Age Matters...Don't Patronize Me.

Time marches on and on and on

The divorce was final, my lease signed and I was laid off the following week from a job I held for 13-years. I had my annual review a week prior with glowing accolades. I wasn't the first layoff and as of today, more troops have followed. However, the shock of my demise with this company, which I felt was "my home away from home" left me disseminated, discombobulated and bereft of my ability to be a successful, independent entity. In the brief minutes it took to dismiss me from my work life, I was completely stripped of any resemblance of confidence. I somehow walked out, drove home in the rain the one-way, 45-mile commute, crying without restraint and began the downward spiral of doubting myself. In the span of an hour and a half, I went from a confident, sexy, well-respected, competent, often complimented member of the workforce to a zero without a purpose or a paycheck. I felt old. Thus, began my journey to begin again.

Hope springs eternal

Hopeful of a promising future, I had no inkling of what was soon to come and how dramatically my outlook on life would change.
Hopeful of a promising future, I had no inkling of what was soon to come and how dramatically my outlook on life would change.

Beyond Botox

The trauma of losing my job launched me into the world of the unknown and unpredictable. I had become accustomed, like everyone in the world, to adjusting to events beyond my control. I had been living with autoimmune disease since shortly after the birth of my only daughter. Originally diagnosed with SLE (Lupus), I was cautious in making changes due to the unpredictable nature of the disease. Years later, the label was changed by my doctor to mixed connective tissue disease as the classes of autoimmune diseases often overlap. Through the years, I dealt with a lung problem that resolved itself and more recently, inflammation that affects my small bowel. Although, I do not have Crohn's, it behaves similarly and the drugs normally prescribed for the disease afford me the control in my life necessary to "have a life".

Throughout my years, due to the luck of my gene pool, I was accustomed to the perks of being considered a "looker". This is, like art, subjective. I have had my fair share of wolf whistles, indecent proposals, stalkers and doors opened with a flourish and a complement. Recently, as I was leaving the grocery store, a man approaching, stopped in his tracks and said "You are beautiful". It happens frequently, even in my advancing years, but short of stopping traffic daily, in my negative state of mind, I felt ugly and old. The world today worships youth. The job market, the fashion industry, young men, old men, and especially mature women, who feel bypassed under the trampling feet of the 5" heels of the young women growing up too soon, are all influenced by the power of the inherent beauty, the life-force of the young. I began my quest to regain the semblance of my youth.

I started the journey in the grocery store when I came across a magazine called "New Beauty" touted as The World's Most Unique Beauty Magazine. The $10 cost gave me a prelude to the expense of anti-aging products and procedures. The magazine is very well put together and informative about options, the list of doctors schooled and accredited to perform aesthetic procedures and the details of the mechanics of these procedures. The guide to finding the right beauty expert cautions "that there are 882,000 practicing doctors in the U.S.; only 5.6% are actually qualified to perform aesthetic procedures". After researching the options and talking with friends who had experienced some of the viable, outpatient injectables, I chose the doctor in my area who was accredited and experienced in the realm of the options I was willing to explore. I made my appointment.

The Appointment

The day in August arrived. I was nervous...more about getting to the office location at the appointed time than the anticipation of the procedure. I arrived early and waited only a short time before meeting the doctor. The staff was very professional yet friendly. The doctor examined my skin and sat down to discuss my concerns. I told him I did not like the number of fine lines on my lower face. I asked him his opinion and he explained my options without projecting or leading. He offered his suggestion for minimal injectables, botox for between the brows to moderate a slight discrepancy in the asymmetry of my eyebrows and a filler for the fine "marionette" lines I mentioned. He explained the advantages in sunscreen use in preventative care of the skin, particularly as it relates to damage and aging. The doctor did not mention any specific skincare products until I requested his professional opinion, upon which time he suggested a relatively inexpensive product in lieu of the more extensive, expensive line touted in New Beauty. Following his thorough explanation and my questions satisfactorily answered, I decided to have the botox and juvederm injectables administered. At that point in the visit, his assistant took before photographs for documentation. The injections were quick and painless, but I did have the usual bruising. The doctor gave me an ice bag before I left the office. The bruising lasted until shortly before my followup appointment in two-weeks. The botox took about a week to noticeably change the furrows between my brows and slightly lift the eyebrow. The change was notably better. The fine marionette lines were noticeably softened, filled and smoothed. My next appointment is in early October as the botox effectively lasts approximately 4-months. At that time, the juvederm will be "touched up" and good for a year. The second appointment cost is offset by the accumulation of "points" that culminate in a price reduction in addition to the smaller amount of product necessary. My journey to a younger face was a painless, positive experience that provided me with additional confidence, a lift, so to speak. I learned about "marionette" lines (my synopsis being that I allowed others to pull my strings too often), the application of science in beauty, the knowledge that these procedures are becoming very common and not beyond the realm of the average person, and that looking younger is not the ticket to employment. I have generated some interest, not with my face, but with my resume. I remain unemployed at this time and I am not alone. Of interest, on the local news today, the newscaster queried the workforce expert if it was true that those "over 50" jobless due to the economy could possibly remain jobless, she replied, that "yes, it was a real possibility as employers were hiring new graduates who were willing to start out at a lower salary rather than an experienced worker on the higher end of earnings". It appears the workforce IS interested in youth, but from a monetary vantage point. The fact they have not yet earned their "marionette" lines has no bearing...

