by Dayna Mason

There is something magical about being in “The Women Over 50 Club.” Here are some of my thoughts on both the beauty and the reality of living over a half-century of life.

Women over 50 from a to z

A – Authenticity. We finally understand that being ourselves is the only way to truly find happiness. When we are authentic, we effortlessly give those around us permission to do the same.

B – Beauty. We now understand the significance of beauty coming from within and shining out to those around us. It’s not just a platitude. We understand that the most physically attractive person can appear unattractive when they are being inauthentic. Likewise, anyone who is being truly themselves can radiate a beauty that has nothing to do with physical appearance.

C – Confidence. We now know we are badass women, so we are no longer paralyzed by what others might think about us. We finally understand that pleasing other people doesn’t help them or us. And we’ve learned that the only way we can be helpful anyway is by taking care of ourselves first.

D – Deconstruction. We are now in the phase of life of letting go of all those things that we developed in the first half of life that are no longer needed. Whether it’s a closet full of clothes we may wear “someday” or an automatic response to specific situations that are left over from childhood, we say, no more. Simplicity and freedom have become our mottos.

E – Exercise. Not optional. Exercise is no longer something we do to “get in shape” but something we do to slow our hormonally induced physical and emotional decline. We recognize that we feel better and can consistently fit into our clothes when we keep moving.

F – Faith. Whether it’s faith in God, faith in ourselves, or faith in humanity, we no longer feel the need to—or want to—control everything. We finally understand that life plays out exactly the way it needs to, and we never had control anyway.

G – Girlfriends. Where are they? I mean the real ones? We no longer care to make “small talk” with our 500 casual Facebook friends. We want real, sit with you in your distress, friendship. Belly laugh friendship.

H – Hot flashes. What the hell? And yes, it’s literally hell. Do they ever go away? We are seriously sick of the whole “coat on-coat off” routine.

I – Intuition. We now trust that little voice inside of us to guide our lives instead of being driven by those around us telling us what we should or shouldn’t do.

J – Joking. Often the “joke’s on us.” We now see the humor in life all around us. We no longer take ourselves so seriously and are able to look back on our previous beliefs and see the silliness of our perspectives. We look at our past with the same compassion we would offer a child who stumbles around learning to walk—both giggling inside at the clumsiness of it all, while also adoring the attempt to grow beyond where they are now.

K – Karma. We understand that what we put out into the world is what we will get back. We acknowledge the law of cause and effect and we work on being the change we want to see in the world. We have experienced our power (both good and bad) and know that positive life change for ourselves and others starts with our choices. Because we are the only ones we can control.

L – Laughter. Laughter is medicinal. We know that finding something to laugh about every day is vital to our wellbeing. And we provide ourselves with plenty of material to laugh at. No longer trying to hide behind our foibles, we not only embrace our mistakes, we tell great stories about our ridiculousness.

M – Men. If we hated them before, we no longer hate them. We realize that they can provide lovely companionship and that we don’t need them to “complete” us.

N – No. Means no. And we are no longer afraid of saying it.

O – Obligation. We no longer do things out of a false sense of obligation. We do things because we want to.

P – Perfect. Doesn’t exist. We finally give up the belief in perfection. The need for everything, including ourselves to be “perfect.” We now know that perfect isn’t always positive and everything is already perfect exactly the way it is.

Q – Quick. We are quick to love and quick to let go of that which isn’t good for us. We give love easily. But we aren’t willing to do things or stay in situations that are detrimental to us.

R – Risk. Because we’ve had experiences that have taken us to the edge of our fear and beyond, we are less afraid and more willing to take risks to accomplish our heart’s desires.

S – Sexy. We are sexier than ever. Not because we have rockin hard bodies (although some of us do-nice job!), but because for the first time in our lives we’re finally comfortable in our skin.

T – Things. Don’t matter. What matters is relationships with ourselves and with others. Obtaining stuff is no longer a priority. We are much more interested in having experiences than accumulating things.

U – Understand. We understand that circumstances aren’t always what they seem to be. That sometimes situations that appear unfortunate lead to the best places in life. We finally know the limitations of “judging a book by its cover” because we’ve been there and experienced the error of that perception.

V – Vitality. We appreciate life now more than ever.  We’ve suffered some losses and we are aware of our own mortality. Because of this, we are exuberant about our existence and recognize how important it is to live a purposeful life.

W – Wisdom. By now, we’ve been through some stuff. We realize that the things we know for certain are fewer with each passing year. Some of us may have even come to the conclusion that nothing is certain. With over a half century of life experience comes an understanding and perspective that can guide our lives and those around us in the most meaningful way. We now focus on the heart of what’s important instead of the way things look on the surface.

X – eXamine. We are willing to take a close look at our lives and make any changes necessary to take care of ourselves. Even if it means someone will be unhappy with us.

Y – Yes. We have become selective. Our yes is no longer automatic. We contemplate and only say yes when we truly mean it.

And lastly …

Z – Zealous. Knowing we are on the downhill slide of the life mountain, we are no longer willing to waste the time we have left in joyless activities. Instead, we passionately invest our time in things that truly matter to us.

 

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