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LIFE BEGINS AT FIFTY

50th-birthdayDoes that sound funny? Well, either your far from it or way past it to have hope in reading further. It’s true most of the time, that is if you keep up with all you have to do. There’s the annual check ups that range from colonoscopy, checking your prostrate and mammograms. There are eye exams for cataracts, bloodwork analysis and whole lists of fun diagnostic tests we hear about, like being really grown up without feeling stupid or too wise for your own good. You can have sex without checking the calendar. Than of course, there’s not really caring what other people think. There’s falling in and out of love without the hell of hurting as much, even knowing when to cut someone loose without the guilt. Finding true friends you narrow down to five. The whole idea of only having five friends would have had you in a panic. Now it’s a relief… there’s choosing a movie or a restaurant without the struggle, we find to say “one please” is giving us liberation and independence.

All in all it may not sound too good or too bad but, one thing remains true… you’re almost there. Where, you say… “well of course you’re half a century”. Come on it’s not soo bad, life can be full of fun. Not as many things to hold you back or tie you down. You for sure know what you want and God help you if you don’t do what you don’t want! If we speak our minds it’s because it’s our prerogative. We listen only if it sounds nice. We walk because we gotta go or we’re just tired of the same old BS. We sing whether we sound good or not. It seems like we’ve earned our keep in the world and we don’t wanna answer to anyone.

It sounds soo easy but is it? Some people say it was easier yesterday. Some say it’s easier today. No matter what anyone says, all we know is one day we wake up to a ton of candles or the big five-o being roared in our circle of friends and loved ones. Than we start to notice a little change in how we are treated, like we are ancient! Yes, I personally will never forget that birthday! This was the one I wanted to quietly fade into the scenery and blend. Did that happen? I only wish. I remember sneaking home from the gym and walking up the outside stairs and seeing Happy 50TH Birthday plastered all the way up the stairwell to my front door. You want to say “I was hot…”, no it wasn’t a flash either, those were way over with. Yes, my only issue was how and why. Now what would I say to the guys at least ten to fifteen years behind me that thought I was so lucky that I was still young and hanging out listening to all there issues with women and how I was so easy going and cool. The same guys that I would surf and run the beach with. What a façade they would think. Then all of a sudden the mirror that never bothered me suddenly became my worst enemy. Oh life changed in moments… alright or was that all those moments times millions of moments. Life as I knew it had radically changed. I would never take the compliment “you look soo good for your age” the same. So what made me so different between yesterday and today?

Funny, I realized how much I took for granted. It was time to get serious. Look that mirror right in it’s face and tell it to go straight to hell. Than, after a tear or two I’d wipe them away and get started. After I realized I’d been in the sun all these years without sunscreen or even sunglasses I knew I was doomed. Not to mention that hot little red honey of a car I was flipping around town like I was twenty something or at least thirty five-ish… well life as I knew it was gone. I suddenly went from having somewhat of an ego to feeling like I was gramma Moses twin. Things were changing too fast. Is this what it’s all about, having anxiety to go where I went so many times. Going to the gym after trying on sweats over and over. It felt like the end of my life or me as I knew myself. What do I do now to put me back out there in the world without everyone noticing my age. I thought back on Mom’s fiftieth birthday party, she looked beautiful,relaxed in her own skin and actually enjoyed herself. Now, how did I get here so fast? I remember like yesterday what it was like to be twenty-one and not a care in the world.  Well nothing that was earth shattering enough to even remember except making sure my lipstick matched my dress. Sad, I thought where did I go… down the rabbit hole?

Despite what I was feeling I wasn’t giving in to all that aging nonsense. After all I was highly educated, worldly and always enjoyed intellectual stimulation. Maybe that was just something you told yourself when you were twenty-two… in a five star restaurant looking across at a man three times your age. Always loving the dinner part, the worldly savvy of it all… just until dinner came to the end. Oh yes of ‘course he was my friend and had no motives at all. Well thinking of those tricky way outs, it brought me to where I was now. I didn’t need a man and the same holds true for a man at this age. They just haven’t figured it out. Not unless they were already cleaned out and petrified to mix with the opposite sex. I realized I came along way even with my first dream career coming to an end, leaving the International city of London with a promising life of status, the arts and travel. I gave it all up to be at my father’s bedside and promising him I’d never leave him. After all, I was his only girl, “Princess” a title from tales of my grandmothers, and we of course shared “that father-daughter bond”. Returning home was not easy to say the least.

