Dear older ladies,
First off, do not be offended—by “older” I mean older than me and my friends—not old. Trust me, I’ve been well-trained by my mother that old is at least 10 years older than your current age.
“I just want to age gracefully,” mom says. I’m so lucky to have her as my primary example of godly femininity and she definitely continues to model this as she gets older. Not old. OLDER.
But many women my age and younger don’t have such a great role model, and even those of us who do could benefit from relationships with more than one. I’m writing to ask you to consider committing a few hours each week or even each month for this important job. You don’t have to create anything formal—just choose one or two of us and initiate a relationship.
I know, that’s scary, but if you wait for us to approach you it will never happen. Although I’ve asked a few women to serve as mentors in my life, most of us don’t know we need help—or, if we know, we don’t realize we can ask.
And do we ever need it. We’re raising kids, raising step kids, trying to get pregnant, trying not to get pregnant. We’re reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting because we have no mother, big sister or aunt to clue us in. We’re choosing between homemaking and working outside the home and most of us are trying to do both, in houses with more convenience features than ever before that somehow we still can’t manage to keep clean. No one ever taught us to mend a hem or sew on a button. We can create websites from scratch but not a loaf of bread. We’re working in offices filled with men and holding our own (although still receiving less pay, but whatever). We’re looking at our marriages and wondering if we made the right choice and if we can make this last another forty years and if we want to and if we’re bad people when we don’t.
We need you—your wisdom, your sense of humor, your perspective, your practical help. We don’t expect the answer to every life question; we know we’re facing more choices than any previous generation of women, but we also know the important principles behind making those decisions haven’t changed. Some long-term coaching would be so helpful as we try to figure it all out.
Besides, there are still young women walking around in tube tops. Until every last one of us dresses attractively but modestly, consider yourselves on retainer. Because living gracefully applies to every age, young and old. I mean, older.
Photo (Flickr CC) by David J Laporte