never married, over forty, a little bitter

the chin

In my old organization, I mentored a woman who was entering the profession after doing contract work in another field. She was also a wife and a mother of two kids who were leaving home for college. She was quite green in terms of my career field but managed to score a desirable job close to her home.

A few months into the new job I spoke to her and she had some complaints about the organization but overall was content where she had been placed. She did say that she was sad about not being able to accompany her husband on the trips he was taking for work. Boo hoo, I thought.

Less than a year into the job, she quit to follow her husband across country for a gig.

I’m so glad I am taking this time for myself, because I was getting to the point where I was bursting with envy at people like her, those dilettantes in the world of work. I have another married friend here who is in the midst of taking several years off, but because I am happily enjoying my own time, I can talk to her without bursting into flames.

Of course, even though I’ve taken it on the chin for decades, unlike those women I am having to hustle up my next gig.


Novelist Isabel Allende, in an interview with Carolyn Rountree (1993) for Rountree’s book on women over 50, mused “when you articulate something, it then becomes part of your reality; before you articulate it, it’s just confusion.”

I have a friend here who is very sweet but who drives me batty sometimes with her insistence that her overly idealistic (to me) view of reality is the correct one. This same woman is prone to major breakdowns and depressions. I can’t help but feel if she would look at some negative realities in the face and accept them, it would help her move forward in life without so many depressive episodes.

Interestingly, the Allende quote is pulled from a blog page about the invisibility of aging women, something this friend vehemently denies.