The New Year is here again, and while most folks will simply think of it as “2016,” I’ll think of it as “the Year I Turn 50.”
The panic began to set in when I turned 49. As much as I would like to pretend that I’m still the same me I was in my 30s, realistically, I can’t. After all, I can no longer turn myself into a pretzel during the stretches in Pilates class, and I’m going to need quite the plastic surgery budget to hide the effects of the loss of collagen and the pull of gravity. The comment from well-meaning well wishers doesn’t help, either. You know, the “But you look great… for your age!” one. What does that mean, exactly? What is a woman my age supposed to look like? Are they saying that at 50, I should suddenly look like death warmed over?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could start this new year believing we look good, regardless if our age is 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 or even more? Two of my fellow demi-centenarians and I have decided we’re going to do just that. We’re donning our “50 is Fabulous” t-shirts and heading to the beach where we might even bare bikini-clad 50-year-old bodies and dance on some tables to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of our births. After all, one of the advantages to getting older is that other people’s opinion of our bodies or appearances is fading faster than our firm chin lines. And even though it’s quite a bit saggier than it used to be, we’re much more comfortable in our own skin.
I wish I could figure out how to stay comfortable with growing older gracefully once the celebration has subsided and the tequila has worn off, though. After all, I do realize that “America’s Next Top Model” is probably not going to be calling and I’m just going to have to move on over for the younger, faster runners on the track at the YMCA. But who says 50 has to be the beginning of a long slide into physical deterioration and social insignificance? Even with the graying hair, popping knees, and expanding waist line (and, let’s face it, that part does suck) there is a bright side to turning 50.
There’s actually a lot to be said for growing older, and I am going to try to focus on the positive. Here are some reasons why 50 rocks:
“A seasoned woman is spicy,” says best-selling author Gail Sheehy. “She has been marinated in life experience.” Even though my marinade was mostly cabernet, I do love the fact that at 50 I have been bathed with wisdom, the ability to laugh at myself, humility, and grace. I wouldn’t go back to my 20s at this point for all the age-defying cream in Dillard’s. Maybe the acceptance that five decades of learning and growing is a good thing and the self-assurance that comes with that is what 50 is supposed to look like. And perhaps, that’s what aging gracefully is all about.
We always want to know about our LKN community! These are recurring features; see how many LKN people you could recommend.
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We celebrate the guys, too! Email us and tell us why your husband is fantastic. We feature these great guys in our February issue, but the sooner we know about him, the better!
These days, the definition of family has evolved. Throughout the year, and particularly in September, we like to share family stories. So, whatever yours looks like–if it works, shout it out! Of course, if you know another successful LKN family, who just happens to be slightly left–or right–of center, we want to know about them, also!
Work teams of mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, granddaughter, aunts, all relations!
We ask school and community leaders for recommendations, but if you know an outstanding LKN girl, age 10-18, to nominate for our June issue, please do. Girls are selected by a committee, based on the details of the nomination (so be thorough! We need a little more than “excellent grades,” please.). Include her parental contact information, if possible.
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We love to tell the survivor and success stories of women who’ve triumphed over domestic violence, breast cancer (any cancers), rape, and other injuries and situations. Tell us with whom we should talk; tell us whose voice should be the one to convince other LKN Women they are survivors, too!
This one is a little more involved, but don’t shy away. Each December we have a Woman of Will Awards Luncheon. If you know a woman who qualifies (in your opinion is just fine!), please nominate her today. You do need to formally nominate her. If you’re not ready to complete the application, go ahead and send us an email and let us know. We can nag you to complete your nomination by the due date.
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