A Seasoned Woman – a second adulthood
There’s an interesting passage in Gail Sheehy’s book Passages, a predictable adult life crisis, first published back in 1976. It’s still poignant (even more so) today.
A seasoned woman is spicy. She has been marinated in life experience. Like a complex wine, she has many flavours. She can be alternatively sweet, tart, effervescent, mellow. She is both maternal and playful. Assured, alluring, resourceful. She is less likely to have an agenda than a young woman – no biological clock tick-tocking beside her lover’s bed, no campaign to lead him to the altar, no rescue fantasies.
The seasoned woman knows who she is. She could be any one of us, as long as she is committed to living a fully and passionately in the second half of life.
How old is a seasoned woman? As Vera told Auntie Mame, “Somewhere between 40 and death.”
Boomer-generation women in midlife are open to sex, love, dating, new dreams, exploring spirituality, and expanding their political influence as never before. This is a new universe of passionate, liberated women – married and single – who are unwilling to settle for stereotypical roles of middle age and who are now realising they don’t have to. Once free of the exhausting demands of young children, needy husbands, and building early careers, they embrace what I call their Second Adulthood as a period of reawakening.
The great transition in the passage to the Second Adulthood, for women, is a move from pleasing to mastery. In our First Adulthood, we survive by figuring out how to please and perform for the powerful people who protect and reward us. It is in her fifties that a woman is finally unafraid to speak with her own voice.
She might sound like one of my interviewees in Sex and the Seasoned Women (Sheehy’s following book): “I’ve spent fifty years of my life pleasing everyone – my teachers, my bosses, my boyfriends, my husband, my children. Now,” she said, “I care about pleasing some people, and the rest can just go fly a kite!”
Maybe it’s time to send your kite flying!
What if you were curious enough to find out…
Let your kite free. Why not take the first step and start the journey to create your future towards a happier, more fulfilling life by taking my free self-reflection questionnaire (the link is below)? Thirty-six questions that were designed to get you thinking about where you are now and where you would like to be.