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Why is it so hard?

I remember the first time it hit me that I was entering a new stage of my life. I was still in my early fifties. I was watching the news cover a storm. And a very young reporter referred to someone as "an elderly woman." Later, in the same piece, he mentioned the woman's age. She was in her early sixties. And I felt appalled, a little outraged, thinking (out loud) that elderly was fluid and that nobody less than eighty was elderly. Some are not elderly even post-eighty.

What surprised me, though, was the nerve that was struck in me by his word choice. I was offended by the remark because I didn't want to be thought of as an "older woman" prematurely. I don't relish the thought of being referred to that way no matter how old I get, if I am honest. I have never liked being called ma'am, though I am learning to accept that that's exactly who I am. Ma'am is entirely appropriate. I'm many people's senior these days. But I realize that it o…

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