A lot of things converged recently to inspire this post. My friend and colleague Justine Clay, a coach for creative professionals, was kind enough to feature me
in her new blog series about people over fifty. I also read this article
in the Times
. Then I discovered this amazing project
. And I had lunch with Kristin Perers, creator of this wonderful blog
. I think no matter what your age, you spend some time and energy dealing with the cultural, physical and emotional repercussions of what that number signifies. Little kids are anxious for the freedom and autonomy that comes with age. Teens grapple with raging hormones and those "awkward" years. The twenties are about experimentation. In our thirties we feel pressure to settle and achieve. (Of course this is all gross generalization, but work with me.) Then things get a bit nebulous. If you have a partner, kids and a career, your forties and fifties must be about that, right? But what if you don't? And what about your sixties, seventies and eighties? Your nineties? (Too optimistic?) Who even talks about those decades? In the culture at large, there is so little conversation about what it means to be vital and creative and truly alive all the way to the end. So much of the focus, especially for women, is on how good we can look for our age. What about our accomplishments, our creativity, our grace, our strength, our sensuality, our talent, our humor?