Life Begins at 60 by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

I’d like to welcome back author extraordinaire Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Please enjoy this guest post by this wonderful author.

Life Begins At 60

Sometimes the big barriers in life aren’t abject poverty, dreaded disease or death. Sometimes it’s the subtle ones set upon us by time and place. The ones that can’t be seen and can’t be acknowledged because we don’t know they are there. They creep up silently on padded feet and, if we sense them at all, we choose not to turn and face them. The decade of the 50s was a time when barriers like these faced those with dark skin, those who lived in closed religious communities, and those who were female.

When I applied for a job as a writer for Good Housekeeping (Hearst Corporation) in New York in 1961 I was required to take a typing test. I was piqued because I wasn’t applying for the typing-pool, I was applying for a post as an editorial assistant.

I was told, “No typing test, no interview.” I took the test and was offered a job in the ranks of those who could do 70-in-a-minute. I had to insist upon the interview I had been promised. I was only twenty and had no real skills in assertiveness. I am amazed I had the wherewithal to insist on anything.

The essentials of this anecdote lie in the fact that I was putout for the wrong reasons. My irritation was a reflection of hubris. However, that pride was probably what goaded me into speaking up so I guess pride is not always a bad thing to have. Continue reading …

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