Skip to main content

Fierce, Proud and Stubborn

Could that possibly be me???

Fridays with Susan...

I can remember - many times in fact - describing an older person, such as my dad, or my grandmother, as being "fiercely independent", or "stubbornly independent".   It only occurred to me in the last day or two that there is an implication, or an expectation in the way some use those particular phrases to describe people who are at a stage in life where they are generally on a physical decline.  There is an expectation that someone getting older should begin to become more dependent on those around them and if they resist that, we attach a negative sounding adjective to it.  Should the fact that they protect their independence, their ability to make their own decisions and to direct their own life, even making their own mistakes, come as a surprise to us or be seen in any kind of a negative light?

Fiercely independent.  Why don't we say, "courageously  independent".  Or "unwaveringly independent".  But no, it's "fiercely", or "stubbornly".  Negative sounding qualities.

The other day, sitting in the kitchen with a few of my kids, the conversation came around to the weight loss I've experienced over this past 3/4 of a year.  I expressed my need to "step it up" a bit to overcome the plateau I've been sitting on for weeks now.

"Mom, you should be excercising for an hour every day," says one of my kids.

"Sure," I'm thinking to myself.  "An hour of exercise.  Every day.  I'll fit it in somewhere between my toenail painting and navel gazing." But I didn't share that with them.  Possibly interpreting my silence as assent, another of my kids says, "That would actually be a very good investment of your time, Mom."

GRRrrrrr.  I felt something rise up in me.  "Hmphh," I think to myself again, "If I never listened to my parents telling me what to do, what would ever cause me to listen to my kids?"  In a purely self defensive response, not to the idea of exercise, but to the idea of anyone taking over any tiny shred of my personal autonomy, I blurted out rather irrationally,  "I would rather die ten years earlier than exercise for an hour every day.  Blechhh."

Well, that brought further reaction from said kids who I hoped were now realizing that any attempt to take over my health program and control my thinking on the subject was a hopeless cause, but instead they tightened the screws and increased the pressure, which, of course,  met with just that much more resistance from me!

We talked some more and my reaction was explained and ruffled feathers smoothed on both sides, but it caused those words to come to mind:  "Fiercely independent."

It was the first time I had actively thought about that phrase as being applied to me.  I'm afraid it won't be the last time.  So I'm practicing my responses:

I think I'm old enough now to make my own decisions.  Yeah, that sounds pretty good.  If that doesn't work maybe I can add, I've lived long enough to earn the right to make my own mistakes.  Or how about the simple, I can do it myself!, which I've actually been practicing regularly since before my 2nd birthday.

Hmmm.  (I'm smiling to myself here.)  I guess I'm at the stage in life where I am entering the  ranks of the "fiercely", "proudly", and "stubbornly" independent.  Bully for me!

But I think I could use a "kiddo" or two inserted into my collection of nomenclature right about now!  (See Belinda's post of two days ago - "Kiddos With Cataracts".)   Any takers?


Well, kiddo, I can do that for you. Yo fierce, proud and stubborn woman. To me those are words that I love, given the occasion, to be applied to my character. They speak of strength and determination and values. And you, kiddo, have those qualities in spades.
Susan said…
Dave, you put a great big smile on my face. It's nice to have a supporter. :) You've convinced me. Fierce, Proud and Stubborn are three qualities I definitely want to take with me into old age. :)

Popular posts from this blog

Just Joy!

Our family has a standing date for Sunday dinner on the first Sunday of every month. Not that we don't see each other at any other time, but we all know that particular Sunday is pretty much for sure--and I look forward to it so much--the front door bursting open and our house being filled once more with the voices and vibrancy of six grandchildren and their parents. 

This week Spero, Brenda's new Australian Shepherd puppy came too, and met his extended family, leaving Molson at home to have a rest! He was duly adored by all of us.

He came with a dazzling array of toys and is proving a fast learner, already sitting on command and responding to Tori's training. I was so impressed at her technique of quickly rewarding a turnaround from any slight naughtiness with praise for "good sitting," or "good" any other desirable behaviour! 

Tippy had her hair cut stunningly and bravely short the day before; making a statement about who she is as a unique individual, o…

The Secret Adventures of Susan's Scottish Scarf

By Belinda (with a lot of help from Susan :))
I was saying goodnight to her at the front door this week when she told me. There was apparently more to the scarf around her neck than I knew. 
The scarf had been a gift from me for Susan's birthday on Tuesday December 18th. It had been her 60th; and that day I had treated her to lunch to celebrate. 
We met at a tiny restaurant, Port Soiree, in Schomberg,near her office. It was a restaurant neither of us had been to before and it turned out to be a gem, with artsy ambiance, amazing food, wonderful service and modest pricing. In other words, it was perfect!