Middle-aged women often complain that, as they get older, they feel “Invisible”. As the flush of youth inevitably fades, they miss the flirtations and attention. But is it all doom and gloom? I mean, let’s face it – the alternative to still being around but feeling unnoticed is a lot worse! In my opinion growing older offers lots to look forward to.
I was a late bloomer in my youth – something of an ugly duckling. Male attention didn’t come my way until university where, um, I made up for lost time. Yet I never felt comfortable with whistles walking past building sites. Typically, now that they never happen, just one out-of-tune squeak from a brickie’s lips would probably make my day!
So, some of us try our best with lotions and potions, hair dye, anti-wrinkle cream and varnish and cosmetics. No grey hairs here! And those who’ve visited this blog before will know I’m doing my best to beat middle-aged spread.
Yet do we become truly invisible? I think not. What we lose in superficial looks we gain in emotional and intellectual depth. Compared the Sam Tonge of my twenties, I am much more grounded now, with a lovely husband, two wonderful kids and a job I love. Yes, I am blessed. Occasionally I miss the carefree wild times of my youth, working abroad and enjoying romances, without worries about money or dependents. But now I have an inner confidence and – hopefully – degree of wisdom that comes with age.
This means I’m not invisible to people who seek out support from me or advice. Or who just want a jolly good laughing session where we can giggle at the things that once bothered us so much. Whilst I’ll not stop using the hair dye and make-up I’ve always loved, I accept that I’m getting older and 90 per cent of the time it doesn’t depress me one jot.
Sure it’s odd, when I look in the mirror and the face doesn’t match the 18 year old me that I still feel like inside. And, hands up, I hate the physical inconveniences, like creaky knees and acid reflux. But I certainly don’t grieve over every wrinkle and laughingly pull out any grey hair that dares randomly shoot up.
So, try to embrace the passing of time; realize that getting older brings different positives and that a serious Botoxed fight against old age will ultimately end in tears. Not that I’m advocating women give up on their appearance – far from it! Just don’t worry about becoming invisible. Your visibility in other areas will go from strength to strength, namely your experience of life and work and emotions. The people who matter will love and respect you, more than ever, for that.