Falling for 50!
It’s September! Can you believe it? September means tons of fun outdoor activities like fall festivals, apple picking, visits to the pumpkin patch, and college football (Go, CATS!). It’s also my birthday month and this year it’s a doozy! I’m turning the big 5-0! Now that, I can’t believe. I feel like I was just celebrating my 30th birthday. But here I am well into middle age, so it’s time to take a little stock of my life and ask myself a couple of very important questions. First, is this where I want to be in my life? And second, if I died today, is this what I want to be doing? I can honestly and emphatically answer “YES” to both! A few years ago, however, this was not the case.
If I had asked myself those same questions a few years ago, I would have said no, not even close. Back then I was in the endless cycle of working crazy hours, stressing out about my kids, having zero fun, and thinking I only existed to work and take care of other people. I was absolutely miserable. I knew there had to be more to life than all of that, so after reading You're a Badass by Jen Sincero, I started the wheels in motion to get myself a new life. It wasn’t easy by any means, but you know what? I did it and I am doing it, and if you are in the same boat that I was in, you need to know you can, too!
The media wants us to believe that by middle age we are all washed up. That’s why they bombard us with ads and social media campaigns telling us we need their product or services to be younger, prettier...i.e. worthwhile. But guess what? Beauty fades. So what do you have when all of that starts to go south? You have to look beyond the image you see in the mirror. You need to have a passion for what you’re doing and you need to be more selective about who you let in your circle of influence.
For me, I chose to end a dead marriage, leaving behind the safety and security that I had relied on for 20 years. It was a huge step for me, but it was something I had to do to save myself and get on a path moving forward that would be right for me. I also chose to tap into my creative and fun side by creating a blog with my best friend called Kentucky Taste Buds. I’ve always loved writing, so this was the perfect outlet to explore that side of me. It's gone from a podcast to a radio show and we have had an absolute blast! And while I’ve always taken care of myself physically by trying to eat well and going to the gym, I realized that with middle age comes a lot of aches and pains that I never had before. I needed a physical regimen that made me feel like I was doing something good for my body instead of punishing my body, and I found Pilates to be the key. I loved Pilates so much I became a certified instructor and bought the studio! These choices all came together to put me on a more positive pathway to an existence that is fulfilling and exciting, and I am so proud of myself!
Looking at my life now, I am happier than I’ve ever been and more successful than I ever thought I could be. I’ve had a lot of help along the way, though, so it’s very important to surround yourself with good people who want to see you succeed. It also helps to have some role models, people to look up to for inspiration. I found a list of famous people who didn’t become famous until later in life and I want to share it with you, so hopefully you will be inspired as well.
- Col. Harland Sanders – founder of KFC, didn’t become a millionaire until age 74.
- Charles Darwin – Published his “Origin of the Species” at age 50
- Ray Kroc – convinced McDonald’s brothers to franchise at age 52
- Judge Judy – her first courtroom show aired when she was 54 years old
- Paula Deen – landed her first Food Network cooking show at age 55
If you are in the stage of life that I’m in, don’t think for one second you’ve already lived through your glory days. Your life is not a Bruce Springsteen song. There are so many things to look forward to with growing older, and I, for one, am embracing this milestone birthday with arms open wide. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an AARP membership form to fill out so I can start receiving those good discounts! Happy September, y’all!