Perennial years
Aging and Wisdom,  Inspiration,  My Two Cents,  That's Life,  THOUGHTS,  Wisdom,  Women's empowerment

Aging and Wisdom – The New Perennial Age of Women

Perennial years




How many times have we said we don’t feel or look our age? When did middle-age sneak into our lives? Where did the years go?

I’m sure we’ve all begged the answers to those questions once or twice as we women approach our ‘Perennial’ years.


What comes to mind when women use the terms ‘the new 40 or 50′, even 60 or 70? Here’s a clue:  it encompasses so much more than just looks.


In my opinion, looks have changed since the last generation, without discounting so many other changes that have occurred through the decades to empower women. Women in their 40s and 50s look much younger than those from decades past. I’m not referring to the advent of cosmetic surgery, but when I look back on decades past, I notice some interesting hairdos and fashion statements.  Looking back at the women in my own family and even movie stars with the styles of yesteryear, it’s not hard for me to compare a woman of today in her 40s or 50s appearing younger looking than those before us at the same age. Was it the hairstyles, a more sedentary lifestyle which gave the impression a women in her 30s back when of 30 or 40 years ago looked similar in age to women now in their 40s or 50s?


Back in those days, women didn’t lead lifestyles like they do now, some with powerful jobs, being the bigger bread winner, many working what used to be considered, jobs for only men, or raising a family while carrying a job. “We’ve come a long way baby,” as the old cigarette ad used to say. (Am I giving away my age?)


I have to laugh at the many times me and my sister would bring up the subject of our dreaded childhood weekends we were forced to spend at our paternal grandparents’ house. We’d remark to one another about how even when we were small, our grandmother looked like . . . well, a grandmother. We only envision her old from as far back as we can remember. But lol, I digress.


What made me write this post on women then and now was prompted by a conversation I had on the weekend with one of my sister-in-laws. She shared a topic of discussion that came up between her and her yoga teacher. Her teacher had referred to women in the age group of 40s and 50s as ‘perennials’. Have any of you heard this term used before? I haven’t. But I love it.


I’ve heard of some more unflattering terms such as menopausal, even cougars, but not perennials.


According to the yoga teacher’s preferred term, perennial, it represents this age category because many women are reaching their full potential, ‘in full bloom’ as they enter their 40s and 50s. This age bracket is where many women enter new phases of life such as: the empty nest stage where their kids are finally moving out or getting married, making new lives for themselves or raising families. This is a time where women begin to re-evaluate their accomplishments and desires and come to realize they want to do things that either they may not have thought about doing when they were younger, or were too busy raising their families or building careers, choosing to put their own desires on hold.


I can identify with this wonderful choice of word, perennial, representing a time period of continuation of our evolving. We are still evolving and learning and doing. Every year we bloom with more knowledge from our experiences and eventually, the new bloom leads to desires of the ‘me time’. A time for us to focus on the things we enjoy whether it be travel, new hobbies, furthering our education, or even writing books.


So much can apply to this ‘new age’. The possibilities are endless if we allow ourselves the entitlement to flourish and bloom to complete ourselves for ourselves.


I absolutely adore the term ‘perennial’ and it does sound so much better than ‘the change’. In fact, there may even be a book from me down the road on the subject.


How do you feel about the term ‘perennial’?

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.


  • Stevie Turner

    Perennial sounds wonderful – it makes me think of staying middle-aged forever! Yes, I’m having a bit of ‘me’ time now that I have no dependents. It’s a strange feeling after 59 years, but I’m finally free to go and do whatever I want. I’m even going back to work part-time!

  • Sue Dreamwalker

    Love the term ‘perennial’ Big smiles and can relate.. I think for me when I turned 50 I had never felt better.. And I agree, now a days older people in general are looking younger.. When I was in my teens the hairdressers were giving blue rinses to grey hair lol.. The Permed look was all the rage with the weekly set.. Now a more natural look is favoured ..
    So far I am lucky, no dye as yet.. 🙂
    Loved reading Debby.. and Long may we bloom!!! 🙂

  • marianbeaman

    I like peonies and I love the idea of being a perennial woman, which I think refers as much to spirit as it does to outward appearance. Nevertheless, I will still color my hair. Yes, indeedy!

