I make no secret of the fact that I turn 50 next week, and I’ve been doing a lot of reflection. I’ve heard life over 50 called the “Second Half.” That seems appropriate. But what’s in that half? If you think about it, the BIG stuff that created your memories, your experiences, essentially created who you ARE at 50, it happened in the first half.
If you’re me, you lived your childhood in Yosemite. You spent three months in the hospital at 4 and came out of it with a love for doctors and nurses who showed love to a whole group of young children there alone. And you returned, shaped by your experience. You played in meadows, stayed outside past dusk with your friends, walked to school in kindergarten – alone…because it was a different era. You skied for PE, ate hot dogs and drank red dye…aka Kool Aid…and lived.
The first half included slumber parties, good friends, selling Girl Scout cookies, dances, BIG hair, bad fashions…ones which I have no desire to wear again now, even though they seems to be back…not going there again. There was young love, dumb love. And you had college and all its shenanigans. Then came the big stuff, you married, had two amazing kids, climbed the career ladder – jumped off it… And you also had your share of pain, divorce. The beauty of getting married again…
And I thought about all that first half stuff yesterday, as I swam what I called my “birthday yards.” My years x 100’s. As I got tired around yard 4,000 and wondered why I hadn’t chosen 50’s instead of 100’s, I had the big epiphany.
What I DO does not make who I AM.
I kept swimming, but thought about that. The way I’ve lived my life, really the way any of us live our lives, represents what’s inside of us. It’s an extension of what’s inside. But ultimately, our life’s experiences, those created who we are on the inside. It’s a little bit of the chicken and egg theory. We’re born, clean slate. Everything we experience shapes what’s inside which drives what we do outside. And it shapes what we think we need to do.
By the second half, most of those shaping experiences have happened. Truthfully, a lot of them happened when I was young. Now I have a choice of how I’m going to use them, how to show up, how to love, live, what’s important.
Here’s what is important in the second half.
Loving more, loving deeply. Not being a roommate to my husband.
My family…time with them…relationship.
Knowing what I believe in my heart and being brave enough to say it, even when it goes against the grain with those close to me.
Helping other people. Serving them with the gifts God gave me and developed in me.
Making mistakes…I’m far from perfect, it’s time to embrace it. Time to be silly.
Close girlfriends…we’re walking through this part of life together, understanding w
hat being a woman really means now.
Do what I love. Tryouts are over, I know what I like and it’s time to stop wasting time of stuff I don’t.
Never stop learning. Some of the most impactful learning and growing I’ve done has been in the last year.
Be brave… I have nothing to prove. This has been one of the hardest to learn, and I’ve done a lot to try and prove I’m worthy…of love. Now I know that I am worthy. What I do doesn’t make me worthy. That is the truth for each of us, we are worthy of love, from
others and more importantly, from ourselves.
The second half…you’ll find me showing more compassion to myself. Embracing who I am and sharing that with others. It took 50 years for me
to get here…
hopefully it didn’t take you as long…be brave with me…let the years ahead of you be filled with compassion, with family, friends, and most importantly, with love.