. 4 min read

Transitions’ is a new series where we address the all-important issue of redirecting our lives at this midlife stage. In the first of the series, PrimeCrush writer Lisa Ellex broaches the question of what it takes to do it all alone.

A Life Redirected.  By Lisa Ellex

“I wish I knew when I was going to die.”  The comment sent my eyes darting to the mirror before me that reflected the fit 50-year-old woman cutting my hair. I understood exactly what she meant.  

“I just want to know that I have enough money to live out my life. I’ve made a good living doing hair but I just can’t do this anymore. I’m done.”

Tears welled up in her eyes. I did my best to comfort my stylist friend (and save myself from leaving the salon with an Edward Scissorhands haircut) and assured her that she was not alone in her angst. Of late, it seems the conversations amongst my peers focus on questions like. “Will I have to work until I die?”; “Can I start a new career or business at this stage of my life”; “Who will care for me if I become ill?”; “How do I know my children will be financially secure?”; “Can I really afford to take that dream vacation next year?”; “Would I make it through another pandemic?”; “Is it better to take social security benefits earlier or later?”; “Would life be easier if I sold my home and rented something?”  And finally: “Will I really break a hip if I don’t start HRT ASAP?”  

Major life changes, whether expected or unexpected, can be enough to send even the steadiest of us to the ER in a panic attack. And worrying alone in the dark at 3:00 a.m. is far more frightening than worrying alongside a partner. But as more women are finding themselves solo in life, finding a companion becomes more difficult as our male counterparts seek women at least ten years their junior. Doing the math, I figure that my potential other half is already 70-something-years-old. Hmmmmm.

For many of us, partnering meant sharing a life rich with career, travel and leisure, perhaps children and grandchildren, but most of all it meant enjoying our later years together. But whether one is coupled or single, a surprise ending was never part of the vision. Sadly, these worries are just the tip of our existential iceberg.

Perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves just what our deep-seated fear of aging – or changing – is really all about. Might we fear we’ll rise to a new day as the cockroach in Kafka’s Metamorphosis? Exactly why do American women put so much time and effort into pondering and prolonging the inevitable? Though I have not opted for plastic surgery or fillers, I am vain enough that I will seldom leave the house without makeup, I religiously have my roots touched up every four weeks, and I will order the first thing I can decipher on a menu rather than put on a pair of readers in a restaurant. My stylist, on the other hand, has no sort of regime other than running 12 miles daily. Her discipline comes with the perk of having the body of a high school swim team star. I, on the other hand, will only run when being chased and, as a result, my ass has migrated to unforeseen depths.

And then there’s my face. My faint “laugh lines” have graduated to deep “life lines.” Though it took six million years for the Colorado River to carve out the Grand Canyon, it seems my face can develop undesired peaks, valleys, and canyons overnight, merely by getting less than seven hours sleep. And perhaps even more unsettling is discovering that the comfort and joy I once found in a couple of glasses of wine now results in a night of sweating and a morning of headache. Motherhood has gifted me stretch marks but, actually, I don’t mind them; I wear them like a badge of honor.  In brief, things are not where they once were and new things have appeared.

I have, however, discovered one bonus to aging: I no longer care about people’s opinion of me. Though this is marvelously liberating, I regret that I did not discover this freedom during my twenties. Or thirties. Or forties. But it is what it is and I am where I am, ‘til I am here no more.  

Over the last few years I have found myself with an unexpected partner: I am having a love affair with Mother Nature. I long to be outdoors as much as possible, embraced by the trees and wind and sun and sea and sky. I often question the reason for this as I’m a tried-and-true city girl who went a lifetime without giving much thought to my natural world. My stylist has developed what she calls the “ashes to ashes” theory. She believes we are making friends with nature because it is there that we will soon enough return. Perhaps. But as I ponder the seasons and wonder just how many more summers I will see, I realize how deeply I envy Mother Nature. For even on her coldest and darkest day, she knows she will always see another spring.

If you love me as much as I love you (and I really do love you!), then please help me grow by forwarding this {love} Letter to a friend!  And I'd love to have you join us on instagram, facebook & twitter.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter curated by Dish Stanley on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?


