Will You Become Invisible After 50?
"Ageing is not "lost youth" but a new stage of opportunity and strength." Betty Friedan The Feminine Mystique.
Di Westaway | Wild Women On Top CEO
“Darling, you become invisible in your fifties,” my mum told me a few years ago.
“No mum … I refuse” I said.
Now I love my mum dearly, but I knew I was NOT ready to become invisible. It’s true, wolf whistles on the street are rare (well perhaps extinct) now that I’m 54 but there’s a lot more excitement to be had. In fact, right now I can pretty much do whatever I like … unless my kids are watching.
Sometimes I wake up giggling and wonder if my life is really as fantastic as it seems. Buddha says “we are what we think”. I think I’ve unleashed myself.
By staying healthy we can keep pushing boundaries and enjoying magic moments for years to come.
My journey has taught me we can create our own reality, and that the secret to positive aging is positive living.
Ghandi says; “Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever”. I try to remember this daily.
I’ve done my share of crying. Known the heartache of ending my 25-year marriage. I’ve wondered if I would ever find true happiness again; hated myself for being obsessed with food; spent days sobbing in the foetal position over lost love.
When I was at my lowest, agonising over the best way to protect my children from the emotional turmoil of divorce, my sister said “Tough times pass”. So simple, so true and ever so helpful.
My surprise third pregnancy at 41 convinced me that my life was pretty much over. Then I discovered Secret Women’s Business.
With my beautiful baby-in-backpack, I decided to start a micro business: walking with women in nature. My eldest son laughed at me.
Fast-forward 10 years and my youngest son calls me a socialpreneur. My idea of inspiring women to trek 50-100km along the Sydney coast has gone off. With the help of my little team of Act 2 women, nearly 6,000 of them have walked the Wild Women On Top Sydney Coastrek, raising nearly $6 million for The Fred Hollows Foundation. This will restore sight to nearly 250,000 people.
Through this journey I have discovered that exercise is truly a wonder drug.
Research from Nippon Medical School in Tokyo shows a nature walk changes blood flow in the brain to a state of relaxation and increased the number of natural killer cells the body produces to battle infection.
Walking in nature also helps to control depression, improves athletic performance, improves immunity and memory, reduces anxiety, helps battle colds and flu, makes you happy, speeds recovery time after sickness, protects against cancer, keeps you young and its fun!
My life began at 50 when I chose NOT to be invisible.
That’s not to say that I don’t prefer selfies by candle-light and I do have bad hair days. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed.
But I don’t believe in menopause suffering (for me, that is). I’ve managed to exercise and nourish my way out of hot flushes and extreme mood swings. I chose extreme adventures instead. And I do plan to climb Mt Everest when my kids aren’t looking.
I do believe we can Choose Our Attitude. Every day I have a choice: I can choose to be positive or negative, happy or sad, ludicrously enthusiastic or flat. But be warned … now that you know you have a choice, there’s no going back.
Prevention magazine has partnered with leading psychologist Dr Tim Sharp from The Happiness Institute to bring you our very first Positive Ageing event - a two-and-a-half hour seminar on how to live your best life for the rest of your life. Join Wild Women On Top CEO Di Westaway, Dr Tim Sharp (a.k.a Dr Happy!) and Prevention Magazine Editor Jacquie Mooney and you’ll walk away with practical and powerful strategies to live a healthy and happy life. Bookings and more info here!