I spent the last few years trying to hide my neck in meetings and in restaurants, and being artful (translation: lying) about my age. This year I decided to embrace my years and be happy for the experiences and whatever wisdom the world has given me as I look to what comes next. (However, I’ll keep coloring my hair – even if I have to use shoe polish – until I’m carried out of the house feet first.)
Part of my reluctance to reveal my age is because I chose a career in Public Relations. While there are many professions where age is irrelevant, and even considered an asset, PR generally isn’t one of them.
Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until she was 78. At 73, Sojourner Truth was still trying to get land grants for former slaves. Carol Channing performed into her 90s. Illustrator Tasha Tudor worked into her late 80s. Jane Goodall, 85 years old, still travels to advocate for chimpanzees and the environment.
So we’re not young anymore. Now in our 6th decades and beyond, maybe we need help seeing, hearing, eating, walking. Maybe we have joints younger than our teeth, and teeth younger than our pets. Maybe we don’t drive at night. Maybe we miss our flip phones and freeze when faced with new technology (maybe an Amazon Fire TV stick collected dust until a Millennial showed us how to use it).
But we are here, and good for us. As we move through our lives my hope is that we’re able to stay curious and engaged. That we can expand our reach. What we don’t know we can learn. What we learn we can share. We can figure out healthcare, technology, ride sharing, online dating, fashion, beauty and more – together.
And remember: Once we reach our 60s we’re old enough to know better – but still young enough to get away with it!