What is the GSWIM? It’s my Grace & Sass Women in Midlife Facebook Group…and you are NOT gonna want to miss out on the fun! I can think of more, but here are just 5 reasons to jump into the GSWIM!
1. You are 40-60 years old.
There’s no formal diagnostic category for midlife, but Psychology Today defines midlife as occurring between ages of 40 and 60. That’s exactly what I was gonna say, y’all! So see…I’ve already established myself as pretty knowledgeable. *giggle* If that’s reason enough for you…just sign up now to receive my bi-monthly newsletters via email, and follow Grace & Sass on whatever social media platform you prefer, and we’ll call it done. 😉 But if you need more reasons to follow this blog, keep reading.
2. You are experiencing – or approaching – a major life event such as a “zero” birthday or an empty nest.
These are the top 2 reasons for entering a “midlife transition.” (That sounds so much better than “midlife crisis,” doesn’t it?) The average woman “experiences” midlife transition for 2-5 years. But take heart, gf! Men typically wander through their midlife transition anywhere from 3-10 years. Yet another reason to celebrate being a woman, right? 😉
How do you know if you’re actually in the throes of a “midlife transition”? “They” say:
- You are discontent or bored with your life.
- You are restless, and want to do something completely different…or you just feel the need to make changes while you “still have time.”
- You are confused about who you are, and where your life is going.
- You are more irritable….or sad. Or both.
- You find yourself acting on food/alcohol/drug/other compulsions.
- You have an increased – or maybe a diminished – sexual desire.
- You are tempted to – or have engaged in – sexual affairs, especially with a much younger partner.
- Your ambition level is through the roof….or, it’s non-existent.
I know….the “experts” can’t seem to make up their minds what we can expect in our midlife transition, huh? *rolls eyes* That just confirms for me that WE are the best expert on us…and we are our best sounding board. We don’t need to walk this journey alone, Sister! I created Grace & Sass to be an active community of women who want to support one another, or who need to be reminded they are not alone in this season. And sometimes, we just need a place to vent, cry, and question, don’t we? Well, this is the place!
3. Your relationships are all over the place.
Men typically gauge their worth by job performance….but women generally feel validated through their relationships: husbands, kids, parents. And at this stage in our lives, it seems like everyone – including us – is going through some sort of change…and very often, we’re the ones who are expected to balance everyone’s process. They need us. They don’t need us. We want to help. We’re kinda over-helping. They’ll listen to our advice. They ignore our advice. What’s a girl to do? *throws hands up in the air*
4) You are nearing – or have hit – (you knew it was coming…..) menopause.
I know. If you haven’t hit it, you probably don’t want to even think about it. Heck, perimenopause can last 4-8 years. Yee-haw. (And that includes the first year after menopause…your final, haven’t-had-one-for-12-months-now cycle.)
The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) says natural menopause can occur anywhere between the ages of 40 and 58. (The average age is 51.) The effects of menopause show themselves in many glorious ways:
- Changes in hormone levels…which effects sexuality, bladder control, loss of skin elasticity, blah blah blah.
- Hot flashes &/or night sweats. (Lord, help us!)
- Changes of in our fat distribution. (Think apple shape; not pear.) I don’t know about you, but I gravitate to any article that has the phrase “Lose that belly fat!” in the title. I had a partial hysterectomy 3 years ago, so I’ve been dealing with all these lovely things for some time now. But I’ll tell ya….I consider it a fair trade, considering I no longer have excruciating no-one-should-be-able-to-lose-this-much-blood-and-still-be-expected-to-function kind of cycles every 2-3 weeks. I still find myself thanking God for not having to deal with my period anymore!
5. You’re just looking for a little hope!
It’s not ALL gloom & doom, I promise! Even WebMD doesn’t have a strictly negative view of the midlife transition. They said, “The term ‘midlife crisis’ often doesn’t fit, because while it can be accompanied by serious depression, it can also mark a period of tremendous growth.” [emphasis mine]
So raise your hand if you find midlife to be an exciting time….even amid all the stress and confusion and physical change. *raises own hand*
I think we have a lot to celebrate, don’t you? While there are things I miss….say my strong, lean early-30’s body, my metabolism (where the heck did that go???), and my stamina (girl, I just want a glass of wine and to be in bed by 10pm…but my midlife insomnia has me up til 1a *ughhh*)….there’s also a lot of things I love about midlife: no more running to school events, no more minivan, no more cooking/laundry for 5. Yeah….I’m diggin’ midlife! 🙂
If you relate to any of these 5 things, jump into the GSWIM right now! I think our journey is better – and a little easier – if we don’t have to walk it alone, so I hope we’ll become fast friends, and share lots of laughs, advice, prayers, and handholding here. I just know you’d be a wonderful addition to our growing community!