One of the best things about reaching your 60s is that you can stop worrying what other people think and really start to be yourself.
Our generation likes to turn things on their ears.
We’ve exerted a lot of energy reshaping the world. Women’s rights (hats off to Gloria Steinem), rock ‘n roll (thank you, Woodstock), technology (kudos to Steve Jobs) and politics (sorry).
So it’s no surprise that Baby Boomers are now rethinking The Golden Years.
There are two types of change – those changes thrust upon us, leaving us no choice, and those that we make by choice – both with either a positive or negative outcome.
I have, as have you, no doubt, been faced with many mountainous, thrust-upon-me kind of life changes.
When you’re a year or two away from retirement, or from your kids graduating and moving on with their lives, you start fantasizing about how wonderful it’s going to be to have lots of free time to do whatever you want to do.
This last summer, here in Big Sur, California, we were transformed by fire. The Soberanes Fire, started by a careless camper with an illegal campfire, became the longest-burning fire in the history of Monterey County.
You’ve heard it said that youth is wasted on the young. It’s true! But some of us had no childhood to waste. We were subject to forces beyond our control and became old before our time.
So, it’s the start of another new year and you know what that means – resolutions. I have an impressive history of faithfulness regarding resolutions, faithfully making and breaking them, that is.
Every January 1st, I faithfully write down my resolutions in my journal and just as faithfully break most of them before the ink has completely dried on the page.
“I feel invisible because of my age,” is a leading thought in the minds of many women of a certain age.
I did not say a specific age, nor did I say all women are faced with this dilemma. After all, these feelings depend on the woman. But I will say this, more women than not, as they age, feel invisible.
As we reach our 60th birthday, it’s natural to look back and ask where all the time has gone.
Of course, we know “logically,” exactly what we have done with our lives. For the last 6 decades, we built our careers, raised our families and supported our spouses. In our “spare time,” (don’t laugh!) we tried to keep up with our passions and read the occasional book.
There’s a rumor circulating that after a certain age women disappear.
Not literally, of course, but for all practical purposes many older women feel overlooked, dismissed and ignored. Curiosity drove me to investigate why some of us fade out while others continue to be noticed.
But before I divulge the secrets to banishing the cloak of invisibility forever, I think it’s important to validate what happens to women as we leave menopause behind.