Guerrilla Aging: Navigating the Third Half of Life

Posted on December 11, 2012

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old lady (shadyoldlady_com)If the title confuses you, you are in the right place.  We are women navigating a part of life that hasn’t been navigated before.  Often, we do so in secret.  While the media focuses on the  younger, the firmer, the more camera-ready, we “women of a certain age” age behind the scenes, beneath the radar.  We often have only our peer group for guidance.  Hence, guerrilla aging.  Aging for the subversive.

If you are making the astute observation that there is no such thing as the third half of anything, let me assure you that we are in it.  We are in the place that doesn’t exist, or at least, hasn’t existed before.  Either we can’t be our mothers’ generation or we choose not to be.  We are literally making it up as we go along.  The possibilities are not only endless, they are scary and exhilarating and confusing and energizing.

We might be the first generation of women in our families who went to college.  Or maybe the first generation to work outside the home.  Or to divorce.  Or to choose not to marry.  Or to travel.  Or to marry outside of our religion.  Or to live without the benefit of marriage. Or to toss our aprons away with our bras. Or to do any number of things that broke ground and possibly broke our parent’s hearts. Or, at the very least, mystified them. And all the while we were doing these things, we were expected to stay the course, to conform, to go along, to be what our mothers and grandmothers had been.

I’m not going to turn this into a book.  I already know what it takes to write and to market a book successfully. I’ve done it twice.  It’s hard work.  I’m choosing not to do it a third time.  So you can call this my unbook.  My two books spoke to women over the age of 50.  I have since moved on, into my sixties.  Some of the issues are the same, others different.  More women my age are retired. More have experienced the death of loved ones.  More have dealt with personal illness.  More have become grandparents.  The list goes on and on.

My vision for this blog is to have a format for women in the third half of life to speak about what is real.  About sexuality or the lack thereof.  About the exhaustion of childcare.  About loneliness, whether we are single or not.  About learning to respect who we are, in spite of a media that doesn’t.  About loss, and about accepting loss when it seems the only thing that isn’t being lost is our weight.  About gratitude. About the endless things that our mothers didn’t experience, our doctors don’t know/care about, our partners and/or children don’t want to hear.

Much of life cannot be changed.  Many past decisions and choices can’t be undone.  But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t able to go forward, to make new choices and new decisions.  To see our world through new eyes.

This blog isn’t intended to be a solo endeavor. I hope it will be more of a forum.  I’ll be having guest bloggers, women I admire who don’t believe in bullshit.  I’ll be interviewing some other women and asking the tough questions.  I’ll be writing some pieces myself.  If, at any time, you  would like to write something for it or to be interviewed, let me know.  I’ll even consider you if you are a-woman-of-a-certain-age-in-training. Or a man.

I invite you to subscribe at www.guerrillaaging.wordpress.com. I’m hoping to “go live” next week.  You can contact me at lifeintheboomerlane@gmail.com.  Join me.  Join us.  Speak. 

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