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I am 49 and I guess turning 50 is a little freaky. I am afraid of having a difficult menopause. No big signs of it yet. Also afraid of getting fat (old lady arms, for one thing). Of being disabled at some point. I have excellent health and hope I can keep it always.


I am 55. It's funny, I always had horrible monthly periods. Now that they've stopped finally just this year, I have absolutely no menopause symptoms. It's fantastic. So there is justice after all LOL.

My greatest fear is loss of mobility and independence, the possible onset of dementia and becoming totally reliant for everything on callous strangers. I actually do not want to live much past 75-80. And I don't want a long drawn out illness at the end. Just a quick heart attack would be nice.

Nancy Nehlsen

As you can see from Rhea and Inbee's posts, there is always a positive way to view the things we fear. Rhea fears a difficult menopause and Inbee points out that with menopause you don't get your periods anymore – yay!! And worrying about menopause is a waste of time, because you may not have any difficulty at all. Rather than worrying about getting fat or being disabled, keep working toward good health, with more fruits and veggies in your diet and plenty of exercise.

When I turned 50 I felt freer than ever before. I have been able to speak my mind, think more about myself, and leave behind fears of failure or rejection. I think the fifties are the best time in my life, despite my total lack of memory and arthritic fingers. I expect the sixties to be even better.


Like some of the other women, I too am simply terrified of being left alone in some horrible nursing home situation. Having no children I feel so alone and vulnerable at times. I have cultivated a few new good friends but it seems to be more difficult to forge new friendships as you age. My worse fear is not being able to move (i.e. walk) and losing my sight and worst of all my mind.

There how's that. Yes, I eat properly and exercise, but some realities of life are hard to think about, so I try not to dwell on the negative.

Nancy Nehlsen

When we were young we felt completely immortal, didn't we? As we age and see friends and family become ill and infirm, we have a tendency to focus on all of the things that can go wrong with us. Add to that the fact that our lives slow down, giving us more time to dwell on our loss of mobility, dwindling eyesight and aching joints. I've always believed that the less we focus on ourselves, the less likely we are to find the negative in our own lives.

While you're doing the right thing with your diet and exercise, I wonder if you've tried volunteering with children or the elderly (more elderly than we are). I still have a daughter at home, which keeps me up-to-date on changes in styles, music and slang. Being around young people has an invigorating effect. I also enjoy animal rescue, and find that when I'm involved in nursing an injured puppy I forget about my own problems.

I don't think any of us can escape those fears of what will happen to us when we get really old. I watched two great-grandmothers waste away in nursing homes. But life is very different today, and we have so much more offered to Boomers. There are clubs just for Boomer women, exercise classes just for Boomer women, plus travel and volunteer opportunities that expose us to others like ourselves – Boomers who want to stay active, involved and connected. We're very lucky to be Boomers today, rather than 30 years ago. Let's just try to keep that as our mantra as we approach a time in life that frightens the living daylights out of us.

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