There’s a number that started showing up on my phone a few years ago - I blocked it. Recently, it tries more often - I’ve been letting it go to voicemail. I know who’s calling. The Crone.
Jo, please write a book.
Before I read any of the comments, just know that you are my new best friend. (Stand in line, people!)
I'm still so bedazzled by what I just read nothing I say here will make sense, but this 85-year-old relates to every single thing you wrote. (Except the part about Elvis Costello. He was my daughter's favorite. I leaned more toward Rodgers and Hammerstein.)
I'm just past my first year of widowhood so I blame everything on 'widow's brain' now. Five years ago it was 'chemo brain'. I suppose all along it was 'Ramona's brain', but indecision is my main bugaboo. Also, the need to have people like me. Also the need to have people praise my work and PAY ME FOR IT. But I'm an introvert at heart and I can't for the life of me get comfortable with asking people for favors like reading my work or my god actually paying for it.
I try to please and that's the worst thing any writer can do. There is no pleasing everyone. Anyone. My best work comes when I manage to put that out of my mind and just go for it. So I'm tucking this essay away and I'll pull it out whenever I started heading down the wrong track again. Because I should be that crone, that wonderful, terrible crone, and I'm not yet.
Dammit Jo! You (and a very few others, including Mr. Kingsnorth) are the reason I'm not flipping this Substack thing the bird and storming off back to my hermitage (where Crone has made herself very comfortable, by the way)....*sigh* xoxo
“now I’m a crystal too”
is fucking brilliant and so well understood over here.
This essay Jo...you’ve captured in words and images what this menopause can be and it’s lovely
I wish someone had snapped a photo of my face as I read this. So I could send it to you. So you could see the depth of the impact, the direct hit on my heart. Thank you. I thought, when I clicked the through link, you were only saving me--for just a few minutes-- from analyzing the impact of Notes on my audience. But instead you made me remember why I’m here (interpret both micro and macro).
Beautiful Jo, you say what my menopause addled brain wants to but is unable. Thank you ❤️💚
Yes, very padded and no matter what I do the padding increases 😳. Nothing about me is bony. Maybe Brazilian crones work differently? Either way- it’s a delicious time of life once you give into it. I particularly love the zero f**ks given angle, considering how many f**ks I used to give!
Damn. This is about the best thing I've read in a long time. I've always loved your writing but you're taking things up a notch and I'm here for more. Also, after reading your words, I feel strangely comforted about this next chapter on this aging journey, so thank you my friend xo
May I just say (thumps hand on heart) yes, yes, YES! A thousand times, yes!
Love this so much. And love the crone. I find myself sitting eagerly waiting for her while asking myself what parts of mother do I have yet to learn from. But crone? Heck yeah.
'Less diplomacy' for sure, and with it, 'more pain' as we come to terms with the things we can't fix, and must therefore walk (slowly, as gracefully as our croney knees will let us) away from.
But yes, wisdom and warmth can cohabit. As long as they behave!
Obsessed with this post Jo.
Can feel this deliciously wise energy oozing out of your words!
Working on a new project with women aged 40 to 60 with the NHS here at my gym at the mo. Game changer. The symptoms and suffering some of these gals have experienced has been breaking my heart. I actually cried a bit with one of them in the consultation room the other day.
(Also making me more than slightly worried for what the next decade holds for me! 😬)
Really enjoyed this, Jo, thank you. I feel my crone is nearby, like she’s at a nearby table in a cafe, as the fs I give fall. And so many of the women I work with aren’t experiencing this kind of empowerment, their people-pleasing, for example, runs so deep they recognise it and still struggle so much to challenge it.
Excellent I am so becoming Croney - I might already be there