I’ve been thinking a lot about my friends (mostly friends of my kids) who are now turning 50 and what advice I have for them at this time. My readers of this blog are from all over the world and I have no idea of their age but they could be turning 50 for all I know!
When I turned 50 in 1984 my husband Doc was still with us. As you all know he passed away in 1987. The reason I mention that he was still alive was I had not played golf on a regular bases until 1984. You all know that back in those days a 4 1/2 round of golf would easily end up by you being away from home almost all day. It took time to drive to the course and warming up on the range: about an hour. And it was common courtesy to stay for coffee or a beer with the your foursome: about 1/2 to 1 hour. I just could not justify my being away from home on the week end before 1984. Doc, however, insisted that because I loved the game that I should join the Murray Ladies Club. And I did.
I had no idea how golf would be such a joy for me over these past 36 years. It is a game that you may never excel at but you can play for a lifetime. You don’t need a partner, you don’t need to join a private club, you don’t need to play the highest priced public courses, you don’t need a qualifying handicap to golf in Canada, you don’t need to play any more often than you wish.
To make a life time of playing golf it is a great idea to take lessons from a qualified Professional and practice. Practice around the green, from 100 yards to the green. It will help you improve your score.
I’m not an expert on all the other things you can do when you turn 50. I do have a hunch that if you have an outside interest other than your career/work when you do retire, you will live longer. Volunteering is one of the major projects that retired people often try and good for them. If that isn’t in your plans write your life story or maybe start painting. Take classes or go it yourself. Painting is the same as writing, you can get so much satisfaction in putting paint or words on paper/canvas.
If you have always loved dogs (or cats) and have a place that allows dogs, and are capable of taking the dog for a walk, get a dog from a reputable breeder. A dog can be the best companion ever and also keeps you in shape taking it for walks!
For goodness sakes, don’t think that activities are gender based. Anyone can knit, crotchet, or sew. You can learn to play Bridge and find a community center where you may play. Lessons are available for Bridge as well.
This pandemic has had some positive activities started by many people who would never have thought of: men and women sewing masks, men and women baking bread, men and women cutting or braiding hair.
Join a gym or take tennis lessons, just get off your a##.
Topmost on your list when turning 50 should be Senior Games. Find senior games in your province or state and participate! You will meet many people and play competitively. It will keep you young.
The Huntsman Senior Games in St. George, Utah are awesome. I have been there and in that year there were 28 different events and 10,500 athletes in attendance from October 6-18. So many activities to choose from and great food and entertainment. So much fun. Everyone is playing in their age category and that makes the playing field even. It is simply amazing.
If your partner or if you live alone, explore cooking. Really. Anyone can be a gourmet cook and you can find anything and everything you could want to eat on the Internet.
If you have not done the things below, do it when the pandemic is under control:
- Go to New York City and see a Broadway show And all the sites.
- Go to New Orleans and soak up the whole Jazz experience
- Golf Torrey Pines and/or Pebble Beach. It costs a lot Can$ but it a once in a lifetime game.
- Go to London, Paris, Rome or look at the pictures and save the money for GOLF
- Go to St. George Utah, the Main Street Cafe for Lamb Burgers – better than a beef burger.
- Go to Victoria for High Tea and enjoy the beautiful flowers any time of the year.
- Go to Hawaii and observe the laid back lifestyle before it disappears.
- If you or one of your kids went to Athol Murray College of Notre Dame
at Wilcox, Sask, go back and tour the college now. Check out the Tower of God. Feel the wind in your face on Main Street and appreciate the Saskatchewan “living skies”.
Now that I’m 85 I am going to go to a Los Angeles Dodgers home game. It will be the first time I will see them play.
MY NIECE’S GENERATION
Turning 50 was the first time in my life that I thought about my own mortality, and yet it wasn’t in a depressing way. It inspired me to be more grateful for every birthday from then on. I make it a priority to enjoy my life and not take it for granted, especially considering all those who didn’t live to be this age.
For women approaching the big 5-0 (or already in that decade), I hope you know that you will benefit the most from being both realistic and optimistic about this stage in life. Naturally you will gradually look different as you age and, yes, you will feel different during and after menopause. Such changes may be hard to accept for those with too little self-esteem or too much vanity, but there is a remedy for that.
By the age of 50, if you don’t already believe you are absolutely “good enough” just as you are, then make it your #1 goal to learn how. Use whatever self-help books, psychology websites or therapy is needed and available. The combination of accepting the natural aging process, and knowing you are good enough, is a first-class ticket to the best 50+ journey.
Finally, at this age you really shouldn’t have to do anything you don’t want to do (within reason). Minimize or abandon the people-pleasing and the status-seeking. Plan for guilt-free time to pursue hobbies, skills or activities that interest you. Enjoy whatever your 50+ life has to offer. Cheers to that and cheers to you!