Prime of Life: When is it?
Personal Growth

Myth Busters #2 – The Prime of Our Life Is Not Behind Us

Have you ever truly stopped to think about when is the prime of life? To wonder if the best years of life are behind you or yet to come. We have all heard the saying that youth is wasted on the young. So does that mean our younger years are not the prime years?  On the opposite side of that, we hear people say we better do something “before it is too late,” or “before we get too old.”  So, which is it?

When is The Prime of Life, Really?

I looked up the definition of the phrase prime of life and here is what was given: The period of one’s mature life when one is at a peak of health and performance and the time of maturity when power and vigor are the greatest.

Based on these definitions, in my experience, my younger years did not feel as if I had a whole lot of power or control. I was working to establish my career. I felt that other people decided whether the hard work paid off or not. I was adjusting to be a daughter-in-law while in my late 20s, and a mother in my 30s. Neither of these situations harbored any sense of power or control. However, on the other hand, I had always been at the peak of my health until my late 40s. Yet, I am more in control of my own life now at 50. So, again, when is the prime of life?

A recent study was conducted by U.S. Trust in which multi-generational individuals were asked the question, “when does old age begin?” Millennials stated old age began at the age of 59!  Yikes, I only have 9 years left before I am “old!” Gen Xers stated old age began at 65 and Baby Boomers said 73. Wow! That is a big difference in opinions. When asked the question “At what age do you consider the prime of life?” millennials stated 36, Gen Xers 47 and Baby Boomers 50.

What Should The Prime Life Be?

Having the definition baffle, more than help, I begin thinking of different ways to view the prime of life.  This is what the prime of life looks like for me.

  1. The prime of our life should be the present moment. Rather than have it defined by age or by stages in life, one’s prime of life should be about our lifestyle at the present moment. We should strive to make the present moment the best.
  2. The prime of our life does not encompass all aspects of life at one given moment of time. Rather it is ongoing and not one finite moment in time. We hit our prime for different aspects of our life at different times. For example, the prime of my professional life was in my 40s. Yet, the prime of pursuing my passions is now, at 50. The prime of motherhood was probably when my son was younger in my 30s and 40s. Yet the prime of seeing myself as an individual and as a woman is now. Financially, the prime is now in my 50s and hopefully continues into my 60s.
  3. The prime of life is set by you and not society. Rather than define our prime based upon social ideas and expectations, you create the time that is your prime. You define it rather than letting it be defined for you!


What Prime Women Have to Say About the Prime of Life

I asked women who are 50 and over to answer the following statement, “I know the best years are not behind me because…”  Here is what they said:

  • I am finally at a stage where I can fulfill a lifelong dream.
  • I have the courage to challenge myself with learning and doing new things.
  • I can be my true authentic self and stop pretending to be someone who I’m not.
  • I can finally push aside other people’s expectations.
  • I no longer have to provide for a growing family and can finally do what I want. Not what I have to do.
  • I now have more wisdom with my age and make better choices.
  • With age, I have the freedom to make more mistakes.

  • As we get older, I have learned what not to do and this allows me more moments of happiness and joy.
  • I now understand that life is so full of exciting new choices and I can choose whichever ones I want.
  • I finally understand that no one controls me unless I give them the power to do so.
  • I have learned to love more and forgive faster.

Can you see that women do not necessarily define the prime of life by specific moments or stages?  We do not see the prime as something based upon our careers, our families, accomplishments or moments of high. We see our prime as a time in which we discover who we truly are as a woman, as an individual and someone who has the power within themselves.  We see our prime more as something intrinsic rather than extrinsic. This changes the game, don’t you think?

So Now What Do You Think is The Prime of Life?

If you look at your prime years as times in which you find more confidence in yourself, more courage, more beauty, more adventure, more love, then we can say that you are either entering into your prime years or they are yet to come. They are not behind us. Most of us hadn’t learned those things in our younger years. Viewing the prime of life through how we see ourselves truly gives us the power and control over our own lives. So, in a way, viewing our prime years based upon internal aspects really does match the initial definition that I stated!


While my youth and younger years were exciting and full of facing life head-on, I can definitely state that I look forward to my prime years while in my 50s, 60s and beyond. I will see my prime years as those ahead of me and what comes as a result of more confidence, more passion, more freedom. Exciting times are ahead!

Myth Busters is part of an ongoing series about myths surrounding women over 50 (like they can’t try new things) and the women who break them. If you would like to join discussions about this series or possibly be included in an article yourself, please join the Prime Women Facebook group. And don’t miss any of the Mythbusters series by signing up for our newsletter



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