2020 was a crazy year for everyone. Covid 19 changed the way we gather with friends and family, put most travel on hold and caused us to reflect on what is really important. At the end of the year, I turned 50. It feels like a big milestone. Not just a big birthday, but a big moment in this amazing adventure called life. It hit me harder than I expected and caused me to evaluate where I had been and where I was going. I’ve learned some things in the past 50 years. Here are a few of them.
1. It’s Ok if not everyone likes me
I tend to think of myself as recovering people pleaser. I’ve often worked so hard to make people happy and often at my own expense. Essentially, all of us want to be liked. I’m finally learning that it’s OK if everyone doesn’t like me. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve made so many mistakes in my first 50 years but as a Christian, the message of the Gospel is so refreshing. To know there is forgiveness and fresh starts, allows me to worry less about what others think and focus on living out what God has planned for the next chapter.
2. It’s time to pursue the things I’ve been putting off
“I’ll do it – someday”
Someday is now! We aren’t promised tomorrow. It’s time to start taking small steps to move in the direction of our dreams and goals. If not now, when?
3. Health Matters
I’m excited about the next 50 years, or however many I still have, and the adventures ahead of me. I realize that we can’t control most of what happens in this life. 2020 has been a good reminder of that. But there are many things that I can control. Things like what I eat, if I exercise, making time for sleep and what I focus on. It’s hard to be optimistic about the future when our health suffers. Staying healthy for the next half has become a priority
4. It’s never too late to try something new
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis
I’ve worked with seniors for 25 years and have noticed one common theme. That is to never stop learning, setting goals and living out your purpose. A surefire way to “get old” is to retire to the Lazy Boy and binge watch Netflix for 20 years. On the other hand, many women and men started successful business or reached fitness goals over 50… Colonel Sanders, Vera Wang, Martha Stewart, Kittie Weston-Knauer and Lauren Fithian, to name a few.
Having a purpose for our days and a new adventures keeps us “young”.
5. Age is just a number
You really are as old as you feel. When I was a teenager, I thought 50 was ancient. Now that I’m 50 that seems so silly. I feel better today than I did at 30. I refuse to listen to all the negative chatter that it’s all down hill from here. There may be things that I can’t do as well or as quickly as I could 20 years ago. I may need to ask for help and pace myself. Yes, my back does hurt sometimes, and I can’t read without glasses, but we live in a day and age where there are more opportunities to start businesses, see the world and stay connected than ever before. I’ve been blessed to work with seniors for many years and have encountered 90-year old’s full of fire and joy despite physical limitations as well as young 70 years old’s who have decided it’s too late to learn something new because they have decided they are “old”.
I will approach my remaining years not with sadness or feeling that my best years are behind me. Rather, I hope to embrace them fully and walk them faithfully. Just because my days are fewer does not mean than cannot be amazing and productive. The best is yet to come!
I am passionate about helping women live an empowered life fueled by purpose and hope. One that you are excited about and not just surviving, but Thriving! So keep reading and let’s do this crazy, wonderful “life” thing together.