“Michelle Obama is forever young in a sequined jumpsuit”
“The new rules of middle age, written by women”
“Women over 50, too old to love.”
These are the type of headlines I find vexing and perplexing! I’m 54 years old and the world is telling me I’m old!
That I should step back and let the newer models come through.
Google searches reveal that as a woman over 40, I have challenges!
- I have issues with my gray hair (which I guess I do – why won’t my gray hairs grow like the sexy X-Woman Storm or even Cruella De Vil?
- I’m struggling to handle my inevitable divorce – (they got that wrong I divorced in my 30s!)
- Supposedly, my health is deteriorating. Yes, I’ve had a few niggles, but I’ve run marathons in my 40s and cycle 50 – 100 miles per week in my 50s.
- #Depends are going to be my new best friend!
- Shock, horror and dismay! Despite all my years of experience I’m no longer employable.
- My outward appearance is no longer one to be revered – I need to disguise the lines under my eyes, inject poison into my forehead and squeeze my well earned belly fat into #spanx.
- Oh and the biggest one – how desperately single I am and all I worry about is how to get a man.
And the list goes on……
Admittedly, I may have experienced some of those things, but it doesn’t make me a write off. Something to be dashed aside having served its purpose, no longer a viable option.
The real rub however, is that I don’t feel old. Society and the media (aka the silent joy killers) are telling me I’m old, that I should slow down, look towards the carrot on a stick pension, put my feet up and enjoy the grandchildren but longevity figures say I’ve at least another 25 years to go (all being well).
And as much as media is portraying this unappetizing future, this isn’t the reality I see.
I see women who have raised their children, given their all to their partners and have left very little for themselves thinking “now what”?
I see women who have raised the same children and are now ready to step up their careers and take on the c-suite.
I see women who have discovered their “now what” leave the corporate world to become authors, artists, entrepreneurs and much, much more because that’s what’s right for their life right now. They’ve not given up or gone to seed – they’ve evolved! They’ve paid their dues and now it’s time to get theirs.
When I wrote my guide 5 lessons I learnt re-inventing myself at 40 and again at 50!, I didn’t expect to get such a positive reaction from so many women and it highlighted that there’s a conversation to be had with ourselves.
We’re not good at making ourselves a priority, putting ourselves first, but we do desire an alternative future. So today I’m asking you to ease up and give yourselves permission to make you a priority.
- It’s ok to break the mold past 40. After all rules are made to be broken – plus who made them anyway?
- It’s ok not to listen to the silent joy killers
- It’s ok to want more from life.
- It’s not ok to want more, moan and do nothing about getting more!
- It’s ok to admit that you unsure how to make a change and that you need help!
- It’s ok to get the help you need to live the life you desire.
So I’m going to carry on with my rebellious self and age on MY terms as I’ve earned it.