“KEEP YOUR MOTORS RUNNING…Heading for the Highway…Looking for adventure and whatever…” (well, you know).

“Born to Be Wild”, by Steppenwolf, is indicative of Woodstock, protests, free love and crazy 60’s, right?   It seems to me that those experiences (vicariously, or not) should be implanted into our aging Boomer bodies and our memory banks (that may be forgetting a few things here and there).  I can still hear the band singing now, and the girl in me wants to jump into chorus, dance around the room and pretend that I’m a vibrant 20 year old again.  My!  I could Frug, Jerk, Twist, Pony, and make a room come alive.  I bet you could, too.

Just one more time, I’d like to hear that motor running and step into adventure, heading for the highway.

However, today I’m feeling 69 1/2, and not so wild.  In fact, my rheumatoid arthritis is rampant this week, and I’m walking like Grandpa on the old TV series, The Real McCoys.  I’m reminded that aging is not for the weak, the spineless, or the fearful.

I am reminded that life is full circle as chapters are written, memorized, edited, loved, hated, rewritten and oft times, reinvented, if possible.

Last night, alone in my room, except for my friends, MacBook Air and Netflix, I settled in early and began watching a referred movie, “Our Souls at Night”, starring Robert Redford and  Jane Fonda.  Watching it was an exercise of intense introspection and realized realities.   Realizations that have sometimes hurt, have sometimes emoted pride, sometimes required forgiveness.  Nevertheless, these reality checks were significant enough to make me take serious reflection upon what I think I want, what I really need, and what reality provides.

For example, love.  Now, some of you have been married for a very long time.  I am sure that you’ve traveled many wonderful miles together, up and down, around and back within 4 or 5 decades together.  You have withstood the tests of time; and rightfully, have earned my highest respect! You have endured and chosen to remain within your marriage.  It is an awesome feat.  But, the big but, is that many of us are not…married, for whatever reasons.

So, what does being single mean to me at age 69 1/2 and what has this got to do with love, needs, wants, and life, adventures and growing older?  Being single itself promotes adventure, and can have its advantages, for sure.  It’s also many other expletives, as well as:  Challenging, Lonely, Unnerving.  Being single over 60 can also create critical judgements, can create victimization, always requires unusual spiritual strength, mandates emotional balance and most of all, requires having friends…really good, good friends.  And herein lies the jest of my blogging thoughts.

This is where the reality check evolves.  The tradeoffs, the compromises in life are numerable and varied.  I can’t dance like I used to.  Love doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me, either.   Yet, what I do have and what reality is providing for me is:   Friends.

My friends come from all walks of life; they are all ages, and they are male and female.  Without them, I do not know how’d I’d function.  They uplift, they tell the truth, they laugh with me and at me, and they sustain me through bad health and euphoric moments.  We are authentic and fearless.  Each would stand by my side should I call them.

The list isn’t long, this list of really good, good friends.  And, none of us are angels or little old ladies or somber men rocking in our chairs at sunset.  We meet to hear live music.  We talk about each other’s husbands, or boyfriends, girlfriends,  or children, or lovers or neighbors or our businesses or the latest trends.  We disagree about politics.  We watch each other dance.  We watch each other delight in grandchildren.  We brag to the inth degree.  We share in grief.  We somberly hold one another when times are tough.   Do my friends take the place of love and adventure?  No.  But they add to my life in ways that can’t be necessarily measured.

My motor is still fortunately running and sometimes I still head for the highway.  Seeing Earth, Wind & Fire in concert was a blast!  Sometimes I still dance a little,  too.  Yet, my best adventures now aren’t so elusive.  My new adventures are treasuring my memories of my children and family.  Honoring my friendships.  Unconditional love.

Being alone at night is still hard:  The intimacy of sharing the events of the day, or feeling someone hold you while you cuddle…of course, I greatly miss being in love; and that 5:30-7:30 time is THE HARDEST.  I miss my family meal preparations, the talk, the chaos.  I miss it all.

