too stubborn to play the game

I once got a horrible grade on a standardized test for my essay...and this is after aquiring a BA in Creative Writing...guess that degree did me no good. I got a bad grade because I refused to find a way to make the topic work for me. The topic was something like: Name something you regret from your past and what you learned from it.

I'm sure the question was meant to be benign but i read it before doing the English and Math portion, like any good standardized test prep teaches you to, so I had time to think....no, stew...over the topic. One of my main philosophies in life is to live with no regrets. Regrets are pointless...I believe you should make conscious decisions and live with the consequences. Don't spend time thinking of could haves and should haves, it's a waste of time. I literally could not think of one single regret. "So," I hear you say, "make something up...they don't know you."
And I could have; I could have looked at it like a writing prompt and created a lie, a fiction if you will, and embellished it until I believed it myself. A little creative writing and a great score on an essay that was probably only looking for basic grammar and fulfilling the checkboxes of: understood topic, addressed topic appropriately, summarized essay. But instead I spent the essay explaining why I had no regrets. And why did I not play the game and make something up? Because I'm stubborn. So I passed the essay but not with full marks like I have come to expect from my experience with standardized tests.

I am having a similar reaction to this week's topic. I have wrestled with finding a way into the topic...fiction? addressing something specific in my life? a poem?
But really, I'm being stubborn. I don't need struggle to feel alive. I live in a state of appreciation (not every day, I'm not that evolved), I realize how short life is, I love what I do, I have people to shower my love on. I don't need struggle. So, Universe, if you're listening...I'm good. Thanks for sending me struggles but you can send them on to others who may need it to feel alive.

Woman of a Certain Age

I've never been this age before.
This age of not being the target demographic; this age of not being pretty, just good-looking for my age; this age of looking tired not because I haven't slept well for a few nights but realizing looking tired is really just my face aging; this age of not caring what people think of me; this age of walking away from conversations that I don't feel like having; this age of not apologizing for things anymore; this age of wisdom and humor and wishing I could do it all again knowing what I know now.

I have led a life trying not to do boring, ordinary jobs and I have, for a large part, succeeded. I have lived a life leaning into fear. Fear makes me angry so if I notice myself avoiding something, I get mad and seek that activity out instead. I have been a ski instructor, swim instructor, swim coach, sign language interpreter, technical director of a theater, art teacher, high school technical theater teacher, costume designer, theater set designer, professional photographer, actor, writer and mother during my life and I still haven't decided what I will be when I grow up.

I am amazed at the fluidity of time and how it can feel so fast and slow at the same time. I am worried that the future is not promised and it can all come to a stop tomorrow but I plan for the future anyway.
My life is a constant struggle between reality and trying to find a deeper philosophy. It's hard to consider the universe when the bathroom sink decides to start leaking or the children are sick or the bills need to get paid.
But in the car alone, when my mind ranges over philosophy and the concept of reality, I have flashes of expansion where I can see the connection of everyone and the insignificance of the short time I have on this planet and I find that comforting.

There's so much left to do...can't wait to see what happens next.