Welcome to “Middle Age Town,” population us.
Hold the Parade
So you made it. You’re here. You’re a middle-aged woman. Kinda lack luster right? I bet part of you was thinking “a parade would’ve been nice? Or at least some balloons.” And you’re right, some kind of acknowledgement for hitting this milestone would have been nice, but don’t hold your breath because it isn’t coming.
Instead you are now in what the media, market research groups and gross men in positions of power refer to as “the dead zone,” or “invisible.” Apparently at forty women drastically lose their value in our society. Sounds horrible doesn’t it?
But let me let you in on a little secret…they’re wrong…and it’s not horrible at all. In fact…it’s fucking fantastic. And here’s for why.
Not Giving a Shit
The second the outside world stops giving a shit about what we look like, what we’re buying and who we’re sleeping with, we can finally stop trying and that my friend is a sweet, sweet gift. Screw the parades and parties, the gift of truly not giving a shit anymore is where it’s at. And the deeper you get into your forties, the less shits you give. Mark Manson knows what I’m talking about. Okay he encourages us all to give less “fucks,” but same principle. (And for the record mom you can blame him for all my swearing, his book kicked it off for me.)
And not giving a shit equals freedom. Your choices become more and more your own. Your words become more and more your own. Your thoughts become more and more your own. Even the concept of people pleasing starts to become foreign to you. (It can happen Bossy, I promise.)
Wisdom From a Wise Lady
So how did I become so Zen about being a middle-aged woman? I have my mother-in-law to thank for that. At thirty-seven I had a life changing conversation with her that shifted my whole perspective. It came out of nowhere as she watched me struggling with three kids, work, my marriage and life in general. Without judgment or explanation, she gently told me that it gets better and then went on to say that her forties were her absolute favourite time in her life. When I asked her why, she explained that in her forties she finally knew who she was and felt comfortable in her own skin. She was able to let go of a lot of the expectations that get placed on women, her confidence blossomed and she started doing what made her happy. She made it sound amazing.
Paying it Forward
So my gift to you Bossy, beyond going out to eat perogies, drink beer and dance badly to eighties music together, is to tell you what my mother-in-law told me. Your forties will rock. You will love this decade of your life.
And lucky me because I get to spend it with you.
Happy Birthday Bossy!