…and then a friend calls.  “Want to share a glass of wine?”   ‘Need a ride to Donn’s?”  “Just letting you know we sure do appreciate you here at work.”  A familiar voice, and I’m back on track.   My adventure of life seems stable and nurtured.  And isn’t that what we all truly desire?  To be loved, nurtured, protected, needed?

Know this.  I  am not ready to retire into senility or powerless aging rhetoric.  My adventures are yet to be seen or known.  My soul at night may be lonely, and I surely do want to find that person to share my intimate thoughts again; but my adventures still exist.

I will get my motor running.  I will head on down the highway, looking for adventure and whatever comes my way…and Yes!  My really good, good friends will enable me to see the world through the eyes of our youthful hearts.  They will share adventurous highways of trust, laughter, and tears.

These long and winding roads of life’s adventures will be filled with love, tenderness, and the unknown…but that’s another song:)

Giddyup ya’ll.  Go see the Bluebonnets.  Eat some Bluebell’s ice cream.  Picnic by the rivers.

Live life lovingly,

Texana Lane…headin’ down the highway of life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did You Just Hang Up on Me?

CELL PHONE RINGS as I’m walking down the hall of our little school.  I quickly answer.  “What?  Yes, I did inquire about a job.  Am I interested in going back to school?  I don’t know.  Who wants to know?”

And then the barrage of questions begins:  Background questions about my life, on and on.   Then finally, they ask, “When did you graduate from high school?”  I promptly answer with pride, thinking, “Go OWLS! Garland High School.”  I tell them the year.

CLICK!  (silence)

THEY HANG UP ON ME!  

What if I DO WANT to go back to school?  Seems that that proposal is out of question.   Obviously, they are not willing to invest in a person of my age, and perhaps assume that I’m not interested either.  But wait!  When and why did that happen?  Did I sound old?  Did I sound like I have no further value to continue a career or fulfill a dream?

It’s a curious feeling.  Are there other discriminating moments?  Yep, like surveys.  Online surveys specifically.  Have you ever noticed that surveys rarely request an opinion from anyone past 65 years old?  I get all excited about a free gift, but there’s not category for me.  It’s as if the remainder of our 65+ population has already died and in the grave!   (When that weirdness happens, I envision myself at my dying wake.  Sick, I know.)  Still….

Aside from the drama, I’m a little confused.   I thought that Boomers were a worthwhile economic demographic.  Seems not, unless its for elderly products…and I don’t even want to go into that.

Hearing that ‘click’ of the phone is not the worst thing that can ever happen to someone; but I like being the one to hang up.  You know what I mean?  In all seriousness, all is not lost in this aging adventure for me. This is just one small example, and it is SMALL.  Really, I love being who I am.  I love where I am working, and I look forward to new friends.  I see that motivational management works.

I’ve been like a giddy little girl all week.  My new work environment continues to be exemplary at inclusion. Blessings are mine, and my unfounded anxieties of being older in a younger workforce are unfounded and unnecessary.

Gratefully, I am surrounded by a staff that intentionally avoids toxicity in the office…no underthebreath sighs, etc.  Old learn from young; young learn from old.   We’re a circle of generational men and women who make the whole of a strategic, leadership team.   Age isn’t factored nor dismissed.  We are there because of what we offer.  Of course, I would be naive to think that I’m not being judged, since I’m the new kid (well, you know what I mean) on the block.  Of course, I am judged.  Yet, there’s a respectfulness and openness that makes me feel comfortable to express myself, knowing that there will be no rolling of the eyes, no whispers of hateful gossip.   Nor do I roll my eyes, for who am I to judge?  Undermining, nor upstaging is not feared, nor even considered.

How do I know this?  These cohorts are eager to hear new ideas from each other.    “Wow, I’ve never thought of it that way.  You are thinking out of the box.”   One does not feel hesitant to brainstorm or to speak up with confidence.  And, as with all strong leadership, there is a listening ear considering all options.  Some ideas fly, some don’t, and that’s OK.  Being heard is the key.

