“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” ~Samuel Ullman
Did you feel different when you turned 50? Take a moment to think about what emotions you experienced when you reached the half-century age.
Were you happily celebrating that “50 is the new 30” feeling?
Did you celebrate with near-reckless abandon?
Did you put up your “Life Begins At 50” banner? Or -- Were you sad--feeling as though time had passed you by?
Did you feel like you were officially heading to the “back-end” of your life cycle? DID YOU START TO FEEL OLD?
Comment below and let me know, but first, have a gander at my experience.
Let’s back up a couple of decades, for starters…
WHEN I TURNED 30, I slumped into depression. I don’t know how or why, but all of a sudden, I felt as if life was rapidly passing me by. I questioned myself incessantly:
- What have I accomplished?
- Why are the birthdays coming behind one another so fast?
- What was the point of coming to a new country again?
I had no concrete answers, but as the time went by and the numbers continued to climb, my outlook on life started to improve. By the time I hit my 40s, I was in let-me-get-this-done-before-I-get-older mode with all the things I never had a chance to complete. This included things in my personal and professional life. I went to WORK!
- I started paying attention to my eating habits
- I stopped taking crap from men (hello!)
- I started to view myself as beautiful
- I approached (and later embraced) the idea that I would never again settle. My forties were the times that I truly explored ME.
WHEN I TURNED 50, that’s when the party really got started.
At age 50, my youngest child turned 18, leaving me free to take some pretty bold steps.
- I went back to school to complete a Bachelor’s degree I’d started years ago
- I signed up with a gym for regular workouts
- I started taking dance classes (something I’d loved since my youth)
- I threw myself an all-white birthday party (Oh, the speeches that were given by the various family members and friends were unforgettable).
I embraced my beauty, inside and out, and it showed up in the way I looked, but more importantly, in the way I felt.
So, my answer to the question “Did you feel different when you turned 50?” …
Emphatically, yes! I felt better than I ever did. And today, at 54, I’m still feeling great!
I want the same for you, so perhaps you can start by asking yourself these questions:
- What can you start doing today that you didn’t have the time and resources to do when you were younger?
- Is there something I’ve wanted to do (a new class, trying a new food, visiting a new city, etc.) that I can absolutely do this year?
- How have I grown wiser over the years?
- What’s one thing I really love about myself right now?
Start with those questions, and build from there. But whatever you do, my fellow 50-plusers, remember that age is simply a number—we get to decide how we feel if we take care of our spirits, our bodies, our selves.
“I am happy to report that my inner child is still ageless.” ~James Broughton