The point about coming into our prime in midlife is it takes the pressure off those earlier decades.
You hit the nail on the head with this piece. I am 62 now. and as I look back at my legal career, especially from my mid-40s onward compared to my male peers, the patriarchy places an expiration date on women that is not placed on men. I didn’t realize it until I hit 60 in 2019. A psilocybin session at the end of that year was a Godsend for shifting my mindset towards positive ways to move forward in this season of life. I did a lot of thinking and journaling about agelessness the first 3 months of 2020 (before the pandemic hit). I still feel the benefits of having changed my mind about being in my 60s but changing the patriarchy is still an uphill battle. Ageism is a tougher nut for women to crack than for men.
With that said, I can relate to your observations about slowing down enjoying the moment. I had a break in my legal career at age 42 after a breathless stint as a VP at a national company. The break allowed me to spend precious time I had not had to that point with my then 13-year old daughter and my 9-year old son. Although that 1 1/2 year break was a set back in my career, I do not regret having that time with my children and my husband. During that time, I got to be really present for my family as opposed to being in a sprint for my job.
Thanks for writing this piece. It is beautiful. Now back to writing my annual self-evaluation to demonstrate my worth to the patriarchy at my firm. I may just throw in a reminder that I do not have an expiration date!
Love this piece - so true and so inspiring - I’m in my mid 50s and still feel full of vim and vigour. Charlotte Ivers, a 28 year old Times journalist (who is absolutely great - catch her on Times Radio) has written a column in today Sunday Times mag in which she gives advice to her 18 year old self which includes a standout gem to take advice from women in their 50s - I’ll second that and happy birthday to your mum who sounds tremendous, Eleanor.
I needed these words more then you can know. I will be 44 in March and I’m currently enrolled at university working on my bachelors degree which I abandoned in my 20s when I got pregnant with our son. For the most part I feel fine, I’m plugging along and I’m looking forward to what the future holds. But sometimes I have those days where I wonder if it’s worth it. If it’s too late to do what I’m doing. And then this shows up in my email inbox and gives me the boost I need. Thank you! 💕
Absolutely loved this piece. Thank you so much for putting in to words what my 52 year-old heart and body have been trying to tell me for the last year.
And a very happy birthday to your amazing mother!
Love your attitude! You are so right about there being more life still to come. I have found that being able to use my own voice, say what I really think rather than what the publication wants, has been incredibly sweet! Good luck and keep us posted on your progress xxx
Brilliant piece – absolutely spot on. Was made redundant last Friday and everybody automatically assumes, because I'm 64, that I'm retiring! After 40 years in publishing in both newspapers and magazines, I feel I'm just getting started and am quietly excited about what the next chapter will bring! The pressure of my 30s, 40s and 50s is definitely off and it feels GOOD!
This was exactly the message I needed to hear, err, read. I can't tell you how grateful I am for your post. I am at work, trying to hide tears of sheer relief. Thank you.
Such truth and wisdom here, Eleanor. I just turned 64 and feel like I'm just getting started living into my wholeness and making my best contributions.