I have been on a journey of self realization and transformation. After many years of taking care of kids and aging parents, I have been trying to figure out what I want for the second half of my life. It is super hard to even know what I want my future to look like. Am I even capable of re-directing and re-defining my life? I have been frightened and filled with stress many times over as I examine the question:
How To Change Your Life at 50 Years Old
Yesterday, I got a call from a friend of mine that I haven’t heard from in a while. We’ve literally been friends since we were born. Her mother and my aunt were room mates in the hospital when both she and my cousin were born.
After a long conversation of catch up, and right as we were going to say goodbye, she says:
“Oh, by the way, I quit my job. My last day is Friday.”
Ah, hold on. I’m not letting you sign off after dropping that bomb.
Apparently, her revelation to others, had brought her a lot of bad reactions. She left it to the end of the phone call to curb, what she thought would be, a negative response.
“That’s freaking awesome!”, I exclaimed.
For many, the fifties are what I refer to as the sandwich years. Your own children are grown but not fully independent and you have senior parents who are requiring extra care. You are the meat, stuck in the middle, keeping the whole thing together.
Honestly, I always admired my friend like a superwoman of sorts. I felt inferior to her level of accomplished juggling. Apparently, all the activity had taken its toll on her mentally and physically. I get that and I bet you can too.
Quitting her job was not a decision she took lightly. It will carry with it huge financial consequences. She did discuss with her boss going part-time or job sharing, but neither seemed to be an acceptable prospect.
So that’s that. She’s going cold turkey, jobless. She’s nervous and excited but relieved. She feels like she can finally take a breath.
I know how she feels, it is almost exactly a year to the day that I stepped away from my working life.
- Yes, financially we have had to tighten our belts.
- Yes, I sometimes miss the sense of accomplishment my career brought me.
- Yes, I miss my fellow employees and the sense of purpose.
But do I regret my decision? Absolutely NOT! I am now a full-time blogger making a full-time income working part-time hours. I never in my wildest dreams thought that was possible.
I know it’s not for everyone. I know many can not afford to do it. But for me, I had a feeling that I had to make it happen. And when you want something bad enough, you can make it happen. I am the proof!
Over the next few weeks, we have made arrangements to get together and strategize her next step but for now, what is her plan?
“I’m going to really do Christmas! I’m going to bake and make lots of Christmas cookies!”
I’m happy for her and look forward to helping her in her new journey.
Can you change your life at 50? Life can change at any age. You must decide what is important to you, then make a plan. If it is what you truly want and need, you can make it happen.
The thing that really helped me change my life was journaling. Because honestly, I had no flippin’ idea what I wanted. I knew I wanted change but I had no idea what that change was. For me, I had to write it out to find my purpose, goals and focus.
I know it is scary. It has probably been a long time since you have had to make life changing decisions. For inspiration and know how, seek out others or midlife mentors/coaches that are doing what you want to do. Like this couple who quit their jobs and travel full-time, or this couple that house/pet sit around the world and these famous people who started their careers well after turning 50.
You can change your life at 50 years old and beyond. But the emphasis is on YOU. No one else can do it for you.
Have you made a drastic life altering change late in your life? If not, are you ready?
Wednesday 1st of June 2022
I agree I think the Pandemic hasnt helped and a lot of people are re inventing themselves , I left my job, took a side line of consulting for a few months whilst i find myself and figure out what next , It is scary but so is being unhappy for the next 10 or 20 years until you retire. I do worry but i sleep better at night not worrying about the office .
Saturday 22nd of May 2021
so true i am 51 have 2 sick parents a husband 3 kids one has autisum stop working 5 years and i am still trying to find my self while juggling this thing call life
Monday 3rd of February 2020
Oh, Suzanne - I you! I'm in a similar position and am beginning to build an online business. It's been 2 years since my Mom passed away and I've been stuck myself. Know you're not alone, you have the ability to do whatever your passion guides you to do, and if you want to commiserate, just let me know. :-) Good luck.
Friday 13th of September 2019
WOW! What a fantastic gift you have! I too just found your blog and have been so encouraged by it! I was an executive at a fortune 100 company who LOVED my job! I was considered REDUNDANT when the new company bought the company I helped build after 15 years (I should say my family and I helped build). I knew it was coming because my salary was too high for them to keep me on. I took the mindset that it was a good thing. Time to move on and care for my family and my mom who has dementia. What I didn’t realize is how lost I would feel. I worked my entire life. My husband stayed home with our girls, who I’m very close with and love that they still need me “a little”. It has been 5 years now and while I’m starting a coaching company, (isn’t everyone ;) I steel feel stuck. I miss working in team. Building teams. I miss sharing thoughts and ideas with others who know where we are going and making it happen. My girls are “almost independent” and we have moved my mom into live with us but... I struggle to get my coaching/consulting company going. I know I have great experience, skills, and a gift for helping young people navigate the corporate world. I guess I just need to put the past behind me and “reinvent myself”.
I apologize for the log comment. I have never shared this level of what I’m feeling and it was therapeutic to write it out and share it with you. Blessings Elena! Keep blogging and I’ll keep reading and getting inspired.
Sunday 28th of July 2019
I'm definitely being sandwiched now. Life is very stressful. At 45, I'm trying to figure out what I want to do for the next 30 years. While still trying to keep it together now. Yikes.
Tuesday 30th of July 2019
It is so hard when you are in the middle. There never seems to be enough time to even think let alone plan for you future. I know it is super hard, but you must carve out some time for you to think AND try new things. When you have no idea what you want for your future, you will have to find out by the good ole trial and error method. Keep exploring till you find that thing that makes you happy, that makes time pass quickly without realizing it and what makes you feel full of life. Good luck and I hope your journey to finding your passion is just as fulfilling as finding it.