I’m pretty sick and tired of being referred to as a Boomer, senior citizen, or a person of age, and I sure as hell do not want to be referred to as “over the hill”. I haven’t a clue what hill you’re referring to, but I’m betting I can beat you to the top of it.
I get that I’m all those things, but I don’t appreciate being boxed into anyone’s mindset other than my own. I concede that I have entered my 6th decade and probably look ancient to the ticket taker at our local theater. I’ve come to terms with it.
What I haven’t come to terms with, however, are people who assume that because I’m over 60, I’m not up on the current fads, social media trends, and the newest and brightest computer software and smart phones. Even worse, that’s its all way over my head. Bite me!
I teach social media to people of all ages, along with business trends, blogging, marketing and writing. I have the most current smart phone, tablet and laptop and know how to wield them. Want to know what it’s like being a mature person in a young woman’s game? It’s awesome!
Many have said that my age puts me at a disadvantage in the job marketplace. If that’s true, I have yet to see it.
It’s a gift when people underestimate you. It makes meeting expectations a bit easier. More importantly, when I present a rocking seminar or astonish them with my ability to guide their business aspirations upward, they are left with a new found understanding and clarity: age is a number that should be respected for its content not its numerical value.
Granted, years ago when I was trying to learn the computer, I tapped the closest genius in my proximity, my 12 year old daughter. I remember her frustration as I muddled my way through dial up internet connectivity, slow uploading and something called “My Space”. She bemoaned my slowness and lost patience with me from time to time. I reminded her that she had her first computer when she was 4 years old. I had mine when I was 35. The learning curve was brutal.
But, I caught up. Fast. Today, I lecture, teach, consult and share what I know to thousands of people a year. I have over 6,000 Twitter followers, 5,000 Facebook followers, over 1,000 Linkedin connections and a rapidly growing Google+ base. All that and five bucks will buy me a cup of coffee at my local java haunt.
The point is, it’s not the numbers that matter. It’s the people. The relationships, friendships and business acquaintances who I was able to help, and who have helped me, along the way.
THAT, my friends, is knowledge that comes from age.
I’ve learned from the many old dogs I’ve had the privilege of growing older with, how to stay in the now. It’s not hard to notice how they never stop being amazed, engaged and excited about their world. Not a day goes by that they don’t relish in the wonder of life, their next meal, a walk, a new squeaky toy, or a new butt to sniff. I’ve always respected that. Well, except the butt sniffing part.
The inability to adapt, learn, grow, play, and move upward doesn’t come from age. It comes from a lack of need to know, or the lack of interest to learn.
I’ve met and done business with 85 year olds that could run rings around me. I’ve also done business with 35 year olds that didn’t have the common sense to blow their nose when it was running.
Experience speaks loudly to those of us who have lived, won, lost, recovered and are still standing. I’m happy to be counted among them.
If you’re looking to place a label on me, I’d prefer you define me by my character, ability, actions and intention. Age has pity little to do with any of those things. Yet, it’s those things that matter.
I’m much more than a senior, a boomer, or a woman of age. While I qualify for all of them, none of these adjectives define me. A box, any box, is a terrible thing to live in.
If you really need to box me into a label … just call me an old broad who can.
That’s good enough for this old dog!