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Honoring My Flaws – Patsy, 50

Dr P SmallerMug NK

This is Patsy Mickens. Patsy is a one of those women, who I met through a dear friend, that has become a fast gal pal. Thoughtful and insightful, she has been supportive and at the ready with introductions to other #KuelWomen on behalf of Kuel Life. I am proud to include her in Share Your Story.
There is power in story telling. There is power in community. There is power in sharing. The more we know about one another; the more we understand; the more powerful we become.
We invite all of the KuelWomen out there to share their stories with us.
Here is Patsy’s.
KUEL LIFE: What are you pursuing now, at 50, that surprises  you or might appear to others as if it’s come out of left field?
KUEL LIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
PATSY: Get youngest son off to school, yoga (for the girl who never liked to exercise but loves the feel of a strong and flexible body), and then see psychotherapy clients for about 4 hours. Drive sons to various basketball practices. Have a glass of wine at home once I know all the day’s duties are done. The simplest way to turn off I suppose.
KUEL LIFE: With what do you struggle?  
PATSY: Finding energy to live my fullest life, and overcoming chronic mid-afternoon fatigue.
KUEL LIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
PATSY: Wine?  No, just kidding. Intimate conversations with close friends gives me energy and motivation, as well as exercising and eating well.
KUEL LIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
PATSY: Enjoy the heck out of your amazing body that carries you through life. Honor and accept each and every so called “flaw” because so called perfection is BORING!!! True, it would be nice to see less sag on the chin etc., but there’s no replacement for the beauty and grace of aging with humility and having a life filled with love and resilience from experiencing and overcoming suffering.
KUEL LIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
PATSY:  Vulnerability, to me, means being who you really are, in all aspects, moods, and challenges. It means trusting others enough to speak from our places of hurt and fear. It means letting go of controlling how others receive us and our stories. Nothing makes me feel more vulnerable than how my children see me through their eyes. I so hope I mean the world to them.
KUEL LIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
PATSY: First, growing up with a young mother who couldn’t really guide me but who loved me very much; second, the birth of my first son who has Down Syndrome. I didn’t know how I’d survive the heartache, but I did; and he’s lovely, beautiful, and perfect in his own way. Third, connecting with my heart and core self during my journey to become a psychotherapist in my forties.
KUEL LIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
PATSY: Tough question. Maybe my father, with whom I had a very difficult relationship throughout my adult life. He pushed me to pursue academic excellence and aim high, and I think that was the origin of creating many of the amazing opportunities I’ve had in my life, beginning with a pretty fantastic college experience.
KUEL LIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
PATSY: “While the pain you feel over your loss won’t ever change, it will move to the periphery, so that it’s not not the only thing you see and feel.”
KUEL LIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
PATSY: So many do!!! How to choose? I’m going to choose Maxine Waters. Feminist, humanist, mother, protector, fearless. She speaks truth to power without wincing and she cares for young people as if they were her own children. Auntie Maxine.
KUEL LIFE: Are you grown-up?
PATSY: Depends on the hour. At 9 am, yes. 10 pm? Depends. In earnestness though, yes. I have cried tears of joy and tears of anguish; I have loved and been loved deeply; I have taken risks, and I have won and lost. I know, unlike at the age of 7, the world doesn’t revolve around me or my loved ones. We are each just a tiny and yet huge part of the magnificent, glorious, and bewildering ecosystem of life.
KUEL LIFE: What do you do for self-care?
PATSY: A healthy dose of things that are good for me, and things that are so-called bad but not really;))
KUEL LIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
PATSY: Travel to Israel and Egypt. Be a really wonderful grandmother (in their eyes) and mother-in-law (in their eyes). Die in the arms of a man I call the love of my life. (lol, I know when you say bucket list you aren’t talking about death, but that’s what I want!!)

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