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Fearlessly Facing Fifty

I turned fifty years old a couple of weeks ago (I’m at the tail end of the Boomer generation) and I found the whole situation churned up a ton of emotions.

Turning thirty didn’t cause me to flinch and turning forty came and went without even a second glance but for some reason turning fifty really seemed to drag me down.  Maybe it was because my kids are now semi-independent, maybe it was because I realized that fifty is the halfway mark to being one hundred or maybe it was because I actually had time to think about it – I’m not exactly sure the actual reason but I just didn’t feel that great about turning fifty.

I think what may have triggered my initial reaction was a result of reading an article written by another woman in her fifties.  In her article she wrote about how she felt that she was disappearing.  She thought this was a result of the fact that her looks had faded, her children no longer needed her and her career had stalled.  As an older woman she no longer felt she attracted attention or had a specific purpose any longer. 

I think the thought of this scared me.  Was it really all going to be downhill from here?  Were the best years of my life now over?  Was all I had to look forward to be failing health and dull, empty days?

As I started to begin to dwell on these thoughts and sink further into an abyss of feeling sorry for myself, something in my mind literally went ‘click’.  It was truly like a light bulb went off in my head.  I started to think about all the things that I have left to do in my life.  Sure, I might not be jumping out of a plane anytime soon but I realized how much more of life I had yet to live.

As I look forward there are so many things I want to do; I want to travel and explore new places, I want to spend time with family and friends, I want to exercise more, read books and do work for a greater purpose – were just a few of the things that jumped into my mind.  I realized that for the last twenty years I had dedicated my life to my family and my career and there was very little time left to do things that I wanted to do.  Don’t get me wrong – I do not regret even one single minute of that time it was just that now I realized that this is the best time in my life to rediscover my own passions and really celebrate all that life has to offer.50th Birthday

I also started to reflect and appreciate the changes underway in my life.  My relationship with my kids was beginning to shift.  I was no longer strictly only a nurturer and disciplinarian – we were actually now having adult conversations and our relationships were moving into the space of being also a friend and confidante.  I started to also realize that I was now at a stage in my life where I recognized more easily what was really important in life and also knowing what wasn’t.  Family, friends and relationships were now trumping my attention to my work and chores.

So in the end I actually discovered that turning fifty wasn’t that bad after all.  It turned out to be a great time for reflection and an even better time to look forward to all the wonderful things yet to come.  Oh yeah and who knows – I might even revisit the jumping out of a plane thing – this 93 year old did!

 

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.
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