Excuse me?? Finding purpose in life after 50?
Never mind ‘life purpose’; some days I can’t even find my phone.
 
Finding meaning in our everyday existence can be like the search for the Holy Grail at any age let alone after 50.
 
When I think of the constant questions that have rattled around in my head:
 
  • “How do I know my purpose?”
  • “What am I meant to do with my life?”
  • “How can I change direction at 50 and not end up wrecking everything?”
  • “Why can’t I remember why I came into the damn kitchen?”
Life after 50
Yes, it’s true. I’m a deep thinker.
 
And such issues occupy me more these days than they used to because let’s face it:
 
The clock is ticking. That’s why this blog was born. It’s time to find answers, and pronto.
 
So we’d better get cracking.
 
Let’s look at a few mistakes it’s so easy to make as we sail towards our middle chapter.

1. Refusing to accept your age

This is tricky because like many others, in my head I’m still sixteen.
 
My sense of humour is often pre-adolescent. I often look with pity at my son as he shakes his head over my latest fit of the giggles.
 
If I haven’t made it through the day without a good few belly laughs, then it hasn’t been a good day.
 
Laughter is my go-to when the world is ganging up on me. Which is most days before I’ve had my coffee.
 

But what I’m talking about here is that moment when blind panic sets in at the sight of who’s looking back at you in the bathroom mirror.

Do you:

  1.  Grab your phone to check your bank balance to see if funds will allow for a facelift and maybe a couple of squirts of Botox, or
  2.  Remind yourself that all the glasses of water you didn’t drink yesterday have conspired to dehydrate your skin, so what do you expect??
Little disclaimer here: I’m not necessarily against all cosmetic procedures. What I’m warning against is climbing onto a very costly wagon hoping you can hold back the years indefinitely. You really can’t. So save your money and stick it in your holiday fund instead.
 
If you’re in denial over your age contemplate the alternative to reaching 50-something because many poor souls don’t get to experience it.
 
And if it helps, at the time of writing this…
 
Susan Sarandon is 72.
The divine Susan Sarandon

And Elle Macpherson is 54.

Michelle Pfeiffer is 60.

Helen Mirren is 73.

Judi Dench is 84.

I could go on, but before yells break out of “yeah, but they’ve had work done…” let me say this:

They’ve all embraced their age and are just as busy building their careers and lives as they ever were.

Cosmetic procedures should enhance, not wallpaper over the cracks.

2. Accepting the ‘life after 50’ stereotype

When I was eight years of age I talking with my grandma as she was approaching her fifty-fourth birthday.
 
Those were the days when it was rare for women to have their own teeth after fifty and not have a weekly blue rinse at the hairdressers on the corner.
 
There was a route of inevitability that most women took after 50 because they didn’t know of an alternative. Add to the mix the sense of emptiness that many women feel in midlife as a matter of course when children grow and their daily landscape changes, starting a new life chapter can seem impossible.
 
Midlife hints that maybe we should slow down and ‘take it easy’ as we cruise towards retirement. But calling time on exploring the potential in front of you to live an exciting new phase is quite simply premature.
Life after 50

Your journey so far has brought you to this point, now’s the time to capitalise on what life at 50 has taught you.

3. Seeing constraint instead of freedom

Cultivating a positive mental attitude after 50 is crucial if you’re going to seize opportunities when others are busy complaining about obstacles.
 
If we neglect ourselves by not getting enough sleep, eating too much processed food and drinking too much alcohol then the simple truth is we’ll feel drained, lacklustre and negative.
 
I’m sorry. It’s the truth. Take it from one  who knows after her several hundred experiments trying to disprove the theory
 
Even the toughest nut will struggle to take the consistent action needed to get to where they want to be if they refuse to take care of themselves.
So…
 
  • Drink water (two litres is good a day, three is better)
  • Exercise daily (I’m talking about just getting up and moving your body, not three hours in the gym – although that’s good too)
  • Eat plenty of fruit and veg every day
  • Keep alcohol and caffeine to a minimum
  • Slow down and relax (meditation, getting a massage, sitting and doing nothing in the garden on a sunny day – it all helps)
  • Learn to breathe deeply and mindfully (oxygen is good for us, I’m told)
It’s highly likely that several (if not all) of these will remain unticked most days, but try, try and then try again tomorrow.
 
Luxuriate knowing that the opportunity to delve into new business ventures, interests and experiences awaits.
 
None of this is rocket science, but to take advantage of opportunity you’ll need to be prepared.

4. Not listening to your instinct

Life after the age of 50 presents us with many aches and twinges. If they persist then we see a doctor… Don’t we?!
 
So why put up with a life that is so much less than the one you’re capable of living? A life that:
  • Shunts you into a tiny, anonymous space?
  • Stifles the enormous value you bring?
  • Perpetuates the ridiculous idea that women over a certain age are of no use?
This is not a good message to future generations.
 
Why allow yourself to fade into the background, simply because that’s what society believes ‘middle-aged women’ do?
More than ever this world needs the wise counsel of women just like you who have lived long enough to speak from life experience rather than a textbook.
 
Your adventure thus far has primed you prefectly for midlife. It may not have felt like it, but there will always be a legion of people who need what you can offer them.
 
If there’s a part of you that believes – even very slightly – that there’s more for you, then this is your sign.

Don’t ignore it.

5. Settling for the midlife status quo

Nobody is expecting a woman of 50+ to scale new heights in… well, anything, really.
 
It’s odd we often won’t seize our chances because, as I’ve already mentioned, we have more time at our disposal, we’re less likely to take anyone’s sh*t and we know that failure doesn’t mean life is over as we know it.
 
We’ve toughened up, cupcake.
 
So the idea we should just go quietly is, to put it frankly, absolute BS.

When we operate in the real world we operate by real-world rules – and that means if you want to do something badly enough then someone will have to stop you first. And people will only take a break from their own neuroses to  discourage you from time to time because your success highlights their failings.

Haters don’t hate you half as much as they hate themselves for their lack of achievement. So from time to time they’ll indulge in online anonymous gobshitery in an effort to feel important.
 

Never settle for an average existence when you’re capable of living an outstanding life.

You deserve it, and so much more.

Finding purpose in your life after 50 has begun.

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