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Life Begins at 50

Updated on September 11, 2014

Inspiration and Good News for Women Over 50

My empowering mantra for 2011 was that "Life Begins at 50." This statement has been a way of reminding myself that there is still a lot left to do and to accomplish in my life.

2011 was a pivotal one for me, since it was the first year that I was entirely 50. (I turn 50 at the end of the year).

Join me exploring a variety or inspirational quotes, videos, images, songs, books and gift ideas to inspire other women over 50. Pulling this collection together has been a way for me to see many of the positive aspects of being 50.

I now have a 'place' to visit whenever I might need some inspiration where I can read quotes and listen to songs that will help me remember that "Life Begins at 50."

I hope other women will find these resources inspiring and uplifting and consider sharing what that they have found to be helpful.

One article that I found, a 2007 article published in WebMD, the authors looked at Why Women Over 50 love their age. They reported that women over 50 are freer, powerful, self-assured, sexy, wise, have more fun, know what they like, and are just getting started. This is great news for those of us in the over 50 crowd.

Read on to find more inspiration and realize that turning 50 is not a time to mourn, as some might want you to believe. Turning 50 is a time to celebrate!

Image modified from Microsoft Clipart.

Women over 50 are freer, powerful, self-assured, sexy, wise, have more fun, know what they like, and are just getting started.

— Jeanie Lerche Davis, WebMD
Image by Paiviti
Image by Paiviti

Different Traditions on Turning 50 - Finland vs. US

My Mother's roots are in Finland, where turning 50 is much more of a time of celebration. Every time one of my Aunts, Uncles or Cousin's turned 50, she was always sure to send a gift or to call with congratulations.

When I turned 50, one of my cousin's called me from Finland and another one made sure to send a meaningful gift. These cousins also sent a gift to my husband who turned 50 shortly after I did.

I am not sure why turning 50 is such a big deal in Finland, but it may have something to do with the life expectancy.

I know (from the Nutrition class that I teach) at the turn of the century, at least in the United States the average life expectancy was 47 years, so making it to 50 would have been living past one's life expectancy. Now with people routinely living into their 80's, turning 50 isn't such a bit deal.

What I don't get is why turning 50 is often viewed in the U.S. as a time of mourning, with celebrations that people are "Over the Hill." Perhaps it is our obsession with youth that drives people, particularly women, to go into mourning when they turn 50.

For this life milestone, I think I am going to stick with my Finnish heritage and make it a time of celebration, not one of mourning.

Image of Finnish Flag by paiviti

Turning 50 - A Time to Celebrate or Mourn

Your views on turning 50 may depend a lot on which side of 50 you are currently on. When you share your thoughts it would be interesting if include whether you are over 50, under 50 or perhaps just holding at a younger age.


What do you think about turning 50?

Share your thoughts good or bad

Be Inspired by Being 50

Inspiring Quote - Be Daring and Different

Be daring,

Be different,

Be impractical,

Be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and

Imaginative vision against the play-it-safers,

The creatures of the commonplace,

The slaves of the ordinary.

Sir Cecil Beaton

Women Over 50 Making Changes

Take a look at this short list of women, all over 50, who are or have made a difference and caused changes after the age of 50.

Sources: Davis J. 2007. 50 Great Things About Women Over 50. WebMD and 125 Women Who Changed Our World Good Housekeeping.

  1. Oprah Winfrey almost 57 just keeps on inspiring. She has just launched her OWN network in 2011.
  2. Hillary Rodham Clinton at 63 is currently our Secretary of State.
  3. Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 at the age of 69.
  4. Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister of Britain at 54.
  5. Katie Couric became the first female solo anchor of a national evening news show just before turning 50.
  6. Meryl Streep wowed us with her singing, jumping and navigating platform shoes in Mamma Mia at 58.
  7. Martha Stewart is still teaching us about crafts, decorating and living at 69.
  8. Diane Keaton at 57 produced her seventh movie and played the heartthrob of 39-year-old Keanu Reeves in Something's Gotta Give.
  9. Actress Susan Sarandon at 61 is the American prototype for the sexy older woman, a title she claimed in her 40s.
  10. Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female member of the Supreme Court at 51.
  11. Julia Child's The French Chef, which premiered in 1963 when she was 51.
  12. Dr. Ruth Westheimer was in her early 50's when her show Sexually Speaking with "Dr. Ruth" made waves on the television in 1982.

