Sunday, March 13, 2011

Can women our age really start a new life?

The last time I wrote was the beginning of February.  With all the private and public contacts I received, it appears that us widows/widowers made it through the Christmas and New Years just fine.  It wasn't so bad was it!  We may not have been in the position to spend our entire non-fortune on those we love, but we were able to be creative.

It is the "creative" portion of this I would really like to address.  It seems we do all we can to survive by either holding each other up emotionally, or giving each other ideas for approaching our dilemma's.  One dilemma I had been running into head on is the age group in which I fit.  I am seen as "older" and not the young single fresh face to be an energetic representative of a place I  apply for.

Hmmmm.  However, I am single.  I am energetic, and I am resourceful, educated, and have experience in a variety of areas.  I may not be Marylyn Monroe gorgeous, but I don't think I am Lyle Lovett either.  So why suddenly am I too old to have an opportunity the same as any other female no matter the age?  Not to mention men, a majority of men, our age are seeking out much younger women.  Another story different time.  Still this quandary exist quite prominently.  What can I do so I am not stuck in situations that are mindless and boring tasks?

 I have been finding ageism is quite alive in our society at large.  I am not seen for what I have to offer, but I am wanted for the multitude of tasks I can do behind the scenes without human contact.  I thrive on human contact.  I need it.  I feel incredibly stifled and heavily controlled being set aside. Without the same opportunity to learn new techniques to update my present ones how will I ever move up.   I love to learn!  It is very akin to being stuck in an odd time freeze; a disheartening stagnation in my life  I just find it increasing as time goes on!   Ahhh, as time goes on!

It's almost as if in real life, we have become a huge commercial trying to project a certain image, and youthfulness an essential factor.

Not long ago we fought for our rights to make the same wages in the same positions as men.  Now this odd "ageism" starts happening within the females status, for those whom we fought for?  Is this our thanks?   At the age of 40 to 70 we are no longer valuable to society unless hidden away from public view?

My mother ran into this "ageism" while trying to apply for reasonable professional level jobs that would support her.  Only younger females were hired.  She mentioned this to me prior to her departure from this life just before my husbands.  I didn't quite understand what she meant til now.  I now approach this from a different perspective because what if she was right.  My mother was never ever a bitter woman.  She saw something from a sociological perspective at the time I could not see.  I was young!

My mother had two degrees, no actually three.  She was a licensed Psychologist, Licensed Social Worker, and Certified in Substance Abuse.  I was so proud of my mother because she had been so controlled by my father, and she finally divorced.  The fulfillment of her educational venture did not come around until she was in her late 30's and her PhD was in her fifties.  Job after job after job was denied to her and always someone hired was "young" or "young, single and pretty" and did not have near the experience my mother did over the the past 30 years.  The jobs applied for, if  my mother had been given even a small chance, she would have been absolutely bomb at.  She went through 7 years of this.  Divorced and alone.

Is it not the "American way" to be able to improve our lives at anytime, at any age, race or gender?

I wonder, after all that has been proceeding in my life also, being educated and experienced, why I would be having such complications also and the individuals receiving the same jobs I applied for are...much younger.   BAM, didn't mom mention this?

Suddenly, through my mother's experience, I begin to understand why women aged 39 to 65 are forced in the situation of feeling they are no longer  productive or indispensable to our society as a whole.  Many feel the need to spend a wealth of money on products to keep them looking "younger."  Heaven's, I'm really not that aged.  I have such a full life ahead of me still.  Yes, we slow down, but hey we all slow down at our own pace.  I know some young adults who can't think and move as fast as I can!  Don't put me in the nursing home yet!

Hiring processes have most definitely changed.  Those of  us with background, due to our age, we are having a terrible time finding legitimate positions with the possibility of working up merely because of our age.  So we are put in little corners at lower paid positions without the possibility to "climb the ladder" per se.  On several occasions, only those who are younger are fostered in "climb the latter" ventures. This is a very hard action to prove, so what can be done about it?

