To tat or not to tat, THAT is the question

Vintage-photograph-of-incredible-head-toe-ink-women-20s-30s-40s-11

AGMA decided to make a late mid-life career change in my 50’s.

Despite having an MBA, I never quite warmed to the politics of “How to Succeed in Business by Kissing Ass” scenario. I’m not a mover and shaker type. I’m not uber competitive. I deplore drama of any sort.

When AGMA first started working as a young adult, I believed that intelligence, integrity and hard work would bring success in the business world.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….

When it dawned on me how incredibly naive I had been, I settled into a career as an underling in the IT department of an insurance company in Cincinnati for 20+ years. But AGMA was pretty happy being an underling. I was able to work part-time (much of it from home) in a professional position that allowed me to be around for my kids (can you say car pool queen?) and do lots of volunteer work while earning a decent salary.

It was all wonderful until Son#2 (the snarky, but oh so sweet one) had the nerve to go off to college. My company got a new CIO who did not approve of part-time at home workers, so I was “forced” to work (I shudder when remembering)…40 hours a week. Full time.

Oh, the humanity!

AGMA was a baby about it; I was miserable even though I loved my co-workers and was now making more money than I’d ever made.

Then Hubs got a promotion and had to move to Atlanta. AGMA didn’t want to move to Atlanta. I didn’t want to leave what had been my home for 30 years to start over. I didn’t want to leave my friends.

“But you can quit your job and not have to go back to work in Atlanta.” Hubs crooned softly in my ear.

Thems was powerful words.

Buh bye Cincinnati!

But of course, AGMA, being undiagnosed ADHD, got bored pretty fast.

After taking a hobby job at a upscale cookware retailer for several years, and stocking my kitchen with amazing cooking stuff (eat your heart out Alton Brown!), I got restless. I had this nagging feeling that I should be doing something else; something more meaningful than working for minimum wage selling $200 chef’s knives to people with lots of disposable income.

That something was becoming a theraputic massage therapist. Who knew?

Since AGMA graduated from massage school in 2009, I’ve been hopelessly happy with my career choice.

OMG – it’s about time!

My business has morphed from exclusively table work to now, almost exclusively corporate chair massage. And I love it!

I contract with a number of other MT’s who own their own businesses. They do all the marketing, billing, payment and recruiting. They are the ones who have the headaches associated with owning a small business.

All I do is show up and work.

It’s awesome because it fits in perfectly with my travelin’ ways. AGMA works when I want and turns down jobs when we fly off to wherever.

A MT works with far more people doing chair massage than doing table work. A typical chair session is 15 minutes. A table massage usually last an hour. So in at a 3 hour job, I will work on 11 or 12 people.

And AGMA comes in contact with a whole spectrum of folks when I’m doing chair massage. Actors, electricians, teachers, administrative assistants, CEO’s, graduate students… And they come in all sizes, colors, genders, ages, religions – you get the picture.

And a lot of them have tattoos. A. Lot.

Even the ones who look like they wouldn’t a tattoo will have little ones hiding on the their shoulder blade. How do I know this? Sometimes is necessary to pull down a clients shirt a little bit in back to work on their necks. I mean, you gotta do the neck – people hold crazy tension in their neck. So that can give a pretty good view of their upper back.

There are others who have tattoos all over their arms and back. I worked on one young lady last week who had huge wings tattooed on her upper chest. She also had tattoos on her arms. All up and down her arms. And her back. She was quite colorful!

So, of course, AGMA, feeling like I should be more colorful, is pondering getting another tattoo.

I thought the one I got last year would be my first and last. I’ve loved it from the first day I got it and have never had any buyers remorse. Every time I look at it, I smile.

I realize that I am delightfully not normal.

But AGMA needs to accelerate the decision making process. It took 13 years for me to decide what kind of a tattoo I wanted. 13 years from now, I’m going to be closing in on 80. I think I want to pull the trigger a bit sooner for my second one.

