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 my sister and me 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’?