70 comments

vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 6 years ago from New York State

Heck with that looking younger stuff and hiring fresh out of college, wet behind the ears workers. All companies do by hiring 20 somethings is to shoot themselves in the foot. I'm sure things will work out. Older workers offer much more experience and patience but America is all about greed and who they can get cheap. I agree with all you said.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Vietnamvet68

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my hub. I have lost my faith in the powers that be. I have been too idealistic for too long and now the reality is a rude awakening. I've gone from disillusioned to angry about the way things are...optimistic to the opposite side of the pole regarding anything political, which comprises almost everything now. I don't look at anger as a negative. It can propel the passive into action. It is undeniably "real" when it hits home.


GNelson profile image

GNelson 6 years ago from Florida

You can live your life and never discover your talents. Don't miss this opportunity to explore.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

In reading your bio I can see that I will have much interesting material to read from you. Thank you for your comment. I am writing another hub right now. I agree that I now have the time to explore my passions. I had to write about it to move on. Now, my biggest fear is enjoying my freedom too much! Live to the max and thank you, GNelson


sligobay profile image

sligobay 6 years ago from east of the equator

Hi Amy: I see that you've added Google adsense to monetize your hubs. You can also add Amazon and sell books about botox and juvenex and pet breeding on the blockhead hub. Just click on the afilliate link at the top of your account page. You are a fighter and you've taken the gloves off for the bare knuckle brawl ahead. Cheers.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, sir, for your helpful info. I'm slow to the business side of this, slowly but surely I'll get up to speed. The AdSense is kind of an experiment. I'm really enjoying the writing and that is my main goal. If I hone my skills and become more prolific, gain more readership, and become sought after, I'll get more aggressive in the financial arena. Thanks for your time and comments. That means everything.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

...yeah that's my buddy up there Amy - his name is Gerry and he's from Ireland - I am not sure if you have checked out his hubs but they are world class all the way with beautiful images, videos, and words - often they remind me of your hubs and vice-versa .......

The epi-man is lazy lol lol - he just puts out words - but boy oh boy - what words they are!!!!!

Your story here is another chapter in your fascinating life which offers inspiration and encouragement to the rest of us - and yes - age is relative - you are only as old or as young as you feel - it's all a state of mind and attitude - and it helps when you hang out with young people - well, young minded people like yourself.

Like Iggy Pop once said in an interview - "I am 50 years old .....and still horny - not just horny (in the obvious) but horny for knowledge - horny to learn - horny to keep moving forward ...... yes that's it - keep on keeping that open mind open!!!!!!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I agree with your synopsis of Gerry. He is a big, big talent. I loved his Brazilian triumph in the air. You certainly have a plethora of amazing data in your brain, Epi. Iggy Pop, even! Yes, the horniness factor is not only appropro to the young. The hunger for all things is what keeps us young, interested and plugged in to the world. That gets better with age. Thank you for your brain stimulating comments, Epi.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Losing a job through no fault of your own is hard to accept. Working hard and being the best isn't enough anymore. I will say that disclosing your hardships on the hubs will allow some release, and give others in the same situation comfort in knowing they're not alone. Remember, when you've been knocked down on your back, the only way to look is up. Thanks for sharing.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Augustine. I like your take on things. I'll remember it. I feel like I'm always awaiting the next onslaught lately. But, like you say, the only way is to look up. I like it!


shynsly profile image

shynsly 5 years ago from Sierra Vista, AZ

Once again, very well said and heart felt. I can't imagine anyone being so crass or rude to suggest you actually needed the procedures, but, on the other hand, if it makes you happy or boosts your confidence, I say, "you go, girl!". And good luck on all your future pursuits of happiness, be it finding another gig or just taking some time to explore more of your "creative side". Finances permitting, I imagine there's quite a few fellow "hubbers" that wouldn't exactly mind seeing more of your work!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

