Are you a 50 something woman (or heading there)? The good news is you are an elder-in-training. The bad news is “60 is the new 40” is bullshit.
What’s wrong with 60? 70? 80? I don’t ever want to be 40 again. In January I stopped coloring my hair. Let it go grey. My husband was aghast, “No don’t do it.”
If I keep trying to look younger, I won’t accept the truth of where I stand today. Acceptance. Going grey the ground shifted and things aligned. My ancestors showed up and said, “She’s ready.”
I loved spending time with my grandmother. Going grey helped me re-member again the Elders hold wisdom.
One summer Grandma rented a house at the shore, inviting her sisters and mother to join her. She invited me to fly back from Florida to New Jersey. Imagine a 16 year old spending time with her granny, great aunts and great grandma. Women born in turn of the century, now in their 70’s, along with my 98 year old Great Grandma Bateman, still going strong in the last year of her life. Big sigh. Everything in my life slowed way down that week. These women didn’t rush about, they sat and talked. Shared stories. Laughed.
When my period showed up, I had to run out for supplies, they shared stories of getting their periods. Of my Aunt Dot running through he house hysterical because no one told her about the “women’s stuff.”
“Let’s go for a ride” meant the ritual began. Potty. Sweaters. Pocketbooks. Canes. Walker.
Moving like turtles 45 minutes later we were in the car driving all over South Jersey. Visiting places we all grew up. Ocean City. Cedarville. Fortescue. Delaware Bay. Stopping at farm stands. Remembering when so and so did this. Oh remember when they tore that down.
I can’t remember those stories now, but the energy is with me. I wish I’d asked more. Listened deeper. That week they loved me at a time I felt isolated and alone. Now I see they too felt isolated and alone.
As an Interior Designer in my 30’s I designed retirement living facilities. I saw a lot of healthy vital people in their 80’s having a good time. My colleague, an architect, who spent years designing retirement facilities shared,
I didn’t know what he meant… until I hit 50. Moving through 50’s is not easy, there are a lot of endings and beginnings. Like a steel blade in the fire you’re tempered. If I’m fighting where I’m at it feels like slogging through life. Choices are being made. My first astrology teacher was 14 years older than me and shared through the lens of her life experience as a mother and grandmother.
I’m proud of the “seasoned” wisdom I bring into client sessions. That’s my role as an elder. By the time you’ve reach 60 it feels like you’ve been stripped bare and back to 40. What it does mean is you own where you’re at…warts, shame and all.
It means you grieve deep losses, the should of’s and could of’s.
It means you own the age you’re at, and wear it proudly.
It means your life’s journey is real.
There’s a deep rich story to tell that younger ones need to hear.
Who are you choosing to be your mentor and why? Have they had the life experiences to nurture what you want to bring forward? Own your wisdom. Own your life’s journey. Be the elder you’re meant to be.