You wake up one morning and all of a sudden you’re in your mid-50s and starting to think about the rest of your life. You’re afraid it’s going to be all soft, tasteless food and forgetfulness, hearing aids and trifocals, early-bird specials and multiple trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

          Try visualizing this instead: it’s the least stressful time of your life where being unburdened of a 60-hour-a-week job, a 30-year mortgage and raising children allows for a freedom never experienced before. Yes, lots of people in their 50’s still have jobs and mortgages, but there is a shift from the hectic mindset that often accompanies our younger years. We can be more relaxed and happier in our 50’s and beyond. It’s possible for everyone, including you.

          You’ve been holding in your stomach all your life, let it go. You’ve been covering that ever-widening bald spot for the last 10 years. Go ahead, show us the shine! Be proud that you’ve made it this far in life. Just think, you can let go of trying to keep up with the Jonses. You can sit back and relax and watch the next generation of people jumping through hoops to acquire the latest clothes, cars, jewelry and electronics. There’s no reason to keep up with the latest music (which I find uninspiring, at best, anyway) and no reason to know what all the current slang terminology means and how to use it.

Making the Most of It

Here are some ideas for insuring your life after 50 is the best it can be:
          ~Maintain a healthy lifestyle – this is best for ANY age                       ~Hang out with upbeat people 

          ~Share your experiences with others – teach or mentor                                someone
          ~Let go of worry – meditating works really well for learning                            to let go
          ~Make yourself a priority
          ~If you do feel the urge to complain, keep it to yourself
          ~Simplify, simplify, simplify – clean out and donate or                                     discard
          ~Take time to smell the roses

          I’m serious. There not only IS life after 50, but it’s a wonderful life. Personally speaking, I had a job and financial obligations in my 50’s and still do, to a lesser extent, now that I’m 67. But I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I have an abundant life for which I am grateful. It’s a life that isn’t extravagant but it is rich in experiences, including friendships, spirituality and a continuing quest for knowledge. So, be open and embrace all the fun and new experiences of getting older.

This post originally appeared at Randall Friesen’s Something Mindful
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