I recently had a birthday and am now 59 years old. This means I am more than officially a part of the “Over 50 USA” crowd. It is a little scary I must admit, to realize that I am, well, old. Yes, there are optimists (in denial?) who suggest that “age is just a number,” but I think it is important to embrace the numerals you own. To me this is better than putting on a forced grin, while hiding even from yourself, the actual pain you feel inside that can lead to dying your hair or even getting plastic surgery.
Young Versus Old?
If you are a member of the “Over 50 USA” club it is recommended that you do not try to forcedly psyche yourself into being “young inside.” Because let us face it, 59 is 59 and not 29. As a New Yorker for 33 years, I am now a member of a still undervalued demographic that faces pigeonholing on an ongoing basis including seeking a job, being perceived in a certain way, and so on.
Judging others based on how many wrinkles they have as well as their hair being gray is unfair and even a form of prejudice. Some call holding on to stereotypes of those over 50, “ageism.” It is relying on your negative unspoken belief, rather than giving someone a chance. And of course, if youths do not somehow leave this earth earlier than planned, they too will one day be 59 years old or even older!
That said, it is nice to discover that many of those with gray in their hair are thumbs up in the battle to reinvent the Big Apple. A specific example of one such group that is pushing back, is the “Gray Panthers NYC” that was established here in New York in 1970.
Despite Being Gray, Motivation Remains
Although even now, 51 years since the Gray Panthers NYC was formed, we are still an undervalued demographic. That said, this is no reason for not becoming fully committed and motivated to act and make a difference here in New York City.