I spent the latter part of my 40s ranting at myself. Now in my 50s, I am so relieved that I can enjoy my time. I’m done ranting, now I am actually DOING things that make every day better than yesterday. You can too.
That’s my bottom line. I’m doing it.
I’m cleaning up relationships, getting my finances in order, donating carloads of closet crap to charity, paying more attention to how I treat the people I care about, creating a business that makes me feel good about how I spend my time making money, and overall, just making decisions that make sense. Is it all neat and tidy? Hell no. But I’m working on it. I’m overweight, have some bad habits that should be dealt with, my office is a disaster area and I don’t cook dinner as often as I wished I did. Working on it.
Why should you care?
My blog and podcast are going to focus on the stories and wisdom of ordinary people who are trying to do the same things I am. Getting rid of people, things and ideas that are no good for me anymore and fighting the fear of change as I do new things, adopt new ideas and start being a person I am proud of. They’ve had something big happen or maybe they’ve just got that gene that energizes them to construct a life that works at this age.
This last weekend, when I should have been working 24/7 on this website, I spent the two days driving my daughter and her friend five hundred miles to a One Direction concert where my best friend from high school was going to join us and put us up for the night in my hometown. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Priorities.
So today, when I’m being just a wee bit critical of my time choices this weekend, I’m forgiving myself, because I did what was important to me.
I’ve also pretty much forgiven myself for:
- not finishing college right out of high school
- getting married at the age of 19 (what was I thinking???)
- the stupid hurtful thing I said to my son when he was 13 and never lets me forget
- not following golden advice that I was given in my twenties
- not saving more for retirement
Yeah, whatever. Can’t change it now, everything turned out fine.
In your 50s, you can take the pressure off by finally being able to see and appreciate the big picture. You are not dying, but you have a life to live and enjoy. I meet midlifers who are tied up in knots about where they are on the ladder, or twisted up over some obligation to please somebody they don’t even like, and I just marvel at how sad that is.
If you hate your job, figure out a new gig. If your marriage sucks, find the guts to sit down with your partner and say, “We can do better than this, let’s fix our marriage. I’m going to go first and try to be a better person to be married to, can you help me with that?.
What’s great about your 50s?
You’re smarter now, your BS radar is highly attuned, you know how to navigate through the nonsense, but the thing that may trip you up at this point is that your bottom line has shifted. What has been important, those base foundation philosophies and priorities need to change at midlife and you might be a feeling a bit lost.
What is eating at you?
You want to:
- live in a major city instead of a small town
- become a foster parent
- write that novel
- kick your 30-year-old son out of your basement
- start a business
- travel the U.S. for 3 months
Do it! This week, make the plan.
If you have kids, you’ve done your best to raise good kids. Hopefully, you also taught them how to be good adults. If not, now you need to start showing them how an adult leads a great life.
Your career or business has put food on the table and kept you out of jail. Maybe you are where you thought you’d be professionally by this time, or maybe not. Now you need to figure out where to spend your time, energy, and money. What really matters to you? What’s important? What’s not? You don’t have 60 years of somedays left.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that you don’t really care as much about what other people think of you. So this is a good time to take some risks. As one friend said, “I love being 50 because I just don’t give a shit anymore”. Those words are pure poetry.