Yesterday I ran into two friends I'd lost touch with, one for 20 weeks, the other for 20 years. And I left both encounters feeling envious. Which was weird, because both have been through incalculable grief and trauma: R lost her mother to cancer, her husband to divorce, her daughter to maturity and her job to the recession—all in the past year. J endured her husband's life-threatening illness and the loss of their business and their home—all in the past five years.
But like phoenixes (NOT cougars!), they have risen from the ashes of their old lives into new ones. R is writing a book and beginning a new romance. J has put herself through college and is starting a teaching career in a new hometown. These women are no spring phoenixes—and definitely not chickens! They're both in their 50s. Yet they're winding up, not down.
And I'm jealous. Because like a veteran actress, I'm finding that the good roles go to the young. I hate the fact that I'm calculating how much longer I need to work in order to have a secure retirement. How depressing is that!