‘You know you’re a 50 year old woman when….
- You purchase your moisturizer by the case instead of by the jar.
- Your once fabulous behind now looks more like a set of mud flaps.
- Your hot flashes have saved you money on your heating bill.
- You finally understand that being over the hill beats being planted under it. (1)
For some of you, this milestone has come and gone and you’d encourage me that ‘there’s plenty of living left to do’, ’50 is fabulous’ or ’50 is the new 40′. Or even as my sister-in-law insisted yesterday ‘You should be proud of yourself. You look great, you have a wonderful family and you’ve done so much in your life.’ Yes, I truly am very thankful, but even those thoughts aren’t helping me to embrace the BIG 5-0 !
Turning 30 was a breeze, and the 40’s were packed with incredible moments and tremendous memories! Why should 50 so difficult?
Honestly……I really don’t have any regrets. My presiding principle in life has been to align my choices with my personal values, which is the same advice I’d give anyone. So that’s not the issue. And I don’t feel like I’ve bloomed too late. I am right where I need to be. As a matter of fact, I feel quite centered. Hey…..maybe there’s the answer. Rather than adopting an ‘I’m old’ attitude, I could focus on being right in the middle of the middle!
These days, modern middle-age is considered to start around 35 and end around 65. Since our life span has lengthened over the last century, we’re living in the middle longer. Apparently there’s plenty of benefits to this stage of life! My research (also known as Googling) indicates that during this time, our middle-aged brain actually performs better than a brain half it’s age. The logical part of the older brain (inductive reasoning and problem solving) finds solutions faster. As well, our all-grown-up brain is better at understanding a problem and finding a creative answer, than younger brains. It analyzes arguments better and strategizes ways to win-win with more efficiency. And, a Harvard study revealed that financial judgments peak through later middle age. WOW….to summarize…because we’ve navigated the world longer, we can navigate the world better! (2) YAY!
And since I started writing this blog I have come to think of even more liberating truths that I’ve embraced on the road to the middle. Like;
- The point of exercise is to be healthy and not to fit into a size 6 dress.
- Words can kill faster than sticks or stones.
- I have experimented with so much hair color that I actually know what looks good on me.
- My family continues to be my greatest investment.
- Respect and care for others is a reflection of how someone feels about them self.
- A smile is the most beautiful accessory.
- I will never be too old to learn.
- The more birthdays you have the longer you live.
- Common sense isn’t very common.
- I’ve lived so long that every new person I meet reminds me of someone I already know.
- Every experience counts.
- God can be trusted.
So as I spend my last few hours on this side of half a century, I have come across one more all important thought, which is likely the secret behind the encouraging words of those who have crossed this milestone ahead of me. ‘Those who are planted in the house of the Lord …..shall still bear fruit in (middle and old) age; they shall continually be fresh and flourishing.(3) Now that’s something to celebrate!
(2) Thoughts from ‘The Secret Life of the Grown Up Brain’ by Barbara Strauch
(3) Psalm 92:13, 14, (middle), my literary emphasis.