This is difficult. My life is going through huge changes at the moment, due to the loss of my partner, and family adjustments, and my own adjustments, to a new way of living. I had not anticipated this, in any way, and it is making me feel vulnerable and exposed to this world with all of its challenges and apparent chaos. I feel a profound lack of order and a solid base in my emotional life. I’ve gone off at a tangent, having had no choice in the matter and the scenery around me is new and strange.
My brave words in the championing of older women no longer feel entirely right or appropriate. I still believe wholeheartedly in the concept and I still champion older women but I have to think again and employ a softer approach, more understanding and more compassionate. This place where I now find myself, standing alone, without a partner, is rather frightening and I realise that many women of my age, or any age, have been here before me.
This is not about feeling happy or not happy. That word, at the moment, is also not appropriate. What I feel is raw and tender. Almost as if I were a baby and brand new and delicate. I have to look after myself. I think this feeling is more familiar to older women (and probably older men, too) than I had known. By the time we reach 50, or 60 or older – there is no upper age limit – lots of things have happened to us, and they haven’t all been easy or comfortable. We sometimes feel the need to withdraw and lick our wounds; hibernate and eat the dirt, as animals do when they are sick.
I want to create an online community of women, women like me, those who are raw and vulnerable as well as those waving the flag. I’m sure there are lots of us; we want to make a contribution and to be reassured that we are of value. That our years of life experience count and that we can have a positive impact. These are the wisdom years and this wisdom would like to be put to good use.
If we take humanity to be one body of seven billion or so individual sparks, then the waking up to itself of each spark makes a difference to the whole. Will the spark that we are be weakly sputtering, feeling itself hopeless and powerless, or will it be a light shining brightly, illuminating the space around it and able to create what it wants, what it feels to be right and appropriate and thereby making a contribution and a difference. Or something in between. How bright does your light shine? How bright does my light shine?