"The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy." - Helen Hayes

Now, let me start by saying that since I plan to live to 100 and am only 36, I realize this post may seem premature. At 36, however, I want to share with you something that I now know for sure: something happens to a woman when she becomes part of the 35+ club. For those of you below this age, keep reading as it may just save you some grief in the future. For those of you who are already part of the club – just nod your head knowingly. Let’s try to get through this together with a few laughs! 

Now, I don't mean to be flip about this. I know a midlife crisis can be a pretty serious thing for both men and women. For many years a man with a convertible and a girlfriend half his age was the poster child of the midlife crisis. Know what? It happens to women too! Know what else? It's not always about sex or needing to be 20 again. I think it's a mixture of a bunch of crazy crap that includes modern living, family worries, perimenopause (a lovely little thing that can plague you, off and on, for 10+ years before you actually enter menopause) and a general dissatisfaction with the way things are. I think the older you get the closer you get to finding your voice (or at least the desire to find it). The good news is that now you feel more confident in your ability to question, choose or change. The bad news is you now feel more confident in your ability to question, choose or change. This new way of being may be a bit uncomfortable for you and/or the people in your life. You're learning what the adult you wants. You're also more aware that life will not wait. It's time to get on with it already. Embrace it. Just make sure you don't alienate others on your journey. Share with them. Trust them. You may all come out stronger in the end.
Here's my top 10 list:
  1. Buy a Keurig and go nuts stalking sites that sell K-cups and fancy sugar-free coffee syrups. (This is my Porche. Minimal damage done with this deal and I think I'll still come out ahead since my previous obsession was a daily trip to Starbucks - ouch! $$$)
  2. Go to the gym when crazy-ass hormones attack. You can laugh, cry, get pissed off - no one will care because a) they have their headphones in b) they'll just think you're hard core committedc) they're probably doing the same thing!
  3. Gulp every "magic" vitamin in your path. It may or may not be a placebo effect, but if it makes you feel better who cares? Consider it an investment in yourself (even if it just turns out to be an expensive pee)
  4. Zumba your way to awesome. Hey, if you're feeling off balance anyhow, might as well do it with some pizazz!
  5. Contact people who are doing great things that you want to do. Nothing cures frustration like inspiration. Get inspired and get on with IT!
  6. Start a blog about something you feel passionate about. You just might find some kindred spirits in the process.
  7. Clean your plate. Stop! Put down your bloody fork! Over stuffing yourself will only make things worse. What I'm talking about is physical/emotional/mental clutter not food. Get rid of the distracting crap (I can and probably will dedicate an entire post to this) that clutters your life and your mind.
  8. Get out of your own head for a while and help someone else - works like a charm!
  9. Think naughty thoughts. Get as nasty, dirty, raunchy as you've gotta be. It's your imagination so the only person who can judge you is you! (Way less trouble than a boyfriend who is half your age. Half my age is 18, and although that would be legal in Canada - yuck! 18 is a boy! I also don't think my husband would be too pleased!)
  10. Ask for help. While this suggestion may not be unique, it's one of the hardest things for women to do. We do and do and do until we're ready to burst ending up right smack in the middle of what we're trying to avoid in the first place! Save yourself the stress and speak up before you hit overload.
At the end of the day, take a deep breath and remember to enjoy the ride - bumps and all.
Sincerely sharing the journey,
Image by Ambro
Originally posted on Dames Who D.A.R.E