I have a big birthday coming up.
And my High-School girl friends and I are having a “Girls-weekend” to celebrate the event. Revel in being alive. Having each-other – and in some cases – 60-year-old friendships.
But I have to say – as the months creep by and the day gets closer – for the FIRST time ever in my life –
I do not want to have this Birthday.
and I LOVE BIRTHDAYS!!!!
I remember the first blogging conference I went to – the 2012 BLOGHER conference in NYC, where despite playing host to over 4000 women, I was able to make some REAL connections and have friendships which continue to this day – like Lisa and Mary-Dell from Grown and Flown . Katie Couric was the Key-note speaker. She was awesome and inspiring as usual and during the Question and Answer part a woman raised her hand and said “How do I keep from feeling invisible after a certain age?” and Katie answered quite emphatically – “Just don’t BE invisible!” Her answer was met with huge applause and “Yeah!!!! – be VISIBLE” – and I was so pumped by her answer – believing that this is indeed all we have to do – “JUST BE VISIBLE” and all will be right with the world.
But how do I stay visible in a world where YOUTH is everything and “Ageism” is maybe the most predominant “ISM” of all the “Isms”. I bet 90% of the people who know me have no idea I am about to turn 60 – and a big part of that is that I have always lived by the notion that AGE means nothing unless you give it meaning. I DON’T want my age to define me or limit anyones’ perception of me.
But 60. Kind of hard to ignore.
I would love to be a KICK-ASS ROLE-model for women in their 60’s! Like Ellen and Michelle Pfeiffer.
But how do I do that? I’m not sure. Give me a minute. Well, I guess I am starting by doing THIS. Putting it all out there. JUST BE ME! THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE 60!
Not who you might think I am – but the ME that I am –
I am Lesli Jean Mallory Smith DeVito – 59 years old – And my life has come in 3’s. I changed schools every 3 years growing up – I have 3 brothers – two of whom are mentally challenged. I have 3 Kids – (I had my first baby at age 38 and my 3rd at 42) – 3 dogs and 3 cats. I am an Actress turned Ob/GYN Nurse Practitioner turned Decorator-blogger/Artist – I think Marriage is insane but I have been married for almost 24 years to my best friend. I hate to cook but I love to bake. I think hiking is weird but every time I have hiked I swear I will do it every day for the rest of my life! I might even want to climb the Matterhorn like my Aunt Mil did when she was 65! (Aunt Mil lived to be 99!) I struggled with an eating disorder for much of my young adult life – had a bunch of therapy and learned that the BEST way to get better is to be gentle with yourself. I like being busy. Busy makes me happy. I am a strange combination of Introverted/Extrovert – I can be painfully shy but I plow through it with “Can Do” sensibility and the voices of my now deceased parents telling me;
“You can BE anything you want – just DO something!”
So I DO.
and I am NOT INVISIBLE!!!