Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

No F*cks Left to Give: A Midlife Manifesto Part II

For many years now, one character keeps asking me to tell her story. I've begun many times, but something has always gotten in the way. Yet this character lives within me. She is the Storyteller. In my mind, she is a wise woman, a crone, a goddess, a witch. A woman who shares stories by the fireside to help her community understand the broken parts, the parts they have damaged, the parts they can change. As she weaves her tales, the sparks of the fire dance to form the images of people, places, things . . . her stories come to life.

An older woman with flowing, wavy, silver hair. Comfortable and confident in her life well-lived. Her story, and her wisdom etched into a face. Lessons learned, melded into her body.

I may not look exactly like her, although the silver white in my hair is coming through, but I have come to realize something important.

She is me, I am her. And, I choose to model myself after her. For you see, this character who demands her story be told holds nothing back. She speaks to justice, kindness, love, the power of women, and the power of story, even against a community that wants to destroy her and anyone like her. In one version I have tried to write, she is put to death as she tells her final story.

She speaks against facism, racism, antisemitism, hate of any kind, as well as the brokenness of capitalism and of society.

As I said, she is me, and I am her. And today I add to my manifesto of midlife

Wisdom comes with experience, with failing and picking yourself back up, with wrinkles and silver hair. Embrace the crone, she is amazing.

Value is defined by the actions you take, not the money you claim. (So if you treat other's like shit to "own" anyone, you are a piece of shit).

The process of living allows room for all possibility, focusing too much on product and reward limits the imagination and possibilities.

There's always time for a dance break!!!!

Being kind or liberal does not mean you have to be a pushover. Standing up against bullies and bullshit, is sometimes the kindest thing you can do.

Surround yourself with people who get you. Protect yourself from people who drain you.