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What Does Midlife Mean for Me?

What Midlife Means to Me

I turned 45 last November. I know, I don’t look a day over 30, right? As I approached this milestone, I began to consider the fact that I am entering the midlife stage. Yikes, what does that mean? Should I be afraid? Should I worry that I will wither on the vine?

What does midlife mean for a woman? I think many women don’t consider themselves “midlifers” until they hit menopause. For some reason, that is what I had in my mind. Unless I live to be 100 or more, I’m definitely in midlife now.

I had my kids in my mid thirties. I suppose because they are still young, it makes me feel younger than I am. In my area, it’s fairly typical for moms to be closer to my age. I know in other areas of the country people might think it was strange that I am not a grandmother by now.

What Midlife Means to Me

Being the best I can be for my kids!

I am glad that I took my time to have kids. I was definitely NOT ready in my twenties. I did not feel the need to marry early. My clock was not ticking until my thirties.  I wanted to try a career and see the world. I was lucky to do both. That said, I wonder what my life would be like to be an empty nester about now. Given that my husband is nowhere near retiring, I think we made a good choice to travel before having kids, then hopefully once again in retirement.

Why is it that midlife seems so much easier for men? My husband is 48 and does not seem phased in the least. We’ll see if hitting 50 brings him down, but I doubt it.  No hormonal roller coaster for him. Luckily he’s extremely understanding of my roller coaster so far.

Why is it that midlife seems to have more negative connotations for women? It’s like when we hit midlife we are all going to shrivel up, lose our sex drive and sense of adventure, join a knitting club and sit on our butts. No way! I want to passionately explore this second half of my life. There is so much more to see, do and learn.

Here are a number of observations I’ve made as I reflect upon this milestone.

What Midlife Means to Me

Embracing my body

I have spent far too many years focusing on the imperfections of my body. What I love about mid life is that I have learned to let go and enjoy who I am. Sure, I am still a little self conscious about cellulite and love handles, but I am not going to stress about it like I used to. I really do love my curves. I feel more womanly. I remember how much I fought having hips and boobs when I was younger. I wore clothes to hide them. Now I wear clothes to accentuate them.

Saying goodbye to the juniors department

I am a very thrifty shopper. For a long time, I could find better bargains in the junior’s department because I could still get away with some of the styles. Not anymore. I am sticking with the women’s department from now on. I can still be stylish and fun without looking like something out of the pages of Seventeen magazine. Don’t you hate it when women just won’t let this go? I don’t want to be on an episode of “What Not to Wear.”

What Midlife Means to Me

On to more “mature” magazines

Getting new magazine subscriptions

I need to give up some of my magazines that now have women that look like teenagers. I need to put Glamour, Cosmo, and even Self behind me. I’ve realized that I relate much more to Redbook, More and Prevention these days. I remember thinking Redbook and Prevention were for old ladies. Ha! At least More magazine says it’s for 30+, but I have a feeling their true demographic is closer to 40+. I don’t mind. It’s nice to read about celebrities who are my age and going through some of the same challenges that me. Now if I only had their bank accounts

Everyone looks like a kid

I feel “old” when everyone around me looks like a “kid.” On the road, I often look around and think “what the heck is that 12-year-old doing behind the wheel?!” My kid’s teachers are beginning to be younger than me instead of the other way around. My son had a band performance the other night and his teacher looked 18. Yikes! When did I get this old?

What Midlife Means to Me

What? I’m older than these women? No Way!

Celebrities: What? I’m older than her too?

I am shocked by some of the celebrities that are younger than me. Some actresses/models I admired when I was younger (I thought were older than me) I find out are younger. How did that happen? How did time stand still for them? That can’t be right. They must lie about their ages, right?

Reinventing myself

Last year was all about reinventing myself. I created Comeback Momma for that very purpose. After a really rough 2012, I knew that I needed to focus on myself to be happy and healthy for both my family and myself. Midlife is a perfect time to reevaluate where we are in life and make changes for the better.

What Midlife Means to Me

While a joke about feeling “old” compared to some of the people in my world, I don’t mind. I feel pretty darned good about this stage of life. I am lucky to have a wonderful husband and two amazing kids. I continue to learn and grow as they do. I hope that being the best that I can be will show them that they can do the same in all stages of life.

On to the next 40ish years….

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  1. kia says:

    Cool perspective of things to look forward to. I had my kids in my mid-thirties and I suppose my area is a mix of young and older mothers. Our preschool is mostly women about my age but dance class is a much different story. Please continue to age gracefully so those of us knocking on your door have something to aspire to.

  2. I think a problem is many give up or settle in their age after a certain birthday milestone instead of embracing it like you’re trying to do. This is an awesome mind-set and made for a terrific read. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Toni @Runninglovingliving says:

    Great post! Mid-life can be tough for many people, it seems your are embracing yours!

  4. Dede says:

    I can so relate to your post. I’ve been teaching 6th grade for 16 years so I always feel like I never get older, because the kids aren’t getting older. But then when I realize that I’m the same age as their parents….then it hits me. Or when one of them comes back and teaches with me, which has happened!!!

  5. katherine says:

    You look great! I’m 25 right now but I hope I age gracefully!

  6. It’s great you took time to reflect on such a crucial milestone. PS. You are now an official member of my blogging community. BAHAHAHAHAH

  7. Liz says:

    Well, you don’t look 45 🙂 I’d say you look about 35! And I agree with your attitude.

  8. melissa says:

    I just turned 35 and I can relate to this! Around us, mom are much older- usually around 30-42, so I can relate to a lot of the moms. You sound like midlife is great for you and it should be@

  9. Jenna Wood says:

    I know what you mean about other parts of the country, mothers being younger- I plan on having children in my mid-thirties too- it just makes sense to me. I hope I can be as grounded as you in my mid forties!

  10. I am 61. The best can be yet to come. It’s mainly in attitude (with a dash of not having health problems)- you are so right about a lot of it being in the mind. I’m still amazed by the 88 year old gymnast and the 95 year old yoga instructor I blogged about earlier this year, though!

  11. Hi Jenn! You have S-O-O-O much to look forward to……I’m making it my mission this year to start turning the trend of feeling apprehensive or negative about aging and making it a good and positive thing. My 40s were absolutely awesome my 50s so far are spectacular. Just as you say in your post…there are things you have noticed….in case you don’t mind the link…here are 10 more to keep you looking forward…

  12. You are living a wonderful part of your life.

    I helped celebrated a friend’s 80th birthday this last week by playing 18 holes of golf. The question we asked each other was ‘How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?’ It is and always been up to the individual.

    Let me tell you the difference between those that grow older successfully and those that don’t happens in the 6 inches between their ears and not at the gym.

    Congratulations on being 45, beautiful and above all positive about life.


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