Over the past few weeks, it became evident to me that empathy, for many, is earned over time. I know what you’re all thinking: “Duh.” But it’s more than just that realization.

Empathy puts us on a grander plane than those younger than us – emotionally, intellectually and rationally. For women of our certain age, it is our secret weapon to understand and help those around us. What a powerful device to have in our toolbox.

It got me thinking about all the other returns on our age investments –some more superficial than others, but all great reasons to rejoice and celebrate this stage in our lives. Here’s my running list that is just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to add…

1. Waaaay More Confidence.

They say women over 50 feel invisible and their confidence plummets. I bet to differ. Holy mackerel, I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I feel surer of myself and have considerably higher self-esteem than in my younger years. And it bleeds through every aspect of my life.

2. Look Better.

Regardless of some the signs of aging the come with…well…age that we get so hung up on, I think many of us have grown into ourselves. We’ve smoothed out our style and carry ourselves with more confidence (See #1).

3. Truly know who your friends are.

By this age, we’ve seen a lot of friendship sh*t go down. And we don’t want to play the game anymore. By now we know who we can count on, who we sincerely enjoy, and have a positive influence on our lives. And we feel like we give them just the same.

4. Less Colds.

Our immune systems actually have memories and can see a virus coming a mile away, and rally the troops to defend against it. In 50 years, they’ve seen a lot of bugs.

5. Can wear anything and everything.

Think about it. We can wear the entire gamut of styles – everything from a corporate pantsuit to cold shoulder blouses and ripped jeans, and brilliantly modern and edgy outfits or plain old sweats. There are no rules. Not all ages can pull all of these looks off. (Again, see #1)

6. We Can Take it or Leave it.

We’ve acquired the ability to say, “No.” We don’t feel we have to do everything asked of us and feel totally fine about it. If someone has a point of view we don’t agree with or says or does something intended to provoke us, we no longer take the bait. It’s so much easier to shrug it off. What a liberating and freeing feeling. (And, once again, see #1)

“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”

― David McCullough Jr.


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