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#512874 04/15/09 03:20 AM
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I just turned 40, and I don't put a huge stock in numbers or birthdays. I am always just me, living another day and doing my best. But I'm always curious when people talk about midlife. If I assume I'm going to live to be 100 (I dream big) then counting in thirds I began my "middle of my life" at age 33, going to age 66. That means I'm solidly in my midlife. I never thought of myself as being in my midlife smile

What does midlife mean to you guys? When does it begin? When does it end?


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This is a good one. I am 41 tomorrow. That's mid life, I guess. (although I too plan to be a centurion).

But i don't feel that old. I think of myself as still pretty young, still figuring things out.

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Happy Birthday Jilly!!

I agree, it is very odd to me that I am in "midlife". To me that word always goes with "crisis" but I feel rather content. I suppose if you look at life as being a child, being an adult, and being a senior, I am in that "middle part".


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Midlife to me is the time when things seem to start to get a bit easier. We have acquired maybe a little wisdom, a little patience, and aging isn't the big catastrophe that the marketeers would have us believe it to be.

It seems to settle in once we've accepted our mortality and start taking care of ourselves with an eye toward longevity. Now the race goes to the tortoise.<G>


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Maybe that's it, maybe this is the "mature stage" smile


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I'm 48, a grandmother & just starting to think of myself as middle-aged!


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I'm 58 and have grandchildren but still don't think of myself as old. I guess the middle aged thing only recently hit me when i look in the mirror. I feel like I've held together pretty well-lol

I guess you know when you're reaching middle age when these type of remarks from your doctor make you feel good - like "You have really good muscle tone (for someone your age) and "You're really healthy (for someone your age). They never say "for someone your age" but the implication is there.

I keep telling myself I'm only as old as I feel and most days I feel about 40!

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Well, I never really thought about it either, that is until the week I turned 40 (that was nine years ago). I had a doctors appointment that week and also had an appointment to get my yearly eye exam. At the doctors visit, he warned me about all the usual things they do with over the age of 39, colestrol, calium (don't want to get hutch backed) and my blood sugar. Then at the eye doctors he gives me a new prescrition and it's says Bifocals. Yep, Bifocals. That was the day I realized I was middle age. LOL But with fifty fast approaching I really don't worry much about it, as I stay fit, who wouldn't when working on a farm, and I love life, more now than as a 20 year old. I have one daughter who has been married for seven years now and no grandkids yet. So let mid-life come on! I'll dance with it.

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I dreaded my 40th birthday, I was sure that I would suddenly fall into decrepitude the minute I reached it. Big surprise! No change! I felt the same after as I did before. After that the birthdays held no fear for me. As I have said here before I am 75 now, still active, still happily creating, still fit and healthy, still enjoying every day. If this is middle age, I love it; it sure isn't old age yet!

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Claybird, you go girl. My grandmother, and great grandmother were the same way. At 83 my great grandmother was still trying to mow her own yard, but Mom and I would take over and help her whenever we caught her. They taught me a great deal about living life to the fullest.

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Midlife is supposed to be a certain age range, yet I do not see how that can apply to everyone. I do not know when my midlife began or will begin because I do not yet feel "old". I try to avoid labeling anyone, including myself, as to whether I am mid-life, elderly, etc. I am 64 and never think of my "label" for my age - except when I go to a resturaunt and get the "senior discount" laugh. Emotionally and mentally I am still young.

My mother is 84 and still works part-time and loves it. She is very active and alert and refuses to slow down because of her age. If anyone calls her elderly, she gets upset and denies it, with a smile.

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I agree with all of you who have said that your age is just a number- I have never referred to myself as middle-aged but it is when others see you as middle aged- you go oh- huh- I guess I am!!
I am as young as I feel-and I intend to attack my mid-life with comedy-I'm going to laugh my way through it all!

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I imagine it will be for me when I am empty-nested. A big transition period. I'll be 51 then...

