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I welcome getting older.  Middle-age is a fun period.  I’m wiser and more mature, thanks to all the experiences I have had.  I feel fitter due to the fact that I’m now much more active than I was before.  I’ll even dare say that I look better than I did when I was younger!  I dress more stylish and confident than I did before too.  I often wondered, how come no one ever said anything to me about the way I dressed back then?  I wore long dreary skirts a lot, big blouses, wouldn’t dare wearing a belt around my waist, wore little or no makeup (not that you have to have gobs of makeup on); and even my general activities and social life at the time reflected that!

 

You may laugh at this but when I turned 30, I slipped into a serious funk…really depressed.  My thought process was...oh my gosh, the next “ty” will be forty and remembering what forty looked like on my mom -- I wasn’t ready for any of that!!

That mindset went on for the next decade until I woke up out of the funk at age 40.  I just had a totally different outlook after working on myself.  I started doing different things with my hair, wearing more accessories, got more into wearing makeup, perfumes, became more outgoing and made new friends.

Then when I turned the big 50 -- I threw myself an all-white birthday party which turned out to be a ton of fun!!

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I’m now finding that my new outlook on aging when I turned 40 has really changed my life.

Anyone willing to share their story about getting older and your past or current thought process on same?

 

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“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”  ~Samuel Ullman

Did you feel different when you turned 50?  Take a moment to think about what emotions you experienced when you reached the half-century age.

Were you happily celebrating that “50 is the new 30” feeling?

Did you celebrate with near-reckless abandon?

Did you put up your “Life Begins At 50” banner?  Or -- Were you sad--feeling as though time had passed you by?

Did you feel like you were officially heading to the “back-end” of your life cycle?  DID YOU START TO FEEL OLD?

Comment below and let me know, but first, have a gander at my experience.

Let’s back up a couple of decades, for starters…

WHEN I TURNED 30, I slumped into depression.  I don’t know how or why, but all of a sudden, I felt as if life was rapidly passing me by. I questioned myself incessantly:

- What have I accomplished?

- Why are the birthdays coming behind one another so fast?

- What was the point of coming to a new country again?

I had no concrete answers, but as the time went by and the numbers continued to climb, my outlook on life started to improve. By the time I hit my 40s, I was in let-me-get-this-done-before-I-get-older mode with all the things I never had a chance to complete. This included things in my personal and professional life. I went to WORK!

- I started paying attention to my eating habits

- I stopped taking crap from men (hello!)

- I started to view myself as beautiful

- I approached (and later embraced) the idea that I would never again settle.  My forties were the times that I truly explored ME.

WHEN I TURNED 50, that’s when the party really got started.

At age 50, my youngest child turned 18, leaving me free to take some pretty bold steps.

- I went back to school to complete a Bachelor’s degree I’d started years ago

- I signed up with a gym for regular workouts

- I started taking dance classes (something I’d loved since my youth)

- I threw myself an all-white birthday party (Oh, the speeches that were given by the various family members and friends were unforgettable).

I embraced my beauty, inside and out, and it showed up in the way I looked, but more importantly, in the way I felt.

So, my answer to the question “Did you feel different when you turned 50?” …

Emphatically, yes! I felt better than I ever did. And today, at 54, I’m still feeling great!

I want the same for you, so perhaps you can start by asking yourself these questions:

- What can you start doing today that you didn’t have the time and resources to do when you were younger?

- Is there something I’ve wanted to do (a new class, trying a new food, visiting a new city, etc.) that I can absolutely do this year?

- How have I grown wiser over the years?

- What’s one thing I really love about myself right now?

Start with those questions, and build from there. But whatever you do, my fellow 50-plusers, remember that age is simply a number—we get to decide how we feel if we take care of our spirits, our bodies, our selves.

“I am happy to report that my inner child is still ageless.” ~James Broughton

jamie-lee-curtisI had the distinct pleasure of watching Oprah's Lifeclass last night -- Lesson 7: Aging Beautifully.  I felt as if I were in heaven while watching the show.  My favorite subject -- Aging!  Every second of the show was filled with useful advice and information.   BeverlyJohnsonThe special guests on the show were awesome; Jamie Lee Curtis, Ali McGraw, Super model - Beverly Johnson and Cybill Shephard.  They each shared wonderful stories of their own lives and the aging process and all their stories were ones I'm pretty sure someone out there could easily relate to.I was never a woman who tried to hide her age.  I felt as if I had no reason to.  Oprah says that lying about your age is hazardous to yourself, and yes - I believe it is.  You're denying your very existence, she says.  Why would anyone want to do that?  Seriously!  I was always ready to tell mine before the question was even finished being asked.  Today at 54 years old, I'm ready to tell it at an even faster rate.

Can you tell that I'm loving the aging process?  Well, I really am.  I'm much wiser from my life experiences, I'm a happier person than I was years ago, I'm still as vibrant and energetic as I was as a younger woman, all with a brighter and more optimistic outlook on life.  Like Oprah says, aging is a blessing, and is easier once you've embraced the wisdom that can only come with getting older.

