This post is part of The Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown-Up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson. I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way. To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.
This is an introduction post to a string of posts within this series on the subject of ‘Living’ in your 50’s.
LIVE IT UP
Every decade brings changes, but it’s in their 50s that many people start a whole new chapter of their lives. The kids have left home, financially we’re more resilient and perhaps this is the time we start to see that our years upon this earth are finite.
By contrast, some people have little choice and are starting out after a divorce or a job loss. Regeneration in your 50s can literally be life-changing, if you work out what you want and then plan.
Personally, yes, the 50s have brought a whole new chapter to my life. I am no longer on the corporate treadmill – commuting, concrete jungle, workstation cubicle and all of that. I have endured some hardships to be where I am now but I believe things happen for a reason. I looked for the lessons which always come from adversity, and there were plenty. New lessons reveal themselves to me still. I’m learning every day. I have been very fortunate to be in a position where I have had time to explore who I am now and to pursue some interests (like photography and this blog) and to attempt to design a life more fitting to this mid-life version of myself.
I still have two out of three kids living at home and though the third lives out of home, she is still a working University student and therefore still somewhat dependent. Life on the home front has therefore not changed a lot. No more school runs but still lots of laundry and large meals to cook and all those other things, like worry, that only other parents would understand.
Financially, yes more resilient – now we no longer have school fees for example – but I’m not bringing in the corporate life salary anymore so we’re certainly not living budget free! It is true that this decade, more than any other decade that I have entered, is the one where the realisation that my time upon this earth is finite has hit me, and with full force. The desire to live what time I have left on this earth in a way of my choosing is very, very strong.
I know people in my age group who are struggling in various ways – working but hating their job; unemployed but trying to find a job; some starting all over again following a divorce; some with debilitating health issues; some crippled by grief. Life can present many challenges. A fresh start, a new chapter – it can be fabulous, it can be life changing, it can be frightening, it can be many things. It all depends on your circumstances, your mindset, and your attitude.
Generally, I think that increasingly we will find that people in this age group will still have kids at home because people are having babies much older these days. Young people are spending their 20’s travelling and/or establishing their careers, whereas when I was in my 20’s the priority was to save, save, save for a home and start your family. I had my twins at 28 and my daughter when I was nearly 31 so they are all adults now. However, I know some people my age with children still in primary school. So while the majority of us in our 50s might now have adult kids – either still at home or moved out – there is an increasing number of us still in the trenches with young kids. Of course this then has a knock-on effect – financial demands, time limitations, working until older, and so on. Maybe eventually there will be a shift back to having babies in your 20’s, but then again maybe not. What do you think? Of course not everyone in this age group has children – young or adult. Many couples choose to not have children, some couples can’t have children, and some women’s circumstances are that they don’t end up finding the right relationship to have children. Therefore, empty nest syndrome and a sense of freedom from parental responsibilities is not a factor for these people at all. I would think the focus would be more about when is the right time to retire and ensuring ongoing financial security but certainly the 50s can still be a time of starting a new chapter!
Have you found your 50’s to be a whole new chapter in your life? Has the fact that life on this earth is finite hit you in the face this decade too? Got an empty nest yet? Did you have your babies in your 20’s?
Ciao for now,
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