StinkardsThis missive is about raising a stink. It is a prologue to the post I am going to write LATER about the eight infant skunks who came into my life last week, and have kept me way too busy to do such things as blog, for goodness sake! So, as a reflective intro to the writings soon to come, I am posting a comment I just got from our sister Cindy about raising a stink of another kind.

Wise women do not suffer fools lightly, and are inclined to raise a stink when the situation seems to warrant it. Cindy’s words rung a bell with me, and she asks us to consider if “bad” qualities actually might be better reframed in midlife as gifts. That is, is raising stinks of various kinds unseemly, or is it a virtue? Cindy would like to know…

You are all an inspiration, and I mean that with all my heart.  I take away little nuggets of wit and wisdom every time I visit here.  Now let me ask you this…..

Yesterday my husband referred to me as “cantankerous”.  He said this is his usual kidding way (I think), but I wondered this time…

His view of me is I have very little patience with phoniness, and it’s true, I don’t.  I smell it a mile away and call it what it is.  But today I am rethinking this new title as maybe something to be thankful for.  What do you think?  Have any of you reached that place in your life where you just don’t have the time or patience for the trivial, the “airs” people put on, or, like me, get really cranky if the minutia in life gets in the way of your nature time…..or meditation, nap, bath, walk, whatever it is that makes your day your own?  My response time to the situations that cramp my style has gotten shorter, and many times I’ve been compared to a pre-historic, slant-eyed raptor, turning my head to the side to size up my disturber!  Is this old age?  Is this what happens?  Or, am I developing into a seasoned, graceful wise woman, one who knows her
limits and tolerances?  Or should I be more tolerant of these daily disturbances? Or, am I just a little rough around the edges as I hone my crone skills?  Will I find a happy medium?  Oh, these things plague me!  Am I growing in grace or am I getting crotchety?  Can anyone relate?

Thank you very much, now I need to dodge the door-to door salesman walking up to my porch as I write!  Arrrgh…….

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9 Responses to RAISING A STINK…

  1. Ingrid says:

    I actually find that as I’m getting older (and hopefully, wiser!) that I’m getting more tolerant of the daily disturbances – I don’t let them get to me as much as I did when I was younger. Maybe it’s a by-product of being clearer about who I am, what I want and what I need, and not making any apologies for making sure that I take care of myself first.

    I refuse to let external circumstances be the reason for not being connected with who I really am, and looking at it that way has really helped me let go of the need to raise a stink. That’s what being in alignment means to me. To someone else, however, raising a stink may be exactly what they need to do to stay connected with their true self, so I don’t think there’s a hard and fast answer. And that, I think, is the true gift of getting older and wiser – no longer needing to have one “right” answer, but simply allowing life to flow.

  2. Kitty says:

    Me too, Cindy, and despite my recurrent guilt about saying Yes only to the things and persons who ring true for me, I adore this hard-won freedom from phony niceness.

    The latter was grilled into me from birth, I think. It lead to too many woeful doormat responses rather than to honest, tactful ones, and burdened me with resentments that stank to high heaven. Oh, the damage.

    Usually now — after so many decades of struggle — I can say No Thanks/Not My Cup o’ Tea firmly and also kindly. Only over-blow it when feeling prickly & defensive. My continuing mission is to be simple-speaking and kind, both relaxed and definite in detaching from the BS-bearers. Do not want to be witchy, critical, or even publically cantankerous; do want to be sincerely clear and calm. Strive to reserve viciousness as a rare device.

    Will take me another lifetime to get it halfway together, likely. At least each little success boosts my cause: respecting my boundaries while not becoming a snarling sniper. eg. We have a pleasant note on our front door asking that we not be disturbed unless we are expecting the caller, and this works well in our community.

    Crones’ Growing Pains — nobody warned me!

  3. Karuna says:

    Raising a ‘stink’ is speaking up for who we really are, and how we really need to live. I totally identify with what you stated……………..in fact, I’m probably at my most stinky stage in life, thus far?

