Today, one Woman at Forty candidly and humorously shares her thoughts on, well, sharing her thoughts…
Before, I felt it was my civic duty to right every wrong and stand up for every underdog there was. I thought that I needed to voice my opinion and concern on every topic, argument and general discussion that I took part in. Hell, I even butted into conversations because I KNEW my feelings and opinions were so strong and were so important to the world that everyone needed to hear them! I was passionate; I needed to right wrongs and injustices. I needed to stand on my soapbox and shout to anyone who would listen about any topic that I was an “expert” on (trust me – there are many). Maybe that’s why I majored in Political Science in college – to justify my arguing. For years I gave my opinion, requested or not, positive or negative for everything and anything under the sun. Needless to say (even though most advice was good, sound advice) I have stepped on A LOT of toes.
This year, the year of my fortieth birthday, I had an epiphany – even though I think my opinions should be valued, the reality is that I need to shut the HELL up!!! (Actually, I was thinking the F word). I looked around one morning and realized that I am the oldest one amongst my friends AND because I live on a military base, most of the mother’s of my 2nd grader’s friends are at least 15 years younger than me. When listening to them, they seemed opinionated and obnoxious. Also, in the 20 to 25 years that they had been alive, they knew everything there was about everything. Regardless of the fact that 1) none of them had graduated from college; 2) none had worked in corporate America or the “real” world (outside the safety of the military base); or 3) none had never lived on their own – they had done it all and then some. There were so many things that I tried to discuss with them and tried to advise them. I wanted to tell them and teach them about life, love, hard work, ethics, selflessness and proper planning. Can you believe they didn’t need or want my advice? Are they crazy? No, maybe I was the crazy one! To them I was just the “old lady” that “didn’t understand what they were going thru” because I was so much older and times have changed since I was their age. That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks – my opinions are and have only been important to ME! I don’t need to make people see my point of view or change their minds on any subject or even persuade them to share the same views as me. Wow…all these years and that never occurred to me. I thought my opinion was the end all, be all and the day that I didn’t have a thought, opinion or suggestion would stop the world from spinning on it’s axis. Not true. The earth didn’t stop moving and the sky didn’t fall. NOTHING HAPPENED!
The old me would have challenged those youngins! The old me would bragged about all the places I’ve been and the experiences I had and everything that has made me the strong woman I am today. I wished that someone would have warned me about half the s**t I know now. But instead, I smiled and said “have it your way but HONEY…I have lived twice the life you will wish for. Good luck” Then I shut the F*** up and walked away.
I have officially retired my soapbox. The only people that are forced to deal with my thoughts, opinions and suggestions are my daughters and my husband and I’m ok with that. Instantly, my life was simplified because I wasn’t obligated to defend the masses and conquer the world. Everything is much simplier with silence.
Photo: Tanya’s Good luck pose
When did you have the epiphany that the earth won’t stop moving and the sky won’t fall if you keep your opinion to yourself? I have to admit, I’m still working on that one. Share your epiphany at forty in the comment section or on our Facebook fan page.