The Queen came to visit this week. Not Liz, the English one, although she was in New York this week, but Queen Mama Donna Henes, the author of The Queen of My Self. I'd only met the Queen once before. Most of our relationship has taken place via email and telephone.
That said, a hostess, I am not. I've actually been known to invite people to dinner and forget to cook. [The conversation was too interesting!] Originally, we planned to take them out to dinner but it was too hot. So instead we ran about and cleaned up, and went to Whole Foods for lovely, cool summer salads, and we waited for The Queen.
The Queen and her entourage arrived late afternoon. Poor dear, in leaving exotic Brooklyn, a door kickstand failed, hit her suitcase, which hit herself, and she ended up in an emergency care center. So with a sprained wrist, her canine and consort, here comes the Queen. What a treat.
Donna Henes, as I've written in these pages before, is the real thing. She is elegant, thoughtful, generous, attentive. All the things we demand of our royalty. In addition, she's down to earth, has a wicked sense of humor and is a huge contributor to conversation.
One of the things that has made this summer with its crazy weather patterns fascinating is reading Donna's blog on beliefnet.com. Her blog is based on her award-winning book, The Queen of My Self and deals with meaning, moxie and majesty for midlife women. And, can I tell you? We need it.
There are more women in midlife right now than at any time in history. Furthermore, there are fewer empowering midlife models than ever. What's a graduating mother to do when she doesn't want to have plastic surgery? Or botox her lips? Or attempt to look like her own teenager? What's a near-Queen to do when she's surging with energy and wants to break out of her everyday routine? What's a princess to do when comfort has become confinement in her primary relationship?
Here's what. The princess grows up. And what do princesses grow up to be? Queens.
The process of finding our own queenliness is, or can be, fraught. Donna offers guidelines for queening, but the actual process is always personal, always individual, always feels like we're discovering something no one else has ever done. That's why, when I read Donna's book the first time, I cried. Then I cried some more.
A template! my brain said. Another one! my heart said. Yes! said my body.
Donna has her fingers on the pulse of changing midlife. We are no longer doomed to post-menopausal juicilessness. We are no longer doomed to withering invisibility. We are no longer doomed to anything ... except that with which we doom ourselves.
Midlife is about meaning. We make our own.
Midlife is about moxie. Chutzpah, noive -- we grown our own.
Midlife is about majestry. We proclaim our own.
Reading Donna's wisdom on these pages as well as in Beliefnet has brought me an even deeper appreciation for the process of becoming a Queen for the rest of a lifetime. Taking it in bite-sized doses gives me the ability to contemplate, chew on,, and adapt to my own Queendom each and every tantalizing taste.
Royal hors d'oeuvres will be served on the porch at half past four. Welcome, Queens, all!
And for those who love midlife women, her book is a national [royal] treasure, and her blog is a daily dose of spiritual support.