Women Who Changed the World

What amazes me reading through this list of women trail-blazers is that many of them were over 50 when they did their work that did or is changing the world.

100 Things I'm Not Going to Do Now That I'm Over 50

100 Things I'm Not Going to Do Now That I'm Over 50, Updated
100 Things I'm Not Going to Do Now That I'm Over 50, Updated

Author Wendy Reid Crisp takes a witty and humorous look at again, with her list of "things not to do." She helps women make the most of being over 50.

 

Inspiring Quote - Living Life Fully after 50

A seasoned woman is spicy. She has been marinated in life experience. She is at the peak of her influence and power.

She is committed to living fully and passionately in the second half of life, despite failures and false starts.

Gail Sheely, Author

50 Great Things about Women Over 50

WebMD took a look at women over 50 and asked WebMD readers, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Nancy O'Rielly and Dr. Cynthia Barnett to comment on this age group.

They discovered that women over 50 are freer, powerful, self-assured, sexy, wise, have more fun, know what they like, and are just getting started.

Women over 50 are just Getting Started

Andy Roony's Take on Women Over 50

These are some humorous observations from crusty humorist Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes on Women over 50. Most of them are spot on target:

Once you get past a wrinkle or two,

a woman over 50 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

A woman over 50 looks good wearing bright red lipstick.

This is not true of younger women or drag queens.

A woman over 50 will not lay next to you in bed and ask "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 50 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do.

And, it's usually something more interesting.

Women get psychic with age.

You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 50.

They always know.

Source: Davis J. 2007. 50 Great Things About Women Over 50. WebMD.

Step Out of the Shadows

Life Begins at 50

Image from Modified Microsoft Clipart
Image from Modified Microsoft Clipart

Inspiring Quote - Dance with Your Creativity

Your unique and fabulous creative talent is desperately needed. The people around you, indeed the people of the world are counting on you to step up and deliver magnificence.

If you're shirking in the shadows, afraid that someone will judge you or ridicule you or shame you, let me address that fear: someone indeed might judge, ridicule, and/or shame you.

AND I'm quite sure there is someone who may just as loudly encourage you, applaud you, and yes, even celebrate you.

So step out of the shadows this week and dance with your creativity!

Paul Wesselmann

Ripples #607: The Dance of Creativity

Books to Keep Women Over 50 Fit and Fabulous

Being 50 doesn't mean you have to give up being active. These books will help you stay active and fit after 50.

The Light is Within

Image by khattaway
Image by khattaway

Holding the Sun by khattaway

Inspiring Quote - Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

You are Brilliant

A Course in Weight Loss

One of the gifts that I gave myself for Christmas this year, a copy of Marianne Williamson's latest book.

A Course In Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever
A Course In Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever

Marianne Williamson's latest book looks at weight issues. It started as letters written to Oprah.

 
Image by Fangol
Image by Fangol

Music to Empower and Inspire

The videos that I chose to highlight have been done by people much younger than 50, but these are the videos that that speak directly to my heat and make me feel good about myself, ones that make you feel "Beautiful," "Loved" and help you to "Shine."

They are songs about accepting yourself the way you are the weight you are, realizing your greatness your uniqueness, unique gifts and talents.

These are the videos that acknowledge we want to be heard and that we shouldn't give up because we have a spark that needs to shine.

P.S. When I find an empowering one done by someone in their 50's I'll include that as well.

Image Heart Melody (Music of the Heart) adapted from Fangol.

My Favorite Feel Empowered Songs

The collection features the video clips that I have include on this lens - Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," Amber Riley's "Beautiful," Josh Groban's "You are Loved" and Katy Perry's "Fireworks."

