Not long ago I was talking to a woman about my book “Prime Spark: Women Over 55, It’s Our Time!” She quickly got terribly upset with me. It almost felt as if she was getting angry at me. I was very confused. I didn’t think I’d said anything insulting or nasty or whatever. The longer she talked, the more agitated she got. And finally she said, “I DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT GETTING OLDER!” Ah, there we had what the difficulty was. Since that conversation, I’ve had the same or similar reactions a number of times from “women of a certain age.”
Given how our society generally sees and treats older women, that is an understandable reaction. The thing is, hopefully, we all will get older. In fact it’s a gift to get older, a true luxury that many don’t have the opportunity to experience.
Women Over 55: Let’s Talk About Getting Older
If you knew that you are truly blessed to be getting older, what would change for you? Think of all the things you LIKE about getting older. When I’ve asked groups of women that question, they say things like not caring so much about what other people think, being more at peace with who I am, finally having time to do some things I’ve always wanted to do.
In a recent online article in AARP’s The Ethel,” titled “A Man Explains What He Loves Most About Women Over 60” Drew Jubera says:
“A woman in her 60s looks at you differently. It’s not better or worse than the look one gets from a woman of any other age, it’s just … different. She’s a woman who has lived through much of the 20th century and all of the 21st century, and so she has seen, done, encountered, endured, been challenged by, luxuriated in, put up with and relished a whole hell of a lot.
Six decades along, she no longer needs to apologize for, boast about, be dragged down by, wonder if or, really, put up with anything else.
Not anymore. She is woman, and she has roared.“
The Benefits of Aging
I know that on any particular morning it may be difficult to feel this way when a knee joint hurts that didn’t hurt before. Or when looking in the mirror there’s yet one more wrinkle in the space between your eyebrows. Or when the young man at the shoe store brings out box after box of “old lady shoes” when all you’ve said is that you want something comfortable. But that’s all small stuff as compared with who you are inside.
So, rather than thinking about what you can no longer do, think of all the things you couldn’t do until now like start your own business, run for political office, sign up for a foreign language course, reread your favorite novels, write your memoir, and on and on.
And then there is the woman I heard speak the other day who at 53 began running for the first time in her life. Since then she has done several Ironman triathlons and many full marathons. Now that isn’t for everyone, I admit, but it just goes to show what we can do if we want to and have the necessary resources.
We Are Getting Better With Age
As Drew Jubera said in his article, we’ve all seen a lot, been through a lot, been challenged many times. . .and here we are. And we are magnificent. We are getting better and better and have more to offer than at any other time in our lives. More skills. More experience. Deeper wisdom. Where would you like to put all that excellence? Maybe you’re already doing it. If so, fantastic! Keep going! If not, I encourage you to explore further what could be the next exciting phase of your life. Women Over 55: Let’s Talk About Getting Older, it’s not a bad thing!
Whether you’re actively involved in doing something you love or are searching for your next steps, being with a group of dedicated, like-minded women provides camaraderie and support. Come join us in the Prime Spark Membership Community. We celebrate the women we are and all the years we’ve lived to get to this point. We celebrate life! And we’d love to have you with us!
Sara Hart, PhD, is an author, speaker, and coach. She is leading the change for how older women are seen and treated in our society. She is the creator of Prime Spark, a movement to transform how women over 55 take charge of their future. Sara is the author of three books, and has over 40 years’ experience in leadership development, coaching, and building thinking environments. She was director of training and development for a Fortune 100 company and executive director of the Institute for Women and Technology. To learn more about claiming your power as a senior woman, visit Prime Spark today!