Before turning fifty, it's possible for a woman to look forward and believe the majority of her years still lie ahead. (After all, the average life expectancy for a woman in the US now exceeds 80 years.) But after turning fifty, nearly all of us are closer to death than birth.
That thought can be both sobering and liberating. Sobering because it reminds us there's a finite span in which to accomplish what we want, be it a lengthy bucket list or a few simple wants and desires. Liberating because when we mentally and emotionally grasp that truth, a lot of non-essential concerns drop away and the important things come to the forefront.
For women the world over, turning 50 is a major ...view middle of the document...
But in the long run the freedom can be exhilarating, providing an opportunity to try something new such as a career change, going back to school, or downsizing and moving to a new location.
Reaching age 50 can precipitate the infamous "midlife crisis," and divorce is often an end result. While experts cite fear as a major factor in men's lives, women are driven by the opportunity to change or improve aspects of their lives they may have been unhappy with over the years. And after years of building a career and achieving financial security, women may find themselves able to weather the economic upheaval of divorce -- something that was not possible in earlier decades.
At age 50, although a woman's physical appearance and attractiveness is still important, it is not the main focus of her life as it might have been in the preceding decades. Women in their 50s often acknowledge being more comfortable in their bodies and less critical of how they look. This self-acceptance, combined with one significant benefit of menopause -- freedom from unintended pregnancy -- often enables women to enjoy sex more in their fifties.
The rise of the cougar -- women who date significantly younger men -- proves that sexual attractiveness does not end once a woman passes a set number of years. Frequently women in their fifties find that as their obligations to children and family are lessened, they're able to focus on themselves; many report eating better and getting into better physical shape than they have been for years. With this comes a heightened sense of self-esteem, a quality that's attractive at any age.