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Women Blossom During Midlife
by Stephanie Marston

It wasn’t long ago that midlife was thought to be the beginning of the end for women. It was thought that we would suddenly mutate into frumpy old women wearing muu muus, false eyelashes, and bad dye jobs. Midlife is misunderstood in our youth worshipping culture.

Many of us never thought we’d reach 40, 40 seemed ancient. The truth is that the forties are a new beginning--a beginning that can lead us to the discovery of who we truly are. I don’t know about you, but have you noticed that we boomer women look and feel pretty darn good? We’re healthier, sexier, and more vital than women our age in previous generations.

Most women I interviewed for my book, “If Not Now, When? Reclaiming Ourselves at Midlife” are happier now than when they were in their twenties or thirties. While they would love to have the body they had then, they wouldn’t trade where they are in their lives for anything. Now’s the time when we come fully into our own.

The truth is women blossom rather than fade at midlife. One of the main tasks or I should say joys of midlife is reclaiming the enthusiastic, self-confident, androgynous girl we left on the shores of adolescence. In my seminars, I often ask women to consider the question “What was your dream before you stopped dreaming?”

Take a moment and think back when you were between the ages of 7 and 11. What did you love to do? Was it acting in a school play? Was it taking ballet or art classes? Did you spend hours experimenting with your junior chemistry set, collecting stamps, or playing baseball? What happened to that passion? Where did it go? We need a healthy dose of passion coursing through our veins in order to remain juicy and vital. Take a moment and consider what it means to have passion in your life?

Obviously, each of us must discover this for ourselves. For one woman, Cynthia it meant taking ballet lessons for the first time at 51 and dancing in the local elementary school performance of the Nutcracker. Jean, 48 discovered she was an avid skier even thought she hadn’t been athletic earlier in her life. Margaret, 55, remembered her love of painting and began watercolor classes. Pam, 40, enrolled in night school at the local college and read the classics. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you take your passion and make it happen. If you’re not living a passionate life, what are you waiting for? As novelist Nikos Kazantzakis wrote, “Leave nothing for death to take, nothing but a few bones.”

Remember the song by the Doors, “Come On Baby Light My Fire?” Well, it’s time to light your own fire. It’s time to listen to yourself with great care in order to discover what’s most relevant now and for your future. It’s time to take your passion and make it happen. After all, If not now, when?

Stephanie Marston is the author of "If Not Now, When? Reclaiming Ourselves at Midlife" (Warner Books 2001). She is one of the most sought-after experts in the country specializing in women and midlife.

I am working on a project, Inspiring Women Over 50. I am looking for women who have done amazing, inspiring things after the age of 50. It has to be something different from what they’ve been doing earlier in their lives. Maybe they changed careers and began a whole new path, took up a new sport, or artistic pursuit, perhaps they took an amazing adventure, started an organization, a new business…I am open to all possibilities. If you know of such a woman or are one yourself please contact me: Stephanie Marston at samarston@earthlink.net. Thanks.

Contact info: 505-989-7596
134 East Santa Fe Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87505

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