1. Women over 50 don't care what they look like.
Women like us drag ourselves to the gym, where we get to compete with 20-somethings for parking spaces and treadmills. We take Yoga and Pilates, go on diets, run marathons, go on diets, dye our hair, go on diets, get contact lenses, go on diets. We care. A lot.
2. Women over 50 don't like sex.
This is a touchy subject, no pun intended. The answer is, just let a healthy, willing, attractive male show up in our vicinity and we will be ready. Or, even if just the "willing" category shows up, we will be ready. And, if that male is one we are married to, so much the better. He already knows what we look like naked.
3. Women over 50 find menopause terrible and debilitating.
YES! Menopause is TERRIBLE and DEBILITATING. It ruins our lives. It is the worst thing (aside from diet ice cream) that has ever been invented in the history of the universe. Now that we have acknowledged that, can we please move on? Menopause exists and we'll have it for awhile. And then we'll get over it. That's the deal.
4. Women over 50 can't keep up with the times.
Interesting, since women over fifty are the fastest growing group on Facebook. We have and use smart phones, GPSs, and iPads. We have almost outgrown email, aside from an annoying tendency to forward helpful and or scary info to everyone on our mailing list, without checking it out first on Snopes. And let's face it: Without us, the Apple Genius Bar would go out of business. We may have grown up in the Stone Age, but we have somehow managed to survive into the computer age.
5. Women over 50 miss their mommyhood days and only want to be with their grandchildren.
We love and adore our children. We love and adore our grandchildren. That's the only acceptable answer, isn't it, since this will be in print? We love them the most when they don't ask us to baby sit too much. But seriously, we can love them and still want a life. That's the bottom line.
6. Women over 50 fear change.
That's really funny, since virtually everything about us is changing. Body parts are moving to different locations or vacating entirely. Hair is now appearing in places it never was and disappearing from places it used to be. We could go on and on. So, we say we don't fear change. We are, and have been, the movers and shakers of our lives. Go to any art class and see who is involved in creative pursuit. Go to yoga or meditation classes to see the same. Look at the women starting new careers, or the ones running for office. Check out writing classes, art appreciation classes, cooking classes. Look at who is doing work in developing countries, starting foundations, traveling the world, raising money for causes, marching for causes. Change? Bring it on. We are well-practiced, and good at it.
7. Women over 50 are counting the days until retirement.
Maybe. No matter how much we love our careers, we are chomping at the bit to have the time to travel, to explore, to start new businesses, to enroll in college, to volunteer, to write books, to inspire our daughters' and granddaughters' generations with the unlimited possibility we have. We can't wait to retire so we can see what's next. If there is a rocking chair in our future, it's one we found at a flea market that needs refinishing and repainting. We'll do that, then post a photo of it on Pinterest. We'll put it on our front porch, but we won't spend much time rocking on it.
Research shows the midlife crisis is largely fiction. People in their 20s and 30s are more likely to experience the kind of "crisis" associated with middle age. Only an estimated 10% of middle-aged people have the classic midlife crisis.
Researchers have found no evidence of the so-called empty nest syndrome. Many parents relish and enjoy the transition, taking pride in the fact that all their child-rearing efforts have paid off, and their offspring are on the road to accomplishing their goals.
Men don't abandon their middle-aged partners for younger trophy wives as the stereotype suggests. Most marriages break up in the first eight years. The recent rise in divorce among the middle-aged is because second unions are breaking up (usually within the first eight years of marriage).
Hot flashes aside, nearly 62% of women in one survey said they felt "only relief" when their periods stopped, while fewer than 2% said they felt "only regret."
Despite the latest hype about testosterone supplements, low sex drive, depression and sagging energy levels were more likely to be caused by stress, poor eating habits and laziness in midlife than lower hormone levels. Meanwhile, many researchers think that warnings about female sexual dysfunction in middle age are highly exaggerated. What may account for women's flagging sexual life is that they are less likely to have a regular partner than men.
It turns out age really is about attitude: Research has found that believing that you can improve your health in middle age actually improves it. A sense of control in midlife can dramatically reduce disability and preserve one's health and independence later in life.
The truth is just the opposite: Many people view midlife as their happiest period. Several surveys have found that while happiness dips in the 40s, people start to feel more content with life after the age of 50.
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