The Today Show has been doing a series titled “The New Middle Age.” Joan Lunden told us in a survey people selected 55 as middle age. Which I find very interesting because she interviewed women in their 40s with young children. Definitely not the demographic described by her own survey. I don’t know about you but where my life is now is vastly different from where my life was 10 years ago. And I think there is a major life shift for most people between mid 40s and mid 50s.
Children leave home. Careers change. You are either promoted or downsized. Marriages grown stronger or they break apart. The husband has a mid-life crisis and runs off with a younger woman. Sons and daughters-in-law and grand children are added to the family. Maybe you downsize your home or move to a new place, which means getting rid of lots of things. So I think her interviews held no weight because she didn’t interview people who were really middle aged.
Today they shared some round table talk with a variety of ages. I think their survey numbers were way off because I think people lied about discriminating based on age. Again age discrimination is alive and well. I can’t find a job because I’m entering the workforce at such a late time in life. Their is a perception I can’t learn new skills or my potential career will be to short. I clearly remember signing in at a Verizon Store. They took customers in the order in which they signed in unless you were a pretty young blond. A male Verizon employee disregarded the list of who was to be served next and went to help the blind hottie. I spoke up loudly and complained to the manager. Of course he said he didn’t see a problem.
For a woman 50 seems to be the magic number. It’s when you disappear from TV, movies, music, etc. And I finally stopped trying online dating because the majority of men, regardless of age set their search parameters not to select women who exceed 50 years of age. If you are over 50 you’ll never show up as a possibility. Even women your own age separate you out of their life if your life doesn’t follow their path i.e. you are divorced and they are still married.
I try and forget my age but always try and remember getting older is a privilege many never get. So rather than ignoring the “older” person next to you, engage them in conversation and open your world to new possibilities of friendship.
One thought on “The New Middle Age”
Age discrimination is alive and well, but I think as you work through your pain this too will get better. Remember, you are not a statistic. You have a tremendous amount to offer the world. It just sucks sometimes dealing with these stupid realities.
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