A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was compiling a list of facts for tweeting and if you are following me on Twitter, you have received several of them so far. Much of this information falls under the category of random trivia that might be useful if one was a contestant on Jeopardy or maybe at a dinner party with a bunch of women's studies majors.
You might have also noted that I have branded women from every background as Busy Black Women, which would have been quite a surprise to some if they were still living. And until I get a cease and desist letter, there are a lot of women still among us, black or otherwise, who are also similarly designated. So yes, Martha Stewart, Elizabeth Dole, Connie Chung, and Bethenny Frankel, ya'll are all Busy Black Women!
In compiling these facts to tweet, I have learned a lot about the women I chose to profile. It is always interesting to learn how old some celebrity really is (if the entries on Wikipedia are to be believed), and it is also great to learn that many of the women I admire have really accomplished wonderful things. It gives me hope that for all of my efforts, one day someone in the generations that follow will research my life and be inspired.
Le sigh...(freeze frame smile of hopeful pride)
So in doing a little follow up research on someone else, I happened upon a fascinating nugget about one of my favorite TV personalities of all-time, Lucille Ball. Before there were black sitcoms, there were black and white sitcoms, and I Love Lucy was one of my favorites. I used to think that my love for Lucy Ricardo had a lot to do with my childhood dreams of achieving fame and fortune. Like her, I wanted to be a star, so I tried out for every school play, sang in the choir, took dance lessons and generally made a complete fool of myself on a regular basis. I still identify with her in that I am also married to a Latino who vaguely resembles Ricky Ricardo/Desi Arnaz and I have been known to dye my hair red. However, as an adult I admire Lucille Ball the actress and entrepreneur for being a pioneer for women on television.
Her 100th birthday is on Saturday and whether you care or not, the big deal for me is what I learned about her career and how it comes at a rather timely moment for me. For years, Lucille Ball worked as a B-movie actress and was damn near 40 when she finally achieved some of her dreams.
Forty. Please marinate on that for a minute because I will be 40 at some point in the near future and like many women my age, I am anxious. I have gray hairs popping out. I get an injury and cannot recover as quickly as I used to (like the nasty gash in my big toe that has me hobbling like Frankenstein right now). I am crankier. Everything seems to take longer. I cannot go back in time to correct all of the stupid stuff I did in my twenties or my teens. My parents are older. I've got bills that are getting old along with me. I look at my life sometimes and I panic because it seems like I am so far behind my peers who are better off financially, have children, look fabulous, and seem to have it so together.
Forty. Heck, I am writing this on the day that President Obama turns 50. I wonder what type of doubts are running through his head right now...
But the point is that while I am a total hot mess at times and probably will continue to be so, I cannot give up. 40 is just a number. God willing and the creek don't rise, I will get to that mystical, magical place over the rainbow and hopefully for a minute or two, I will be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. People will read and love this blog. I will have taken a few more steps towards becoming debt-free. I might finally have a kid. By forty I will accomplish all sorts of things...I just need to stay the course.
So to conclude with the words of our BBW Guilding Light, Lucille Ball: "One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself."