Finding my Feminine Power at Fifty
A personal story of finding my feminine power, establishing new boundaries,
and getting (even more) sweary
“Are you freaking out?” “Yes! I’m totally freaking out!” I was worried about clicking over into my 50s and no longer being considered ‘youthful’ and all that is associated with that: attractiveness, the vitality of mind and body, sensuality, usefulness to society. I feared becoming irrelevant – and worse – invisible. I had no idea that I would find my feminine power at fifty.
Strangely, nothing apocalyptic happened after my birthday
In fact, I felt the strength that had been embryonic during my 40s, crystalize into something more tangible. I found myself caring less about what others felt. I started to wear clothes that expressed how I felt inside, instead of worrying about covering those lumps and bumps.
It started to feel OK to not agree to things that others wanted to do. I went home at 10.30 pm on a Saturday night instead of forcing myself to stay out later with others because they wanted to.
I started to feel less worried about offending others (especially those who were in fact being offensive to me).
I held my ground with less stress. I spoke my truth. Sometimes with a liberal sprinkling of swear words.
That’s right people… I’m a Maga/Matriarch/Autumn Queen and I don’t have to hold back anymore to make you feel better.
Mid-life is a time when many women come into their power
Crone. Spinster. Over time cultural references to older women have taken away our power. These words have come to invoke negative images of malicious or sinister old, wrinkled women. Yet the true meaning of these names is far from this.
A Crone is a wise woman in the winter of her life, able to impart her wisdom to the younger generations.
A Spinster was an independent woman with a trade (spinning wool) who didn’t need to marry in order to survive, at a time when their sisters’ fate was tied to the man they married.
As we move through mid-life, many of the roles and responsibilities of women’s lives fall away, leaving us free to step into a period of personal power and freedom.
Becoming more forthright (and swearier)
Have you seen that social media meme with a quote attributed to Helen Mirren?
“At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words “fuck off” much more frequently”.
Helen, I’m in 100% agreement. Why on earth did I put up with stuff for so long so that others didn’t feel bad? Why did I agree to things that I didn’t want to?
I’ve always had a reluctance to put up with rudeness, fuckwits, and ‘ists’ of any kind (e.g. racists, misogynists). But I’m speaking up more now that I’m no longer afraid of not being “nice”.
No longer swallowing those funky cultural messages women are told
“You’re worth it”. “Charge what you’re worth.”
Seriously! What kind of messed-up message is that? That what I charge in business is linked to my self-worth? Does that mean that the person with the flashier website, 2 years more experience or a different degree, is worth more than me as a person? (And let’s not get started on the gender pay gap).
As a small business owner, whose product is ‘me’, knowing what to charge is fraught with emotion. But business isn’t about self-worth. What if it was solely based on the practicalities of running a sustainable and profitable business? Gasp! Radical thought I know!
(In case you’re wondering, I’ve been doing money coaching with the amazing Lynda James of Valo Financial. She has helped set me on the right path and may be able to help you too).
“You can have it all”.
No. I can’t. I don’t have the energy and I’m OK with that. Life is about balance. It’s not about being “so busy!”, working 60 hours a week, having flat abs in your 50s and heaps of energy. Oh yeah, and then add the perfect relationship on top of that. It’s just not realistic. Life’s about finding a balance and if that means that I don’t work as many hours as I did in my 20s, then that’s fine.
I’m still me, but I’m also sometimes Godzilla thanks to Menopause
I transitioned through menopause ahead of most of my lady tribe, and I’m now exploring the post-estrogen phase of my life. It’s not been an easy ride, as my cat will attest. Sometimes I stomp around the house like Godzilla.
Apparently, estrogen makes us more empathetic. Which is obviously very useful in a child-rearing situation, or in a job like mine that cares for others.
However, it did make me prone to putting others’ needs before mine, and in doing so, betraying myself.
Thankfully, now that my estrogen has left the building, I’m suddenly finding that I’m standing up for myself more. Don’t get me wrong, I still have empathy for my clients, friends, and family. But I am holding my boundaries more firmly.
Making every summer count (despite Covid restrictions)
I read an article where two women realized that they only had x amount of summers left, so they decided to make each one count. Not all of my girlfriends have made it to fifty. I honour their passing by making the most of this chance on earth.
If the average lifespan of a non-Indigenous woman in Australia is 84.6 years (74.6 for our Indigenous sister), how many summers do you have left? What are you going to do with those summers/autumns/winters and springs?
I’m studying a (pretend) PhD in embodied feminine essence
I’m dedicating the next few years of my fifties to studying a (pretend) PhD in embodied self-compassion, feminine essence, sensuality, identity/purpose, and self-acceptance. (Try saying that after a few G&Ts with your Cousin). Here’s my research to date:
- I’ve started dancing 5 Rhythms classes (online).
- I’ve taken up the Cello (sorry neighbours).
- I’ve stopped trying to run my business as if I still had the energy of a 20-year old.
- I’m giving myself proper breaks and supporting my body with movement, nutrition, and sleep.
- I’m prioritizing brunches with friends over my business todo list.
- I’m saying a big YES to workshops and random dance events.
- And my inner Godzilla is stamping out her anger in Flamenco! Olé
Fifty is not to be feared – it is the start of something amazing
So ladies, do not fear turning fifty. It is the gateway to something even more awesome… Really stepping into “You”. And finding your feminine power.