What does turning 50 mean to me?
Yep, it happened a few months ago. And, yeah, 50 seems like a pretty big number, but what does turning 50 mean?
Aging or birthdays never really affected me. But, as 50 was approaching, I was a little nervous – I thought, “is my life only downhill from here? My children are basically grown. What will fill my life? How will I spend my days if I have no children to take care of and focus on?”
Well….who knew?!?! I am busier and more fulfilled now than I have been in years. I attribute this to becoming wiser with age. Yes, that really happens! (Even if my “grown” children don’t believe me.)
So, what IS filling my time? What IS keeping my busy?
In short, it’s mostly learning! I’ve really started with this newfound love of learning. (Read 5 Reasons to Learn 5 New Things in Midlife.) I’ve always been about growing and staying current with things like technology. The biggest thing I’m learning about is personal development, mindfulness, and human behavior. And, of course, WordPress tech stuff and this blog! My big new venture!
So here I am; what does turning 50 mean? To me it means being TOTALLY committed to improving my life, living authentically, and being present.
I am taking my life into my own hands, with the total belief that I am fully capable of doing so.
I have decided that I am going to follow my passions, quit being an employee, and work for MYSELF. I am going to DO THIS THANG! I am not waiting for life to happen. I am taking control.
Consequently, I am sharing this journey and my experiences with you and planning to help you along the way! I know what it’s like to feel stuck and not really have a passion – that unfulfilled feeling.
How did I get to this point?
It started with wanting to become more mindful. About a year and a half ago, I was at a seminar and we were asked to write our word of the year. Mine was MINDFUL. I was feeling a lot of stress and anxiety, which was leading me to be angry and take it out on people around me. I just knew I needed to find a calmness in my life.
What followed was enrolling in a couple online classes about mindfulness, thinking that meditation would be helpful, and became totally intrigued by how the brain works and how being mindful and regularly meditating can really change our brains. Anything that we practice regularly gets hardwired into the brain – both positive and negative.
I found the classes through Coursera, which “provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online. The classes I took were through FutureLearn: Mindfulness for Well Being and Peak Performance and Maintaining a Mindful Life from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. I learned so much from these courses! (I highly recommend!)
Realization – reacting, ruminating, and replaying
I started noticing things – paying attention to my body, paying attention to my thoughts, paying attention to my feelings. I noticed when I was dwelling on things, ruminating, or replaying interactions from the day. I made a note of my reactions to situations or stress. What I found was that, much of the time, I was causing myself more distress by reacting, ruminating, and replaying.
Mindfulness and meditation gave me momentum
As I started practicing mindfulness and meditating more regularly, I began looking at things differently. Knowing that my kids would be leaving home – probably going far away – and nothing would be keeping me in this small town…as I perused Pinterest (mainly for recipes), I saw that others were doing things online or remotely. They were in fact mobile – working from anywhere – location independent. That’s what I wanted!!
Then I came across an online experience called the Work At Home Summit. I went ahead and signed up. It was FREE. I had thought about blogging and realized that people could make money doing so; some people made a lot of money! I learned SO MUCH from the Work At Home Summit.
The speakers were so inspiring and their excitement was contagious! My “dream” of being mobile or location independent was looking like it could be real! I was really gaining momentum and feeling good about it!
Add in a few podcasts
Yes, my learning continued with podcasts. I’ve become addicted to self development podcasts!
My podcast consumption began, like a lot of people, with Serial. I was obsessed with Serial. I love the topic of true crime and justice, but another one with which I more recently became obsessed, was The Hilarious World of Depression. (BTW – you MUST add this to your list if you have any type of mental health issues or know anyone with mental health struggles.)
I got so much from this podcast – that I wasn’t alone in many of my struggles with depression, being better able to understand others with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses, and that people with mental illness CAN get better – from A LOT of really inspirational people (mostly comedians, so it can make you laugh a lot and cry all in the same episode).
When the season ended, I had to find another podcast(s). At this point, I couldn’t drive to work (or anywhere really) without listening to something.
Do you even know how many podcasts are out there? They really are THE thing! And, on ANY topic you could ever imagine. My favorite podcasts are those where guests are talking about overcoming struggles, pushing through fears, learning, and making changes as they learned more – mostly personal development and mindfulness topics, with some about productivity, side hustles, and working from home.
And the mindshift happened
Up to this point, before turning 50, I never really thought I would be doing anything (much) different from what I am currently doing. Don’t get me wrong, I have believed in my abilities to move up and add more responsibility, but I never really felt like that would fulfill me any more.
At the end of the year, I looked at my word of the year hanging there on my bulletin board – mindful – and I realized that I had actually achieved a lot with regard to that word. It felt good. I realized that there are times when, even if you don’t think you’re making progress, you’re actually making a lot!
Now, a total mindshift has happened. I turned 50 and no longer do I believe that I am stuck. I fully believe that I have the power to change my circumstances. I am finding my purpose and pursuing my dreams!
The things you focus on are the things that appear in your life.
You know when you get a new car, or find a car that you want, everywhere you go, you see that make and model of car! Now, it seems like everywhere I turn, I find something related to one of the areas that I am focusing on…mindfulness, self development, blogging, working from home, being location independent, etc.
It’s pretty amazing! I love it! I feel It makes me feel even more empowered because I’m validated in my belief that things can change! And, there are a lot of people like me out there! So…YAY! Really YAY!
So, yes, I turned 50, but I’m more busy and more fulfilled than ever. This is what is taking up my time, keeping me occupied: finding like-minded people to connect with and learn from! All of this learning is inspiring me to continue this journey and I want to bring you along!
So, if you’ve recently turned 50 or are somewhere in the midlife years, I’d love it if you joined me so we can learn together! Let’s see where this all of this takes us!
I’m grateful for these changes that are happening in my life. And, I’m just so excited to be sharing it all with YOU!
Take a moment to share your thoughts so that we can learn from and support one another while we awaken to new pursuits!