Reflections on life at 50 (and the decade ahead)

CakeI am 50 years old today. I was 50 yesterday, too. But, the day before that was the pivotal day that I turned 50. Last week, I was a woman in her 40’s. This week, and for the next 520 weeks, I’m a woman in her 50’s. And I’m okay with that. So far, this decade is off to a great start.

Last week I attended the Texas Conference for Women, an event filled with inspiring speakers who successfully motivated me to reconsider my outlook, my strategy, my approach, my attitude….

I attended a session on goal-setting, “Goals with Soul” by Danielle La Porte. She introduced the revolutionary (at least for me) concept that our goals should be based on feelings. Specifically, we should anticipate how we are going to feel once we achieve a certain goal. She challenged us to list our dreams, then analyze our motivation. Additionally, we should consider how every aspect of our lives influences our feelings. We should ask every day, “What am I doing today to make myself feel _____________?”

During Q&A she highlighted some additional tips for healthy living:

  • Look at your bank account(s) every day. Don’t obsess, but know your financial health.
  • Understand your bliss-limit, and expand your capacity to feel joy.
  • Apply passion judiciously.
  • Be vulnerable with discretion. Give love and healing freely, but maintain a privacy fence. Only allow in those you trust. Keep out those who just come to feed.
  • Tell the truth (fast & lovingly).
  • Be yourself. Resonate.
  • Don’t pursue life balance, but harmony. Harmony is like a symphony, with ebbs and flow, dynamic changes, imbalance.
  • Inspiration is everywhere – look for it. Tap into what inspires you.
  • Confidence requires us to overcome fear. We all make choices, and must control our responses. Anger, bitterness, happiness are all choices. Be intentional. Feel the power that comes with self-control.
  • Take time to rest and integrate your experiences.
  • Regrets are a waste of energy. Worry is misuse of your imagination. Hold space in your thoughts for positive outcomes.
  • Make time for intentional silence. Even 1 minute, in your parked car, as you transition from work to home. Create the time and space to pivot.
  • Rise to every occasion. It’s a decision to be made, to approach an objective full-on. Expand your possibilities.
  • Embrace your unique place in the universe.

The session was rich with golden nuggets of wisdom.

This morning I made a lengthy to-do list of all I hope to accomplish before Thanksgiving. It’s interesting to look at the items on the list and consider each entry as a function of how I want to feel at the end of the day, or whether the activities will help me achieve my greater goals.

When our grandchildren came to live with us in April, I had goals that are no longer practical. I’m not giving up on those goals, but I’m revising my expectations. It may take a little more time to get there, but I’m still heading in the right direction. I’m looking at the big picture, and embracing the joy (and challenges) that comes with each new day. And, I’m looking forward to ongoing progression of this journey, ever-striving for the person I want to be when I turn 60.

Now, please excuse me, I need to go cross “write a blog post about turning 50” off of my to-do list. Carpe Diem!

About Fran Hart

Disciple of Christ, earning a living as the director of US-based operations for a Taiwanese company, managing an engineering organization while carving out time to write. Wife, Mother, Grandmother.
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