Turning 50 can really shake you up.
Let’s face it, you know you’re turning 50 for years.
The anticipation doesn’t help.
There’s a really big build up.
There is nothing you can do that will slow things down.
It’s kind of like being pregnant. The outcome is predictable and on a somewhat predictable date.
However, turning 50 is different than being pregnant in a few key ways.
Of course, there’s no crowd of people coddling you.
There isn’t a soul celebrating your weight gain.
There’s no cute baby.
There’s also no large extended family applauding your adorable accomplishment.
Turning 50 is also quite different than turning 40 too.
There’s a palpable negativity associated with it. Ageism probably.
Turning 40 seems more like a growth milestone. Wow, you’re 40 now. Kind of like an accomplishment.
In contrast, turning 50 seems more like the entree into being older.
Like you’re turning the page on a new chapter in the book of life.
Like it’s the midway point and it’s downhill from here kind of thing.
I remember my 40th birthday very clearly.
I wanted a gathering of some sort.
We rented out a three billiard tables at a smoke-free sports bar. There was lightness and levity.
This milestone wasn’t scary to me.
I was pleased with my accomplishments to date – great education, great job, great husband, great kids. I felt really good about 40.
Once on the other side of 45, however, my thoughts slowly started to change.
I would even forget how old I was; then, when I remembered my age, I was surprised!
I felt scared.
A bit panicky.
Life was going by quickly.
Why did I feel scared?
Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure. I had to do some digging around what I was making aging mean.
Specifically, what was I making this milestone birthday mean?
Was it that I was turning 50 or was it that I had less time to live?
Was I worried I would I would run out of time to do certain things?
Was the fear more about the actual aging process?
Was it really about my kids all leaving the house soon and my empty nest looming?
Giving yourself the quiet you need to listen to your thoughts is really important at any stage of your life, not just when you’re on the road to 50.
Of course, the big problem comes when we are full of negative emotion and we’re not sure why.
I started to feel some negativity around my 50th birthday approaching.
I definitely noticed it.
While I couldn’t change the fact about this milestone birthday coming up, I could certainly change my thinking about the milestone.
So that’s what I started to do.
I took the bull by the horns and started to make some plans. Some plans I knew I would be totally excited about.
I remembered that at my age, I had outlived both of my parents. My mother died at only 32 years old. My father was a young 41. I’d much rather be getting a few wrinkles at 50 than not have the opportunity to complain about it.
I also bought a sparkly tiara. Yes…as silly as that sounds…I loved the idea of being sparkly and noticed on my big birthday.
The thing is, you have total control over how you want to feel. The reason why is because thoughts create feelings.
Simple as that.
It takes work, but it’s definitely possible; new thoughts will lead to more positive feelings, which can completely change what happens in our lives.
I had a sneaky suspicion that if I didn’t get to work about my thinking about this milestone in my life, I may have had regrets and some negative feelings. For sure, that wasn’t the way I wanted my 50th to go down.
I came up with lots of great ideas about how to mark this momentous occasion. You can read more about it all here.
By the way, this is what life coaching with me is all about. Step by step, making your midlife chapter more intentional. I like to call it REGRET-PROOFING YOUR LIFE.