Keys Soulcare’s Editorial Director shares what aging really means — and why it’s only the beginning.
– KEYS SOULCARE
To Margit Detweiler, 40 isn’t the new 20 — 40 and over is something entirely different. The community curator, business owner, and all-around creative isn’t interested in placating ageists who believe that midlife means end of life. Instead, she founded TueNight — an online platform for women over 40 seeking camaraderie, humor, and affirmation wrapped up in midlife realness. Margit has also been the Editorial Director for Keys Soulcare since the very beginning!
We chatted with Margit to get her take on the myths of aging, the significance of grown-ass lady storytelling, and the power of embracing the messy, magical musings of midlife.
FIRSTLY, TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK ON KEYS SOULCARE?
I’ve been so thrilled to consult as an Editorial Director for Keys Soulcare since it was a secret project in 2020. Alicia is such a multi-hyphenate powerhouse — a musician, writer, inspirational force and now a leader in the world of natural beauty. It’s been amazing to watch her bring Keys Soulcare to life, and to help develop the stories, ideas and get inspired by the rich, inclusive KSC community. Also, what was my shower sitch before the Be Luminous Exfoliator? That stuff is magic.
YOU’RE THE FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF TUENIGHT — CAN YOU SHARE A BIT ABOUT THE SITE AND ITS MISSION?
Sure! TueNight isa storytelling website and community for “grown-ass women” — primarily for Gen-X women and non-binary folk, but all are welcome. It’s sort of a mentality. You can be grown-ass at any age, really. It’s all about confidence, coming into your own power, and a “no effs left to give” attitude. Back in 2013 I wrote a little story to kick off the whole website about entering the puberty of old age. Your 40s are when you feel like you have all of this life experience to pull from and yet, so much more left to do — but maybe your knees are starting to creek a little.
At the time, I was feeling like women over 40 were getting a bad rap — the media was telling us we needed to dye our hair, hide our wrinkles, and just take a backseat. I was like, hell no. We’re a SUPER diverse lot, and I wanted to reflect that better with a more inclusive approach because being in midlife does not look like one thing. TueNight is proof that Gen Xers are still living — or just beginning — their best lives. We travel, we run companies, we are activists, we are mothers — or we’re not — and all those stories deserve to be shared.
I called it TueNight for three reasons: we have a fresh issue/newsletter every Tuesday (natch), Tuesday Night is sort of an unclaimed time — it’s not the start of the week, hump day, or the weekend. It’s a time when you might kick back with a glass of wine [or] a cup of tea and reflect. And TueNight is pronounced like Tonight — it’s all about right now. We’re living our lives right now, for ourselves, in whatever way we see fit.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SHARE STORIES ABOUT THIS SEASON OF YOUR LIFE?
We are women with so much experience and lives lived (multiple lives!) — experience makes for good storytelling. We can look back and reflect on our first kiss, our worst boss; our best moments and our painful ones. We can provide context not just for each other, but for the women coming up behind us. We Gen-Xers are in a moment in time — some call us the “sandwich generation” — where we have multiple pressures at once; taking care of aging parents and children at the same time is one example.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE TOP 3 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT TURNING 40 (AND OLDER)?
That we’re not clued in to pop culture or anything cutting edge.
That we’re not tech-savvy. Come on. I mean, we went from records to 8-track tapes, to cassettes, to CDs, to digital music. We’ve been at the forefront of adopting and embracing new tech.
That we’re stuck in our ways. (Ok maybe all three of these are the same.)
WHAT MYTHS OR MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT MIDLIFE DID YOU HAVE (IF ANY) WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER?
Perhaps all of the things I just mentioned — that older people were fuddy duddys in some way. But, I also had a lot of respect, even then, for older people and the wisdom and insight they brought. One of the best, earliest working experiences I had was at a newspaper with a generational mix of people — the older, hardscrabble journalists with so much experience and the young, upstart writers and editors (like myself back then) who had a fresh or unusual perspective. When you structure organizations with any kind of diverse, intergenerational mix, everyone benefits.
HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO AGING CHANGED WITH TIME?
Now I am in my 50s, which is a whole different thing: I feel a lot more relaxed than I did in my 40s — even more confident, but there’s not so much pressure, in a way, to be something. But talk to me another day and I’ll feel that pressure — it will rear its ugly head. The truth is we never figure it all out. Ever. You just have to enjoy the journey. I try to live my life more in the moment [and] be present. Not to be grim, but as we age, we have elders and loved ones start to pass, even friends, and you start to realize the preciousness of our time on earth.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR 20-SOMETHING SELF?
To explore, be as creative as possible and to always try new things. There are so many fewer self-imposed barriers at that age. Take advantage of it.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT BEING 40+?
The assuredness and confidence. We’ve been there, done that, and can do a much better job filtering out what’s a good idea and a bad one, especially around relationships. I met my husband later in life and at that point, I’d been through a host of good and bad relationships. I feel like they all prepared me to spot the one. I remember sitting across the table from him on our first date, just talking with him so effortlessly thinking, “Oh THIS is what it’s supposed to be like.”
WHAT DO YOU NOT ENJOY ABOUT BEING 40+?
The body breaking down stuff. I don’t want to scare anyone, but TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY as best you can. Like flossing your teeth, you know? All of that stuff starts to catch up with you — and then a lot of health issues as we age are just the natural course of things. But yeah, as someone who just had bunion surgery, I think we should all be wearing comfortable shoes, always and forever.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THE 40+ COMMUNITY STRUGGLING WITH AGING?
Find a community of like-minded women — we have one called The TueNight Social where we share our struggles and joys, from ideas to care for aging parents, to ways to be more confident when public speaking, to memes that make us laugh. Things are always better with sisters!
HOW DO YOU EXPERIENCE MIDLIFE AS SOULCARE?
It’s a time for us to be more ourselves, to “come out” as it were — in small ways and big ones. That to me is soulcare: being true to yourself [as well as] honoring your body and mind at every life stage. Giving yourself the time and space you need. The bonus at this time in life, you have a better idea of what that is!
WHEN DO YOU FEEL MOST CONNECTED TO YOUR HIGHEST SELF?
When I’m listening to music — singing and dancing alone in my apartment, as loudly as possible (sorry, neighbors). When I’m writing, the words just zing and flow. When I’m with close friends IRL, talking about life or with a group of amazing women, dialoguing about important things or even silly things. When using my creativity to give back to other humans.
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE VISION FOR YOUR WORK?
To change the perception of aging, in particular for women. To show that growing older doesn’t look like one thing — it’s not that we all suddenly start wearing twin sweater sets. To elevate the conversations that women in midlife care about and to build transparency around the topics that go unspoken — everything from menopause, to money, to work, to even end-of-life. And, I would add, the unabashed joy we feel at this moment in our lives.
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE VISION FOR YOURSELF?
To exercise my creative muscles in a way that benefits society.
WE DEFINE LIGHTWORKERS AS THOSE THAT BRING AND SPREAD LIGHT AND POSITIVITY INTO THE WORLD. WHAT MAKES YOU A LIGHTWORKER?
I’m a stereotype buster — I hope. And to me, that’s shining a light on the truth. I try to illuminate the real, messy, and very often hilarious stories from Gen-X women in midlife so that we can paint a truer portrait of what it’s like, change the narrative around aging and, ideally, live in a more dynamic society.
What do you love most about life after 40? Share your thoughts in the comments!