I remember when I told my husband that I am not going to be “one of those middle-aged women” who doesn’t take care of herself and starts wearing only things with elastic waistbands. Well, I am just about there. I have put on a chunk of weight and do find anything with an elastic waistband as my preferred attire, even though I do have a few outfits that require buttoning or zipping.
The past couple of years have been rough. I’ve had my challenges with anxiety and depression, and feel like I can’t get out of this stuck spot that I am in. I happened to Google - ‘midlife women resources’ - and wow, Psychology Today has a whole page dedicated to “midlife’ - symptoms, causes and treatments. I found that pretty much all of the symptoms applied to me and of course, I am not doing very well with the treatment suggestions. (By the way, I love studying well-being and also practicing good self-care, but as I mentioned, I am stuck!)
Here are some things that have been on my mind this past year.
I feel like I am getting more and more invisible in our culture due to my age.
I’m mad as hell because I feel like there is so much emphasis on the Baby Boomer and Millennial generations. Well, I am a GenX’er and we’re still here!
I have lost a significant amount of friends and family from older generations, and just in the last year, seven of my friends have a lost a parent. It is hard to see these friends go.
I worry about my aging mom and caring for her.
I think, - OMG, I’m almost 50 and what have I accomplished in my life?
I also think - OMG, I’m almost 50 and statistically, I have less years left to live than I have lived.
I get mad because topics have started showing up in my Facebook feed like “great hairstyles for women over 50” and “you can still have a bikini bod in your 50’s”.
For the first time in my life, I am working for someone who is younger than me. I was absolutely not prepared for that shift in the workplace.
Retirement - OMG, am I going to have enough money to retire?!? (Thankfully I married a CPA and he is all over this stuff. He’s a great financial planner.)
What am I going to do when I retire? Seriously, what am I going to do all day?!?
Let’s be real. At the end of the day, I still think I can go and hang out with college-aged peeps and that they think it would be fun. I, of course, think it would be loads of fun. For me, it seems like “just a few years ago” that I was in college. Nope, 26 years ago I was in college…TWENTY-SIX!
I remember when people older than me would say, “I feel like I’m still xx age”. I get that now; I feel like 38 is my age. In fact, when I think of people and their age, I think in terms of them being “so much older than me”, when they’re actually around my age. (Remember, I think I’m 38.)
I’m am passionate about focusing on the inner self, being real about life’s (and now midlife’s) challenges and successes and taking good care of ourselves. There’s no going backwards, and as I age, I desire to age as gracefully as I can, which means I need to kick in the self-care pronto!
She@Midlife is here to facilitate conversations about the reality of being a middle-aged woman and how life starts to change in unexpected ways. We’re not getting any younger and taking care of ourselves is important at any age. However, I have learned that I now put on weight in different areas than I did previously. So, what I’ve been told from those older than me is true. Things change at midlife.