Have you ever looked in the mirror, and asked yourself, “What the hell am I doing with my life?” The good news is that we all have. Women are especially hard on ourselves, particularly when we feel like we should be further along in life by this point, but aren’t. Rest assured that all women face doubt. But it appears that it manifests differently, depending on which part of our lives we’re in.
As though there was some sort of inherent inner clock, it seems as women reach a certain age, they begin to research their genealogy, and look at old photographs. This may be part of the internal struggle to find meaning; and things that we remember. It’s a reminder for all, to have things to look forward to. We don’t have to constantly look back, to find joy.
What might have been considered “cave drawings” during the time of early human, is now called “blogging”. From tweens to grandmothers, women can share their life experiences, for all to see. Whether or not we should see, is an entirely different question. However, as you look at the distinct differences in the layout of the above-mentioned blogs, you’ll find tweens to be completely narcissistic, while grandmothers love to share communal experiences, from decades ago. Either way, imparting wisdom has become slightly more difficult in the technological age. Not because we lack the platform, but because there appears to be little wisdom to impart.
If you were born around 1970, then your great-grandmothers were likely born around 1900. Imagine- they grew up without indoor plumbing or running water. They frequently died in childbirth, and were unable to support themselves, should their spouse die, leaving them with nothing.
The thirty-year-old woman giving birth in 1970 had few work options; generally leaning towards secretary (when they were still called that), teacher, and nurse (to name a few). That is if she worked outside the home at all. Yep, they were generally stuck at home, slowly being driven mad by their offspring.
A woman, fifty years old, in 1970, was likely finished with rearing children. She might have a few grandchildren in her life already, but if not, she was still running the household of her youth and maybe working for spending money. Fear not though, as she may have already passed her physical peak, she was just reaching her emotional IQ peak.
Overall, our continental world, just fifty years ago, looked something like this: Abortion was not yet legal in the US. The 14th amendment had not been extended to estate administrators (such as in the event of a death), enabling women’s rights to be blocked. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act had not yet been passed, creating obstacles for women to apply for a credit card, even if she were single, divorced, or the breadwinner. And legal action for workplace sexual harassment was not considered a valid complaint until 7 years later.
Let’s not cry our eyes out for those savage years, though! Women have made huge strides in those decades, and we’re not even close to being done yet. As a modern-day woman, we have benefited from those struggles. We have the right to focus on being an aging woman in society and decide what our priorities shall be.
Today is a great time to be a woman. Our strength is the cradle in which society lays. Women encapsulate the core values of what it means to be human: empathy, forgiveness, and the courage to face tough times. The struggles we face today, are for the women of tomorrow; let that be our beacon across those endeavors.
In part three of this series, we’ll take a look back at seventy years, to see how the lives of women looked in 1950. As a bonus, we’ll take a peek into an even older point in time!
Be sure to check out the final installment of this great series — The Lens of Age and Time Part 3!
Want to see how it starts? Part 1 of this series – The Lens of Age and Time Part 1 is here!