Twenty Lessons from the back side of forty!

Believe it or not,  although it may seem like I make all this stuff up, and sometimes I do, I often do a lot of reading before writing a blog. I want to know what my fellow middle aged folks are interested in, what you are talking about, what is important to you. So needless to say, if I find it, and it involves us middle aged folks, I’ll read it.

According to what I’ve been reading latey it seems that middled aged ladies are mainly interested in how to look younger, how to dress to look younger, how to syle our hair to look younger and how to diet and exercise in order to, you guessed it, look younger. It seems a majority of us are also trying to either find a man/woman, hang on to a man/woman, trying to get a man/woman to be interested in having sex with us again, or trying to get rid of a man/woman. At least this is what popular blogs and magazines would have us believe. Of course, someone is buying this crap, so there must unfortunately be some truth in it.

I’m sorry to say, no matter what they tell us, we will not, in fact, ever look twenty again. We won’t have our toned abs back, or our stamina, our innocence or the “one” who got away! Nope, no matter how many magic pills we buy, or how much surgery we have, or how much time spent tanning or going to the gym. We will never be young again. Oh we’ll look good mind you, but it will be good for middle age. And you know what, that is okay. Really it is! Middle age brings a richness with it that I wouldn’t trade for anything, not even that concave, stretch mark free stomach I used to have! What’s more important at this point is that I feel good; body, mind and soul!

For those of you who may be new to middle age, or for whom it is just looming around the corner, take heart, there are plenty of us here to guide you through this daunting process. In fact, its not actually as bad as all those other articles might lead you to believe. So since the advice on hair and make up is already covered (and if you’ve ever met me in person, you’ll know that neither of those is my forte), I will share a few lessons I’ve learned along the way and found much more useful, now that I’m on the back side of forty.

  1. Make peace with your body, it has served you well thus far and hopefully you’ve still got lots of years together. If it does all go to hell, this is when that kick ass personality you’ve been working on all these years takes over!
  2. Slow down, stop rushing to the next phase of your life. Stop saying “I’ll be happy when . . .” Enjoy right now!
  3. Take chances, professionally and personally, every time they present themselves!
  4. Stop trying to dress like you are twenty again, or as my mother would say as “mutton dressed as lamb.” Embrace your body as it is now, find a style that works for you, stop wearing what you were wearing in 1982, and above all else be comfortable!
  5. Know your limits. Say no when necessary to bosses, kids, and partners. Learn to balance your priorities and your energy. You can’t be everything to everyone and that is okay!
  6. You are done raising your children, let go. They will succeed or they will fail but it will be their journey. Let them have it. It is out of your control. No really it is!
  7. There is no need to be fake to impress anyone else. Don’t fake your opinions, your beliefs or your personality. In fact, don’t fake anything, ever! Several articles I’ve read recently on female sexuality said that over 50% of women fake orgasms. Listen ladies, especially those in middle age, we are too old and life is too short for that crap! Either find a way to make it happen with him/her or find it elsewhere, or find it on your own, but be honest!
  8. While we are talking about it, be honest in everything, always. Be real. Be you! The honest answer is always, always the best answer in the long run.
  9. Just say yes, if you want it, do it, when else are you going to have the chance.
  10. There are things you must never hesitate to say; “I love you”and “I’m sorry” are two of the most important. Never, ever be afraid to say either. Say both as often as you mean them!
  11. Good foundation garments make all the difference in the world. Do not skimp on these, a good bra and some Spanx are worth every penny you will pay for them!
  12. Bad things are going to happen; it’s not some vendetta the universe has against you. It’s just life.
  13. Good things are going to happen also. You are not too old for amazing surprises to come your way!
  14. Stop feeling guilty, say you are sorry and move on. We all do stupid stuff now and again. It’s okay to let it go.
  15. Get plenty of sleep. There is almost nothing that can’t be made better by a good night’s sleep.
  16. Own it, own your life, own your truth, own your age, own your relationships, own your mistakes, and own your successes!!!!
  17. Stop carrying everyone else’s baggage, put it down and walk away.
  18. Don’t settle for good enough! It is never too late for new goals and new dreams!
  19. Don’t give up, ever, ever, ever! Whatever it is, you’ve survived enough by this point to know that you will make it through this too!
  20. And last but not least – laugh! Laugh as often as possible! Laugh when it’s appropriate, laugh when it’s inappropriate but never, ever stop laughing!



Karen Foley

About Karen Foley

Karen Foley, has successfully been writing her blog for the BDN since May 2011. By successful, she means a few people read it, and she has not been sued, stalked or fired since starting it.