How Does Turning 50 Feel?
My sister, Karin, is back again with an honest look at turning 50. For her, it was the beginning of her midlife reinvention and a return to a love of writing. The old girl has definitely found her MOJO again – proof positive that turning 50 (or 60, as her friends have discovered) really can be day one. Read on.
When my 50th birthday was approaching, some of my friends wanted to throw me a big bash. Their plan was to have me book a motel in the city for a couple of nights and party. party, party!
I could think of nothing worse.
I had to put my not-so-little foot down with an emphatic “yeah-nah” (Australian for ‘thanks but no thanks').
Some of the younger set also seemed worried that turning 50 might be a traumatic time for me. But the complete opposite was true.
My only crap birthday so far in this lifetime was my 30th. But that was because I was a single parent with a three-year-old son and thought, “Well, that’s it, my life is over”. I figured I’d be raising a child on my own until I was too old and saggy to find a partner again.
As fate would have it, I did remarry and have another child too. By the time 50 rolled around, I’d been single for ten years and was loving it.
In the end, I agreed to the city stay (sans partying) and I had a lovely time with a couple of dear friends. But that was it for the official celebration.
So how did turning 50 feel?
It felt pretty damn good. I’m 53 now and loving my life exactly as it is. I am so content with what I have. The only improvement would be having more money (but with no extra effort on my part).
Today, I have a job that I love, working with people I actually care about. I have two gorgeous but annoying children, three very annoying cats and a roof over my head that I share with a bank.
Fifty feels like contentment, which is something that would have made me hurl in my twenties.
But ‘contentment' is great, as is calm, tranquil, easygoing, relaxed and chilled, dude. I know how I feel about most things in my life. I have definite opinions but still try to learn more about myself and my world all the time.
I try not to be one of those know-it-all old farts who declaims the opinions of others. Yet, my daughter will tell you that’s a load of crap and that I’m still terribly judgmental.
I’m trying to care less what people think of me, but that seems to be a losing battle. I’m working on that one too. One minute I’m tough, then a random comment will have me in tears.
I don’t want to be a tough old bird with the emotional skin of leather. But it would be nice if thoughtless people wounded me less.
Will the body hold up?
On the negative side of the ledger, mortality looms large when you hit your fifties.
With good health, advances in science and selective breeding, there’s a good chance you'll live well into your nineties or even 100. But do we want to?
If I’m still able to potter around with all my beloved things around me and be content, then all good by me. But I tell you what, it’s pretty daunting to realise that I might not get another fifty years out of this body.
With care and no major injuries or health issues, I may live to enjoy life for another thirty plus years. I hope so because there are so many books I haven’t got around to reading yet, and that will take up much of my remaining time.
I dream of moving to southern Tasmania and living near the water. I'll be an eccentric and much-loved author, I'll raise chooks, and elderly cats will rule the house.
On the practical side, I'll be close to a major hospital, a bus route and a friendly local taxi driver.
50 = Reinvention
After years of false starts, my writing has finally taken off again, and my plan is to write enough books to fund a comfortable retirement.
So I am planning ahead by working on my books and my blog as much as I can while working part-time. Turning 50 was the start of that new path in my life.
Unfortunately, menopause decided to kick in at the same time! So now it’s a battle between creative ideas and writing them down before they vanish like some evil magic.
So what does 50 feel like now? Well, it feels like Freedom.
And the definition of that freedom will be different for everyone. I’m single, so my sense of freedom does come with a delicious side dish of “Nobody can tell me what to do.”
I'm free to live an authentic life, to suit myself, and to shed little bits of my old life as I go. Rigid by nature, I'm finding I can live my life with more flexibility these days and still feel safe.
I have a few friends enjoying their sixties now and I look forward to reaching that milestone too. They seem to be having a lot of fun trying new experiences. So as far as I can tell, life only gets better with age, and turning 50 was one of the best things that ever happened.
How will 50 feel for you?
At 50, I'm free to live an authentic life, to suit myself, and to shed little bits of my old life as I go. Click To Tweet
PS. If you want a nice simple guide to mastering your midlife, get my free guide here. I created it for you.
The Power of Now – by Eckhart Tolle
The Art of Non-Conformity – by Chris Guillebeau
Choose Yourself – by James Altucher
Younger Next Year – by Chris Crowley
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything – by Sir Ken Robinson
New to Midlife Tribe? Start Here.
It's time to decide what you really want.
Make 2018 your midlife reinvention year.
Three steps to a meaningful life today.
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Midlife Crisis or Chance to Reinvent Yourself?
What's the point of it all? Define your MITs.
Also published on Medium.