“Wisdom comes with winters”
― Oscar Wilde
Aging is an interesting thing. I’m beginning to see this getting older stuff provides me with challenges and opportunities which may or may not help me gain some wisdom along the way. Some of my lessons are definitely easier to accept than others.
One of the most fascinating things I’ve observed over the past few years is how I’ve become invisible. I’m not sure exactly when that happened. I began to notice it took much longer for people to notice me–whether I’m at the store waiting for someone to ring up my items or walking down the street–the steady stream of people around me seemed to simply glide right by me. A less pleasant awareness occurred last week when my femininity took a reality check square on the nose. As I sat in a lecture I began to notice the person presenting the talk scanned the room very nicely and had great audience connection EXCEPT he never once made eye contact with me. I have to tell you this took some time to accept and I had to mentally brush off my pride. As I thought about the last few lectures I’d attended, I realized this was not the first time I’d been “looked over” both literally and figuratively. I was not at all impressed with this latest bit of aging insights.
I may be less visible but my new awareness has helped me see others who are in need. At the store this past weekend I noticed a little man with a cane trying to push his grocery cart, a woman with a walking cast struggling to open a heavy door, and a man in an electric cart struggling to make it around all the aisle displays. These proud souls are the true invisible ones.
It only took a minute of my time to help them. It’s something we can all do and it certainly made me feel better afterwards. After all, believe it or not, in the not so distant future, that may be one of us in need of a helping hand. What a nice way to continue to observe Lent–helping our fellow invisible people.
Oh, yes, I’ve reached those golden days
You hear so much about;
I don’t feel any older yet,
But will one day, no doubt.
The sky is still a lovely blue,
The rose is just as sweet.
Each day is like another chance
To make my life complete.
Sure, there is hardship, sorrow, and pain,
Who thought there wouldn’t be?
But now I know it’s just a test
To find the worth in me.
~Betty Irean Loeb