Words of Wisdom:

"Shabazz" - Nguyen

Woman Turning 50

  • Date Submitted: 02/11/2013 09:03 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.5 
  • Words: 867
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Before turning fifty, it's possible for a woman to look forward and believe the majority of her years still lie ahead. (After all, the average life expectancy for a woman in the US now exceeds 80 years.) But after turning fifty, nearly all of us are closer to death than birth.

That thought can be both sobering and liberating. Sobering because it reminds us there's a finite span in which to accomplish what we want, be it a lengthy bucket list or a few simple wants and desires. Liberating because when we mentally and emotionally grasp that truth, a lot of non-essential concerns drop away and the important things come to the forefront.

For women the world over, turning 50 is a major milestone. in the US, jokes about being "over the hill" put a negative spin on aging. Compare this to the Netherlands, where women who turn 50 have 'seen Sarah' and are honored with a birthday celebration that acknowledges their wisdom and experience.

Turning 50 heralds a decade of transition, many of them involving bodily changes. Menopause ends the childbearing years. Gray hairs supplant natural color, forcing one of three decisions: let nature take its course, cover the gray or try a completely different shade. (Unlike men, women haven't embraced head shaving as midlife sexy.) Changes in vision require reading glasses. Gravity takes its toll as our necks sag, stomachs bulge, breasts droop, faces wrinkle, underarms swing like fish bellies. Waists thicken and knees and back ache. Skin loses its elasticity, causing some of us to try and turn the clocks back by means of all sorts of chemical and medical interventions -- moisturizers, ointments to reduce age spots, wrinkle creams, Botox injections, plastic surgery, face and eye lifts.

Exterior factors also push us in new directions. The empty nest that results when children leave for college or work leave may initially seem depressing. But in the long run the freedom can be exhilarating, providing an opportunity to try something...

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