Yes, I am about to turn 50! I honestly thought I would be dreading this transition, but I am actually feeling pretty great about it. I think that growing older can be synonymous with loss and grief and negative changes. We can focus on what we can no longer do or how we no longer look. I think when I was younger, I absolutely felt that way. Maybe it is because of the emphasis our culture puts on youth, and maybe it is because there is some truth to those impending limitations. But as my birthday approaches, I find myself not feeling any of those things.
Here are a few things I believe are amazing about turning 50!
I definitely have some new perspective on what is important and what is not. I am open to hearing other people’s opinions, but I am selective about how much power I give them. I can make choices on how to spend my resources, time and emotions. I love the power that comes with this perspective and choose how and when to invest myself and when to rest and reflect. I did not have this in my 40’s.
I have lived a lot of life so far. I can draw from my experiences and see how God has worked in my life in the past and how He is likely to work in my current and future circumstances as well. Looking back at my identity quests in my 20s, the building of my career and family in my 30s, and my fearless adventures of my 40s helps me walk into my 50s with my eyes wide open and focused. There is good to be experienced even in the hard aspects of each season. Experience has taught me this.
3. Knowing myself
There are still things I am learning about who I am and what I am called to in this life, but there is so much I have finally learned and embraced. I no longer (mostly) worry about comparing myself to others. I am not good at everything, but I am good at some things. Focusing my energy on what I specifically feel called to do has helped refine my vision of my future and have saved me a lot of energy. I can harness my energy and funnel it in the directions that make the most sense for me. This feels like a gift that 50 has given me.
Maybe this comes from all of the above; perspective, experience and knowing myself, or maybe it is a byproduct of living life, failing and getting back up again. I don’t feel like I am confident because I know I won’t fail, I think I have confidence because I have survived a lot of failures, and they have not single handedly defined me. If I have survived these trials in the past, I feel confident I can in the future. This confidence affects how I stand, walk, talk, move, and interact with my world.
I have learned that taking some risks is worth it. Being brave and putting myself out there in the world and in relationships is worth the risk when you have the opportunity to make someone’s life better because of it. Sometimes it is my life that is better, and sometimes it is someone else’s life. Living in fear and stagnation rarely has that same impact. Often the only thing to lose is your pride if it does not work out, and that seems like a fair trade. I have more courage now than in my 40s, but I believe this is definitely something that will grow even more as I enter my 50s.
Life is not a sprint but a marathon. Not giving up during the hard seasons of my 30s and 40s has created some much needed endurance as I enter my 50s. This is the season of finishing out parenting my teenagers and launching them into the world. This is the season of aging parents and cherishing family time. This is a season that requires not giving up or giving in when relationships get hard. Continuing to invest and continuing to love requires endurance. I am so grateful (in hindsight) for the opportunities I have had to build this endurance for the seasons to come.
A combination of perseverance, boldness, tenacity and determination has developed in me. I can see the preciousness of time and of a life well lived and not wasted. I can have an impact and influence and I want to be intentional about how I invest in those around me. I have learned what is worth fighting for and what is better to let go of. I certainly do not have it all figured out, but I can see clearly what I could not see clearly before and I am going to do my best to use the clarity.
Ultimately what this all adds up to is FOCUS. There are so many things that 50 means to me, but I feel like 50 and Focused is the best description of how I am entering this new season. I have my hands open and am willing to be flexible, but I am also determined to live an intentional life and have an impact on the world I am in. I am not interested in just letting life happen and reacting but being proactive and purposeful.
So what does this new season look like for you?
Have you been dreading getting older?
Do you have some preconceived and negative perception of what this next season of your life looks like?
Well, you are likely not alone.
January is my birthday month and I have historically used this month to be especially generous by giving YOU gifts in honor of my birthday. This year is no different. My gift to you for the next 21 days (the countdown to my birthday on Jan 22nd) is to give you daily encouragement and insight from my own journey to being 50 and focused. Each day we will be sharing (via Facebook, Instagram and email) how to embrace the new (whether that is at 50 or any age), by giving you insight on living an intentional life, embracing the changes, forward thinking, investing in your world and giving back.
We encourage you to follow along, engage, participate, answer the questions we ask and apply the ideas we share. As a thank you and motivation to stay involved for the next 21 days… THERE WILL BE GIVEAWAYS!! YES, we will be giving away FREE Tummy Team online courses every week to people who participate. Every act of participation puts your name into the drawings so you can engage as much as you like to increase your odds.