When I turned fifty, I received my invitation to join AARP. Unlike turning 18 or 21, it wasn't very exciting. For most people, AARP perks are the magazine and newspaper and some discounts. When women turn 50, however, they become eligible for a sisterhood of fun, frivolity, and fellowship--The Red Hat Society. I'm an unabashed fan and admirer.

The members refuse to have "middle age" be a cue to go gently into the night. Rather, they insist on being outrageous, audacious, and even silly. Their red hats and purple clothes say they want to dress up, have fun, and don't care if others think they look odd. Men aren't invited. It's a "girl thing." The organization only began about six years ago and already has more than 35,000 chapters. What distinguishes the Red Hat Society is their attitude that getting older just means more freedom to be yourself, to have fun, and to bond with other women who want to live life fully. The closest male counterpart is golfers over fifty wearing those lime green pants with
little ducks or perhaps a Shriner's meeting.

Founder Sue Ellen Cooper's first book was titled, The Red Hat Society: Fun and Friendship after Fifty. Well said. So what do you get a woman for her 50th birthday? Why, a red hat, of course. The group has several keys to growing young--developing friendships, pursuing humor, not worrying about what others think, and seeing "middle age" as a time of renewal. Whether male or female, their hattitude is a great one for staying youthful at every age.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Michael Brickey, America’s preeminent Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and Oprah-featured author. His works include: Defy Aging, 52 baby steps to Grow Young, and Reverse Aging (anti-aging hypnosis CDs. Visit www.DrBrickey.com for a free report on anti-aging secrets and his free Defy Aging Newsletter with practical anti-aging tips. Hear him interview leading anti-aging experts and/or read the interview transcripts with the anti-aging experts.

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