Many women over 50 have gratefully passed both the turkey baster and the potato masher on to a new generation. And, unless you’re a diehard cook and find your calling in the kitchen, you know how great that can feel. But as we contemplate the holiday of giving thanks, there is much more that comes to mind.
Age gifts us with countless reasons to feel grateful. I’ve started a list and invite you to add any of your own. If you enjoy good health, the love of family and friends, and a warm place to sleep at night, consider yourself fortunate. Here are three additional reasons why I feel lucky to be a woman past 50:
The gift of perspective: What a great relief it is to no longer sweat the small stuff like I did when I was younger. When I encounter disappointment, roadblocks to what I want to achieve, or what I perceive to be personal deficits in others… and in myself, I’m far more likely to take these frustrations in stride.
I can look back, identify the many times I’ve dealt with similar situations over the years, and realize that things usually come out okay in the end. I can take a more distanced, less reactive view, and recognize there are lessons to be learned. The gift of perspective is one that only a number of years on the planet can provide—and this particular reward of having lived a full life is meaningful beyond measure.
The gift of releasing the “have-to-dos:” How wonderfully liberating it is to learn to say “no.” This is one of the most difficult lessons women face but one we need to learn if we are to be truly able to celebrate the years past fifty. We have to shift the perception that saying “no” is an act of selfishness. It is not!Rather, it is an act of authenticity.
As Suzanne Braun Levine teaches us in her many books on women over 50, “saying ‘no’ makes saying ‘yes’ all the more authentic.” With these two powerful words, we’ll no longer just go through the motions to please others. We are freed up to commit to our actions with a full and loving heart—without any hidden negativity and resentment. And this makes the gift of our labor truly sweet, indeed!
The gift of personal power: I’ve written of this particular gift many times. Perhaps it’s because personal power is something I’ve struggled with much of my life. What I’ve learned is that personal power, self-image, and self-esteem are not “things” that one has or doesn’t have. They are matters (once again) of perspective.
Perhaps it’s the hormonal shifts of menopause or maybe it’s the accumulation of life-lessons over the years, but I’m choosing to perceive myself as more powerful than ever before. This means I’m no longer as passive-aggressive as I once was and am stating my opinions, desires, and needs more openly… a gift I truly relish.
These are just a few of the blessings I’ve found to be important to me as a woman of a certain age. But it all boils down to one more perspective: having an attitude of gratitude. Giving thanks for the gifts of age will add a special meaning to your holiday… so here’s wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!