7 Things No One Tells You About Your Fifties

Midlife isn't a downward spiral to the grave, it's a time of freedom and awakening.

The only thing more talked about on women’s blogs than children is The Change. Somewhere around your fifties, you stop having your period and start having things that they call Symptoms. These are physical and psychological changes that seem to have the power to wreck lives and signal the start of a downward spiral into the grave.

Peri Menopause, Menopause and Post Menopause all sound like painful lingering conditions that must be endured. All one can hope for is a speedy transition through one of women’s roughest patches.

Although The Change is not usually easy for anyone, and the Symptoms can be quite debilitating, there is far too much emphasis on the bad and not enough on the good. Instead of dreading turning fifty, you should look forward to it. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks (like having to look up the opposite of ‘benefits’ in the thesaurus because you can’t think of the word).

1. No periods

After years of menstrual cramps and avoiding white clothes, you no longer have a period. This means you aren’t surprised by a visit from Aunt Flo on your annual holiday or forced to give up sex one week out of every month (unless you like period sex, which incidentally I do, but that’s a whole ‘nother post).

And without a period, you don’t have to buy all the stuff that goes with it – tampons, sanitary towels, new underwear, new sheets … As these items are ridiculously overpriced, you’ll have more money to spend on champagne.

2. You can eat what you like

The time for dieting is over. Even if you were committed to losing those last five kilos, by your 50s they’re probably not going to budge. It’s time to embrace that little bit of extra padding and relax around food. If you can have lemon meringue pie any time you want now, I’m guessing you’ll hardly eat it at all. Perhaps now is the time to experiment with mindful eating — the results might surprise you.

3. You can stop dying your hair

By the time you reach your fifties, you should have a decent amount of silver hair in amongst your natural colour. If you stop dying your hair, you will be surprised by how these streaks of grey actually look like highlights. And grey is so hot now that even the youngsters are copying the trend. Think of how much time and money you’ll save not having to get your roots done every two weeks.

4. You can wear what you like

Now is the time to be a bit edgy, or whacky, or alternative. You don’t have to fit into society’s expectations. You’re an older woman now, if people can’t deal with how you look, fuck ’em.

5. You can’t get pregnant

You can stop taking birth control pills and go au-natural. You might be surprised by the improvement in your skin, your hair, your mood and your libido. No more artificial hormones pumped into you like some battery hen. You’re free and clear!*
(*after you haven’t had a period for a year, mind you. I don’t want to be blamed for you getting pregnant at 51. It happens you know.)

6. You can leave your husband

Now that the kids are gone, you don’t have to put up with your husband’s snoring, farting, or worse — telling you you’re worthless, or ignoring you. You can take a lover or you can be single and adopt homeless cats. You can buy leather, a vibrator and kiss girls. You can have it all.

7. You can smile knowing the next 30 or 40 or 50 years are going to be the best yet

You don’t need to be miserable about getting older, and moan about your creaking joints and lack of sleep, when there are so many positives. Finally, that woman who has been caged up inside you can be let out. You don’t have to be on your best behaviour so someone will marry you, or give you the right job, or approve of you at the school drop off, you can be as wild and inappropriate as you like. The relief that comes from being authentically you is worth enduring all of the Symptoms.

So do me a favour — next time you see an article about the misery of middle-age, leave a comment about how much you are enjoying this new found freedom.

Let’s change the conversation around midlife, menopause and aging. Let’s celebrate the chance to be our true selves in all our glory.

What are you enjoying most about getting older?

Midlife isn't a downward spiral to the grave, it's a time of freedom and awakening.

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

26 thoughts on “7 Things No One Tells You About Your Fifties

  1. I’m looking forward to a day when I can afford to travel more, work less. Hopefully that will be in my 50s. Guess I need to start saving. Not having to buy tampons will help…a little.

  2. I agree with most of those 7, but I’m still enjoying an active, physically fit life. Though I do miss having a life partner, I’m definitely enjoying being on my own more and more.

  3. Being old enough to look forward with empowered intention, as a woman creating the life I will live and love, rather than feeling as though my choices are at the whim of others (parents, men, children, teachers, bosses), something I accepted and allowed … until now.

  4. Loved this. So many times I’ve read the down sides, you delivered a punch packed belly load of honesty & I love it. Au natural, gray hair, freedom… Thank you for the honest refreshing outlook.

