I walked into an office for a meeting the other day and felt OLD! I did not belong here. Now, this may sound vain, but I don’t think I look my age. I’m 56 and I don’t have the short poufy practical hairdo that my mother has had since she was 40. I have long hair that requires blowdrying, straightening or curling each day. I don’t wear elastic waist pants that match the floral blouses that I remember my grandmother wearing at least by age 50. I wear skinny jeans and stilettos. But this office was filled with, what looked like college students! I got the looks girls give when a mom walks through the college dorm. You know when everyone tries to get a glimpse and guess whose mom was here visiting. I felt as if I didn’t belong.
Everything around seems to be trying to say I am no longer relevant. Ads for products I buy have models and actors in their 20’s or even late teens. Even anti-wrinkle creams have a 22-year-old showing the magic of their secret serums! I own a digital marketing agency and I know how hard it is to find images on any stock photo site with REAL middle-aged women. It’s like photographers will snap photos of women until they turn 29 and then they move to 80-year-olds with walkers in nursing homes or comical old lady pics. Advertisers are no longer trying to sell to me…except for the prescription drug companies. I believe we need to REBRAND “Middle-Age.” It needs a new name, a new term, a new outlook.
Maybe our parents were counting down the days until retirement so they could slow down when they were in their 50’s, but I’ve got things to do. Creative work to still contribute to. I’m tired of hearing people speak as if life is over at age 50 or even 60. We have only begun at 50. After all, we spend our 20’s trying to build confidence and discover where we are going with our careers. Our 30’s are spent juggling our new families and trying to maintain sanity if we are working and raising young children, and then in our 40’s, we start to come into our own. We realize we’ve done all the hard things. We learn that we are smarter and stronger than we gave ourselves credit for. We start to exhale.
In our 40’s and 50’s we start to settle down (and I don’t just mean our body parts). We begin to take inventory and assess what we really want out of our work, our relationships, and our life. It’s like standing on a mountain top that took us 20 years to get to and then surveying the landscape to decide where we want to go next. It’s not time to stop.
Do you have dreams and ambitions that have been stuffed in that closet with your old yearbooks? Are there corners of your life that you have let dust settle in and you’re starting to feel that it’s time to clean them out and address what needs to be done, like your health, or old patterns that are not serving you well? You’re not alone. I feel the tremors under the feet of women I speak with. We’re feeling that our best years are ahead, and we have big bags of unfinished business that need to be unpacked and put out on display.
What are the steps you can take now to begin rebranding this second half of your life? Is there a class you can sign up for that would awaken your soul? Perhaps a salsa class or a sculpture class. There might be a retreat that you need to attend to submerge yourself in the NEW and surround yourself with others seeking this soul revolution. Is there is a business you need to start? A book you need to write? I know one thing, if you are in the second half of your life and career, you belong at The Village Workspace. This is the place where we will see all ages mentoring each other, collaborating, and building our dreams regardless of the half we are living! Let’s talk about it. Let’s encourage each other and start this revolution and rebranding of what it means to enter the second half of our lives.
YOU BELONG HERE!