If you’re like me, many of your friends are already retired. They’ve left the 9-to-5 world to travel, paint, write, coach, garden, teach, study, mentor youth, spend time with grandchildren, and the million other alternatives to punching the clock. To all of that, I say “Amen!”
But here’s the thing: I’ve only rarely punched the clock. I am an entrepreneur, and my long working life has been largely independent, guided by spirit, and filled with serendipity. So when friends impatiently ask me when I’m retiring, I don’t know what to say. In modern terms, I’m a “maker,” although this term is usually applied to tech, STEM, and artsy stuff. As a creative person, I’m excited by (and kept awake by) endless ideas. Putting these ideas to work is how I “make” things, and this site is just the latest expression.
This site came to be because it had to. As a Black woman who is not a Millennial, I searched the web for my community. Where are my sisters? I know you’re out there. While it’s certainly not breaking news that we live in a youth-obsessed society, I was surprised to find so little in terms of content for Black women who have celebrated 50 plus birthdays. I found nothing that truly celebrated and cherished Black women of my age. What I did find was, in a word, dry. Well, I’m not dry, my friends aren’t dry, our world is anything but dry. We are loud, we are soft-spoken, we are salty, we are proper, we are conservative, we are radical, we are fearless, we are sentimental, we are giddy, we are righteous, we are irreverent, we are joyful but not strangers to sorrow, we are deep like the rivers, we are a gloriously mixed bag, and we are indeed juicy in our pursuit of life and vitality.
Our story is complex, rich, important, and needs to be told. First, we are the wise elders who lived through the cultural revolution of the 1960s, and our perspectives on today’s social and political environment are much needed. Without a doubt, we are all witnesses to social injustice, past and present. Many of us have worked to throw light into dark places, and we continue to work for change to create a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just world.
And then there’s the joy-factor. In my own lived experience, entering the third act of life is like awakening from a deep sleep. In our youth, we work hard, head down. We compete. We are preoccupied with family, with success, with getting ahead. We may be concerned with what other people think. All of this begins to change in mid-life. We pause and examine our shifting priorities. We ask ourselves, What’s really important? What do I really care about? The answers may surprise even you.
Rather than an ending, I genuinely feel that for many Black women, the fifth and sixth decades of life and beyond can be a new beginning. More freedom, more options, and more confidence, for sure. Many women in our demographic are now empty nesters: those fledglings have flown! Some of us are widows. These life-changes may lead to a residential downsizing, an experience which may be bittersweet, yet also incredibly liberating. For instance, consider the big formal dining room, with the twinkly chandelier and the china cabinet packed with Waterford crystal goblets and fragile porcelain plates. Of course, many wonderful meals were shared in that space, but at 50 plus, a sunset picnic on the beach, barefoot with those you love most, may simply be more fun (with fewer dishes).
That’s really why we’re here now. Each month, our editions will offer you engaging stories about wealth, health, beauty, work, style, and love. And please consider this my personal invitation to share your story (add your email using the link below). This is a safe place and a happy place, where your voice is always welcome. I look forward to hearing from you. Let’s celebrate and cherish our Black womanhood with readers everywhere!