I loved this post that was shared by a friend. It is written by Dorothe Nors. Her words ring true for many baby boomers. http://lithub.com/on-the-invisibility-of-middle-aged-women/
I loved the quote ..’Because there are so many of us, and because it quite often feels as if we’re not really here.’ It is an excellent piece, although the author has overlooked one group of women, who through choice or need are separated from their children, by place and or obligation. So although in reality, they have children, they don’t. A conundrum. An empty hole that is difficult to fill. To all of us, invisible middle-aged and older women embrace Jenny Joseph’s words and refuse to be invisible. For now, I am an older ‘…woman, I will wear purple . With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter…’ and refuse to disappear into the background.
She speaks to the heart of what it is to be middle-aged or older, a woman and invisible to the rest of society, in this consumer, disposable age. There were times when I felt it was the grey hair or not so lithe body that made me invisible. The hair-dresser and the gym benefited, however, my visibility to the general ebb and flow of the public did not.
I have been known to wave my hand in front of a sales person and say. ‘ I am here, I am not invisible. I have cash to spend look at me.’ Only to be admonished with, ‘can’t Madam see I am busy.’
Well no actually you are not, you are discussing last night’s Big Mac with another sales representative. How could I be so miserable to interrupt such a heightened conversation? How misinformed was I to think my custom may be important enough to persuade you to serve me?
Now, I simply walk away and take my custom elsewhere. I have decided life is too important to waste time with myopic individuals who cannot see past the end of their noses and think that older people are worthless.
I am on the negative side of 50 but life has never been so full or challenging . I may be grey and less than slim but, I am not defined by those things. My brain is agile and my desire for life and living is as strong and vibrant as it ever was.
I can see the beauty of a lamb at play, the spiders web sparkling with diamonds of dew in the early morning light. I watch the mist wrap the majestic mountains in cotton wool clouds and see the grey pink light explode around them. I enjoy the beautiful symphonies of Bach and Beethoven and the equally beautiful symphony of the birds at dawn and dusk. I notice the fragile spider on the rose petal and marvel at the birth of each day .
Do I long for the days of travel with briefcase and carry-on luggage, taxis and plane tickets? Not really. Do I miss the stress of executive meetings, and papers to be read? Not really. Do I envy the younger women now slaves to commerce and deadlines and family obligations? No, I don’t.
I continue to have deadlines and papers to read and present. I have family obligations. I enjoy travel when the money allows. The difference being now, I choose to do these things they are not my ‘raison d’être’. I have the time and the knowledge to consider more carefully those things I wish to embrace in my life. I choose with greater care those with whom I wish to share my life. I understand there are things I cannot change, no matter how I rail against them. I have learnt to choose my battles and use my accumulated knowledge and understanding of my world to its best advantage.
Is it perfect? No. Do I want more ? Of course
The difference is now, I know I am not invisible, I know who I am and do not need validation of others. I appreciate that the journey is more important than the destination.