I read an article today and it really stirred me up. What is this thing about calling someone a “late bloomer?” Really…late for what? As far as I’m concerned, anything can be done by anyone at anytime. This notion about doing certain things in life ‘by a certain time’ is so old-fashioned!

So, if you haven’t fallen in love, or gotten married, or had a child, or completed your degree, or bought a home….or whatever the crazy expectations may be by that certain designated time, you’re now considered a “late bloomer!” I beg to differ.

I guess I would be considered a “terribly late bloomer.” I went back to school at age 50 to complete my Bachelors degree. Am I abnormal? Heck, no! There are many students at my college that are my age and even older and we certainly don’t feel less-than among the younger students.

I even have plans to do other things in life as well - like pursuing my passion (and I have a couple) for financial gain, and delving into things I absolutely love to and can do well - like dancing (may even open up a studio one day), entertaining family and friends more often, learn to play the piano and the bass guitar, learn to ride a bike and to roller-blade (nope - never learned any of this as a child), and to swim. I’m currently 54 years old and there isn't any stopping me.

I don’t feel old and I don’t feel as if I’m doing anything late. Therefore, let us stop calling folks late bloomers, shall we?

And so another year in my 50s is approaching and I gladly welcome it. I’m not afraid of aging. In fact I love the wisdom, experience and knowledge I've gained from it. I've often said that if I knew then what I know now, I would be way ahead of this game called life. Yes - life is a game. A serious game.

I had no idea that getting older could be exciting. This is because of what I saw with many elders around me as I grew up and watched them as they got older. Their outlook was often dull, sometimes depressing and it was as if they were just waiting for the day when they’ll pass on. Many often reminisced about the opportunities they missed in life, the treatment or mistreatment they received from family and others, how poor they have remained over the years, how badly their children did in life (for those with that experience), and many other down-in-the-doldrums stories. Fortunately for me, that’s not my story. Each decade came with a warm welcome. I saw and felt improvements with myself as each of them came along.

Now this, my 54th year, is another happy one for me. In fact I just had my annual physical done and my doctor told me that if all the patients in my age-group were doing as well as I was, then that would be great. I take that as a heck of a compliment (not meaning to brag at all)! I really try to take care of myself. I’m careful - for the most part - about what I eat because I’m a firm believer in the saying “you are what you eat”. Mind you, desserts are an extremely weak point for me because I will “go to town” on a good piece of cake if it comes my way! I’ve stepped up my game where exercise is concerned and I try not to let anything or anyone bother me to the stage of depression.  I love to laugh a lot so I'm always giving jokes and love listening to some good ones.  My siblings are some funny people. I must admit we all got that gift.  My grandchildren give me great joy (my children do to…Lord have mercy) and these things are really the driving force for wanting to have a healthy and long life.

So - a hearty welcome to you 54th year of my life! Thank you Jehovah Jireh for yet another glorious year!

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Do you think that as you get older, you get bolder?

This question was asked on the Gail King show a couple mornings ago. What a question! Heck, yeah! At least for me that’s true. I used to be very shy and withdrawn as a young girl. I preferred being behind the scenes - never upfront. In all of my classrooms from kindergarten through high school, you’d never find me sitting in the first three rows of seats. Nope - not at all!

I loved to dance (still do) and would dance every chance I got. I even had a lovely voice for singing (I’m told I still do) but you would never, ever see me performing anywhere. What? People would to be looking at me! All that focus and attention I would not be able to handle. I sang and danced at home while washing dishes, while bathing or playing with my siblings so I was quite comfortable around my family - not out in the general public. I never took part in school plays, debates, Girl Scouts, dance performances…anything of that sort. I always thought that what I had to say may just “not sound right” or that I might look really silly while dancing. So much for self-confidence.

In my 20s I never wore any form of makeup. Didn’t like wearing pants. Earrings or other accessories - oh no. Shoes with heels - absolutely not! Need I say more? One thing though -- my hair always looked great. That was about the only thing I didn’t mind doing - having the best hairstyle ever. But, when the compliments came (which they always did), I would blush so hard, you could almost see a deep purple in my cheeks.

And as for having a boyfriend in late middle or high school like many of my friends did…what? Who, me? I was way too shy for that. I used to wonder why everyone was so bold and outgoing. What was wrong with them? Why weren’t they low-keyed and reserved like I was?

Then BOOM - I started getting older (for me this was age 35). And as I got older, I got bolder. I would now actually sing and let other people hear me. I even performed a few years ago at a huge congress center for my workplace Idol finals!!! I couldn’t believe it myself. I started wearing makeup -- real makeup. I started speaking out in any arena I had a chance, be it among friends, at work, listening to talk radio. I surprised my own self sometimes.

Now, I participate in the social media arena and actually love doing so. At events like birthdays, weddings, graduation parties - any event where there’s an opportunity to speak or pay tribute, I’m right in line to say something. I’m a totally different person now and I know that all of this is definitely because -- as I got older, I got bolder!!

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