Today I click over to 50. Woo hoo!
Normally I wouldn’t go to the effort to write about my birthday and tell the world about it, but this one is monumental, and not just because I’m welcoming in a new decade.
This birthday is incredibly special for me because I didn’t know if I’d get here.
Five years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 45, I wondered if I would have any more birthdays at all. My Mum lived until she was only 46 and I wondered if I might share the same fate.
BUT HERE I AM!!
Leading up to my big day I have been reflecting for several weeks about what I think are the most poignant lessons I have learnt along the way. I have been through a lot from a young age, and even though I have embraced all I have experienced, I wanted to really take stock of fifty years worth of growth.
So, here we go. Here’s 50 truths I have learnt in my 50 years, in no particular order..
- 50 is the new 40.
- 50 years of waking up each day means you’re winning.
- Our body is incredibly resilient.
- School days are the easiest days of your life.
- Every child needs to learn how to swim.
- We have choices.
- Having financial wealth means nothing if you’re an arsehole or a tight-arse.
- Forgive your parents.
- Forgive everyone.
- Accept things as they are, without judgement.
- Take responsibility and own your actions.
- Ditch the guilt.
- Apologise when you know you need to.
- Don’t apologise for every other little thing.
- Other people’s behaviour has nothing to do with you.
- Love yourself first, before anyone else.
- Marriage is a big deal, consider it carefully.
- It’s your job to teach your children to love who they are.
- Your children will press your buttons. They will also become your greatest teachers.
- Love your children unconditionally.
- Don’t tell your children how much they cost, their worth is not measured by dollars.
- Calm the f*** down.
- Don’t get angry about the little things. You will end up exhausted, and its a turn off.
- You have today. Right here right now. It’s up to you how you act.
- You have no idea what will happen tomorrow.
- Anxiety is worrying about things that haven’t happened yet and may not ever happen.
- Depression can be healed.
- Drugs and alcohol do not numb the pain.
- Find healthy ways to cope with stress.
- Never take your health for granted.
- Spend more time in nature.
- Stillness and silence are medicine.
- Meditation is medicine. Every single person on the planet should practice.
- I’ve come to accept that I’m not a stick, and never will be.
- If you are obsessed with being thin you are missing the point.
- I would however, just like to know what it feels like!
- Self acceptance is freedom.
- Sex is not dirty.
- Tattoos are not taboo.
- Make time. Steal it if you have to.
- Say no more often.
- Know your boundaries and be aware of who oversteps them.
- Love deep.
- I am intense, and I’m ok with that.
- I am a goddess of contrast. I’m also ok with that.
- Take opportunities when they come along.
- Bad stuff happens to good people, see it as an opportunity for transformation.
- Always seek the lesson, instead of being the victim.
- Expectation will result in disappointment.
- Do what makes you happy, and do more of it.
I could go on and list at least 50 more, it was hard to cull!
Something amazing happens during our lead up to 50, in my observations. This seems to be the time that many people experience a life altering event and rise from it.
It’s almost like a right of passage into the second half of life to go through something big during this time, resulting in our own awakening. Statistically, by this stage in our lives most people have been through at least one or two traumatic events, not to mention many other adversities and challenges.
The most successful people will draw on their wisdom and resilience to work through it and evolve, even level up their lives. They realise the suffering in holding on instead of letting go and moving on.
I am one of those people. Working through my trauma and grief has changed my life.
Experiencing all I have been through is now gifting me the harvest of purpose.
I now teach women how to work through their traumas and challenges to transform their own lives. Not long ago, never in a million years did I think I could do such a thing.
I read a great article online recently about how being 50 is a great time to start something completely new. At this age we have the tenacity, resilience, smarts, self belief and less fear of judgement.
Our children are older and more independent. We start to get some time back.
Many of us haven’t been good at looking after ourselves in the past and have instead given our all to being a parent. Sometimes it can all feel overwhelming to figure out who we are when we aren’t needed in that capacity any more.
This is the perfect time to focus on you.
It is the perfect time to give yourself permission to come first, prioritise your wellbeing and gain clarity moving forward.
Turning 50 to me means freedom.
Freedom from the younger me who felt broken, less than and not enough.
Freedom from judgement from myself and others.
It also means a deeper sense of breathtaking peace never before embraced.
Even through the minefield of chemo induced menopause and all the gifts it brings, I can now switch off my mind instead of ruminating about shit 24/7.
The simplest things bring me the greatest joy and I can easily get lost in the moment of complete presence and mindfulness.
We owe it to ourselves to strip it all back, get real, change what we don’t like in our lives and make decisions that serve us best. There has already been too much time wasted in living life according to other people’s expectations.
Just do it!
Change is both possible and inevitable, might as well create it for yourself first.
Embrace which ever decade you’re in, and know that it’s never too late.
Right now, I’m embracing my special number and will enjoy several days of celebrating. In our family, we usually have a “birthday week”, but I’m going to see how far I can stretch this one!
50 feels alright. Happy birthday to me!