Hello, gorgeous! Are you are fifty (ish) and feeling fabulous? Or maybe you will be one day and want to know our secret. Grab a cup of tea and join me – in the next few months I will be giving you pearls. Oh, not real pearls, more like wit, whimsy, and a little wisdom. Think Carrie Bradshaw turns 50 as we look at fashion, health and beauty, lifestyle, dating after 50 and keeping love alive. This is the time to reinvent and rediscover what makes you fabulous!
Fifty (ish) really is fabulous! And, my dears, we are just warming up. Not long ago I wrote about the empty nester. That was cathartic, having recently sent my last “baby” off to college. After so many years of worrying about raising fine young people, it was done, in the blink of an eye. Of all the hard things we do as parents, to date, turning loose of my young adult was by far the toughest. I remember coming home to an empty house thinking, “What now?” And the first time I went to the grocery store, shopping for food for one. And thinking how strange it was that no one wondered where I was or when I’d be home.
Not an empty nester yet? Don’t let me scare you. Although this is tough at first, it does get better…and better! After the initial grief subsides, you may find yourself soul searching. That’s cool, and even necessary. This is when you’ll rediscover yourself. And guess what?! That charming, creative, fun loving younger girl you once were? She is still alive and well inside you. Only now she is even better, having outgrown the angst and self-consciousness present before marriage, career and children. This new and improved girl has known real struggle and all that comes with the first five decades of life, and she has learned not to sweat the small stuff. Isn’t that liberating?!
You have accomplished so much to be proud of. Kudos to you! Getting married, making people, having a career, these are just a few of your life chapters, not the entire book. This is not the epilogue! There are some very specific activities my fabulous fifty (ish) friends recommend to revive and rediscover your inner girl. You’re really going to need her to move forward while ‘looking forward.’
1.) Music – Create a playlist of all your old favorite songs and artists. Whether you listened to James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, or the Cure, crank it up! No one will care, and music will wake up your inner girl.
2.) Routines – Your daily routines have changed, so it’s time to create new ones. Start by changing one thing. A wise woman once told me that we are more successful at kicking habits by replacing them with others, and to start with only one. Too much, too soon may not be sustainable. For example, avoid staying up until you can’t keep your eyes open. Go to bed and rise at a reasonable hour and at the same time each day. Then replace old morning routines with walking the dog or another form of exercise.
3.) Reconnect – Remember your girlfriends? Call them, make regular dates for lunch or coffee or phone calls. Staying connected with friends is critical. Have sleepovers! Seriously, I had one last weekend; it was a blast!
4.) Say YES – Accept invitations and go! It’s tempting to stay in but remember, we need to engage in life.
5.) De-Clutter – Clear out messy kitchen drawers, closets full of unworn clothes, and garages filled with the kids’ broken toys and unused sporting equipment. Of course, give the kids first dibs on anything they feel they MUST keep and ditch the rest. Enlist the help of someone outside the family (they are not emotionally attached to this stuff). You may need that space for a new hobby.
6.) Hobbies – Did you paint? Play an instrument? Maybe there are other DIY activities you’d like to try. Now is the time be creative.
7.) Get Busy – We are living healthier and living longer. I have discovered working out. The endorphins are great but what I really like is feeling better than I did when I was twenty-five. You can do this alone or with friends. Whatever activity you choose, pushing your personal limits and trying new things is empowering!
At fifty (ish) we are our best self, and we are just warming up. Friends, you are NOT ready for mom jeans and self-diagnosed ailments. You are far too fabulous. Now is the time to enjoy the life you have only imagined!