A decade ago, I was feeling anxious about turning forty. The expression “Over the hill” haunted me with the idea that the best years of my life were over and I was officially middle aged.
I went ahead and planned the obligatory party and even though my heart wasn’t in it, I sent out invitations and made a few desultory preparations. Doing my best to ward off my gloomy thoughts. I was incredibly grateful when close friends and family arrived early to decorate my living room with groovy backdrops and set up DJ decks with disco lights. The stage was set and as I got ready I couldn’t help feeling excited about the party….It lasted all night as lots of lovely people arrived to wish me a happy birthday and help me celebrate reaching forty !
I had such a good time that I felt really cheerful and optimistic the next day, despite the hangover. How silly I’d been to worry about getting older – I was still young enough to have fun plus quite a few friends had assured me that I didn’t look my age.
In light of this positive experience, I was determined not to waste any time worrying about turning fifty and actually started preparing for this birthday about a year before the big event when I decided that the best way to feel good about it was to get really healthy. The resulting change in my lifestyle drastically reduced my fears about age related health issues and so I inadvertently began my ‘Fearless Fifties’ journey.
The word journey comes from the French ‘journee’ for ‘day’, appropriate as I now believe that every new day is an opportunity to feel good about being alive. On my fiftieth birthday, I didn’t need a big party to mark the occasion as I had at forty but enjoyed a healthy and mindful celebration welcoming the brand new decade.