This year I turned 60. I can’t even believe that. Oy. Where did the time go? I gotta tell you, my life has been filled with so many ups and downs I could write a book. And I’ve learned so much. Not just about life but about myself as well.
One thing I learned about life is that you never stop learning. No matter how old you are.
My story in a nutshell
I need to give you a Reader’s Digest version of what my life has been like for the last 50-something years so you know I write with some real hardcore life experiences:
- physically abused as a child
- physically and sexually abused by spouses and partners
- homeless for a short while (that was hell)
- declared bankruptcy twice (the last time 9 years ago)
- single mother
- my son’s father committed suicide in 2019
- my family ostracized me at my mother’s funeral
- hit rock bottom at 52 (when I left my last abusive relationship) for the 2nd time (there was another trip to rock bottom in 2020)
- clawed my way out and totally reinvented my life
Now to expand on the last one, I was a hairstylist in a salon in a mall in Northern Ontario Canada for over 25 years. As I was rebuilding my life I decided I was getting tired of working to build someone else’s dream so I looked into how to build my own.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, either way, you’re right ~ Henry Ford
I traded in my 25+ year career, became a freelance writer, then a Social Media Manager, and now I run my own two websites (and all the social media content and accounts that go with those) and am living a life of total freedom in Guatemala.
I left Canada in 2015 and headed to Guatemala on a one-way ticket, two suitcases, and a hope and a prayer.
So you could say, I’ve done a lot, lived a lot and learned an awful lot. I feel I have a lot of wisdom to share with people so they too can live their best life ever.
Anyway, I’ll be honest, the things I’m going to share with you now, most of them I did after I turned 50 and wonder why I didn’t do them sooner!
50 Things To Do Before You Turn 50
In no particular order of importance, here we go…
- Face your fears. All of them. Your life is on the other side of fear. Anything you want to do, someone is already doing or has already done it. Pick one thing you’re really scared of doing (but secretly want to do) and go do it!!!
- Dump toxic people in your life. Yes, even if they are family. Toxic people will weigh you down until you get rid of them. If they bring you misery, they have no place in your life. Period!
- Write a love letter to yourself. Do this at least once, but aim for once a month. It’s the biggest self-esteem boost you’ll ever find.
- Write a forgiveness letter. To anyone and everyone who has ever hurt you, write them a letter of forgiveness. Don’t send it to them. This letter is for you to help you cleanse your heart, mind, and soul. Trust me, it works.
- Travel by yourself at least once. Go somewhere you’ve never been, where you don’t know anyone and take in the culture. Road trip, train trip or flying, just do it!
- Give your children the freedom to be who they want to be. If you have kids, let them answer their heart’s true calling. Don’t force them to be like you. They aren’t you.
- Start practicing kindness. Say awesome kind things to random strangers. Put a smile on people’s faces. The world needs more kind people. Do this daily.
- Stop caring about what other people think of you. Most people don’t even think highly of themselves. Live your life for you, not others. If they laugh at you, let them laugh. Most people laugh at what they don’t understand or are intimidated by. It’s got nothing to do with you.
- Form solid boundary lines. Don’t let people walk all over you and take advantage of you. Respect yourself first and others will follow suit. You are not a doormat. Stop letting people treat you like one.
- Stop being a people pleaser. You are the only person you should be pleasing first. If you aren’t happy, you won’t make anyone else happy either. Remember, you are #1, always!!!
- Don’t look for happiness in others. You will never find it. Happiness is within you already. Find that. Go chase things that make you happy.
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter. I wish everyone would do this. This will blow your mind and remind you to be thankful for all you have. Not only that, but your heart will also grow in ways you never thought possible.
- Talk to more strangers. Sometimes an innocent conversation can lead to the greatest friendships. Get out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
- Practice self-care daily. Every single day for at least 15 minutes, do something nice and nurturing just for you. ❤
- Never settle for less than what you deserve. Not your job, your pay, your relationships, nudda. You are worthy of greatness. Don’t settle for less.
- Use your voice more. Speak your truth. Don’t nod and agree with someone just to fit in or be likable. Stand up for what you believe in. Tell more people to eff off if you have to.
