I uncovered this past week that ‘Middle Age’ women feel ‘invisible’.
It all started when I rang up about a few jobs advertised here in Adelaide. Just some casual work to fill in time, now winter has arrived and to replenish funds.
On each occasion I was asked ‘how old are you’? Surprised I answered ‘in my forties’. The phone calls ended quickly with a range of excuses. None of them making sense.
Not deterred I placed an ad on Gumtree (an online classifieds and community website) outlining skills and experience and a willingness to work.
I experienced déjà vu, via text message. ‘Can I ask how old are you’? This time I asked, why is my age relative? The response, ‘your age may not suit the work’.
I admit I was puzzled if not a little annoyed.
With time on my hands I typed ‘middle age women’ into google.
The results. Not at all inspiring. In fact disheartening.
The first three results revealed. 1. An explanation of ‘middle age’ for women. 2. Mistakes women make in middle age – regarding their health and 3. How chronic stress is harming middle aged women. No wonder middle age women are drinking more alcohol than any other age group, which was number 4.
That explains the concerns about employing a middle age woman.
It didn’t get any better. Further down the ‘invisibility’ stories appeared.
Not one exciting search result relating to ‘middle age’ women. Not even Thelma and Louise came up.
I’ve clearly missed something. I’m middle aged not dead. The first 20 years I spent working life and myself out (that’s still a work in progress). The next 20 years surviving motherhood (so did the children). Now in ‘middle age’ I get to reconnect to me and tick off a ‘bucket list’. I didn’t realise I was a gloomy statistic.
Just last week I had a drag race down Port Road on Fat Bob against a gentleman (not a twenty something hoon) in a fire-engine red ute. I won by the way. After four sets of lights he pulled up smiling, throwing his hands in the air, shaking his head mouthing the words ‘I got nothing’. We both laughed.
Reckless, perhaps. I tend to look at it as a wonderful opportunity to be a little bit naughty, wild. To feel alive. To have a brief connection with someone, a stranger and share an experience.
I’m not sharing my drag race story to impress you all or to look like a hard arse biker chick. I share it to arouse your inner ‘middle age’ spirit to do something random. Something you think you shouldn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t do.
We’re all responsible for our own happiness at any age. It comes from within. I’m a little fired up about this topic. I’m not going to be a depressing ‘middle age’ statistic or become invisible.
To all you wonderful ‘middle age’ ladies (and men) let the challenge begin. Own and rock your age.
To quote Isadora Duncan: ‘You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you’.