Admit it. When you were young, you thought being in your fifties was older than dirt. You couldn’t imagine being that aged and decrepit. But then the years moved forward. And here you are. The strangest thing is you look around and realize they aren’t so bad. In fact, here are 7 reasons why being in your fifties is downright great….
You’re free. Take a bow. Somewhere in this decade your kids probably graduated high school and maybe even college. Perhaps they moved out. Perhaps they’re still home. But even if they’re living under your roof, things have changed. They’re now full-functioning adults… *cough*. Baby sitters? Checking school homework? Gearing for college essays? They’re all in the past and guess what? You graduated too, to a different, more expansive stage of life.
You’re still young. Yup. I just said that. You’re still young in your fifties. Take a walk through any nursing home if you don’t believe me. What’s even better is you’re the same crazy person inside you’ve always been. Sure, maybe the outside has more mileage but you still love the “Little Rascals” and singing in the car and shoving pink hunks of cotton candy in your mouth at summer carnivals. Some things never change. That kid is still in there.
However…time is ticking. And this is a good thing because nothing focuses the mind like a deadline. When I was young I was always putting things off, like exploring the world, going on that cross-country drive or maybe living in New York City. Time stretched endlessly into the future like the Sahara desert. Then the years came along and that Sahara desert shrunk to the size of my local beach. Before I know it, it’ll be the size of a kid’s sandbox. I realized if I’m ever going to see South America or learn how to make a cheese soufflé or try and write that novel, I better start moving.
You know who you are. In my twenties, I worked in the corporate world and always felt defective. I was never good at politics, organizational charts or football pools. I got teary-eyed easily much to the eye-rolling impatience of tougher colleagues. Instead I liked ideas and words and emotional, messy things. It wasn’t till I had a few decades under my belt that I realized this wasn’t my fault. I hadn’t found my tribe. If you’re young and still in that search mode, don’t worry. You’ll discover who you are, most likely through hit or miss. But you will find it.
In your fifties, you’re in the sweet spot in life. Remember during early parenthood when you were changing that third stinky diaper within two hours and fantasized about lying on a beach somewhere? Or maybe taking a week-long camping trip? Good news: it’s easier now. Your fifties is that great intersection between “Raring to Go” and “Having Most of your Marbles Left to Do it.” I have fifty-something friends who have more adventures these days than they had in their twenties. They finally have the time and means and believe me, they’re gunning for it full-throttle.
You’re strong. By this age you’ve been tossed around by life a little… or a lot. You’ve had to climb back on that horse many times. And the great thing is you know you can do it. By your 50’s, you’ve been tested emotionally, personally, marriage-wise, kids-wise, financially, health, you name it. You know what to put on the worry list. You know what’s not worth it. You know where to put your energies.
You’re free to chase your dream – I know many who picked up the pen, guitar, paint brush, and yoga mat in their later years. Who knows why? Maybe we’re less afraid. Maybe we have more to express at this age. Maybe life, with its joys and sorrows, deepens the soul. People who took no prisoners in the corporate world discovered they now love the gentler side of life. Our fifties are the first time many of us have the time and space to explore our hidden, creative self. And that can lead to riches we never knew we had.
I just started my last year in my 50’s. And looking back it’s been an awesome, educational, inspirational, spiritual decade. I’m grateful. My fifties were one bad-ass teacher.
Am I ready for the next decade in a year? Gulp. No. Yes. Maybe. Not sure. While I think about this, please pass the cotton candy.
How do you feel about getting older? Comments are always welcome. If you like this, please share with one of the magic buttons below. If you’d like to receive posts via email, just press the subscribe link above. Thank you.