Staring it down

Sydney is staying in lockdown for another week and, while I’m disappointed for my kids, I feel pretty zen about my own situation.

I’ve just been on the holiday of a lifetime. I can still take the dogs to get my takeaway coffee each morning. I have lots of local friends to join me on walks. I’m allowed to visit DD whenever I like. Things could be much worse.

But I know not everyone is OK and I feel for those who are missing out on important things like funerals, weddings and significant birthday celebrations, not to mention seeing relatives and friends in nursing homes or hospitals.

I’m very lucky that those things aren’t currently affecting me. And it’s good to know my local shopping centre has me covered …

Forget toilet paper, how would we get by without caviar and truffles, darling?

Although, I have a disturbing confession … I haven’t been adding wine during lockdown, I’ve been adding some complimentary UDLs that were sent to me a while back.

Thrifty!

I hadn’t tried Australia’s oldest RTDs until last week, buggered if I know why not. You’d think they’d have featured prominently in the nightlife of a Newie teen.

I was skeptical, but they are so yummy. The raspberry version rocks and I’m quite fond of the tropical one too. I am so high rent.

My sister tells me isn’t too bothered by the extended lockdown either. She noted that we’ve become very boring in our old age. True that. Except it’s stopped us going away together this weekend to celebrate my dad’s significant birthday, which was also postponed last year due to COVID.

About the only other thing that is bothering me is that I’m a bit bored. Perhaps that’s a sign that I need to get a job rather than sitting at home freelancing. According to the stats that should be easy peasy.

I saw a post on LinkedIn this week from an executive who said: “The Talent Drought is worsening as the portcullis drops on our international borders and the economic recovery strengthens. With over 69,000 skilled workers leaving Australia in April alone, and job ads at their highest for 12 years, we’ll see unemployment stats starting with a 4 very soon and maybe even a 3 before 2022 starts.”

He’s referring to ANZ reporting the Australian unemployment rate is 5%. The ANZ data follows the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ job vacancy report which showed nearly a quarter of businesses had at least one job vacancy in May, up from 11% in February 2020.

“There were around 362,000 job vacancies in May 2021, which was higher than we have ever seen in Australia,” ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said.

Maybe its what the country needs to put an end to unconscious bias when it comes to age, sex and ethnicity. I’m not holding my breath, but let’s wait and see.

Marlene Krasovitsky, EveryAGE Counts Campaign Director, told 2GB last month: “Ageism is now a huge drag on our economic growth.

“37% of Australians have experienced discrimination since turning 50, and that’s up from 23% in 2018. 26% have experienced employment related discrimination. If we want to maintain funding for essential services and infrastructure we need to lift the labour force participation rates of older people who want or need to work. That means we have to address ageism at its root – the stereotypes, assumptions, and discrimination that currently lock older people out of work.

“The IGR has found that pretty much all participation increases over the next 40 years will come from people above the age of 40. Those projections will be hampered if we do nothing about the ageism that keeps keen older workers jobless. We simply can’t afford to continue carrying around ageist notions about older Australians. These mindsets are holding us back.”

Amen.

I’ve been following model Paulina Porizkova (pictured main) on social media over the past year as she explores what it’s like to age in the public eye.

She told Yahoo Life in April, when asked about ageing and her use of the hashtag #BetweenJLoandBettyWhite: “Jennifer Lopez may only be just a few years younger than me, but you’re talking about a woman who is 51 and looks 30, and is incredible gorgeous and sexy and absolutely viable as a woman — everyone can agree that she’s hot. And then Betty White is just adorable and charming and so funny and we just love her because she’s such a firecracker at her age. And in between the two of them, there’s nobody,” she said. “So you either have the middle-aged woman that looks incredible and doesn’t look her age, or the truly older woman that absolutely looks her age, but doesn’t act her age. There’s no celebration of actual age.”

She added in an interview with Unconditional that her posts on social media, where she bares her body and her unretouched wrinkles, are aimed at inspiring others dealing with the struggles of being older and still “wanting to be seen.”

“I post what I would like to see from other women, from the women that I look up to,” she told the publication. “I want to see what they do to stay looking the way they do. Like, please tell me. Most of them don’t, so I figure fine, I’ll deal with that. Although I absolutely understand why they don’t, because of the scrutiny you come under when you do. You can never please everybody but there’s a lot of shame heaped on older women. As an older woman past 50, you get shamed just for wanting to be seen.”

I rarely experienced sexism in my youth. However, now that I’m in my 50s I find myself highly aware of both it and ageism. And I don’t get it. I have never understood why anyone would think your gender has any bearing on your ability, worth or intelligence. Same goes for age.

So crazy. But so real.

Song of the day: John Mayer “Stop this train”

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