Fifty hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn’t unprepared for it – after all, I’d had 50 years to plan for it – but the psychological aspect of turning fifty took me by surprise. I wasn’t prepared to feel so melancholy, to feel like my life was nearly over!
Look at it this way. I expect that by age 65, I will be less physically capable, less physically attractive and less energetic … by far! (Of course it’s up to me to not let those things happen to me.) But that leaves just fifteen years to get living. That’s just over one third of the life I’ve lived to date! A drop in the bucket.
I had two choices for my middle age
- Lay down and accept that my life was over.
- Get busy living.
Proactivity is a must at 50+
I think I consciously adopted proactivity as a lifestyle choice when I got divorced circa 2006. I had no choice but to swim. Sinking was never an option. I had two pre-teens to look after. I’d been working part-time but once the marital safety net was yanked away, I had to step up and sort out full-time employment. Not wanting to go to work for an employer, I was determined to secure self-employment from home. I became a copywriter and that’s a story for another post.
Being proactive in your 50s means identifying what’s going downhill and then steering it back on course. It could be the wrinkles, it could be the muscular stiffness, it could be loneliness, singledom, social inertia, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, family relationships, economic security … so many things! But laying down and taking it is never going to do you any favours. Here are some of the things that I’ve been proactive about:
- Pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea, being overweight, anxiety – These are all conditions I have and I’m on a never-ending quest to find solutions. Slowly but surely, I’m working on them and making progress.
- Being single – I chop and change my mind all the time about wanting to be in a relationship. I seek male companionship but it ain’t easy to find! The search continues and some days, it feels like an urgent need while other days, I can’t believe it’s even on my radar!
- Living situation – My sons were living with me and in no hurry to leave the nest. So I left the nest! Best thing (for all of us) that I’ve done in a long time. Our relationship is happier and healthier and I freakin’ LOVE my life!
- Wanting to travel – April 2018, I travelled to the US with my sons for my 50th birthday. It was my first overseas trip since 2005 and it sparked my wanderlust.
- Relationships – I think that we all organically travel through life collecting people, figuring out if the relationship warrants nurturing and choosing a pathway. Not all relationships are meant to last – “a season or a reason” – and that’s ok. But identifying the ones that are toxic and cleansing your life of them is key.
- Social inertia – It can be really easy to stay home and binge-watch TV shows the whole weekend and yep, I do it. But it’s important to maintain a balance between secreting yourself away and picking up the phone to ask someone if they want to do something.
- Creativity – I’ve never been visually creative nor good with arts and crafts. I’m not particularly musically inclined, can’t dance and I’m not that into cooking. But I can write and I’ve been itching to start a blog for years! Do you know how to start something? Here’s the big tip: GET STARTED!
Fifty’s going to be good for and to me. That’s what I want and it’s up to me to make it happen. How are your fifties going?