Labels. Our world’s full of them. And they are no more pervasive than when applied to women, particularly as we age and start to become invisible, not only to others but also to ourselves. In fact, I am becoming acutely aware that some of these labels have slipped into my vocabulary.
That’s why I’m beginning to more fully appreciate the move that Prince made years ago when he changed his name to a symbol and became “the artist formerly known as…”Granted, one can argue that it was a publicity move of epic proportions and it sure did garner a lot of attention. But at the same time, it also shifted control. Perhaps he became himself again.
As of today, I am challenging myself to step outside the comfort zone that labels provide and consider if I am not one of the following, who am I?
- a middle-aged woman
- a Cougar
- a woman ‘of a certain age’
- an old maid?
Better yet? Who are you? Have you, like me, allowed yourself to slip into these labels like a comfortable pair of socks?
Our generation of women came of age on the tails of Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisolm, Ann Richards and Bella Abzug, women who not only reinforced the message that we should live within our skins but, that we should do so proudly. And yet, many of us have shed that pride and as I wrote last month, have somehow stopped wearing ourselves, as if we’ve somehow crossed into the wardrobe of no return, where invisibility is safer than rebellion.
I’m certainly not going to start burning my bras or marching in Washington for older women’s rights (see, there I go again). But I am going to make damn sure that as I near my 50th year, I start wearing myself again.
What about you? Who are you wearing?Read More
Sometimes it’s essential to practice what you preach. So I’m going to take my own advice and feed some parts of me that have been crying for attention. What that means is that today, this is the post…that wasn’t.
I promise to be back on Monday.
Love and gratitude to you all.Read More
True confession: I’ve already posted this video previously but I love the song so indulge me won’t you? And while we’re at it, let’s indulge in these two completely divergent headlines:
Middle-aged Americans unhappy about sex vs. We may be broke, but at least we’re having more sex than ever before!
Um, Okay. So..are we or aren’t we?
The first headline belongs to a Washington Post article highlighting results from a recent Associated Press survey of Boomers (45 to 65 year olds). The findings? In summary, “faced with performance problems, menopause blues and an increased mismatch of expectations between the sexes, middle-aged Americans are the unhappiest people of all when it comes to making love.” For example:
- 24% of 45 to 65 year olds express dissatisfaction with their sex lives
- Nearly three in five women and half of men have stopped experimenting and claim to know all they need to about sex
- 48% of men’s expectations are not being met in the bedroom in terms of their partners not desiring sex however, two in five men in this age group have problems with sexual functioning, compared to 19% of women
The second headline belongs to a piece that appears on an Irish website regarding a Durex survey geared towards a slightly younger age group (25 to 34), but like the AP study, also makes comparisons to younger and older groups. Not only does this piece highlight results of the large study that appeared in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggesting that Americans of all ages were having more sex than ever, but also reports that:
- The ‘over-55′ set is having sex at least once weekly
- Almost three-quarters of respondents believe that sex gets better with age
- Women are as eager as their male counterparts to have sex
- A growing number of Irish men and women are broadening their sexual horizons and re-engaging in the Swinger scene
Confused yet? Which of these bubbles needs to be burst?
All three of these reports are surveys, although only one qualifies as a bonefide study (the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior). And this particular survey doesn’t necessarily highlight major issues when it comes to sex and Boomers. Even more ironic is that the AP survey appears to have been done for a website that features an article on sex over age 50 that actually disputes the findings.
Wow! So, shall we talk about sex? I mean, really talk about it. I truly don’t believe that the generation that brought sexual exploration out of the closet is driving it back into the closet and abandoning it altogether. Life changes, physical changes, environment changes, relationship changes…sex changes. Let’s talk about something that matters for a change, like the “why’s,” “how’s” and “what if’s.”
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. No matter what life transition you are in, work it, don’t let it work you. That includes sex.Read More
I love it when I run across vintage advertising. I featured this ad over a year ago and am reprising today, namely because it speaks to the one-size-fits-all mentality of hormone replacement therapy and addressing the symptoms of menopause and aging.
The rub? We may be women but we have unique needs. Do yourselves a favour: take the time to not only explore but also understand your symptoms. Speak to a practitioner you trust before accepting any prescriptions. And the transition? While it certainly isn’t a picnic, it’s also not all about tears.
Just a few musings for a Monday….Read More
There’s a misconception going around that only women who are entering or have entered menopause should read this blog. And it’s not true. So, I thought that I’d use this opportunity to highlight some of the common themes and issues that run through an adult woman’s life, no matter her age:
- Health. Women’s health is so important. And so misunderstood. While some of that misunderstanding can be attributed to an early failure to evaluate drugs in important studies, for example, heart disease, the broader issue is that women are intricately wired beings whose systems are truly integrated and connected. Our physical health is so often influenced by our emotions and environment that it can be difficult to discern cause and effect, and by default, treat appropriately and effectively. However, there are important steps that can be taken to stave off some of the unwanted effects of aging or even some diseases. Just think…exercise and heart health, bone health, mind health; a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight and helping prevent heart disease and diabetes; or, stress reduction, yoga, focused breathing to maintain balance and energy and promote immune health.
- Friendships and Networks. No matter our age, situation, relationship status, creed, religion, or color we rely on our relationships and networks to raise us up and bring us out of the darkness into the light, to fully blossom, thrive and grow, to create, express and love. Just think…strengthening friendships and support networks to maintain emotional and physical health or boosting self esteem to help with career and achievement
My point is that if you are in your late 30s or 40s and premenopausal, there are many things you can do now that will benefit you later. And many of these tips are addressed within the archives of this blog.
So,is Flashfree just for menopausal set?
Nope. Flashfree is for you. And although many posts focus on menopause, there is often a subtext of lessons that can be learned from and followed early rather than later.
Join me on the journey…won’t you?Read More