  • Judith Barrow

    “Perennialy yours” – must put that on husband’s birthday card. Haven’t been so busy in a long time – good thing I don’t feel my age – whatever that was last time I lied!! Thanks Debbie.x

  • Diane Tibert

    Coincidentally, the other day, I googled flowers that took forever to bloom because I was considering my life, realising I truly am a late bloomer. I didn’t start having kids until I was 30, and now I feel I’m on the cusp of living life under my terms. It took me almost 50 years to do this.

    I never liked the phrase ‘mid-life crisis’ though when I was 20, it was thought of as just something funny to say because people going through it were just old. Or at least they appeared old back then. Maybe they were because they had worked their 30 years, had kids and were just existing.

    Now, men might go through mid-life crisis, get a younger woman and a faster car, but women tend to evaluate their lives and start to see their sacrifices, the mis-living of life and get a new perspective on what is really important.

    In this spirit, I instead call this time the midlife awakening. I am 49 and have been coming around to seeing things differently only in the past three years. I don’t feel as old as those who were 49 looked thirty years ago. I also don’t feel as old as others who are currently 49 and who think living is watching the most recent episode of their favourite TV show.

    As a gardener, I understand the philosophy of ‘perennial’ with regard to women this age. Each year we grow wiser and stronger in spirit, and now we are reaching our peak. I think it’s sad that it takes this many years to realise what is important in life.

    On the topic of hairdos: One of my friends in her late 60s told me that soon I’d be cutting my long hair. I asked her why. She said older women shouldn’t have long hair; it looks odd. I chuckled. I love my long hair and won’t be cutting it any time soon.

    • dgkaye

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and sage advice Diane. There’s an old saying: ‘Hindsight is 20/20″ We only reach that point after we’ve lived and learned, although we are always still learning (hopefully). This stage of our life is definitely a time for reflection and realization and acknowledgement for what we choose to do the rest of our lives.
      Lol, I had to laugh about the hair comment. I’ve often heard that about as women age they should cut their long hair. Who on earth made up that rule? LOL Thanks for chiming in. 🙂 x

    • dgkaye

      Interesting Jacqui. I don’t think I’d trade my life to go back, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of everything we’ve learned in hindsight and use it to the best of our abilities. 🙂 x

  • Aquileana

    Perennial stands for “lasting for an indefinitely long time; enduring”, according to the dictionary. And I guess it coudl refer to a sort of inner state, to feel young… But also to look younger once you are over 40 or 50… Nowadays, with all the Aesthetic facilities … and treatments, one could look younger without needing to get into the operating room… hyaluronic acid, collagen, etc… well, there are alternatives… and quite effective, right?… Anyway— I guess women during their 40´s and onwards, can easily look ten years later… just if they keep working out a bit, eating well, and taking care of their bodies….
    Great post, Debbie… Hugs! 😉

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Aq. We’re as young as we feel and as long as we’re well there is no reason for us not to be able to accomplish anything we desire. 🙂 xx

  • Adele Marie

    I love the term. We are still growing and reaching out to learn wisdom and different crafts the list is never ending. I hope we are going back to the way of our ancestors where woman were revered and looked up to as knowledge keepers the older they became the more revered they were. Great post, Debby xxx

  • Marsha

    Hey Deb, I love the term perennial! We feel like we can conquer the world at that age. We are at our best! I started working as a consultant for our County Office of Education when I was 43. The man that hired me woke me up when he told me I was getting older, and I probably wouldn’t get another chance like that. Was he ever wrong! I had many more opportunities after that, and they’re still coming! Long live perennial!!! 🙂

  • D. Wallace Peach

    Nice. I like the idea of continually reblooming. It certainly is an exciting time of life when responsibilities seem to ease and we get to recreate ourselves and explore our interests (almost) as much as we wish. “Perrenial” works for me.


    Love the term Debby, I am a great example of a perennial. Published my first book at the age of 68, started blogging at 70. I have lived for over 70 decades I consider myself a great big beautiful Lilac bush and I smell wonderful. ☺☺☺ xoxo Thanks.

