Seventy and Me
What do Glenn Close, Nancy Pelosi, Carole King and Donna Shalala all have in common?
Answer: They are all working women in their seventies who are kicking butt and redefining what it means to be an older woman.
Okay, most of us haven't won a Golden Globe at age 71 (or at any other age), served as the first and only female Speaker of the U.S. House (not once but twice), celebrated the 5th anniversary of a Broadway play about our life, or come to Congress as the oldest member (78) of this year's freshman (freshwoman) class.
These highly visible older women are showing the rest of us mortals what it means to be at the height of our power, our influence, our strong sense of self.
In the last week alone, there have been two opinion pieces in the New York Times about older women, a fact not lost on me as I launch Seventy and Me. We older women have a lot to say about love, grief, loss, and resilience. We are more comfortable speaking our truth and not taking any crap. We've been good scouts and earned our badges. Now it's time to change the perception that the gig is just about up when, in truth, the second wave of the gig has just begun. Bring it on!
We know a thing or two (OMG! I'm channeling the "We Are Farmers" commercial) about living life with grace under pressure. We are comfortable in our own skin (Well, some of us more than others) and gain confidence and strength every time someone says, "Wow! You don't seem THAT old." You resist the urge to pull out your driver's license to prove you're not a liar and to ask--politely--what it was they expected you to be. My guess is that they envisioned a little old lady with white hair sitting in a rocking chair, taking a breather. Surprise!
We don't have time for that. We are the matriarchs--the women at the top of the food chain--who've been given the precious gift of passing along the wisdom we've fought so hard for, the pitfalls along the way, and the knowledge that, only with the support of others, can we survive and thrive.
Power to older women!
So, let's swap tales of love, illness, successes, failures, lessons learned and those that still need attention.
I'll tell you my stories; you can tell me yours. Together, we can build a community of senior women who are strong, self-fulfilled, and just plain fun to be around.