There are few things in life that cause anxiety like turning 50. It’s something about that age that makes people pause, reflect and re-evaluate their current situation. Truth be told, most of us spend our twenties and thirties just trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives. If you’re one of the fortunate ones, you figured it out early. I’ve always been a late bloomer, so I’m just figuring out what it is that drives me and what I’m most passionate about. Once we’ve entered our forties, most of us are so entrenched in work, raising kids, and dealing with all of the other issues that life has thrown at us, that our hopes and desires have become buried under mountains of “other stuff”. By the time we hit 50, you come to the realization that life is short. By this time, many of us have lost family members or close friends and we recognize that we have more time behind us than ahead of us. It’s then that we realize, if not now, when? It’s during the mid-life season that many people become their most creative selves and I believe their most interesting selves. Women who have lived full lives bring a depth to their creativity that the young need time to master. We’ve spent a half century dealing with the joy and pain of living and have come out on the other side.
As women, we can’t appreciate the journey until we’re able to throw off the mental baggage that we’ve been carrying around for decades. Let’s not even talk about all of the physical changes that seem to crop up out of nowhere. Where did that stray hair on my chin come from? Are those age spots on my arms? Oh my gosh, is that a double chin?! It can be a bit unnerving to say the least. The funny part about it though, is that you still feel the same as you did in your twenties. That’s what makes for such a contradiction during this time. On the inside you feel the same but your exterior no longer reflects your younger self. We’re still presenting ourselves to the world the way we did twenty or thirty years ago. It’s like the train has passed and no one told us, so we’re still standing on the platform looking crazy. So what do we do? How do we become one of those women over 50 who’s loving life, has a great attitude and looks way better than anyone half her age even with wrinkles and cellulite? We have to meet ourselves where we are today. We have to remove the clutter and noise and reconnect with who we are. You’re still that creative, fun loving chick that you were in your twenties. The core of who you are hasn’t changed. In fact, you’re just a more seasoned and dare I say, better version of yourself.
I love being a fifty-something woman. It’s freeing to be able to look back and say, I lived a half century. I’ve survived longer than many and I’m in a good place. If we want to make our life after 50 fabulous, then we have to do some groundwork. If you’ve been neglecting your health and finances for the sake of others, than it’s time to regain your focus and start working on the two things that will impact the quality of your life as you move forward. Make an appointment to get a complete physical and start making some small healthy changes to your diet. Stretch your body each morning to increase your flexibility and take a walk through your neighborhood or local park each day to get the heart rate up and blood moving. When we start feeling better we want more out of life. Re-evaluate the relationships in your life that no longer serve you or that you’ve outgrown but never took the time to notice. Start cultivating relationships with people who have similar interests. Re-connect with the girlfriends that you put on hold while you were tending to your job and family for all of those years. Check out a movie by yourself. Get a haircut. Dye your hair or let the silver strands shine through. The point is, get out of your comfort zone. Take responsibility for setting your own boundaries and identify what it is that brings you joy and just do it! Once you begin to do that, the possibilities become endless and your mind becomes fertile ground for your creativity.
So to recap, here are the 10 steps that I think every woman can take to create a fabulous life after 50:
- Get a Physical – Identify issues that can cause problems later on.
- Feed Your Body – Increase your intake of water, fruits and vegetables.
- Move Your Body – Do the exercise of your choice at least 20 minutes each day.
- Manage Your Finances – Focus on paying off debt so that you can be free to enjoy this stage of your life.
- Reassess Relationships – Move on from people that you’ve outgrown.
- Try Something New – Do something you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid to try.
- Update Your Look – Do something unexpected with your hair, makeup, or clothes to keep it fresh and current.
- Create Boundaries – Learn to say “no” when a situation doesn’t serve you and mean it.
- Create Balance – Be conscious about your need for rejuvenation and let your body rest and relax.
- Create Something – Find out what brings you infinite joy. That is your passion. Act on it.
I’m still working on some of these things. But the point is, begin taking steps to create the life that you want. If we can see it, we can be it. It’s a blessing to age. How we age is up to us. We can’t control everything, but we do have power. The sooner we exercise that power, the more time we have to enjoy what should be the best time of our lives.
Peace and Blessings,