Turning 50 is no longer what it used to be. In fact, many believe "50 is the new 30" and there's a lot to celebrate with the milestone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 41.7 million women aged 50 or older living in the United States, and quite a few are blowing out the candles with style, sass and some words of wisdom.
"Whether you're turning 50 or 90, consider it the best time of your life," says Lynn Doyle, political director and "It's Your Call" host/executive producer, who recently marked her 50th birthday. "Think about how much you've learned, those things that you didn't know then but do now. Always keep in mind there are so many other things you still have to learn."
Doyle, a multi award-winning broadcast journalist, is just one of many women embracing their age. In order to share the inspiring stories of women like her, Doyle launched a special programming series, "50 and Fabulous," airing on "It's Your Call" on CN8. The year-long initiative explores the accomplishments, dreams, challenges and exceptional lives of women 50 and older, such as cosmetics entrepreneur Bobbi Brown and popular musicians Naomi Judd and Carlene Carter.
Like many of the women featured on "50 and Fabulous," Doyle has a busy schedule that includes producing and hosting "It's Your Call," participating in numerous charitable activities, mothering two daughters and fulfilling her newest role: grandmother to twin boys. Despite all her commitments, Doyle is always sure to make time for herself and offers the following advice on being magnificent at any age.
First she says to go easy on yourself:
"We are a generation of over-achievers, type-A personalities and Baby Boomers gone overboard. At 50 and beyond, it's time to give yourself a break and enjoy your accomplishments, whether it be the family you've raised, the career you've built, or the legacy you'll leave," offers Doyle. That doesn't mean you should be complacent or ambivalent about new things. It just means it's time to acknowledge your strong points and accept your weaknesses. "We've finally reached a point in our lives when we can say, 'This is who I am, and I like it!'"
She also says to throw a party. There is no reason to dread birthdays, no matter how many candles are adorning the cake. "My dad says take every birthday they give you because it beats the alternative," shares Doyle. "That's why in our family we celebrate birthdays, big or small, with a party. My dad is about to mark his 80th with a cruise to Alaska."
She also points out that style still matters at 50. Comfort and habit can lead mature women straight to the rack of shapeless elastic-waist pants. Resist the urge and try to update your look by incorporating some of the new trends into your wardrobe, provided they are age-appropriate. "For example, leggings may not work for you, but layering or a new belt might. A simple purchase like a fashionable purse or sunglasses can give you the appearance of being 'with it' no matter your age," Doyle suggests. "You're probably no longer feeding and clothing the kids, so don't be afraid to indulge yourself a bit more; definitely dump the polyester!"
Doyle says that physical fitness is important too. It's never too late to start incorporating healthy exercise into your routine. You will see the benefits in your physical and mental well-being.
"Try to do something active everyday," recommends Doyle. "Take a walk, ride a bike, swim, meditate - anything that gets you moving. Remember that while you are moving it's harder for age to catch up with you."For my 50th birthday this year, I will again participate in the Breast Cancer Three Day Walk in Boston to raise funds for breast cancer research."
She says it's also okay to say no. By now you've done the obligatory bake sales, school parties and work functions. You've earned the right to say "no" to things that are not pivotal or a priority in your life. Use that time to focus on the things you really want to do, instead of "have" to do. "But the exception is babysitting the grandchildren, do that as much as you can. I want to babysit my twin grandsons, Drew and Zack, as often as possible!"