You are Beautiful

No Matter What Anyone Says

Christina Aguilera's Beautiful - Video

We are beautiful no matter what they say

Yes, words won't bring us down, oh no

We are beautiful in every single way

Yes, words can't bring us down

Don't you bring me down today

Music video by Christina Aguilera performing Beautiful from 2004.

Josh Groban's You Are Loved - Video

Don't give up

Because you want to be heard

If silence keeps you

I...I will break it for you

Everybody wants to be understood

Well I can hear you

Everybody wants to be loved

Don't give up

Because you are loved

Josh Groban's You Are Loved [Don't Give Up] from 2006.

You are Loved

Glee a.k.a. Amber Riley's Beautiful - Video

I am beautiful no matter what they say

Words can't bring me down

I am beautiful in every single way

Yes, words can't bring me down

So don't you bring me down today

Glee Beautiful from 2010.

Ignite the Night and Be a Firework

Image by Kirsti A. Dyer
Image by Kirsti A. Dyer

Fireworks Over Disneyland 2010 by Kirsti A. Dyer

Katy Perry's Firework - Video

Do you know that there's still a chance for you

'Cause there's a spark in you?

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine

Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby, you're a firework

Come on, show 'em what you're worth

Make 'em go, oh

As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework

Come on, let your colors burst

Make 'em go, oh

You're gonna leave 'em falling down

Official music video for Katy Perry's "Firework" off her album 'Teenage Dream' from 2010.

* You're a Firework *

Katy Perry's Fireworks Dedicated to the Gay Bullying Victims

"I am officially dedicating my new video to #itgetsbetter, because everyone has the spark to be a FIREWORK," she posted on her Twitter.

It Gets Better is a project dedicated to helping gay youth realize that there's hope, no matter what bullying they might face.

Inspiring Quote - Call Upon Woman's Light

A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform. A woman knows that nothing can come to fruition without light.

Let us call upon woman's voice and woman's heart to guide us in this age of planetary transformation.

Diane Mariechild

Daily Inspiration for Becoming Mindful

Open Mind: Women's Daily Inspiration for Becoming Mindful
Open Mind: Women's Daily Inspiration for Becoming Mindful

Author Diane Mariechild's provides readers with daily inspiration to become more mindful. She draws on quotes from prominent women as Alice Walker, Marion Wright Edelman, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Pema Chodron, Charlotte Joko Beck, and Maya Angelou.

 

Inspiring Quote - Look at What You Have

If you look at what you have in life,

You'll always have more.

If you look at what you don't have in life,

You'll never have enough.

Oprah Winfrey

Image by TurtleMom Nancy
Image by TurtleMom Nancy

Inspiring Quote - Stages in a Woman's Life

I discovered this quote/poem/verse on SunnyDaze's lens, "What Are Little Girls Made Of- The Making of Red Hat Ladies" and also found it on the Poetic Expressions website.

The poem appears to be one of those inspiring emails that gets passed around from person to person, so I am having problems finding the original author to credit. If anyone knows let me know, so I can credit the author.


P.S. Be sure to put on your purple hat when you are done reading this.

  • Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen
  • Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella
  • Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an "ugly duckling" ("Mom I can't go to school looking like this today!")
  • Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but decides she's going out anyway.
  • Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but decides she doesn't have time to fix it so she's going out anyway.
  • Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too think, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but says, "At least I am clean", and goes out anyway.
  • Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am what I am" and goes wherever she wants to go.
  • Age 60: she looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.
  • Age 70: She looks at herself and see wisdom, laughter, and ability and goes out and enjoys life.
  • Age 80: Doesn't bother to look, just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world!
  • Moral: Maybe we should all grab that purple hat a little earlier.

Image of Purple Hat by TurtleMom Nancy.

After 50 You Can Join the Red Hat Society

You have to be 50 years old to join the Red Hat Society. Sue Ellen Cooper otherwise known at the Queen Mother describes how the Red Hat Society started:

  • The Red Hat Society began as a result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor and elan. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together.
  • Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next.

At least for me, I'd prefer wearing a purple hat or a red fedora and not being involved in something that has so many rules.

