Middle-Aged Musings

I’m not sure quite how I got here but apparently I am now officially middle-aged.  The first time I was referred to in this way I was very surprised but I did the maths and I guess they are right!

Something happens when you turn 40.  It’s as though someone has flicked a switch and you start noticing immediate changes.  The texture of my skin on            my face changed and became less firm.  New wrinkles appeared overnight out of nowhere.  Those horrendous pigment marks showed up on my face and the backs of my hands.  My neck started looking less firm (and more like my mother’s) and my legs although still shapely don’t look so great with the addition of spider veins.

I have noticed that people start to treat you differently when you reach your 40’s.  In some ways I think you are taken more seriously, but I have also noticed that I have become more invisible when I want service in a shop. You find yourself recalling something and your work colleagues inform you that they were not born then!

I think back with fondness of my firm-bodied 18 year old self and the assurance of my 20 something self that life lay ahead and I could have it all. Upon reflection though I don’t think I would trade all that for the 40 something self who has learnt so much and is now much more comfortable in her own skin.

The best is yet to come!

 While I agree that there is something to be said for the confidence and knowledge you gain as you age, a recent comment by a work colleague who said that “at your age, you are not attractive to prospective employers” it did give me pause.

Then I admit, I got a little cranky! Do my 25 years of experience and expertise count for nothing? I should not become invisible just because I have passed a milestone birthday. Unless my circumstances change dramatically, I plan to be in the workforce for another 20 years at least and believe I have the capacity to add more value now then I did when I was 25. I am still capable of learning and adapting, and that combined with experience gives me an advantage over new graduates. Age has also softened some of the rough edges, I understand now that not every war has to be fought, and that kindness does matter.

As a society we need to value wisdom and talent, neither of which necessarily come with age, lets judge and value people based on skills rather than age (and gender and ethnicity, but that’s a whole other post) and we might actually get the right people in the right positions. I do not intend to go quietly into old age and just accept the cloak of invisibility.

The rest of my life is just beginning and I intend for it to keep on getting better!

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