No, no one but me, myself and I was convinced I needed cosmetic help. In fact, the last time I went for a "checkup" the doc said, "you don't need anything". So, I'm a little more balanced now that I'm not taking things so personally. I went off the "deep end" when I was first laid off. I felt like my life had ended. I am still discombobulated, I'm ashamed to admit, but to a much lesser degree. However, I can see why banks are being robbed, armored trucks waylaid and cars broken into in my neck of the woods. Desperate times require desperate measures. I predict anarchy before it's said and done. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm a bottomless pit.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

This is so honest, open and vulnerable! It is shocking to think of oneself as 'getting older' or out of the market or whatever, if we allow ourselves to see ourselves that way...a way that is manufactured and pretentious..and forced upon us. This is a really in depth hub, Amy; one which, I bet, many women relate to. and you aren't afraid to be completely honest about the way sin which you seek to remedy your loss of career, and feelings of being or becoming invisable. I remember when I first noticed that the younger men were no longer turning their heads to watch...sometimes, yes; but not as before...and it's crazy, at first. I must catch up on all your great writing...I hope, now, that I'm following you that , when you write a new hub, it'll come up in my email. Great one, my dear!!!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Yes, it is demoralizing because for all the talk about women are like wine, bullshit, I say, unless as it ages it turns sour. I am not blind and I see how the elderly are treated, like senile, unattractive, and a waste of space. In fact, my ex use to say that about his mother! Some of the very men who tout the "fine wine" analogy are really operating under the principal of just "say what you think she wants to hear" and are hiring window dressing. I am not a stranger to doors being opened depending on what I wore that day...and it still happens. I'd rather have honesty or don't say anything! I recognize "hot air" so don't treat me like an idiot. You got me going again, Lucky Cats. Thank you for your compassion, literally, for the underdog! You are a remarkable woman.


ralwus 5 years ago

Well, what goes around usually come around and it will lead right back to you, if you choose to accept it. And if that picture is really you, I am not sure if sexy is the right word --Hawt! Are things better now for you? I bet you could get work with Mr. A. Busch IV. ;-)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Yup, the picture is me and it was taken about 5 months ago. That is so funny, ralwus. My dad worked at A-B all his life. Did you hear the latest about the 27 year old women who died at juniors home? He was at his mansion in Frontenac, MO when this perfectly healthy young woman, a guest of his, died. No signs of trauma and almost no news coverage. And they say money can't buy love??!!! Thanks for the compliment, ralwus. I'm so tickled I'm dancing with my dog! And, yes, thank you, I'll have another sip! It's Christmas Eve and the snow is pouring!!!


ralwus 5 years ago

LOL Yes. I read the news account. That's why I said that. There is an opening you sexy chica. Make sure you are wary of his ilk though, just go for the dough. I am envious of your dog. Hic hic


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Gotcha, ralwus. Yeah, I got my last unemployment check a week ago. I was told, though, I will probably qualify for the extension after the first of the year since I haven't been collecting for too long. The dude at the unemployment office told me those that have been on the dole for 2 years or more, probably won't qualify any longer. So, I'd lighten the load for Jr., out of the goodness of my heart! My Mac Man has it pretty good...eats more than he should and I love the hell out of him. He is a Scottish Terrier with the most beautiful eyes and he is totally devoted to me. I love him to pieces.


ralwus 5 years ago

We had a Teddy (Scotty) on the Farm. I miss him. I must go. See ya later now and Merry, merry once more. CC


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

I always thought life gets easier the older we get, but I am learning that it is not the case. The ‘issues’ older people have to face is as awful as the issues of teenagers and young adults. Every phase in life has its own deserts and oasis’. May your 2011 be an oasis!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Well, Martie, at least I know I'm alive! Yes, the issues change and I must say that the teenage years felt more turbulent to me. I have slowly learned to let some things go, instead of everything feeling like a major drama. I like adrenaline rushes now and then, but a steady diet burns a person out! Thank you for your kind wishes for an oasis, that sounds like heaven and if 2011 continues like 2010, I may just find my own oasis, maybe somewhere warm with palm trees, a beautiful beach...a girl can & should dream!!! Happy New Year, my friend.


