The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Just Cuz I'm Getting Older, Doesn't Mean I'm Getting Dumber

I turned 46 on my last birthday; I consider myself on the young side of middle-age, but yes, solidly middle-age.  It's been almost thirty years since I graduated from high school (thank the Good Laura).  I've raised kids, built a career, traveled across the world, been published, and learned to use just about every type of computer and dozens of different software programs since the eighties.  I've kept up.  For some reason, however, I've hit the age when those under the age of thirty assume I must be unable to either understand or learn new things.  There seems to be a little confusion over what is youth and pop culture and what is actually knowledge...

I don't mean to sound cranky, obnoxious or egotistical, but just because I'm not staying hip to new bands and music artists,  doesn't mean I don't know how to Tweet or create an event page on Facebook.  Surprise!  And guess what else I can do?  I can create and manage a big 'ole budget, decipher financial statements, chair a board meeting, write and/or edit a book, write from just about any angle, point of view, style or "voice" imaginable, book and manage international travel for two dozen people, bake a pie, build a bookcase, change the oil in a car, and carry on an extended conversation without slang or curse words.  Truly.

I worked on my first ad campaign when I was sixteen and it was fine, probably even somewhat creative and sassy, but it was in no way the best work I've ever done.  I wrote my first grant proposal when I was 22 and it was definitely not the pinnacle of my proposal-writing efforts. I have had to morph, change, learn, and let go. I may not know computer programming, but I was working on web sites when it meant copying in html and codes and spending a day getting photos, links and texts to behave the way they were supposed to.  I learned then and I'm still learning.

Ageism is an interesting thing--I've definitely been that young person trying to carve out a place in work and the world. Strangely enough, I've always most enjoyed work scenes where there was the most age and other diversity.  I've worked with brilliant people who were much younger than I and those who were amazing and 80. They all knew things, they all had great talents and knowledge and experiences to bring to the table.  I would like to hope that as I continue to get older, there will be a place for the experience, knowledge and energy I've got as well.  If not, I'm going to get damn cranky...

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