Depending on how old you are, you might remember the ladies with blue hair. Typically they were older, had gray or silver hair and they used a hair rinse which was intended to enhance their hair color.
But it always seemed to turn their hair a light shade of blue. Sometimes the light had to be just right to see the blue, but it was there.
Now that I’ve decided to go to my natural color (silver, gray and white), I wanted to get a jump on the blue hair. I’ve had gray hair since my twenties, white hair beginning in my forties. Now in my late fifties, I’m gonna give the natural look a try.
So power to the blue haired ladies. I’m coming to join you.
I, like many of you, never believed people when they said your life will go by quickly. No, I had years ahead of me. I wouldn’t grow old for eons.
Of course if you’re over 50, you now realize those people were right. I went to bed 24, newly married with a lifetime of hopes and dreams. I wake up now, I’m 58, divorced and forgotten how to dream.
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.
All charts are fromVulture
Men continue to keep women in their place by casting super young actresses opposite old men. I’m not talking a couple years difference. I’m talking about men old enough to be their father and grandfather. The link is to an article by Vulture. They are an online news media outlet that reports of what’s happening around the world especially in entertainment.
Every time we watch images with such an age discrepancy, we are being sent a subliminal message that only young women have value and are lovable. We may not be consciously thinking about it at the time, but when we see it over and over in the movies, on TV and in the lives of public personalities there is no way it doesn’t affect us.
Discrimination is something we as Americans are supposed to fight against yet we allow the movie industry to continue to plant untruths in our minds. We do nothing about it. The actresses of Hollywood do nothing about it. What would happen if actresses agreed not to have more than 5 years or even a maximum of 10 years age difference between them and their leading men? There would be lots of movies that would not get made or casting agents would find someone age appropriate.
Is this the message we want to send out daughters? That they only have value when they are young? Thankfully there is one man who stands above the rest with integrity.
I have taken photography lessons but never really have just gone out and taken photos. Thanks to Lady Bird Johnson , Texas is abloom with native wildflowers. Fields of flowers are protected from mowing. They can’t be mowed down until they’ve turned t seed. This insures the flowers return next year.
As I drive I see a sea of bluebonnets interspersed with buttercups. I can’t see these flowers and not think of my grandmother. I moved to Dallas in April 1985 and the weather had been perfect to produce a spectacular show of color. I remember her telling me the common names of all the flowers. It’s a poignant memory because she is no longer with us and the life I was starting in Dallas all those years ago was destroyed over time by choices of my ex.
Now I’m in Austin. A young and vibrant city where they love music, the environment, good food and life. I’m having to search for my youthful spirit because it was lost due to abuse and time. Can I turn back the internal clock and feel and be young again.
I signed up for informal education at UT. The beginning DSLR photography class began last Monday. The class isn’t too large but except for me and one man, no one in the class is over 30. I definitely felt singled out due to age. The instructor kept asking me if I was of understanding the technology. I realize I do remember things that most of the class have never even used. (cassette tapes, instamatic cameras, VHS tapes, phone book etc.) When the instructor mentioned ISO just the two of us had any idea what it was and how it was used. I always had ISO 100, 200 and 400 film on hand. I have a large box of negatives and boxes of photos.
I commented that with digital photography, I rarely have photos printed and because of that, I never really look at any of the memories I captured. My daughter did find a great app called Artifact Uprising. It is an easy to use app that allows you to upload photos of your choice and make great photo books. I’ve used one of the better known sites but I like the look and feel of the Artifact Uprising book better. I ordered a 5.5 x 5.5 soft cover photo book. I had photos from my three months in Tours, France but I wasn’t enjoying them because they were on my computer. I did it all from my Iphone too. You can go to their website Artifact Uprising Now I can enjoy my photos.
Since I titled this 3rd times the charm, it is because this is the 3rd time I’ve taken beginning DSLR photography. I hope this time it sinks in and I take the time to record memories and moments through pictures. Because when I am long gone, they will remain as a doorway into my life for future generations.
I was hit by a crashing wave yesterday. It was totally unexpected. I had actually gotten up and went to church. It was small but definitely the friendliest one I’ve visited. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home.
I finished reading the latest book on my list and posted a review. I cleaned up my apartment. I made plans to go see my daughter this week. It was a good day and then out of the blue I was hit by a wave of depression.
It was unexpected and it hit hard. I was knocked for a loop. I began sending increasingly depressing texts to my younger daughter until she finally called her sister. Who in turn called me very upset.