arb profile image

arb 5 years ago from oregon

Interesting read.Well done. Won't tell you that pretty and sexy doesn't matter or that youth is wasted on the young. Pretty and sexy are nice, but like the shine on a new car, they don't wear well. Got to be something beneath the shine to keep a guy worth keeping. Your writing says there is more to you than new shine. And new wax? May turn a head, but, turning hearts is more from substance. I suspect from what I read, a greater glow from substance than temporary shine.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear arb, sounds like you know the score. Only until recently, I am ashamed to say, having had the economy run away with my employment, have I had time to reflect and understand the truth as you see it. In the workplace, most of my power was in how I looked. And it is a kick to be able to walk in a room and enjoy the silent attention. Most of the real power was held by the men at work, so being able to first get their attention, enabled my voice, at least until they were done looking. Here at the hub, I have been shown by the wonderful friends I have made, that brain power and personality are front and center. In a short period of time, I have been able to write, publish, and grow as a person...all with a little help from my friends. Thank you for your well written validating comment. It is true and beautiful.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Loved this hub- your honesty is refreshing, your reflections are candid. I am sure the New Year will bring you your Oasis, somewhere warm with palm trees and a beautiful beach and the joys that can bring. A girl can and should dream, you deserve it! There is nothing wrong with looking good there is no shame in it. We all use our personalities and attributes as powers of persuasion and negotiation in different ways.You keep looking beautiful!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Docmo, I appreciate your reassuring words and I'm hoping your prediction for the New Year is spot on, because I could sure use an oasis right about now. I think in today's fast paced, dog eat dog world, everyone uses what their mama gave them...and them some, to heighten self esteem, maintain confidence and feel a vital part of the ever changing planet. And along those lines, Docmo, you look very handsome in your new photo!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

I enjoyed this read very much - you are so honest and direct.

Thanks so much for sharing this perspective and I hope that the new year is being kinder to you than last year was.

All the best to you!

Love and peace

Tony


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Tony, I feel like the evolution regarding change is in me rather than external events now. Through my experiences, although I didn't choose them, I have been impacted and changed. I don't know if that is for good or bad. Time will tell and, in time, more will change. Thank you for your good wishes, Tony!


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Your honesty and candor is absolutely refreshing. It's all too crazy. Just when we think we'd be able to hit the cruise control and sit back, everything has turned upside down. It's all about leaning to roll with the punches.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you for your understanding, Faye. You are 100% correct. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. I appreciate your stopping to read and your excellent commentary, Faye.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I've been reading quite a few of your hubs, Amy, and wanting to respond but just not feeling qualified somehow. With this one, I can feel more so. As a sexy gal into her 80th year on earth - without botox or surgery, - just good diet & health habits,- I can attest that one need not feel old or ugly for any reason.

I've also been through my unfair share of serious downers, including big time loss & betrayal, and emerged finding the stuff within to come up on my feet, with a sincere smile and the better for it. Best is, without letting any of it turn me into a bitter old woman.

Don't EVER let anyTHING or anyONE defeat you, girl.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Nellieanna, I can see that you certainly are one sexy, beautiful lady. Thank you for your wise words as events have certainly made me grow up. I refuse to become bitter, but rather, empowered by coming out stronger, and even more obstinately sure of my ability to take care of myself. I'll take the fire in anger over the despair of depression in a heartbeat. But, rather than anger, I feel strong. Your friend and mine, Gerry, once called me "Lancelot" and that is what I aspire to. Thank you Nellieanna, I am honored you are here.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I love the title (and the book) "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - And It's All Small Stuff"! One of the bonuses of living longer is FULLY realizing that is so!! My 'religion' is stated in four words: There is no problem'. Once that's realized, then one can get down to the business of resolving the problems, most of which are just the results of choices we've made ourselves. There is power in recognizing THAT, because it means that if I did it, then I can undo it. And if not, then - I can let it roll off the same way it rolled on. Anyway - I've no doubt that you are strong and able to take care of yourself. The very best statement of it is made by simply demonstrating it.

Lancelot, hm. He had it all, but when it came crashing down, he was deepened by the fall and then the triumph over it. Perhaps that's what Gerry saw in you. By chance, I just watched "Camelot" with a friend last week. He'd never seen it, so it was quite amazing for him. There really is much to think about in the story and its characters.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Nellieanna, You have a very profound way of looking at things. Logical, yes, but beyond that. You've given me some important ideas to consider.

First, I must watch "Camelot". Since Gerry's words, I've been inspired to research the topic. I appreciate your telling me about the movie, as I've not seen it.

Your statement "The very best statement of it is made by simply demonstrating it" relating to strength is very powerful. When it boils to the basics, that is very true and now I must put my money where my mouth is. Words have value, but in the end, it's actions that speak the loudest.

Gerry is gut level honest, and not a "gusher", and I see why he values you, your honesty, your thinking, your strength. I'm very glad he introduced us. Thank you, Nellieanna, for your time and genuine kindness.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Thank you. I'm very humbled if I've given you food for thought.

Yes, I agree that Gerry is a special man and friend.

Amy, the "Camelot" movie I know and love is the one made in 1967, with Richard Harris as King Arthur, Vanessa Redgrave as Guenevere, Franco Nero as Lancelot. The trailer for it is scratchy and the other scenes available on utube from it which are as beautiful and high-quality as the movie seem to have been mistakenly presented, saying that Richard Burton is King Arthur in it. There are many of the individual scenes on u-tube, though, and are very lovely.

