The good & the bad of turning 50 + how to embrace getting older

I turned 50 last week!

‘How do you feel about turning 50?’ was the most asked question of the last few months.

Interestingly I had the same when I turned 30 and my answer then was ‘It depends how many people keep asking me!’

Let’s face it, every time the number at the front changes, it is like we are adding 10 years to our age. And if you are lucky enough to have some teenagers flying around, they’ll remind you daily at just how very old you are.

If I’m honest I did find it challenging to come to terms with this new ‘era’ of my life after turning 50. Without any particular effort or achievement, being young in 2021 just means you are cool, in line, trendy, the one to watch and admire.

So what is it that makes me – a 50-year-old – envy a young person for their youth?

Well, the obvious is no wrinkles and great skin and hair. But why is that such an important and defining attribute in our society?

It is like the young are treated like a god while the older and clearly more wise and experienced are forgotten. I find this very disturbing! Surely the most simple answer is that it is all about money, advertising, a society trying to sell us something we can’t achieve…

It makes me look at people in their 70’s and 80’s and wondering what they must feel like, wondering how I will feel when I get there. A rather scary thought I admit…

The real challenge of turning 50: then there was menopause!

As if turning 50 wasn’t enough of a challenge, of course, my hormones have to add to the despair.

Getting older, feeling more tired, more anxious, still the same responsibility and maybe yet more challenges (aging parents and teenagers). Just writing this makes me exhausted (can you hear me chuckle?) 

So I have spent the last few weeks in the build-up to turning 50 turning things around in my head.

Deciding 

  • I will not be defeated by a number
  • I will not be defeated by a society pushing me more and more onto the reserve bench
  • I will turn this around in my head and make it a positive

So here I go:

I am proud of the 50 years I have lived

And utterly grateful that I have made it to this age while many have not.

I am looking between the lines of menopause and what these changes are actually about

I focus on what I am gaining (and not what I am losing).

Menopause or some call it ‘fuck it 50’ allows me to come back to ME. Low hormones can be a blessing at times. The decreasing progesterone stops me from trying to please everyone else and finally takes that much-needed time for ME.

I know it sounds weird with this busy life, family, work, and a global pandemic on the side, but the last year before turning 50 has been about defining who I want to be and how I want to live my life. As if menopause, weirdly, has forced me into looking at my life and deciding which way I want to go.

And the way I want to go is embracing all that I am: 

  • my life experience which makes me the wise person I am
  • my life’s achievements who make me the woman that I am
  • my life’s failures which have led me to question myself and change direction many times
  • the people I have met on the way that shaped me, some in the most beautiful of highs and some disguised in difficult relationships
  • the many years I hope I still have ahead of me to use all the above and sit back and just live without fear of getting it wrong, knowing that if I can survive 50 years, I have all that I need to continue my journey
  • the chance to show my children and future generations show to age happily 
  • an impact on society and the way we discard old rather than learning from it  
  • the excitement of what is ahead of me after so many years of serving others, I look forward to enjoying myself again, like one of those teenagers but with more laid-backness and less FOMO

 

And it is truly fascinating: 

From the moment I decided to turn this around, all of it feels so much better. I am fine being 50. Shout it out! I AM 50! I feel excited about the future, I can’t wait to see what the ‘ME after’ is going to look like and do.. so many adventures to be had, so many people yet to meet, so many achievements yet to be made, bring it on!

Life here I come!

If you feel like your life is more a struggle than a joy or you are going through a ‘one step forward, 2 steps back’-phase,             get in touch and we can look how we can help you press that RESET button.

 

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About Veronique 

Hi, I’m Veronique Mertes and I’m a fully qualified Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and Clinical Psychotherapist. I trained with the renowned Clifton Practice (CPHT) and award winner Matthew Cahill.

I am a member of the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) and the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH) and I would love to help you to change your life for the better.

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