What image comes to mind when you think of a middle-aged woman? Hopefully after you read this, it will be one of the women on this page.
There is a misconception that women in midlife are unhappy, uninteresting, and unsexy.
Society tells us that aging is something to be avoided at all costs. That there are creams and potions to reverse the signs of aging. That once women pass a certain age, their value diminishes.
I am here to dispel that myth.
I am here to prove that we, middle-aged women, are multifaceted, powerful, courageous, and very sexy.
Yes, the number on my driver’s license proves I am in fact a middle-aged woman. But, I think women of my generation are breaking the mold of what a woman in midlife “should” be. How she “should” act. What she “should” wear. We are smashing to bits the preconceived notion that women “our age” are anything less than fulfilled and fabulous.
I actually love being middle-aged. I have never felt so sure of myself in my life. I know what is important and spend my time on what matters. I enjoy putting myself in situations that scare me a little because it makes me feel alive.
There is a stereotype that older women aren’t adventuresome, fun, or desirable. I believe quite the contrary to be true. I am way more fun and sexy now than I was twenty years ago!
In the mirror I see a strong, confident beautiful woman – that still has doubts and insecurities – but who loves herself and knows she is amazing despite her flaws.
The women I know, the incredible, vibrant women I know that are traveling midlife with me, dispel the “shoulds” of the middle-aged woman as well.
We are living our lives large. We are not giving credence to what others think of us. We are changing the image that comes to mind when you think, “middle aged woman.”
We are taking this label and crushing it.
Aging isn’t easy. Betty Davis was right, it aint for sissies.
I believe it is truly our attitude about aging, that ages us. How I see myself and what I believe about myself are more important than the candles on my birthday cake. I refuse to adopt the notion, “A woman my age shouldn’t . . .”.
One of the phrases I hate most is the qualifier “for her age,” that is tacked onto the end of a sentence. She looks good . . . for her age. It almost disqualifies what comes ahead of it. Why can’t people just say, “She looks good?”
Whether it is the messages we tell ourselves or the ones we hear from others, we should never let our age stop us from doing what we love. We should always be open to getting out of our comfort zone, pursuing our dreams, and living our adventures.
The women highlighted below are breaking the mold of the middle-aged woman by doing just that.
Lisa: 50, Seal Beach, California
“To me middle age is a number, although sometimes my body tries to resist. I refuse to act or dress my age as I skip, run, surf, and live life at every opportunity. I refuse to be sedentary and complacent. I believe activity and adventures at every turn are what keep me young at heart and my body relatively young as well.”
Heather: 51, Huntington Beach, California
“One of the best parts of being my age is having more time to explore my interests. I also am not so concerned with what others think. I feel I live more authentically now and assume that will get even better as I age. I feel the most beautiful when I’m working out or riding my bike. I may be sweaty and my hair a mess but I feel strong, healthy, and vibrant.”
Claudia: 49, Redlands, California
“Being 49 is just a number; I don’t feel like I’m about to turn 50. One of the things in life that makes me truly happy is connecting with children. I feel so blessed to love my job teaching kindergarten. The best part about being my age is the confidence I carry with me. I am true to myself and don’t really care what people think about me. I do activities that make my inner self happy.”
Amy: 45, Monrovia, California
“My thoughts on being middle age? What a great place to be. I know enough to make it good or really f**k it up, but the key is that I know it, and it’s all up to me. The best part of being my age is feeling comfortable in my own skin, and knowing that what other people think of me is none of my business. If I could give my 25-year-old self advice, I would say, You Matter!”
Linda: 59, Long Beach, California
“The best part of being my age is not caring about things that don’t matter. I am doing things that are on the, “someday I’ll get around to it” list. This is my someday and if people want to go with me, fine, if not, I’m going anyway. I am stretching boundaries of my comfort zone. It has made me more fearless and I treasure what is waiting ahead.”
Krista: 48, Encinitas, California
“Sometimes middle age feels very “sandwichy” with aging parents on one side and a college kid on the other. Other times it’s very freeing. I’m learning that I can do exactly what I want and not apologize for it. I say what’s on my mind. The friends I’ve had that “knew me when” mean so much more to me now than I ever realized they would. I don’t equate middle age with “old” anymore, I equate it with freedom and curiosity.”
Karen: 50, Fountain Valley, California
“When it comes to middle age, it’s just a number. I am passionate about keeping fit and healthy living and I feel the happiest (outside of being with family and friends) when I‘m in the ocean swimming or surfing. The best part about being my age is being wiser. If I could talk to my 25-year-old self I would tell her to enjoy everyday and experience everything.”
Lynn: 50, Seal Beach, California
“I feel like middle age is an awakening. A reminder that I am halfway through my life and I’d better do what I want to do and tell those who I love how much I love them. It’s time for me to remember who I was before having children and figure out who I am today, and put those two together to create a fabulous me now.”
Lorraine: 50, Seal Beach, California
“Middle age? I say, “Bring It On!” The best parts of being my age are the freedom and power to create the life I want for myself. Meaning and significance matter more than external achievement. I love the meaningfulness of my life now – how I use my talents to build a more compassionate world. If I could give my 25-year-old self advice I would tell her to stop worrying what other people think about you. What you think about you is what counts.”
Chani: 43, Seal Beach, California
“I love nature. I love dirt. I am happiest walking on it in the forest, digging in it in the garden, or getting down and dirty in it. Maybe that’s why I don’t like anything fake. Fake does not make you look younger. God made you beautiful, who are you to question her? About middle age, I say “Embrace it, naturally!”
Cindy: 49, Seal Beach, California
“It’s such a cliché, but you’re only as old as you feel. Yes, some days you feel older than others. But, there is no reason to give up on who you are and what you love doing just because of your chronological age. Maybe you alter things a little, as your abilities change over time. But, there is no reason to give up and start wearing those mom jeans! Keep living!”
Kelly: 4?, Buena Park, California
“I am a 40 something who only admits to being 30 something. I am finding middle age is a lot more fun than I thought it would be. At 20, I thought once I hit my 40s, life would be over, but now I feel like I am just getting started. When you are a middle-aged woman, you don’t have to have short hair and wear mom jeans. You still have time to learn new things and have new experiences.”
Esmerelda: 42, Lakewood, California
“I am a survivor in many ways. I learned early on that I am my own advocate. With that and with age, I’ve learned that I must “do me.” I control my happiness. I focus on what I love best and make a strong effort to incorporate what I love into my life. If I could give advice to my 25-year-old self, I would say, “Don’t settle. Travel and enjoy life to the fullest before children.” Life is definitely much better now than at 25.”
Angela: 41, Portland, Oregon
“I would definitely tell my 25-year-old self to SLOW DOWN. Be more mindful and present in the moment. I feel that being middle age is just a reality, a number. Every decade has been better than the last for different reasons. Finding who you are is how middle age seems to go. The amount of wisdom attained through life lessons that I encounter at middle age are what are important to me.”
It is said that women after a certain age disappear; they become invisible. I do believe, especially living close to L.A. in Southern California, there is some truth to that statement. However, women understand they have the power to make themselves seen; to live bold. And frankly, they also realize they don’t have to care whether anyone sees them or not. They are living for their own vision.
Women today have the freedom and courage to be true to themselves. They are breaking the barriers of what is possible for women in the middle stages of their lives. They are living each day to the fullest. . . and they are having a heck of a lot of fun along the way!
If you take away anything from this, let it be this, you don’t have to be afraid of getting older. Middle age (between 40-60) can be the best years of your life . . . if you let them.
What do you think? I’d LOVE to hear your comments below!
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