Believe me , if I didn’t have to work I doubt I would at this point . It’s not that I hate working , it’s the feeling of life passing by very quickly and I’m still so consumed with getting through the work week I have almost no energy left to do anything else . Anyways , staying in tune with what’s current in media and pop culture isn’t an issue . I’m a pop culture enthusiast and always have been . I also have my own 26 yr old to keep me up to speed :). The work ethic of most of the younger people in my department work is appalling - as in , non-existent- so I don’t look to them for anything other than the occasional laugh .

I don’t know , maybe I’m just feeling the years fly by and worrying about something too abstract . If I remain healthy and fit that’s all that should matter

I can so relate to that feeling of the years flying by, Lisa. Given the state of the world, I am glad to still have an income, but I can't help but be aware that I'm running out of time to do the things I want to do....


I can't do better than what others have said, so I'll just empathize. You look great and have terrific fashion sense for yourself. You're current in mind as well as body. Clothes and grooming are simply armor--or another way to communicate we're in the year 2023 (and up) without being too consumeristic, planet-degrading, etc. Or to have fun with fashion, as Angie and this forum always say.

For those reasons, I find myself remixing clothing and DMOT (hair, makeup) more than replenishing/remaking--and that, too, is current.

I do think our attitudes, words, treatment of others, etc. speak so much louder than our appearance.

That said, I feel ya' (to utter a youthful phrase). I'm in a position where I occasionally mentor young people, so they are not my peers. They look to me as an "elder," and so my age is a benefit but my currency is a pleasant/humorous plus (or so they tell me). I have purpose in my work, which is one reason I have no plans to retire. However, my work conditions are radically changing thanks to U.S. culture wars, so we'll see what comes. But for now, I'm resolved to carry on.

It is true that how we comport ourselves will not always change the minds of others. So on ageism, I guess I'll just do what I did in the face of the sexism of my youth: Deflect; pretend I don't notice; do my job to the best of my ability with a smile on my face; call out bad behavior when I've had enough, and report if/when evidence and circumstances are so egregious, they irrefutably compromise me, others, and our workplace. I'm in solidarity with you!

I want to add - I myself was at time an object of and subjected others to ageism. About 10 years ago I was looking for a family doctor. And I was looking for a young person. My two previous doctors were males in close to retirement age. I got so tired of being patronized , of their dismissive and old fashioned attitude. Not only towards me but to my family members, my son refused to see our previous doctor. I’m sure there were many, many qualified, great doctors in 50+ group but I chose a young woman in her mid 30s. And so happy I did.

I’m generally OK and accept my age, as weir as it feels sometimes. Another example - Young sale staff at COS is always trying to be helpful and positive. Sometimes I ask their opinion on sizing. I’m grateful but don’t pay much attention to their compliments, since they have no idea (yet) what looks good on a middle aged woman.
I think we are dealing with multiple issues here - not just aging but staying in the workforce longer than we perhaps anticipated. And it brings all sorts of frustration and negativity. I try my best to remind myself that work is only a part of my life and if I think about it outside of working hours, I make this part bigger. And it’s unpaid

LJP and all the others - this is such an interesting topic. I recently met with my prior colleagues/good friends and this topic came up. The ladies I worked with for 15 years rage in age from 30's to 50's. I am 57 and a few years back suddenly noticed I was the 2nd oldest employee (when did that happen?). We are in mental health and half of the department
left during the pandemic due to a radical shift in the work environment brought on by 2 poor selections for supervisor and manager (a whole other discussion)

I retired and now work part time and love my work. I plan to work well into my 70's. My friend was telling us she has a relative who is a social worker, "chain smokes" and works at a boys group home at the age of 80!! She is viewed as the grandmother they (the clients) never had. We all laughed at the image of this 80 year old woman working with adolescent boys. I realized how fortunate I am that my chosen profession has room for all ages. I used to be seen as the older sister (when I was in my 20's), then the mother figure (my clients never had) and I will soon become the "grandmother" they never had. I realize other professions deal with all sorts of "isms" (age, race, sex, gender, etc).

As for our presentations of our professional selves at work I think that varys also. Some workplaces are more rigid than others as far as dress, appearance, etc. I am fortunate that I can be myself and still "fit in" in my chosen work. And becasue I work with children and adolescents I get to spend a good portion of my day on the floor or at an art table. Yipee

If it’s any help to you, two of THE MOST stylish women at my workplace are 64 and 72 respectively.
They both dress very differently; one wears autumn colours, heavy makeup, very textured clothing and a lot of jewelry, and the other one wears youthful funky brights and no jewelry, minimal makeup.
Part of it is having fun with fashion and being a bit adventurous with it I think, rather than just utilitarian.

Thank you for bribing this up, LJP. This has been on my mind lately. I spent my mid-20’s/30’s raking time off work to stay at work and raise a family. I was involved in volunteering work for all those years and YLF helped me stay stay me feel good about myself.
I have been back to work for nearly a decade now still catching up on my learning. Most of my colleagues in my current team are fresh grads and 2 senior programmers are of my age. The architects/leads/managers are about a decade older than me. I do not relate with my younger colleagues and it is showing up at work. I am making an effort to connect with them in areas that I have experience in, namely committed relationships/move, work/planning kids etc. I does take extra work to make time fir those conversations and they are also very crucial for my work. So much of it is also about being confident in my own skin, whether it’s taking courses yo learn a skill (in my case) or having a friends group to meet my needs for a social circle. Most of my friends either don’t work or have stable working lives.
I have always admired your style and I believe that you are a role model for anyone who works with you.

This is why l always pick hobbies where everyone else is older than me,it makes me feel young.Seriously though l have found this a very interesting thread .l was patronised as a young therapist for looking too young then as a thirty year old by the younger staff for being out of touch(l wasn’t they were just over confident),then in a post retirement job as the oldest there.I have always been patronised at the doctors as l am either too old or too young.It’s funny l never seem to have been the right age all my life.The only thing l would say is never apologise or feel bad for being the age you are,l know it’s a struggle but one’s age is just a fact not a personality flaw or such like.There are worse things than being the age we are.

Well, when my ex-employer called me up to ask if I was interested in coming back after being retired, I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with the way I dressed! Maturity, corporate knowledge, steadiness of work habits, flexibility and an openness when it comes to change were things I espoused, and what I think were revealed on my personnel record.

I have to agree with everyone who has posted about self confidence being key. We women must acknowledge, and embrace our skills and abilities and worthiness.

Thank you all again for contributing here. Obviously the situation is different for us all, and depends on the workplace (as well as one's own attitude). It was interesting to read all of your experiences and thoughts!

I am going to channel my inner Helen Mirren and tint my hair the color of my clothes.

Agreed with the passing of time and how fast it goes from being the rookie kid to giving the game away because I'm old enough to remember seeing Vietnam protests on the news on a black and white TV.