Women of a certain age

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The invisibility of age

I want to talk about women of a certain age because I guess I have recently come to realise that I am one of these women and I’m not digging it very much.

I'm scared of getting old

Now to be honest I’m not even sure what age this saying refers to, but I’ve always thought it was for the over 50’s and was always said with a certain negativity, referring perhaps to how bitter or judgmental someone was, or perhaps to their looks. I didn’t realise that I had a fear if getting older until I realised that I am 50 next year and I’m not sure what to do with this feeling. People tell you age is just a number and you’re only as old as you feel, but is that really true? I’m sure that if you ask any female actress or model for example, they would absolutely tell you how their career ended when they reached a certain age.

Why am I getting all bitter?

I’ve always felt of myself as young with youthful ways and an extremely childish sense of humour, however I have found these qualities turning to bitterness, resentment and anger and when I ask anyone they tell me I should go to the doctor as it could be hormonal change. And maybe it is, but you won’t find me anywhere near any tablets in an attempt to get Sarah back. While I am for sure looking forward to not having to deal with periods again, I absolutely do not want to change, that I know.

I feel myself melting

Yet I feel myself melting away, disappearing into the background and for the first time in my life feeling invisible. It’s like I’m screaming and no one can hear me, like I am running around naked and no one is watching or even cares. I don’t know if that is freedom or fading into the background. Granted, part of this may be more to do with how I am feeling than what is really happening and no one is running around naked anytime soon, but I can’t help but feel that women over a certain age have no easy place in society. Often portrayed in the media as grumpy and opinionated or worse still, struggling with an empty nest, the world seems to have no place for women with wrinkles and belly-fat.

I have so much to share

Yet inside I am yearning to share what I know, to feel wise, to take my rightful place as the elder women I am becoming, but we don’t much care for them, do we?

I find myself longing for the days when Grandma was a force to be reckoned with and a matriarchal leader, when elders in a tribe were revered and looked up to.

What is the place for us wiser folks

So I’m left still wondering. In the age of modern technology, a community dominated by younger people, what is the place for us wiser folks? When the generation below us feel they have nothing to learn for those born outside of the on-line worlds they inhabit, what can we bring?

Where do you find your voice?

I’m struggling with this. I feel like I want to stand up and claim my rightful place, yet in a crowded world ruled by Millennials where does one find a voice? In a world where everyone feels they are an expert and would much rather dish out advice than take it, what is left for those of us who inhabit this world yet don’t belong to it?

Should I go quietly?

Perhaps we should go quietly; perhaps we should become invisible and just enjoy our lives, leaving them to it, but to me that somehow feels wrong, it feels like I’m cheating and have been cheated.

I'm so stuck

And for once in my life I find myself unable to move forward, not knowing which way to turn and stumped as to what is next. I know what I don’t want; I don’t want to be a woman of a certain age, challenging the way young people live nowadays. Nor do I want to feel like I am down with the kids, because I will never nor never want to understand the pull of Love Island.

So I find myself at sea, looking for a shore and not even knowing which way the wind is blowing. But like always I will forge ahead and make the best of whatever land I spot first. I will carve a way, make a path and hope that by the time my young women reach that certain age, this will a struggle that they no longer have to deal with or even entertain.