And they all lived happily ever after. That’s what we all hope for when we set out on our journey to adulthood. The thing about happy endings is, they take a lot of work. Generation after generation has a different story to tell about the struggles of their quest for happiness. Technology has changed the way we connect and communicate with others. My generation will have a very different story to tell than the ones before me.
While many things have changed for women and mothers in the past few decades, there are many things that remain the same. Women struggle with finding their place in the community. Mothers struggle more than ever with the loss of the neighborhood village mentality. Before society can welcome us as the Wonder Women we are, we have to accept and believe in our own beauty and power. Social media has provided us a way to inspire and share with others, but in many cases, it is used to pass judgment. People often forget that on social media people are posting only the beautiful and good moments. No matter how perfect their family and life might look, they struggle from day to day like the rest of us.
As a blogger who hopes to inspire women and mothers to come together and help lift each other up it’s important to be authentic. It’s imperative that we remove labels and extremes and find some balance and empathy. I’m so excited to be joining the Bridge the Gap campaign. This fall’s campaign unites the Millennial and Midlife Demographics to blur artificial boundaries while encouraging Reciprocal Mentorship. I’ve partnered with a woman I’ve known from my adolescent years to share our stories and bridge the gap.
Loretta is like an Aunt to me. She has been a friend, and so much more, to my mother since I can remember. They supported each other through changes in career, divorces, and marriages, their kids graduating and moving out into the world, and now they both enjoy being grandmothers together. Friendships that span decades-long aren’t easy to come by. There is so much I can learn from both of them, and I never take their journey for granted. Loretta started blogging this year about her realization she will be turning 60 soon. At Countdown to 60 you will get a raw and authentic viewpoint of aging in the modern day.
When we are young, 60 seems so old. Well, Loretta is staring 60 in the face looking and feeling great. She may not have life figured out, but with her community of 50 somethings, they are soul-searching together. There is this pressure for many of us to have reached certain goals by our milestone birthdays. At 16 we should be getting our license, and dating our HS sweetheart. By 18 we are graduating and going on to college, expected to know exactly what role in the world we want to play. Our 20’s are for partying and experimenting and if we are lucky we will find our soulmate. When 30 rolls around we should be settled and starting our perfect little family. Many still view 40 as over the hill, when at 40 we still have so much life to live. When 50 comes around it should be a time to reflect on our wonderful life, while enjoying the fruits of our labor and planning retirement.
Many women of Loretta and my mother’s generation jumped into the opportunity to start their family. Loretta has 2 brilliant sons I am so fortunate to know, and 2 beautiful granddaughters full of love and laughter. If I can be half the mother they were I will feel like a successful parent. If I can learn from all their life lessons and stand strong in my affirmations I will accomplish great things. Loretta shares stories of her life then and now, from her heart-wrenching story of the loss of her mother at age 11, insightful observations of ageism to funny things about unwanted facial hair.
Loretta has resonated with many 50 somethings out there on social media looking for community. She’s had a few posts published in Better After 50 and When Women Inspire. Her goal with Countdown to 60 is to be authentic, raw, honest and vulnerable while exploring what it is that makes us who we are, and I think it’s safe to say she has accomplished this goal. By looking deep inside herself and opening up it has allowed others in the 50 something community to do the same. She posted a photo of herself now in underwear to show what a real women’s body looks like now. Her goal with the photo was to have the courage to “expose” herself and not get caught up in what others think. I think the photo is beautiful and real, and I appreciate her courage. It got an overwhelmingly positive response and others are starting to strip down too.
I think it’s safe to say, as a 30 something, the pressure to meet the birthday milestones is still alive and strong in our generation. By Bridging the Gap and joining together as Millennial and Midlifers we can dispel the ideals of the old American Dream. Millennials can learn so much from what the Midlife women learned in their reflection of their younger selves. We all have a right to happiness. We are worthy of respect, love, and abundance. It’s never too late claim your joy and it’s so much easier with some empowering women by your side.