Serena reigned supreme the other night in the quarter-finals of the Australia Open. She almost lost it in that heat. Kuznetsova called a foul saying that when the Aussies stopped play for 30 minutes to close the roof, it gave Serena time to get her game back. Kuznetsova's right. Serena got into her own head and told herself she had to "Man Up or Go Home".

Suzanne reflected with me yesterday that she and Bob recently asked themselves how much their experience last year in the No Job Vacuum had aged them. I wanted to know how they answered that - she's not even sure the extent. The point is, when I was waiting for the computer to boot up a few minutes ago I got a glance at myself in the dark monitor and was met by a hagard-looking me. In this, the New Now.

"Manning Up" makes for hagard faces. Whether it's what you picture when you're struggling to put one foot in front of the other while forgetting to breathe (cheeks blown out, eyes popping), or when your head's locked in a rugby-player grip (squashed, wrinkled). Or, most disturbingly, if it's your expression at rest (tight, unsmiling, dehydrated). How much elasticity will we get back when all this is over? How old will we look - and feel - when the match is played?

I often read "More" Magazine, a newish monthly which "celebrates women over 40". The models are beautiful and over 40. The clothes are refined (though this month's issue promotes some pretty garish-looking recession ensembles), the humor is accessible, the spirituality pieces are about things like reinvention and leadership. I am encouraged that "More" brings women forward who are reinvented and honest, who embrace their faces and can say they are, honestly, happy. Mind you - I'd be happy too if I were Emma Thompson. She has a craft which she's turned into a business which is renewable and timeless and makes her money. But I appreciate that "More" says a little Botox is OK, and also says that being a strong woman is, indeed, about embracing the characteristics tagged as "Man-ly". Like - being bullheaded enough to wake up every day to be industrious; not caring all that much about how we look or how we're aging (let's face it, I've seen you too in your workout clothes at 4:00 in the afternoon); playing hard and not being forgiving while we play; not suffering fools and knowing when we have to push re-set on how we're spending our time; being Serena Williams, and Hillary Clinton. When I look in the dark monitor before I start writing, it's all of those adjectives I see, in me. I'm manning up.

This afternoon I'm going to rent "Sex and the City: The Movie". On demand.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As Charlotte's "older" but forever friend and sometimes her once-in-a-while "Mom" I have endless pictures of her that I have treasured over the years. While she was growing in her beauty, I was always sure to be as "perfect" as I could be with my looks so she would be continually proud of me. How I remember her when she was pregnant with her first and those first precious years as she turned from "smart young chick" to a mother that was caring and lost in the wonder of her new baby girl. There is a picture of us sitting on a couch with Cassie, a day when I thought I was not "at my best" after a lot of travel. When I look back now, I looked lovely! You could not have convinced me of it at the time! Thank goodness for pictures that capture the moment. Your words and reflections are much appreciated by me, your "Mama" Kaye Lovallo Coddington!