Changing times, changing ages
I had my first corporate job in my early 40s, in an industry awash with 20-somethings just out of college. Surrounded by ripe youth—dewy skin, perky body parts, and eyes made liquid by black pupils dilated to an alarming, and some say, alluring degree—I admit that I felt a little bit…well, dried up.
Whew. I wish I were still so young as 40! But I’m learning to how to move into age. It’s not easy in our youth obsessed culture. We don’t have a clear road map.
But I think times are changing. We boomers who in our youth demanded so much from society are on track to reform and retell the crone mythology. New role models help us transition from maiden to mother to crone.
From fashionistas like Lynn Slater at Accidental Icon (There’s a link to an interview with her at the bottom of this post) who have made it safe for those of us over 50 to wear leopard print pedal pushers, to Leyla Giray Alyanak , who pushes the 60-and-over envelope of journalism, world travel, and feisty-hot chick at Women on the Road, we crones are keeping alive the beauty, promise, and freshness of the spring maiden. We’re thumbing our noses at society’s outmoded expectations and enjoying the heck out of life.
I have to admit, I was amazed when I met (through the internet) Sue Loncaric. Sue started running at 50, an age when most of us start having trouble getting up from the floor. Five years later she ran her first full marathon. She didn’t sit around in her jammies after retirement, but instead chose to reinvent herself and start a new business. She blogs at Sizzling towards 60, not just about aging issues, but about life in general. Just because we’re aging doesn’t mean we focus only on our age!
I’m grateful that Sue agreed to a bloggy interview (a blogaview?). She is a great example of how we can at the same time wear the blush of the maiden and the wrinkles of the crone, and how beautifully they can work together.
Racing through midlife but loving every minute
Do you feel different now than you did when you were a young woman? How is it different?
I am far more self-confident in my 50s than I ever was as a young woman. When I was younger I was plagued by body image issues and the feeling of never being good enough. I think the problem is we don’t feel we are entitled to love ourselves, but as you age, you realize that you are unique.
You have lived life and have the scars to prove it! You know that you are strong, and you acknowledge that you do have a voice and people actually are listening. I have come to terms with ‘being me’ and I have finally come to love the person who is ‘me’. I wish I had learned that much earlier on in life and that would be one piece of advice I would give to young women.
What freedoms has age given you?
I think the biggest freedom age gives us is time. Or as I call it “Me Time”. Time to do exactly what we want to do, when we want to do it without feeling guilty or being tied down by the responsibilities of life. Time to fulfill long-held dreams that you have pushed to the back of your mind.
For most women up until midlife, our lives are defined by being a wife/partner, motherhood and our career. Once we reach the empty nest stage, we are also usually slowing down in our careers and we can finally start to put our needs first. Now we can explore horizons and goals. I started a blog which I never thought I would do. Having time to travel for longer periods and explore the world has been a wonderful freedom for me and my husband.
I think you feel braver to try new things when you are older. Well, that is my case. I discovered running at 50 and ran my first marathon at 55, something I never thought I would be capable of.
How have you learned to grow old? Who taught or is teaching you? Have you had role models?
I don’t know if I learned to grow old necessarily, because in my mind I still feel young! I have had two special women in my life who have shown me that making each day count and taking opportunities to enjoy life is most important as we age.
I also am always inspired by much older people who are still achieving. They have a purpose in their lives and I think that is important. You should never give up on life. We should keep learning and experiencing new things as long as possible.
You’re moving into winter where you live, right? So, if seasons are a metaphor, how do you keep spring in your heart when your age is moving into winter?
I regularly turn to my ‘inner child’ and have FUN. Spending time with my grandson has taught me to appreciate the simple joys that life can bring.
I’m convinced that being healthy and happy is the secret to enjoying the ‘winter of your life’ with ‘spring in your heart’. It is all about attitude and having the right mindset. I call it Positive Aging (a term I heard last year and it really captured how I wanted to age).
We all have choices, we can give up and feel that life is almost over or we can make the most of each day and appreciate life! If we aren’t happy with life we need to make changes to ensure that the ‘winter of life’ is as exciting and uplifting as ‘spring’. We only have one shot!
Since taking early retirement, Sue Loncaric found she needed more in her life and Sizzling Towards Sixty was born. She shares her journey through midlife to encourage others to join with her in her quest to live a fit, active and fun life. Sue loves connecting with people and helping them realize their full potential to be the best they can be.
Her e-book ‘From Couchpotato to Fabulously Fit in Less Time than you Think’ has evolved into a Facebook Group #couchpotatotofabfit and encourages others to Get Healthier Together. Plans for online self-development courses are on the way.
Read more about Sue at http://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au/about-me/ or join her on Facebook at
Links to other blogs mentioned in this article
Interview with Lyn Slater:
Women on the Road: