Friday, October 14, 2011
Do you mind getting older? I mean aside from all the aches and pains, etc…
My “baby” sister turned 48 on Columbus Day-I did what many others did and wished her a Happy Birthday to her on FaceBook. I did the dastardly thing and put down both of our ages.
Bear in mind, we both look pretty darned good for women who are middle-aged. At first my sister said she was a bit miffed that I “outed” her on that score, and then she thought about the fact that we did look younger than our years and because I put down my age, she decided it wasn’t so bad after all.
Me, while I’m not enjoying the added doctors’ appointments, the added medications, the various health idiosyncrasies and such, I figure I’m actually okay with getting older. It’s the byproducts I’m not enjoying.
I know, I know-my yearly “birthday” column has me lamenting my age, but really-the number itself never has bothered me. At 30 I didn’t freak out that I was, well 30. I looked great, I was in the best shape of my life and I was proud to announce that I had crossed over and past my twenties.
When I was about to hit 40, I thought-okay, I’ve got some medical issues and need cataract surgery-still, I looked pretty darned good (I was hoping the fact that I saw no wrinkles and lines had more to do with good genetics that the cataracts) and life went on after the new decade took effect. Plus, I was doing okay with the writing and had an enjoyable “day job” situation, so life was good.
Now when I saw 50 approach, I figured I was already a grandma and had now been down-sized out of my “day job”, what more could happen?
The “what more” was that according to several articles in the newspaper I free-lance for and numerous internet news reports said “The likelihood of a woman in her 50’s who has been laid off from her job getting another full time position in her lifetime ranks up there with being the victim of a shark attack.”
Really? Evidently so. I was laid off from my job 3 years ago and have filled out over 150 applications that have garnered me a whopping 3 interviews. All three interviews seemed to go extremely well-2 had more or less had told me all that was left was to call me with a starting date, all 3 fell into the abyss of “don’t call us, we’ll call you”.
What I’m realizing is that the getting older isn’t bothering me, the health issues will ebb and flow (that is NOT an age issue in my book) and my grandkids are getting older. What does bother me is that the world views my life as not being one that can still flourish and grow but as one that is on a downward spiral!
It’s not depressing to be getting older-I’ve earned the right to crow about what my life has been and how happy I am to be living it. What is depressing and shameful is that so many employers don’t think that women over 50 deserve the time to be promising, talented and useful additions to their staff.
The worst are our fellow women who make their older counterparts feel as if we’re not worthy of a chance in continuing our contributions to the world.
That said, I guess I’m off to acupuncture so that I can move enough to enjoy the week to come.
There are times when it bothers me, specifically if I feel held back by my age. I'd be lying if I denied the tiny bit of worry about the encroaching years. Will I still feel attractive as I grow older? Of course, Helen Mirren is a great inspiration in this regard. Can I remain fit enough to be active? Jeez, if Keith Richard's still functioning, there's hope. *laughs*
However, just the other day I thought about Who I Am and what I've done. The early years were fraught with insecurity. With each passing decade, I've grown more confident, more aware, more accomplished. I actually thought to myself yesterday that I'm quite proud of the woman I've become. Would I trade it all to go back to my twenties? Oh, dear goddess, NO. ☺
All I really want is to remain as fit as possible, be able to physically do the activities I love and continue on growing and learning. But I do know one thing. I'd rather be older and know what I know, then younger and still be searching for the awareness I now have. So there's that!
Thanks for a thought-provoking post!!
I'm hoping to get back to being my less "depressed" self soon-if only the TV would stop showing those commercials for the SPCA.
I think there are prejudices against older candidates vying for jobs and competing with younger applicants. I know I would have problems there if I ever left or was forced out of my present job. Just this week I forgot how to get an outside line to dial out on my phone, and I had to ask someone else. Not good.