50 Is the New 50!

Forget trying to frame the 50s as the new anything. Let's just own it and celebrate it.

by Trenea Smart • More.com Member { View Profile }
Photograph: iStock

"50 is not the new 40.” Let me repeat: ”50 is not the new 40.” One more time: ”50 is NOT the new 40!” 

50 is simply ... the new 50. Living in our 50s is a glorious time so why should we pretend it's something else? For every woman 50 and over, this is our truth. So we should accept it and live it! By the time we hit our 50s, we should be more than ready to accept who we are, what we've accomplished and thrilled to be headed to the next chapter of our lives.

Saying “50 is the new 40” assumes you are trying to compensate for something that is lacking. In a recent survey of 1,500 women over age 50, over half said they are more content, enjoy a better sex life, live more active lives and have a better relationship with their partners than at any other time in life. This doesn’t sound like these women are lacking much!                                                                                                     

My 40s was both an exciting and challenging time of change as I gained clarity in regard to aspects of life that had eluded me in the past. Clarity is a glorious word and an even more wonderful state of being. My happy, well adjusted children were leaving the nest, and I remarried after being a single parent for 11 years (we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary — yippee). In my 40s, I solidified some relationships and terminated others that were unhealthy. I stopped being ambiguous regarding life and relationships. 

I do remember being slightly anxious in my 40s because it was almost like well you only have a few years to "get it" — whatever "it" was. I watched an Oprah show once where she said she didn't get "it" until she was in her 50s. Whoa! If I could figure "it" out before I hit my 50s, I would be ahead, right? As it turned out, I was anxious for naught because everyone figures “it” out in her own due time.

I feel I'm a better person in my 50s. Instead of praying to be Number One in my business, I pray for humility. I don't need to conquer the world. I have an understanding of the imperfections and frailties of people, I am more forgiving, and I’ve learned the secret of contentment. The 50s is a time to savor simple things like coffee in the morning, sunsets, farmers markets, fresh flowers, jazz music. I appreciate my health. I am grateful for each day of life. I understand the importance of taking care of my physical and spiritual needs. I love my husband and take care of our relationship. I'm so very, very comfortable in my skin. God, family, friends, satisfying work — those are my priorities. This is my "it".

When I turned 50, I competed and was rewarded with a franchise of a company owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Company. I also had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Mr. Buffet in person (I have a picture of us on my desk). For me, that was a Game Changer. I don't know that I would have been ready for this epic turn of events in my Forties. At age 50, I was ready for a new beginning, not an ending. I love what I do for a living and this career reinvention has been the best to date! 

One of the most important love affairs in my life began in my late 40s when my first grandchild was born. I now have three grandchildren, and I am a hands-on grandmother who happens to think my grandchildren are the smartest, most loving, and most beautiful children on the planet! We take semi-annual vacations together (my grandchildren all have passports) and the overwhelming love I feel for these children is profound. I am able to experience a lot of “firsts” with my grandchildren. I’m a better Grandma in my Fifties because I have a clear vision of who I am and I firmly understand the importance and essence of family.  Although I had experienced pure unadulterated love before with the birth of my children, the love that I feel for these precious little children is immeasurable.

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