Cathy Lawdanski is a 50-something wife, mother and grandmother, embracing the challenges and adventures of being on “this side” of 50. Her blog is My Side of 50-Embracing the Midlife Adventure. Cathy shares her life with us, along with inspiration and great tips, from great summer reads to wardrobe to food and drink. We especially love her perspective on girlfriends at midlife, so we’re sharing it with you!
The Gift of Midlife Girlfriends
I’ve spent the last two weekends with some midlife girlfriends. The first group I had known for 40 years. They were my college sorority sisters and we were together for our bi-annual reunion.
The second group, I didn’t know at all, other than through social media and their blogs. They were the women who attended the Bloggers at Mid-Life Conference in Las Vegas.
These events reminded me of why I enjoy my girlfriends, both old and new on this side of 50.
- I’m inspired by their stories. You don’t reach this side of 50 without experiencing some pain, hard knocks & rough times, be it the death of a loved one, divorce, financial problems or getting fired.
- There is a certain transparency that comes at this stage of life. We are past the point of caring so much what others think and don’t mind sharing the joy and pain of our experiences.”
- We have empathy.
- We aren’t so competitive, so it’s a thrill to be able to encourage and root for each other to succeed.
- We’re resilient. Many of us had survived the “worst thing that can happen” (at least the worst thing as we would have defined it in our 20’s) and come out the other side stronger and more determined. It has made us who we are.
- We are less judgmental. Gone is the black and white thinking of our youth. We don’t say “I would never…” very much anymore.
- But the things we DO know, we KNOW – to the core of our being.
- We are diverse – single, married, divorced, widowed, mothers, grandmothers. We differ in our political & religious views, how we dress, whether or not we color our hair. The desire to “fit in” with the crowd often is dwarfed by the desire to just be ourselves.
Being with my women friends is one of the things that makes this side of 50 the best time of life! What do you value in your relationships with YOUR girlfriends?
“We make a choice in how we approach aging.”
– Walker Thornton
“Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
– Betty Friedan