circumstances can set off all sorts of alarm bells in our feelings of independence and security. Health problems rear their nasty little heads and cause us lots of sleepless nights. Marriages or relationships break down and so often we find we are beset with all sorts of problems never before imagined. We may find ourselves adrift without any support or encouragement from those people who are supposed to care - even family and friends. We may face the prospect of having to fight battles without the energy or resilience of youth. We set out to do what we must do because we've fought these same battles time and time again throughout our younger years. A case of deju vu. But now we're older, and we're much more tired.
To be continued .......