I belong to a great Facebook group for women over 50. It’s a safe place to share what’s happening in your life, find support and get immediate feedback. New grandbabies, relationship troubles and health scares are all on the table.
This group is a microcosm of what to expect at this time of our lives. Midlife and on can be wonderful and weird at the same time. As a grown woman who’s lived, loved, had a husband or two, a career and children, you’ve got experience and smarts. But now what. How prepared are you for the rock n roll changes happening to you now you’re a member of the over 50 club?
Can You Relate to these Over 50 Challenges?
– your children left the nest or they don’t want to leave the nest (!)
– you’re a full time grandparent
– your partner, husband or boyfriend may not be the same one you started out with
– you may be living alone for the first time; on purpose or since a divorce or death
– your childhood friendships have scattered over the years
– you may no longer have much in common with some dear friends
– you may be living with health issues
– you may be the caretaker for someone close to you
What’s Next After 50
All of these challenges have tested and tried you, but nothing really prepares you for what’s to come.
For most of your life you’ve been taking care of others and all of a sudden you’re on your own. What happens then. Who takes care of you?
What does the future look like?
That’s what I’ve been asking myself. How can I make the rest of my life full and happy?
Keep a positivity journal and give yourself a mood boost every day.
Alone or Together Over 50
If you’ve been on your own for years like I was, you learned to adapt and enjoy your own company. You do what you want and don’t wait for permission.
Or you may be in a long term marriage or relationship without much time to think about who you want to be for the rest of your life.
Living alone OR with a partner doesn’t change our need for a sense of connection. It’s what makes life rich and happy!
No matter our age, I’d say all women need to feel needed, connected and visible.
I don’t know what guys do, poor things. They share with us if they know how and the rest of the time they just suck it up.
But we don’t roll that way. We like to talk, bitch a little and get it out! We’ll share our softer side if we trust or get tough if we need to. But we always want to talk.
That’s why the answer to thriving is simple.
The Secret to Thriving Over Fifty
Share your soul, reach out, ask, push yourself a little out of your comfort zone. Communicate who you are to the world.
Finding purpose in life after 50 means being willing to change what isn’t working and asking for what you need.
It’s OK to stay at home but know the world is waiting for you to show up.
As an introvert, being a hermit comes naturally to me. I can hide with the best of them. But when I push myself out of my comfort zone and call or text a friend, I feel better. It’s a small change for me with a big result.
Perhaps you’re already active in your social circle or on Facebook or social media. Good for you. What can you do that takes you one step further into connecting? I don’t mean signing up for Tinder 😉 although maybe Match. If you’re looking for companionship or love, only you can make that decision to take the next step. As a teenager I used to think a Prince would just show up on my doorstep! Either I was lazy or in dream land.
IRL it doesn’t happen like that. In real life, we have to meet life half way. Taking the steps to be there at the party or join a group where we may meet someone fabulous. For love or friendship, it doesn’t matter. What matters is making connections that support you as you leap into the next stage of your life.
Thriving Over 50 is Connecting
Where can you find a little more connection and support today? Are you willing to make new friends if the old ones aren’t lifting you up? Will you let go of family that doesn’t offer positive support. Can you stretch yourself to join a new group or try a new hobby.
What lights you up? Can you find others who share your love of surfing or knitting or whatever floats your boat. I love being outdoors in nature, it’s almost a necessity for me. I try to spend as much time outside feeling connected to the earth. I love to have company but if not I’ll go on my own, connecting to myself.
Facebook and Instagram are amazing ways to stay in touch and communicate with far flung friends and family but I believe we’re wired for real time connection and conversation. Face to face.
Be willing to change what doesn’t work with your communication style. Ask for what you need and be honest. If you’re starting over at 50, think of it as a clean slate to start fresh.
Your story isn’t over and there’s still time for an exciting plot twist! However you choose to stay or get connected, try to keep your heart and mind open. It’s the secret to truly thriving for the rest of your life.