  • Amy

    I love that term. Can’t wait to start using and you articulated so well how I feel about being in my 50s now. Thanks. I needed that post today!

    • dgkaye

      Hi again Amy, lovely to connect with you. I just thought I”d mention I left comments on a few of your posts and followed your blog but my comments seemed to disappear? If you don’t see them, please let me know if you find them in Spam. 🙂

  • Marje @ Kyrosmagica

    It’s good to be a perennial! Lol… In my case I’m definitely a slow developer it’s taken me so long to get here but I’m enjoying every minute. Oh, and lovely to see you’ve shared our #ABRSC here too. We three rainbow perennials rock! Lol… Xxx

  • Natalie Ducey

    Love this, Debby! I never heard the term in reference until now. But it captures this moment in time perfectly and beautifully. Cheers to self-discovery and the continuous, exquisite journey of becoming. 🙂

  • Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Thanks for the help in getting in Debby.. You are right, when I look at photographs of my mother at 55 which is 9 years younger than I am now, she had a silver rinse on her hair with was set every week in the same style, she wore jackets and skirts and pearls.. She always had a great complexion but her style was old. She watched the news and read the headlines but rarely read a book.. she had done her learning. And I think that is also what has made a change, not just in our physical appearance which is younger but because we have access to the world in a completely different way. It is our minds that are younger and I am very happy to be a perennial… cruising until we hit 100… ♥

  • balroop2013

    What a wonderful topic of discussion Deb! Love that word ‘perennial’! I have always felt to be one! I have a friend who always said ‘I am forty till I marry my daughter off’ and we tried our best to stay at that ‘perennial age’…laughing and joking over our resolve! 🙂

    I would often look at my visage in the mirror and tell myself… ‘I look younger than many’ till I became a grandma! Now I tell myself… ‘I am quite a young grandma’ and then I look at the mirror and say… ‘well it’s ok to look a little old since I am a grandma’ but you can see my profile picture (this was clicked just last year) and decide…I could be wrong as I am going to stay ‘perennial’! 🙂 🙂

  • L. T. Garvin, Author

    What a lovely and inspiring post, Debby. This coming at a time when I could use a little uplifting. I like the term perennial, and I had not heard it used before. It does give the idea of reinvention/reblooming. I know what you mean about how our grandmothers looked in their 50s and 60s, and compared to today, it is really unbelievable. I think this would make a lovely book subject, can’t wait to hear more if you decide to head that direction.

  • robbiesinspiration

    A very interesting description and post, Debby. I think one of the big differences between modern woman and woman of the past is the ability to control the number of children we have. Having child after child must have been really exhausting and depleting for women.

    • dgkaye

      Hi Robbie. Interesting thought. I can’t even imagine having so many children then feeding and tending to them. But at least now in modern times, there is new life after the child-rearing years, the ‘me time’, the perennial years. 🙂

  • blondieaka

    What a lovely word to describe us ladies(and gents) it is perfect ..although I have stopped dying my hair as grey is on trend now( apparently)…My grandson messaged me only yesterday to ask my advice on how to dye his hair grey…He didn’t like the idea of waiting…lol ..but it did elicit a comment from him that I had always been a trendy nan..such a sweet My first publication was at the age of 62 and I have had so many firsts since then and am enjoying the ride… 🙂 Perennial I think sums us up very nicely 🙂

  • hilarymb

    Hi Debby – I think perennial refers to 50-60s and perhaps even later … definitely not earlier please – otherwise being a perennial will go for another life time?! As long as I’m positive in outlook and generally interested in life around me – then all is well … cheers and good happy growing older to us all – Hilary

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Hilary. I believe perennial sets in at different stages for different people. Some become more settled in a new life direction as early as their 40s while others may not realize their bloom until later years. Embrace it when it strikes! Perennial mean ever blooming, year after year. 🙂

  • Annika Perry

    Debby, I had to smile how this has given you an idea for a new book possibly – a good writer is always on the look-ou for inspiration and new material!! ? I like the term, although at first I thought of perennial flowers which die back in Autumn and Winter…A beautiful way to think of the later years. Let’s see if it’s usage becomes widespread.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Annika. Interesting perspective. I look at the perennial aspect that the flowers roots never die and our rejuvenated and brought back to bloom year after year. 🙂 I love the term. And if there can be millenials, why not perennials? Lol 🙂