'Merci'! to Emily in Paris for one of the most riverting women in pop culture "Divorce, Baby, Divorce" by Liza Lentini "Don't Touch My Hat.*" Midlife Men & Loneliness "This is a Tale of Modern Love ..." 2022 2024 Hit List 3 things I'm crushing on 5 Books to Help You Chill TF Out 5 Great Boutique Hotels Around NYC. By Jeanne Bosse 5 things that turn our crush readers on A Book That Could Unf*ck Your Relationship: I Want This To Work By Elizabeth Earnshaw. Reviewed By Angela Kempf. A Circle of Crones. By Elayne Clift A Roman Love Affair. By Lady Verity A Turntable and a Candle: F-ing Classics About Face: Skincare Essentials for Men An Upbeat Playlist for the Divorce-curious And I Wondered ... Do We Really Need A SATC Reboot? And Just Like That... Who Are These People?? By Jeanne Bosse And so this is Another brother gained and lost. By Jeanne Bosse Ask Dish Bedtime Rituals for Couples. By Lauren D. Weinstein Bisexually Anxious Among the Noodges. Review: shiva Baby Bloody Good Sex Book review Book Review: A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers Book Review: I'm With The Band by Pamela Des Barres. Reviewed by Evie Arnaude Book Review: Maurice Book Review: Norma Kamali: I Am Invincible Book Review: Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina by Georgina Pazcoguins. Reviewed By Lady Varity Book Review: The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It Every Time By Maria Konnikova' Book Review: The Lover. By Marguerite Duras. Book Review: The Story of O Book Review: VOX by Nicholson Baker. Reviewed by Christian Pan Building The Perfect Music Collection Calm App Review: “If I Traveled Or Worked In An Office, I Would Rely On This App Heavily”. By Evie Arnaude Christian Pan CRUSH Summer Reading List! From CRUSH Reader Sharon Weinberg, Owner of The Chatham Bookstore Culture/Comments Dear Dish devour DEVOUR {things to do, have & know about} Devour: Reads we think you should devour Dish Gets A Kink Assessment. Dish Stanley Dish Stanley's Rules for Polite Society Doing Nothing With Friends Effortless, Natural Holiday Makeup. By Lauren D. Weinstein Emily In Paris Extended Encounters. By Lisa Ellex F*ck Songs. Three Best Jazz Albums for a Sexy Night In. By Lisa Ellex Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style and Attitude: Mireille Guiliano. Reviewed by Evie Arnaude Favorite Clothing & Shoe Brands from A Sharp Looking Guy Five Best Jazz Clubs Around The Country. By Lisa Ellex Foria's Totally Useful Guide to Sexting Four Indie Bookstore That Stayed In My Life Long After I Left Town. By Dish Stanley French Kiss: French Girls Do It Better, Right? friendship Fun in the sun skincare tips get your spy thrill on Girl Crush. By Lady Verity Grief. By Lauren D. Weinstein Healing Through Change. By Lauren D Weinstein Heard It at The Grammys: Dishs Crush on Silk Sonic Hefner. By Bob Guccione, Jr Hide A Love Note In Their Pocket. Hit List Holiday Invites Holiday Perspectives. By Dean Christopher Hook Ups Hot Thots How to Be the Most Charming Person at a Holiday Party. By Evie Arnaude How to find porn thats actually good I am my own family I just turned 60 but I feel 22 I redesigned my closet. I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies Im glad my mom died In Good Hands. Kathy: This Is A Love Story About Three Friends La Mia Famiglia by Lisa Ellex Lamentations on the Lost Art of Kissing. By Elisabeth C. Lamotte Leave the husband, bring the cannoli. By A.K.A. Darla Leaving the door open Let's Reconsider, with Adam Grant Love & Mike's "Bad Girl Pasta" Love/Sex/Moon Magick By Lynn Eaton LXIX. By A.K.A. Darla Meeting Across the River Melissa Biggs Bradley's New Book Safari Style Makes Me Want To Go On A Safari midlife MIDLIFE CRISIS: When Reality Strikes, By Dean Christopher Movie Magic. By Amy Ferris My First Solo Trip: Mexico, Part I. By Dawn Larsen My Prostate Journey: A Personal Story My Tits Contain MulTITudes Naked & Not afraid by KC Roth Oasis in the Desert. One woman's honest journey through vaginal rejuvenation. OMG Yes. Pamela Anderson: What Her Story Says About Us paris Pillow Tawk (or NOT)? Play well with others. By Dish Stanley Playing Games: A Review of Esther Perel's New Sold Out Card Game. Podcast Review: Dying for Sex. Why You Need to Listen to Molly's Journey. political thrillers PrimeCrush & Chill: Movies Worth a Re-Watch PrimeCrush Bookshop PrimeCrush Cocktail Coaster Giveaway! QUIVER. Sexual Debut Stories. recommedations Red Flags Reports from the edge. By Jane Boon separate bedrooms Sexual Frustrations. By Elisabeth C Lamotte Shameless Quick & Easy Mac & Cheese. By Evie Arnaude Sighs & Moans. By Ralph Greco SIP. Best Lines from the Double Dates Podcast Hosted by Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue Six Ways to Get the Friends Who Count Snapshot Rec: Get Yourself Sexify-ed on Netflix. Snapshot Rec: Read Liza Lentini on the Indigo Girls in SPIN Solo in my Sixties. By Jeanne Bosse Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck. Stanley Tucci Is Paradise Stories to Read Aloud to a Lover. By A.K.A. Darla Summer Bookstack Tell Me More. By Dish Stanley The 3 Things You're Really Fighting About The 4 Most Common Skincare Issues for Men (But Were Afraid to Ask). By Lauren D. Weinstein The Crush Letter 58 The Crush Letter Its a tune The Crush Letter No 39 The Crush Letter No 46: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 57 The Crush Letter No 59 The Crush Letter No 60: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 61 The Crush Letter No 62 the crush letter no 63 The Crush Letter No 78 The Crush Letter No 80 The Crush Letter No 81 The Crush Letter No 82 The Crush Letter No 83: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 84 The Crush Letter No. 79 The Crush Letter: Culture / Comment The Dynamics of Friendhip By Lauren D. Weinstein The Friendship Files By AKA Darla The Golden Bachelor The Hole. By Kiva Schuler The Holiday Anti-Checklist By Liza Lentini The New Menopause By Dr. Mary Claire Haver The Perfect Snowy Saturday. By Jeanne Bosse The Ritual of Comforts. By Lady Verity The Sex Position Report. By Dish Stanley The Solo Series Thee Timeless Travel Books. By Bob Guccione Jr. Things To Let Go Of. By Dish Stanley This must be the place To get all of us, subscribe. Top Ten Jazz Albums To Soothe Your Soul. By Lisa Ellex TOPIX Transitions Travel tips Treats: A Sex Toy Tester Update Under The Radar Series. By Dish Stanley Valentines day what dead to me taught me about family. What's Your Best Friend Move Who Are CRUSH Readers Grateful For? Women of a Certain Age Whose Style I Admire You're My Medicine Your Big Green Heart. By Liza Lentini Your Love Is King & Queen, GQ Zits a poppin Zoning Out in Comfort. By Dean Christopher