This post is part of the Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson. I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way. To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.
So, you’re in your early 50s and you’ve suddenly realised that you’re wearing the trousers in your partnership? Or you’re powering up the corporate ladder? You are not alone.
Even since you were a little girl your brain has been washed in a sea of female hormones geared to making you reproduce and help the survival of the human species. Of course, there was oestrogen, the hormone that underpins fertility and sexuality. But every time you showed sexual love for your partner or motherly love for your children, you were rewarded with a wave of oxytocin to persuade you to do it all over again.
However, once a woman gets to the menopausal years, the levels of oxytocin decline. In many women, levels of male hormones such as testosterone take over. It makes us more assertive. We are less interested in putting others before ourselves, and we’re not afraid to say so.
As someone who has always been very maternal and nurturing, I can report that there has indeed been a shift during my ahem mid-life years! I am still a caring and nurturing person, but there are changes afoot people!
I don’t love my
children kidults any less but I am not as prepared to sacrifice myself and my own needs for them to the degree that I used to. If they need me, I am there, but I have made myself a priority now whereas once that wasn’t the case. I actually used to neglect myself by putting everyone else’s wants and needs ahead of my own. I have come to realise that self-investment and self-care is not selfish but essential in order to obtain the life balance I need to feel well and to be a happier and nicer person to be around! It never occurred to me that part of this shift within me was actually a thing – a decline in oxytocin thing!
I think that my ability to prioritise myself more these days comes down to some other things too, like having more time and more wisdom! I have found too that I speak my mind a lot more than I used to (just hope my filters stay put)! Depending on the occasion and circumstances – If I don’t agree, I say so; If I don’t want to, I say so; If I’d prefer something else, I say so; If I don’t want to go, I don’t go. I’m not the meek and mild young girl I once was. I am much more outspoken and assertive and much less of the people pleaser that I once was. I have less tolerance for people who are not genuine or sincere or those that are overly negative and draining or critical and not supportive. I choose my friends more wisely than once I might have. Quality over quantity is my motto when it comes to friendships. I sound scary don’t I, but in actual fact I like that I know what I want and need now. Life is easier when you skim off the unnecessarily stressful and/or detrimental bits (those that you can) and keep the bits that uplift you and add value.
Have you had a mid-life brain shift? Feeling more assertive? Are you prioritising yourself more than you used to?
Ciao for now,
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