Saturday, November 24, 2012

55+ Unite

A few days ago I was gifted a book.  Yesterday, I read it. Today, I reflect.

It was a light, yet heavy, read. I have not done the related self-development tasks -- may have done it, in my own way, before. 

I recall being inspired at age 50 to develop my resume according to life-cycles. I am now 59.  When in the daily world of business, I had different expectations of my peers, both male & female, based on similar cycles. 

  1. Transition to World of Work. (2 yrs.);
  2. Increase Business Knowledge (3yrs.);
  3. Specializing (5 yrs.);
  4. Balance Family & Work (8 yrs.);
  5. Hard & Soft Skills Integration & new learning (5 yrs and ongoing.)
In fact, I was proudest of the men who consciously experienced #4 and felt somewhat sad for the females whose life choices made this a big "skip".  As a resume, the idea failed; but it is my career profile. It does not assume a zenith and is perhaps more female leaning than Ms. Lussier's Early, Midway,Zenith in that females are more likely to have a broad span of life balancing than their male counterparts.
The core theme of 55+ Unite seems to lean toward defining oneself with ones work or work related aspirations, maybe more than the author intended. It also presumes having girl friends as a innate part of womanhood - which may not be true of all women.

Some Ironies and thematic disconnects:
Page 4 "Aging professional women are encouraged to spend their final career chapter in low-paying, or no paying, charity jobs - to give back to the community and maybe rediscover some artistic skills or smoldering life goals. Nice gig, if you can afford it.

The irony is the conclusion "Nice gig, if you can afford it." 

I have such a gig.  Health insurance affordability will be the driver for how long I can sustain this gig. It is the best job I have ever had if challenges, fun and diversity of community interaction and potential for good are any measure. I know the devaluation of woman was what inspired the 'nice gig" slur of the author -- but I never truly wanted a career -- I have wanted this gig, without the overhead of needing to look for an income producing opportunity "with benefits," for most of my adult life. 

There is a pocket of women nicknamed "bennies" that are locked into unsatisfying careers because their hard working blue collar self-employed husbands can not truly afford family healthcare plans; especially if the work is seasonal. I was/am one of those.  

Stories: 55+ Unite is part memoir, part self-help.  It is a collection of stories thematically strung together based on some research & self-reports. It has value like journaling has value as it can kick-start some healthy reflection. It also reminds me of the challenges of storytelling; a tool that can make ideas stick, an abundance that demands curation to transform information into wisdom and a magical gift of humankind whose potential is still being discovered by artists and geeks. The work of Nancy Durante is particularly informing. She tweets here

My LinkedIn Profile states: Effective storytelling often shortens the time travelled from gap  -  to competence -  to action;  in a visceral making-a-difference way.  Therein, I am trying to congeal my business experience with my distractions because that is what business often expected of me -- but I also believe this to be true.  I just do not feel I can do storytelling well enough, myself and I am distracted by the Joy of mixed media.

A few days ago my imprisoned for life nephew asked my sister what had become of my book?  I wonder if he is remembering Kindle, my pass-it forward story drafted in 1976, or Mercy from 1993.  The 1st was distroyed in the real life story underlying the second.  As for the second, I no longer believe in the premise. I recently gave the incomplete manuscript to the real storyteller in the family -- in case he can use any tidbits for his work as a playwright. 

He tells me that I should work some of the ideas I send to him, myself. But I do not think he means Mercy -- but ideas like Meanwhile may have potential.  

So, I have read a book. It has made me complete a blog entry for which I have been delinquent most of 2012. So what of the inertia? What of the unanswered question - what do you WANT to be when you grow up?  And what about the absense of lifelong (or even longtime) friends in the collection of stories that are already fading in memory? What is the value of tweets, and blogs and poems?

This blog was initiated with a life lesson; and part of me feels I live it and part of me feels like a fraud but all of me loves the poem. 

And with this I conclude today's entry.


Anonymous said...

...each woman has a unique, 'magic mix' that become her life - family, self, friends, work, spirituality ... and in sharing our thoughts we help lift each other up. -- author 55+ Unite

Anonymous said...

Curation may refer to:

Digital curation, the preservation and maintenance of digital assets
Curation may also be:

The work performed by a curator
Archiving, historical record keeping
Evidence management, indexing and cataloguing of evidence
Cultural heritage management, conservation of cultural sites and resources
Healing, medical curing of illness