In these days of hair dye, physical fitness, facelifts, breast and tummy tucks—and oh, let’s not forget Botox and other chemicals— we older women can live our lives without feeling or looking old! Modern science and our lifestyle keeps us vital. Then, one day something happens, if you allow it, and you feel yourself being pushed into the reality of life. I’ve come to some conclusions on how to avoid feeling invisible after 50 after some interesting conversations.
It happened to me three weeks ago as I sat with six of my girlfriends in a tiny focus group at my home. The topic was “How do you perceive yourself at this stage of your life?”
I was fascinated by how open the girls were in discussing their feelings. They allowed themselves to be vulnerable in front of one another in order to express exactly what was on their mind.
I sat as an observer, most of the time, because I was jolted by a word that seemed to become the “thought of the day.” The word: INVISIBLE.
One of the girls mentioned a friend of hers moved away from her home in Manhattan to a small community because, age wise, she felt INVISIBLE! She said to my friend, “I used to walk down Madison Avenue feeling visible. Now I feel INVISIBLE.”
A bouncy, popular and educated girlfriend responded, “I feel totally loved by my family but when we were together over the Thanksgiving holiday I felt INVISIBLE!” She went on to explain that she felt invisible because of her age!
And then the other girls talked about the word INVISIBLE, all feeling somewhat the same. I listened and listened hard.
Then I said, “Well, how do you feel when you walk into, let’s say the shoe department at Bergdorf Goodman, at our age, and there are two younger women standing there vying for the one saleswoman on the floor.”
They all felt the saleswoman would walk up to one of the younger women!
Now I was getting depressed because I was shocked by their answers. I swear I would think that the saleswoman would walk up to me! I would never think that age would matter. To me it’s all about attitude! We can have it at all ages, so why not flaunt it, darlings?
Can’t get it out of my head
I have been mulling over this, let’s call it the ‘I’ word for three weeks! Can you believe? I don’t like the word and I have never used the word except when I have mentioned Casper, the Ghost!
The ‘I’ word definition in The Oxford American Dictionary: Unable to be seen. Hidden. Concealed from sight. Ignored.
“OMG is this what I have to look forward to?” I keep asking myself… for three weeks now!! “Today I feel vital, visible — not vulnerable — and vibrantly alive! But one day, I now realize, because of our enlightening focus discussion, if I let myself, I will become invisible. Why?” Because darlings that is the reality of life. And it is scary. I know I have to accept this but… I do not have to live it and I do not have to allow it! How can we avoid feeling invisible after 50?
Writing this post today has been cathartic, meaning relief, through the open expression of strong emotions! Thank you for being my sounding board because this is my conclusion on the ‘I’ word…
Avoid feeling invisible after 50
I realize in our society that older people are at risk of becoming less visible. I get it! But that does not mean I will or you will. Sure we will have to keep an upbeat attitude, surround ourselves with upbeat interesting people and projects, realize that we may not be as beautiful externally but know that we will be even more beautiful internally because of our wisdom.
I am sitting at my kitchen table in my home in California and watching a hummingbird take nectar out of one of my flowering bushes. Her wings are going a mile a minute as she inhales her nourishment. I love watching her because she is so busy getting the very most out of her life.
Now every time the ‘I’ word comes to my mind, I am going to replace it with then ‘H’ word, Hummingbird! And, get on with getting the most out of my life!
And I want you to do the same, my dear darlings! Shout to the world that you are going to keep humming and humming like my little friend who appeared outside my window just when I needed her to lift my spirits and give me a lesson on life.
Dear readers how will you avoid feeling invisible after 50? How will you stay visible and vibrant?