    With all of our advances in technology, etc. I think we have come to disregard alot of the basic instincts and courtesies that Nature wired into our genetics. Unfortunately, sometimes this requires us to vocalize our boundaries and gently (sometimes stridently) re-arrange the contexts of our lives.

    Being ‘stinky’ or cantankerous doesn’t always sit well with me, or those around me, yet it seems to be one avenue for being truly heard. As long as we’re still lovable on the other side of the coin?

  4. D.B. says:

    For me, to put it simply…the contrast I encounter is often a direct line on what I might be currently drawing in.

    Those times (the cranky times) most often bring my desire to press on and expand…

    While I get feeling pressed or ticked I no longer dismiss the person(s) that seem to precipitate those feelings and rather am starting to understand that the idea of being easy about the differences is more satisfying than the conflict itself. An appreciation of something or someone with other views.

    It feels good to go my way and understand that the people in my life are doing the same.

    D.B. Denise from Northern Michigan.

  5. Cindy says:

    Thank you ladies for your candor….

    Upon questioning my husband further about my new “cantankerous” title, he simply said I seem to be more outspoken now, less tolerant of everyone else’s wants, and I did notice he said “wants” and not “needs”, because I feel I still do respond quickly when someone truly needs something….I guess that’s the mother in me. He said I’m not unpleasant *usually* but more forthcoming with what I will and will not do anymore. So all in all, with this new perspective, not such a bad thing. One thing I am quick to do though is this…..make amends when I need to. Thankfully I don’t have to do that often, but I am grateful that while I don’t have a high tolerance for frivolousness, I am deeply connected to my compassionate self, so I don’t intentionally bark at anyone. You know, I had this thought come to me as I finished writing my last post, (when I had to dodge the salesman coming to my door), that every encounter is a chance to connect, a spiritual relationship that can be cultivated……a holy instant with another human being. It hit me very strongly that instead of discounting someone approaching my door to sell me something I don’t need, I could view it as an opportunity to extend a kindness….along with the firm “no thank you” if need be! Humbling, this thing called spirituality, just when you think you’ve made a choice that’s right for you, another way to look at it hits you square between the eyes!! One of my friends is just like Ingrid, she doesn’t let anything or anyone disturb her serenity, and I admire her greatly for this, but I think when you are a woman who was raised to please everyone and always be “nice” there will come a time when you finally come into your own and learn to say “no”. Then that pendulum will swing to the other extreme for a while, until we come back to a happy medium…..it’s that messy growth thing! I am thankful though for my messiness, the compassion I feel, the crotchety days, the moments of clarity….that often vanish all too quickly….thankful for all of it. It’s the gift of growing older, getting to speak your mind, even if imperfectly, but always being true to yourself….always.

    Thank you again, wise women all…..every single one of you!!!

  6. Pam says:

    Cindy and everyone,

    I was so pleased to read your post and all the responses. I can take something from all you have said and it applies to my own situation and struggles as i age with grace?

    Am now in that place were being true to self and how I want to “be” in the world is more important than what others might think of me.Trying to do that with kindness and compassion is sometimes the big challenge.

    Being with our cats and our horse if i am mindful, always shows me where our true nature really belongs.

  7. Carter says:

    The great chess genius, Bobby Fischer was once observed discussing a position with an amateur. Later when asked why he would bother with such a low ranking player’s thoughts Fischer said “You can learn something from everyone.”

    I find the application more difficult than the rule.


  8. Louba says:

    Hello Susan!

    I have just discovered your blog and over the last years I have read with great interest and joy most of your books.
    I live in New-Brunswick, Canada.
    I have become over the years very possessive of my free time and I just don’t have the energy anymore to justify myself. My time is precious, I live alone with my animals and I can understand when you say you’re beiing less tolerant with certain situations. In our fifties we deserve our space. We’ve earned it actually.


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