Let's be brutally honest! Becoming 50 for a woman is a big thing! Entering a new decade of life is a milestone always worth celebrating. Entering your 50s is even more exciting. Is it all sunshine and rainbows? Of course not! Some women understandably feel anxious about aging, which makes this milestone birthday something not every woman is looking forward to.
What It Means to Turn 50
For a woman, turning 50 means different things around the world. In the U.S, turning 50 is often revered to as being “over the hill” putting a negative spin on aging. Compare this to the Netherlands, where women who turn 50 have “seen Sarah,” meaning that they are old enough and wise enough to have seen the biblical wife of Abraham. Turning 50 in the Netherlands also means you will find a huge oversized grandma doll in your garden and big signs of 50 on your doorstep. So, yes, the whole neighborhood knows so no point in denying your true age.
The Downsides to Turning 50
Let's start with the not so nice parts. Your body is going to change. If you haven't seen them already, you are lucky but you will notice grey hairs popping up everywhere. And it's not just the gray hair. You will notice your hair getting thinner too. While your hair may getting thinner you may also notice hairs are starting to show on places you don't want them!
And what about those eyes. I suddenly find myself getting trouble reading. Especially at night time. My arms are simply not long enough anymore to read a book. I'm trying to put it off but I do think it's time for some reading glasses SOON.
And what's with all these aches that you are feeling in the morning. Surely you can't be the only one. Rest assure you are not! It takes me 2 days now just to recover from my weekend run and don't even get me started on my recovery after a class of bodypump…
With menopause just around the corner, you will probably notice your skin starting to age a lot faster. With the loss of elasticity, wrinkles start to appear and overall your skin starts to be heading south. And not just the skin on your face. All of a sudden I find myself having excess skin on my back. Where did this come from????
Just remember that these changes are natural, so there's no need to feel stressed about them. It's part of the deal girls.
It's not just your body that's going through all these changes. It's your mind as well. Where are those days you were able to do 10 things at the same time? Now I already get nervous if I have 2 appointments on one day! Somebody told me that when you turn 50 it's almost impossible to kick those old bad habits and trying to learn new things takes soooo much time. I just picked up a study to start working at a doctor's office, but it's so much harder now to learn new (Latin) words and I used to be such an easy learner.
With your changing hormone levels, you might also be experiencing feelings of anxiety, feeling down. That feeling of being stressed out especially in the mornings. This all has to do with the decreasing levels of serotine (the happy maker) and the increased levels of cortisone. If you have a general feeling of being unstable don't shy away from a visit to your doctor and have your hormone levels checked. Women are often diagnosed with burnout while they are just experiencing the first signs of menopause.
The Upsides to Turning 50
But it's not all bad! In fact… it only becomes better! Despite the physical changes that come with turning 50, women often become more comfortable in their bodies and less critical of how they look. When I look at a picture of myself in my 30's I can only think; wow you looked so good, but why was I also so insecure? When I look at myself now, with my boobs a few inches lower, my buttocks slowly going south and these little wrinkles appearing around my eyes I can honestly say I love myself much more than I did 20 years ago.
Time for Yourself
When you're in your 50s often you will find that as your obligations to kids and family are lessened, giving you more time to focus on yourself. Many women start eating better and getting into a better physical shape than they have been for years. And with this comes a heightened sense of self-esteem. The first thing I do every week is to plan my run and workout sessions. And If I feel like binge-watching a complete season of The Crown on Netflix then that's exactly what I'm going to do!
Cherish your friends
I find my friendships have really deepened over the years. Why? Because when you are in your 50's you simply don't have time to spend your precious energy on the wrong people. When I was younger I would hold on to those friendships that were simply not doing me any good. Now I find it much easier to be a guardian over my own time and spend it with whom I feel best. I still take girls-only-holidays where we just like to talk about the best sunscreen, have discussions about if we should still wear bikinis or if it's time for a bathing suit, drink too much wine and eat the best food. And just LAUGH!
Seeing 50 as the new 30
Turning 50 is certainly a big thing, but it doesn't have to bring anxiety or stress you out. Remember that your true age is inside you. Instead of worrying about your aging body just have a good laugh and a good glass of wine. Aging is part of life. If you stay alive you simply grow older so cherish that! It's up to you what you find important and on what and with whom you would like to spend your time.
Fifty isn't the end of the world—you are just one day older than yesterday thats all! So instead of focussing on all those have beens start making plans for the future. Your future! And don't forget to smile! After all, 50 is just a number.
Please feel free to share your experiences about getting older, tips and tricks are always welcome! Would love to hear from you!
With love & light,