This is almost the closing scene, in which Arthur, after the tragedies which ruined his wonderful ideal of bringing civilization to England have crumbled, and in his despair he is approached by a small boy who has been inspired to become a knight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbYwf1BJgWA&feature...


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, Nellieanna, you are so kind to send me this link, which I will view with my first cup of coffee. You are such a remarkable woman. You manage to convey your profound ideas so clearly, with kindness, generosity and diplomacy. You have all the attributes of the perfect teacher. You always inspire me to think in new directions. Everytime I see you here, I feel so positive that there is nothing stopping me from life's endless possibilities except getting in my own way. Once again, Nellieanna, my brain is abuzz.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

You are very wise, Amy. That is such an elemental truth - "there is nothing stopping me from life's endless possibilities except getting in my own way" - and such a positive, rewarding one to realize and apply in life, - yet it is so rarely realized and applied.

There are always the negatives and the contraries, but they have no power or sway unless one allows them to sit in the driver's seat of one's choices. If that happens, we can forget what it is about ourselves which makes us better, even when we feel these things are trying to take control -- and we may be tempted to become what they are, instead of remaining who we are. The greatest triumph is to remain intact & not be sucked into others' shabby games. That is how we defeat those other influences - - by not being influenced to mimic their bad behavior. And it is tempting. If they seem to have the power, we may think we can have it by becoming as they are. But it's not so. We have it by being who we are and letting them go off to lick their wounds, instead of vice-versa!

:-)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

OOPs - I punched "post comment" twice. duh.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

That comment, Nellieanna, should be punched twice. I'm certain I will re-read it many times. I have to say, I've not ever wished I was someone else or like someone else. No matter the "Trumps" of the world, I'd never change places for all the money in the world.

I watched the link you sent me "Camelot". It brought tears to my eyes. Now, I must watch the whole movie. In my youth, I'm ashamed to say I would have rolled my eyes. Now, even one scene means so much. I am still in the "process" of growing aware and up. I am very obstinate, which sometimes serves me well and sometimes is a detriment. I learn in my own way at my own time, often beating my head into a brick wall more than once. I am lucky that God has given me the gift of time.

Nothing makes me feel less than not being true to myself. I want to be able to say at the end, like Frank Sinatra, "I did it my way". How can it be any other way? What makes us different, makes us great.

I am so happy to have made your acquaintance, Nellieanna, because you are purest honesty in a beautiful package. All in all, you are one magnificent tribute to womanhood and I am honored to have you light up my little space in my corner of the world.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

haha - I am obstinate, too, and know only how to do it "my way" - which is often overly ponderous and ovary thorough. So when I start a new thing, it's often quite slow-going while I'm internalizing every little thing, in 'my way'. But the bottom line is that, once I've internalized it, it is totally mine and I can do it fast as I wish. So I quite understand. Most of my brick walls, though, have been very private because so much of my life's challenges have been in that setting. In whatever the setting, though - the most important thing is to be true to oneself. It took me awhile to realize that it was a good thing to be such an iconoclast, but then I found out that, no matter how much better others' ideas might be, my own fit and suit me better and I'm totally of one piece of cloth when operating as myself and mostly fragmented and raveled trying it "their way". :-)

For too long (half my life), I thought that it was due to something wrong with me in their formulas, till I figured it out that there is something right in my own skin and being. I'm almost an expert at that but I was always an amateur at being "them".


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear sweet Nellieanna, Your vocabulary leaves me reeling with a firm resolve to keep it as my own! Iconoclast is new to me and I love the sound of it. I'm committing that to my memory for later use. I so relate to your deduction that the problems were with "you". I was pondering that "Amy ism" just today. You've so clearly described me. Only now, have I realized exactly what you've written. I wish I was a little quicker on the draw. I would have saved myself a lot of grief. But, better late than never. I'm still working on it and have to "talk to myself" occasionally as a reminder. For the first time in my life, I like my oddness. It reminds me of my grandmother, who was courageous and independent. When my grandfather died at 61 years old from melanoma, (he was incredibly handsome, cancer took his nose and he died in the hospital totally blind), my grandmother got on a bus alone and left St. Louis for Barstow, CA to own and operate a health food store. She was ahead of her time as she was a realtor when raising 3 kids, one of which is my mother. She didn't ask anyone their opinion or vacillate for one moment. She just did it. I think about that alot these days.

Thank you for sharing this with me, Nellieanna. I feel very privileged in that. You have motivated me to move in my own direction without defending my position. It is mine to travel. But, I think I need a compass or at least "On Star" before I head onward and upward.


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

I loved this for it's honest sincerity. A very well written and informative hub I look forward to reading them all.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

K. Burns Darling, thank you kindly. I appreciate your time and commentary. I'm anxious to check out your hubs, too.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I love your grandmother! What a lady! She didn't hesitate to do what she knew she needed to do, her way. Wow.