But what to get, what to get…? And should I even get another one? I mean, I’m not a spring chick anymore. More like an old cluck up.

I’m conflicted.

So whaddaya think? Do I have millennial envy? Or am I just a late bloomin’ Boomer? A really late Boomer bloomer… Should I listen to my head that says, “WTF?” Or should I follow my heart and become more colorful?

Aging gracefully my ass!

Inked!

20170129_183845-version-2

 

Yeah AGMA did!

I really love this picture.  My fabulous ink artist (Joey) took it right after she finished my tattoo.

The agony and the ecstasy.

I know it looks massive but it’s not really all that large.  I cropped it so you can’t see the flab on my back.  Or all the brown spots.  AGMA had no idea I had so many brown spots on my back.

What’s that all about?

My tat’s on my upper right scapula (that’s shoulder blade to the non-anatomy geek) and the blue larkspur is flowing over my shoulder.  Kinda girly.

I’m so grateful to Joey for pulling together all my crazy, random AGMA thoughts and Pinterest tattoo pictures into a design that I absolutely love.   But I do realize that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea…

I wanted a running theme because I believe that taking up running when I was 59 totally changed my life.  For the better.  For the way better.

But I also wanted to incorporate my family in the design.  They are, after all, the most important thing on earth to me.

AGMA’s getting mushy.

So the flowers coming out of the soul (get it?) of my shoe are my family’s birth month flowers.  I knew you would be wondering…

Holly for December, snowdrops for January, lily and larkspur for July.  And violets for my  sweet, little baby granddaughter…who happens to be named Violet.

AGMA thinks there’s room for more flowers if my son and DIL decide to have a third and he/she’s not born in December, January or July.  That would be fun.

But I think I’m going to go back to Joey to get something else added.  In a couple of months. As soon as I recover from this first round.  It was kinda ouchy.

Beneath the stem, I’d like to add “2 Timothy 4:7”

If you look it up in the New Testament (NIV) 2 Timothy 4:7 says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

AGMA likes that.

Thanks for going on this fantastic journey with me!

Aging gracefully my ass.

 

 

 

 

Bloomin’ n struttin’

clydesdale

Time’s a cruel bastard.

Yeah – that’s right. I said it.

Time’s evidently decided to run at a full gallop in 2017, and passed me so quickly that it’s already been two weeks since the last AGMA post. Yikes!

When I was young, Time seemed to be extremely lazy and liked to lolly gag around. Like he had nothing else to do but to taunt me with possibilities beyond my reach. I thought I would never turn 16. Or graduate from high school. Or go be grown up enough to go on a date…

Louise, my sweet step-mother, in the midst of my late 1960’s teenage angst, used to tell me I was going to be a late bloomer. She was trying to comfort me on those many (most) Friday and Saturday nights I would be chilling at home or over at one of my girlfriend’s. And not 16. Or a high school graduate.

And definitely NOT on a date.

But she was right. As usual.

AGMA turned 63 last week. And miracles of miracles, I think, just maybe, I’m starting to bloom. Like one of those century plants that flowers every 100 years.

But it only took me 63.

It feels like, after so many long, tumultuous, crazy  years, I’ve finally – finally – started to hit my full stride. And gotten my sh*t together. Sorta kinda.

But seriously?

At this point, there’s a heck of a lot less time to stride than when I was angsting in my parents home in the 60’s.  A lot less time to show off my lovely sh*t.

Round about early January, I got this sweet notice from WordPress congratulating me on 3 years of blogging. “What?” I noodled, “I’m pretty sure it’s only been 2 years. It can’t be 3 years already. I couldn’t have lost a year in there right?”

I was wrong. WP was right. Show offs.

So I was at my local tattoo parlor last week…

Did you you hear that? I said I was at a tattoo parlor!

Yeah baby – the ink’s gonna happen in 2017!

