3 months from writing this and I’ll be celebrating my 60th birthday. I’ll be entering a new exciting decade. I wanted to document it by writing this while I’m still in my 50’s and what it feels like. Am I sad? Not a jot. I was much sadder about being 40 than I ever was being 50 I’ve got to say. The messages in magazines at the time of me turning 40 seemed to be so negative. You’ll know the ones. What not to wear in your 40’s type of articles. Although, they still do the rounds from time to time there has been a positive shift in the narrative. But it’s a tiny shift. Nothing positive has happened on the scale I hoped it would.
When I started this blog in 2017 I really wanted to challenge the stereotypical 50 plus woman.
Five years ago I wrote about –
I was worried that in my 50s I might feel invisible because again that’s the midlife media message, isn’t it?
Not seen , not heard, fading away into obscurity.
Approaching retirement and starting to think about ordering my bunion shields and funeral insurance. Erm no thankyou. I’m sure those of you reading this of a similar age will have seen a fair few of these style ads in your social media feeds.
I was expecting the obscurity of invisibility but it just didn’t happen. If you read my post about what it feels like to be a woman in her 50s I can honestly say I still feel as positive about being 60 as I was being 50 and 55. Or maybe I didn’t allow obscurity and feeling invisible to happen. I actually feel more seen than ever did in other decades. I feel I’ve developed an inner confidence I didn’t think I had in previous decades. As much as I’ve meandered the peaks and troughs of the menopause rollercoaster and boy has it taken its toll on me, I do think I’ve come out the other side of the ageing process more can I say resilient and just as positive? On a good day 😆
I don’t take no for an answer but I’m also learning to say no to things in my younger days I would’ve said yes to or agreed with. Is this some sort of shift that we progress through?
Where did this shift come from and how come the shift is getting so strong now at 59 that I’m calling my 60th the BIG Shift?
I’m also surrounded by kick ass 5o plus women every day. By my friends and the connections I’ve made in the Instagram and blogging community. Together they all blow the lid off the age old misconception of what 50 plus women should look and act like.
Sadly, the only thing that hasn’t matched my shift is the perceptions in marketing. My friends and I still don’t get a look in. The images I see of 50 and 60 year old women just aren’t the image I see looking back at myself as I look in the mirror. They are certainly not how my friends and I look and act.
I remember all the hoo ha about how much older they all looked in the SATC re-boot, And Just Like That. Of course they did! Why the heck would they not have aged? The scrutiny of their ageing was ridiculous and must’ve been so offensive to them. SJP was quoted in the Telegraph at the time as saying regarding the cast’s ageing,
“There’s so much misogynist chatter in response to us that would never. Happen. About. A. Man,”
So there you have my thoughts on how I feel and how I think I’m changing and have changed approaching my 60th birthday. It seems we as midlife women hold all of the power but have none of the power at the same time. What a paradox!!
Sharing some photos of me that have all appeared on my Instagram before. Championing I hope I some small way how women look aged 60 and beyond.
Also, reminding myself from my older post as I approach this milestone birthday of the things I’ve achieved:
So far in my 50s I have:
- Completed a half Iron Man in California for a Channel 5 tv show when I was 50
- Took a job that meant I had to fly regularly .. ON MY OWN when I was 50
- Overcame my life long fear of public speaking when I was 59
- Won a social media and digital marketing award when I was 52
- Set up this blog and won a blog award for Best Newcomer Blog 2017 when I was 54
- Set up a campaign called #ThisNorthernGirlCan in the North East of England where I live to champion gender balance and promote male and female role models when I was 55
- Encouraging 50 plus women to tag their photos on Instagram with #NotPastMyExpiryDate when I was 58
- Created a digital magazine and set up a web agency with my eldest son when I was 54 almost 55
- Set up a social enterprise when I was 59 – Shout Louder CIC
What will my 60’s hold for me? What will I be able to add to my achievements list? I am excited about the possibilities the next decade might have in store for me.
It starts with conquering my fear of heights by hot air ballooning in Marrakesh in March 😬 Watch this space for the details!
Until next time,
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