Nicki :-)


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OMG Nicki - As I've been reading through all of the posts here, I think that's it - when your kids (in my case, it was just one). I didn't think anything of it. I was a single mom (though her father was very much in the picture). I had a great job and supported her and I and told my ex that I didn't want child support. I've heard all kinds of stuff about how child support is for the child, blah blah blah - but for me, it was a freedom issue. Put the money in the bank for her later, do what you want, but don't send the money to me. I had it going on. I had a boyfriend, who was 13 years younger than me! Ahh, life was good. The week my daughter graduated - I was laid off from my job; my boyfriend boyfriend (we were together for 5 years) broke up with me, announcing to me that he was gay! And then, the worst part, my daughter decided that she no longer wanted to live with me, that she was going to take care of herself. Suddenly I felt like that everything I'd spent the last 18 years doing was all in vain. That was all about 12 years ago. My life has changed DRASTICALLY ! I did some things, that even I, swore I would NEVER do. I learned so much over the past 12 years and have gone through so many experiences, the woman I was in 1998 is barely visible (personality wise). &quot;Middle age&quot; for me, is now. I'm 49 and find that my views and perception of people is less critical. I'm more accepting, and also more at peace with myself. There was a time during those 12 years that I wasn't middle aged, I was OLD. I was ready to die, didn't really see much purpose in life, as I felt that I had nothing more to offer. While we do age and get older, I think that the term, middle age is actually obsolete. Look at women like Madonna, Cher and Tina Turner. All of them are older than me, but I've aged more. It's not about plastic surgery or money - I just point them out because we are all familiar with who they are. I have friends who have hardly aged since high school. And then I have some that look like they're death warmed over. It's all about attitude. I think I'm rejuvenating as the years go on.. :) - that's a good thing!

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Hmmmm, middle age...

I'm 38 - so approaching the 40 mark, what I used to think of as "middle aged" (given that everyone in my family has passed by their 80s)

If I look at it from the empty-nester standpoint, my olddest graduates this year, my youngest in (wow - gotta do math here) 2021 - YIKES! I'll be 50 - so that puts me right in the middle I guess - not a bad way to look at it.

I'm not so much worried about "middle-aged" or "senior citizen" anymore.

I look at my husband's parents (who cannot sit still, especially his Dad). Ever since his Dad's retirement from flying with AirTran he now volunteers at: The Humane Society, the local hospital, and is a CASA worker - and my MIL is right there with him since she is a retired nurse. AND she is a 5 year breast cancer survivor. They also both do Dragon boat racing.

My parents are just entering their 60s, but have many health issues. Hubby's parents however - being so active always seemed the same age if not younger than my parents. But it hit me the other day - FIL is in his late 70s!!! and MIL is will turn 70 this next year. "Senior Citizen" soooooo does not apply to them!


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it's weird to think about me being middle-aged. There is a woman on the Biggest Loser this season who is 49 and everyone is calling her, 'the old grandmother'...I don't really get that. She is only eight years older than i am. But somehow she 'looks' old, moves 'old'...

It might be one of those internal things - how you see yourself.

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Hi all,
I can fully relate. At 42, I neither look nor feel my age. 30 threw me for more of a loop, but I had a good life and celebrated it with typical "Gen-X" sentiments, i.e. "Gen-Xers don't get old; it's too much like work". It helped that I was carded on my B-day.

I still have a great life and take good care of myself (sunscreen, diet, exercise) and when 40 rolled around, I took that sky dive I always wanted. My husband treated me to a day at the spa, my first time.

Facebook has afforded the opportunity to peek at others I went to school with, and there is a dramatic difference between how some have aged.

I always had a good example of "aging". Unfortunately, my mother died of cancer at 47 and she grieved that she would never have the opportunity to grow old. Looking at my dad, he at 82 is in better physical shape and is as resilient as any 30-year-old.

Numerically, "middle age" applies to me; however, I'm not there mentally. A perpetual kid inside, I matured but haven't "aged" in that sense. DH, at 46, is youthful while his peers haven't fared so well.

I know I'll be the same person once getting older becomes more apparent, and I expect that to happen at some point. Until then, and beyond, I will do my best to be who I am, Just Like Dad. And as Mom would have wanted.


Last edited by Lori9; 10/14/09 02:48 PM.

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Lori, sounds like we have a lot in common!

