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Sixty Something

Updated on March 28, 2011

Are they really golden or grey?

Golden Years

Someone told me that after I reached the age of sixty I’d be in my “Golden Years.” “Boy,” I thought cheerfully, “I can’t wait!” Unfortunately, I found out that I’d lost my identity and would have to reconstruct my life. I found out that my legs and hips were trashed; that my husband would abandon me and I’d loose my business and bounce from one low paying job to another. I discovered that men my age were after youngsters and my only hope for another orgasm would be by my own hands or those of some much younger man who needed a mother. I found out that being “golden” meant that I would only be worn on special occasions. Rather like a vintage diamond ring that one wears on anniversaries and at Christmas parties. You know, worth something with an insurance policy; but “put up” until it should be shown off to others. My children created boundaries, and set up barriers which led to a cushioned rocking chair. The depression and isolation were suffocating. Everything I had ever been loomed a lie. I couldn’t remember how to manifest personal power and retreated into a valley of blame, guilt and despair.

I built an empire in my early fifties from a recipe of homemade soap. The first bar of lye soap came off my kitchen counter wrapped in the hope of the future. I marketed it with pleasure. From that bar of Bear Scrub Soap I built a thriving business that led to a folk art shop and eventually a healthy eats café featuring a live folk music venue. I was on top of my game. I had enemies sure, but my desire and enthusiasm coupled with my husband’s talented hands kept us ahead of the game. Sometime in his mid fifties he went into depression. To this day I do not know why he wanted out. He said I had emasculated him, that I hadn’t listened to him; that he was tired and wanted to retire. “Oh,” I thought, “what does he want me to do?” He stopped making love to me and began sleeping on the couch. I felt guilty. It was I who had masterminded the business. I thought perhaps I hadn’t given enough accolades to his helping genius. I thought he was having an affair. I thought a thousand things, but in the end, we divorced. I was so devastated that I abandoned the business. Full of guilt, I left the area for three years penniless. I worked for three companies in three years. Each job paid minimum wage and I found myself in trouble with management over issues surrounding employee morale and management styles. Entrepreneurial life had left me scarred for the average employer.

I returned home, hat in hand three years after the divorce. The business property was in need of repair and I needed a place to live. I busied myself cleaning and patching what I could. Depression hovered around me like smoke from a distant fire. I could not afford to turn on the utilities, so many nights I slept with four quilts over me while the temperatures fell into the teens. My daughter moved in with me and paid the smaller bills. My ex paid the mortgage as was ordered by the courts. I retreated more everyday into isolation. Old friends stopped calling as my moods changed. I feared everything from the loss of my property to the deterioration of my mind. I thought of suicide often.

Giving up power is a dubious task, especially if you believe that your power is what got you where you are in the first place.

My family worried some, as they had never seen me without energy and courage. They supported me when they could. I joined several online dating sites without any luck. The folks there seemed as insecure and befuddled as I was. I put a modest blurp on the business marquee to do Tarot Readings. I had a few bites and paid the water bill a few times. My daughter continues to pay the utility bills. The economy has not gotten any better; so it isn’t time to try and reopen the business. I write and draw some these days, do photographical studies and create videos. Posting on Facebook is a god sent too.

I don’t know what the future will bring. But, I do know that too much power corrupts ultimately; and that I will have to create an encore career if I am to survive. The irony is that it takes power to create a business, but that same power threatens some relationships. I will have to find that balance because I can be a steamroller and a bit pit bullish at times. I am busy these days searching for that new loop, as I sit here at the computer wearing two sweaters and my ex’s old long johns under my jeans.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change and the wisdom to change the things I can.

I've still got my stick on the ice, but the arena is a bit sloppy right now.  

I'll keep you posted.  ♥



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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice to hear from you

    • profile image

      Michelle Beck 

      7 years ago

      This made me cry Joann,incredibly open and self searching. I see you have found yourself again..actually I think you have finally found the real you. I'd love to get together with you and chat. We've all gone through some transformations.


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      There is only one way...up! You will stand again. Your business started with one bar of soap. In order to start another business; you need to focus on thing.A simple niche.

    • Makwawai profile imageAUTHOR

      JoAnne Kondrat 

      7 years ago from Northeast Michigan

      A work in "self pity"....I sacrificed too much for someone else. He is having a mid life crises and I fell victim. But, they say to write about what you know. So be it. Makwawai


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