  • Christy B

    Hi Debby! I had not heard the term perennial either. It’s news to me! I’ll be in the flower power group in a few years so I better start watering my roots to ensure I’m in full bloom 🙂 Beautiful post xx

  • Judy E Martin

    When my mum was in her fifties. although she didn’t have hardly any wrinkles, she did dress in such a way that made her look much older!
    As for the term perennial, I love it too. It sounds much more promising and full of hope. 🙂

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    Still catching up on posts! Love this, Debby! Perennials! Excellent description. Funny that “perennials” are moms of some Millennials. Convenient rhyme 🙂 I remember seeing an old photo of my great grandmother at the beach in the 50s. Her body looked great but her face and hair looked like it belonged on a different woman. Funny because my grandmother and mom always looked much younger than their years.

    • dgkaye

      So funny Terri, the way you described your great grandmother. But so true, it was a different time back then, those hairstyles! And yes, an ironic word for this new era with the word millennial already in effect. 🙂

  • Sarah Brentyn

    Hmm. I’m a perennial? Interesting. Yet I have none of the “me time” or other benefits. Blast it! Still, a nice term. So much better than the stand-by conversation ender, “At your age…” ROAR! 😉

  • amreade

    I love it! I was just reading an article last night that talked about how people tend to feel happier as they get older, and I think your post dovetails nicely with that article. 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond are a time when women who may have spent their adult lives putting others first can begin to put themselves first, to make new discoveries, new friends, and new decisions. It’s an exciting time! I always tell people I’m happier now than I’ve ever been. I love being a perennial!

  • Ellen Hawley

    My grandmothers also looked like grandmothers. But then, for all I know, I look grandmotherly to the young kids in my life. They may pick up other signals than I do when I look in the mirror and see the person I used to be.

    On the other hand, as long as all the parts (mostly) work, I’m fine with that. It ain’t about looks.

    • dgkaye

      HI Ellen. You’re right, it ain’t about looks, although I mention how looks have changed through the decades, it’s the sum all part, attitudes, ambitions – definitely well advanced and thriving much better than many decades ago, ever-blooming! 🙂

  • olganm

    I also love it. I’ve always loved perennials anyway. They are survivors and no matter how hard things are, they always bring some colour to life, as we do. Always green and still smiling! Thanks, Debby!

  • Michele

    I love the term perennial to describe women at midlife. I agree that is a time of growing and blooming. I have met many women who are searching for their next adventure, wanting to start things and try new things and flourish! I think my 50’s have been my best time of life so far and I look forward to more and better!

  • Tina Frisco

    What a fabulous word to describe women of any age, but especially in our older years. I say any age because we carry the womb of humankind. Yet perennial has a charge to it that must be earned, and that only comes with age. Terrific post, Deb. My mind rebelled and nearly stopped about an hour ago, tired of functioning after all I’ve been through over the past month. But this post kick-started it ~ at least for the time being 🙂 ♥

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much for reading T. I know what you’ve been through and am honored that you took a moment out of your mayhem to read and leave your beautiful comment. Welcome to the garden my friend. <3 xoxo

    • dgkaye

      Yay, thanks Kathleen! Thrilled to be featured yet again at the Blogger’s Pit Stop! I knew this post would resonate with many there. 🙂

  • paulandruss

    Brilliant Post Debby. I always loved my gran but as you said she always looked like my gran… from an age much younger than I am now! Then I have been recently watching Feud about the making of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane- with two brilliant actresses of a ‘certain age’ Davis and Crawford. Now brilliantly played by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange- both are about a decade older then the originals when they made the film but look amazing- these actresses look in the 40 whereas they are 70.. so you are right the word definitely is perennial

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing your comment here too Paul. I had seen it on Sally’s reblog and commented back. I agree, those two women are aging like fine wines. And I thoroughly enjoyed the Feud series (I saw it last year). I think Susan Sarrandon in particularly is just beautiful. 🙂 x

  • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

    LOVE the term – and I had to google the definition to underscore it:
    “lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring.”