Dream a New Dream

Inspiring Quote - Dream a New Dream

You are never too old to set another goal or

to dream a new dream.

C.S. Lewis

You're Never Too Old Paperweight

You're Never Too Old to Dream A New Dream Pewter Paperweight
You're Never Too Old to Dream A New Dream Pewter Paperweight

The perfect gift for someone turning 50. This paperweight features C.S. Lewis' inspiring quote on dreams and goals, slightly abbreviated, "You're Never Too Old to Dream A New Dream."

 

The Party Continues - Even at 50

Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon

Party Decorations available on Amazon.

Time to Celebrate

After researching and reading through all of the resources that I found for Women on turning 50, I decided for me, that turning 50 is definitely a time of celebration, not of mourning. It is my time to now, go wherever I want to go.

This set of birthday decorations for turning 50 were the 'cheeriest' ones that I could find on Amazon (even if they are black).

At least with these positive decorations, the party continues and it is a "Happy Birthday!" celebration, not an "Over the Hill".

50 Party Decorations available on Amazon

Inspiring Quote - Going for at at 50

At Age 50 a woman looks at herself and sees "I am what I am..."

and goes wherever she wants to go.

Stages in a Woman's Life

Spending My 50th at Disneyland

To celebrate my 50th birthday I decided to spend it in Disneyland. Since the girls enjoy going it wasn't hard to convince them.

I figured it would be a happy way to celebrate the day and a way that the entire family could benefit.

I'd pre-ordered meals for the new World of Color attraction. The adult boxed meals that got were delicious and well worth the price. I found it amazing that they are able to create the many lunches that they need and still maintain the quality. We've always had good luck with food on the California Adventure side of the park.

In some ways the World of Color was more spectacular than I'd imagined and in others less. Overall the show was amazing. I was mesmerized just seeing how they'd combined the different elements.

The one downside is that my birthday falls the week after Christmas, which is getting to be one of the busiest times for Disneyland, so we spent a lot of time figuring out how to get around the crowds.

Overall, in hindsight, it was the place to go and the show to see, a wonderful way to cap off a 50th birthday - on an upbeat, colorful note.

World of Color Ferris wheel by Kirsti A. Dyer

What are you inspired to do after 50?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

© 2011 Kirsti A. Dyer

Comments on Life Begins at 50

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    • SimonJay profile image

      SimonJay 3 years ago

      Positive lens on being 50 i wouldn't want to be 50 but one day i will be 50 and i hope to have lots of positive thoughts when i do reach that age.

    • HealthfulMD profile image
      Author

      Kirsti A. Dyer 4 years ago from Northern California

      @anonymous: Maybe we'll be starting a new trend.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wow!i was amazed when i just read your story about Celebrating your 50th. Birthday at Disneyland...i did the Same thing..and my birthday is also after Chritsmas...loved Every minute of it. <3

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Blessed--I hope you are right

    • HealthfulMD profile image
      Author

      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      @Onemargaret LM: Good luck with completing your degree.

    • Onemargaret LM profile image

      Onemargaret LM 5 years ago

      Go back to school and get my degree.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 5 years ago

      While life may begin at 50 for most women - assuming they have had their kids in their 20s and have now pushed those kids out into the world, please spare a thought for the older mothers - the ones who married late ad had kids late.

      I am 48 years old - yes I have 2 more years until I hit the big 5-0 BUT I actually feel quite young. The reason? because I still have a son at home - and he is only 10 years old. So when I turn 50, he will be 12!!.

      So for me, life wont really begin until I reach 60 because by then my son will be 22 and hopefully have finished college, found a job and be able to leave home.

      So in my avatar photo, my son was 5 months old and I was 38.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens!!

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 5 years ago from Valencia, California

      Great lens and I hear you WaynesWorls

    • WaynesWorld LM profile image

      WaynesWorld LM 5 years ago

      I know they say it is easier for men to age and for the most part I haven't been held up by it, the worst parts are losing my hair having it show back up in my ears and nose, joint pain, not being "made out of steel anymore", healing slower, feeling less attractive.

