Today I turn 56 years old.
I honestly find this fact surprising – this sounds so…old. Not surprising because I’m celebrating another birthday (the alternative is just not cool), but rather because time seems to go faster and faster with each passing year. I still feel like a 33 year old physically and mentally but I know that logically, I am not.
I have to admit that I struggle with a feeling of embarrassment about being a woman over the age of 50 in North American culture. Ageing women are not something we celebrate or shine a lot on positively much of the time. Particularly in the corporate world, it’s made very clear:
Being over 50 is a liability.
Many people I know shave years off their resumes, change the date of their university degree, dye their hair or get plastic surgery just to fit in or cling on to their jobs. It’s pretty sad.
But I’m here to tell you my Sisters that being over 50 and having gone through menopause and many career upheavals, this age is the most freeing and exhilarating thing I have ever experienced. And feeling this has surprised me.
I had the idea that I was going to be depressed because men no longer notice me or that it’s professionally challenging to find ones’ path at this middle part of life. And while both of these things are true, the best outcome of getting older for me has been the acquisition of wisdom through lived experiences, and the understanding of my true power and strength.
As women, we suffer often and in silence. I suffered silently when hemorrhaging so much blood every month I became critically anemic. Only a few years ago, I was so crippled by pain every month due to the fibroid in my uterus I literally became depressed and yet told no one. As a single mother, it’s my job to buck up and be strong.
Also; I’m pretty sure I’m not atypical.
We spend so much of our lives dealing with trauma or issues and pain related to our reproductive systems while simultaneously juggling children, partners, parents and jobs. With this as context, to no longer be handcuffed by the soul-searing monthly pain and suffering I endured has been nothing short of a revelation. There are many days that I feel almost exhilarated because my pain-free body is no longer trapped, and now belongs to me, and me alone.
Cannabis has helped me cope with many of the most painful moments in my life!
CBD was a revelation that has helped keep my mood stable and positive during the more turbulent times of my life, paired with some good old strong indica flower to help me sleep at night.
I am someone who has always tried to live a natural life, eschewing pharma as much as possible, and seeking out plant-based, and natural healthy living as a way to remain healthy and balanced in both mind and body.
And so this new-found freedom of pain-free time on my hands, and the feeling of living the most powerful years of my life has allowed me to focus on starting a new venture that celebrates and nurtures this feeling of power in other women everywhere, no matter age or place.
That company is Alpha Woman.
I hope you will join our sisterhood of women around the world as we aim to help every woman everywhere optimize her physical, mental and professional health. Please see alphawomanco.com for more info and to join the movement!
Leslie is bilingual, global digital publishing and marketing executive, having helmed digital publishing and marketing at Torstar, The Globe and Mail, Global Television and a number of overseas brands such as Vodafone and HomeAdvisor. She recently launched AlphaWomanCo, a publishing and events company with the mission to help women realize their true leadership potential. Leslie is on the Advisory Board of Canadian Women in Cannabis and advocates for diverse, female leadership within the cannabis industry, government and other industries. Leslie has also been designated a Chartered Marketer with the Canadian Marketing Association.