written by LOU BLASER

A version of this essay first appeared in Midlife Cues, a weekly newsletter about intentional living in our middle years. Get it in your inbox; you're going to love it.


Someone asked me why midlifers like to say, “Be Bolder.”

Why boldER… why the comparative form? Why can’t we just be?

I can think of two reasons:

One, for those who lived most of their lives playing it safe, following rules or other people’s expectations, the phrase “grow bolder” hits just the right tone.

Be bolder than you have ever been. Because, as the saying goes, if not now, when? Let’s not let the leave this earth with that song hidden in our hearts. It’s never too late, and all that jazz.

But there’s another reason why this phrase resonates for many of us… one that I believe is a little more subtle.

Oprah celebrated her 69th birthday recently. On this occasion, she said:

“We live in a youth-obsessed culture that’s constantly telling us that if we’re not young, glowing, or hot, that we do not matter. I refuse to let a system, a culture, or a distorted view of reality tell me that I do not matter.”

As we get older, we tend to become less and less visible.

Admittedly, part of this is about institutional ageism. Yes, is it what society does to us.

BUT… and this may be hard to swallow.

Part of why we become invisible is our own doing too.

We are inadvertently feeding this idea that older people are irrelevant.


We stop telling our stories.

We stop celebrating our milestones.

We shrink ourselves down and tune down our volume.

We willingly disappear while railing against how the world ignores us in favor of the youth.

So, Get Bolder is a call to action.

A resounding cry that reminds us that for as long as we live, we can contribute.

We can participate.

We absolutely matter… that is if we choose to.

Today’s issue is sponsored by Cozy Ripples. Can’t decide what to watch next? You’re not alone! Cozy Ripples is a free weekly newsletter featuring recommendations by women, for women, of TV shows and movies they love. Each issue brings you something different, so you’ll never get bored. Subscribe now and start watching something fabulous.

  • “A gnawing sense of irrelevancy and invisibility suddenly hits many aging adults, as their life roles shift from hands-on parent to empty nester or from workaholic to retiree. […] A survey of 1000 adults age 64 and older found almost one-quarter of respondents said “they aren’t important to anyone anymore.” Will We Still BE Relevant When We’re 64?
  • The year 2047 will be remembered, according to predictions, as the year those aged 60+ will outnumber children (under 16). Think about it, if you’re 36 yrs old right now, you will be part of that group. The challenge is that the world, in general, needs to do a better job considering older people’s role in society. Why We Don’t Care About Older People As Much As Children
  • The good news is we are living longer and generally healthier than previous generations. The challenge is that the world around us is changing at whiplash speed. Here are six secrets to staying relevant as we age. Note: This was written for women, but really, it applies to all genders.


“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

In midlife, we have never been as experienced, as wise, and as capable.


In my travels, I’ve seen two camps of midlifers: those who continue to be excited about their personal growth and life in general and those who believe the best things in life are behind them.

Let’s be in the first camp.

Cool Beans,
Lou Blaser


A former management consultant and IT leader, Lou Blaser is the editor of Midlife Cues and the host of the Second Breaks podcast. She is also the author of Break Free: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself and Your career. Lou’s work is focused on exploring how to navigate, thrive, and turn midlife into the best phase in our life.