  5. Hi Katie,
    I enjoyed your article. I understand your point. There are more advantages than disadvantage like creaking joints.
    Thank you for visiting my site yesterday. I am glad you enjoyed my Twitter article. Thank you again for the visit.

  6. Menopause is a purifying process. My fifties were about learning how to accept limitations, and letting go of trying to keep up. I don’t wonder if anyone likes me anymore, but rather if I like them! You finally figure out what isn’t working for you, and decide to do things differently. Once Sweat Head and Brain Fog lessened, the clearing allowed me to let go of toxic people, situations, expectations and agendas, and I much prefer the authenticity I’m living with instead. There’s no time left to waste. I say embrace your inner Silver fox; I’m experiencing highlights I’ve never had before, and not just in my hair!

      1. Katie, I always appreciate thought provoking conversations, so if you are experiencing Brain Fog, you’re doing just fine! I’ve been thinking about another by-product of midlife purification, which lately has been my intuition. I used to have brilliant flashes of it, but couldn’t always depend on it to be there. Now, my intuition seems to be more constant, like it’s on a low simmer all the time. Knowing things before they happen can certainly help you prepare for what’s ahead. Maybe it’s more evident, because what’s unnecessary isn’t cluttering our frequencies any longer. I’d much rather have my intuition be on fire, than heating up from the inside out because of a sugar rush. Re: Sweat Head? Dry Shampoo is my new best friend, made so much easier when those locks are their natural color!

  7. I loved turning 50 only 8 yrs ago! My husband is 59 and resides in a nursing home since 2009 . we’ve been together for cover 45 yes. He has Severe M.S. I was diagnosed with as rare disease causing inoperative able cancer only after they remains ved everything they could for me n 04, my son then 20 05 for his surgery, 2005 _ my daughter then 17 _ had her surgery. I’m afraid now of dying I have taken steps to work through all obstacles. Now tired I cut my own hair, paint, and as of 2016 I’m now disabled. Yes, I love being older. I would rather be in my50’s then repeat the struggles I mastered with help from God n my daughter. Now, I don’t go to church tho I pray. I read and I help others when I can. I’m praying as women we pray for the other, I want to live. My daughter,my advocate we laugh, cry, dance n sing when I can.going gray isn’t so bad. Oh yes, I ground a lover n friend two years ago. The first year highlights keep me going. This year I wonder if he can hold on until I get another chance at life God willing.go gray, date safely, nothing is written in stone but joy you embrace. This week I want to try on wedding dresses for the e,perience I missed out on.noi won’t marry, silly I’m married already. Those vows were with a boy who I continue to raise. My children embrace a commitment ceremony, I wear my dress, we exchange our love in a he company of a few who ” get it” and don’t judge. Going gray is simple, I didn’t think of it that way, tho. Up until two days ago I focused on controlling the only thing I can now, my hair. 5% gray, hair refuses to grow n all kinds of life saving procedures s heduled. Gray is the choice, cutting my hair was easy, each time it becomez easier to give up one thing for more time weigh my daughter. Ladies live it up, life is Grand! Pray for everyone ngive thanks for the little moments.keep dreaming. journey46@yahoo.com

  8. I’m going to be 51 in 2 weeks & I have only a couple of grey hairs and still have periods regular as clockwork! I come from a long line of women who didn’t start their menopause until they were 60/61 and my mum & gran said they didn’t suffer from negative symptoms – so I’m looking forward to that- and my mum still dyes her hair and she is 76… I remember my mother in law being quite argumentative during her menopause but she’s now quite laidback. ????

    1. Perhaps, perhaps not. It depends on your hormone levels, your general health and your attitude. Even if you do experience a drop in libido, you can still choose to have great sex.

  9. *I’m 59 1/2 and still have dang periods! My GYN says I’m ruining the average for women.
    *My kids didn’t get the “I want to an Empty Nester” message. (I have 2 adult daughters with special needs so they will always live with us. SO that’s no their fault. Our 26 year old son just went through an unexpected divorce he didn’t want – so he moved back home and has his 3 year old son half the week. He’s distraught over the divorce and helping him through the depression.
    * I like the no more worrying about what I eat one. After all what grandchild want’s to sit on a poky skinny bone grandma lap to be read to?

  10. I started running when I turned Fifty, loss 40+lbs. Let my hair go gray, best decision I every made, love it. I have 4 sons, 3 married, 7 grandchildren. Been an empty nester for 6 years. Love my life, love being old. Old is not a bad word. We should celebrate this time in our lives.

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