After Fifty Birthdays, What’s Next?

Birthdays!!! Those suckers come around every single year without fail.  Starting out they were full of cake, ice cream, fun times with my current circle of friends, including lots of presents.  Come to think about it, that sums up the basis for most of my birthdays. The location, food, type of gift, and friends changed but the theme stayed the same.

For say 45 years or more most of us were in a hurry to be older.  Think about it, children can’t wait to say they are at least one year older.  Teenagers can’t wait until they can legally drive, drink, and be independent.  A long list of perceived things will happen when we turn 21.

Our work related Resume involve the number of years of experience, often determining the qualifications, the money, the opportunity to move up in life.

My point is this, we spend most of our years anticipating and often driven by something we want to happen at a future date an it’s often tied to our future birthdays.

As a child my mother would say I was so busy reaching for “what’s next” that I didn’t enjoy “what’s happening right now.”  It’s a habit that can cause us to feel that life is not good enough today.  If only we were in that future place it would be better.  It’s like our birthday cakes  infect us with a  “what’s next” appetite that develops into an habitual dis-satisfaction with the here and now.

We spend so much energy wanting to escape the present moment.  I’m not talking about goal setting here.  I’m talking about what we make  the number of candles on the birthday cake mean.

Our lives are focused on the negatives of our current age with an underlying belief that we can have something more with just a few more birthdays. It’s forward thinking, dreams to be fulfilled.

Suddenly we hit midlife and beyond and we want to put the brakes on reaching for more birthdays.  In fact, we begin to put in lots of time and effort into trying to stop mother time.

We’re no longer looking for with immense enthusiasm for bigger numbers on the birthday calendar. Our time is now spent trying to slow the clock down.  Stop the clock on those wrinkles, age spots, gray hair, and extra weight. The “what’s next” starts to feel less exciting, certainly harder to be passionate and filled with purpose about that next step.  Many of our vaguely conceived ideas about the 50 and beyond no longer apply.  We don’t have the same interests.

Those birthdays start to take on a different meaning.  Does anyone stand up at their 50th and say, “I am so excited to be 50?  It’s finally here!”

When my daughter turned 50 this year, I signed her up for AARP.  She tried really hard to see the benefits of the discounts.  But really, she does not want to look, think, or feel like she is 50 and beyond. I just don’t see her pulling that card out at some fancy hotel or restaurant any time soon.

For myself, the most exciting thing about turning 65 was the Social Security check. I didn’t want to be too old to work.  I didn’t want to retire and spend 24/7 with my husband.  I love him, but no thank you.

Those bigger birthday numbers at about the halfway mark start to create more anxiety rather than passion and excitement for what’s next.  The need to strive for more next birthday gets mixed up with OMG, stop the clock, I’m not sure I want this.

So, here’s the deal. The bottom line; everything we do in life is because of how we think we will feel.

So what if we spent years wishing for more birthdays.  What ever you wished for either happened or it didn’t.  Those are your yesterdays.  I say own it, be all in for what’s next.  Age is just a number listed on the calendar.  Don’t let anyone else define what it means.  Do whatever the hell you want.

You get to decide what’s next. Own your future girlfriend

Your Midlife and Beyond Certified Life Coach




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