I love midlife for so many reasons, including the super-powers women our age possess. One of those super-powers is being able to move through life invisible if we want to. I’ve heard many women over 50 complain they feel invisible. Waiters seem to ignore them in restaurants, clerks don’t offer to help, and many women feel they’re becoming invisible socially. While I never felt that way personally, I have come to cherish the power in such invisibility.
It was only in a recent news headline I learned scientists are close to creating a cloak that makes something invisible, something only before found in fiction.
“The surface of the skin cloak was meta-engineered to reroute reflected light waves so that the object was rendered invisible to optical detection when the cloak is activated,”, according to researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley.”
Ha! We midlife women already have that capability if we want it!
While attending the wedding of close friend’s son, I experienced first hand that our generation has been replaced at the center stage of life by the generation of our children. We found ourselves the “extras” in a grand performance with the bride and groom and their friends center stage. I didn’t feel invisible, however I did feel a wonderful power over my experience and had a great evening! I enjoyed richly rewarding conversations with people I found interesting and really enjoyed, had no expectations of others to meet, and I could leave when I wanted without comment. All good things.
However, I offer a few tips if you do feel invisible and don’t like it. With regard to waiters and clerks, that’s simply poor service, not uncommon to anyone these days. Don’t assume it’s personal. I’ve always found a friendly attitude, eye contact, and warm, engaging social skills go a long way towards experiencing good service….not always, but most of the time. As far as shrinking social circles, friends drifting away, and fewer invitations, I suggest you take the initiative. Reach out to grow your social activities, invite people over, and make new friends from those interesting casual relationships that continue to show up in life.
A few other benefits of invisibility…you can simply observe others and enjoy life more closely, come and go freely, and people’s expectations don’t restrict you, nor do they meddle in your life. There’s great freedom in that…why do you think scientists are striving so hard to invent that cloak of invisibility?