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Generation X Women Are Partying Down - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Watch Dr. Sylvia discuss women over 40 on CBS 11 by clicking here.

The big “4-0” is hitting millions of Generation X women this year who are welcoming their birthdays with gusto. Trips to Vegas, Mexican resorts and a host of other hot spots are party central for women of a certain age.

So, why are all these forty somethings partying down?

Women are coming into their own for the first time in history and I think this is an announcement that they have arrived! These midlife celebrations are the new tribal rites for women. Several decades ago, forty was considered semi retired—your kids were grown and your job was done. For decades we only had power and a voice as long as we were young and fertile and tied to a man. That is simply not true anymore.

Today, our relationships and our appearance no longer define us or restrict us. We now earn our own way and by the time we have reached fortysomething, most of us have “broken up with Barbie” and are more comfortable in our own skins. Our worth in the world now has the value and the longevity of a man’s and these celebrations at midlife are a call to action—stand up and move your body!

Does does this mean that the double standard of men being distinguished at midlife and women being over the hill at the same age is disappearing?

Not only is it disappearing but also now women are sexier at midlife than ever before. We are in better health, better shape and thanks to our self-care we will live longer and in better health than our mothers. We make our own money and we know that money walks if she doesn’t like what she’s hearing. Consider the celebrities we all adore—Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry or Nicole Kidman.

Here are some advantages for women over their forties:

Better Mood, Less Drama: Most women at midlife are better stewards of their moods. Not only are we calmer, we’re better problem solvers and we have more emotional intelligence than ever.

Age of Mastery: We move from a dependence on others to a dependence on our own good judgment. We become more confident in our view of things and we believe in ourselves, many times for the first time.

Smarter, Faster, Wiser: Most people think that intelligence peaks in young adulthood. The new studies reveal, however, that the highest level of intelligence are at midlife.

An interesting aspect of this is that women seem to be taking their female friendships more seriously at this age.

Friendships are a buffer against stress. When we share our deepest feelings, our bodies rebound and our immune systems are rebooted. Women tend to have closer and more intense friendships than men. We also live 10 years longer, possibly because we are such social creatures.

As women we accumulate the best and the most loyal friendships across our lives so that at forty, we usually have some good women around us. It may be one central girlfriend or ten. We tend to define ourselves by our relationships so our friends are essential to our wellbeing.

Here's my last suggestion for midlife women who are missing the spring in their step:

Weave a Female Web: Remember that you are not getting older, you are getting better and a party at forty, fifty, sixty or beyond is a reminder that women never have a shelf life! Most of all stay connected to other women. You will have greater empathy, more energy and a great understanding of others if you stay close to other women.


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