Blog Post

50 Years, 50 lessons: Little nuggets from my journey

I turn fifty today.

They say life begins at 40, but I’ve put my money on it truly coming alive at 50!

My 40s was the finisher, the phase where all the lessons and experiences I’d had in life came to roost and then required cataloguing! And then polishing. And then a few closer looks for flaws. And then acceptance of those wrinkles and cracks. And then a bit more polishing to remove the fingerprints. It was a tough decade, I’ll not lie.

The fifties is when I begin living those lessons – with the “me” I now know and accept I am.

As I embark on this next decade, I have found myself reflecting on the countless experiences that have accompanied me on my journey here and wanted to share some of the marvellous nuggets I’ve discovered, catalogued, polished – and polished again.

Grab a cup of tea and indulge me for my 50 at 50.

  1. Comparison kills joy. Stay in your own lane.
  2. Eat your greens.
  3. Take a deep breath before reacting.
  4. It’s not you, it’s them.
  5. Drink water, LOTS of it.
  6. It’s just stuff. You can’t purchase a meaningful life.
  7. Be you. Do you. It’s the only way you’ll attract your true tribe.
  8. Take GOOD QUALITY vitamin C, omega 3, vitamin D and magnesium supplements – as much as we try, it’s difficult to get all your nutrients from the average diet.
  9. Always get a good bra fitting.
  10. You cannot control others, only your response to them. Be realistic. Be kind to yourself.
  11. Stop smoking. It’s a bitch and pregnancy was the only thing that worked for me. Don’t stop trying to stop.
  12. If you’ve not worn something for a year, give it away. You don’t need it.
  13. Own your mistakes. Apologise when you have done something wrong. BUT don’t say sorry if you’ve not or use the word “sorry” out of context.
  14. Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you. Life is too short to give extra energy to emotional leeches. PS. There’s a difference between giving a friend emotional support and someone who only ever drains your mojo.
  15. Smile. At strangers. At yourself. Smile if you’re feeling shitty. It might feel weird at first, but it’s a picker-upper to give or receive one.
  16. Unplug. Be present for your children so they don’t have to feel like they are constantly competing with a device for your attention.
  17. Be grateful. Notice the small things.
  18. Avoid ultra-processed food. Avoid ultra-processed food. Avoid ultra-processed food.
  19. Stretch. Every day and often. Don’t stop stretching.
  20. Don’t dismiss your kids. Children should be seen AND heard.
  21. Be vulnerable.
  22. Cold water. So many benefits. I don’t do it yet but watch this space.
  23. Tell your friends you love them.
  24. Don’t skip a laundry day! It will bite you in the butt.
  25. Don’t just do something. Sit there. (might still be learning this one!)
  26. Be kind. Just be bloody kind and show grace.
  27. If you don’t want something, say no.
  28. Accept compliments.
  29. Keep moving. Find a form of exercise and keep at it. It’s so hard to get back on that particular horse if you come off it.
  30. If you can help it, don’t be late. It shows disrespect for those who are waiting for you.
  31. Sleep is crucial to our well-being.
  32. Don’t give in to the need to fill silences with meaningless words. You’ll be surprised how much people can share with you, given that silence.
  33. Have cake for breakfast on your birthday.
  34. Make your bed in the morning.
  35. Yes, you DO need to eat your vegetables. A variety of 10 portions a day.
  36. Forgive. Forgiveness is mostly about your healing and not the other person.
  37. You don’t need to like anyone. Everyone doesn’t need to like you.
  38. In the words of Brené Brown, “Midlife is not a crisis. Midlife is an unravelling.” Choosing to numb this as opposed to dealing with it is choosing to be numb for the rest of your life.
  39. Take a walk in nature. Often.
  40. Help others.
  41. Take responsibility for your own health. Trust your gut and if you feel something is not quite right, keep pushing until you find a satisfactory answer.
  42. Slow down. Rest. Your productivity doesn’t determine your worth.
  43. Your health does not operate in silos. Each element of your body and lifestyle is intricately connected to the others.
  44. Progress, not perfection.
  45. Take the stairs.
  46. Get a spray tan.
  47. Always question your motivation. If you’re miserable trying to achieve something that’s driven by what you perceive others will think, stop.
  48. Nurture your relationships with those you love and cultivate meaningful relationships beyond the digital realm.
  49. Education. Education broadens the mind and encourages critical thinking. Never underestimate the power of learning. It’s not the content, it’s how it makes you think and view the world around you.
  50. One day you’ll back on photos of you today and think how bloody gorgeous you were. Know you’re bloody gorgeous now!

My reflection has reminded me of the importance of cherishing our loved ones and nurturing the relationships that bring meaning to our lives. The laughter shared with friends, the comfort found in family bonds and the deep connections forged with kindred spirits are what truly enrich our journey.

More than anything I appreciate the privilege to have reached fifty. I have lost a few beautiful souls along the way, forever young. Their absence serves as a poignant reminder of the preciousness of life and the significance of embracing each moment. It’s a reminder that age is a gift, a testament to the experiences we’ve had, the challenges we’ve overcome and the love we’ve shared.

I am no guru. This is just a personal collection of insights and lessons, tailored to my own path. Your journey may be different, and that’s perfectly okay. Take what resonates with you, discard what doesn’t. Let these reflections serve as a catalyst for your own introspection. 

If nothing else, I hope it inspires you to live and love with all your heart, forever grateful for the gift of experiencing whatever age you have reached.

Cheers to fifty and the infinite possibilities that lie ahead! 🎉