Older Women, Be Proud and Very Loud!

I posted a blog the other day about women being invisible (see here for the female cloak of invisibility). Someone commented that if you want to feel Nov 2012 Jane C Woods& Miriam O'Reilly 026.jpg webinvisible you should try being over 50. Then, she commented wryly, you really feel under the cloak.

Well, today I am 58. It’s a number and it bothers me not a jot. And let me tell you I will not be a quiet, invisible older woman. Not in a million years.

Today I am more fulfilled than I have ever been. I no longer waste time bemoaning what might have been but enjoy life to the full for what is. I can’t run like a gazelle (well, actually I never could!) so I don’t waste time moaning about that. Focus on what you have, what works for you.

At 58 I find myself in the wonderful position of being able to share my wisdom about life with a host of other women through RenewYou and our fast growing network of women trainers. I’d have laughed if you’d told me at 30 I’d be doing that. I thought I’d be slowing down. No chance! Instead I really love what I’m doing and it energises me every single day. I train women who train other women to be the best that they can be, irrespective of age! How wonderful is that? I have the best job I have ever had in my life, and it started when I took control of my own destiny and left my safe, comfortable job with a good pension. (Everyone kept telling me about the good pension but sometimes you just have to do what you’ve got to do. Life is too short!)

No, I will not be a quiet, older, invisible woman.

And neither should you.

Refuse to be defined by a number. Don’t let anyone cover you in the cape of invisibility. Don’t buy into the myth of having to be young to be beautiful. Age is beautiful. I love a person who wears their years with pride and doesn’t distort themselves into some facsimile of someone’s else’s idea of femininity and beauty. Be true to you and don’t read magazines which start with the assumption that you must want to look ten years younger. Looking good, yes, but younger? Pah!

close up sisIn my 58 years I have lost many good friends who did not have the privilege of growing older; most recently a very young friend whose life ended prematurely and tragically. Who am I to moan and bewail my passing years when I am so bloomin’ lucky to be here. I feel I owe it to those who have gone before to live life to the full. To help others when I can, and to make the most of every second.

And that’s my philosophy. The bad stuff will come unbidden, there’s little we can do about that except face it bravely. Be kind when you can, take every opportunity to celebrate, and live life fully until the day you die. It’s always your day. Grab it! Noisily!

The top photo, by the way, is of me with the fabulous Miriam O’Reilly and the lower one is of me on my 50th birthday when I was laughing hysterically as my Elvis Birthday cake set off all the smoke detectors! By the way, one should always wear a tiara on one’s birthday, whatever age or gender…

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Posted on October 29th, 2013 by

17 Responses to “Older Women, Be Proud and Very Loud!”

  1. Bridget says:

    Happy Birthday dear Jane! You are one wonderful and 100% fun woman. I am happy and pleased to be your friend and colleague. Trust your day has been full of joy, heaps of yummy cake, flutes full of bubbly beverage, and as always, a sparkling tiara! Cheers up here in California.

  2. Amy says:

    You go girl!!! I feel the same. Get off my duff and do it! Happy Birthday and much love from Virginia!

  3. Karen Redman says:

    Yay for your blog!
    I am 57 and the older I get, the louder I do, too. I am not entirely sure that my husband appreciates this but as he’s a tad hard of hearing it is absolutely bloody necessary in order for him to hear what I am saying so that he can ignore me with knowledge rather than without.
    In other situations I am somewhat quieter and perhaps I shouldn’t be … I’m thinking of my own blog which I have completely neglected for far too long. It’s a mistake. I shouldn’t do this. I must really try harder to be louder in that direction.
    If I want a tiara for my next birthday, I think I need a goal to earn one!
    You’ve cheered me up enormously, Jane.

  4. Karen Redman says:

    Oh … eeek. PS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! xxx

  5. Dear Jane,
    Birthday blessings sweet and spirited Jane.
    Wishing you days unfolding filled with love laughter and
    light. The spirit is ageless and your work helps women to
    be the best they can wherever they are on the journey.
    Hugs from across the pond…
    Peggy

  6. Ji Jane, many happy returns indeed! Very thought provoking post, thanks you. We are perhaps the first generation of women who really do have it all. We are no longer bound by the social convention of growing old gracefully, slipping under the cloak, happy to make jam! But if that is your thing go ahead! We are a generation that can redraw what it means to be old, to be older. To live as we want to live and to be as we want to be. What an enormous privilege. Like you, at 51 Im happy to be older, bolder and wiser. Since turning 50 i have felt liberated. You struck a deep chord with me when you mention those dear to us, that will not have this opportunity. It is up to us to make the most of what we have got. Make the most of everyday, plan for a bright future, live in the here and now!

  7. Liz Semple says:

    Happy Birthday Jane,
    I still enjoy reading your posts 4 years on from the Renew You course I attended and find them inspiring to not disappear into middle age. Having had a mid-life crisis year of my own at 47, this year I have been on a girl’s surfing weekend, determined to learn to surf before I’m 50, just come back from a week in Singapore leaving my husband and 2 boys to fend for themselves and have now resigned from my job to retrain as a teacher, which I find alternately scary and exciting. So thank you for inspiring all us women to just get on and do it.

  8. My older sisters and I somewhat aspire to be like Maxine when we get older. Do you have this comic character in the UK? If not, I can tell you that Maxine is SO not concerned about social niceties; she just calls things as she sees them. A case in point: I have a Maxine magnet on my refrigerator that says, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Just make a rude gesture.”

    YAY to all of us over-50’s who refuse to go quietly into the night of invisible aging!

  9. Jane –
    I love this discussion! As I approach 60, I’m realizing I am caring a whole lot less about what other people think of me – and thanking God! It’s about time!

    YAY to us older women who are still fun and feisty!

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