Most importantly, and thank goodness, they do not hang up, shut down, or dismiss… just because I graduated in 1966. 

Friends, don’t hang up or give up.  Give it all you’ve got and then some.  You’re worth it.

Live life lovingly,

Texana Lane

Can You See Me Now?

Seven months and counting!  That’s right.  Seven months before turning 70…And guess what?  I went on an interview.  You read it right.  I went on an interview.  What image conjures in your mind?  Too old?  Out of touch?  Incapable? “Shouldn’t she be retiring at this age?”  “She must be desperate!”  Either way, it wasn’t an easy decision, brutal, in fact.

Of course, I WANT to retire and sail into the sunset.  Yet, in all seriousness, I’m not quite ready.  My heart still wants to share a mission, to help children and our communities, to be creative, to be visible.  The fact that I’m single measures into the decision, too.  What will I do if I’m not working?  Retirement doesn’t allow me enough funds to travel around the world..haha…or even live ‘high on the hog’ as my mama would say.  Plus,  I can’t wrap my head around the scenario of being home alone without a viable purpose.

Also, I love my current co-workers, but I simply woke up one morning and realized that I need to use every creative bone in my body.  I need to learn, share, grow…and not be dying on the vine.  I realized that I had become invisible, even to myself, and sensed that I need to feel alive again, with an eagerness to wake up proudly and smile at the woman in the mirror, wrinkles and all.

Have you ever not wanted to look closely at yourself in the mirror?  I certainly have; and such an attitude can be debilitating, a cancer-causing sucker of life.  It can be a killer of dreams, of goals.  Aging takes spunk, sass and soul; it’s not for the faint.  It can steal one’s gratitude and happiness, and I was allowing myself to be invisibly depressed.   Every time I looked in the mirror, I was loosing confidence and purpose.

My wrinkles weren’t the problem.  It was the fact that I was losing purpose.  Losing my edge.  I was feeling ‘less than’.  Thankfully, I got a grip and came up with a game plan…right, wrong, or indifferent.  I said, “Quit It!”  (Risky, for sure.  True to myself?  Definitely).

So, I did.  I submitted my resignation of my current job, then spent hours creating a portfolio, a resume and a focus to match my creative energies with a purposeful job.  I began smiling as I looked at the pictures of my past accomplishments, my past tribes.

Let me backtrack for a second.  After the interview and over the weekend, I had a fun bucket list adventure at the San Antonio Riverwalk.  The reason I’m sharing this now is that I had the pleasure of meeting a 90ish year old woman, an owner of one of the shops we visited.  As we were leaving, she said to me, “Well, aren’t you cute.  What is your name?”  I introduced myself, and she in turn introduced herself as Mrs. Pace.  She said, “You may recognize this name, as in my past husband’s business, Pace Picante.”  I asked how long she had had the store, and she said, “Upon the death of my husband, I took my money and headed straight to the Dallas Market.  I’ve been here ever since, and that was many many years ago!”  Her young eyes gleamed through her aging body.  She was happy.  She was proud.  She was at peace with her choices.  So, my heart took a leap as I listened and as I realized that I, too, had made the right decision.  Her age did not define her.

Back to my interview!  Yes, I went to the interview.  Walked into a new adventure, began my re-invention yet once again, and introduced myself, age and all, to a believer of holistic learning…(and, yep, now my new employer), who sees my vision, who appreciates my creative mind, who feels that I will be a wonderful asset to their school.  I even received the salary that I felt worthy of asking.

Can I see me now?  Yes, because I took the leap and respect for myself.  Yes, because I got out of my own way.

The cammo is gone.  I threw it away the moment I walked into her office.  She saw me.  The real me.  As I told her, “I’m old enough to know better, but too young to be put out to pasture.”  She laughed.  We chatted at length about how I could creatively contribute to her vision of learning and care for their students.  It was fun.  I felt alive.  I felt purposeful.

