Happy Friday, ladies! Today, I would like address a topic I know is on the hearts of some of this audience…. invisibility after retirement.
There have been comments on this blog where women confess that they feel invisible, and I know many of you are also retired.
One of my favorite singers, Amy Grant (62), once wrote, “I think for a woman, the hardest thing about growing old is becoming invisible. There is something very front and center about being young.”
I had never considered it, but she got me to thinking.
After doing some research on my part as to why women feel invisible, I discovered that the feeling is most likely to set in at retirement.
That makes perfect sense to me…though I am not completely retired.
So much of our identity is wrapped around our work for a very long time, that it does seem sensible that “invisibility” would often take hold.
I began to assess myself and wonder why I do not feel invisible and that is how I developed these 4 ways to combat invisibility after retirement.
All of the outfits I am featuring today, are looks I have recently worn to meetings at my church.
I want to demonstrate to you how I typically dress for my current life, and why.
So, let’s get this discussion started and discuss 4 ways to combat invisibility after retirement.
4 WAYS TO COMBAT INVISIBILITY AFTER RETIREMENT: #1
#1: CHOOSE TO BE VISIBLE AND LIVE
I know some of you will not like this, but honestly the choice to live with visibility is our choice… do not give anyone the power to make you “feel” invisible.
When you lower your head, and do not care for yourself because you feel invisible you are wasting your life and the purposes you have in this life.
Negative messages in our heads can be powerful and take over and control…and eventually shut us down and out. Those voices steal our joy.
I never think about younger people having more to offer than I do, because I believe I have much to offer where ever I am…gifts and experience unique to me.
So, first decide to live each day…one day at a time…with purpose and visibility..even if the only event currently on your calendar is to run errands.
I have so much fun looking for ways I can bless the people in line with me or at the cash register…everyone needs encouragement and a smile.
I can see where some may allow invisibility after retirement to set in because you do not feel needed. YOU ARE ALWAYS NEEDED WHERE EVER YOU GO.
Exuding joy, kindness and encouragement is needed more today than ever before.
4 WAYS TO COMBAT INVISIBILITY AFTER RETIREMENT: #2
#2: DRESS FOR THE DAY AND GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
I know retirement is more casual and relaxed, but if you want to feel visible then dress for it.
Wear clothing which gives you confidence and a smile in the mirror.
Then walk into and own every room…no matter the room.
How do you do that? With your head held high and looking people in the eyes when you speak with them.
It is simply a fact that we are more likely to speak with others…especially strangers…if we feel like we look our best.
I am not talking about wearing expensive clothing or Christian Dior as Mrs. Harris did when she owned the room with confidence at the end of that movie.
But, the movie, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, has great lessons in it about visibility later in life.
Get dressed…fix your hair…touch up your make up…and smile!
4 WAYS TO COMBAT INVISIBILITY AFTER RETIREMENT: #3
#3: FIND A PLACE TO SERVE OTHERS
I strongly believe that if you will find a place to serve others, you will forget about invisibility after retirement.
There are so many needs… and places who need YOU.
I told you that I wore each of these outfits to meetings at church. I never worry about being overdressed.
I dress with my style adjectives to go out and enjoy the day, the moment, with purpose with confidence.
I believe that the way I dress shows that I respect myself, so therefore my style will bring respect (Visibility)from other people.
It is very hard to hang your head and feel like a speck on the wall when you believe your look great and shine.
I am often the oldest at these meetings, but I never think about that either or feel slighted by that.
I just feel like one of the team showing up to serve.
This naturally leads to #4…..
4 WAYS TO COMBAT INVISIBILITY AFTER RETIREMENT: #4
STEP #4: THINK MORE OF OTHERS THAN YOURSELF
If you enter a room thinking more about other people than yourself, then invisibility after retirement melts away.
Meet new people….look them in the eye…ask questions to get to know them…volunteer your talents and time to help.
(If you need some inspiration, read a tried and true classic, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE by Dale Carnegie…the wisdom of this book is excellent.)
Then ask boldly…how can I be of service?
Let’s go back to the movie, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.
Mrs. Harris did not become visible because she eventually owned a Christian Dior gown.
She became visible way before that due to her kindness and willingness to sacrifice for others.
Ultimately blessings came her way from many of the people she served.
Leave the house every day with intention…How can I make someone else’s day better today?
Ladies, you may be retired from a career, but you are not retired from life!
Life is short…goes quickly…leave invisibility after retirement behind and make a choice to LIVE. There is no time to waste with invisibility.
I know there will be different circumstances in each of our lives, but I also know we can make a choice to deal with them with confidence.
You can do this…you are VISIBLE! Just own it.
AND KEEP SMILING!!
SHOPPING NOTE: JC PENNEY’S HAS A FALL FASHION SALE IN PROGRESS THROUGH THE WEEKEND (AND LIZ CLAIBORNE IS 40% OFF)
By Pamela Lutrell
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