Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On gray hair and email and new direction

The other day my boss, a lovely 30-year-old I like a lot, was surprised to learn that I have a blog and asked me if I write about anything special. The sad part of this story is that I kind of stammered and muttered something like, “Not really. Lately it has mainly been book reviews.” Which was absolutely true. Any of my few long time readers could tell you that I have long lamented not having a passion to drive my writing. So my blog has tended to be a little of this, a little of that.

But I feel like that might be changing. Increasingly, I find that my age is kind of a big deal in my life. I'm 55 years old. Somehow, 55 feels really a lot different than 50 did. I mean, 50 kind of felt like an extension of the 40's. I was still interested in all the same things, and people didn't seem to perceive me differently. But in the intervening five years, that has changed. Admittedly, I may have accelerated the change by allowing my hair to go natural. Meaning, gray. Which makes a surprisingly big difference in how strangers treat you. I'm beginning to understand the old cliché about how older women become invisible. Plus my son and my added on son have reached their 20's, so I'm not mothering in the classic sense any more.  I feel more like a coach or something.

Also, I changed day jobs. I went from a fund raising position at the Girl Scouts to a similar one at the Boy Scouts, both organizations I respect tremendously, just because there was a higher level position available and hey, I'm paying college tuition right now, you know? I didn't expect it to make as big a difference as it did. But at least in my particular council, Boy Scout professionals are young. I am surrounded by 20-somethings most of the time and honestly, I feel like Methusaleh. It is amazing how often things come up in conversation that highlight the difference in our ages.

But today, I had a win. Overnight the national organization migrated our email from one server to another. This meant we had to jump through some hoops this morning to get our email activated again, and then there were a bunch of instructions that had to be followed to get our phones and other remote devices to sync again. I am proud to say that I was the first person in the office to get my email working again and, once our IT support person came in and told me that getting the phone working again would entail deleting the old account completely and starting again, I was the one who figured out how to accomplish that for the Android phones, too, and ended up getting to talk several younger colleagues through the process. It felt great to NOT fit the stereotype!! 

I realize that mid-life blogs are all over the web now, so I don't get any bonus points for originality. But I don't think I care. I'm just going to try to put it out there, talk about how this age feels to me. If people like it, that's great and I'll enjoy knowing I have some readers. If they don't, that's probably OK too. I think I will feel better just having a place to vent and a chance to process some of this stuff. So let the mid-life blogging begin!


Kenneth Urban said...

Ask yourself the question I often ask myself: "How old would you be if you didn't know your age?"

Me, I'd be in my mid-thirties.

Good post.

Diana Coon said...

You will have no shortage of material, I guarantee!

Susan said...

Ken, I couldn't agree more! With the exception of the occasional physical reminders that this is not a 30-something body, that is absolutely how I feel. Old enough to be past the growing up angst, young enough to do whatever I put my mind to.