Hello friends! I recently celebrated my 50th birthday. That is a milestone, so I wanted to share some of what I have learned over the last 50 years with you today and talk about the type of energy I am carrying into the next decade.

I sincerely hope that my reflections will encourage you to be kinder to yourself and love yourself more.

Reflections and Revelations

Turning 50 made me think of Sally O’Malley, the sassy character from the Saturday Night Live skit, who has always been my whimsical inspiration when imagining my 50th birthday party. Remembering my mother’s surprise 50th birthday party also adds a touch of warmth to my memories.

Decades Defined

My journey through the decades has been a tapestry of challenges and growth. My twenties marked the start of my Sally O’Malley-inspired fantasies, while my thirties and forties were all about parenting, losses, and personal struggles. I found my forties particularly challenging because there were many losses and health battles.

Rewriting the Narrative in My 50s

Entering my fifties was a paradigm shift. Mixed messages on aging and my challenges prompted me to redefine the narrative. Watching resilient, vibrant women in my life gracefully embracing their fifties inspired me to approach this phase with anticipation rather than apprehension.

Contentment

The concept of enough has become a guiding theme for my fifties. Striving for material wealth in my younger years has given way to contentment with what I already have.

I Am Enough

Amidst all the societal expectations and comparisons exacerbated by social media, I had the profound realization that I am enough. At 50, I know I am enough for myself, my family, my career, and my body. After shedding the need for external validation, I became content in my current state.

Embracing Self-Contentment and Body Positivity

I have recently undergone a profound shift in how I perceive my body. Rather than succumbing to external pressures and engaging in activities that bring me shame, I started prioritizing feeling good in my own skin. I now only adopt practices that genuinely bring joy and feel grateful for my fully functional body.

Epiphanies on Knowledge and Relationships

I now appreciate the wealth of knowledge within me instead of trying to find it externally. That paradigm shift highlighted the importance of self-trust and showed me that continuous learning does not equate to inadequacy. Similarly, in my relationships, my emphasis has shifted from seeking new connections to appreciating and nurturing existing ones.

Setting Boundaries and Letting Go

I have reached a point where I understand that I do not need to stretch myself thin by joining every committee or movement. Setting boundaries has become crucial, and I am learning to let go of the constant need to analyze others. Prioritizing self-care, fulfilling immediate responsibilities, and relinquishing the need to prove anything through constant activity has become my focus.

Choosing Meaningful Engagement

I have consciously shifted my approach to engagement. Rather than participating in activities for external validation, I now only invest my time, money, and energy in pursuits that align with my beliefs and values.

Letting Go

I have finally learned to let go as a parent, so I now support my children instead of being overly directive. I have accepted that my role has shifted from active guidance to providing support when needed.

Celebrating Life and Cultivating Relationships

Entering a new decade, I decided to focus on my experiences, joy, and deepening my relationships with those I love. I now focus on cultivating connections, finding peace in the present moment, and learning to appreciate myself.

Me Time

This week’s Me Time is a little different. It is my candid reflections on navigating my 40s. Rather than caring less as I got older, I started looking at the whys behind my thoughts and behaviors. That has helped me to approach the next decade with grace and a fresh perspective.

Embracing Positivity

Entering my fifties has allowed me to let go of self-criticism and acknowledge my accomplishments without downplaying them. I have learned to make room for the best rather than dwelling on the past or preparing for the worst. I have shed my old baggage, and I focus now on carrying forward a metaphorical suitcase filled with hope, wonder, and love.

Prioritizing Self-Love and Joy

Despite my deep love for others, I recognize the need to love myself. Whether you are 50, 30, or 75, I challenge you to prioritize yourself too.

Fun Indulgences and Recommendations

I have some fun and frivolous indulgences to share today. First on the list is a hand lotion called Lavish by Ever Skin, offering relief for dry winter hands without the greasy feel. Another delightful treat is the Wallaby Licorice, an old-fashioned alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth. I recommend the New York Times Connections, a word puzzle game that provides a short and engaging morning activity for mental stimulation. Finally, for a good laugh, I suggest The Handsome Podcast, featuring TigNotaro, Fortune Feimster, and Mae Martin, a comedic trio delivering pure, unfiltered banter.

I urge you to indulge in the little things that bring you joy and laughter, and never forget that the answer to “Am I a bad mom?” is always no.

Till next time!

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