Dear cool woman,
I’ve always thought that being 50 is reaching the half way point of life. Of course, we get no longevity guarantees, but in the case of this blog about women turning a new decade, we are truly midway. I have to laugh as I write “turning” as if the day we reach a new age is the day we transform into a new creature or step through a magical door.
The changes that come with age are the accumulation of thousands of seemingly unassuming days (and a few spectacular ones!)—all adding up to a wealth of living.
Dawn has agreed to give us her perspective as she turns 50 this year. She and her husband (married over 26 years) are proud of their son, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, now in the Air Force.
Dawn is the director of development for The Centers for Habilitation, (TCH). She’s devoted 26 years of her life to this nonprofit organization that provides services to support, care for and empower adults with disabilities, both developmental and physical. Her passion is to knock down the barriers to independence for her clients—and she’s creative in raising friends and funds to make this happen.
During her career, she’s served as a Tempe Chamber board member, led the Tempe Chamber Women in Business Council, and not surprisingly, been nominated Business Woman of the Year.
Here is her view of life at 50:
What are the most important things you’ve learned so far?
“Life is about celebrating the little things, special moments, important people, and making memories. I have learned how important faith is in my life, that I am not in control and to put my trust in God. It is important to be yourself and do things that make you happy, you cannot please everyone else. I am very lucky to have a strong relationship with my husband. We balance each other and he loves me for who I am. I love who I am and the people in my life.”
As you think of stepping into a new decade, what thoughts go through your head? Are you doing anything special to mark this new time in your life?
“I forget how old I am all the time. I don’t look or act my age. I have not looked at it as stepping into a new decade, it is just another number. I do things that bring me joy and spend time with people who love me. I am adventurous and enjoy challenging myself with new activities. I have started a list of 50 things I would like to do (a bucket list) and I have been able to cross a couple of things off it already.”
What plans or goals do you have for the next few years?
“I do not have specific goals set for the next few years. I will continue to add and cross off items on my list. I want to make sure I take time for myself and those people who are important to me. I had the opportunity to travel with my dad this year, just the two of us. The time we spent together was great; we had never done a daddy/daughter trip. I will cherish those memories.
“Activities, like the trip with my dad, a quiet evening at home playing cribbage with my husband, hiking new trails, spending time with girlfriends, visits with family, watching my son excel in his career, are the activities I want to fill my life.”
What do you worry about?
“I tend to worry about everyone and everything. I worry about the comfort of others, future (which I have no control over), making mistakes, and letting others down. Through faith and meditation I am able to keep things in perspective and not let worry take over.”
Dawn reminds us that 50 doesn’t mean suffering through a mid-life crisis. True, we’ve lived five decades, a long time in anybody’s book, and yet chances are we’re looking forward to a whole lot more decades to come.
It can feel as if we are in a place of looking forward and looking back—like the god Janus or the Judy Collins song, “Both Sides, Now.” We start to count the small things we do that give us great pleasure and make our list of what WE really want to do for the duration of our time here on earth.
Making choices for ourselves at this age can be a little like shopping for a new dress; we look on the rack/online and can almost immediately tell if the color, style and price is a good ‘fit’ for us. And why shouldn’t we be able to do this quickly?
Wisdom comes with decades of choices under our belts, and this accumulated ‘knowing’ tells us that an unbelievable bargain, or a person who’s almost (if it weren’t for…..) perfect for us, or an easy-fix to a daunting problem usually doesn’t end well. Been there, got a drawer full of those tee shirts.
Dawn calls on God to keep her manage worry; faith carries her confidently into the new decade. Challenging times do test ones character, and with a Divine support system, we live with hope.
Thank you for showing us how good 50 can be Dawn!
May your Wisdom support your confidence,
PS. If you missed the blogs featuring women turning 10-40, here you go:
10-Bailey: “I used to play on an all boys soccer team and I was the only girl. I had to play a little more physical than how I play on the girls’ team now but I’m really glad I did it. I think it made me a better player.”
20-Kat: “I am trying to do things that make me happy and I’m trying to stay off of Netflix. No good story started out with, ‘This one time, I was watching Netflix and….’”
30-Niamh: “I’m scared and excited to find out what this next decade has in store for me, but I’m strapped in and ready to take the next ride.” http://whalenvoices.com/2016/07/15/celebrate-turning-30-with-niamh/
40-Tinisha: “My greatest successes are those that I did not think that I could achieve. There is something extra rewarding in turning your ‘I cant’s’ into ‘I cans.’