Hey, guys - this post is a woman thing. You wouldn't understand.
It's a wasteland out there for those of us approaching "a certain age." Remember all those fun books that used to greet us girls with every life change? The "you're becoming a woman" books (complete with diagrams - ewwww!), the "how to make your husband do what you want" books, the "how to take care of your babies" books...I could go on and on. No matter what stage of life we were entering, we could rest assured there would be (too much) information on how to navigate it. Everything we did was examined and talked to death: the baby-bearing, the child-raising, the juggling of career and family, the how-to-have-it-all dilemma of the modern woman.
Well, there ain't no books anymore. It's as if, once a woman is in her mid-forties and her kids are starting to leave the nest, she ceases to exist. Oh, yes, there is the occasional tome detailing all the wonderful things that can go wrong with our bodies once menopause hits; and then there is a slew of books telling us how to look/act/appear younger; but as for self-affirming, "what direction is my life taking now, aside from going for a mammogram every 2 years?" type books - it looks pretty bleak out there.
What is the publishing industry telling us? That there's nothing to look forward to? That there is nothing left now but to ward off for as long as possible the inevitable physical deterioration which comes with age? If life expectancy statistics are worth anything, we've got a good 35 - 40 years ahead of us. So what's up with this strange cultural silence?
I'm lucky, in that I'll still have young children hanging around well into my 50's. But even so, I'm feeling the cold wind of societal indifference that strikes even the most self-assured woman (and I'm talking to you, mrs. g) as she enters this all but uncharted territory of perimenopause and beyond. Are Michael's and numerous cats really all that's left to us at this point? Are we doomed to spend the rest of our lives in a strange netherworld invisible to the rest of society?
Thank goodness we have the Women's Colony to look forward to.