      The good thing about losing your hair though is not giving two cents for what you look like, not even bothering to turn on the light in the bathroom, just heading out the door.

    • TLRaghavan profile image

      TLRaghavan 5 years ago

      Celebrate life. For some, life begins after retirement. Managing the younger ones in the family!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens!!!! I am over 50 and enjoyed getting inspired and celebrating it here! Thank you!

    • ananimoss2 profile image

      ananimoss2 6 years ago

      I am definitely giving you thumbs up! I LOVED this lens.

    • JanTUB profile image

      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 6 years ago from Australia

      Wow! That's all I can say (over 60 now)

    • serenity4me lm profile image

      serenity4me lm 6 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful lens. It made me stop and think, it made me smile. I love Josh Groban! I liked Andy Roony's take as well. Great Lens!

    • hysongdesigns profile image

      hysongdesigns 6 years ago

      I'm over 50 and single. I love it. Nobody else to worry about clean up after, yada yada, i can do what ever I want and that is great. But around the time I turned 50 I made up my mind to be even better that I was at 25 and every day my life is better and better. Great lens!

    • pimbels lm profile image

      pimbels lm 6 years ago

      Thank you for an inspiring lens. I am turning 50 in September and I am who I am.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      To life! Wishing you a Fabulous 50!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Congratulations on being featured by the SquidTeam's Best of Standout RocketMoms

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      What an enjoyable lens. Lots of quotes to think about.

    • dwnovacek profile image

      dwnovacek 6 years ago

      An incredible, inspirational lens. I am 52 and glad to be so. I look forward to living many many more. Blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 6 years ago from Houston

      Given that the women on both sides of my family hit the 100 mark, 50 is barely half-way there. :) As a group we tend to not slow down until 90.

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Great lens on life begining at fifty,it certainly takes another twist at that stagein ones life!I love the hats must get one!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      You've give us a lot to chew on. I think I have information overload. Loved the pictures and attitude. At my age, every day is one to celebrate.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Fabulous!!! I'm inspired...YES, life DOES begin at 50. Good things take time, and I'm enjoying the wisdom of my age. Your lenses are SO well crafted and uplifting, Doc.

      Angel Blessed!

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 6 years ago

      I loved this lens and will definitely come back before the big 5 - 0!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      Love this. Blessed by a squid angel.

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 6 years ago from Sydney Australia

      I will get there is a few more years and I am loving this time of my life for the confidence that age gives you to be who you want and not who you think you should be. Great lens

    • rlivermore profile image

      rlivermore 6 years ago

      Inspiring lens! I turn 50 next month, so I enjoyed reading about how great it will be. :)

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 6 years ago

      Great lens! I'll let you know in a few years :) Although my 50-something aunts all still act like teenagers!

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      breathe? great lens

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      What a great tribute to the youngsters who are 50. Well done and inspiring. .

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Some days I feel 100 but I'm grateful for every morning that I wake up.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 6 years ago

      50 is pretty awesome.

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 6 years ago

      This is very inspiring. I love this lens!

    • reflectionhaiku profile image

      reflectionhaiku 6 years ago

      Celebrate you and 50! Mine is a bit away but I am excited about it for I've read your lens - Thumbs up for sharing.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens! The 50's have been great so far.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      You make 50 sound like the perfect age.

    • Adriana Daniela profile image

      Adriana 6 years ago from New Market

      Great information on living life to the fullest after 50. I only have a few years before I join the ranks of 50 year olds.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What an inspiring lens! I like the thought of aging, I believe that life keeps getting better and better as the years pass!

    • profile image

      tssfacts 6 years ago

      Great inspiration for those who are close to turning 50 and for those who have already made that milestone.

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 6 years ago

      You've got some great quotes and information on being over 50!

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      Travel. There are so many places I want to visit.

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 6 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      Congratulations Kirsti! Your inspirational lens is definitely an inspiration. 50 is definitely a time for celebration. There's loads of living to do yet with the benefit of experience and wisdom.