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It's true, we can all observe how different people age. As bystanders, we all can clearly see what most people are doing that keeps them young - I love Jack La Lane. When I was 5, my mother used to exercise with him - he was on tv. I'm talkin' like 1965. I don't know if it was just because I was 5, but my memory of him was that he looked old even then. However, that little ballet lookin' feller - That's another thing, he didn't dress in sweats, he was in a leotard looking outfit with ballet looking slippers. - Remember, I'm giving you the memory of me at 5! - Anyways, as I was saying - while I've grown up, he's merely gotten more years under his belt, but I have little doubt that on the basis of fitness, he's much younger than me. Unlike Lori, I like living dangerously - no sunscreen, sweets until I puke, and if I could find an alternative for getting up to go to the bathroom - I wouldn't exercise at all. Ok, I exaggerate...a little....

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There really is a huge range of when someone dies of old age, so I think there should be an equally wide range for midlife. I know intellectually that I am midlife-ish (resistant to the end!), I'm 48,so no young chick. But - middle aged, that doesn't seem to fit the spirit. The body, yeah - I'm not in the best of shape (I'm working on improving that, though), lots of aches and pains, need reading glasses (just got them, but really needed them for a year or two.) My only child is in college - yet I feel youngish. I feel like my parents are middle-aged, yet they are 76.

OTOH, my fil died at 78... And it really was old age for him - his body had worn out, he was tired of fighting, it was his time. But although when I was a kid, it would have seemed old, it now seems so - young!

Perhaps midlife is something you can only recognize once you are past it.

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Originally Posted By: Jilly
it's weird to think about me being middle-aged. There is a woman on the Biggest Loser this season who is 49 and everyone is calling her, 'the old grandmother'...I don't really get that. She is only eight years older than i am. But somehow she 'looks' old, moves 'old'...

It might be one of those internal things - how you see yourself.


Jilly, I think you hit it just right. When my mom entered her late 40's early 50's she became really old. She did not look old, but her aches and pains seemed to become paramount to her. She started too started to look and move like an elderly person. I think midlife is said to begin at about 40, I am long past that. When my friends tease that I am getting old, I laugh; the thing is I don't mind being an older woman or just old. But it is my hope to never be elderly. frown

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Ah, it's just labels! I actually don't think of myself as middle-aged still! And, I just turned 49 in November, both my kids are grown & on their own and I have a granddaughter. If there's a checklist for middle-aged, I'm sure I'd pass with flying colors, but to me, I'm just me.

Every time I have to check off a different "age box" on some sort of form, I find it hard to believe. And, I hear the AARP membership offers start coming at 50, so that'll probably pi$$ me off. LOL

So far, my forties were great and Oprah says at 50 that you are who you're meant to be. Finally! :-)

And, throughout history, especially recent history, middle-aged has certainly changed--it's a moving target. It wasn't too long ago that most of us would be quite "old" in our late forties since life expectancy was so low.

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Deb, you are right middle-aged has changed through the years. I have to laugh about your AARP observation, I was annoyed when I my junk mail started to include AARP offers. smile

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I'm 41 and my son is about to graduate from college so I imagine technically that is midlife. It just doesn't feel like that to me.

But I suppose if you think of the first part of your life as the "child / leaning on others" stage, and the middle part as the "full adult / doing" stage, that I'm definitely in that stage smile


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When the kids are off on their own, that's the Good Life, whatever you want to call it!

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When people are in this stage, do they have a name for it? What would they call this stage they're in?

I think of myself as just being "an adult" - but not a "senior" I suppose. It's not good to define yourself as "not a X" smile

An intriguing question!


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The only definition i have seen is calling us the 'sandwich' generation. In the sense that our kids aren't really out the door financially/emotionally, but our parents are starting to enter the 'needing help' from us phase.

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Technically midlife really starts in the late 30's if you take into consideration that the average life expectancy here in the US is 77.9 years.

life expectancy

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I plan to be a centurion, so i still have some time yet. smile

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The "Sandwich" generation defines us by having kids, which not everyone does. So hopefully there's a term that refers to us based on ourselves, not based on us having children. Is there a term like that?


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Originally Posted By: Jilly
I plan to be a centurion, so i still have some time yet. smile


Lol you want to be a professional officer of the Roman army?

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yes, absolutely. laugh

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