In light of the recent Woman’s Day, I think it is appropriate to share these thoughts I posted a few years ago.
“The stereotypes of old women as poor, dumb, and ugly have remained similar over the past 15 years. … The older woman should be viewed from another perspective, one in which her life history records her transformations and individuality throughout her lifespan.”
While reading Older and Happier at Work by Luchman, Kaplan, & Dala, the phrases above popped out at me.
Although I don’t yet consider myself to be an “old” woman, with any luck I am moving inexorably in that direction. I come from a long line of old women. My great-grandmother, grandmother and mother all lived vigorously into their late nineties, so I have always supposed I would follow in their path. For this reason, among others, I have chosen as my motto Anyone can be young; it takes talent to grow old.
Few women would agree with all older women being stereotyped as hags, crones, or bag ladies, but how many of us think about looking at one another in light of our life histories and the resultant transformations which created our individuality?
Do we bother to look for these facets in one another? Or in ourselves?
If you belong to a group of women, whether a group of two – just you and your best friend – or an organized gathering, try the experiment of learning each others’ history highlights, life transformations, and idiosyncrasies. What did each one want to become at her various life stages? Did she accomplish any of her youthful goals? Why, how, or why not? What wisdom was gained on the journey? What skills?
If your group is a ministry or community action group, you may discover unknown talents and resources to help achieve your mission. At the very least, you will learn things about your friends, and about yourself; giving you a new, richer perspective on the journey of life.
You may even become better equipped to enter old age with the talent and flair necessary to enjoy all the days God gives you.