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Older Women: Elder, Not Elderly

Posted on the 14 March 2023 by Angela Young @AngelaYoung4

It’s getting close to mother’s day here in the UK (here’s a list of mother’s day dates worldwide) and that set me thinking about women and the different stages of our lives … and, naturally enough, Sheila Hancock. In a 2022 Guardian interview about her book Old Rage (brilliant title) and her life, Hancock talks about how, in older age you can be a bit cantankerous and odd. Too right. Even in approaching old age.

Older Women: Elder, Elderly

Hancock also writes a column for Prospect called Long Life. Last month she wrote about how eternally irritating it is when an older woman falls and people say, ‘She had a fall.’ She didn’t. She fell. There’s an important difference. In the first, a thing happens to you; in the second, you did the thing. Just because we’re older (I’m 72) we don’t stop doing things. But that ‘doing’ can shift and change.

In her book, Hagitude, Sharon Blackie reimagines the second half of life.

Older women: Elder, not elderly
I am only a third of the way through Hagitude but already I know it holds much wisdom, much old wisdom, wisdom which will help me do things differently as I age, wisdom to prevent me from becoming an elderly woman who has falls but rather an elder enlightened (at least sometimes) energetic woman who, from time to time, falls.

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