Thoughts on Aging Gracefully

Women are so much alike, aren’t we?

We’re bonded because of what our bodies and hearts have been through. And as we age we’re asking the same questions and worrying about the exact same issues.

Understandably, arriving at 40 is concerning because that’s when our world begins to look different. Many of us see that we aren’t the women we thought we’d be and we don’t have the life we expected to have.

And many women are in a slump. Things they saw on the road ahead, everything they’ve pursued and hoped for – love, adventure, success, appreciation – has either alluded them or doesn’t look nearly as good as it used to. Their disappointments and frustrations are reflected in spontaneous or pre-medicated acts that society labels a “midlife crisis.”

Many women feel that along life’s way, while they were getting their promotion or having children or managing their homes, they set aside something important that they now want to retrieve – their dancing shoes, their novel, their law degree.

From going back to school or buying a motorcycle to starting a new business, moving to another country or learning how to ice-skate or play the guitar, women age 40 and older are making significant changes in their lives. Perhaps the most significant change of all is the creation of an entire movement…. a new time in the history of women.

You see, our midlife is far different than our grandmothers’. And it’s not even our mother’s midlife! Theirs was often born of sadness; a time when 40 year olds were truly “over the hill” seeing less of everything ahead – less opportunity, less fulfillment, less fun, less time, less hope.

Things have changed dramatically. Thanks to better nutrition, medical advancements, higher incomes, better education, and long experience at juggling multiple roles, women today have far different expectations for their lives and they’re making their middle and older years the best time of their lives. Consistent with their history, baby boomer women are creating a new model as they get older.

Why? Because today’s women are profoundly different in their attitudes about aging. Instead of asking, “What if?” they’re asking, “Why not?”

Such questions come naturally to us baby boomers who have been setting trends, extending barriers, and raising the glass ceiling our whole lives. Some women moved out of the secretary’s chair into the CEO’s; out of the station wagon and into a sports car.
And we explained to our husbands that even though their fathers didn’t change diapers, we expected their help. We broke rules and we keep on breaking them.

Researchers from Cornell University report that today women 40 and older are “more likely to talk about age, making the best of it.”

Baby boomer women are typically optimistic, which is one of the reasons we’ve done so well in corporate America. We’re staying healthy longer, joining gyms at twice the rate of our male peers, and we have a renewed desire for education. Baby boomer women’s full-time college enrollment increasing by 31% in the past decade. TIME Magazine, May 16, 2005, pg 56

Additionally, The National Center on Women & Aging at Brandeis University found that women over 50 feel happier about getting older than they thought they would. There is a kind of virtuous cycle created when women feel more confident about their coping skills. “They are better at coming to grips with problems because they believe that they can. And solving problems then feeds back and gives you a sense of mastery of life,” explains sociologist Elaine Wethington.

Baby boomer women are looking around and observing their peers taking risks, developing talents, having more fun, and believing in themselves in ways their mothers never did.

Today’s women are exploring new passions, rekindling old ones, and discovering latent gifts. From attending skill-development classes to taking their lives in whole new directions, women 40 and older are awakening. Many are smack dab in the middle of an exciting, soul-fulfilling metamorphosis, and they’re happier than they’ve ever been in their lives.

Look around ~ women engaged in such a transition are taking the crisis right out of aging. They’re definitely not declining ~ they’re celebrating!

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TESTIMONIALS

 

Ambassador Mohktar Lamani, Former Director of the OIC (working with all Islamic Nations) at the United Nations

“Paula Fellingham has the wonderful ability of empowering people to improve their lives and their relationships. As she strengthens individuals and families, she is strengthening communities and nations by providing solutions that work.”

 

Jill Donnelly, Former President of the World Movement of Mothers, Paris, France

“Paula, you’re doing wonderful things to strengthen families in America. The good work you’re doing is needed now, more than ever before in the history of our world, as we sadly watch the disintegration of the family. It’s happening in every nation on the face of the earth. If only we had more women like you to lead families toward a brighter tomorrow!”

 

Deneen Morgan-Burley, Baltimore, MD

“Paula, I want to take the time to thank you for doing this for WOMEN. We need all of the encouragement, mentoring, and uplifting that we can get. More importantly, however, we need the LOVE. That’s what each of us felt radiate from you. I am grateful that our paths crossed and we are now a part of one another’s lives. I am so happy and thankful to be able to step forward and serve. May we continue to let our light shine as we do all we must to continue to be “Women Helping Women to live Our Best Lives.” God bless you. Keep smiling and making a difference in the lives of other women.” 

 

Val McCloud – Savannah, GA

“The time has come. I’m on a fast track now. Much has manifested since the Global Women’s Summit in Savannah. I’m in the early steps of having my own television show, clothing line and specialty food/water product line. I’ve also recently partnered with Delta to promote and expand their global healthy initiatives. I am their official spokesperson and will participate in their annual {my first} 5K on May 17 in Atlanta.  All things are possible when we believe.”  

 

Linda Pringle Evans, Columbus, Ohio

“Things are going extremely well for me. I am blessed and I thank YOU and the Global Women’s Summit experience for assisting my journey. The connections I made are everlasting. Because of you I have realized my 5 core services and thanks to the Global Women’s Summit, God, and Paula, I have also found myself!”

 

Gail Page, CA

“What a fantastic two days! I learned and re-learned so much. How lucky we were to have you visit our town and share your gifts with us. You and your group changed lives and helped us remember what is good in the world. What a blessing to all of us that you came! Thank you so much.”