Ladies: What changes between your 40s and 50s?

I’m in my early 40s reminiscing about my 20s & 30s. I know I am maturing in ways I don’t even realize. I feel I am moving from one world into another.

Women in your 50s, if you are up to sharing, what do you see differently in yourself in your 50s that you didn’t in your 40s?

I still feel like a kid at heart, inside trying to make peace with my adolescence and early 20s. I can’t help but to feel I am on the cusp of a new threshold moving into middle age. It’s weird and scary and all part of the process, I know. I do not have a mother to help me with this, so please bear with me.

If you can relate, what would you tell your 40s self now that you have gained new insights into your 50s? I don’t see the “future of possibilities” like I used to. I see pattern and probabilities, and both scare the shit out of me. Can’t I change, or am I on the path I’ve chosen/am most genetically connected to?

Why is growing older with grace not often cited on the things we want to do the most? I look at the women a decade ahead of me at work ~ some strike me as really being in a cool place in themselves. Is that what’s on the horizon?

In my mid-fifties, I still feel like a goofy kid at heart. I’m still learning new things all the time.

I look at photos of myself at 40 and I still looked young, but now I look my age. Everything seems to catch up with you in your 50s. The journey through menopause is rough, on a lot of levels.

One good thing about this age is that I am much more accepting of myself emotionally, mentally, and physically than before. You have to work at it, but you can get to a point where you say to people and the world: fuck it, take me or leave me, I’m going to be enjoying myself and living on my own terms for as long as I can.

I don’t have a mother either, and I finally realized I have to be my own loving mother. I wish I’d understood that sooner.

In their fifties, a lot of women stop feeling a need to please others. This is freeing.

You get better at accepting the things and people that don’t change.

One thing that changes is that nobody looks at you anymore. I’m 47. I was never drop-dead gorgeous, but up until just a few years ago, men would look at me while I was out in public- not lecherously or anything, just glances, quick acknowledgements that I was present. Now- nothing. I feel like a ghost. I feel like I could waltz naked through the grocery store and nobody would notice. It’s weird.

Are you now invisible to women, too? Or did they never look in the first place?

Not the time for funny remarks. For many woman going through the change in life is a miserable time, for some it can be devastating and seriously effect their marriages, it is a time for partners and children to be very understanding to take a great deal of flack and seriously learn to duck. Do not tell her to snap out of it she cant, your woman hormones and her chemical make up are all over the place it takes as long as it takes. Eventually your loved one will return to you, but it takes time and understanding.
My experience, my mother who had a really tough time at the same time as I was going through puberty I think at one time we were both howling at the moon, how my father survived I will never know. Thankfully when my wife went through the change our daughters had been through puberty, one of our babies had a baby of her own making us proud grand parents
Gentlemen your loved one needs love, time, understanding and forgivness

Mostly to men, occasionally to young women. I’m getting snarling “excuse me” down to an art.

Take it from me, you don’t need to worry about the 40’s. Try to enjoy life.

Well said!

My only addition would be - take very good care of yourself physically as well; effecting positive physical change gets so much more difficult after menopause.

I’ll be following this thread, as I’m interested in hearing what others think. I’m quickly approaching my 50s (I’ll be 49 in a few weeks). Already been through that whole menopause thing years ago, and although I’ve been told I don’t “look almost 50”, I do feel very invisible at times–just like Alice the Goon mentioned. It is weird.

It took two things happening for me to become invisible, a breast reduction at 38 (from E down to B), followed by menopause. I welcomed the anonymity with open arms.

As a man I think your 40’s is when one usually hits their stride in terms of relationships and career. 50’s is when you start to slow down a bit.

Is that the same for women?

From at least one man’s perspective, women in their forties moving into their fifties become much more interesting and attractive.

Menopause is as disturbing and disrupting as puberty - hair growing in strange places, body changes, mood swings, etc. That said, it’s not equally bad for all women.

Your body starts needing more maintenance - getting good food, rest, and exercise becomes even more important (and if you have menopause insomnia or night sweats getting enough rest can become a challenge). Your skin and hair will dry out (if they haven’t already) and that will also require more attention, not to look young so much as to avoid having your fingertips split open due to winter cold and wet.

