It’s something we have believed at Women’s Voices for Change since our founding more than five years ago: turning 40 is a time to celebrate. On Monday, the NBC News program Today took up the discussion with a look at some Gen X women who entered their 40s with gusto, not dread. Some celebrate the milestone with physical feats, like taking part in a triathlon. Others travel to beautiful parts of the world or to pampering spas. We are in full agreement with the notion that this is a time of life that presents new opportunities and we’re happy to see women embracing the second half — make that best half — of life.



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  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. July 31, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Dear Suzanne,

    We are so pleased that you have been reading this blog that hopes to have a broad reach: 40 and until the end of life. My mother is 92 and interested in so many issues of political and community life, in addition to the interests she has in her many relatives and friends and her hobbies. My mother’s oldest sister is 100, living independently and has a rich life.

    Of course 80 is not 40, just as 40 is not 20, but those are just numbers. It is how you live and how involved you are with the world, your community, friends and family that count. And, we are all grateful for our birthdays when we remember those who did not get to be the older age that we have become.

    We welcome your comment and hope to hear from you more. In fact, write to our editor here at and let her know if you would like to submit a piece on life at 80 and how the decades have changed who you are.


    Dr. Pat

  • Suzanne Richardson MacAaron July 31, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I’ve enjoyed reading Women’s Voices for Change for some time now. It’s particularly interesting to me because I have two daughters who fit into this category (40 and over)and who live rewarding, productive lives. Well, I am way over and,seeing that an article of yours I just read calls 40 the beginning of the second half of one’s life, would like to know does this mean my life is over? I’ll be 80 the end of this month and, truthfully, did not feel ancient until I read that. But if the first forty is succeeded by the second forty, guess I’ll cash it in.

  • drpatallen July 26, 2011 at 8:11 am

    40 is not only a time for women to celebrate entering their real adulthood. It is a time of opportunity to plan for health, relationships, and self-development. None of this is selfish. It is all self care. We applaud the Today program for presenting women at this life stage as the very real and positive role models they are.

    Dr. Pat