    YEP – I can embrace that idea for sure! Great idea and great article.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Karen for adding in your thoughts here. And thank you for wanting to reblog. It’s my pleasure. Let’s spread the term around. 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Hi again Karen.I just thought I’d mention while you’re here that I visit your blog weekly and not sure if you ever get my comments because I’ve never been notified of a reply. And just now I went over to read a few posts I missed and it didn’t even allow me to comment. Just wanted to let you know. 🙂

  • Luna Saint Claire (@Compelled_Books)

    I’m sorry I am a bit late to the party! You have mentioned you are reading The Sleeping Serpent and so I think you must know how true your essay resonates with me. I struggled deeply at a turning point in my life, and fell victim to a sociopath who ensnared me in his web. It’s dangerous being vulnerable and that’s why the title you chose, Aging & Wisdom is perfect. I hope my story inspires women to think about vanity, aging, passion, desire, and the need to search inside ourselves for validation and self-esteem rather than externally. Taking a page from The Wizard of Oz, the good witch said to Dorothy, “You had the power all along, my dear” – and a page from Anna Karenina, It is less a romance and more a story about love and consequences

    • dgkaye

      Hi Luna. No need to apologize, and to boot, I only just found your comment in spam! LOL. Thanks for chiming in here and adding your feedback. Indeed we all have the power and when we submit ourselves to someone else’s power we are relinquishing our own power and self-esteem. It’s easy to be ensnared by a dominating power bigger than our own but we have to realize that it’s not healthy to become subservient and know when it’s time to walk away. I realize this is sometimes difficult for people who aren’t used to standing up for themselves, but it’s so important to discuss these issues with uplifting people who can help us develop a thicker skin in order to face down these types of people. 🙂 P.S. I finished your book and will be reviewing it on my Sunday book review. 🙂 xx

  • macjam47

    OH, I do wish we had a love button for WordPress! I absolutely love the term ‘perennials” as it evokes a lovely stage in women’s lives. Even at 70 (how did I ever get this old?) I don’t feel 70, or 60, or even 50. I have more energy than I thought would be possible. I get busier by the day trying to fit in grandchildren and children (hubby too), household chores, gardening, exercising, blogging, social media, reading, and volunteer activities, to name a few. I wake up early, and instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, my mind is saying “I want to do this, and….” So, I am up and moving. I’m so happy Madelyn looked up the definition because it is a glowing description of the many women I know who are perennials.

  • leannelc

    It’s funny, I wrote about being a perennial on Monday – I love the term – it’s so affirming of who we are now – I also linked it back to the woman who coined the phrase in the first place and her reasons for coming up with it. Nice to know someone else loves the term.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for dropping by Leanne. That’s interesting. I Googled the word and other than the definition of something that blooms annually, there was no findings of anyone using that word in this sense. I wrote about this because my sister-in-law’s yoga teacher uses the term and I thought it was a fabulous expression. 🙂

  • Barbara Radisalvjeivc

    I love this term. Perennial means one keeps blooming year after year. After sixty come seventy and eighty and maybe more. Medical advances mean we can remain healthy and stay active longer than our mothers did. Now I’m past seventy and still only now beginning to slow down a bit.

  • Carol Balawyder

    This was a pleasant read, both post and comments.I love reading about aging, especially upbeat articles as yours, Debby. <3
    I guess we're lucky to be in this generation where we grew up believing in peace and love. That's what keeps us looking young! 🙂 <3

  • Marianne

    Perennial…good word – persistent, enduring. I certainly have been persistent, but I find it harder this past year to endure. By God’s grace and my persistence, hopefully I will.

    Enjoy the day, Deb…

    Marianne ♥

  • Debbie Dey

    I love it too! It’s so much better than baby boomers too! You really hit all the points I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I love that it’s tough to guess a woman’s age these days (regardless of what generation she’s a part of.)

    Let’s keep ’em guessing! It’s never too late!

    I’ll definitely be sharing this. Thanks for the new perspective, Ms. Perennial.

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