|photo taken by C|
This is a post I've wanted to write for a whole year (when I was 41!) but somehow I just never got around to it.
Anyway, that's why - imperfect as all my thoughts are - I want to at least start the conversation.
I used to have no issues with ageing. I honestly believe that every single year is a gift and a miracle, and one I am grateful to have, especially because we all know ladies who have died young.
There is a girl who was with me at school (class below mine) who died two years ago due to breast cancer.
That was a huge shock to me but, besides her death, I have always felt that to age is a privilege.
|photo by D in the Bokaap|
I also (I think) look reasonably good for my age - don't tell me if you disagree... yes, I need to lose 5 kg but don't we all... and I'd much rather K & C see a mother who is fit and healthy, than someone who eats lettuce leaves and is constantly talking about keeping those 5 kg off.
I have grey hair but I've had grey hair since I was 25 so there's that.
I do get shocked looks (genuine) when people find out my age because apparently I look younger. My optometrist was also shocked at my age because I "should have many wrinkles at my age".
My medical aid agrees as I am two years younger than I actually am :)
However, the toe thing makes me wonder if that is an age thing? Someone at work (older than I am) kindly added that a lot of things start happening from 40. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that but I do feel joints creaking a bit more. :)
There is one disturbing line on the bridge of my nose. Some would call it a wrinkle (!). I'm strangely fascinated with it - I keep pushing the skin up, letting it go and the line snaps back into place.
Obviously there'll be more of this kind of thing and I'll stop being so fascinated when that happens.
|Photo by Connor, cropped by me|
Here's the thing:
In my old team I was the oldest. Me - 42, there is 1 X 39-year-old, 1 X 38-year-old, boss is 32, 3 X 30-year-olds and a 29-year-old.
And that's where it started.
Things said like "well, I was only 8 when that happened"or whatever.......
My one colleague and I just give each other the look.
But it is weird - when I got married, these guys were 8 and 9 years old (Kendra and Connor are 7!). I was already working.
I've been working for nearly 22 years.
It feels like a lifetime if you stop to think (I don't!) and yet it also doesn't.
I did think when I had my birthday review that I'm not sure I can do another 18 years of this working thing (whatever this looks like) til I'm 60 (our normal retirement age at this company).
But then, these other years went so quickly too.
I do know I cannot keep working like this - with youngsters - for 18 years.
I always thought I'd be somewhere by now, more senior I guess. And yet do I really want to play the corporate politics game? No.
I need to get some coaching in this regard from someone objective because one thing is for sure - I don't trust an HR person as far as I can throw them.
I always thought I'd do "my own thing" - the coaching/ speaking/ training thing - but it turns out while I'm good at the technical side of it, I suck at marketing myself and I actually like having money.
Anyway, that's where my mind is wandering these days.
Tell me about you - do you have ageing issues? Be honest.
And please share your thoughts on ageing in the workplace.
PS Read this great post from Design Mom on being 41.5 and the physical effects of ageing (she is about two weeks older than me)
PPS I will have to write more on the emotional stuff at a later date :)