Life In The Fifties Lane
Sometimes, being over fifty isn’t fabulous. It’s frightening.
The changes in my life and body scared me.
My fifties have been radically different than in past decades. Never one to shy away from my age, I embraced every decade, loved them all for the different flavors they brought. My 50s though have been a game changer. During the last decade, I’ve lost friends, my job, my money, my city, my relationship, both my sister and my mother — and some of my mind. I was ‘homeless’ and unwell. Menopause hit me like a truck. It was one. thing. after. another. Stunned by each turn, I couldn’t catch my breath. It didn’t help that when I went on social media, it seemed as if everyone in their 50s looked like a cross between Angela Bassett and Halle Berry. They were traveling to exotic ports, opening businesses and driving convertibles.
That Was NOT my reality. I was trying to hold onto my hair and my mind. My clothing ‘style’ was pants with elastic waistbands, flats or kitten heels, all while managing mood swings. What happened, I asked myself? I used to be cute! On top of all that, not only did I believe that I’d peaked — career wise and every other way — I also felt lonely. It seemed the ‘world’ had shifted. My age group was now either erased from the social conversation, or dying, The deaths of Michael Jackson and Prince were earth-shaking reminders of a childhood lost, and the world was now millennial centric. I’m not mad, millennials are on point! However, my generation is still here, and we too deserve to be seen and heard.
Finally, around 56, I caught my second wind. Realizing there’s a lot of life left, I became fixated on designing it, now just occupying it. Your fifties are a great vantage point. You can see where you’ve been while also seeing there are more years ahead then you’d thought. Hopefully, those decades will be used to accommodate this new self you’re becoming.
I love the term ‘#perennial’ to describe this season. Ageless. Ever-blooming and aspiring for more. According to Gina Pell “Midlife doesn’t have to be a crisis. And you don’t have to be a number anymore. You’re relevant. You’re ever blooming. You’re perennial.”
This decade has been midwife to my rebirth. And labor, of any kind, is work! Now, a newly minted 5.9, I’ve redefined selfish; I’m remembering and reclaiming self. It’s an adventure I’m excited and grateful to be on.
“Life In The Fifties Lane” was, at least for me, a beast! I’m glad I found the humor and the light. Nevertheless, If I see/hear one more person say how FABULOUS it all is, I’ll commit murder. UGH! How have your fifties treated you?
M. Hakikah Shamsideen
The Woman Whisperer. I teach women over45, simple, actionable keys for designing life’s next chapter. Create Your Own Legend. Learn more at my website, and follow me: instagram.com/mhakikah