Today I am 50. I can hear you all saying “God you don’t look a day over 40!”. I know, I know, you are too kind, I have aged well and jump about like a spring chicken! I am both overjoyed and confused that I have reached such a mature age and I’m not in my 30’s anymore. There are many days when I feel rather melancholy at realising I am never going to have children again or experience those care-free teenage days. Then there are days when I am ecstatic not to give two flying hoots about 1. worrying about Imposter Syndrome, 2. not caring that I spend a Saturday night in front of the TV with my slippers on, 3. not worrying about all the stressful stuff that comes with your younger years and instead being grateful for all the lovely memories and people I have in my life right now.
Life feels simple and complicated at the same time. So much happens between the age of 40 and 50. When I had just turned 40, I had a three and a half month old baby to contend with. At the time of writing, that particular child is off on a school trip to France and the elder one is currently sat doing her Maths GCSE! It feels like a rollercoaster and so much happens physically and mentally. I have enough experiences in me, to write a million books. I am turning 50 being older and wiser but with a definite irreverent feeling of “I don’t give a ****” attitude. What is also welcome is not doing what you don’t want to do or answering questions you don’t want to answer, and when you do, doing it with grace and a level of self-assurance that you did not previously have.
I have decided to turn 50 with a chilled acceptance of life and all that is thrown at me. I made it through my forties. Just. It was a rather bumpy ride at times. I built a business. I survived lots of bad stuff and I am here to tell the tale. For lots of different reasons, it’s something, I wasn’t always convinced I would be here to witness.
There is no point in denying I am now 50. To celebrate I will be somewhere rather lovely, organized by my equally lovely husband, and later on enjoying an evening with friends and family.
I’ve gotten over a lot of things by now. That’s one great thing about turning 50. You shed your very young skin and comfortably zip up a new and much improved one. That’s what my mantra is going to be!
I thought I would share with you 50 things that I am passionate about and the some of the things I have learnt in my 50 years being on this planet. You can read them below.
- Worrying is futile. It never ever changes the outcome.
- I don’t regret the things I did when I was younger, but I do regret the things I didn’t do. Like that job opportunity to live in the US when I was 18.
- If you ask for my opinion, I will be honest. I won’t sugar coat it. If you don’t want to know. Don’t ask.
- I won’t stuff my feet into six inch heels just because they look good and yes, I will wear trainers with a dress.
- It’s never too late to make new and life changing, breath-takingly wonderful friends.Some of my closest friends now have been made in the last few years.
- Good friends are one of life’s necessities, up there with pilates and good food.
- I am a fiercely loyal person. I will always stand up for people who stand up for me.
- I don’t care what people think of me. They can think whatever they want to think.
- I can’t sing. My voice is like a cat howling in the garden early in the morning.
- I no longer believe the sales person in the shop who says I look amazing in a dress when I think it looks ridiculous. I will no longer let them talk me into buying something that I am not going to put on again.
- I will also no longer let the same sales person talk me into buying a pair of shoes which pinch my feet, but they say, “It’s ok, they will be like a second skin in no time.”
- I always trust my gut. It never fails me.
- I am not the centre of the universe. I never have been and never will be.
- I no longer take rejection personally, well most of the time.
- Promptness shows respect. I can’t bear it when people are late.
- You can’t avoid offending people sometimes. When you don’t mean it, apologise. When you do mean it, accept the consequences and get on with it.
- Always have a good reputation. It does not cost anything to acquire one. Be fair. Be honest. Be loyal. Be trustworthy. Be generous. Respect others even if you don’t like what they do or say.
- Prejudice at any level is never acceptable. Don’t judge others even when they judge you.
- Cough medicine never works. Don’t buy it again.
- Always look at somebody else’s perspectives.Try to picture yourself walking in their shoes.
- Empathy is the greatest virtue on earth. From it, all virtues flow.
- If I tell myself I can do something, it means I usually can.
- If I convince myself I can’t do something. Don’t believe it. You can. There are always solutions.
- I never remember the names of films I watch and end up watching something time and time again. And not realizing until I am mid way through.
- You’re never too old to learn. I’m starting something new in a couple of weeks. Don’t ask. I’m not going to tell you.
- My vivacious and loving children drive me crazy every single day. I couldn’t be without them.
- Sometimes it’s ok to break promises. Only if nobody gets hurt.
- It’s good news when people aren’t afraid to tell you when you have done something wrong. It means they know you can take it.
- It’s easier to fall in love than stay in love. You have to work at it. Every single day.
- Actions always speak louder than words. Spend your time doing stuff, not saying stuff.
- It’s never bad to admit you don’t know something. It’s a shame to pretend you do. You always get caught out.
- Life is too short to buy cheap make-up at 50.
- Even when I think I’m right, it doesn’t always mean, I am. Always fess up when you mess up.
- It is possible to love your children as much as life itself, even when they do stuff you don’t want them to do..
- We are all entitled to an opinion. But I don’t always agree with it, nor will I pretend to.
- Never, ever judge somebody else. Let them be. Help and support them. Judgement is not cool or nice.
- I will always tell the waiter/waitress in the restaurant that I think the food is rubbish, if it is.
- Always be nice even when you don’t want to be.
- Saying NO is ok.
- I don’t have to convince myself that my wrinkles and grey hair is ok just because I’ve “earned” it.
- If my legs can still rock a miniskirt. Then I am wearing one. They do.
- Fear of failure is a ticket to mediocrity. If you are not failing and pushing yourself, you’re coasting along and not learning.
- Smile even when you are on the phone. People can feel it when you smile.
- Building a business is hard. It’s up there with raising children.
- Candor is definitely overrated. It’s hard to unsay what you’ve said in anger and impossible to take back what you’ve written. Always sleep on it.
- Mental Health issues are as real as any other medical condition and no more disgraceful. The stigma is disgraceful. Do all you can to stamp it out.
- Manners cost nothing.
- Whatever your passion, pursue it as though your days are numbered. Because they are.
- Never stop believing in yourself and never give up.
- I am truly stunned that people even think of me as “accomplished”.
I’m ready to be 50 and feel totally unstoppable!
Go grab life with every bit of everything!