Confessions of a Former Bitch: 50 Things I learned on the Way to 50
Former? Some may say...but I'll save that for another post.
I turned 50 a couple of years ago and something funny happened on the way to my journey.
Wrinkles aside, it’s not bad. There’s this thing called wisdom that actually starts to set in. All of those things you did – right and wrong – have been bundled into something called life’s experience.
That is what creates wisdom.
Society is still in the dark ages when it comes to the notion that the 50+ woman has something to offer so I’ve made it my personal mission to promote the aging woman.
I plan on rockin’ my heels for as long as I physically can. I plan on kicking ass for this next stage of my life and I want other woman to know they can, too.
Reaching 50 is liberating. You can say ‘been there, done that’ and you mean it. And, sometimes it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
50 Things I Learned on the Way to 50
I’ve learned so much in my first 50 years and here’s a random sampling. It’s the clean version. If I wrote a book about it, it would be called “Confessions of a Former Bitch: 50 Things I learned on the Way to 50” but I’ll give the G-rated version now.
And, here they are…
- When your heart and brain fight it out, the heart wins most of the time. Lesson learned: Go with your brain more.
- The asshole at work will probably never understand that he’s an asshole.
- Don’t be mean, rude, or genuinely unfriendly. That’s just passé.
- Being independent to a fault, is a fault. We all need help sometimes.
- Work / Life Balance is a myth. Balance infers equal weight is given to all areas of our life – equal in amount, significance, and value. Here’s the problem with that - not all things are equal and not all things are of equal importance. Being “unbalanced” helps you meet goals.
- It’s okay to eat dinner in a restaurant alone.
- “Let’s be friends” generally doesn’t work out.
- You realize that you’ll probably be that eccentric old lady in the park feeding the animals – and you’re good with that.
- If you want to freak people out, walk into the elevator and stand with your back to the door facing the people who are in the back of the elevator. (An experiment from my Psych professor as an undergrad about going against the norm. It does freak people out!)
- Being blood relatives doesn’t make you family.
- Never worry about fitting in. It’s standing out that makes you great.
- In the era of social media, first impressions are no longer made in-person. (A huge lesson if you are job searching.)
- Never date a guy who takes a chance when the gas tank is on ‘E’ just because he’s waiting to find the cheapest gas. You’ll just run out of gas and he’s always going to be cheap.
- You don’t care who sees you singing in the car and seat dancing.
- You can do anything you set your mind to doing.
- You may look old to some people but your spirit and attitude are still 22.
- Life is too short to put up with drama. That ship has sailed.
- You’re not always right. Someone else’s opinion is just as important as yours. Respect it.
- You are confident enough that you know that if you want to wear leather pants at 70, you’ll do it.
- Have breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast. It’s all food.
- The curling iron still makes a pretty mean microphone. #BathroomKaraoke
- Don’t burn your bridges isn’t always the best advice.
- It’s sometimes fun to shock people by dropping the F Bomb when they’re not used to hearing it from you. It makes people take notice ‘cause sometimes you have to make a statement.
- Say what you believe. People will admire you more for having an opinion than just following the crowd.
- If you have just one true – never judging – always supports you – friend, you’re blessed.
- You will go from ‘always being the youngest’ to somehow ‘being the oldest’ in the room. There never seems to be an in-between.
- My geometry teacher did lie to me. I didn’t really use it in real life.
- When you go back to your high school reunions, the most fascinating people are the “nerdy” ones and sometimes life was very unkind to the “cool kids.”
- A new dress does wonders for your attitude.
- You never forget your Mom’s advice of ‘Always wear clean underwear in case you are in an accident.”
- Nothing is ever black and white. It’s the gray area that gives you the most thought-provoking conversations.
- Speaking of gray, you’re never ready for your first gray hair.
- My ‘rules’ for drinking no longer apply. I used to say nothing before 5:00 p.m., then I moved the time back for when I was on vacation. Now, Sunday morning at 10:00, pass the Bloody Mary.
- Everyone has a story to tell, all we need to do is to ask them.
- Age is definitely not a number. It’s all attitude.
- There’s no expiration date on dreams.
- Stop being so offended over every little thing. Most of the time you’re not really offended and if you are, take action to change things instead of just spewing words.
- You don’t have to be a Kardashian to have a personal brand.
- Don’t participate in life as a bystander on the sidelines, get right in there and play the game!
- If you doubt your abilities, so will everyone else.
- You know that nobody will ever take your stilettos away from you.
- You understand your true power – use it wisely
- “I can” trumps “IQ”.
- You can’t outsource relationships.
- You still long for good butt days.
- Don’t be shocked when you look in the mirror one day and you see your mother or you open your mouth and you hear your mother. It will happen.
- If you want to know your future, look at your present. #ThePowerOfNow #DesignYourDestiny (Another way to put this is: If you want to change your future, then you will change your past.)
- You realize that it’s not your past experiences that give you life lessons but it’s reflecting on those experiences.
- People you love die. No matter what, you’re never prepared.
- And because of #49 above. Embrace your life and love your life because not everyone will be blessed to make it there.
And, lastly, a freebie… you deserve your seat at the table.
Over to you:
What's your greatest lesson so far?
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Johnston Osburn is a Career and Life Coach who helps people turn dreams into realities. After years as a Global Talent Acquisition Professional, she realized how frequently people limit themselves because they lack belief in their abilities. They are afraid to dream, let alone dream big. [...]