Last week was the first round of the design phase. After a couple of years of indecision and the inability to commit to a design, suddenly it all became clear. It was like divine inspiration. I knew what I wanted and why I wanted it. And where…

I’m not a Pinterest person, but I filled up my Tattoo ideas board with 23 pins. Typical AGMA.

The guy at the tattoo place was really nice. The woman I want to actually do the tattoo wasn’t in yet, but Stan helped me pull together the ideas I had into one design. It’s not there yet but it’s a great starting place.

AGMA’s pretty excited.

Stan said something to me that really struck me. It was something practical like needing to be careful about something because it could cause the colors to fade over the course of time. And, before I even knew what was coming out of my mouth, I said, “Honestly, I probably won’t live long enough for that to happen.”

Stan kinda looked shocked. AGMA, the good time tattoo buzz killer.

I guess I’m feeling a little angry at being a century bloomer. It just feels like I’ve wasted a hell of a lot of time. Time that I will never, ever get back. A lifetime almost.

But then a wise person might say that I wasn’t ready; I hadn’t learned the lessons I needed to learn. Until now. So that makes now the perfect time.

To everything, there a season and all that crap.

And I remember Ken, my 58 year old friend who died suddenly in December with still so much life ahead of him.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is guaranteed.

“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”   Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Act 5, scene 5, 19-28

I guess that decides it.

I’ll bloom whenever and wherever, strut my together sh*t whenever and wherever, for as long as I have.  And get my ink ASAP.

Watch for AGMA blooming and strutting this Saturday at the Women’s March on Washington.  I probably won’t make The Guardian this time, but then again, maybe I will!

My next post could be from the pokey (great word!) asking for a donation to my GoFundMe page for bail…

Ink me!

vintage_stock___tattooed_lady_by_hello_tuesday-d4x63r3

I’m still on my trip to South Africa. I have no idea how it’s going since I’m actually writing this before I leave. But I’m sure I’m having a mahvelous time… Wish you were here!

So Shelly at Destination Now has thrown down a challenge for AGMA. Sort of.

She made this comment to my Of Tramp Tats and Haircut post:  “So, I was reading this on my phone, waiting for my zumba class to begin. I got to this sentence and before I could scroll further, I paused. Slightly in shock, because I thought “my tattoo covered, septal cartilage” was referring to YOU. Well, you did use the pronoun “MY”. If those HAD been your adjectives, I would definitely been convinced that you were taking AGMA very seriously!”

What? Me not taking AGMA seriously?

And I realized that she was right. I’ve been getting fat and happy and lazy. And probably a little stupid. Sure, I ran two marathons in 2015, but what have I done lately to not age gracefully? A few snarky blog posts and that’s about it. Have I pierced anything but my ears? No. Have I dyed my hair purple? No. Have I been arrested for any acts of civil disobedience?  No, no and no.

Shameful.

I need to start living up to the essence of AGMA.

Since I got the edgy cut, maybe now it’s time I got the ink. I’ve actually been thinking of getting a tattoo since I was in my late forties. I though I’d get one when I turned fifty.

Nope.

Then I swore, “For my 60th!” That was two years ago. Nada.

As to the elusive what, early in the fantasy tattoo world of my mind,  I fancied getting a little flower on my ankle.  Seriously?  ZZzzzzz…

When I was in my fifties, and still all hot and bothered in my love affair with Ireland, I felt partial some sort of Celtic knot. *sigh*  So overdone. So yesterday.

Being the bat*hit crazy cycling fanatic that I am, of late I’ve toyed with the idea of the Tour de France logo. But that might be a bit cheeky since I can’t actually ride a bike.

What to do? What to do?

Then I had a brilliant idea. I’ll let one of you decide. Yup. One of you will be responsible for probably one of the biggest mistakes I’ll ever make.

Excited?  I know I am.

What kind of ink should I get and where? Just remember, gravity is taking it’s toll on certain parts of my body. Actually, quite a few parts. And, I’m a wimp when it comes to pain.

I know some of your are pretty sick puppies. I can’t wait!

I’m ready.  Hit me with your best shot!