Invisible at 50

lifeAfter50
I’ve never liked attention. I stand in the back. I’m the last to walk through the door. I’m late for things so I can slip in. I stay quiet until I know someone.

I’m tall and blonde so I’ve gotten my fair share of men’s looks. Most of the time it made me feel uncomfortable and I certainly noticed when they stopped looking a few years ago. But for the most part, I’ve found the lack of men’s attention nice. Not all women feel this way. And, I sure don’t have life after my kids figured out yet.  But, there has been something happening that is bothering me more than not being noticed for my looks.

Being discounted because of my age.

Whether it is the assumption I don’t know technology because of my age or that I don’t understand something because it is new to the younger person, is happening significantly more than it ever did previously.

I am in my early 50s, which means I’ll be in the workforce for another 15 to 20 years. To me, this seems like a long time to be discounted.

Of course I have examples of this shunning outside my work, but since the majority of my time is spent at work, it’s where I have the most examples.  To be fair, I notice my thinking is slower — I hate that. But, I have things to contribute.

I talk to other women in the workforce at this age. Work is not very satisfying when it gets to this point. Many can retire because they have a husband and they are fed up.

I cannot. 15 to 20 years ahead. I’m trying to wrap my head around how to be at peace with going to work, getting the paycheck and going home.

If anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it.

— Namaste

Author: Debra Happe

Debra Happe is a writer and marketing professional based in Des Moines, Iowa. Debra does business, magazine, and freelance copywriting work. Specialties include science-based, environmental, and technological. Connect on LinkedIn for professional inquiries.

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