- Stop trying to fit in or blend in. Be yourself. Dance to the beat of your own drums. You’re not here to blend in
- Learn new skills. Many of them if you want. A new language, how to code, piano playing, anything! Learn something new each year.
- Rewire your brain. If you are a negative thinker, switch your thoughts to positive ones, and watch how your life changes. For every negative thought you have, replace it with 3 positives!
- Say YES more. When people invite you to new places and events, say yes and go. You never know who you will meet or how you will grow.
- Say NO more. Stop always being there for everyone. Say no to them and yes to you. Let someone else help for a change.
- Do something really ballsy at least once. Skydiving, bungee jumping, moving to a new city or country, anything that just might light your soul on fire.
- Stop thinking you can’t. Did you even try it? Start saying “I can and I’ll figure out how to do it as I go along”.
- Treat yourself more often. Buy those damn shoes or that expensive perfume. You only live once. Take yourself out to dinner at a fancy restaurant (this one is friggin awesome!)
- Stop saying “I’m too busy” all the time. If you are, you need to take a deeper look into your life so you can be less busy and have more time for fun.
- Don’t hold grudges. They are toxic and will suck the life out of you. Life’s too short to be angry at “John” from 20 years ago. Let it go, Felicia.
- Never let anyone treat you like crap. Stick up for yourself and demand respect. Put an end to that nonsense and walk away.
- Eat the cake already. It’s ok to indulge in life’s little pleasures sometimes. Go ahead and try it 🙂
- Ask for help. If you are going through a really hard time, no matter how strong you are, it’s ok to ask for help. People love to help.
- Sign your organ donor card. If you can. You can save many lives by doing that one small little thing.
- Open your heart more to love. Yes sometimes love hurts but sometimes it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Take the chance.
- Journal more. Write out your feelings or maybe practice daily gratitude. But you should really write more. Write happy things.
- Send an apology. You know who you need to apologize to. Stop wasting time and say I’m sorry.
- Visit a lonely senior in a nursing home. Did you know there are many residents in nursing homes who have no family to visit them or no visitors? Grab a coffee/tea and some treats and go!
- Try a new food. Frog legs anyone? Chocolate-coated crickets maybe? Be daring!
- Give up a bad habit. Smoking, drinking, nail-biting, whatever it is. Aim to ditch one bad habit.
- Donate your clothes to a women’s or homeless shelter. You could sell them at a yard sale and make a few bucks or you could donate them and help someone else get a head start on a new life.
- Go to a karaoke bar and sing your heart out. You know you wanna. You’re just too scared. Go do it!! And don’t even care what people think. Sing your heart out babe!
- Stand up for what you believe in. Even if you have to stand alone. You are someone’s voice. Use it loudly and proudly.
- Learn CPR. You never know when you might need it and help save someone’s life. Maybe even a child’s.
- Stop gossiping. It’s ugly and makes you ugly. We all have stories and hidden skeletons. So do you.
- Stop judging people. See #41. It’s just as ugly. Wait, see #12. That’ll cure you of judging people.
- Give spare change to a homeless person. It’s not your business what they use it for. You don’t know their story. Give them $1, for goodness sake.
- Smile at strangers as often as you can. That one smile you share could be the only smile they see all day. And they will smile back. And you have just made someone’s day brighter.
- Play with puppies and kittens more. Go to an animal shelter and hang out with 4 legged furry things. That’ll make your heart sing.
- Change jobs. If you’re not happy with the job you have now, you’re not stuck there. Learn a new skill or create your own job (kinda like I did!)
- Learn a new language. Hard as hell but fun too. You never know if you’ll end up in another country where knowing the language will surely come in handy!
- Take better care of your health. Start exercising or eating healthier. Years of neglect will take their toll sooner than you think.
- Go skinny dipping. At least once. It really is fun and kind of liberating.
- Learn to be more understanding and open-minded. You’re not always right and it’s important to try to understand someone else’s point of view.
Life is too short for hate, grudges, fear, and other negative limiting beliefs. This life is the only one you have. Don’t live with regrets. Embrace each day of life and live it to the absolute fullest.
What you put into life, life will return to you. Good or bad. The choice is yours.
Here’s to your eternal happiness.