I am more & more aware that soon we will be the elder states persons in our lives…

  ➨ So, my project is gathering momentum.  I had the honour of doing the first, virgin fresh interview for my fledgling book; The Invisibility Myth the other day. I deliberately sought out someone I had no history with, a new friend (as I now like to think of her), so I had no pre-conceived notions of what she would say to me.

   ➨London that day was sporting a spectacular coat of spring blossom, full of optimism and possibility, which perfectly echoed my mood. I was en route from the west to the north side of town, to meet ‘C’ as I will call her for now.  A wonderful woman who will be 63years old this year, so well within my chosen demographic for research.  She is brim full of vim and vigor, honesty, opinions, wisdom, insight, creativity. Getting on with being the heroine in her own life;

Unapologetically the sum of her accumulated years of experience;  an ever evolving kaleidoscope of a life lived and living in colour,  with few shades of grey.  During the interview, as she referenced a time when a number of people she was close to had passed away, she said the words; ‘I was surrounded by more ghosts than people’,….WOWSA ….It started me thinking that soon WE who still consider ourselves (in our heads)  to be youthful and with so much yet to say/do/be, will inevitably have to take on the crown of the elder states persons in our own lives.  A sobering thought. I’m not yet ready for this, I don’t feel old, wise or mature enough!  

   ➨As I record ‘C’ picking out questions from my list to answer, it becomes abundantly clear to me that there is no singular experience of all women. We assume so many roles in our individual lives, but perhaps the most important role we play is  that of nurturing empowerment in other women to do/be/evolve into what best suits them.  We also have a wider responsibility to the tender young women in our lives. So much of my dialogue with ‘C’ revolved around these topics.

 We should fill them with positive affirmation and assurance that it will all be ok, because despite all that has happened to us – the older women – in our individual life adventures, we have survived. The future will be chock full of possibilities for them, despite all those insecurities being driven by crazy hormones.  I am reminded of Caitlin Moran’s  heartbreaking open letter to the young women she encounters at her book signings, its from her book; Moranifesto.  I’m picking out a tiny quote:-  “Know that you were not born scared and self-loathing and overwhelmed. Things have been done – which means things can be undone.  It is hard work. But what you must do right now, and for the rest of your life, is learn how to build a girl. You.”……

The full piece catapulted me back to my own youth – the conflicting feelings and emotional insecurities.  The promise I made to myself to always remember those physical feelings, even though the detail would be lost in time, so that I could support others. I laugh to myself when I think how badly as an adult I dealt with some of the more extreme teen behaviour of my own offspring….My excuse being that I was peri-menopausal at the time…….Oh well, we are human after all…… 

   ➨We grow, we bloom, absorbing what is around us.  We keep on blooming – or should do – until we complete the cycle of life/death/rebirth and embark on the next adventure.  I don’t know about you, but this thought has sure as hell comforted me in my ‘dark night of the soul’ moments…..Still does.

 ➨Recently, I paused my day of to chat with two old guys – ordinary, extraordinary elders from my London street.

They were born in 1933 and 1929, making them 84 and 88 years old and they always, always have great life affirming stories to share.  The younger one was having difficulty remembering  details, but the other is as active mentally and physically (within reason- he is older than god!) as he always has been.

Guyanese Eric and Jessica Huntley  founded a radical publishing business called The Bogle L’Ouverture Press in 1968 from their house, which is only slightly quieter now that Jessica his beloved wife has passed away.  Life was anything but easy for them back in 1970’s London when they arrived separately to pursue their passion. The title of their autobiography; “Doing Nothing is Not an Option” says it all about their life principle. Their home is a revolving door of people of all ages and races seeking out the company of Jessica and Eric, wanting to be inspired by their stories and wisdom.  Go to’s for advice, education, comfort and occasionally a good telling off! To me they are icons of their age. The epitome of the “extraordinary ordinary”.  My life is undoubtedly enriched from having them as neighbours and friends.  I must ask them who they look up to……

    ➨Apropo of nothing in particular, my man was 59 a few days ago. I will be 61 this year…..
Am I/we ready to grow up and be elder states persons?  Not really.
Am I/we wiser?  A bit, not much.
Am i/we evolving?  Sure are – just not sure in what way! 

Be kind humans…..Don’t forget to be your own heroine.

Love and Peace.

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