And you'd have loved my mother! Talk about ahead of her time! She was born in 1892 and was championing equality for women long before women had the right to vote. She was indomitable. So many acts of courage, faith, authenticity and love in her life! Too many to list, but I must write her story.

Feeling a need to justify or explain oneself is either because one is somehow aware of doing what one knows is not best or one lacks the conviction to go with one's best choices. We also need to be confident that we have a"right to be wrong now and then", as that old C/W song said. It doesn' t somehow send one to the corner or condemn one to being a loser, though there are often others around ready to promote those ideas. It's ours to refuse them - not by giving them credence by arguing, but, again - in demonstrating by going on BEING oneself with or without their approval. There's no reason for confrontation or contradiction when one is confident and comfortable in her own skin.

Anyway - - you do me honor. I'm honored to be among your friends.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

YES, YES, YES, Nellieanna. My eyes welled up at your commentary. We all have the right to be "wrong". And, even in that expression, I am giving another the power to judge. That's where I'm at and everytime I hear from you, I'm making progress down my own path. I am finished justifying. My biggest self-imposed hurdle has been needing validation...everyone's. It kept me in a little box with no oxygen, luckily I do not have permanent brain damage. And, no matter which way I turned, no matter what I did, someone was unhappy...mainly, me. I'm done with it. It is amazing that instead of jumping into validating my point, I am silent. I realize I do not want or need to justify myself.

Since we have been communicating, Nellieanna, I have been thinking of my grandmother everyday. I think if I was financially able I would pick up and head for Barstow myself. She is no longer here, but I feel like she's speaking to me. Through an acquaintance a couple of years ago, I, for the fun of it, spoke with a medium, who knew nothing of me, never met me. He mentioned seeing my grandmother on the other side. He said she told him to tell me "Stop being so obstinate. Messages don't come with a burning bush. Sometimes when you see a building with a for rent sign out of the corner of your eye and you wonder, what would it be like to be in business for yourself, it is me". Nellieanna, that is exactly how my grandmother would talk to me. I feel her watching over me now, but more than that, she is trying to guide my stubborn ass. I feel it.

Thank you again, for telling me your awesome thoughts. I look forward to it. You make me feel very lucky that are paths crossed, my friend.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..one of the best writers ... that I've ever read at the Hub over the past year and she is a rock solid friend to me too - so Colin, as you can see, is #1. a man of infinite good taste and #2. one lucky bugger to be in the good books with the life force known as Amy - and I absolutely love her 'early' stuff and the reason for my return to her 'back pages' - so without further adieu ladies and gentlemen let me post this on my Facebook page with a direct link back here to the fabulous Amy B. who holds a degree in BAFDBS - (Bacherlorette of Arts for detecting BS) ...........


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Colin. You have the power to make me laugh, as in BAFDBS, indeed. Happy Birthday to you, the great epigramman. I greatly appreciate your loyal, unflagging support, as it has given me the courage to expand my horizons in creative writing. I've been thinking about mixing it up a bit with a return to some of this type of writing. Poetry, though, has captured me in the magic of juxtaposing words into new ways of expression...new ways of seeing things. It is so much damn fun starting with a jumble of an idea and fitting it together like a jigsaw puzzle tied up with a bow. You always get my neurons fired up and all systems go with new ideas, Colin. I thank you,


Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 5 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

It happened a lot, when someone being in the lowest level of his/her life, this person will try to find substitute to make his/her feel better. It help, of course, but the fortunately, it just temporary.

I am agree with G. Nelson. In the lowest level of life, maybe it will be great if we considering the time as a vacation time from hectic life and start exploring something we never did but always interesting us. Suprising ourselves. Who knows, maybe we will find out strongest talent ever. ^_*


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

So true, my friend. I am spending a lot of time writing. Not as much here right now, but at a writers site called AMS. I write content articles for pay. I am gaining so much experience I am considering checking out ezine articles as motivation to push onward and upward. Had I not been laid off, I'd still be plugging away at a receptionist job (albeit well-paid), but exhausted all the time in dead-end, busy, but boring days. I would never have had the time or energy to participate in creative writing.

Thank you Freya. You hit the nail on the head!


Sylvia's Thoughts profile image

Sylvia's Thoughts 5 years ago from Southern California

OMG Amy! Were we sisters in another life??? You have been through quite a lot yourself and have survived! I know exactly what you mean about youth and how addicted this country is to it. I have a really strong corporate background and cannot get a job. I've been seriously looking at the Juvederm especially. Glad to know you did it and are happy with the results. It encourages me. I love this hub!!! Two thumbs up!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thanks, Sonia. I had it once and the plastics doc said I didn't need anymore, for now anyway. Simple procedure, not painful...the Botox makes a difference, too. Make sure, if you decide to give it a go, get someone experienced in injectables. The doc I saw told me a story about another plastic surgeon's office that went to one seminar about injectables and he practiced on his staff afterwards. The whole group, including the doc, had incorrectly injected Botox, leaving everyone of them with drooping eyes. There is an eyedrop Rx that takes care of it until the botox effects go away in 4-months. My doc corrected their problem by using the injectables correctly to compensate for the mess up. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Sonia!


