The great thing about getting older is you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been. – Madeleine L’Engle
It seems that the farther we get into our sixties, the greater the temptation to become invisible. Society certainly plays a huge role in that as it continues to value youth over wisdom and age. Just watch an evening of commercials on television – all the “fun” ones promote youth. Some commercials are about older people but they are usually tied to the person’s medical conditions and what medications to take. The pandemic has added to this. Wearing face masks is another contributor to invisibility. Don’t get me wrong, I believe face masks are very important and wear mine all the time. However, I do believe they contribute to this issue.
So, the question is – what to do about it? I read several interesting articles about this recently that offered some suggestions. One is pay attention to your posture. Stand up straight with chin up. No more slouching and curved shoulders. Try it – it feels strange at first, but good! Also, walk like you are going somewhere – with intention. And practice smiling!
I think that feeling invisible is mostly an inside job. We know what society values in appearance and we don’t look quite like that anymore. There is no denying the physical changes in our bodies. So, sometimes it is easier to retreat into a shell and become invisible. Since our kids are probably grown and out of the house, it is harder to keep up with the latest trends in anything. I know since my son has been living on his own these last several years, I feel like I’ve lost my connection to what is really going on in the world. So, sometimes it is just easier to fade into the background and become invisible.
So, again, what to do? in addition to the previous suggestions. it is so important to pay attention to how we talk to ourselves. It is easy to be critical of the latest wrinkle or saggy thing. Most of the time, we don’t “feel” our age until we let surroundings and circumstances pull us down. I love the suggestion by Abraham Hicks in one of their YouTube videos on aging. They encourage choosing an age where you feel vital and alive and practice those feelings. A lot of aging is a result of negative thoughts and emotions and if we can tune into the times when we felt our best, I believe it will slow the aging process down and we can claim our visibility!