The Big 5-0. 5 Things I Am More Clear About as A Result of Turning 50

50I recently had the joy of turning 50. For those of you that have not yet made it, you might find something of value in my musings and for those that have already stepped beyond their 50th birthday, maybe you will find something to reflect on here – or have the chance the relive that magical moment.

Do I feel different?
Nope.Do I think it is funny that I am now a 50 year old?
Absolutely!Do I think people will think I am wiser now I am 50?
I hope so (he he he).

Now enough of me asking and answering my silly questions, let’s get on with the 5 lessons that might actually be useful for YOU. Here goes!!

 

Thing I learned #1: The eternal bit

I sort of knew this already, but it is worth mentioning here.
When we look in the mirror there is an eternal part of us that does not actually age.

When I looked in the mirror at 15, 20, 30, 37, 43, 49 and now 50 there is a part of me that has not changed. There are more wrinkles and grey hairs as time has progressed, but there is a part of me that is ageless.

A part of me is still playful, childlike, amazed by life, in awe of existence, and light of spirit.

It’s the other layers I have added over the last 50 years – the stories, worries, and what-ifs – that stop me from seeing and experiencing that part of me on a more regular basis.

The more I can connect with that eternal and light part of me, the more joy I can find in each and every moment. It also happens that I am rereading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle; which might contribute to this insight.

 

Thing I learned #2: Who cares?

One of the great things that has occurred for me as I have got older is that I care less about what people think of me. That is SO refreshing (and energy saving).

And here is the crazy thing.
It is often not what people ACTUALLY think of us that causes us the most grief. It is what we THINK SOMEONE THINKS OF US. We have more of an issue with a thought we made up in our heads. OUCH!!!! Can you see the craziness of this?!?!

Get better at not caring so much about what people think of you. Just focus on being a great human being and let things be what they will be. It wastes a lot of your energy and life force worrying about what others think of you.

A side lesson: I recently talked to someone that said they were very shy when they meet new people. My observation was that they were so worried about what someone would think of them, that they stressed themselves out. And too much stress = too little brain power (to put together the words for a conversation in this case). For them they needed to be more interested in the other person and less interested in what they think that person thinks of them.

 

Thing I learned #3: Time out

Working hard for a great cause is a great thing.
Working hard for a great thing and never taking some time out is not such a great thing in my opinion.

I was trying to decide what to do for my 50th birthday to celebrate the occasion, and I decided on a holiday that included time by myself, time with my friends, and time with my partner Ferry.

I have been pretty immersed in business and work for the last 5 years and not had many vacations where I was not thinking about work, or doing work on the road. That’s cool to an extent, but I am pretty sure when I get to the end of my days on planet earth, I will not be thinking that I regret having not worked more.

It is essential for the long-term game of life to take time out. Even though I thoroughly love what I do, it is essential that I take time out from what I am doing. Especially time by myself.

‘Me time’ (in my humble opinion) is essential to our mental health and well-being. For me it is also an act of self love and therefore nourishing to my sense of self.

 

Thing I learned #4: Friends

I was further reminded of the value and importance of spending time with friends.
And not just any friends.

But friends who leave me feeling better after having spent time with them.
Those are the friends that count.

I don’t feel compelled to spend time with friends from my past if they don’t tick the box of making me feel better when I spend time with them. Part of you evolving may mean you no longer ‘resonate’ with some people from your past. Be ok with moving on.

True friends are the ones that add to your energy and not drain it. They are the ones that cause you to continue smiling for a long time after you part company.

 

Thing I learned #5: The health thing

It is so important to take care of our health through our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and beyond so we can live a more vibrant life for the rest of our lives. I am so grateful that I learned good habits (and installed them) when I was younger.

I learned the habit of regular exercise. This is without exception.
I learned to put the right fuel into my body. As Michael Pollan said…(eat) “Real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
I learned and created the habit of doing a daily mindfulness practice (that is meditation for me).
I learned the importance of rest at a micro and macro level. And getting a good nights sleep.
I learned that my emotional state has the potential to affect my health. So I do the work on myself to manage my emotional stuff with self practices or getting help from others.

Caring about your health (and doing the work) is such a worthy goal if you want to live a long vibrant life.
Warning…a (caring) plug is coming…Read The Guidebook to Optimum Health to learn the best of my lifetime lessons on health and well-being. You will thank me for it when you hit 50 and beyond.

This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you as a (wise) 50 year old.

 

Parting words

I am 50 and proud of it.
Whew! I made it…

There were definitely times in my life where the idea that I would make it to 50 in one piece (and not exiled) seemed pretty unattainable. But I did it. I am here, in one piece, and excited about the next 50 years.

I still feel the same as when I did when I was 20 and for that I am grateful for that part of me that never ages. And I want to choose more and more often to let that part of me shine. I also want to choose…
To be less attached to outside stuff.
To be less attached to the number of grey hairs I have or wrinkles or less elastic skin on my butt.
To be less attached to my ‘shoulds’ and be more attached to the beauty of what is.
To be more grateful for all I have, as opposed to bitching over what I don’t have.

Thank you for coming on this journey of reflection with me, and I truly look forward to continuing to serve you over the years and decades to come. My greatest joy is to pass on what I have learned along my journey, so your life will be a little more easeful and a lot more fulfilling.

Have a beautiful day.

Take care and much love.
Carl

 

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