Sylvia's Thoughts profile image

Sylvia's Thoughts 5 years ago from Southern California

S.Y.L.V.I.A.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Sylvia!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Oh Amy, how I love this marvelous account of your personal experiences and thoughts on ageing. I don't understand why "youth" surpasses knowledge, experience and integrity.

Sure, I'd like to have my share of botox to erase my "laugh lines" as well as a few other lines. But it doesn't change who I am and the fact that I can contribute more to society and the worplace just because I give a more youthful appearance.

Urgggggh! Makes me mad. You look fantastic and young in your photo. Love it!

Well - must go get my "beauty sleep" now. Gave this a big thumbs up!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear beautiful vocalcoach, I agree. It is maddening that the world reveres beauty beyond anything else in women. Age brings invisibility. Writing has given me a voice, though, and I feel I have much more to contribute than just a pretty face.

BTW, vocalcoach, you don't need botox. Although expression lines wouldn't diminish you one iota, you don't have any. You look like a kid. Hawaii agrees with you, lucky woman!


billips profile image

billips 4 years ago from Central Texas

Great article Amy - I think you said it all - 'age doesn't matter' has little truth in reality - one famous actress when posing for a publicity foto said 'don't erase my wrinkles - I worked to hard to get them' - B.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I saw a recent glamour shot of 74-year old, Jane Fonda, after her cosmetic surgery. It would be difficult to say it wasn't remarkable. For all the exercise that she touted all her life as the "be all, end all", even she, at 74, was compelled to partake. Growing older used to be on a level playing field, but when it is the norm for aging to be treated like an abomination, and enough money to float a battleship makes a 74 year old look more like 45, it's not easy to turn away from importance of youth in the world. And, there is a positive vibe around Ms. Fonda's energy to use all the means available to remain vibrantly visible and ultimately, a force to be reckoned with, in her field. It seems to be the way of the world today.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Bev asked me this morning who some of my favorite Hubbers were....and of course you were named....and this is the first hub of yours that she read....and now I have too.

Yes, for women especially, age does matter. It is a sad truth, one that should generate anger and disbelief, but true nonetheless. I am sorry it is so. I am sorry that a woman with your experience and talents cannot be hired immediately based on that talent and experience.

Sending you a hug to last you through your day; stay safe in that ugly city and know you have a friend for life.

love always,

bill


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I have learned that I can always trust you to show kindness and understanding, Bill. Were that all the world showed the same, it would a kinder, gentler more welcoming place. Thank you so much, my friend.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Found your writing through a comment on one of the "Journey" chapters, I think, and am impressed! This is a great Hub by a woman who, I'm sure, is still stopping a lot of men in their tracks! Up & all! Following too.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear xstatic, Thank you kindly. I appreciate your words and support. I've seen some of your comments on other sites and am impressed by your thoughtfulness. You travel in good company and I am honored to be part of that now.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Amy,

It is amazing what a divorce and pink slip can do for one's self-confidence, huh? I would be more than happy to open a door with a flourish and a rakish comment for you should we be vying for the same position (work I mean)...alas...It's difficult to get that first interview!

As they say, youth is wasted on the young and I now know what that means now that the youth has slipped away (I will be nudging 49 this year and I can't help but think that 50 will be nudging back shortly).

In terms of the lines? Yeah...you could play guitar on the furrows of my brow. That said...don't worry...be happy!

It's very nice to meet you!

Thomas


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

We all have to deal with the issue of aging and your hub made me think about that again. We live in a society that overvalues youth and undervalues age and experience--nonetheless, I recall reading a book--maybe it was "Passages" by Gail Sheehey (Sp??) in which the issue of mastery was discussed either pertaining to the decade of the 40's or 50's--At the time that I read it, I was young and dismissive, but I have come to realize that mastery --for me it was mastery of the art and science of teaching voice--keeps me engaged and feeling younger than my years---although I think I wrote my way through my ire and anger at how we treat our elders--

sorry to ramble on so--maybe I am not done with my own anger--


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thomas, Thank you so much for reading my whine. I'm on to whine about other things these days. If I run fast enough, the lines can't catch me.

Still trying to get my act together. Hey, the fun is in the journey. Glad to meet you, too, Thomas.


