What Does Midlife Look Like?

When I was little there was a TV play about a grown son and his widowed mother.  The mother didn’t want her son to get married because she would become irrelevant and homeless. Her other widowed friends were already sleeping on the sofa’s of their daughter-in-laws as permanent guests.  The mother’s midlife was hopeless, hapless and haggard.  Her character was supposed to be 46.

That’s what middle-aged looked like to me – bleak.  Unless there was a husband and/or family to take care of, there was nothing. I remember that character because she scorched fear in my heart.

This year there is is a new mother on TV.  Amazon has a new show, Hand of God, it’s terrible but it has Dana Delany.  Dana Delany’s character is healthy, sleek, smart, tough and as sexy as all get out.  She is 61.

Yesterday we had a cord (8’x8’x4′) of wood delivered because spring is not springing.  Husband is recovering from surgery, so it’s up to me to carry it down snowy stairs and stack it near our front door.   I’m in fair shape so I should be able to do this over the next three days. Last week, with Husband sick, I shovelled us out of 31′ of snow.  I’m just impressing the poo out of my 60 year old self. I am not helpless, hapless, or haggard.

It’s amazing how women’s lives have changed in just a few short years. This is what my midlife looks like; strong, capable, tough with a bright future.

What does yours look like?

As always,



  1. Michele says:

    Aging doesn’t seem as dreary as it used to. I am turning 50…I remember back to pictures of my Gramma at 50. There is no comparison.

    1. Beth says:

      We have a vibrancy that our grandmothers didn’t. Our pictures aren’t just in color, our lives are.

  2. Grammy Dee says:

    I’ve noticed the same thing with old black and white movies. The women will look like they’re ready for a nursing home but will be in their 40s. I’m older now than my grandmother was when I was born and she looked so much older than I do now in my 50s and she was only 40. Thank you Beth for sharing at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared it on social media.

  3. Teri says:

    Love this post. I’m “eating up” each stage of life. It’s a journey. Accepting I look differently was difficult at first. But, I’m blessed my body works – so I focus on that more than my looks changed. Does that make sense?

    1. Beth says:

      It absolutely makes sense! As I age it’s so much more about how I live not how I look– although I’m a pretty darn good looking old broad because of what I do.

  4. Thank you, God, we’re different from our mothers and grandmothers. My first husband died when I was 37. I was single for 10 years. My second husband died when I was in my early 60s. I’ve had a lot of time to get used to doing things by myself and fending for myself. Independent must be stamped on my forehead by now. Brenda

    1. Beth says:

      Husband or no husband, I’ve been independent. As I’m aging I think women get stronger now.

  5. candy says:

    I do so much here on the farm which keeps me going. We heat our house with wood. Get warm three times. When you cut down the tree, when you split and stack and when you haul it into the woodbox. I shared on social media. Thanks for linking up with #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty

    1. Beth says:

      The cross fit trend ain’t got nothing on stacking wood or the other chores of living a rural life.

  6. I don’t think I know a single “old” looking Midlifer. We all seem to be living like 30 year olds (but without the kids). Maybe to outsiders we look old, but certainly not as old as women looked back in those olden day movies. I love that we’re still looking and feeling young – my mum is 75 and is going great guns, so I hope the same will happen for me. Fingers crossed!

    1. Beth says:

      Young is certainly being redefined. Seventy-five doesn’t seem so old anymore and midlife is as active as 30, with a couple of naps included.

  7. Midlife looks fabulous to me and turning 60 this year doesn’t phase me at all. I was only thinking about your topic this week Beth. I was looking for an image of a midlife or grandmother and they looked so stereotyped it really frustrated me because women of midlife and beyond are so different these days. Another great post thanks!

    1. Beth says:

      I thought 60 would throw me, but it did just the opposite. We are forging a new image of midlife.

  8. Teresa says:

    I agree, I am not helpless, haggard or hopeless either and I’m 62 now. I’ve always felt life is 90% attitude. I decided a long time ago to enjoy each stage of life and to not dread growing older. I’m looking forward to many wonderful retirement years with my husband.

    1. Beth says:

      The third act is really a time of adventure!

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