Now is YOUR time to live the life you've always wanted.
I knew it was coming, but it’s finally here. I’m 50 — now what?
If you just turned or will turn 50 this year, like me, you're rubbing shoulders with some fabulous women: Diane Lane (from Under The Tuscan Sun — one of my favorite films of all time), Sex And The City kitten Kristen Davis, U.K.-grown beauty Elizabeth Hurley, and Viola Davis, who's killing it, literally, in popular TV series How To Get Away With Murder.
As I look at this list, one thing's for sure: Life ain’t over until YOU say it's over. In fact, I’m beginning to think (and feel) that life is just beginning and true happiness awaits.
I'm finally beginning to feel like the jigsaw pieces of life are coming together. It’s less about, "Now what?" and more about, "Why not?" Yes, this is the time in your life to do the things that truly matter to you — the work that inspires you, the social life that allows you to live authentically and the relationship that delivers on what you want, not what you don’t want. (There's a difference.)
Here are my top five things to do at 50:
1. Be Independent
This is YOUR time. Forget the days of waiting for someone else to tell you what’s right or possible for you or what you should do. Forget about someone doing it all for you with some ulterior motive to control parts of your life. Drop that, and start to focus on being in control of your own life.
2. Get Healthy
You only have one life, so live it well! Spiritual beliefs aside, you're here today as YOU, so make the most of living. Your health matters, take care of it. Make time to exercise, learn more about your body than you ever felt inclined to before (how the brain works, what the body needs to function optimally, how health affects all areas of your life) and live each day like it matters. What are you doing for your health and well-being?
3. Do What You Love
This thing we call life is a gift, and we love receiving gifts, don’t we? Maximize the time you have here by bringing more of what you love into it. If you love the theater, go as frequently as you can. If you love being with your family, make time to for them in an engaging way. If you love traveling, start planning where, when and with whom, and make it happen. Even if you're bootstrapped, there are amazing deals out there to try (i.e. Wowcher, Groupon, LastMinute.com). And if you're anything like me and love what's freely available to you, walks in the park, a girls’ night in, a romantic dinner (cooked by him of course!) are all perfect options.
4. Be Daring
At 50, you can dare me to try just about anything, and providing it’s respectful and not designed to hurt anyone, I’ll jump in and give it a go. One of the things about being 50 is realizing just how much life you've lived and how much experience you bring to the table. It's also a time to realize that failure is just another word for "find another way."
A business colleague of mine turned 50 this year, and she did it in style. She spent the whole year doing challenges. She trekked across the desert, ran a marathon, sky dived, entered a baking competition — all sorts of crazy things. Not only did she complete them all, making her a fab role model of what we can achieved regardless of age, she did it for charity. Dare life to challenge you and jump in!
5. Share What You Have
Life is for sharing. We get more out of life when we share, whether it's time, money, skills, knowledge or love. Contributing to the world is part of the journey, and at 50 we have a whole lot more to give. Look in your community. What can you contribute? How can your skills and knowledge serve others?