Well folks, I recently turned the big 5-0 and am glad to be on the other side of teetering on the edge between two decades. I feel like I am finally on terra firma and it feels really good.
Being a Highly Sensitive Person, transitions are hard for me. The ups and downs of perimenopause over the past six years have been a doozy and I’m ready to say goodbye to menstruation and fluctuating hormones. But what I’m most looking forward to now is being solidly in my “Fierce Fifties”.
I can’t remember where I heard this term, but I loved it immediately and even found a shirt with the word FIERCE emblazoned across the chest! In the photo above, I am modelling said shirt attempting to look fierce. The only problem with the design is that when I put my arms by my sides, the F and the E disappear into my armpits. You’d think they’d have thought of this serious design flaw before they printed them but I’m just happy to have the shirt.
Gail Sheehy, author of the classic text on this transition, Menopause: The Silent Passage, called the decade I have recently embarked upon both The Flaming Fifties and The Feisty Fifties.
I recently devoured Sex and the Seasoned Woman which she wrote in 2006 which I highly recommend for any of you who believe that’s its all downhill after you hit fifty. I found it uplifting, hopeful, and inspirational. Here’s a snippet from that book:
Older is bolder, and today’s women in their fifties are more feisty than fearful. They don’t necessarily want a man or a role to define them anymore. They are defining themselves.
Our narcissistic need to believe we are still young is challenged by men on the street to whom we become invisible. That is the signal to intensify our other attractions: wit and wisdom, energy and enthusiasm, unexploited skills and talents, and the capacity to enliven others’ dreams, provided we develop one of our own. As women in their fifties develop greater mastery over their emotions and their environment, they expand their control and gain deepened confidence, power, and inner harmony. (p.22)
What Fifty Looks Like to Me
- Feeling more confident and becoming more assertive at expressing my feelings, wants and needs
- Caring a whole lot less about what other people think of me and marching to the beat of my own drum regardless of how others interpret that
- Being very honest with myself and others about everything- being more authentic
- Establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries in all of my relationships and believing that I deserve them
- Accepting my body and making peace with my shape, size and signs of aging- letting go of trying to look like I did when I was younger
- Knowing I have a lot of wisdom to pass down to younger generations and acting as a guide and mentor
- Having been in a long-term committed healthy and loving relationship with my dear husband Nathaniel for almost half my life
- Financial security and not having to worry about making ends meet
- Celebrating spending exactly HALF of my life in Ontario and the other half in BC
- Having survived multiple life challenges and coming out the other side amazed and grateful for my resilience and hard work
- The incredible people and beautiful relationships in my life who lift me up and support me and keep me company on this incredible journey
- My calling as a therapist and the fact that I get paid to do what I am most passionate about- supporting and helping others become all that they dream of and are capable of becoming.
For my 50th, my mum posted this on Facebook:
To end, I’d like to share a couple of resources I really like to help and guide younger women: