You Just Turned 50 And Now What?

You Just Turned 50 And Now What?

So, you’ve reached that golden age, the age of reckoning, that historical milestone, the age of jubilee, we’re now considered to be middle-aged and the list goes on, and on, blah, blah, blah. Well, I refuse to let society define me. I refuse to be pigeonholed as to how I should think, feel or act.

I am 52 and loving it. I hold no reservations when telling my age. I embrace who I am and I am grateful for having reached this stage in my life with all body parts, mind and spirit in tack. Now, this may sound a little cliché, but you’re truly as young as you feel. I will never let my age define me or buy into the stereotypes, that I should act or behave a certain way. What does that mean anyway, act your age? Who determines how a person should think, talk, or act?.

As children we’re taught certain habits, rules, and regulations, as to what is allowed from what is not allowed and as we grow we begin to experiments, pushing the envelope just a little at a time. Teenage years to mid-twenties for some were smeared with recklessness, selflessness, self-entitlement, carelessness, some young people would be overly conscious as to what their peers would think or say about them.

The mid-twenties to mid-thirties for some marked a time for getting married and raising a family while having high expectations of the so-called perfect life, a great career, beautiful family with the loving and supportive husband, the house, the car and all the material things necessary to fuel this wonderful lifestyle.

The mid-thirties to mid-forties for some, a lot of what we hoped for didn’t pan out the way we expected. So, we had to pull up our big girl panties and dealt with whatever life threw our way, because whether realizing it or not, we were the product of our own thinking and actions. This was a time when we began to reflect on our lives and questioned many things, this was a time filled with a lot of regrets and soul-searching.

The mid-forties and up for many of us this is a time of really embracing the true diamond that within, which is YOU. Seeing a reflection of yourself in the mirror and loving the person looking back, is a beautiful thing. Yeah! there is no denying it, you will notice the little inconsistencies compared to when we were in your 20’s but accepting what is and embracing yourself is an accomplishment within itself.

For many, this is a stage of awakening to the real you and appreciate all life has to offer. My name is Desree Crooks and welcome to my blog. I am the founder of “50 And Up And Loving It”. Please join me on this magnificent journey of life. Each one teaches one. So, let’s do it together…

We are the new Perennials, “HEAR ME ROAR”

The Dating Scene at 50

The Dating Scene at 50

How many of you will agree, that dating in you 50’s and up can sometimes be a little intimating, to say the least? Let’s face it, ladies, we’re not in our 20’s or 30’s anymore and even though some of us would like to think that, our physical appearance sometimes tells another tale. Having experienced, divorce, children or just the everyday trials and tribulations of life, dating still can be exciting.

At this juncture, we tend to see the world through different lenses.  The dating scene can sometimes allow us to feel like a teenager again, heart palpitations when you see him face to face,  talking to him on the phone for hours even though know you have to get up early the next morning for work or just texting him.  

There are even those times when you just have the urge to spill the beans and confide in your  best friend a little bit about this new man in your life, of course, the conversations are different now, but as you describe him and how he makes you feel inside not realizing it, you illuminating this far off smile on your face as you think about him, dating can be lots of  fun.  Just let yourself go and enjoy each moment as it comes.

There are many advantages to dating in this age group.

  1. You’re more mature now and with maturity comes the advantage of not making the same mistakes as when you were younger, having a better idea as to what you’re looking for in a man.
  2. At this stage in the game, gone are the days when we have to worry about our biological time clock ticking or running out of time to have children, most of us anyway have already been there or done that. Being in the dating scene again, helps you to enter into a relationship for the right reasons instead feeling like you’re running a marathon to get to the finish line.
  3. Most of us now have a clearer bird eyes view as to who we are and what we want out of life and are looking for that life special someone to share that dream with.
  4. We’ve figured out what’s important to us, our likes and dislikes. We’re not afraid to say exactly what we want and what we don’t want. We don’t have the time or the patience for childish games, lies or anything else that is not uplifting in the relationships.
  5. Physical appearance and caring about what others may think or say, the types of car and other status symbols takes a back seat and is no longer on the forefront, what’s inside is what matters most.
  6. Romance is far more enjoyable. And no I’m not talking about sex. You can now afford to go to places you may not have been able to before, for whatever the reason.
  7. We have hopefully learned from past relationships and made a mental note as to all the pitfalls to avoid, the do’s and don’ts, of life lessons again, well learned. We are knowing ourselves better and are able to size up other more skillfully, which gives us a better advantage.
  8. Communication is better now. You say what and how you feel, no holding back and being afraid of voicing what needs to be said. You take ownership of what is yours and communicate it honestly and directly.

Whoever said getting older was boring lied it’s only the beginning. 

14 Known Symptoms of Menopause

14 Known Symptoms of Menopause

That dreaded word, at least for some women anyway. I will admit my episode isn’t bad. This is my first year. Well, it hasn’t actually been a completely full 12 months, it’s more like 6 to 7 months, since my last period and I’m loving it. Compared to all the horror stories I’ve heard from other women who went through their personal transition. I guess I can consider myself to be one of the lucky ones.

Not seeing my period has been a liberating experience. I don’t have to worry about planning or counting the days on my calendar every month, working around my body’s schedule. Sometimes my cramps would be so debilitating, to say the least. Wow! this is fantastic, I no longer have to be subjected to that excruciating pain anymore.

When my menstrual cycle stopped, I wasn’t sure what to expect so I started scouring the internet with anything I could find on the topic. In my opinion, there was so much depressing information out there that I stopped reading, knowing you can’t believe everything you read.

One of my biggest concerns though was the loss of or a less desire to want to have sex accompanied by vaginal dryness and for some woman discomfort while making love. After realizing my sister had made her transition smoothly, it only made sense to talk to her first. “Sorry sis, don’t worry I won’t put all your business out there”.

Not only does my sister have an amazing body, she is in extremely great shape and had a very healthy sex life. For her 2 to 3 times a day was not a big deal nor did she have a problem with lubrication. I asked her what was she doing to maintain such a great sex life and she replied, “exercising and keeping your heart rate healthy and strong”. Of course, my sister eats well and maintains from my observation, what seems to be a healthy and stress-free lifestyle whenever possible.

Now while my life is definitely not stress-free. I did change my diet approximately 9 to 10 months ago. I began eating less processed foods, not that I ate much of it, to begin with, I gave up all dairy and started to eat more leafy green vegetables my junk food intake now is next to zero. I know my new diet played a significant role in my transition and I would recommend it to anyone.

List of Menopausal Symptoms

  • Changing or irregular periods
  • Hot flushes
  • Night Sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety, mood swings, irritability, and depression
  • Loss of confidence, feelings of being invisible
  • Changes in libido or sex drive
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Increased PMS
  • Urinary leakage or urgency
  • Aches and pains in muscles and joints

I am not a doctor nor am I a nurse, but in my opinion, all of these symptoms can be reversed with a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, peace of mind, meaning accepting that which we cannot change and embrace that which we can. I definitely know this sometimes is easier said than done, especially when living in a metropolis such as this, but none the less, it’s food for thought.

Approximately 70% of women experience some or all of the symptoms mentioned above. For some woman, the duration of early menopause symptoms can vary and last from a few months to several years.

Post-menopausal symptoms usually take place due to a lack of estrogen and the results could have an impact on the skin, hair, bladder, vagina, and bones. These include:

List of Post Menopausal Symptoms

1. Lack of periods
2. Osteoporosis
3. Vaginal dryness
4. Skin itching, bruising and wrinkling due to lack of collagen
5. Thinning of hair
6. The growth of unwanted hair, probably due to unbalanced testosterone levels
7. Urinary problems: infections, increased frequency, and urgency
8. Prolapsed

Keep in mind these symptoms can be reversed if you can make certain changes with your lifestyle. One of the suggestions my OBGYN made to me was to find how and when my mother experienced her menopause. It is said you can get an idea as to what you will go through based on your mother’s experience. When I asked my mother, she said, “it was very easy and only lasted 5 weeks”. Growing up in my household I do recollect my mother eating very well, I am sure her eating habits helped.

There are a lot of products on the market to help women make a smoother transition. Some better than others. If I were you I definitely would look at a more natural solution as appose to something made in a lab.

I would love to hear about your experience and any advice you may like to share with other women who are experiencing peri-menopause, full-menopause or post-menopause.

Empty Nester

Empty Nester

Join me on my journey.  Well, my only child and daughter just moved out.  It kind of came as a surprise, but never the less a welcomed surprise.  I didn’t realize how peaceful and tranquil living by myself could actually be until the inevitable came to pass and the door closed behind her as she exited the apartment, bags in hand.  Oh, Well!  c’est la vie / its life.

At some point, I would hope that as a single parent I provided her with all the necessary tools in order for her to make it in this so-called real world.  I do realize, she is no longer a child, after all, she is 25 yrs. and at that age, I took the leap of faith and married her father.  But to me, she will always be my daughter, my only child.

I honestly thought I would feel a little down and depressed, but you know what? I don’t.  Yeah! I will admit, it does feel a little different or maybe even awkward at times not hearing the chattering voice as she spoke with her friends on the cell phone, or hearing the reverberating sounds emanating from her room as she watched or listened to her favorite hip-hop,  R & B or neo soul artists on YouTube.

I am happy for my one and only child to have taken this first step and I wish her all the success in the world,  what kind of mother would I be if I wished her anything less? At some point, I had to cut that navel string.  And it actually wasn’t so hard.

In my quiet moments, I do think about when she was that cute, little adorable princess, but those days are so far gone now, but still a beautiful memory I will always cherish in my mind.  It’s time for me to wake up and smell the coffee and have some fun.  I’m on my own.  Now what? Well, I’m still young enough and of sound, body, mind, and soul to hit the dating scene again or have that special someone spend the night and if we choose to walk around the apartment naked, so be it.  Having your space to yourself again can sometimes really have its perks, LOL!.

Times waits for no one. It’s as if  I just woke up one morning and here I am, it feels like it was only yesterday when I was holding my baby girl in my arms and today she starting her own life’s journey outside the nest.

Now it’s time for me to focus on me.  My job is done.  I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.  And I think I did a pretty good job, whichever way it turns out.  It’s time for me to shift the attention to me.  Laughter is medicine for the soul.

Well, I don’t want to gloat, but it feels great, free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I’m free at last. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.  Now is the time to really live.  Ladies we have paid our dues. So, it’s time for me to enjoy….

I would love to hear your experience..

 

To Be Grey or Not To Be Grey, That Is The Question

To Be Grey or Not To Be Grey, That Is The Question

My head is covered with streaks of natural highlighted grey hair cascading past my shoulders. And it doesn’t bother me, in fact, I kinda like it. But from time to time my colleagues at work, will corner me and begin the barrage of questions or give me unsolicited advice (as though it’s some kind of disease that needs to be cut off at the root).

For example, “When do you plan on coloring that hair or what’s taking you so long to color your hair?, while shooting obvious glances in the direction of my head and then piercing stares right back at me, as if to say you know what I’m talking about. “You’d look much younger without the grey or my favorite, “Just because you’re getting older, doesn’t mean the whole world has to know, keep them guessing”.

And every time when placed in this position, I always chuckle to myself, contemplating, ” I’m in no hurry to color my hair when I’m ready I’ll dye it”. The honest truth is, if I can be candid for a moment, I’m just too lazy or just not in the mood, no pun intended, my hair grows very fast, you see. I am one of those women who embrace my grey, every single strand of it.

Grey hair woman power, away…. it always seems to amuses me to hear certain people offer advice as to why I should dye my hair and eradicate all my beautiful salt and pepper or silvery grey hair as if it’s some sort of crime. (To the dungeon I say, throw away the key until she comes to her senses).

It’s incredible to think how many people are afraid of aging. Thank God for those of us who take life one moment at a time and just embrace the aging process gracefully. I highly doubt this is an isolated incident. It’s funny to think, how much a woman is judged based on her physical appearance compared to men in today’s society.

When a woman has salt and pepper hair, most of us are frowned upon while the opposite holds true for men, they are considered distinguished, some are even considered sexy with just the right amount of grey on their head or in their beard. One of the beauties of being 50 plus, is reaching this plateau of coming into yourself and accepting what we cannot change and change what we can, regardless as to what others may say.

For some of us, we are at a stage in our lives where we are comfortable in the body we are in, grey hair and all. For those of you who are not there yet, it’s a freeing experience. In no way am I suggesting not to color your hair, what I am saying is, color your hair if you choose to, but do it for you and not for others, do what makes you feel good and wear it proud. We owe this to ourselves.