My mother once told me as women get older they become invisible and it can be quite freeing. At the time she said that to me I was in my early forties and I didn’t really comprehend what she meant. I am now approaching sixty and I understood it for the first time last week while I was on vacation in lovely Santa Barbara.
We were kayaking around the harbor and paddling around yachts and old boats observing lazy seals basking in the sun on the buoys in the harbor. I wanted to spend some time sunning and swimming at the beach while my brother spent time fishing from his kayak. When we got back to the car after kayaking I realized I didn’t pack my bathing suit. Instead of running to the store to buy one I carefully removed my sarong in the privacy underneath the pier and asked my husband if my fluorescent pink underwear and tank top looked appropriate for swimming. He kindly told me I looked great so I made my sarong a beach blanket and I confidently walked into the wet sand and enjoyed the cool salty water on my skin. It was freeing indeed!
I don’t really think I was invisible, I just didn’t care that much what perfect strangers thought of me if they happened to notice I wasn’t wearing a bathing suit. It just didn’t matter and I know there are much prettier things to look at on the beach. We happened to be in one of the most beautiful places on earth after all.
A couple of very young women with gorgeous bodies and lovely bikinis walked by us and I could see people were noticing them and I thought it was wonderful. This is their time to be noticed and this is my time to be free. It is a wonderful feeling once the struggle is over.
I am enjoying the freedom that being older can bring such as going to the beach in my underwear, dancing in the street and enjoying every blessed minute of being alive on this earth.