There are a few areas in which I find midlife women confusing. This is probably no surprise to men, they've been finding us confusing for decades.
What's even more frustrating is that I'm one of the confusing women and the issues include me. So I'm in the uncomfortable position of looking at myself and wondering what the hell is going on.
I wish I could say this was new.
Fabulous Midlife Women
When I'm in deep contemplation over my morning coffee, mulling over my passion of "The New MidLife Woman", it occurs to me there is no demographic in this nation with a wider, deeper, more multi-faceted skill set.
They've done it all (I'll leave myself out of it for the moment); Gone to college, worked outside the home, worked inside the home, managed teams, managed soccer schedules, handled business dinners, planned family menus, covered sick days, handled sick children, weathered job loss, weathered divorce, endured HR reviews, endured custody battles, built businesses, built new lives.
I think of midlife women as the Swiss Army knives of the world. Men seem more like sporks. (no disrespect men, I do admire your ability to single focus)
The Curious Part
Yet, with all these skills and abilities, midlife women are often crippled with low self-esteem, self-doubt and filled with fear. Particularly if they are facing a transition period - divorce, job loss, empty nest.
Why? I've no idea.
What's even more confusing? I did it myself.
My internal dialog was the same as the women I've been interviewing:
"My life is over. I'm too old to start over"
"Who am I now"
"I'm terrified of the future"
"I've no idea what to do now."
These words are coming from the most capable demographic in our nation. You'd think these women would be making to-do lists, flinging post-its everywhere and taking names. Yet often, that's not the case.
How does a group of people come to see their value so differently than reality? Does society as a whole not support them? Do they not support themselves? Do they not support each other?
Are we still too early in the 'Midlife Women Rock' transition cycle? We can honor Helen Mirren, Susan Sarandon as fabulous midlife women, but the glow doesn't trickle down to the heartland?
First We Need To Own It
The way out of this disconnect is for midlife women to acknowledge and own their skills and abilities. It's time for them to stop minimizing their talents, to stop subjugating themselves and differing to others. It's time for some good, old fashion self awareness and appreciation.
I recently interviewed a midlife woman who was struggling to find work after consulting for decades to major corporations like ATT. She's hesitant to start her own business, being used to a paycheck and the benefits that come with corporate placement. I saw a woman who was an entrepreneur in the making, with decades of experience to draw from. She was reluctant to let go of what she knew.
I saw a powerhouse, while she was still not fully recognizing her amazing experience and wide ranging abilities.
Let's Rise Up and Meet Ourselves
Midlife women offer an incredible wealth of talent, experience, skills and abilities to our society. We can plan, execute, organize, encourage, lead, support and create. And that's only the beginning.
It's time to own our worth and start offering what we have in a big way. Our country, and the world, can only benefit from what we have to offer.
Kimberly Montgomery is the creator of the Choices Notebook and blogger at FiftyJewels.com, where she encourages people to use their powers for good. Hop on over there to grab your FREE copy of the Choices Notebook Mini Kit.