Her tears were flowing and so were mine. I was sobbing. I was having trouble breathing. I had no explanation initially for why I had gone over the edge of sadness.
My therapist says I shouldn’t worry about a job right mow. Maybe he’s right but I need employment and not a $7.25/hr job cleaning toilets. I believe it’s my overwhelming sense of fear that I will end up homeless because I can’t find a decent job is what drives my depression. I would have fought for more when I divorced had I known AGE discrimination and discrimination against FULL-TIME STAY at HOME MOMS and WIVES was so prevalent. I’m smart. I learn quickly. I’m good with people. I have the skills required for the jobs I apply so why do I have an inbox full of Rejections?
I am going to try an experiment. I am going to reapply for a job that recently sent me a basic rejection letter. I’m going to apply with my legal first name and maiden name then change all my dates by 30 years so I will be 26 rather than 56 and see what happens. My gut says I will be offered an interview. If so, it will be a clear case of age discrimination. If this happens I will contact an attorney.
It is sad I am having to go to such lengths to find a job. I will let know what happens.
Recently I read about the misconnect that happens when middle-aged adults enter into the online dating scene. I can’t remember where I read it but it was completely accurate.
The premise is that for most of us the last time we were dating, we were significantly younger probably in our 20s. I know it is true for me. There was no computer dating options. Now when we sign up and go online our head says I’m young. Our heart says I feel young. The same is true for men and women.
So we look at the photos and groan. These are old men. These are old women. This could be my dad or granddad. This could be my mom or my grandmother. I can’t possibly be in this age group, let me double check. Ugh it’s true. These old people are my contemporaries. It bites. It’s frustrating because society (yes it’s true whether you like it or not) give men much more leeway when choosing a partner. Men can easily marry someone much younger with little to no comment and they can marry down educationally and economically with no one saying a thing. My ex is a perfect example. He has partnered down in age, economics and education. He can because he is a man and he makes a lot of money. As I’ve always told my girls you never see a young woman with an old poor man. Money talks. Especially when it comes to dating and remarrying later in life. I suppose if I made a lot of money I would have a slightly broader choice but society still keeps women in a narrower role.
If I were to marry a younger man who had no children, people would feel bad for him because he was giving up his chance for children of his own. If I married someone with less education and less money, I would hear she must be desperate. I know times change but change is slow and I don’t believe this will change until women can have children into their 50s and 60s. An old man can marry a woman of child bearing age and still give her a family. The reverse is not true. And please do not lecture me on invitro, egg donation, adoption etc. This is an orange to orange comparison not an apple to orange one.
So I wasted $75 to join an online dating site where I now have my profile hidden. And I expect it to stay hidden until I can connect my young mind and heart to the reality of my age.
I went slightly over but I can never remember if one and two letter words count towards the total.
56 years of living a lie
Believing without questioning
You’re not enough
You won’t win
You prove how smart you are
You will do something and I will leave
No longer seeing your reflection
The spark, the joy smothered by words
Someone takes your hand at 56 years
They wipe away the hurt, the emptiness
They plant the seed of belief
Belief that you are enough
Belief you will win
Belief you are worthy of love
Belief you will never be abandoned
Belief in tomorrow
In 2012 I decided to get healthy. I chose good healthy food. I hired a trainer and I exercised faithfully. The result? A smoking hot 52 year old woman. I felt good about myself. For the first time in my life, I liked the way I looked even though I was 20 pounds heavier than I had been when I was younger. I was desperately trying to save my marriage, but could no longer hold together a marriage with a man who was an alcoholic, porn addicted, sex addicted, selfish narcissist. So when he said he wanted a divorce that he had always had one foot out the door (so I hadn’t been crazy after all) I said fine.
Summer 2012 when I was taking care of myself.
However I fell into a deep depression, literally going off the crazy cliff. I have spent the last three years eating for comfort. I stopped exercising. I became a recluse. And the result is not pretty. My depression has not improved. My health has deteriorated and my weight has increased. And it’s the eternal battle of the bulge. Putting it on is so much easier and more fun than trying to take it off.
My family health history tells me I am headed down the wrong path if I don’t change my ways. I have started by finding a program for my mental health. Once it begins to improve, then I will tackle the task of my physical health. Anyone with a serious weight problem understands that food is just the drug of choice. The overeating, the lack of physical exercise are symptoms of something churning internally. My goal is finish out 2015 healthier both in mind and body.