I start my new job next week.  Of course, I am nervous; but I am visible, with no desire to hide behind any rhetoric of aging.  WE all have much to contribute.  Don’t hide!  Share your gifts, your wisdom, your good and bad experiences.  Be heard.  Be seen.  Be loved.

God Bless Us All,

Texana Lane

 

 

 

 

 

A Train of Thoughts & Mem

THE POLAR EXPRESS!  

An adventure for young and old, and a fantasy for Texana Lane come true.  Sounds trite, I know; but once I learned that there is an actual train that brings the book to life, I HAD to go.  I wanted to say hello to my inner child again.  So, for my 70 year bucket list, I did it!  To add to the fun, I did it with my wonderful friends of all ages, who are definitely well beyond their childhood years.

ALL ABOARD!!

There we were, all 9 of us, adult women sitting in our PJs, along with hundreds of families dressed in matching PJs, too.  Teddy Bears abounded as they watched with  glazed, glass-eyed wonder.  Elves and Santa’s helpers danced along the aisles, serving hot chocolate and cookies and sweet smiles.  Children sat speechless as they anticipated what was about to happen, eyes searching for clues.

Everyone settled in quickly.  The music began.  The train began moving…ever so slowly.

WE were off!

The vintage railroad engine cars shot billows of smoke and tooted their horns with gusto.  I quickly lifted my screenless window so nothing would come between me, the fresh, brisk December air and my fantasy.  Then I poked my head outside like any curious child would do and settled back in for a sentimental ride to the North Pole.

I can’t necessarily tell you what the scene looked like, but I can tell you what it felt like.

It felt like I had wandered back into Garland, TX,   It felt like I had just seen my Mama walk into Mrs. Toler’s second-grade class looking beautiful in her pink dress and sharing lunch with me, making me the proudest second grader…ever!

It felt like I was a little girl, sitting in my tiny, red leather rocking chair scanning every book I could find or every book my Mama had checked out for me at the Garland Library during hot summer days.

It felt like sitting in my Mammaw’s lap, rocking back and forth in her squeaky rocker while my Pappaw played his harmonica or while they read the Scriptures together.

It felt like me…the child who lives within and is ever-so-grateful for such an entitled childhood.  It felt like love.  It felt like family.

Scents, colors, and so many memories flooded across my heart.

It was the perfect Christmas gift to myself. 

As Santa sauntered down the aisle, “Ho!Ho!Ho!” handing out jingle bells, I, too, had meandered down my road of childhood memories, (an excursion that’s definitely not traveled often enough). 

Looking back, I had visions of bowls of hard candy, chocolate-covered cherries, Daddy trimming the tree, Christmas Eve nights, manger scenes and glistening lights.  Memories that I hadn’t thought of in years.

Yet, there I was, traveling to the North Pole and back, in a train filled with families wearing matching PJs, heartfelt dreams, hardworking parents and gleeful children.

Yes. The POLAR EXPRESS adventure proved to be just what I needed…An abundance of friends, laughter, good memories, and gratefulness for a life well lived.

ALL ABOARD!  I invite you to share my adventures as I turn seventy and travel into another decade of abundant life and love.  It’s all about the journey.  It’s all about the attitude vs gratitude.

Keep the faith this week while you shop, drop, cook, and simply share in kindness.  Some of us don’t have a special someone or a family to share the love.  So, think about who might need your smile, a cordial comment, a shoulder to cry on.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all who celebrate at this time.

 

Giddyup, ya’ll!

Texana Lane…”Who never puts her wishbone where her backbone ‘otta be.”

 

 

 

 

 

TEXANA LANE’S ADVENTURES…Full Circle

I  began this blog not only because I love to write, (and my daughter encouraged me), but also because I think there are many of us clamoring to share our experiences, and I certainly am looking forward to hearing them.  Bring them on!

This much I know.  I learn so much from listening to my friends’ life stories.  Some are exciting, some are heart-wrenching, some are crude, and most are…very expressive!  And I say, “Thank you for sharing.  I would have never seen that perspective without your story.”

THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU!

Unfortunately, I’ve heard the following expression more than once, “Older women are fun to date, but they have too many stories, too much to talk about.” And then there’s the proverbial scenario where the husband turns a deaf ear on the wifie while she shares her thoughts and memories.  WHAT?  We (and I use the word loosely) share too much?

Now, I can’t say that’s true or false, but I can say that I place value upon my life’s journey; and when I’m meandering down memory lane, I’m assuming that you value my journey, too, because my experiences ARE me.

Having said that, reality rears its ugly head, and frankly, (in the end) our memories are our own.  No one sees them as vividly as we do. No one can effectively relive the intensity of our lives.

Simply put and with cliche, we come into this world alone, taking the responsibility to write our own books of life, then packaging all the memories into neat little pockets within our hearts.

We finally depart with just what we put into it.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

Those memories better be worth taking.  Right?

Which brings me back to the matter of sharing our memories.  Sharing is important!  Shared memories are the full circle of life.

As a single woman with an empty nest scattered with ‘goods, bads, and indifferences’, I sometimes wish there were moments where I could relive those outstanding experiences with those who were with me…just one more time.   Some of you have that opportunity; some of you don’t.  What matters is that we have created the memories.

What matters is that our pallets of life provide every color of the rainbow and that we have gratitude for each stroke of the brush.  What matters is that we have each other to share with, to empathize with, to help us each catch a glimpse of every tidbit that makes us who we are today.

What truly matters is that we place value upon our memories, upon ourselves.  We have much to contribute, much to teach, much to forgive, much to praise, and much to remember.

I feel that for me, it’s my job to learn from others (you) as I artfully create a lifelong collage of love, hurt, joy, happiness, darkness, and ecstasy and all the expressive adjectives and nouns one can use for experiencing life.  It’s your job to share, though, to help me see life through your lens, your mindset, your experiences.

With a twinkle in my eye today, I think I’ll bore the hell out of someone and share a story or two, or three, maybe more.  Heck!  Why not?  We might have the best laugh of the day:)

Giddyup, ya’ll, and show some, “Spunk, sass, and soul”!

Texana Lane

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Texana Lane’s Adventures: One Big Family

Giddyup Gals!

This is my first blog.  It’s sketchy.  It’s authentic.  It’s random.  It’s me!

My goal is to reach women who still enjoy life.  Who still feel they have ‘game’ (as my younger cohorts call it).  Women who believe that every chapter of life matters, and women who don’t masquerade what it feels like to age with grace, fun, dignity, disdain, and  a little whimsy along the way.

WE all all out here.  WE know who we are…Aging with grace, aging with some disdain for our youth (bodies) and beautiful memories (of our younger selves), and aging with deliberation to be ourselves, which is unique for each of us.  Truth is, we’ve spent a lifetime deliberating for others, and not much time on what WE want, who WE are, and what these last chapters of life mean to US.  My blog enables me to learn from you, of all ages.  What differences do you see and feel as you age?  What experiences can you share that allow all of us to feel accepted, no matter what age we are?

Everyday I seem to find an excuse to not share my age in one moment, and in another moment, desiring to brag that I’ve reached a certain milestone birthday.  I sometimes find myself excited to share my lifelong experiences and then think, “They don’t really care what I think,” as my cohorts talk around me, above me, definitely not including me.

Fact is that we each age differently, with variables of children, education, cultures, religions, incomes, marriages, divorces, deaths.  The list is endless. and we each own our choices, consequences, and desire to live life to its fullest, or shut down because we’re…aging. I’m excited to share my adventures, and I eagerly anticipate yours, too.

For the record, I turn 70 on July 30th.  I am celebrating my 70 year long adventure with a different bucket list adventure each month.  I began August 1st, and the fantasy is fantastic…will share next post!

“…ain’t afraid to kick it up with the boys!”

Texana Lane

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