You aren’t as noticed by men in a casual context, but I’ve found my relationship with men in general has changed. I am better able to direct them when needed and/or deal with their quirks. Younger women co-workers are amazed at how much more seriously the young men take me than they do the young women.

I am becoming more and more aware that I really do have twice (or more!) the life experience of some of my co-workers.

Stuff doesn’t bother me as much as it used to.

I don’t have the stamina I used to, but in many ways I’m better organized so I still get a lot done. I also have a better grasp of priorities.

I like your perspective. I think that my guy would agree with you, but I’ll let him chime in if he decides to. I just turned 52.

One thing that I have noticed is that I have to work extra hard at staying in shape and keeping my weight at a healthy level.

I turned 40 this year and over the last few years I have already experienced a few things mentioned in this thread. Men don’t look at me anymore- and part of me is hugely grateful because I am very introverted and always wanted to feel more invisible. However now that I am, I have to admit my ego still sometimes pouts when I notice the lack of acknowledgment of my presence. I still feel like a kid, around 25 in many ways. I’m married, but I don’t have children, so perhaps I would feel “more mature” if I had become a mother. I am in more control of my emotions than I was in my 20s- I would say that maturation began happening in my mid-thirties. I often wonder what is in store for me as well, so thanks OP for opening this thread. I do have a mother, but we have lived thousands of miles apart for over a decade now, and our personalities are somewhat different, so it’s hard for me to determine what traits she has that I might have as well, or have as I continue to age.

My 40s were the best time of my life. I had a fully-realized career, my kids were growing up pretty much the way I’d hoped they would, I was confident, fit, and happy. I was never a pretty woman, but it was in my 40s that I would see men turn around to look at me. It was both novel and a little frightening.

Although I was starting to notice various aches and twinges in my body, I hadn’t developed full-blown RA yet. I had wrinkles showing up, but mostly the ‘smile’ kind, so they didn’t bug me yet.

It was in my 50s that everything came crashing down around me - the RA, menopause, the deeper wrinkles, it was as though some old woman had taken control of my body. I’d go back to my 40s in a New York minute!

The best thing about the 40s was mental, more than physical. Suddenly I realized that, after spending my entire time trying to impress and please the people who could help me in my career, suddenly I was ‘set’ and everyone else was trying to impress and please me. I admit to soaking it up, it was a great feeling. And as a result, you find that you can start to relax a bit mentally - at least super driven types like I was/am. It’s nice to be the king of the hill in your career. Make sure you take time to savor it. Because before you know it, you’ll be 50 and they’ll be plotting your early retirement.

At 51, I get looked at by men more now than I did even a few years ago. Granted, they’re often 60 or older, but hey, I don’t mind.

I’ve also acquired the taste for opera in the last few years. :confused:

I’m a few weeks away from 62. When I was 45, I got my first pair of trifocals, and my eyes have gotten steadily worse. I write myself more notes because my memory isn’t what it used to be. I can manage maybe 2 good hours of yard work before I need a significant break - no more all day in the garden for me. I have more aches and pains.

BUT, I’m still pretty healthy overall. Due to a hysterectomy when I was 35, I’m long past hot flashes and that nonsense. I just started a new job a few months ago - retirement was just too boring - and I learned a new CAD program. I can still drive. I don’t sweat the small stuff. And I’m looking forward to retiring again and having fun with my husband.

I’ve mainly adopted the point of view that if I can’t do anything about it, I just don’t sweat it. I’m going to get older, but I don’t have to turn into a decrepit old woman in the process. I can’t do all the stuff I did when I was younger, but I can still do lots, and I can still learn, so I’ll keep on keepin’ on!

I never saw possibilities but yeah, now it’s just the certainty of things eventually wrapping up and ending. I just try to act as if I am happy and hope people think well of me.

I had been told many times that it’s almost like puberty in reverse. There’s a lot of truth to that, except at this time in my life, I also have life experiences and various means of support to deal with those things.

I, too do not have the physical energy that I had just a few years ago.

I had terrible hot flashes for some months. During that time, I would stop having the hot flashes and then I would have a period, but then the hot flashes diminished in strength and frequency, and I’ve probably had one period in the past year. :cool:

It’s also become much easier to socialize with other women my age, although at my age, associating with people My Age isn’t as important as it was years ago. I never had kids, and now that people in my age group are seeing their kids grow up and move out, they have more free time and we have a lot more in common.