What's Surprised You About Life After 50?
Martina Navratilova played tennis so long -- until she was 49 -- that by the end of her pro career, she says she was older than almost everyone on the circuit, including players, trainers, and even players' mothers.
After Navratilova turned 50, she became a nutrition and fitness ambassador for AARP, the advocacy group for people 50 and older. Just like that, she went from being the oldest in the group to the youngest. And that's what surprised her most about life after 50. "I'm young again," she says.
Life after 50 is full of the unexpected. While attending the recent AARP Life@50+ convention in Los Angeles, I heard from Navratilova and other speakers about the biggest surprise they've encountered after reaching their milestone birthday.
Here's a sample of what they said:
1. Denisse Oller, 56, former Univision TV network anchor turned chef, entrepreneur and food expert
"Serenity. I'm much more calm with myself. I'm not as mercurial as I was before. I'm as curious as I ever was about life and travel. I want more love, and less competition."
2. Angela Oh, 56, attorney, teacher and executive director of the Pasadena, Calif.-based Western Justice Center Foundation, a nonprofit supporting peaceful conflict resolution
"Going from being called 'Miss' to 'Ma'am.'"
3. Marita Golden, 61, award-winning author, teacher and co-founder of the Washington D.C.-based African-American Writers Guild
"How much joy there is on the other side of 50. I've made peace with my body. I stripped naked and looked at my body, really looked at it for the first time in my life with joy and love: those black woman hips that I spent my life hating and now the world loves, and my skinny legs, which allow me to stand firm. It liberated me to see my inner beauty. Look at yourself with eyes of liberation. It's the bomb."
What has surprised you about life after 50? Please share your experience in the comments section below.
Read more: What 50 Looks Like
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