Becoming a ‘senior citizen’ has been quite an interesting transition in my life. Turning 60 two years ago was really not a big deal for me; but watching how the general population reacts and responds to ‘seniors’ has been a big deal! I have noticed over the past 10 years that seniors slowly become ‘invisible’ and less valued in our society. I don’t think this is done on purpose. I think we seniors just ‘adjust’ to it and ‘allow it’. The grandma in her rocking chair looks quite a bit different these days!
Being a contestant in Ms Senior Florida and, to my delight and surprise, being crowned Ms Senior Florida has given me a platform so to speak – to reach out to women to encourage them that ‘they aren’t dead yet, so don’t act like it! These incredible women I got to work with and got to know were the exception to the rule, and they were not allowing society to ignore them.
To become visible, these women began to interact with others, they were confident in their value and experience, their beauty and their expertise. What sets them apart from the seniors who retreat and allow themselves to become invisible? The biggest thing I saw, and realized, was they were willing to step way out of their box. They allow themselves to experience a new season in their life, recreating themselves and being willing to feel uncomfortable for a short time while they transitioned into a renewed, revitalized and refreshed ‘young’ woman!
I was so encouraged to watch this unfold (and I thought I was there to encourage them)! This very thing is what made them so beautiful, so graceful and so attractive! Singing when they never had in public, speaking to a huge audience, walking across a large stage flooded with lighting, wearing bling that they’ve never worn before, putting on false eyelashes, walking in high heels, and even wearing a bra for the first time (really!). It was an experience I will never forget because it showed me what senior women can do to change things! They were not allowing society to lose them from sight. They were stepping up to become visible again, and more importantly, to make a real difference!
As I head out to the 2014 Mrs Senior America contest, my heart and soul is flooded with all of these thoughts, and I am reminded of our opportunity to do this now on a national level! Forty two contestants will come together to put a stamp on America. And, guess what? We senior ladies are just beginning – and we are beginning together!
We refuse to become invisible! This does not mean we will be loud, obstinate, overly aggressive or in your face. What it does mean is we will step up, step out, and tell the world that we are still important. We are confident in our value and experience. We are beautiful because we are wonderfully made from The Creator, and He has a plan for our lives – and we are living it!!!!
Don’t think this stage is going to be full of old foggies. Oh no! These ladies are going to rock it, and I am priviliged to be a small part of that, representing Florida Senior Women!
News flash people: We are not invisible. We are women of elegance and we want to recruit more of you to realize your potential and join us as we change America and the world!