“We’ve all seen the television commercials, read the articles, or watched the movies in which society tries to tell us that people our age only have two options: become pathetic, useless individuals living in a shell of our former selves OR we must cover our wrinkles, refuse to retire, and become motorcycle-riding thrill seekers. Neither extreme scenario is necessary for us to get the most from life after 60.”-sixtyandme.com
Listening to the negative messages could take years off your life and it does make you feel worse because we internalize it.
We are all going to be old and we have a choice in the way we think about it, the way we think about ourselves. And there are as many ways to be as there are people. We do not have to be one extreme or the other.
One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image of older couple by Erika Wittlieb on Pixabay.com
“There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every morning I scan my email inbox and see how many I can weed out. I try not to let too many emails accumulate. I get emails from organizations I have donated to in the past, asking for more donations, or asking me to sign petitions on this issue or that. I have started ignoring them more often now because I feel that I can not afford to be making donations and tell myself I should probably be the one who gets donations. I get tired of signing petitions, but still do a bit of it. I get emails from different newsletters and websites I have signed up to. I may have found an article of theirs interesting and decided I would like to read more, and I end up with all these emails from them. I have noticed that so many of the websites and newsletters are in the business of giving us all advice on how to live our lives with subject lines like: How To Get More Joy In You Life, Why It’s So Hard To Say You’re Sorry, The Best Cities For Successful Aging, The Next Food City You Should Pay Attention To, What a Healthy Relationship Looks Like. I have noticed that posts about how to be happy and have good relationships are a frequent topic of many writers. When we are struggling with our problems or lonely we might be drawn to read their advice. Are we all supposed to pack up and move to a city that has the best food and chance for us to have “successful aging?” I have this vision of selling our house and moving to one of these places and then finding out they have decided to cut back on their services and not be a best city for successful aging. And then I would be stuck.
One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image ‘Woman sitting at desk writing’ via Pixabay.com
“I believe that women should live for love, for motherhood and for intellect, and I believe we shouldn’t have to choose. And I believe that’s always been difficult for women, to express themselves intellectually, maternally, and passionately.” -Erica Jong
Mother’s Day weekend left me thinking about my life choice of putting my role as Mother first during my early working years. Not to suggest I regret making it a priority versus a career, which I don’t. As often happens when I am mulling over something I start to research online, looking for what others have expressed about it, and I came across an interesting series of articles in The Atlantic called The Ambition Interviews that tracked the careers of a group a women who graduated from Northwestern University in 1993. The authors wanted to find out how their sorority sisters career ambitions had played out in reality 20 years after graduating. They found that their cohorts divided into 3 groups after they started having children, the High Achievers, the Scale Backers, and the Opt Outers. The High Achievers maintained a consistent trajectory of career success continuing to work at their careers full-time, the Scale Backers chose to work less or take on less demanding jobs to have the flexibility of schedule they desired for their lives and families, the Opt Outers chose to leave the work force to be able to be full-time parents. In the articles they discuss all the factors that contributed to the women’s decisions. What struck me is the experiences of these women was similar to mine in many ways and I think many of my Nursing class of 1974. We were in the Nursing baccalaureate program at the University of California in San Francisco and were told we were to be the leaders in our profession. Out of the 37 members of my class that attended our 25th reunion, there was a group of High Achievers who stayed in Nursing careers at a high level, in the military or other areas, went on for graduate degrees, and some became doctors or lawyers. Many of us would fit into Scale Backers in that we chose jobs that were less demanding or more flexible so we could be available to our kids. When my son was born, I decided to opt out and be a full-time parent. This lasted for 8 years and included the addition of a second child, my daughter. Like women in the Ambition Interviews who opted out, I had thought I would continue working but when my son was born I decided I did not want to leave him, as some of the women in the series that had “a physical and emotional bond with their new children that they simply couldn’t reconcile with going back to work,” my Nursing job was not appealing enough for me to choose it over him. My husband was willing to support us. Some couples in The Ambition Interviews decided that the husband would be the stay at home parent or would be the one who Scaled Back and assumed the larger share of child care. I became a Scale Backer when I re-entered the workforce after 8 years but chose part-time at a hospital and then in Home Health. Like the Scale Backers in The Atlantic series, I found it difficult to balance work and motherhood. I worked a lot of weekends to cut down on child care. I felt very stressed rushing through work to get to the school in time to pick up my kids or get them to appointments. It was stressful to leave them when they were sick. It was stressful to find adequate after school childcare with long enough hours to cover my work hours. I missed out on being involved in my children’s schools because of work and I missed out on career advancement and even work friendships because I worked part-time. My ambition did not completely die out. It was isolating to be at home and I did get restless at times. I re-entered full-time work after my kids were older. I went back to work after cancer. I attempted a complete career change at 60. One of my fellow students in the Teacher Credential program questioned why I wanted to pursue a new career after Nursing. Another said I was an “Over Achiever.” It was more like an “Older Achiever.” Why shouldn’t we be allowed to go on learning and achieving no matter what age. Like the women in the series who chose to Scale Back or Opt Out of their careers, I found I was not able to step back into a career path in later years. Now I have come to have a whole new perspective on my relationship to work. I wonder if we can really combine all the aspects of our selves ideally. Even though I may have missed some opportunities, I know my work does not define me or my self-worth. I find career ambition does not play a part in my life any more. I am in a reflective period and some of my ambitions right now involve tutoring, getting rid of weeds, aphids, and volunteer trees, getting reacquainted with myself, writing, and learning to be a grandmother.
My Nursing School class
UCSF Nursing Graduation
Us 25 years later
I know the images are a little blurry, like when I look back into the past, and I think it protects privacy as well.
One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill.
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”-Albert Einstein
Don’t assume because someone is older they have nothing to teach you. And don’t assume because you are older you are incapable of learning new things.
One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image of Owl by Gellinger on Pixabay.com
” You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn
One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured Image ‘ Beach, Pacific Coastline’ by Roger Mosley on Pixabay.com
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”-Pablo Neruda
I have noticed that some of my rose bushes in the front yard are under aphid attack. I was busy pruning when I noticed a lady bug on one of the leaves. It was a bright red one with black polka dots. I stood there admiring it for several minutes and I said hello and thank you. I was thinking if a neighbor heard me talking to the lady bug they would think I was a bit crazy. I took the ladybug as a sign of hope.
Lady bug on a leaf by Alvesgaspar
One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill.
“You need to live in a dome initially, but over time you could terraform Mars to look like Earth and eventually walk around outside without anything on… So it’s a fixer-upper of a planet.”
― Elon Musk
That would be the scary part, living in a dome with no air to breath outside. NASA has been funding studies on how humans would tolerate living on Mars by recreating a similar environment on Earth. Do you think we could really live on Mars?
It is argued that life on Earth may be destroyed by an asteroid impact and we need to find other planets to live on to ensure that man will survive. It would be a good idea to work on ways to prevent asteroids from hitting Earth. Maybe that should be the priority. There is the argument that this is about science and some say there is a wealth of resources on other planets, moons, and asteroids. The science part interests me most.
On a lighter note, will we have Mars Bars on Mars? This is making me hungry. Not sure about Deep Fried Mars Bars, though. I like frozen candy bars better.
One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image taken by Mars MRO Orbiter, NASA, of ‘Yardangs‘ or sand dune formations created by wind.