When I turned fifty, I started on a journey of self realization. I desperately wanted to figure out what I wanted the second half of my life to look like. I was frightened and filled with stress many times as I examined the question:
can you change your life at 50?
Yesterday I got a call from a friend that I haven’t heard from in a while. We’ve literally been friends since we were born. Her mother and my aunt were room mates in the hospital when both she and my cousin were born.
After a long conversation of catch up, and right as we were going to say goodbye, she says:
“Oh, by the way, I quit my job. My last day is Friday.”
Ah, hold on. I’m not letting you sign off after dropping that bomb.
Apparently, her revelation to others, had brought her a lot of bad reactions. She left it to the end of the phone call to curb, what she thought would be, a negative response.
“That’s freaking awesome!”, I exclaimed.
For many, the fifties are what I refer to as the sandwich years. Your own children are grown but not fully independent and you have senior parents who are requiring extra care. You are the meat, stuck in the middle, keeping the whole thing together. It is a difficult balancing act.
Honestly, I always looked at my friend like she was a superwoman. I felt inferior to her level of accomplished juggling. I didn’t realize that it had taken a toll on her mentally and physically.
Quitting her job was not a decision she took lightly. It will carry with it huge financial consequences. She did discuss with her boss going part-time or job sharing, but neither was an acceptable prospect.
So that’s that. She’s going cold turkey, jobless. She’s nervous and excited but relieved. She feels like she can finally take a breath.
I know how she feels, it is almost four years to the day that I stepped away from my “working for someone else” life. Yes, financially we had to tighten our belts in the beginning. It was hard. Sometimes it was really stressful not knowing how we were going to pay the bills.
Do I regret my decision? Absolutely NOT!
I know walking away from their day job is not for everyone. I know many can not afford to do it. But for me, I had a feeling that I had to make it happen. I hated what my future looked like and I knew I had to make a drastic change soon or I would regret it.
Over the next few weeks, we have made arrangements to get together and strategize her next step but for now, what is her plan?
“I’m going to really do Christmas! I’m going to bake!”
I’m happy for her and look forward to helping her in her new journey.
Can you change your life at 50? Life can change at any age. You must decide what is important to you, then make a plan. If it is what you truly want and need, you can make it happen.
I know it is scary.
But it is even scarier to be in the exact same unhappy place a year from now.
Have you made a drastic life altering change late in your life?