Your children are all grown up with lives and families of their own. Your career ended, not by your choice, and now you are lost. What do you do now? Do you wallow in self pity? Maybe for a little while, no one will blame you if you do. Or, do you strike out on a new venture? Let’s talk a little about life after 50.
Wallow in self pity, but only briefly.
Grief and feelings of self pity can’t be locked away, they need to be expressed to get past them.
I was downsized from my corporate job when the company I worked for restructured. It was a relief (I had really started to hate the job), but it didn’t keep me from feeling that I wasn’t good at what I did. Maybe the company didn’t like what I was doing. The feelings that I wasn’t “good enough” would have gotten the better of me if I didn’t know better. So I shook it off and set my sights on the future.
Take stock of what you have done.
You have to look at all you have accomplished and the experiences you have had. Really sit down and think about it. Write it down, you will be surprised at what has gone on in the last 50 years.
I have been feeling a bit panicked and a lot depressed over the fact that I am 51 years old and I don’t have a college degree, I don’t have an impressive career to validate who I am, and more of life is behind me than in front of me.
But a wise man told me that I have accomplished a lot and had some amazing experiences. I have traveled to other countries, I had a corporate career, I have wonderful children and grandchildren, and a very supportive husband to live out the rest of my life with.
When I looked at it that way and actually thought about all the things that had gone on in my life before now, I didn’t feel quite so bad.
Plotting a course for life after 50
Take stock of where you are now.
What are you grateful for? Who are you grateful for? What could you do with what you have right now? What have you done in the past that could be turned into a new venture?
My husband and I are comfortable financially (oh we have debt, but most people do), we have a wonderful relationship, and I have skills that I have learned over the years that I can use to start something new.
Explore opportunities. Dream, and dream big.
The skills you have could be used in a different way than before. Time is more precious so maybe you want to make time for the things that are important and not be tied down to routine. Don’t be afraid to take a risk.
After losing my job I decided to fulfill my dream of having my own consignment store. I used some of my severance money to get it up and running. I jumped right in without a lot of planning and in the end it wasn’t successful and I had to close. But I did it! It was fun and I didn’t let fear of failure stop me.
Decide on a course of action and let’s do this!
List out your dreams, all of them. No matter how big or how small. Maybe you want to travel, start a nursery and sell flowers, or maybe start an online business. You might want to babysit your grandkids, write a book, or start eating healthier. Don’t leave anything off the list.
Once you have your list, figure out what it will take to make those dreams a reality.
Start narrowing them down. Which ones match up with your skill set? Can you financially afford to do them? How much training will it take? Will they fit in with the lifestyle you imagine having? Do you feel passionate about it?
Now choose what will work the best for you. Do not worry about pleasing anyone else. The people that love you will support you no matter what you decide to do. They will understand that you are working at making your life after 50 the best it can be.
Imagining what you will do with the second half of your life can be scary. You have to deal with feelings of self pity and regret and push past them. Taking stock of where you have been and where you are now are key to moving forward. You have to explore all your opportunities and dream big about the future. Be ruthless and thorough when deciding what will come next. Make sure your are passionate about what you decide and that it fits in with your lifestyle.
By doing all of this you will ensure that life after 50 will be meaningful for you.
Talk to you soon,