I arrived back in the States to my four brothers in a traditional background of male chauvinism. I became an alien to most of my family because being cultured in a steel town wasn’t the norm… no way. I went from high tea and crumpets to loud football games with the good old iron city beer and kielbasa. Wow, you wanna talk “life transformation”. Little did I know the future was being mapped out. I remember my father bringing me home at eighteen to study and obtain my real estate license. That would hold the key to what was going to happen not too soon after trying to bring a worldly lingerie design business together… history would soon repeat itself. Dad was very ill back in the hospital and my eldest brother walked out of our family business of real estate development that spanned many years. That was it. I had to take all of it over… “the kingdom” as I would call it, thus giving up my princess mentality.

I had gone from being protected, cultured and courteous to being a hard nosed business women developer in a world that was predominately men. My mouth would never be the same. I not only became loud, but a bit more seasoned by thugs, just so I could get some authority with this “man’s world” I had been plopped in. It all worked out. I worked every facet of the business from learning maintenance and construction to running the real estate brokerage. Soon I became a sought out source for other developers, which kept me busy and flowing in money. Which was perfect since I had joined the millions of other single mothers by divorce. I had reinvented myself. I had people in and out of offices and simultaneously started a consulting business traveling all over. My son was everything I had hoped for. I had my parents always there for us, life was good.

Flash ahead and all the troubles mounted in the years to come, from an aging father to my mother dying from a rare type of breast cancer. Then hell breaking loose over estate monies and objects. You got it. The best reality show in the making…that was my ticket OUT! I would leave with my son and take small trips to watch him surf and be in a normal environment. Soon I had signed over my inheritance for peace of mind and to be able to take my son out of hell in hopes of a better world. Not yet fifty but 42ish, I struggled and continued to work and educate myself to share all the wisdom my tragedies had bestowed upon me.

I suddenly became ill with several issues almost at once. I jumped off the treadmill and stopped to catch myself from leaving this earth. My son was the saving grace to keeping me here. So by the time I was fifty I had the wisdom of at least a 65 year old, the dreams of a twenty year old, and the insight to start again. Yes, Fifty was my sanctuary for me and no one would take it away! Do we have regrets? Did we make mistakes? Sure, but you NEVER look back or live in regret. Our creator has a way of putting all those trials and experiences together to weave a fine work of art of our sometimes hopeless or useless lives. There is no such thing as useless or hopeless if we stay still and listen to the silence. You only look back to gloat at what we achieved or battles we won… NEVER in Remorse or Regret.

If there’s one thing I learned, it is LOVE CONQUERS ALL… Love isn’t necessarily meant to be in a romantic sense, but in a bigger sense. You use this type of love for your connection to humanity, to conquer fears and most importantly to forgive yourself. We all have personal triumphs and God knows that to get to fifty in one piece with some sanity is a miracle in it’s own right. Do WHATEVER it is that makes you happy, brings you joy and share it with those who will appreciate it. There are so many remarkable things about Fifty we don’t see…the freedom to truly be who you want to be without giving a damn with whoever doesn’t agree. The world of wisdom we created and the scars that show our battles are like military gold stars or the purple heart of courage. Start to pat yourself on the back, and be proud of yourself.

So, all in all, take it one day at a time. Know that gratitude is the key to living. Be all you can be without boundaries. Sing that song in your heart. Plant a garden. Ride a bike.  Find a beach. Walk a path. Enter a race. Treat yourself with the utmost respect. Be kind no matter what. Always be patient… We know we’ll get there when we are supposed to. Never let anyone on earth or even in your head steal your joy. Remember, a struggle today is strength for tomorrow and wisdom for the future. Mentor others what you know only if you want to. Pick your friends, don’t let them pick you. Socialize. Share your love. Choose doctors, nurses and anyone who cares for you with intuition. Pray for peace and love in our world. Don’t take in the negative. Shout when you feel like it. This is only the beginning of the next fifty years of your century so take care of YOU and make your mark in this enterprising world. Find support if you need it. Never be embarrassed, we are all human. Be active. Ask in love and good intention and it will be yours. Know it. Visualize what you want with Gratitude of course. Change your life if you’re not happy, life is too short. Transform yourself if you don’t like what you see or how you feel. Find a Life Coach you like and that understands your goals. Research all things especially when in doubt. Turn Fifty, look thirty and feel twenty…

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