Billionaire4545 profile image

Billionaire4545 4 years ago

Aging is a wonderful thing, experience is gain as we age. If we didn't age how can we face life we new challenges, how can we adapt to new circumstances. Dont take no b.s from employers you are worth so much more, and are a lot better than they are. Look at the bright side of things and keep faith everything will get better.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I've rambled through some of the aging issue. Dwelling will make me old before my time. I've found my bliss in writing, composing poetry and painting. Now, if I can just manage to find a way to survive awhile longer....

I suppose there is always something to be angry about. I'm figuring out how to let go of it's destructive nature without losing my fire.

Thank you so much, Audrey, for your beautiful, honest truth. It's in short supply these days.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

So true, Billionaire. I don't miss taking order from a dimwit boss whose work amounts to keeping me low man on the totem pole. Financially, I've taken a huge hit, but on every other level, I'm on top of the world. Thank you for your "oh so true" message to me.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Amy: I just got to this article. I agree, oh yes, we live in a youth obsessed culture. I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you-too many traumatic events at one time. No wonder you were reeling from all that. Anyone would be if this happened to them. I hope things are going more smoothly for you now. Life is not easy for any of us. I've had my share of trauma, too-I won't fog into it here and now, but I can commiserate and empathize with you. Kudos for going to the plastic surgeon and doing what makes you feel good and competitive. I can't believe your health issues also. I struggle too with something very similar to an autoimmune disease. I limped to retirement in my last several years working. Not fun! Thank goodness we have the release of writing and the comraderie of HP. Thanks for an interesting article! I hear you!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, dear Suzette. I have not regained employment. Seems, despite laws against age discrimination, it exists, like so many other unfair practices. I haven't had my hair cut or colored, as was the luxury I allowed myself in my working days, for 2 years now. I wear a cute hat instead and out of some strange rebellion and lack of funds, I wear my poverty like a badge of survival. I am not alone, I do not feel sorry for myself and I am a far richer person spiritually than I was armed with a nice paycheck. This is life as we know it now. So much of the poetry I write comes from the depths of despair yet my united comaraderie with the rest of humanity that is suffering today, through no fault of their own, but rather as a result of the greed of the overinflated, whose needs remain insatiable. Thank you, Suzette, for your empathetic understanding. "Being there" is an altogether different story than our imaginations are capable of taking us.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Well, Amy, I've been missing your brilliant comments so I thought I'd stop in here on this deep one of yours. You tell it like it is and I like that about you. That miraculous age of 50 when we still feel youthful, our minds are developed past the point of the early drama, and yet the mirror reflects those fine lines that time has shared. I have a good lot of them, now, and like you, during much of my career I had been considered "a looker". Back then, it was sometimes disturbing as I wanted to be respected for my intelligence, my wit, my problem solving ability more so than my appearance. Yet those "looks" kept getting in the way.

I admire you for doing what makes you feel better and restores your confidence, in the area of cosmetics. You've been dealt a blow to which it is difficult to keep your positive attitude, and yet, you do, so beautifully in this hopefully optimistic reflection of where you find yourself at the moment. Be of good cheer. You are beautiful, inside and out. I hope that you have found employment where your contributions are encouraged and appreciated, where you are respected and admired and where you feel beautiful in every way again.

Lots of love from your friend, Peg.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Yes, Peg, I always felt that way, too, when I was working. I was told I was great at my job, but it seemed secondary to what I was wearing! Plus, it was always the same type of 'hound' who thought he was clever by complimenting me on my work as he scanned my 'assets'. And, even though I haven't been able to afford any more Botox visits or even a trip to the hair salon in almost 3 years, I still have dudes follow me out of the grocery store.

My layoff felt like "I'd been hit by a bus", with my confidence taking the biggest brunt of the impact. I've never regained that sense of 'contributing/belonging' that employment gave me, as I'd worked all my life. I help my mom now, though I still live independently. I've been writing online for AMS (SEO articles) for meager pay, but everything helps. I'm in the process of looking for cheaper digs. I paid my car off, so that helps, but it seems like no sooner is one debt gone and the utilities raise their costs or rent goes up. Anyone who says "money doesn't buy happiness" is a liar. It's hard to be happy if you can't go to the dentist or doctor!!! I've just been commissioned to paint two more canvases, and I need to get busy and finish one I've set aside for too long. I've been away from the Hub for awhile now, too. My mom's needs take up more and more of my time now and I found myself getting stressed over keeping up at hubpages, so at least for the time being, I've been allowing myself a break. Sooner or later, there seems to be little choice in the matter.

Thank you so much for leaving me your beautiful message, dear Peg. It means the world to me to know I have friends who still think of me. I'll be back one of these days, as I miss the connection and community with the very special friends I have grown to love, like you, Peg. I miss you.

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