At first I thought, nah, I'm just feeling a little out of sync, I'll go for a nice little walk.  While taking a walk about town, I happen to run into another widow friend of mine who was in tears.  She has immaculate credit and was financially fortunate (not wealthy, but able to survive) when her husband passed away, no major financial hardship.  She went to get a small loan to fix a few things in her house.  Mainly her cooking stove.  She was denied by several banks due to her age.  Her words were, "It seems when we are widowed, and older, we are forgotten and no longer exist.  We are too old to carry on with our lives, yet we have to carry on because we really aren't that old."  I was stunned that even banks are turning people down on small loans due to their age.  The idea of "the other boot dropping" is prominent. Yikes.

That was the statement of the day due to something that had happened to me earlier.

I thought about my mother and what she said, again.  She use to call me in tears.   One month of 12 rejection letters, finally she went to check why (this is a common thing to do so you can better prepare with the next job application) with all this beautiful background and education, and the love of working with younger individuals, and also being a face in her community did she get set aside.  Was it her resume?  Her presentation?  Her clothing?  Why  was it someone many years younger would get the position.  They are given the opportunity to work their way up into better circumstances.  Mom would be offered something of much lower income in positions that were not the type that would last.   She explained to me it was her age and there is now way any of us can turn back the clock.  By the way, she did find that perfect job just 3 months before she passed.

Perhaps the organization should be really looked at before applying just walking through the halls or looking at the "scenery."  Look for that "image" they are trying to portray. 

If this is happening to you, don't be down of heart.  Keep going.  I know it bites to work in a Walmart store when you have so much to offer.  But it seems, we are stuck with this until we start finding companies who higher on basis of resume and personality rather than "image" alone.  Look for companies who avoid young individuals that will get free training and jump boat for a better job!  We just want wages that we too may pay our bills and form a nest egg.  We are alone, and we need this nest eggs as much as those who have many more years ahead of them. If you treat us good, let us move up the same as anyone else, we'll stay til we are forced to retire!  Allow us the same opportunity, that is not asking much.

To deal with this, get creative.  That is one idea that we have learned through experience others younger than us have not.  It is like pitching a product just to get a job.  Walk through the halls, observe, what is their image?  Then address it and give them a pitch of why your age does not matter without mentioning age.

As for the blog-- We'll see how once a month progresses, then  I will shoot for twice a month!  An actual schedule.  So much going on in life, I am terribly exhausted by the end of the day.  Hopefully life will even out a bit and I can actually send more time on thoughts!

Your responses and suggestions both online and private have been an encouragement to keep this going.  I hope you continue to do so!


  1. Here you are, taking words out of my mouth again! I spent an entire 2 years looking for a job to replace the part-time one I'd been laid off from. It's terrible how people our age are treated (OMG, how did we get HERE?), why do they always choose the younger ones when they know they'll be off on maternity leave soon? How can you even feel creative to try and maybe start a business when you're so downtrodden from all the rejection?

    Keep up the good work gal.....I LOVE reading your posts...they're so inspiring to me!


  2. I know and you just happened to me. But good luck proving it! Maybe as we go on and more start sharing we can figure out how to deal with this terrible stigma we have been plagued with.

  3. Starting from the bottom even with experience under my belt, I find it harder to get support to move before time runs out...what do you say about women who can share a home, are clean, orderly, and no how to share space and interest without overcrowding another woman's thinking when trying to come out of the post era of social disadvantages? I finished college but credit to begin just will take seven years to manage what I once did. I counted the months, the years, while building my strong hold for family. That is all gone now...How to find support, a home, shelter, and a friend!

    1. Hi Sunpatch,
      Support is hard to find. I'd like to hook you up with an author friend of mine who has been publishing her own books. Her page is

      Another great place for support is Happy Town. Yes it may seem like a you gotta be kidding me, but it has been a support for many of us. It is a private and so you have to request please add a note that I invited you.

      Next I'll be around on those two boards and I am more than happy to be a friend if you don't mind long distance!!


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