50 and Fabulous

Christina Caldwell | Jul 1, 2013, 6 a.m.

You won’t see these ladies playing Mahjongg anytime soon. Post-work drinks at the Valley’s hottest bars and clubs are always in order. If it’s time to cool off by the pool during the summer, there’s no need to wear a one-piece.

For that matter, Valdes says she’s never felt better about her body and sexuality. In her 20s, she often had inhibitions and reservations about the way her body looked. With age, it’s easier to know that things might not always be perfect, but you’re always going to be you, so you might as well embrace it. Now is the time to do and wear the things that make you feel great about yourself, Valdes says.

The women of 50 and Fabulous say they don’t see themselves as 50. If she had to put a number on it, Tatka says she’d peg herself closer to 40. (And honestly, she and the other ladies could easily pass for that.) As trite as the old saying might sound, age is nothing but a number, and it’s one the ladies don’t concern themselves with.

Learning lessons

Still, the ladies know there’s something to be said for the learning lessons that come as decades pass.

In your 20s, time seems infinite, Valdes says. You’re more willing to waste your time on the things and people that don’t deserve it. You don’t realize that life really is as short as those clichés say. That means focusing on relationships that aren’t worth the energy, devoting your time to activities that aren’t in your best interest and generally allocating time to things that won’t pay off in the long run.

Lesson No. 1: Find what matters most.

As mothers, Tatka, Valdes and 50-year-old office manager Shari Brown know that family is important. Valdes had a child later than most, at 42. Being the mother of a 14-year-old doesn’t allow for slowing down, and it really points out what’s most valuable as time goes on, she says. Striking the balance between caring for oneself and caring for children is crucial. When you have that perspective, what that other mother at your kid’s school says about you doesn’t seem to cut as deep.

Lesson No. 2: Skip the drama.

While the 50 and Fabulous ladies are full of physical and mental energy, they know their minds are no place for negative thoughts. For example, if a man isn’t treating you right, it’s time to say goodbye, Brown says. If a friend is talking behind your back, there’s no need for them to be a friend. Letting go of the activities and people that bring you down and cause you stress will allow for a much more fruitful and productive life, Valdes says. Plus, relieving that stress will keep you looking better for longer.

Lesson No. 3: Be more than just a pretty face.

Surely looking great is a confidence boost, but it’s not the only quality of a worthwhile person, Valdes notes. “These days younger people think ‘All I have to be is hot and nothing else,’” she says. But caring about other people and how the world works and focusing on being an intelligent, successful career woman is a lot more validating than a small waistline ever can be.

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